Feelin’ 2013 – Courtesy of Bean’s

In one of my clean-up “blind trades” I made a week or so ago, I sent Kin at Bean’s Ball Card Blog some 1958 Topps All Stars in exchange for whatever he had for me. Today, I got a bundle of mostly 2013 Topps series one cards, a most of it stuff I needed for set building. A few of the highlights:

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This set has a number of really great photos. This one reminds me of that Kerry Wood/ Andre Dawson ad from a a few years back. WHAT YEAR IS IT?

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This was a nice gesture by Topps, honoring Adam Greenberg, who was drilled in the head by the first Big League pitch he ever saw back in 2005. The beaning left him with a concussion and he suffered from vertigo and terrible headaches for months afterward. He lingered in the minors for a few more years before ending up in an independent league. On the second to last day of the season in 2012, The Marlins signed him for a day so he could get an official at bat. He struck out on three pitches, but that hardly mattered in the end. His career MLB line is two plate appearances, seven years apart, and a solid .500 OBP.

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Also, this was the year that Topps had a “chase” theme, so they took the time to note that Greenberg was 4,256 hits behind the all-time record of HE WHO CANNOT BE NAMED.

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A couple more nice shots… they have the fun and gimmicky feel of SP variations, but are mere commons. I like these kind of pictures. They’re cheeky without being stupid.

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A pair of former Brewers, who are actually both still playing, looking sharp. That Aoki card made my list of the 25 coolest Brewers cards of all-time. And the Weeks is from a game honoring the 30th anniversary of the 1982 World Series. Did you know that 2012 was the only year that the Brewers neglected to host an anniversary event (10/15/20, etc) for the 1982 AL Championship team? Guess what they are doing this year, 35 years after the fact? I have ventured to declare that no non-championship team has been so often honored.

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Bart! And he’s so skinny! A word on the design here… I really like it. This is, I think, one of the best-looking Topps sets since the bluegeen-bordered 2001s (which doesn’t excite many people, but I really like it). I always thought 2003-2009 was one of the ugliest stretches Topps ever had. 2010-2013 was a nice bounce-back. It’s a clean look, bright and streamlined, and is better than anything they’ve released since.

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I love how the faces behind Rayburn run the gamut. R-L, we have the terrified woman, the amused girl, the Andy Dwyer guy who doesn’t even bother to put down his beer, the bikini-top (maybe?) chick preparing to bare hand it, and the young Meredith Palmer who seems to be disapproving of the whole scenario. And, of course, the doofus dudemen on either side reaching over the fence like they actually have a chance of catching the interfering with a live ball. If you go to a major league game, you will – at least once – see some dingus jokingly make those “oh so close” double extended hands over the rail at a ball that missed his deck by at least 150 feet. It’s the baseball equivalent of “Workin’ hard or hardly workin’???”

 

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Doc, Fritz, and a gift from the Brewers

Although I’ve been satisfied with how I’ve been keeping up with the blog so far, I have been slacking a bit on my “Summer of ’74” theme. So, I’ve decided to start posting my 1974 Topps autos as I get them, while still doing the occasional in-depth review, as means of focusing a bit more on that original idea that got me into this in the first place.

And lucky me, I had a pretty decent mailday!

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First, we’ve got Doc Medich – who actually was a member of the ’82 Brewers AL pennant team, even getting a few innings of work in the World Series. We see him here as a Yankee, just coming off what was probably his beat season, in which he went 14-9 with a sub-3 ERA and finished third in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Doc actually became an MD after his player career ended (he once resuscitated a man who had a heart attack at a spring training game), but later had his license revoked for prescribing controlled medications for non-existent patients.  He has since regained his license and is a practicing surgeon, according to the internet, in Pennsylvania.

 

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Fritz Peterson had some big years for the Yankees in the early ’70s, making an all-star team and once winning 20 games. Peterson is best known, however, for swapping families with his Yankees teammate, Mike Kekich, in 1973. A few years ago, there was reportedly a movie on the matter, called “The Trade,” in the works. It appears the project is still in development.

 

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Compared to Doc and Frtiz, Twins’ backstop Glenn Borgmann has lived a fairly conventional life. Hm…. Oh! In 1974, he had the 8th most sacrifice flies in the AL. Excitement! Borgmann was solid defensively, but didn’t do much with the bat. Although he did put up a devastating .352/.474/.511 slash line with the old Wisconsin Rapids Twins in 1971. I’ve decided to nickname him, “The Rapids Rocker,” in honor of this.

These three bring me to a total of 71 different 1974 Topps cards signed.

But that was not all the mail brought me today. I also got this peach courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers…

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That’d be Keon Broxton, Zach Davies, Ryan Braun, Junior Guerra, and Jonathan Villar, left to right, for those of you not on the Brewers’ “All the Way in ’17” bandwagon yet. It’s a nice item, and I’ll put it up as soon as I can find a little bit of wall space.

Mail Day! 2017 Topps

I got a very nice response to my call for trades from last week and, joy of joys, I got my first package in the mail on Tuesday. It is courtesy of Ryan, the Base Card Hero, in exchange for a stack of Topps inserts and parallels I had no use for. So thanks to him for populating a huge portion of my 2017 series one binder. Before I cracked a High Life and paged these mothers up, I picked a few highlights from the lot to share.

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Jose Berrios – A page one beauty! I am very impressed with the photography in this year’s set. Topps ditched that weird filter they used the past few years and eliminated the dead space that (in my mind) nearly ruined last year’s set. I got Berrios’s autograph last year TTM on a Heritage minor league card and might have to try again with one of these… it would look great signed.

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Thor and the Dark Knight – I’m not wild about these checklists. They still feel lazy to me, with the candid photos and same design as the base. A real pair of superheros, standing there like that.

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Daniel Murphy – Back to the awesome, here is one of the greatest cards with a Miller Park image I’ve ever seen. Nice low angle shot, much like the Berrios. Also, the name of my Alma-mater (UW-Milwaukee) is poking out of his ass.

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Addison Russell WS – I really like this year’s World Series recap cards except for the fact that they don’t include any Indians or recap any of the games that the Indians won. Maybe these are coming in series two? If I were an Indians collector I’d feel viciously cheated… particularly since they nearly won the damn series.

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Krap-Rod – Here is a card I’m glad to see because it shows this shitbag with a team that ain’t the Brewers. Francisco Rodriguez is a very bad person and I hated it when it was on my favorite team. And I hate it even more how sports fans and media are so quick to dismiss acts of violence against women, but harp on largely meaningless shit like performance-enchaining drugs like it’s the end of the world. Just get a load of this fawning shit from a local media outlet mourning his trade to Detroit. Fuck K-Rod and his apologists.

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Tyler Naquin – Ok, back to the awesome, again. This card is flat-out awesome, with a great shot of the final leg of Naquin’s bonkers walk-off inside-the-park homer from last season. Great use of the vertical design (which, I’ve just noticed, moves the placement of the position) and the classic rookie cup icon. One of the best cards in the set.

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Ryan Braun – Speaking of performance-enhancing drugs! I’m glad Braunie is still a Brewer. Sure, he did some lousy things, but he’s not violent and he can still hit. This card is also miscut, which is very clear with this year’s borderless design. I’ve actually noticed a number of these cards were miscut. Was this something that happened last year as well?

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Ben Revere – Another great shot of a big play from last season, this card both captures Revere’s robbery of Freddie Freeman and mentions it on the back – a throw-back to those years when Upper Deck gave game and date info for each of their photos.

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David Ortiz – closing out series one at card #350 is Big Papi, shown here in one of the 4,000 photo variations of this card. I prefer this pic to the more gimmicky ones. Classic pose and a nice way to close out his career.

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