Tag Archives: baseball card memories

Million Dollar Question – Which Do You Prefer: Topps’ Emerald Foil OR Ruby Foil?

Million Dollar Question – Which Do You Prefer:  Topps’ Emerald Foil OR Ruby Foil?

With the launch of the 2014 Topps Series 1 baseball card set last week, we all got a taste of the first new product for 2014.

Personally, I really like the cards.  The image selection (on most) is strong, and the graphics are complementary to the image while not being or taking away from the main attraction – the photo.

With this new set comes a new version to a common Topps theme – a colored parallel.

In 2013, we had the Emerald Foil Parallel as seen here:

Trout Emerald

And now, in 2014, we have the Ruby Foil card:

Stanton Ruby

This got me to wondering which one was better – better to look at, better baseball color, etc.  It also got me to wondering if my opinion was in the majority or the minority.

So, I now pose that question to you:  Which Do You Prefer:  Topps’ Emerald Foil OR Ruby Foil?

For me, I will go with the Ruby Foil.  Throughout the year last year, I always thought that the Emerald was a bit too dark and which ultimately made the images on the cards appear quite a bit darker.  The Ruby (so far) looks and feels lighter.  And I also think the Ruby-Red color is a better baseball fit as Red is a commonly shared color among many of MLB’s teams.

My choice is Ruby!!

Harper Ruby

And now it if your turn to choose.  Which Do You Prefer:  Topps’ Emerald Foil OR Ruby Foil?

Sound off now!

Million Dollar Question – What Player Will Have The Most Cards In The 2014 Topps Series 1 Release?

Million Dollar Question – What Player Will Have The Most Cards In The 2014 Topps Series 1 Release?

OK gang, as we all know, the 2014 Topps Series 1 product release is scheduled for the middle of next week.  And I anticipate that the full checklist will be made available in the coming days and Topps prepares for another season of baseball card production.

So, my question to you is this – What Player Will Have The Most Cards In The 2014 Topps Series 1 Release?

Who is going to have the most cards in the flagship set plus all of the inserts and subsets that will make up the 2014 Series 1 release?

My guess is the reigning NL MVP – Andrew McCutchen.  McCutchen was ‘All-World’ in 2014 – MVP, All-Star, Silver Slugger, Postseason with the Pirates.

I think McCutchen is the guy and I would not be surprised if he had 8-10 cards in the full Series 1 set.


Who do you got???

Million Dollar Question – As The 2014 Collecting Year Begins, What Are You Most Looking Forward To?

Million Dollar Question – As The 2014 Collecting Year Begins, What Are You Most Looking Forward To?

This question is open enough to bring out a wide array of replies, and I look forward to seeing the things that people bring up as they offer up a reply.

For me, there is a lot to look forward to as the 2014 collecting year begins.

But, there is also one thing that stands out quite a bit more than anything else.

That thing?

The Miami Marlins

Yep, my Marlins. I am very eager to see how they are treated this year, especially by Topps.  The team now has two superstars – Giancarlo Stanton and Jose Fernandez.  And with a few more household names on the roster like Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Rafael Furcal on the roster, I am hopeful that we get more than 3-card and 4-card team sets from products like Gypsy Queen, Allen & Ginter, and Tribute.  The Marlins are stocked up young players, and many are capable of becoming major contributors to the team’s success and I will think that it will be interesting to see if and when Topps latches on to it.  Players like Nate Eovaldi, Steve Cisek, Marcel Ozuna, Christian Yelich, Adeiny Hechavaria, Henderson Alvarez, and Garrett Jones should all be decent options for Topps to throw into some sets this year.

Time, and checklists, will tell.  And I cannot wait!

How about you?  What are you most looking forward to seeing out of the 2014 collecting year??

Miami Marlins logo

Million Dollar Question – What Is Your Favorite Baseball Card Of 2013??

Million Dollar Question – What Is Your Favorite Baseball Card Of 2013??

This one is going to be a blast – and I am in no mood to sugar-coat it.

Let’s get right down to it – ‘What is your favorite baseball card of 2013’?

What is the card that stands out the most that you picked up from this year’s many releases?  Which one makes you smile the most?  Which one do you think turns the most heads?

Ready for mine??

It was a much easier pick than what I expected.  And I bought more 2013’s than any other year in the lat few years.

Here it is:

Dawson Induction

This is the Andre Dawson card from the 2013 Panini Cooperstown ‘Induction’ subset.  And what is not to like?  First of all, Andre looks great.  The image used for this card was shot during Dawson’s 2010 Hall of Fame induction ceremony and for me it was a baseball card 30+ years in the making.  Capturing this event on a single baseball card means the world to me and I was thrilled to see that Andre was part of this set.

Not only is this card my ‘Favorite card of 2013’, but it is also one my of favorite modern cards – period.

And now it is your turn, What Is Your Favorite Baseball Card Of 2013??

I cannot wait to hear your answers!!


Million Dollar Question – What Is Your Favorite Subset Of 2013??

Million Dollar Question – What Is Your Favorite Subset Of 2013??

If it was not for subsets, I am not certain that I would be as interested in modern baseball cards as I have become over the years.

Sure, collecting a complete sets of cards is a neat experience, and one that I enjoyed many moons ago, but I prefer the unique and oftentimes ‘special’ themes that a subset features.  And the fact that most modern subsets highlight former players makes it even better for a collector like me.

Over the years, I have put together a nice assortment of modern subsets.  And regardless of the theme, each has reserved a nice place in my subset album.

But, which one do I like best??  Which one do you like the best??

My answer may surprise you…

It’s one that I have yet to collect, but in time I will.

It’s from the 2013 Panini Cooperstown set – Colgan’s Chips!!!

Chips Lot


I love it!!

I love the looks, I love the disc shapes, I love the variety of players included in the set.  And best of all, I love that owning these cards feels like owning a modern ‘oddball’ baseball card.

As I mentioned earlier, in time I will go after this set – maybe a 2014 collecting goal.

How about you?  What is your favorite subset from all of the 2013 releases?  I cannot wait to hear your answers to this one..  Maybe I will find some more inspiration for my next wave of subsets to collect…

Let’s do this!!!

Million Dollar Question – What Is Your Favorite Baseball Card Set Of 2013??

Million Dollar Question – What Is Your Favorite Baseball Card Set Of 2013??

I am always interested to hear what things people enjoy most about baseball cards  – vintage or modern.

For some, it is the photography, for others it is the graphics, some select a combination of both, and some are seeking rare and exclusive things like low-serial numbers, pieces of memorabilia, and autographs.

We all have our favorites.  And that is what tonight’s ‘Million Dollar Question’ is all about.

What Is Your Favorite Baseball Card Set Of 2013??

For me, a modern release has to include legends in the set so I can get excited about finding cards for both my vintage and modern player collections.  From there, I like to analyze the subsets, the design of the base set, and the Miami Marlins checklists.  If all three are met with satisfactory results, it is a candidate for my ‘Product Of The Year’.

In 2013, I got more into collecting modern players than I have in the last 5+ years.  This allowed me to enjoy more sets and look forward to more releases throughout the season.  And because of that, I think that I can fairly judge all 2013 major brand releases and make an informed choice based on what I seek from a new set.

Before making my announcement, let me say that in my eyes Panini took great strides in 2013.  Their Cooperstown and Hometown Heroes sets were both fantastic and each ranks very high on my list (between 2-4).

But, for me, the best product this year was Topps Gypsy Queen.  This has been my favorite set for the last few years, but I think that the 2013 release is the best yet.  GQ offers a great mix of former and current players and I love all of the added colored parallels and mini cards.  And while the Marlins team set consisted of just three cards, the entire set featured dozens of cards that I would eventually add to my collection.  I also think that this year’s subsets were superb – Collisions At The Plate, Glove Stories, and Sliding Stars are all awesome!

How about you?  What was your favorite release from 2013?

I cannot wait to hear your answers to this one…  Let’ Go!!!

Million Dollar Question – What Free Agent Would You Avoid The Most??

Million Dollar Question – What Free Agent Would You Avoid The Most??

Last week we discussed the best fit for our teams among the current crop of free agents.

This week, we will go with the opposite approach and identify the player that you would avoid at all costs.  It could be that you don’t care for his performance history or that you simply feel he is not worth the potential contract that he may score as teams look to fill holes in their rosters.

While very few players are worth the financial or time investment that teams make during this frenzy, some deals work out very well and some are disasters.

There are a lot of players that got consideration for this post from me, but ultimately, one name stood out…

Of the many names getting attention this offseason, the player that I would not touch with a ten-foot pole is starting pitcher, Matt Garza.

Garza is a fair pitcher.  But, he is no free agency prize.  In the last three major league seasons, he has played for two teams (Cubs and Rangers) – and each thought he could be the answer.  And he failed both times.

For the Cubs, he went 21-18 in 60 starts.  And then for the Rangers he went 4-5 in 13 starts.  He may absorb a bunch of innings, but that effort does not translate into wins.  Garza’s career strikeout to walk ratio of 2.55:1 is fine, but it is far from spectacular.  And with a career ERA of 3.84 and a WHIP of 1.283, he is not someone I would want to add to the front side of my pitching rotation.

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers

Garza is more than likely seeking a 4-5 year deal worth $12-$15 million per year.  In my opinion, I’d rather bring in two pitchers for that price that have a lot less experience but show more promise.  At best, Garza is an end-of-rotation pitcher, and he is not worthy of the investment that some teams may make into him…

Whew – that was a bit exhausting.

Who would you go with??  What Free Agent Would You Avoid The Most??

Million Dollar Question – Based On How Your Team Operates, Who Is Your Optimum Free Agent?

Million Dollar Question – Based On How Your Team Operates, Who Is Your Optimum Free Agent?

We’re a few weeks into the free agency period of major league baseball’s offseason and I am constantly checking the ticker for updates as to who is signing with who and what teams are showing interest in what players.

And while we are all wanting to add the guy that effortlessly hits 35 home runs a year or the pitcher that throws 200 innings while striking out 200+, some of our teams just don’t operate that way.

So, for tonight’s ‘Million Dollar Question’, I’d like to ask you this – Based On How Your Team Operates, Who Is Your Optimum Free Agent?

Taking everything into consideration, what player best fits a need that your team has while also fitting into how the team works?

For me, and my Marlins, I need an affordable player.  And we have plenty of holes to fill – 1B, 3B, and catcher.

  • Brian McCann is too expensive for my Marlins, and I am not certain that he would get along with Jose Fernandez after their incident at the end of 2013.
  • Michael Morse could be a nice fit, and he is a local guy.  But, he is still enough of a big draw that he could command higher dollars from others.
  • Juan Uribe is interesting, but I am not sure that he is wanting to go to a re-building team with an eye on 2015 and beyond.
  • Mike Napoli is another local guy, but he will draw a huge payday from a contender.  And I am not certain that he would mix well with such a young squad down here.
  • Omar Infante –  I love how he plays, but I don’t think the Marlins would bring him back and I doubt that he wants to be in Miami again.

So, after reviewing the list of free agents available that I think could help fill a void on my team, my pick is…

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

2013 topps saltalamacchia

That’s right, ‘Salty’.  I don’t think he would be tremendously expensive and I like that for a rather young guy, he comes with a lot of experience.  He may not rank as top-notch offensive catcher, but he would certainly be an upgrade over any player that caught for the Marlins in 2013.

And now, it is your turn – Based On How Your Team Operates, Who Is Your Optimum Free Agent?

Ready?  Go!!


Million Dollar Question – Does The ‘MVP Award’ Also Mean ‘The Best Player’??

Million Dollar Question – Does The ‘MVP Award’ Also Mean ‘The Best Player’??

This is an interesting question, and one that seems to come up a lot more often during MLB’s Awards week.

As the days led up to announcement of who won the AL and NL MVP Awards, I watched a lot of shows on MLB Network to get a little insight as to who the ‘experts’ thought would win the MVP.

And you know what, these voters are all using different rules.  Some take the player that they feel is the best player in the sport while others take the guy that they feel helped contribute the most wins for their teams.

Where do you sit on this??

Let me give you my thoughts.  Ultimately, I think that baseball should introduce another award called, ‘Offensive Player Of The Year’ (OPOTY).  This would allow for the voters to vote for the best offensive player in the game while keeping the MVP Award in tact and a little more defined too.  For the ‘OPOTY’, the numbers would mean a lot more – and a player like Paul Goldschmidt and Mike Trout might capture more votes as a result.  The numbers do not have to do with translating to wins, simply pure offense.  And then the MVP Award would become a more ‘true’ award that praised the ‘Most Valuable’ player – the guy that did the most to put his team in a position to win.  This newly revised MVP Award would celebrate the player with the most plays that either saved runs from being scored while also helping put their team in a position to win games by driving in runs to give their teams the lead.  I also think that this new thought of thinking would give the pitcher a much greater chance to win the award, which I think is fair.  If a pitcher wins 18 games in a season due to his efforts, can an offensive player achieve more wins based on his performance on the field?

Think about this.  In 1987, Andre Dawson won the NL MVP Award.  He was the first player in major league history to win the award for a last place team.  Since ’87, only one other player to follow suit – Alex Rodriguez when he was in Texas.  In my newly defined awards, both players were greater candidates for the ‘OPOTY’ as their contributions on the field did not result in elevating their team.


Could a player win both awards?  Certainly!!  If would be even more special…

What do you think about this?  How do you choose your ‘MVP’ when looking at the greatest talents in the game?

Time to debate!!!

Million Dollar Question – ‘When I Say 1990 Topps, You Think What Card’???

Million Dollar Question – ‘When I Say 1990 Topps, You Think What Card’???

It’s time for another round of ‘When I Say’ at ’30-YOC’.

This week we will examine the 1990 Topps set.  For me, this is a set that has taken some time to be liked.  From the start, the set was just too loud and too gaudy with its oddly designed borders and colors.

I recall as a kid that it was the 1990 design that was the first one issued by Topps since I collected that I truly did not care for.

Fast forward to today and I have turned the page on the set and the design.  It still does not rank as the best, or even second or third place, set or design from the 1990’s, but I do like it a bit more.

And for me, there is one card from this set that I think of each and every time I hear the name ‘1990 Topps’ mentioned.

That card is the Frank Thomas card:

Frank Thomas 1990 Topps


As a kid living in Chicago when this card was released, this was the first card that really blew up while I was collecting there (moved there in 1988).  Thomas was regarded as a ‘can’t miss’ rookie, and the city of Chicago, and White Sox fans particularly, were drawn to him as the next great star of the team.

The card is nice – though I wish that the ‘#1 Draft Pick’ logo were a bit more creative.  I have been able to score a bunch of these cards at card shows over the last few years.  It is amazing how inexpensive they can be had, and I hope to see more interest paid to Mr. Thomas as he nears possible Hall of Fame induction.

Now it is your turn – ‘When I Say 1990 Topps, You Think What Card’???

Ready?  Go.