PWE Playhouse: A “Cello Pack” from CommishBob

I recently sent a PWE to CommishBob of Five Tool Collector fame.  I combined a recently-pulled 2016 Archives Brooks Robinson with a couple of cards which I’d put aside to send him “someday”, and some others that were complete crapshoots… But I was fortunate enough to get hits with every one.

Not terribly much later, I got a PWE from Bob… but one with extra postage and high-capacity toploaders, so by PWE standards it was more of a “cello” than the “wax pack” I’d sent.  No complaints here…

I’ll run through the highlights after the obligatory “PWE Playhouse” cartoon…

PWE Playhouse thumb

2006 Upper Deck is my second-favorite UD set, next to the beautiful 1993 set.
2006 Upper Deck Victor Zambrano
Due to the huge 1250-card checklist, it seems like I’m always on the lookout for more of these.  Open letter to former Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson:  We’re still waiting for you to deliver the promised “fix” for Zambrano’s flaws (And I’m sure Peterson’s not at all tired of hearing that).

I also got two 1995 Topps CyberStats cards which are, believe it or not, my first CyberStats cards… or if I’d gotten any before they weren’t for anybody that I collected and they went out the way they came in.  1995 was the year after a labor kerfuffle resulted in the loss of the end of the season and the World Series, and so pissed off was I that a personal financial boycott of all things MLB ensued, with the sole exception of buying a hand-collated 1995 Topps set.
1995 Topps CyberStats Jason Jacome
I bring this up as a long-winded way of saying that I’ve got a crap-ton of 1990’s cards but very few inserts from 1995… Honestly, very few of any 1995 cards outside of Topps base cards.  I’ve done what I can to avoid those horrific 1995 Fleer cards.

This is my first 2016 Allen & Ginter… And I was shocked and a little bit delighted to find out that I really like it.
2016 Topps Allen & Ginter Gary Carter
You’ve got to understand, I’m not a Ginter fan.  I welcome any that come my way, but it’s been a number of years since I’ve actively sought any out.  You’ll find no Gint-A-Cuffs posts in this blog’s nearly 5-year history, and a few years ago I gently mocked A&G with my “Simon & Gintfunkel” customs.

So when I pulled this A&G card out of the PWE, I was genuinely surprised that I liked it… Not just “Hey, it’s a Mets card I don’t have”, there was actual appreciation involved.  …Yet I’m not sure why I like this when other A&G sets have left me lukewarm.  At some point I’ll track down some more and maybe I’ll be able to put things into words.

Somehow, a Steeler found his way into my PWE.  It’s all good,  I am a Steelers fan… once baseball is over for me, anyway.  In a good year, the Black And Gold don’t get my full attention until November.
2016 Score Ben Roethlisberger
I hadn’t seen one of these cards before, and that’s because it’s a 2016 Score football card.  I’ll have to make a wantlist for this set, they’re pretty nice.

I wish I could say the same about these throwback unis.  Gah!  I will be very happy when they get put out to pasture… but according to Steelers.com, I’m going to have to wait at least another season for these to go away.  (*sigh*)

I’d never seen this 2005 Upper Deck card of Kazuo Matsui, but it’s a damn nice card.
2005 Upper Deck Kazuo Matsui
It’s also got dueling Matsuis…. Along with Kaz Matsui, it also has Hideki “Godzilla” Matsui, the far more successful of the two unrelated Matsui’s.  A card like this would undoubtedly be popular in Japan, but I’m going to resist the urge to sell it on Japanese eBay for a huge payday.

Kaz Matsui wasn’t a bad player in the Majors, but he wasn’t quite what Mets fans were hoping for… but then, who is?

Before I move on from this card, I thought there was a decent chance that I could figure out which play this is… but I can’t.  The Yankees visited Shea Stadium from July 2nd to July 4th in 2004, but on both the 3rd and 4th there were double-plays involving Godzilla being put out at second by Kaz, so we’ll all have to be satisfied with knowing which series it was from.  The Mets swept the Yankees in that series, so I’ll get over not being able to determine the exact play.

Dwight Gooden, from one of the 3,782 box sets that Fleer put out in the 1980’s.
1987 Fleer Limited Edition Dwight Gooden
OK, I’m exaggerating… but only a little.  And be honest, if someone were to come out with a K-Mart “limited edition box set”, we’d all be falling over ourselves to find the nearest K-Mart (I have no idea where any are, myself).

Carlos Gomez.  Oh, my.  One-time mega Mets prospect.  A key piece in the package that brought Johan Santana to Queens.
2007 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Carlos Gomez
This year he’s putting up career-low numbers in pretty much any statistic you care to mention, and his stock has fallen so far that the Astros just dumped him despite the decent chunk still owed on the $9M he’s earning this year.  The Rangers picked him up, but he’s still playing at a well below average level.

2016 Stadium Club Seaver!  From the cut of the uniform and the cut of his hair, I’m thinking this is a fairly early photo of Tom Terrific.
2016 Topps Stadium Club Tom Seaver
He’s got dirt on his right knee, so all was good with the world that day.

Black Parallel Jeurys Familia!
2016 Topps Stadium Club Black Jeurys Familia
For me, it’s less about “black parallel” and more about “Stadium Club Jeurys Familia!”

2016 Archives Michael Conforto.
2016 Topps Archives Michael Conforto
I’ve ripped a fair amount of Archives, but hadn’t managed to pull the Mets #1 pick from 2014.

I’ll wrap up with three cards from the 1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated World Series Fever set.  Fleer’s short-term partnership with SI resulted in some nice cards, and I really should make more of an effort to track these down.  Maybe I’ll move it up into my Top 100 goals for 2017.

1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated World Series Fever Edgardo Alfonzo

1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated World Series Fever Rey Ordonez

1998 Fleer Sports Illustrated World Series Fever Bobby Jones

…And for all the cards I’ve shared in this post, it doesn’t quite make half of what Bob sent; however, just because the cards weren’t shared here doesn’t mean that they were any less appreciated.  Thanks, Bob, I really enjoyed the PWE!

Five From 1980 Topps 5×7 Super… For The Heck Of It

Over the weekend I was picking up some of the clutter in Shlabotnik World Headquarters when I ran across a bunch of 1980 Topps 5×7 cards I had in a stack. That was all the inspiration I need to do a post on some of these cards (and procrastinate more on several posts which require research).

For those who aren’t familiar with these cards, this was an oversized 60-card set that was the first in a series of 5″x7″ sets put out by Topps in the 1980’s. Many of the later sets were oversized “parallels” of regular Topps cards, but the first two years the cards were original cards meant to look like autographed photos.

Here’s an example featuring the Mets’ Craig Swan.
1980 Topps 5x7 Craig Swan
For those of you who are not familiar with Craig Swan, he was a very good pitcher on some very bad Mets teams. In 1978 he lead the N.L. with a 2.43 ERA, and in 1979 he went 14-13 for a Mets team that lost 99 games.  No other Mets pitcher had more than 6 wins that year.

Here’s the back… It’s clearly not about the backs.
1980 Topps 5x7 Craig Swan back
I’ve read that these came on white cardboard stock as well, but I’ve never seen anything but “gray backs”.  My 8-year-old copy of the SCD Standard Catalog says that the white backs were issued first and the grey backs came later.

The rest of the cards I’m showing today are better-known players that I expect don’t need mini-biographies.

Don Baylor
1980 Topps 5x7 Don Baylor

Gary Carter
1980 Topps 5x7 Gary Carter

George Brett
1980 Topps 5x7 George Brett

Pete Rose
1980 Topps 5x7 Pete Rose

These might not be the most exciting sets when shown on a screen at a reduced size, but they’re pretty nice in their four-times-larger-than-standard size. I bought a number of these in stores back in the early 1980’s, and at the time (just like now) I sometimes felt like the only one who had any interest.

…But I like them just fine. Get me a pile of 2-pocket sheets and I’m good to go.

This last scan is something I found while I was organizing… This is a header card from a rack pack of these photos, but I believe these were from a later repackaging of the cards.  As you might guess from the upside-down text at the top of the scan, this was originally folded over and stapled to a cello pack of these cards.
1980 Topps 5x7 header card with 1981 copyright
Two reasons why I believe this to be a later repack: 1) There’s a 1981 copyright and 2) there are 5 cards but I believe the original packs were 3 cards.

You’ll notice that the header doesn’t say anything about “Super” or “5×7”.  All of the packaging I’ve seen for the cards says either “Superstar Photo Cards” or “Superstars Photo Cards”… but nobody calls them that.

One last thing for eagle-eyed readers… The price tag is for a discount store called Woolco, which was a subsidiary of Woolworth’s and went out of business in the early 1980’s.

2016 TSR: A Bit Under The Weather

I felt a bit off when I woke up this morning, and it’s only gotten worse as the morning has gone along… So instead of following through on my plans to make another couple of customs and write more text, I’m going to keep this short and head back to bed for a while.

There are a pretty fair number of Major Leaguers currently in the game with fathers who also played in the Majors. While these pairings are generally not on the “Ken Griffey Sr. & Jr.” level of notoriety, I thought it’d be fun to do a number of “Father & Son” custom cards.

So far, however, I’ve only made one for Tom & Neil Walker. This card is based on the “Father & Son” subset from 1976 Topps.
2016 TSRchives 76TF&S-1 Tom & Neil Walker
Aside from the fact that Neil Walker is with my Mets, I did this one first because I already had a scan of a Tom Walker card. Before I make any more of these, I have to find and scan the appropriate cards in my collection. I should have at least one more by next Sunday.

It’s that time of year when Olympians have come home from Rio de Janeiro and are being honored with ceremonial first pitches. Swimmer Katie Ledecky came home with four gold medals and one silver, and was honored by the Washington Nationals.
2016 TSR CFP-13 Katie Ledecky
She also got Bryce Harper to hold her medals while she threw the first pitch, and I was going to make a custom of that as well… but, as I mentioned, I’m not feeling up to it. I’ll have something for next Sunday.

I had one more custom lined up, a “2016 Season Highlights” card… but at the last minute I realized that one word in the text was embarrassingly misspelled… So you’ll have to wait until next Sunday for that as well.

Before I go, I have a small announcement to make (and, thankfully, one which was written earlier in the week when I could easily form complete sentences)…


Make a nomination for the design of the 2017 TSR World Baseball Classic set!

The World Baseball Classic returns this coming March.  I’ve been thinking that it would be fun to devote a small set of customs to this international event.

I had started to think about which vintage, semi-vintage or not-terribly-vintage card design would work well for a set like this… but then I had an idea that it could be fun to open it up to nominations, and then once I’ve got a couple of prototypes in hand, set up some sort of vote.

If there’s a particular card design you’d like to see made into a custom WBC set, leave a comment below.

I’m going to make three suggestions:

1 – Oddball sets are most definitely welcome.

2 – It doesn’t necessarily have to be a baseball design, so long as it works for a baseball set.

3 – I’m shying away from anything that has team logos, because I’m not sure what I would substitute for those.  Flags?  Anyway, not ruling it out, just shying away (right now).

Leave a comment!  Make your case!  Maybe we can have some voting this fall where we can feel positive about the candidates!

1956 Topps: Old Folks, Shanty, Yatcha And Dee

This post was going to be all about four 1956 Topps commons, and sharing a little bit about the players, but as I looked into them, almost all of them had interesting nicknames, so I’m focusing more on that.

Ellis “Old Folks” Kinder apparently got his name from the fact that he was 31 years old when he broke in with the Browns in 1946, and was 34 when he had his most success, going 23-6 with 6 shutouts for the 1949 Red Sox.

1956 Topps Ellis Kinder
The blank jersey in the “action shot” appears to be due to Kinder changing teams in the offseason, as the Cardinals got him on waivers from the Red Sox.  His time with the Cards would be short, as he’d get lost on waivers to the White Sox that July.

To a child of the 1970’s like myself, Jim Hegan will always be the father of 1B/OF Mike Hegan… But Hegan was well-known as an outstanding defensive catcher who caught three no-hitters and made five all-Star teams.
1956 Topps Jim Hegan
His nickname was “Shanty” for reasons I wasn’t able to determine.

Johnny Logan’s nickname was the one that initially grabbed my attention:  “Yatcha”.  Apparently it’s a bastardization of a Russian phrase used to quiet him down as a small child.
1956 Topps Johnny Logan
“Fiery”, “hard-nosed” and “scrappy” are ways I’ve seen Logan described.  I think that gives a pretty good impression of the guy.

Dee Fondy is the only player in this post to lack a nickname, but there’s another description of him that I found as interesting:  “Fleet first baseman”.  That’s not a description one hears very often.  Sure enough, he finished in the top 10 in stolen bases five times, and his 20 SB’s in 1954 was third in the league.
1956 Topps Dee Fondy
Dee wasn’t even a nickname, that was his legal first name.  I’m going to retroactively call him “No-nickname Fondy”.

 

Low Price Point = Crap? Checking Out 2016 Topps Bunt

How it pretty much went for me:

Topps is coming out with a physical version of their Bunt app? Yaaaaaawwwwwwwwwnnnnn.

Topps is coming out with a set that sells for $1 a pack, isn’t Opening Day and isn’t hideous? OK, tell me more…


2016 has been an unusual collecting year for me, to say the least.  Here we are in August and my collection contains just 134 cards from 2016 Topps.  That’s unprecedented for me.  The only post-1968 Topps set in my collection which takes up less space is 1997 Topps, which has been purged down to 91 cards (but at one point was something like 200).  I always had it in the back of my mind that I would, at some point, raid a dimebox to fill out my 2016 Topps set, but I haven’t been to a show or card store since 2015, so that kind of screwed up my plans.

Not buying packs of a major flagship set left a big vacuum for me.

So even though I knew that Bunt wouldn’t be THE ANSWER to my 2016 malaise, it at least piqued my interest… especially as it was, as I’d mentioned, a cheap yet non-hideous set.  As someone tired of the lottery mentality of the hobby, it’s nice to be able to pay a buck a pack for something that is MLB-licensed and isn’t Opening Day.

I was in my Friendly Neighborhood Target Store the other day, and they had both loose packs and blasters of Topps Bunt. I was originally going to buy just a pack or two, but I was encouraged after seeing images and seeing some relatively positive reviews on other blogs… So I went crazy and shelled out $10 for 10 packs plus the ever-amusing “bonus pack”.

I opened the fist pack and saw the back of a Met card – David Wright. That’s a good sign (for this Mets fan, anyway).
2016 Topps Bunt David Wright back
As long as I’m showing the back, I will start with my biggest complaint about this set, and work my way up from there. Why on God’s good Earth would anybody have so much available real estate on the back of the card, and yet have such a relatively tiny card number? Bigger fonts are not more expensive, people, give us visually-challenged people a freakin’ break!

OK, that’s my biggest kvetch which applies to this set.  Movin’ on, here’s the first card front I saw…
2016 Topps Bunt Sonny Gray
Not bad. Simple, somewhat appealing design. Less is more. Nobody’s trying to beat us over the head with design elements like (ahem) certain companies we’re all familiar with.

For the most part, the photos aren’t the most exciting you’ll see, but they’re cropped tightly enough that you can see the player’s faces while showing enough of the player to convey a sense of action.
2016 Topps Bunt Byron Buxton
This one is possibly my favorite out of the 5 or 6 packs I opened.

I suppose I should also show the front of the David Wright…
2016 Topps Bunt David Wright
I appreciate the fact that this set is relatively straightforward. I don’t believe that there are any variations, just parallels and inserts. What you see is what you get.

Out of the packs I’ve opened, I pulled a pair of inserts.

This one is a “Program” insert….It’s not bad, but I think “Scorecard” would’ve been a much better name. “Program” has too many meanings and doesn’t convey the idea of a ballpark publication like “Scorecard”.
2016 Topps Bunt Program Sonny Gray

I like the concept of “Unique Unis”, but…
2016 Topps Bunt Unique Unis Ken Griffey
…Can’t we just pretend that these “Turn Ahead The Clock” uniforms never existed?

One thing I’m not wild about is the presence of retired players in a small-ish set like this.
2016 Topps Bunt Hank Aaron
…And this isn’t the best card to illustrate my point;  I don’t mind getting Hank Aaron so much.  What I really don’t want is another Chipper Jones card, and if I’m going to pull Don Mattingly he’d better be in a Marlins cap and have him listed on the card as a manager.  I’d rather get a card of Odubel Herrera or Jonathan Villar (just to pick two guys who aren’t in the set) rather than the usual gang of Topps “legends”. By my count, there are 43 retired players out of the 200 cards in the set.

Good news for Braves fans: There are five Braves in the Bunt base set.
Bad news for Braves fans: Freddie Freeman is the only active Brave in the Bunt base set.

One last base card before I start to wrap up…
2016 Topps Bunt Jacob deGrom

On the whole, I like this set. Maybe it’ll be like 2011 Lineage, which I liked at the time and later looked back and wondered why I liked it, but I frankly just like the idea of a cheap set that isn’t Opening Day.

That being said, I would like to see the following changes:

    • A bigger base set… At least 300 cards.
    • No retired players in the base set.  We get enough of that in Archives and through various inserts and variations.
    • Bigger fonts on the back, especially for the card number.
    • A release date earlier in the year.

I broke the base checklist down by team and there are no surprises here… Red Sox (14 cards), Yankees (12), Mets & Rangers (11), Cubs (10), Dodgers, Giants & Cardinals (9), Reds & Royals (8), Rockies (7), Orioles, Indians, Astros, Twins, Pirates, Mariners, Blue Jays and Nationals (6), Braves, White Sox, Tigers, Marlins and Athletics (5), D-Backs and Padres (4), Brewers and Rays (3), Angels and Phillies (2) and Expos (1).

So to wrap up…

Is it one of the best sets of the year?  Will I be attempting to build a set?  No and no.

Will it’s appeal quickly fade?  Will it show up in repacks in 2017?  Possibly and probably.

Is the base set largely made up of the same active and retired players you’ve seen in every other 2016 Topps set?  Pretty much.

Do I regret buying the blaster?  Nope.

PWE Playhouse: Cereal Box > Shoebox > Mailbox > Me

I recently got a PWE from Shane, sole owner and proprietor of Shoebox Legends, and while there were several cards I was expecting, I got a few surprises that added to the fun.

First off were a pair of Orioles from the 1984 Topps Ralston Purina set. According to my 2008 Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards, this set was issued in boxes of Cookie Crisp (before it was a General Mills brand) and Donkey Kong Junior (!!!!) cereals, as well as through a mail-in offer.
1984 Ralston Purina Eddie Murray
Although I was actively collecting in 1984, I didn’t get any of these cards until a couple of years ago when they started appearing in large quantities in the repacks I occasionally got from Target. There’s a nearly-identical set without the Ralston Purina logos, called the “Topps Cereal Series”; I’m not sure what the story behind those is.
1984 Ralston Purina Jim Palmer
These two cards make up the Orioles’ team set, and I hadn’t pulled either of them from the repacks, so I’m done with this set, Oriole-wise.

In a similar “I’ve got some of these but no Orioles” vein, the next card is from the 50-card 2001 Topps “Noteworthy” insert set.
2001 Topps Noteworthy Brooks Robinson
It looks like it might say “…card is similar…” across the bottom, running through Brooks’ waistband.  I can also pick out words like “Topps” and “Subset”.  I wonder if anyone has worked out what all the typed lines say.

It’s funny… J.J. Hardy cards seem to come to me without my even trying, either through packs or PWE’s.
2015 Stadium Club Gold JJ Hardy
…Not that I’m complaining; I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as a J.J. collector, but he is my favorite current Oriole and I enjoy picking up new cards of his, even if I don’t seek him out (nor do I apparently have to).

The last three cards here are ones I was expecting, and came through a small Zistle epiphany (I think “Zistle Epiphany” also played at that same music festival as “Flagship Blaster” and “Translucent Football”).

You see, my main exposure to Zistle has been accessing Shane’s listings to see what cards he needs which I might have (or conversely, cards I have that he might need).

It wasn’t until recently that I noticed the “Tradelist” tab. “Oh, he has a list of cards that are available for trade? How about that!” (I am nothing if not observant).

Within a minute of poking around I found three cards I wanted, and I figured that was enough for one request.

First up is another early 1980’s food issue, a Fred Lynn from the 1980 Burger King Pitch Hit & Run set.
1980 Burger King Pitch Hit & Run Fred Lynn
I’m not looking to collect the whole set, just slowly gather up the ones which could be considered “photo variations” from the 1980 Topps set.

Here’s the regular 1980 Fred Lynn (which is out of my collection and shown here for comparison, it’s not part of the PWE):
1980 Topps Fred Lynn

The other two cards which were by special request were both from the 1974-75 Topps Hockey set.

I’ve never really been a Rangers fan, but my father watched every game so a lot of the Broadway Blueshirts from my youth have an emotional connection, even if I didn’t actively root for them. Steve Vickers most certainly falls into that category.
1974-75 Topps Hockey Steve Vickers
Plus I love hockey cards which show the players in places that are most definitely not on the ice.

For the 1972-73 season, Vickers won the Calder Trophy, awarded to the rookie of the year. I’m not sure I knew that.

Henry Boucha isn’t a player I remember from back in the day, but I just like this card for reasons I can’t explain.  Maybe it’s because he’s clearly Native American (Ojibwe) and you don’t see that often in any professional sport.
1974-75 Topps Hockey Henry Boucha
Henry Boucha played for the Silver-winning 1972 U.S. Olympic Hockey team and signed with the Red Wings at 19 years old. Unfortunately, an eye injury in his third season derailed his career, and he would later retire at the age of 24. Boucha is in the U.S. Hockey Hall Of Fame.

2016 TSR: Beltran, Vedder, And Thoughts On Top-Heavy Checklists

This is going to be something of a quickie post today… My custom-making feels like it’s winding down for the season, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop… Just that I will cut back on the ones I post. Fr’instance, I did a custom for Ichiro’s 3000th hit, but it wasn’t all that visually interesting so I didn’t post it.

As a semi-collector of Carlos Beltran, I was happy that he got traded away from the Bronx. It’s hard to root for anyone when they’re wearing those navy pinstripes.
2016 TSR #330 - Carlos Beltran traded
Texas may not have been my top choice, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Eddie Vedder recently threw out the first pitch at a Cubs game, and while I’m no fan of Pearl Jam, a recent motivational phrase I’ve latched on to is “Dare to pander”.
2016 TSR CFP-12 Eddie Vedder
Truth be told, Eddie Vedder doesn’t make me think of “Even Flow”, “Daughter” or “Better Man”… Eddie Vedder makes me think of the ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic song “My Baby’s In Love With Eddie Vedder”.

…But my girl can’t get enough of his sullen demeanor
Like he’s some big tortured genius and I’m some kind of wiener…

It does appear that Mr. Vedder is wearing a Seattle Raniers t-shirt, so he gets some bonus points for that.

Moving on….

Yesterday’s post from Off Hiatus Baseball got me thinking a little bit… Topps checklists are very much top-heavy and focus overly much on big names, hyped prospects and big cities… but making custom cards has given me a tiny little insight into some of the issues with photo availability.

Now back in the day, Topps would have their own photographers… or at least subcontractors that they hired… and if a photographer were going to a Braves game, they could say “Hey Frank… Get me some photos of Bruce Benedict and Biff Pocoroba!”

Now, however, Topps gets most, if not all, of their photos from services like Getty Images. Maybe Topps can still put in requests to get pictures of guys like Kevin Jepsen or Ramon Cabrera, but if they’re limited to what’s available through Getty, then that brings in a whole slew of issues if they want to get bigger checklists.

Now, guys like Ichiro… You could make a 750-card set out of the available Ichiro images, and I’m not being facetious on that. There must be a big demand for Ichiro pictures, because any time the Marlins play, there’s at least a couple of Ichiro photos taken, even if it’s just Ichiro sitting on the bench or Ichiro swinging a bat before the game or Ichiro trying to remember whether he locked his car when he got to the ballpark.

There also seems to be a significant difference between the number of photos generated from, let’s say, a Nationals/Dodgers game as opposed to an interleague Reds/Rays matchup.

After a while, you start to see that it’s the same 150-200 guys featured in the photos over and over again, and you just don’t see as much of the rest of the players.

And to make things worse, often when you see the players who aren’t in the top 20%, the photos are…

OK, before I get into this any further, I have to apologize in advance to Eric Campbell, Hansel Robles and Josh Edgin, but the following is being done to prove a point.

…For the other 80%, the photos are often taken to fill in the narrative of that day’s game, and not necessarily of those guys in particular.

As a result, you often get photos of guys reacting to striking out…
2016 TSRchives 90T-1 Eric Campbell

…or giving up a home run…
2016 TSRchives 90T-2 Hansel Robles

…Or being just barely visible in the photo.
2016 TSRchives 90T-3 Josh Edgin

So just to play “Topps Advocate” for a moment… Even if they wanted to do a set that represented a large percentage of Major Leaguers, their hands might be tied by the images available to them.

…MIGHT BE… I can’t emphasize enough that this is conjecture, for all I know Topps can do anything they want, but instead insist on inflicting us with countless cards of Clayton Kershaw and Bryce Harper, all while laughing manically and rolling around in big piles of cash.

OK, so that wasn’t as quickie as I thought, but I never know how much I have to say until I’ve said it.

Have a good Sunday, everybody! Get in your Olympics while you can…