Saturday, October 24, 2015

2002 Topps '52 World Series Highlights Insert Set #1-7

  Well, I finally broke down and acquired this little insert set from the 2002 Topps collection.  Originally, four of the cards were included in series 1 packs, and three of the cards were included in series 2 packs.  I'm treating these cards as a subset to my 1952 Topps collection, which consists primarily of reprinted cards with a few originals sprinkled throughout my binders.  Historically, a set's subset cards would typically represent the World Series for the year prior, which this one does not.

Here are the the 7 cards included in the subset:
#52WS1--Dodgers Line-Up
#52WS2--Billy Martin's Homer
#52WS3--Dodger Celebrate
#52WS4--Yanks Slip Dodgers
#52WS5--Carl Erskine
#52WS6--Casey Stengel & Allie Reynolds
#52WS7--Allie Reynolds Relieves Ed Lopat

Monday, October 12, 2015

Ruben Tejada, New York Mets, SS/2B/3B

Ruben Tejada signed with the New York Mets in 2006, and made his major league debut on April 7th, 2010.  He entered a tie game at home against the Marlins to lead off the Bottom of the 9th inning as a pinch hitter.  Tejada stayed in the game to play 2B in the Top of the 10th inning, making the first out on a ground ball from Chris Coghlan that was fielded by 1B.  At the time, he was the 3rd youngest player in the N.L., after Starlin Castro and Giancarlo Stanton.  Since his MLB debut, Tejada has played in 580 regular season games over the past 6 seasons mostly at SS and 2B.  He was top 3 in the National League for Fielding % as SS twice.

2010 Topps #416
2011 Topps #625
2012 Topps #521
2013 Topps #485
2014 Topps #493
2015 Topps #593

An interesting notes is that Ruben Tejada's Santiago de Veraguas, Panama baseball team represented Latin America in the 2001 Little League World Series.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 NLWC: Chicago Cubs vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

Tonight's one-game playoff game features the Chicago Cubs against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park with the largest baseball crowd in the park's history.  These two teams had the 2nd and 3rd best records of the regular season, but after tonight, one of the teams will have to go home for the winter.  The winning team will go on to play the #1 seeded team in the league, and in the majors overall: the St. Louis Cardinals.  Update: Cubs win 4-0.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

2015 ALWC Managers

Here are the first six Topps cards for each of the managers involved in this year's ALWC.

A.J. Hinch: '93TT#12T, '98T#487, '99T#132, '00T#349, '01T#469, '01TT#T157.

Joe Girardi: '90TD#42, '90T#12, '91T#214, '92T#529, '93T#425, '94T#372.

2015 ALWC: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees

Tonight's American League Wild Card game started at 8:00 p.m EST at Yankee Stadium.  The winner between the Yankees and Astros will go on to play the Kansas City Royals in the ALDS at Kauffman Stadium.

The New York Yankees finished the regular season 6.0 games behind the division-leading Blue Jays with a 87-75 record, which was 9th overall in the majors.

The Houston Astros finished the regular season 2.0 games behind the division-leading Rangers with a 86-76 record, which was 10th overall in the majors.

This is the 4th year of the double Wild Card game, which started in 2012.  I know there are mixed opinions about one-game playoff, but I really like this new rule.  There used to not be much difference between a division winner and a wild card team.  Now, there's a great emphasis for teams to win their division.  Over the course of an entire season, the Yankees and the Astros were only one game apart.  I don't think there'll be any injustice for the loser of this game.  Both teams are worthy to move forward.  A longer Wild Card Series wouldn't be fair to the Division Champ that has to wait, since too much inactivity can lead to stale performance.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

2015 A.L. West Division Champions: Texas Rangers

On the final day of the regular season, the Texas Rangers became the last team to clinch a division with a 9-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels.  All of the Division Champions have been determined: Kansas City Royals, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers.  The Wild Card teams will be: Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, and Houston Astros.

2015 Worst Team in the Majors: Philadelphia Phillies

This year's worst team is the Philadelphia Phillies.  With one game left to go in the regular season, there's no chance for the Phillies to pull themselves out of the cellar--even though the Reds were really trying to take the bottom spot.  The Phillies are currently 62-99 with a .385 Win Percentage.  A win today would bring them up to .388 and a loss would bring them down to .382 with a 100 losses.  The only other MLB with a Win Percentage below .400 is the Reds, who could pull themselves out of this category with a win today.

The primary position players this year (determined by Innings Played) were: Carlos Ruiz C; Ryan Howard 1B; Cesar Hernandez 2B; Freddy Galvis SS; Maikel Franco 3B; Cody Asche LF; Odubel Herrera CF; and Jeff Francoeur RF.  Ben Revere spent significant time in the outfield.

The starting rotation this year (determined by Games Started) was: Aaron Harang, Jerome Williams, Cole Hamels, Adam Morgan, and David Buchanan.  The closers (determined by Games Finished) were: Jonathan Papelbon, Ken Giles, and Jeanmar Gomez.  The other primary relief pitchers (determined by Games Played) were: Luis Garcia and Justin De Fratus,

Friday, October 2, 2015

2000 Topps Hank Aaron Commemorative Set #1-23

This is the 3rd Commemorative Set that I've acquired of the 5 total sets released between 1996-2000.  I recently posted about the 1997 Mays set, but have yet to post about the 1996 Mantle set.  The only two sets I'm missing are the 1998 Clemente set and the 1999 Ryan set.

The 2000 Topps Hank Aaron Commemorative set consisting of 23 reprinted cards arrived in my mailbox today.  This set contains all 23 regular-issue Topps reprints from Aaron's career between 1954-1976.      

Like my other Commemorative sets, I take the cards that I don't have originals for an insert them into their respective sets as fillers until I can get my hands on the real thing.  This is a great way to acquire star players for vintage sets at a decent price.  For the cards that I do have originals, I put the commemorative reprints in back of my 2000 Topps set binder with the rest of my insert sets.  

I don't anticipate going after the Ryan set anytime soon since I already have all but the first two of his originals.  The Clemente set will be next on my list although I probably already have about half of his regular-issue cards.

The one thing that I won't try again is to compile these sets through singles purchases.  I started the Mantle Commemorative set with a desire to acquire only a few key cards.  Eventually, I had most of the 36-card set and though that I might as well complete it.  At $2-$3 each, I paid much more than I could have found the whole set for online.  This Aaron Commemorative set cost me less than $1.00 each.  The Mays Commemorative set cost me just over $1.00 each.

These Commemorative sets are a great addition to any collection.