2015 TSR: Be vewwy vewwy quiet…

For today’s virtual pack of my TSR custom cards, I wanted to highlight a number of guys who are quietly getting the job done this season and being a league leader.  For the most part, it’s “quiet” because it’s happening in smaller markets…. FOR THE MOST PART (later in this post you’ll realize why this is emphasized).

2015 TSR Series 2 Wrapper

By the way, all stats are as of the morning of Sunday, June 28th, 2015.

Dallas Keuchel leads the Majors in innngs pitched (116.1) and leads the AL in Batting Average Against (.194), On Base Average Against (.249) and Wins Above Replacement (4.1). He’s also tied for the Major League leads in complete games (3) and shutouts (2).
2015 TSR #168 - Dallas Keuchel
I’m happy to say that the Orioles have his number… relatively speaking. In two starts against Baltimore, he’s 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA.

Chris Archer leads the AL in ERA (2.01) and WHIP (0.95).
2015 TSR #163 - Chris Archer

Jason Kipnis leads the Majors with 24 doubles and leads the AL with 100 hits and a 4.7 WAR.
2015 TSR #167 - Jason Kipnis

Who is tied for the Major league lead with 24 saves? These two guys.
2015 TSR #166 - Glen Perkins

2015 TSR #164 - Mark Melancon

Who would you expect to lead the leagues in extra-base hits? Cabrera? Trout? Harper? Stanton? Wrong.

Todd Frazier leads the Majors with 46 extra-base hits (21 2B, 1 3B, 24 HR) and 178 total bases.
2015 TSR #160 - Todd Frazier

Brian Dozier leads the AL with 42 extra-base hits (23 2B, 3 3B, 15 HR).
2015 TSR #161 - Brian Dozier

Gerrit Cole leads the majors in wins and has quietly (at least it seems that way to me) pitched his way to a 11-3 record and a 2.16 ERA.
2015 TSR #165 - Gerrit Cole

Admit it, you’d never heard of Chris Heston before he no-hit the Mets.
2015 TSR #162 - Chris Heston No Hitter

And to wrap up the “quietly getting the job done” theme, we have a guy who certainly would never have qualified for that theme in pretty much any previous year:
2015 TSR #169 - Alex Rodriguez
Sure, he’s operating out of the spotlight because both the Yankees and the media regard him as persona non grata, but he’s been playing well, achieving (tainted) milestones and seemingly keeping a low profile (although that might be the media again). So congratulations, Mr. Rodriguez.  For keeping your head down and your mouth shut and playing baseball, you’ve achieved the status of a non-mocking custom TSR card.


Crimes against baseball
My virtual pack is light on inserts, so I’ll give you a preview of the Draft Picks inserts from the upcoming third series (due in early July).

The Diamondbacks drafted shortstop Dansby Swanson first overall… Swanson played for Vanderbilt… Vanderbilt wore some horrendously fugly alternates in game 1 of the College World Series, and I cannot let them slide.
2015 TSR DP-1 Dansby Swanson
Head-to-toe black is bad enough, but when you add gold pinstripes to an all-black uniform? Yeowch. (And since this middle-aged guy hates the uniform, that probably means that the Vanderbilt players loved them).

Pack Animal! — 2013 Topps Update

A lot of you consider Topps Update to be SSDW – “Same Stuff, Different Wrapper”.  For others it means updated base cards, different subsets and a couple of different inserts.

…And for bloggers, it means a day of not having to think about what to write… and that made the impromptu, hasty trip to Target completely worthwhile.

For those who haven’t seen these in the store yet, this is what the wrapper looks like.
2013 Topps Update Wrapper
Unfortunately, Matt Harvey here is as close as I got to getting a Met, but I did get some Orioles.

Topps likes to load the Update set with rookie cards, like promising Orioles rookie Henry Urrutia.
2013 Topps Update Henry Urrutia
I’ve seen Urrutia play in AA, I’ve seen him play in the majors, and I’m still not sure how to pronounce his last name. Oo-roo-TEE-ah? Oo-ROO-tee-ah? I certainly can’t count on the Orioles announcers, who never met a Latino whose name they didn’t mangle. I tried going to LasMayores.com, the official Spanish-language MLB site, but my meager Spanish knowledge – thanks to a former co-worker I know more “bad words” than anything  – prevented me from navigating the site to find out if there should be accent marks over any part of his last name.

Anyway…

Along with rookie cards, we also have rookie debut cards, which allows Topps to get more Rookie Card logos in there… even though I wouldn’t think that anybody considers these to be rookie cards.
2013 Topps Update Gerrit Cole
The “Rookie Debut” text looks black in this scan, but it’s silver foil.

A new insert also seems to focus on rookies…
2013 Topps Update Franchise Forerunners Miller Gibson

There’s also the usual cluttery subsets of All-Stars and Home Run Derby participants. This card confused me briefly because I didn’t see the All-Star logo on the card, but it gets lost in Darvish’s jersey.
2013 Topps Update Yu Darvish AS

You may have heard that the Update series is introducing 1971 Minis rather than extending the 1972 minis of the regular set.
2013 Topps Update 1971 Mini Stan Musial
I will now officially declare that minis have jumped the shark.

I generally don’t care for minis, but last year’s 1987 minis were OK. This year’s 1972 were “meh”, and when I saw this card I declared it “stupid”.

…Out loud, but it’s OK because I was sitting in my car in the Target parking lot.

Something about these minis just diminishes the 1971 design, one of my favorite designs of the 1970’s… and when 1971 Topps are diminished, aren’t we all diminished a little bit?

Yeah, I don’t like minis.

One last thing I ran across in my packs — there are also traded players!
2013 Topps Update Bud Norris
I know!!!!!

Remember when the set was called the “Traded” set?  Yeah, that was awesome…

So, yeah, that pretty much covers what I found.  I also got a couple of parallels, a “Chasing History” insert and a “Making Their Mark” insert, none of which I deemed worthy of scanning.

I’ll be buying more of this, but as is always the case with Topps Update, I’m really just looking for the base cards that do what the wrapper says they do – update the base set.  I want rookies I don’t already have, I want players in new uniforms. I can do without the clutter, except when its for a player I collect.