Sunday, August 30, 2015

2015 Topps World Series Subset

What an unbelievable performance by Bumgarner in last year's World Series.  At the same time, the winning streak that the Royals went on to go from a Wild Card playoff game to a World Series game 7 was no small feat either.  It was a painful loss for Royals fans, and solidification of a dynasty for Giants fans.  It looks like the Royals may have another opportunity to try again this year.  My only gripe about this year's (and just about every year's) World Series subset, is that Topps neglected to include a card for all 7 games.  Come on now.



Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 Topps Factory Set Inserts: Rookie Variations & Chrome Refractor

Each year, I tend to choose the factory set containing the rookie variation bonus insert pack.  The box I chose also included a Ken Griffey Jr. Chrome Refactor insert as well.  I've shown each rookie variation below on the left with the base card for each player on the right.  The five players featured on the rookie variation cards include: #108 Jorge Soler, #192 Joc Pederson, #519 Archie Bradley, #571 Devon Travis, and #616 Kris Bryant.  The chrome refractor shown below is a reprint of 1999 Topps #100 Ken Griffey Jr.













2011 Topps Update: 1st Wave of '90s-Born Players

The first wave of '90s-born players to appear in a regular-issue Topps set occurred with the 2011 Topps Update set.  I recently acquired this set (minus Trout RC) to complete my '10s decade Topps + Update collection to date.  Starlin Castro appeared in the 2010 and 2011 Topps base sets as the first '90s-born player, but it wasn't until the 2011 Topps Update set that an influx of players began to appear such as: Randall Delgado, Brad Hand, Starlin Castro, Jose Altuve, Julio Teheran, Jacob Turner, and Mike Trout.  Since I'm still missing the Trout RC (waiting for a price drop), I used the 2012 Topps M.Trout card below.
















Friday, August 28, 2015

2011 Topps All-Star Rookies

Here's something you don't see much anymore--Topps All-Star Rookie trophies.  The 2011 Topps set included a 9-card subset featuring the classic trophy cup in the lower right-hand corner.  I was looking for '90s-born player cards in the '11 Topps base set in continuation of my previous post topic.  The one '90s-born player that I could find in the base set was Starlin Castro again.  I was trying to figure out why he had two cards (one with and one without a trophy), so I began looking at my other trophy cards and notice the same two-card production trend for each of them.  If it weren't for the card backs looking like a regular-issue base card, I'd pull this subset out of my team sets and include it with all of the other special subset cards that go in the back of my Topps set binder.  My next post will feature the actual first wave of '90s-born players that began appearing in the 2011 Topps Update set.



First Topps Card of a '90s-Born Player

After presenting some of the last few '70s-born players to still have a Topps card in 2015, the question of who were the first '90s-born players to have a Topps card arises.  So, just who were they?  Considering only Topps base or Topps Update/Traded sets, I found the answer.  The first of the '90s-born players appeared in the 2010 Topps Update set.  Actually, there was only one--Starlin Castro.  



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Current Cards of Rookies from the '90s

My last post described the oldest players still in the game, which begs the question--who's been in the game the longest?  Once again, I've sorted through my 2015 Topps base set, but this time, I pulled all of the cards of players that have played in the majors during anytime in the 1990's.  I found a total of only 14 cards--at least two of which have already ready retired.  Not surprisingly, all 14 cards represent players born in the 1970's that were included in my last post.  Here are the current player cards of the rookies of the 1990's in order by year of entry into the majors and then by amount of playing time during their first year.

1994 (1)- Alex Rodriguez



1995 (2)- Derek Jeter, LaTroy Hawkins



1997 (4)- Bartolo Colon, David Ortiz, Paul Konerko, Torii Hunter



1998 (4)- Aramis Ramirez, Adrian Beltre, Carlos Beltran, A.J. Pierzynski



1999 (3)- Tim Hudson, Joe Nathan, A.J. Burnett



Sunday, August 23, 2015

Last of the 1970's-Born Players

     You can tell how young you still are by counting the number of baseball players older than you in a Topps baseball card set.  I pulled all of the 1970's-born players from the 2015 Topps base set and arrange them in order from oldest to youngest.  I found a total of 42 Topps cards featuring players born the 1970's--only 20 of which are still older than me.  The countdown of '70s-born players has begun, with at least two of the 42 cards listed below featuring players that have already retired (Jeter and Konerko).
     It was less than two years ago that we still had a '60s-born player in the major leagues by the name Mariano Rivera.  Jamie Moyer was another '60s-born player that lasted until only three years ago.  The last of the '50s-born players was Julio Franco only eight years ago.  When I first started collecting baseball cards in 1987, the majority of major leaguers were born in the '40s, '50s, and early '60s.  I remember Phil Niekro being the last of the '30s born players still in the game.
     When I started back up collecting baseball cards after a 10-year hiatus, I remember the significance of being older than quite a few major leaguers that had entered the game in the mid-90's.  Now, we are counting down the '70s-born major leaguers with the following 42 cards.