Daily Archives: July 28, 2014

Dustin Pedroia 2014 Bowman – California State Variation

Dustin Pedroia 2014 Bowman – California State Variation

While he may not have long blond hair or wear flip-flops on a daily basis, Dustin Pedroia is a ‘California Boy’.

And this card from the 2014 Bowman set that features the California state flag in the background.  The card is very well done.

And I have to guess that if you showed the featured player a stack of cards and let him choose his favorite, if a ‘State version’ card from the Bowman product was included in the bunch, it would easily get the most votes!

 

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Dennis Eckersley 2014 Topps Archives – Base

Dennis Eckersley 2014 Topps Archives – Base

While I have yet to see each and every of the 200 base cards that make up the 2014 Topps Archives set, I have to say that I like the images used most within the 1973 Topps design.

Not only does this design allow for a very large image to be the center of attention, but the small accent pieces usually work very well with the theme of the action at hand.

In a recent shopping spree in which I picked up a small stack of cards from the Archives set, I scooped up the card of Dennis Eckerlsey.

And I am glad that I did – it looks G-R-E-A-T!!

Have a look:

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I told you – a very sweet baseball card.

And while normally I would want the image to match the year (or close to) that the original card was issued, this one gets a pass because ‘Eck’ did not make his debut until a few seasons later in 1976.

1975 Topps Set Card 205/660 – #102 – Joe Decker, Twins

1975 Topps Set Card 205/660 – #102 – Joe Decker, Twins

Progress: 205/660

Player Name:  Joe Decker

Team:  Minnesota Twins

Position:   Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Pitching

Years In The Major Leagues:  9 seasons, 1969-76, 1979

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Joe Dekcer appeared in just 10 games for the Minnesota Twins during the 1975 baseball season.  In those ten contests, Decker recorded 1 win and 3 losses.  He had an ERA of 8.54 in 26 innings of work as he allowed 60 hits and 37 runs in that time.

Notes From Career:  Joe Decker pitched for three different teams during his nine season big league career.  Used as both a starting and relief pitcher, Decker appeared in 152 games, making 102 starts.  He has a career record of 36-44, with 19 complete games.

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Happy Birthday Vida Blue!!!

Happy Birthday Vida Blue!!!

Pitching legend Vida Blue turns 65 years old today.

Not only did Vida Blue win the Cy Young in his first full-time season as a starter, he also was the league’s MVP. Beat that!!!

Blue had a monster year in 1971 for the Oakland A’s. He went 24-8 with 24 complete games and 8 shutouts. Add that impressive record to his 1.82 ERA with 301 strikeout and you have one of the most impressive seasons by a pitcher during the decade of the 1970’s.

Vida Blue finished his career with a 209-161 record and 1,185 strikeouts. He finished in the Top 7 for the Cy Young award 5 times and was a 6-time All-star. Blue was part of the legendary Oakland A’s teams that won 3 consecutive World Series titles in 1972, 1973, and 1974. Blue pitched in 8 games in the Fall Classic and went 3-0, a perfect record on baseball’s biggest stage!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Blue!!!

Let The Battle Rage On: 1983 Topps Super Veterans VS 2014 Topps Super Veterans. Who Will Win???

Let The Battle Rage On:  1983 Topps Super Veterans VS 2014 Topps Super Veterans.  Who Will Win???

As a kid collecting baseball cards, I used the 1983 Topps Super Veterans subset as a tool to learn about the ‘older’ players in the game.  The set was large and it featured images from the beginning of each player’s career and then images that were current (1982-83).

When I got back into collecting in 2008, this same subset was the first one I went after.  I had built it 20+ years prior, but I wanted to re-live my youth by doing it again.  So, I did.  And it re-kindled my enjoyment for vintage baseball cards and the players that helped shape the history of the game.

Upon completion of that subset, and learning that Topps had begun recycling older designs in their modern releases, I kept my fingers crossed that ‘Super Veterans’ would eventually be re-done.

And when 2014 Topps, Series 1 hit the shelves, a 15-card subset of ‘Super Veterans’ was included.  I was ecstatic.  And I quickly made this a target for my collection.  And after a few days of shopping around, I scored the complete 15-card set and began showing it off on this blog as I did with the 1983 set back in 2009.

So, here they are.  First the 1983 version:

SUP VET 83 A SUP VET 83 B SUP VET 83 C SUP VET 83 D SUP VET 83 E

And now, the 2014 set:

SUP VET 2014 A SUP VET 2014 B SUP VET 2014 C SUP VET 2014 D SUP VET 2014 E

And now for my review and comparison.

  • The edge goes to ’83 as it relates to size – 35 to 15
  • The edge goes to ’14 as it relates to % of future Hall of Fame inclusions:  14/35 players versus a likely 7/15 ( I did not count Peter Rose, though I want to)
  • There is a tie in regards to how the images of yore are shown – Sepia tones in both ’83 and ’14
  • The edge goes to ’83 as it relates to ‘Star Power’

Overall, I of course like both sets. I wish that the 2014 version included more players on the checklist or at least was continued into the Series 2 release.  I don’t find that the 2014 version has the same star power that the set from ’83 offers even though it features Jeter, Rivera, and Cabrera – I just don’t think that Topps truly dug in deep enough to really get behind this set.  It feels like it was put together as a way to add Pettitte and Rivera cards into yet another subset.  If they had truly shown us the longest tenured players in the majors, we would have had a more apples-to-apples comparison.  The set is called ‘Super Veterans’ for a reason; it is not called ‘Best Older Players In The Game’.  At the very least, and to be more consistent with the original subset, this one should have included Jason Giambi, Ichiro, Paul Konerko, Raul Ibanez, LaTroy Hawkins, and Bartolo Colon.  If Topps had taken this step, it would definitely be more true to what ‘Super Veterans’ offered in 1983.

Still, no complaints from my side.  I’m thrilled to have both sets in my collection.  I’m just thirsty for more!