Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Only 2013 Topps I Base Cards That Matter

Base Cards:
An interesting note about the Braves cards in Series One: seven of the eight base cards picture the player wearing the cream-colored alternative uniforms they wore for Saturday and Sunday home games last year. During those home games, Atlanta  had a record of 13-11
One of the things I love about collecting cards is the historical setting it provides the fan/collector. The two cards above are a great example. Both the McCann and the Heyward cards were taken from the April 14th, 2012 game against the Brewers. To verify that, I found the McCann photo from the ESPN Boxscore/Photos for that game. The original photo, however, shows a Brewer in the background, face-planted into the turf. I don't know why Topps would have photoshopped him out of the picture. I also think that these two photos were taken from the same at bat- here's the story line (from

McCann led off the bottom of the second with a walk- the only time he would reach base that evening. After Dan Uggla flied out to center, Jason Heyward then singled- which brought McCann sliding into third. McCann advanced and scored on a throwing error, while Heyward took third on the play- which I believe is what we're seeing in his card above. It's a safe assumption, as it was also the only time Heyward reached base that game. 

It's a little tougher trying to place a date on the Mike Minor card. Mike pitched on a number of Saturday or Sunday home games, including the April 14th Brewers game, and there's nothing else that really gives it away. Could it be safe to assume that this is from the same game?

Huddy possible game photos: May 25th vs. Nats; August 3rd vs. Astros; September 28th vs. Mets (the game where the team honored Chipper- although it's unlikely this is the game photo, as it would have been a little darker that night by first pitch)

I wonder if they (whoever 'they' might be) have a stat for fielding percentage, or batting average, while wearing sunglasses. Probably- but I'm not about to look that one up.
After being 'Everyday Jonny' during the 2011 season, Venters saw his workload cut by 29 and 1/3 innings (19 fewer appearances) last year. Good thing, too, or he'd be 'Jonny Burn-Out'.
The website Fangraphs shows that stat guru Bill James projects Venters to have a 2013 season very similar to last years. Hopefully he's wrong; if not, it's a good thing Atlanta picked up Jordan Walden from the Angels.
Coming off of a career-low 19 home runs, Dan Uggla needs to step it up this year. While the offense will be much more explosive this season, the Braves aren't paying Uggs all that money to walk (or strikeout). While he has not lived up to expectations thus far, there's no denying he gives 100% out on the field. In games that he did homer last year, the Braves had a record of 14-4. Of the fourteen victories, closer Craig Kimbrel recorded a save in eight of them. With the offense being more explosive this season, there may be fewer opportunites for Kimbrel to record a save. Bill James projects his save total to drop from 42 to 39 this season. As long as the Braves win and Kimbrel is effective while in, it doesn't really matter.

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