Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Revised List of 36: Best Players I’ve Seen Play In Person

Oooh, it's been a while since I've updated this list. It looks like the lack of a 2021 Hall of Fame class got me out of practice just a little bit. But, let's do it once again, and look at the the 36 best players I've seen play live. 

As I’ve said, I make this list based mostly on awards. After all, my grandkids are more likely to ask me if I’ve seen a former MVP than some player who played well for a while. I also assume a Hall of Fame probably automatically makes the list.

So, as I mentioned there was no 2021 Hall of Fame Class. Looking at the 2022 inductions, I've obviously seen David Ortiz play, so he makes the list. The rest of that class played well before I was going to games. So, they don't make the cut. 

How about 2023? I've seen Scott Rolen play. Oddly enough, he didn't play in the game I went to in Philadelphia. At that game they were selling "Battle of the Rookies of the Year" tee shirts since he and Nomar were 1997 ROYs. (Always thought that was odd (pathetic?) that they were hyping up two guys because they were both rookies a few years ago. Although, I guess they were both pretty good.) I saw McGriff play with the Rays, so he's another add to the list. 

The 2024 class? Adrian Beltre played a year with the Sox, so he was an easy add to the list. I saw Todd Helton at least once. Add him as well. Joe Mauer played so long in the AL, he's practically an automatic. So he gets the nod as well. 

So, that's six players who weren't on the list but are now in the Hall of Fame. What does it say that hardly anyone in the last few elections was good enough to make the list on their own before being elected? Who gets the bump? Right now, almost all of the list are Hall of Famers, so they’re safe. Ryan Braun? Out. Jose Canseco? Definitely has the name recognition. But there's just no room. Dustin Pedroia no longer has a spot. Mo Vaughn has finally seen his time come. I have a hard time removing Bonds, Clemens, and ARod. So I need to actually start eliminating active stars...Bryce Harper, and Miguel Cabrera. Miggy will be back on the list when he gets elected. At that point, he'll likely be bumping off another Hall of Famer. Probably one of the guys that just bumped him.

So, here’s the new list.

1. Roberto Alomar (HOF)
2. Adrian Beltre (HOF)
3. Wade Boggs (HOF)
4. Barry Bonds (MVP)
5. Roger Clemens (MVP, CYA)
6. Dennis Eckersley (HOF)
7. Tom Glavine (HOF)
8. Ken Griffey Jr (HOF, All-Century Team)
9. Vladimir Guerrero (HOF) 
10. Todd Helton (HOF)
11. Rickey Henderson (HOF)
12. Derek Jeter (HOF)
13. Randy Johnson (HOF)
14. Chipper Jones (HOF)
15. Greg Maddux (HOF)
16. Edgar Martinez (HOF)
17. Pedro Martinez (HOF)
18. Joe Mauer (HOF)
19. Fred McGriff (HOF)
20. Mike Mussina (HOF)
21. David Ortiz (HOF)
22. Mike Piazza (HOF)
23. Kirby Puckett (HOF)
24. Albert Pujols (MVP)
25. Jim Rice (HOF)
26. Cal Ripken (HOF)
27. Mariano Rivera (HOF)
28. Alex Rodriguez (MVP)
29. Ivan Rodriguez (HOF)
30. Scott Rolen (ROY, HOF)
31. John Smoltz (HOF)
32. Ichiro Suzuki (ROY, MVP)
33. Frank Thomas (HOF)
34. Jim Thome (HOF)
35. Mike Trout (MVP)
36. Larry Walker (HOF)

Who’s on your list?

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

2022 Topps Heritage Minor Leagues Hobby Box Opening

This was a fun product to open, especially a couple seasons after the release. It gave the players, who were minor leaguers, the chance to establish themselves a bit. If I had opened this box in 2022, I’m not sure the Elly De La Cruz would have stood out to me yet. Even so, this is likely a product that I’ll have to sit on for a bit before really seeing what I got. What I do know? The Marcello Mayer cards and Elly SP are great pulls, and the rest is just the icing on the cake. I hope you enjoy the video.

How did the box go? I'm glad you asked!

Here's the Box. With Mayer right on the front there.

Great start to the box, as Mayer was one of the three bot topper cards!

Another Mayer, as a shortstop prospect.

Nice to be able to go back to not wanting Jeters again. I got another Jeter in the box too.

The best card in the box? Any time I can add a Casas to the collection, I'm happy.

Future Red Sox ace Brayan Bello.

And again, this time as a pitching prospect.

And another Casas, who is obviously a first base prospect.

And those weren't even all the Red Sox farmhands in the box. So, not bad. Really, the only thing missing is a Mayer base card. (Or, and I guess a Red Sox numbered or autographed card). No complaints.

If you want to see the rest of the box, including the two autos, go check out the opening on my YouTube video. And feel free to like/subscribe while you're there.

How did your box go?

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

2022 Topps Update Blaster Box Opening!

I like how Topps has taken the “Update” series and really found its niche. In addition to the new players on new trams concept, they’ve added in the “rookie debut” cards as well as all stars and combos. So, what was once a set made up of players you’ve never heard of and an occasional star that changed teams has become absolutely stuffed with stars and key rookies. In this case, I was able to get both. Bobby Witt Jr is definitely an up and coming star, while Corey Seager is just now coming off an MVP campaign. Great to be able to hit both in a single blaster.

How did this blaster go? I'm glad you asked.

As always, the box. Can't have you sneaking a peek at the good stuff via thumbnail.

And, the good stuff. Or, at least stiff. The yellow jerseys are growing on my, but they have a long way to go before I think they're not just bad.

Hopefully Devers will be delivering at the plate a lot this year. The Sox need him for their playoff push.

Right. Rich Hill was on the Red Sox.

As was Nick Pivetta, pitching quite well for the Sox.

So, not bad. I mean, you can't expect to get more Red Sox in a single box than that one. I guess no complaints.

If you want to see the rest of the box, go check out the opening on my YouTube video. And feel free to like/subscribe while you're there.

How did your box go?

Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Check Out My Casas!

That's what COMC stands for, right? Because it's time for another COMC mailday. This one was very baseball heavy. Well, OK, it was almost entirely Triston Casas. See, it occurred to me that the Red Sox rising star wears number 36. How did I not have a massive collection of his cards? So, I decided it would be fun to collect the rainbow of his Topps rookie card. Or, maybe it's not a rainbow since I'm involving several brands. Basically, anything that looks like his base Topps RC. You'll understand when you see them.

Wanna see? I'm only going to show the Red Sox cards. There are other baseball, football, and basketball cards in the shipment. If you want to see everything, Check Out My YouTube video!

But, enough chatting, let's get to the cards!

We'll start it off with this Pedro 2008 Topps Moments and Milestones. I don't know if I really want to dedicate myself to these cards. But, always glad to add a Pedro...especially one with a big "36" on the front. 

Speaking of 36, let's roll with the Casas cards! Thankfully COMC adds a slip of paper saying what each card is. Otherwise, not sure I'd know this is his 2023 Topps Chrome refractor.

And here is his Topps Chrome pink refractor!

Switching to his regular Topps, but the Gold Star Parallel version.

And his Meijer Purple parallel.

Another set...his 1st edition. I don't even know what that is.

Followed by his Topps Holiday. Always love this set.

This is apparently his Topps Collector's Box Silver Pattern Foil. If you say so.

And this would be his slightly less interesting base rainbow foil.

Back to Topps Chrome for his Sepia refractor.

Best guess? That's his Topps gold foil.

This one might be his Topps Chrome Prism refractor.

While this one sure looks like his Topps Chrome Logofractor.

Which leaves this one as his Topps Chrome x-fractor!

And there you have it. Thirteen new Casas RCs to add to the rainbow. Wonder how many I can eventually end up with. I'm starting to just need the big boys at this point.

That may have to wait for the next shipment.

Which one is your favorite?

2022 Topps Stadium Club Blaster Opening!

Topps Stadium Club is known for its photography. Always has been. I’ll admit that, especially these days, it seems a bit weird to have a set dedicated to “the good pictures”. It was one thing when Topps was paying photographers and had limited choices. But if you can choose from every picture ever, why not always pick the best ones? I suppose the theory is that the base sets are “ID Cards” that just show the player as they are, while TSC goes for the artistic portrait versions? Whatever the reason, I’m a huge fan. I love making the picture the focus. I suppose that goes along with the player selection as well. The base set doesn’t have Hall of Famers like Chipper Jones or Dave Winfied, who we pulled in this blaster. It also has the hottest rookies like Julio Rodriguez…another pull. So, it’s a wonderful combination.

How did this blaster go? I'm glad you asked...

As always, here's the box. Why doesn't Pete Alonso get more hobby love? He plays in New York, and has more home runs the last five years than Aaron Judge. 

Look at this magnificent shot of Rafael Devers here. This is the sort of card Stadium Club is famous for.  I love how the foil information just hides itself and lets the photos take all the glory.

Believe it or not, that was the only Red Sox card in the blaster. At least it was a good one.

Of course, as I alluded to, the blaster had several non-Sox hits. If you want to see the rest of the box, go check out the opening on my YouTube video. And feel free to like/subscribe while you're there.

How did your box go?

What people are reading this week