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Did You Know…

Tim Lincecum is the only pitcher in major league history to win the Cy Young Award during his first two full seasons as a pitcher in the major leagues.

Lincecum

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Buster Posey

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Buster Posey

With the new 2013 Topps Archives baseball card set release, the ‘Mini Tallboys’ subset is easily one of the best parts of the issue.

The cards from this subset offer a very basic, but throwback feel that screams vintage. The set is 40 cards deep and offers a nice mixture of current players, stars from the 1980′s, and Hall of Fame legends.

This is the card of Buster Posey from the set:

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After completing his fifth major league season in 2013, Buster Posey has built a resume worthy of Hall of Fame chatter.

Posey is a former Rookie of the Year.  He has won an MVP Award.  He has a Silver Slugger Award to his credit.  He is a batting champion.  And he is a 2-time NL All-Star.

Best of all, Posey already has 2 trips to the World Series to his credit – and both culminated with wins.

He may not be crowned as the best catcher in the game today, but he has the skills to achieve that status.  And at the young age of just 26, the sky is his limit!

2013 Topps Update ‘Postseason Heroes’ Subset – Buster Posey

2013 Topps Update ‘Postseason Heroes’ Subset – Buster Posey

The 2013 Topps Update baseball card set includes a subset tagged as ‘Postseason Heroes.  And with that theme, you would expect to find cards of modern players like Albert Pujols, Edgar Renteria, and Pablo Sandoval but none of these guys made the checklist.

That does leave room for some nice surprises…

This is the card of Buster Posey from the set:

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In a short, 5-year career, Buster Posey has already established himself as a big-time postseason performer.

Posey has made it to the World Series twice, each time walking away with championship hardware.  In 9 games, Posey has amassed a .286 batting average and a .324 on-base percentage.  He has collected 10 hits including two home runes while driving in 5 runs and scoring 3 times.

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Collisions At The Plate’ Subset – Buster Posey

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Collisions At The Plate’ Subset – Buster Posey

The theme of ‘Collision At The Plate’ is one that I think all baseball fans could get excited about. The play in which two players collide with completely opposite goals: 1 putting their body on the line in an effort to score a run for their team. 1 putting every ounce of energy, strength, and will into defending their plate.

Oh yes, the ‘Collision At The Plate’ is the perfect place for baseball drama to be born. And as soon as I saw that the 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen set was going to include a subset of cards with the title of ‘Collisions At The Plate’, I knew I would be going after it.

This is the Buster Posey card from the set:

POSEY

 

Buster Posey has firmly established himself as one of the great, young talents that will take the game of baseball into the next era.  His offense is superb, and he continues to get better and better behind the plate.

Already a ROY and MVP, Posey is also a batting champion and a 2-time World Series winner!!  The sky is the limit for him, and any team that he is catching for!!

2010 Topps ‘Legendary Lineage’ With Bob Gibson & Tim Lincecum

2010 Topps ‘Legendary Lineage’ With Bob Gibson & Tim Lincecum

I really like cards like these and I am always eager to see who Topps pairs with some of the great players from our current era of baseball.  And while it would be impossible to reach a 100% consensus on a topic that can be so opinionated, I think that they do a pretty good job with their pairings.

This card features legendary Bob Gibson and a modern-day phenom, Tim Lincecum

VINTAGE GIBSON.LINCECUM

A few years removed from the 2010 release, we have seen a sharp decline in the dominance of Lincecum over the last few baseball seasons.  Sure, he is still striking out a very respectable number of hitters, but his dominance on the mound is not what it once was – the wins are down and so is the overall effectiveness.

But, back in 201o, Tim Lincecum was the real-deal!!  His ability to cruise through innings as he mowed down batter after batter was unparalleled – and it all led to wins.

I’d love to see him bounce back to his original form!!!

Buster Posey Signs 9-Year Extension With Giants

From ESPN.com

The San Francisco Giants have signed Buster Posey to a landmark nine-year, $167 million contract, according to ESPN and multiple other media outlets.

The contract, which is also the longest in Giants history, covers 2013-21, with a team option for 2022. There is also a full no-trade clause for the duration of the contract.

It’s also the most money ever guaranteed to a player with fewer than three years of service time — more than doubling Carlos Gonzalez $80 million contract — and a record guarantee for a player with fewer than four years of service, surpassing Todd Helton’s $151 million deal.

Posey will earn $57 million for his arbitration years — the third-highest ever — and $110 million for his free-agent years, a $22 million average annual value. Before Posey, no catcher had earned more than Mike Napoli’s $20.8 million in his arbitration-eligible years. Posey’s deal nearly triples that.

A source familiar with the negotiations says that Posey will get a $7 million signing bonus and then will receive salaries of $3 million in 2013, $10.5 million in 2014, $16.5 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016 and $21.4 million in each season from 2017-21. The club option in 2022 is for $22 million with a $3 million buyout.

Buster Posey Captures The National League MVP Crown!!!

Buster Posey Captures The National League MVP Crown!!!

From Yahoo Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants was voted the NL Most Valuable Player on Thursday after returning from a devastating leg injury and becoming the first catcher in 70 years to win the league’s batting title.

Posey received 27 of 32 first-place votes and 422 points from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, outdistancing 2011 winner Ryan Braun of Milwaukee, who was second with 285 points.

Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen (245) was third, followed by St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina (241).

The AL MVP was to be announced later Thursday.

The 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, Posey set career highs with a .336 average, 24 homers and 103 RBIs for the World Series champion Giants. His 2011 season was cut short by a collision with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins on May 25 that resulted in a fractured bone in Posey’s lower left leg and three torn ankle ligaments.

Posey, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft, won the NL batting title after teammate Melky Cabrera requested a rules change that disqualified him. Cabrera, who hit .346, missed the final 45 games of the regular-season while serving a suspension for a positive testosterone test and would have won the batting crown if the rule hadn’t been changed.

Ernie Lombardi had been the previous catcher to capture the NL batting championship, in 1942.

Catchers have won the NL MVP just eight times, with Posey joining Gabby Hartnett (1935), Lombardi (1938), Roy Campanella (1951, 1953, 1955) and Johnny Bench (1970, 1972). The other winning catchers were Lombardi in 1938 and Gabby Hartnett in 1935.

Posey is the first Giants player to win since Barry Bonds was voted his record seventh MVP award in 2004.

Buster Posey Becomes First National League Catcher To Win The Batting Title Since 1942

Buster Posey Becomes First National League Catcher To Win The Batting Title Since 1942

From Yahoo Sports

LOS ANGELES (AP) — San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey won the National League batting title with a .336 average on Wednesday.

Posey went 0 for 2 with a strikeout in his team’s regular-season finale, a 2-1 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is the first Giants player to win the batting crown since Barry Bonds hit .370 in 2004. Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen finished second at .327.

”I don’t think it’s something that you ever think about doing,” Posey said. ”It’s such a long season, and from day one, you try to grind out at-bats no matter what the situation is. And if you can go up there and are able to make some adjustments, good things will happen.”

In May 2011, Posey broke a bone in his left leg and tore three ankle ligaments on a horrific collision at the plate, an injury that sidelined him for the rest of the season.

”I give a lot of credit to our entire training staff for all the work they did in the off-season to get me back on the field,” he said. ”Even though this is an individual accomplishment, there’s other people who deserve credit.”

The previous catcher to win the NL title was Ernie Lombardi of the Boston Braves, who hit .330 in 1942. The last catcher to win in the AL was Minnesota’s Joe Maurer in 2009.

Dodgers beat Giants 3-2 for 6th straight victory

Giants’ P Matt Cain Tosses 22nd Perfect Game In MLB History

Giants’ P Matt Cain Tosses 22nd Perfect Game In MLB History

By JANIE McCAULEY | The Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP)  For all those Giants masterpieces, from Christy Mathewson to Juan Marichal to Gaylord Perry, this one by Matt Cain topped them all.

Cain pitched the franchise’s first perfect game and the 22nd in major league history, striking out a career-high 14 and getting help from two spectacular catches to beat the Houston Astros 10-0 on Wednesday night.

Cain’s 125-pitch gem for San Francisco featured a pair of great plays by his corner outfielders. He got pinch-hitter Jason Castro on a grounder to third for his 27th and final out with the sellout crowd of 42,298 roaring.

”This is incredible right now,” Cain said. ”It was unbelievable. The guys did a great job making it, in a way, kind of relaxing, because they were able to get on the board early.”

It was the fifth no-hitter in the majors already this season and second perfect game.

Another Year of the Pitcher? You bet.

In the very ballpark where Barry Bonds made home run history five summers ago, Cain produced the signature moment for pitchers. It was the 14th no-hitter in club history – Mathewson pitched Nos. 2 and 3 in 1901 and ’05, and fellow Hall of Famers Carl Hubbell, Marichal and Perry had one apiece.

Left fielder Melky Cabrera chased down Chris Snyder’s one-out flyball in the sixth, scurrying back to make a leaping catch at the wall. Cain raised both arms and slapped his glove in delight when Cabrera made the play.

Then, right fielder Gregor Blanco ran into deep right-center to make a diving catch on the warning track and rob Jordan Schafer for the first out of the seventh. The 27-year-old pitcher hugged Blanco in the dugout after the inning.

”Those were unbelievable catches,” Cain said. ”I mean that right there, that changes the whole thing.”

Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox tossed the majors’ last perfecto at Seattle on April 21. This is the second time in three years there have been two perfect games in the same season – before that, the only other time it happened was in 1880.

Cain (8-2) accomplished a feat last done in the Bay Area by A’s lefty Dallas Braden on Mother’s Day 2010.

Giants & Tim Lincecum Reach 2-year, $40 Million Deal

SAN FRANCISCO — Right-hander Tim Lincecum has reached a verbal agreement with the Giants on a two-year, $40.5 million contract, avoiding salary arbitration.

An industry source confirmed the deal Tuesday, ending the speculation surrounding Lincecum’s contract that intensified last week when he and the Giants exchanged figures for a proposed one-year deal in arbitration. Lincecum asked for $21.5 million, a record for a player with fewer than six years of Major League service time; the Giants countered with $17 million, the highest offer ever made by a club in the arbitration process.

Though the deal takes Lincecum and the Giants through his final year of arbitration eligibility, he still can become a free agent after the 2013 season.

Being the only pitcher to win Cy Young Awards in each of his first two full seasons has enabled Lincecum, who’s also a four-time National League All-Star, to set new contractual standards. Lincecum, 27, reportedly spurned a five-year, $100 million offer from the Giants.

The Giants now will turn their attention toward a contract extension for right-hander Matt Cain, a two-time All-Star who’s eligible for free agency after this season.