Tag Archives: super veterans

My 2014 Topps Series 1 ‘All Rookie Cup Team’ Set Is DONE!!!

My 2014 Topps Series 1 ‘All Rookie Cup Team’ Set Is DONE!!!

It’s been a while since I was able to boast that I have knocked out another modern subset, but that is exactly what I am able to do now.

I have finally pieced together, and completed, the ‘All Rookie Cup Team’ subset from this year’s Topps Series 1 release.

The set is 10 cards deep and features an All-Star line-up that includes all positions and two pitchers.

Here is the full set:

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The colors of this set are superb, and Topps gave us a pretty decent mix of action imagery (though I would have liked to have seen better images of Pujols & Rice).

As I, and many readers, have pointed out already in the set – The cards are missing a key Topps element, the Rookie Cup Trophy.  Over the decades, we have grown to expect these little trophies on our baseball cards, and I think that it would have been appropriate here to have them on the cards as well.

Personally, I think that this set grades out as a B, but if the trophies were part of the card’s design, we could be looking at a A, for sure!

The only other issue is the mix of players taken – but that is certainly subjective.  Would I take Jim Rice , Mike Trout, or CC Sabathia on my team?  Maybe not, but I won’t argue against them either.

Another subset in the books for ’30-YOC’!!!

I’m Going After (2) 2014 Topps Series 1 Subsets: Super Veterans & All-Rookie Cup Team

I’m Going After (2) 2014 Topps Series 1 Subsets:  Super Veterans & All-Rookie Cup Team

After having the time needed to fully examine the 2014 Topps Series 1 release and checklist, I have opted to collect two subsets that are part of the issue.

As a guy who loves the subset, it should be no surprise to the readers of my blog that this is my chosen route.

For this round, I am going to go after the ‘Super Veterans’ and ‘All-Rookie Cup Team’ subsets.  Each features a sharp, classic look and highlights some of the great legends of the sport – both modern and vintage.

2014 Topps Super Veterans

If you know the history of my blog, you know that the 1983 Topps Super Veterans subset is one of my favorites of all-time.  I have been begging Topps to issue a modern version of the set, and they obliged with a 15-card set in 2014 Topps Series 1.  Hopefully, it is expanded into Series 2 and Update.

Super Veteran Jeter

2014 Topps All-Rookie Cup Team

And the ‘Rookie Cup’ has long been a Topps staple, and ’30-YOC’ favorite.  This 10-card set features one player at each defensive position and has some incredible names in the checklist.  The design is neat and clean, and from what I can see, the colors of the cards pops nicely!!

All-Rookie Cup Team

Who’s ready to join me on these collecting quests?  I promise that it will be fun!!

Let’s Go!!!

1989 Headline: Johnny Bench & Carl Yastrzemski Voted Into National Baseball Hall Of Fame

1989 Headline: Johnny Bench & Carl Yastrzemski Voted Into National Baseball Hall Of Fame

On this day in 1989 both Johnny Bench and Carl Yastrzemski were voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ironically, both players spend their entire big league careers playing for just one team.

Johnny Bench was a Rookie of the Year winner, multiple time All-Star, multiple time Gold Glove winner, 2-time MVP, and 2-time World Series Champion, Bench did it all during his remarkable 17-season major league career.

Carl Yastrzemski put up some unreal stats – The stats : 3,419 hits, 452 home runs, 1,844 RBI, 1,816 runs scored, 168 stolen bases, and a career batting average of .285.  In Yaz’s 23-year career, he finished in the Top 20 for the MVP award 12 times, while earning the award in 1967 with his .326/44/121 performance.

Congratulations Gentlemen!!!

2011 Topps ‘Prime 9 Players Of The Week’ Redemption Set – Johnny Bench

2011 Topps ‘Prime 9 Players Of The Week’ Redemption Set – Johnny Bench

I had such a good time building the ‘Prime 9 – Home Run Legends’ set that as soon as it was completed, I jumped right into the ‘Prime 9 – Players Of The Week’ set.

The set was issued in the same manner – through exclusive redemption cards that could only be processed through hobby shops.

The set is ten cards deep, and features a great graphic display as well as a super-glossy finish.

This is the Johnny Bench card from the set:

Prime Bench

The back of the card features ‘9 Prime’ facts about Johnny Bench.

A few of my favorites are:

  • ancestry includes 1/8 Choctaw Indian
  • Straight A high school student
  • 40 doubles as a rookie is a NL rookie record
  • 2-time NL MVP – 1970 & 1972
  • 1976 World Series MVP
  • most career home runs as a catcher

Did You Know…

The member of the ‘3,000 Hits Club’ with the lowest career batting average is Carl Yastrzemski.  With 3,419 career hits, Yaz compiled a lifetime batting average of just .285.


‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Yogi Berra VS Johnny Bench

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Yogi Berra VS Johnny Bench

When the conversation of the greatest catchers of all-time is brought up, there is a very small list of names that get mentioned.

But, two names appear in most conversations – Yogi Berra and Johnny Bench.  Sure, the names Mike Piazza, Roy Campanella, Thurman Munson, and even Ted Simmons get mentioned, but it is the names of Berra & Bench that get mentioned the most.

So, let’s get right into it as we debate about the two players with the goal of selecting the best ever.

On to the debate!!!

Here is a look at the players’ career resumes:

Yogi Berra Johnny Bench
Seasons 19 17
Games 2,120 2,158
Hits 2,150 2,048
200 Hit Seasons 0 0
150-199 Hit Seasons 4 5
Batting Average 0.285 0.267
.300+ Seasons 4 1
On-Base % 0.348 0.342
Walks Drawn 704 891
Strikeouts 414 1278
Doubles 321 381
Triples 49 24
Home Runs 358 389
30-39 HR Seasons 2 2
40+ HR Seasons 0 2
Stolen Bases 30 68
Runs Scored 1,175 1,091
RBI 1,430 1,376
100-RBI Seasons 5 6
All-Star 15 14
Gold Glove 0 10
ROY 0 1
MVP 3 2
Postseasons 14 6
WS Titles 10 2

Pretty close numbers in quite a few categories.

The standout numbers for me:

  •  Berra has 102 more hits in 38 less games
  • Berra’s (4) .300 seasons to Bench’s (1)
  • Bench drew 187 more walks than Berra
  • Bench struck out 864 more times than Berra in 38 less games
  • On-Base % is eerily close
  • 60 more doubles for Bench
  • 31 more home runs for Bench
  • Berra has 54 more RBI
  • Postseason appearances and WS wins heavily favors Bench

Wow, talk about two very accomplished players!  Both of these guys are elite, and not just at catcher…

But, who is the more accomplished player?  Who is the greatest catcher of all-time??

Before I give you my vote, it is important to say that the Gold Glove Award did not exist during Berra’s career.  He was a solid defender, and more than likely would have won a few GG Awards.  Would he top Bench’s 10?  We’ll never know.

And now for my vote….

It goes to Yogi Berra.  This guy does not get anywhere close to the respect that he deserves as a former elite player.  Sure, he played on some mighty teams, but so did Bench.  And for Berra to capture MVP Awards on teams that boasted DiMaggio and Mantle and Maris on their squads, it says a ton about the player that he was.  He was a skilled hitter with a very disciplined approach at the plate.  And when he did connect, he drove in runs at a pretty solid rate.

And then you have the postseason.  While no single player is solely responsible for their team’s winning ways, Yogi Berra was the foundation of the Yankee’s defense while also being a strong contributor on offense.  Bench did all of this as well – but his team made it to a lot less postseasons (Yes, I know that he played in a time when there were more teams in the league).  But, for me, I cannot escape the fact that Berra played in the postseason in 14 of his 19 years in the major leagues – ultimately winning the World Series an astonishing ten times.

He’s got my vote for the greatest catcher of all-time!!!!



And now it is your turn.  Give me your votes now!!!


Johnny Bench 2013 Panini ‘Golden Age’ Mini – Front & Back

Johnny Bench 2013 Panini ‘Golden Age’ Mini – Front & Back

I recently received a nice care package from one of my loyal readers – Jarred.  he hooked me up with some great cards in exchange for a handful of Red Sox that I sent his way.

Since many of the cards he sent me are worthy of their own posts on my blog, I will do just that.

In the mix was a Johnny Bench card from the new 2013 Panini Golden Age set.  The card is the mini version of the base card, and the back is just as sweet as the front, so I will show you both.

First, the front:


And now, the back:


Pretty neat, and definitely old school!!  I love the graphics of the back – it reminds of those old metal advertisement signs that have been making comebacks recently.

If I had this one, I’d hang it in my garage – For Sure!!!

Jarred – Thanks again for the great card(s).

1979 HEADLINE: Carl Yastrzemski Joins The ‘3000 Hits Club’

1979 HEADLINE:  Carl Yastrzemski Joins The ‘3000 Hits Club’

On this day in 1979 Carl Yastrzemski collected hit #3000 of his amazing baseball career!!!

On the road and taking on the New York Yankees in front of 34,000+ Yankee fans, Carl Yastrzemski and the Boston Red Sox made this game a memorable one.  Winning easily 9-2 against their divisional foes, ‘Yaz’ and the Red Sox enjoyed both team and individual success on this historic day.

In the bottom of the 8th inning, ‘Yaz’ connected for a single off of Yankees’ pitcher Jim Beattie.  Hit #3,000 was 19 years in the making, but Carl Yastrzemksi’s dedication to the game and the art of hitting certainly helped earn him a spot in this legendary club.

Conrats ‘Yaz’!!!


Happy Birthday Carl Yastzemski!!

Happy Birthday Carl Yastzemski!!

‘Yaz’ turns 74 years old today!!

Best known as ‘Yaz’, Carl Yastrzemski personified what being a consistent leader was all about.  ‘Yaz’ spent every minute of his 23-season long career in a Boston Red Sox jersey.

Along with the droves of fans he established during his career, ‘Yaz’ put up some amazing numbers too.

The stats : 3,419 hits, 452 home runs, 1,844 RBI, 1,816 runs scored, 168 stolen bases, and a career batting average of .285.  In Yaz’s 23-year career, he finished in the Top 20 for the MVP award 12 times, while earning the award in 1967 with his .326/44/121 performance.

Happy Birthday ‘Yaz’!!!

Johnny Bench 2003 Topps Gallery

Johnny Bench 2003 Topps Gallery

I have a small stack of baseball cards from the Topps Gallery brand. 

Most of them are OK.

This one?

Not so much…

Sorry, Mr. Bench.