Thursday, March 31, 2016

I Really Thought It'd Be Different This Time

I came home from work yesterday with a lot of tension in the shoulder and neck muscles, the culmination of two weeks worth of stress at the office. I was hoping for a massage from my wife, but she had to take my daughter to youth group shortly after we finished dinner. Since that wasn't going to happen I decided to make a trip to Walmart in search of some of their Marketside Pizza with specially marked packs of Topps baseball cards. Maybe that would help reduce the stress.

Clearly I wasn't thinking straight because I was, once again, let down upon discovering that they still don't have any of the cardboard treasures. To be honest with you, I don't even know why I feel like I need them- the cards are actually quite ugly, in my opinion. Anyway, no- I wasn't thinking straight and what's worse is the rat race that is Walmart caused my stress level to skyrocket.







I did pick up a couple of needed items as well, as two Jumbo packs of Heritage, and then found myself waiting in line for about ten minutes for three items. I then headed to the McDonalds inside the store, wanting to get a coffee. That was about another eight minute wait. At least this trip to the adventure land didn't entail me playing a ninja warrior- as Burbs called it last week.





Unfortunately I didn't get any of the short printed high-numbered cards- adding to my stress level.


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Point Place

Hanging out down the street. The same old thing we did last week. Not a thing to do but talk to you. We're all alright, we're all alright, we're all alright.

Nothing of any importance today. It started out with the Tippy Martinez card reminding me of Fez from That 70's Show and just sort of went from there....





Lamp+Stanhouse= Steven Hyde





If you have never seen That 70s Show, it's a period sitcom that follows the lives of a group of teenage friends in the fictional suburban town of Point Place, Wi. from the years 1976-1979. Like many television shows, a number of social issues are addressed, with teenage drinking and drug use being front and center.

The most familiar setting in the comedy is the basement of the Foreman clan, where the teens often hang-out (and where they most often conduct 'The Circle'- discussing random things while, ahem, smoking marijuana).




Eric Foreman (played by Topher Grace) is the geeky guy with the hot red-headed girlfriend named Donna (played by Laura Pepron of Orange is the New Black). Eric is the dreaded 'nice guy' with a quick wit and is a real smart-a**, which is a real point of contention between he and Red, his father.





Does Jim Kern's smile remind you of any particular character?




Speaking of the aforementioned Red Foreman... John Stearns is the best I could do.



John Wathan could (perhaps) pass as Bob Pinciotti (played by Don Stark). I wonder if John like to wear a robe around the house w/out anything underneath? *shudders*




I sometimes think of the blogosphere as my 'Circle'- a place we can hang out, discussing random things. Although, if you're going to get high- get high on cardboard.



Monday, March 28, 2016

Another One (or Twelve) Bites the Dust

I began buying baseball cards in 1976, but it was more like me putting my feet in to test the water; it wasn't until the following year that I took a full-fledged jump into the pool. From there on- until 1984, at least- I was buying not only baseball cards, but every other kind of cardboard available. Through all those years, though, I only had two friends that I traded with. Most of my friends from elementary through middle school (1st-7th grade) came from poorer families whose parents didn't have a lot of disposable income.

The first kid I traded with was in second grade, spring of 1977. He's the earliest friend I can recall during my school years (surely I had a friend in 1st grade?!) but I can't remember his last name. We traded only a couple times on the playground that spring and I don't ever recall seeing him again after that school year.

The only other childhood friend I can recall trading with came during the final two years of my younger collecting period. This was during my 8th and 9th grade years and his dad was a doctor. Needless to say, money wasn't an issue for him.

George lived not too far from me and I spent a lot of time over at his house during those junior high years. We spent much of that time shooting baskets, watching tv and trading cards. One visit, however, introduced me to the evils of subliminal messages used by those in the entertainment industry.

If you were a teenager (or older) in the '80s then you remember the 'Satanic Panic' that took place. The rise of heavy metal music during this time period brought with it a number of groups that warned of 'Backward Masking'. The most popular group was the Tipper Gore-led Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC), who warned of the moral corruption that was taking place in America's youth. They took the fight before Congress in 1985 and sought government intervention in forcing the music industry to place warning stickers on album covers.

Before the PMRC took on Frank Zappa, Dee Snider and John Denver on Capitol Hill, there were other groups leading the war on 'Backward Masking' and one such group distributed a cassette tape that ended up in the hands of the mother of my friend George.

"Listen to this tape my mom brought home," my friend told me one summer day.

 I don't think he was too distraught over it, although there were warnings about the album covers of his favorite band (Journey- the scarab beetle was supposedly a hellish creature)- so I think it at least got his attention. I pretty much let everything go in one ear and out the other, but there was one part I couldn't help but laugh about.

On Queen's 1980 hit "Another One Bites the Dust" the band appeared to be promoting 'smoking marijuana' or something like that. I probably would not have even heard those words, had it not been for the preacher on the tape telling me it was there.

I had always liked the song- the funky bass line and guitar riffs, the fact that it started out with "Steve walks warily down the street..." (It was my name, after all). Hell, the singer had short hair. Surely these guys wouldn't be promoting such wickedness?!

I don't remember how we resolved this moral dilemma. We probably ended the afternoon by trading some baseball cards- maybe even ones like the twelve I recently picked up from a seller on Sportlots.




The 1980 set is one of my all-time favorites and the highlights subset found in it is one of the best ever.



Want to know what was more dangerous than that rock 'n roll music? A friggin' J.R. Richard fastball.


I defy anyone to find a card with a better photo than the one found on Gary Carter's card. It's a trap- because you can't!!


Rounding out the acquisitions. Twelve down and only 43 more to go in finishing the set.




  *hoping that this embedded audio file works*



Now, if I can only figure out a way to subliminally persuade you into sending me LLA RUOY SDRAC. Or would it be: SDRAC RUOY LLA ?






Friday, March 25, 2016

Food-Issue Friday: Bananas, Blackberries and a Donut




Hobbyists were buzzing yesterday about the re-entry of Food-Issues into the hobby.  Granted, it is Walmart pizza... but hey, beggars can't be choosers. Right?

I told my wife this rapturous news and how I wanted to make a special trip to Wally's World. Tomorrow's (Friday) pizza day (family tradition) so let's do that, I practically begged. She could tell how desperate I was and replied, "it'll taste just like the cardboard those cards are made out of" and left it at that. Bless her heart.

So off to the store I went, man on a mission.

Once there, I immediately began searching. First near the deli. Nothing. Head over to the frozen food island near the meats. Nope. *Hey, there's my wife's friend ____*

I don't know if my wife's friend even knows who I am, but in case she does, I decided to walk towards the back of the store. My only explanation for this was that it was some subconscious thing because she's an attractive redhead and I've always found redheaded women attractive. And I don't want to come across as one of those weird, card-obsessed middle-aged men at the big box store.

Once I felt enough time had passed I headed back up to the frozen food aisle. There was plenty of frozen pizza in the freezers, but none of the Marketside crap brand. Damn.

I was getting this sick feeling in my stomach because it was becoming clear that I had made a wasted trip. Let me state for the hundredth time on this blog that I can't stand Walmart. I don't like their business model, I don't like the crowds, I don't like that I have to wait thirty minutes in line for 2 items.

Anyway, before leaving I decided I had at least buy something for my trouble, so I head over to get some fresh fruit. I grabbed some blackberries and turned around to get some bananas... there's Red. I quickly look up into the horizon, as to not make eye contact, and that's when I saw it:

 Marketside Pizza.

I walked a few feet to my right to the area where the donuts were and picked out a pastry as I waited for Red and her son to leave the area. Once they walked on, I headed over to hoard every box of Marketside Pizza I could get my grubby hands on. Only problem: THERE'S NO PACKS OF CARDS included!!!

 #*@!



*Obligatory Card Scans*







At that moment a light bulb went off in my head: Card Aisle! Might as well pick up a pack or two.

Well, only if I want to look like I'm stalking Red, who was there in line right next to the cards.

Maybe next time.


I'll just settle for some bananas, blackberries and a donut.







Thursday, March 24, 2016

When I Was A Child

I was reaching through the future slowly floating in the blue. When I was a boy I dreamed a dream of you. I danced upon the tree top, I drifted in the stream. When I was a child I held you in my dreams... I was walking with a stranger, he left without a trace. When I was a boy I slept at Heaven's gate. Once I was a soldier in my castle strong. Oh I stood so tall then I could do no wrong, innocence and slumber when I was a boy.~ Robert Plant and Jimmy Page's When I Was A Child



A number of years ago I was shooting the breeze with a group of men from church, when the discussion turned from some subject (I forget what) to childhood dreams. Each of us, almost to a man, had said that at one point during our childhood we had dreamed of being a professional ballplayer. One of the guys then said something along the lines of, "well at least one of us saw that dream realized."

We had just begun attending the church a short time before that and I didn't know many of the guys, so I later asked Bill what he meant by that statement. He told me that Cliff was a retired MLB pitcher. Not knowing who "Cliff" was, I inquired further and he told me the tall, older gentleman was Cliff Chambers.



The name didn't ring a bell with me, so I looked him up on the internet once we got home that afternoon. Come to find out, not only did Cliff pitch in the Majors- he actually No-Hit the Boston Braves on May 6, 1951 while a member of the Pirates!!

I took this newly discovered information with me the next week and decided to approach Cliff, who was then around 80 years old, not to ask for an autograph (it just didn't seem right asking that in the house of the Lord) but to just have the joy of hearing this man reminisce about a piece of baseball history.

I do regret never asking Cliff to sign a ball-or this card (I picked it up at a shop the day before speaking to him for the first time)- for me. I would see him off and on for a couple of years- his wife's health and them being away at their cabin would often cause them to miss worship service. They would then begin attending service elsewhere (closer to their home) and I didn't hear anything else about him until about a year ago when I read he had passed away in January of 2012 at the age of ninety.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was one of those dreamers who had wanted to be a professional ballplayers as a young boy. Most of my spare time was spent at the ballpark or back behind our house, working on fielding grounders or pop-ups as I threw the ball against our shop's concrete wall. When I wasn't doing those things, you could bet I was inside with my baseball cards or reading my Street and Smiths, Sports Illustrated, Baseball Digest or Sporting News.

One other thing I enjoyed, that fueled my dreams and helped satiate my hunger for the game, was watching the NBC Major League Game of the Week on Saturdays. This was before we had cable, so that game of the week was a big thing. While the game itself was enough to hold my interest, the broadcast was enhanced by the presence of Joe Garagiola and Tony Kubek. Garagiola's analysis, wit and self-deprecating humor made him a fan favorite as a broadcaster.





By now you've heard of Garagiola's death yesterday. I first heard about it from the above tweet and it got me thinking of not only my youth, but of Cliff again. Why's that, you ask? Well, about 5 weeks after no-hitting the Braves, Cliff was sent from Pittsburgh to St. Louis as part of a 7-player deal. One of the players the Pirates acquired was catcher (and St. Louis native) Joe Garagiola.

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RIP, Joe. Thank you for being, as Joel Sherman tweeted, a part of the soundtrack of my youth. You fueled my dreams of being a ballplayer, and fed that hunger of wanting to know more about the game I loved.






Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Legendary Lumber

There are two pieces of American literature that every boy should become familiar with: Paul Bunyan Swings His Axe (or perhaps one of the other tellings of the lumberjack legend) being one, and Casey at the Bat being the other. Add those two pieces of American folklore to a couple of other boyhood 'musts'- baseball cards and balsa wood airplanes- and you have today's featured card.



1996 Leaf Lumberjacks #7 (Serial Numbered 4569/5000)






I try not to get sucked into the 90s time machine, but it's tough because of all the cool innovation taking place in the hobby back then. There were enough cards coming out during the decade (and the 00s) to keep a collector busy for a lifetime. And while I have cooled off on the Chipper purchases, I still enjoy the occasional insert, oddball or attractive base card. 

It's funny looking back at the hobby twenty years ago. With no internet (or at least, with it not being as easily accessible), cards like this Chipper Lumberjacks seemed like hobby legend, known only through oral tradition. Or the latest copy of Beckett.




Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I Hate to Say It, But...


I hate to say it but...

The creative juices just aren't flowing.



I hate to say it but...

I made an impulse purchase that I said I wouldn't on a player I decided to stop collecting. (But only 99 cents shipped)




I hate to say it but...

Panini still can't make a Braves uniform look like a Braves uniform.



I hate to say it but...

This photo, despite having no logos and ^uniform issues^, is better than anything in 2016 Topps Series 1.




I hate to say it but...

I still haven't gotten over Atlanta trading Simmons for a pitcher who has serious command issues. 





I hate to say it but...

Panini still hasn't learned how to design a card back.



Monday, March 21, 2016

Bring It On Home

Bring it on home, bring it on home. Bring it back home, bring it back home to me baby ~ Led Zeppelin's Bring It On Home


A trip to Target while shopping with my daughter recently resulted in my wife bringing home a couple of surprise packs of Heritage for me. She knows what her man likes.





Pack #1:



98 Matt Wisler- a Brave as the first card out of the first pack.
172- Athletics 2016 Rookie Stars (Dull, Blair)
324- Anthony Rendon
385- Victor Martinez
390- George Springer



BF-RCL '67 Baseball Flashbacks Roberto Clemente
288- Slade Heathcott
127- David Wright
105- Kendrys Morales


Pack #2:

228- Ben Revere
350- Minnesota Twins team checklist

168- NL Rookie Stars (Peraza, Seager)

















202- Chris Colabello

TAN-CK  Then and Now Steve Carlton/Clayton Kershaw



344- Tampa Bay Rays team checklist
144- Michael Cuddyer
137- Jonathan Schoop
299- Ervin Santana (I'm surprised the Budweiser sign in the background didn't get cut out)



And now I have to fight the urge to buy a couple of boxes and put this thing together. Perhaps a hand-collated 1-425 set on eBay is the answer...



While I like the version of Bring It On Home that appeared on Led Zeppelin II, I much prefer the 'Rough Mix' that was included on the Coda Deluxe Edition that Jimmy Page released last summer.




Friday, March 18, 2016

Food-Issue Friday Flashback: Papa Murphy's Murph

With yesterday being St. Patrick's day (and today being Friday), I thought I'd go back into the vault and pull out a custom food-issue card from four years ago.

At the time, it was announced that Dale Murphy's son Tyson and his wife were expecting their first child. Around that same time, Dale had another addition to the family as son Jake revealed he was engaged. So to honor the first family of Braves baseball, I created this custom food-issue.






The photo was taken from a St. Patrick's Day game, as you can tell by the green Braves cap.



Thursday, March 17, 2016

Let 'Em In

"Somone's knockin' on the door, someone's ringing the bell. Do me a favor, open the door and let 'em in... Sister Suzie, brother John, Martin Luther, Phil and Don, brother Michael, auntie Gin, (uncle Ernie)- open the door and let 'em in." 

There's always been a mystery (to me) surrounding the folks named in the 1976 Paul McCartney & Wings smash hit, "Let 'Em In." Is Paul referring to actual relatives and to Martin Luther the reformer? Are they nicknames for friends and/or relatives? Is he not even referring to real people? A search of the some of the 'song meaning' websites turn up a number of theories- some of them making sense- but to the original audience, it might have been just as much of a mystery.

1976 Topps #70





Father Roy, Uncle Gene
There was no doubting who Roy Smalley was when he broke into the major leagues with the Rangers during the 1975 season. The son of former big league shortstop Roy Smalley and the nephew of former major league manager Gene Mauch, Smalley- noted on his 1976 Topps card as Roy Smalley, Jr- is actually Roy Smalley III and was the number one overall pick in the 1974 amateur draft.



Knocking on the Door
Despite only 568 at-bats in the minor leagues (mostly during his first professional season in '74, with Pittsfield), Smalley made his major league debut on April 30, 1975 and then struggled for his rookie campaign, hitting .228 in 78 games for Texas. His struggles continued into the first two months of the 1976 season, as well.

As the month of May was coming to an end, Smalley was hitting a paltry .225/.363/.264 for the Rangers. His career would take a turn for the better on June 1st, however, as he and three other players were traded from Texas to Minnesota for pitcher Bert Blyleven and veteran infielder Danny Thompson. The trade paid instant dividends on his career and three years later, Roy was an All-Star and the top shortstop in the game. Instrumental in his inclusion in the trade was uncle Gene Mauch, who happened to be the Twins manager.



All in the Family
The first two years in Minnesota were not easy for Roy, however, as Sports Illustrated revealed in its May 14, 1979 issue.

 "Because eight members of the Twins' undistinguished front office are related to owner Calvin Griffith- two of his brothers, his son, three nephews, a sister and a cousin are all on the payroll- Minnesota fans were already sensitive to the slightest suggestion of nepotism, and for the next two years they heaped unrelieved abuse on Smalley, using his kinship with Mauch as the main theme of their barbs." 

Roy's spot in the Minnesota lineup clearly wasn't due to his relationship with Mauch. God-given talent, hard work and baseball smarts all played a part in his development. As teammate Mike Marshall pointed out in the same S.I. article, "Smalley became a star by being Roy Smalley, not because he's Gene Mauch's nephew."

In his prime, Roy Smalley's production at the shortstop position was very similar to another former player's kid- future Baltimore Oriole Cal Ripken, Jr, who would take the model set forth by Smalley to a whole new level.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

No Time Like the Present to Make a Trade

If you've read my blog for anytime at all you are aware of my affection for classic rock (& certain metal) music. That's not the only genre of music that I enjoy- but it is my favorite, no doubt. One thing I've noticed, however, is how little newer music I'm familiar with. Now, by 'newer' I mean anything after the very early nineties. All the stations I listen to are classic rock, golden oldies or more pop-oriented from the 80s and earlier, so discovering new music would require me to seek it out, something I have neither the time, nor energy, to do.

Every once in a while, however, I will (somehow) 'discover' a 'new' band. This usually happens by dumb luck and the band isn't newer- they have usually been around for a few years and have put out a couple of albums. And because I love that classic rock sound, these bands usually have that classic sound. One such band is Black Country Communion, which, unfortunately, has disbanded. BCC comprised of 'The Voice of Rock' Glenn Hughes (of Deep Purple fame), guitar extraordinaire Joe Bonamassa, keyboardist Derek Sherinian and drummer Jason Bonham (yes, John's boy). If you like Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and the rest of 70s British rock, I can't recommend them enough.

Finding newer card blogs can be a difficult task for me, as well. I usually don't go searching them out (ain't nobody got time for that!) and only find them when I see other bloggers talk about them. Or, as in the case of new blogger Andy at Ain't Nobody Got Time for Cardboard!, they approach me about a trade.

Andy emailed me a couple weeks ago, telling me he had about 16 cards from my want lists that he would like to send my way and wanted to know if I'd like to trade. Are you kidding me? Of course, I would! He even offered to send the cards my way first, since he is new to the community. Since then, Andy has started a blog- so be sure to check it out, if you haven't already!! (He recently featured the cards I sent him as part of the trade).

Oh, yes, the cards. Let's take some time to look these things over, shall we?


Right off the start were 9 cards I need for my 2014 Update set. And while seven of the nine have the standard (and very familiar looking) vertical shots, the Huston Street and Gerald Laird cards are the better photos in this lot. I wish Topps took more time to find photos like these for their current sets. And I'll say it again: this design works best with the horizontal shots.



A couple of Chippa's, to go along with other set needs.



Heritage and Archives-- although it's hard to distinguish which is which in today's cardboard world. I wasn't expecting so many 2016 Heritage Braves cards, so this was a HUGE plus! I really do like this year's set- if only Topps didn't do that grainy thing (see Jace Peterson).





Andy- thank you again for reaching out to me for the trade and for sending such great stuff!

Again, be sure to visit Andy's blog, everyone, and thanks for taking the time to read this today.



Now, take some time to listen to the infectious sounds of Black Country Communion's 'No Time'







Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Creativity is Dead

I realize that not every card product is directed at my collecting interests, so I try not to be hyper-critical of everything in this hobby. That being said...I have some real concerns about not only the future of this hobby but its present state as well.  Product development, in my opinion, has hit a wall and creativity is dead. 

If you missed the news,  the latest set to be added to Topps product schedule is yet another rehashed set called Anthology. There's a catch, of course (isn't there always?): it's the oversized (5"x7") garbage set that is available exclusively online.

I don't have a problem with online-only products and forget the fact it's another of their over-sized sets. My problem is that the company continues to do reprints of the same damn cards over and over and over again. Even worse is they include reprints of more recent cards.

I began drafting this post a week or so ago and forgot about it- until yesterday when it was the topic of #CardChat.

Sooz's question regarding collector's opinions of reprints seemed to be answered along these lines: I dislike them; find them confusing or too easy for sellers to scam online buyers; they've been done too often; as long as they're marked, they're okay; laziness [to which I say, amen!].


You know why the above card 'worked'? Because it was fresh; the front wasn't some reprint of Ray Boone's card. Maybe Topps should have done something similar with Berger's Best, with the back being the front.  You what would have been a nice way to honor Berger? By having quotes about him from former co-workers or others in the hobby who knew him.



Topps should be proud of its past and I have no problem with them celebrating its illustrious history. But enough is enough, already. Stop 'forcing' it on us. Stop beating a dead horse.








Monday, March 14, 2016

Great Pages in the Annals of Topps #3: 1980 (487-495)

Most binders pages would look at today's featured page and be green with envy. It's got just about everything you could want on a sheet- with the exception of a Hall of Famer.

We have alliteration: May, Mura, Martin, Minetto, McBride; Howell, Hanna and we have powder blues. There's even an appearance of a windbreaker under the jersey, thanks to Mr. May.

In the left column- we have each of the two Chicago teams represented, in their pajama tops!




Moving one row to the right... each of the three players are showing off their stirrups, and two of the players are rocking gold sanitary socks. It's just not fair that younger collectors of modern cards don't get to appreciate wonderful works of art such as these cards.

Last, but certainly not least... we have Bake- and a dude who looks baked. Whoa, dude.




Actually, I vaguely remembered some bad news about Todd Cruz so I googled his name and was reminded of the sad ending to his life. I also found an interesting link about Preston Hanna, the player pictured directly above Cruz. Hanna was struggling to make ends meet during the 1981 player's strike, so Ted Turner hired the player who was striking against him. Sounds odd, I know.




Sunday, March 13, 2016

Stamp of Approval

You want to know something I've never understood? Federal laws that require a candidate to say,"I approve of this ad/message," even though the candidate appears on the campaign ad. Of course you do- you're on the commercial, you dope.

Anyway, one of my recent COMC purchases received my stamp of approval. Best of all, you won't get any name calling, protests, statements that contradict previous ones or promises that won't be fulfilled. This ain't no presidential debate or rally.


1988 Grenada Major League Baseball Stamps

The U.S. Postal Service will not issue a stamp of an individual unless that person has been dead for at least ten years (the exception being U.S. presidents, which is a one-year wait), so collectors of current or retired players who are still alive will not find a stamp of their favorite player. Many other countries, however, do not have such prohibitions. One island in the Caribbean, Grenada, saw a nice boost to its economy with the release of their baseball stamps (beginning in 1987). Sports Illustrated actually published an article on their endeavor- which can be accessed in their SI Vault.



In a separate purchase, this one coming about a year ago, I picked up two of the 1939 3-cent stamp that had been issued to celebrate the 'centennial' of the game of baseball and coincided with the opening of the Hall of Fame. This issue was proposed by Postmaster General James A. Farley (FDR's administration) and was supposedly not a very popular idea among stamp collectors at the time. To be honest with you, I don't recall ever having seen it prior to last year when I noticed a copy (or a reprint?) embedded in a Dale Murphy card- similar to a relic. I didn't want to pay what the card was going for but did like the looks of the stamp, so I found these two on eBay for a low, low price.

Anyone interested in one of these (I'm keeping one), comment below and it goes to the first request.


Stamps.com also has an interesting article on the history of baseball stamps, if you're interested...


Friday, March 11, 2016

Trade with Cards My Mother Didn't Throw Out

I recently contacted Jared over at Cards My Mother Didn't Throw Out (CMMDTO for short) and asked if he was interested in an Archie Bradley variation card from the 2015 Topps Factory set. I had just discovered his blog and thought it would be a good way to introduce myself to a newer blogger in our community. Anyway, Jared seem grateful for me reaching out to him and was able to find some cards that I am needing from the 2014 Topps Update set and the 2015 Update set.



Jared's a Diamond Back fan, so it's only fitting that he'd make a trade with a Braves fan that included multiple players. Atlanta and Arizona have started making it an annual or bi-annual thing- perhaps Jared and I can trade more frequently than that. I won't look to fleece him, like my team has done to his. (Although, Brandon Drury is really looking good for the D-Backs. I wish we still had him)



There were also members from different teams...








 Love this photo of James Jones

Short-timer while in Oakland. Lester lasted all of eleven starts for the Athletics but was captured on cardboard in the Updates and Highlights set...


A nice horizontal shot of Hector Rondon. I still think the 2014 design looks much better in this position. Since Topps likes to revisit the past so much, maybe they can redo this set without the foil.






Dear MLB: Since the Marlins have a newer stadium, could you please move the Rays out of Tampa and into Montreal? You know you want to...





I still enjoy the league leaders subsets- but still prefer those from the '60s




Thanks again for the trade, Jared. I'll keep an eye out for anything that might grab your interest.