Sunday, November 18, 2018

Top 5 Cards; Carl Yastrzemski

Before there were stars like Mookie Betts and Chris Sale, the Red Sox had one of the greatest hitters in the game's history, a consistent player year after year. Despite playing over 20 years, all with Boston, Yastrzemski was unable to accomplish what the 2018 Red Sox did; win a World Series, something he undoubtedly deserved.

Boston came super close in 1967 and 1975 with a couple other solid seasons throughout Yaz's 23 years with the club. Despite that, he was never able to capture that World Series trophy he so desperately deserved. Even his 1967 AL Triple Crown-winning season wasn't enough to lead the Red Sox over the Cardinals in the Fall Classic.

Despite that, Yastrzemski remains one of the greatest Red Sox hitters ever along with Ted Williams and David Ortiz. With well over 3,000 hits and 400 home runs to his name, it's no surprise he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame with 94% of votes on the first ballot.

An 18-time All-Star, Yaz wasn't known to be the nicest guy in the world, but his talent spoke for itself, as did his ability to guide the Red Sox to 2 AL Pennants, ultimately resulting in 2 of the most memorable Fall Classics of all-time.

One of my Gold Tier player collections, I currently have 123 cards of Carl Yastrzemski. Though I don't always tackle PC's with such high totals, I'm quite pleased with the 5 cards I ended up with.

#5 1964 Topps Sox Sockers
It's mainly my love for the combo cards of the 1960's that catapulted this Sox Sockers card of Carl Yastrzemski and Chuck Schilling into the top 5 of my list. My eyes instantly go to the ballpark in the background that I can't seem to recognize, but I'm also intrigued by the positioning of the 2 bats, forming an X.

Now, I realize the early 1960's Red Sox weren't the best teams, but you'd think they'd choose a guy who hit better than .234 with 8 home runs the year before to include on a card titled "Sox Sockers."

#4 1977 Topps Turn Back the Clock
Even today, Carl Yastrzemski's 1967 season remains one of the greatest single-season performances in Baseball history. In addition to leading the AL in the necessary categories, batting average, home runs, and RBI, Yaz was also a league leader in hits, runs, total bases, OBP, OPS, and SLG. 10 years later, Topps made a point to commemorate this feat as a Turn Back the Clock card in '77 Topps. 

Fast forward over 50 years and this achievement is still remembered, especially since only 1 player has won the Triple Crown since Yastrzemski.

#3 2004 Fleer Greats of the Game Glory of their Time
Serial numbered out of the previously mentioned historic season, 1967, this Yaz card from 2004 consists primarily of 2 colors; black and grey, making for a sleek and higher-end type of card. I know relic versions of this card exist given I have one of Paul Molitor, but I don't think I'd ever find one of Yastrzemski for the right price, especially since the price of them in the Boston area, where I live, would be well above what I'm willing to pay.

#2 2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics MVPs
While I realize the red borders of the card are for the American League and not necessarily the Red Sox, I can't help but notice how perfectly the shade matches Boston's team colors and how well it goes with the card of this Red Sox legend. Despite this unintentional choice, I kind of wish the image was color or the red borders weren't included at all. To a degree, the bright red borders take away from the black and white image, something you don't see too often on baseball cards.

#1 1972 Topps In Action
With quite a few different vintage Yaz cards to choose from, I had to make sure the ones that made the top 5 cards list were deserving and brought something interesting to the table. Even with some All-Star and league leaders cards to choose from, my personal favorite of not just the vintage, but all my Carl Yastrzemski cards, is his 1972 Topps In Action card.

Though it's not as much of an action card by today's standards, the photo was taken at exactly the right time to capture Yaz's swing as well as the catcher standing up behind the plate. The fact that 1972 Topps is my favorite set ever made doesn't hurt either, and in the end, we're left with a card worthy of the #1 spot.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Slightly Late Offseason Predictions

Normally, I would've liked to have my free-agent signing predictions posted before all the BBWAA awards were announced, but free agency has been rather stagnant so far. Luckily, as long as no major free-agent signs a contract in the next 30 minutes, these predictions will be good to go as the rest of the MLB offseason progresses.

In what is definitely one of the most stacked free-agencies we've seen in years, franchise players, MVPs, Cy Young award winners, and top-tier relief pitchers are all gracing the market. 

If there's one thing that players like Mike Moustakas, Alex Cobb, and J.D. Martinez taught us last year, both sides are willing to wait on a deal, no matter how long it takes. 

That's why I've chosen 11 of the best free agents of this season to make my predictions for. Some of the players selected due to them being the top-tier names, others because I couldn't find cards of players like Joe Kelly or Michael Brantley to scan.

So far, Steve Pearce has resigned with Boston, causing me to be filled with joy, but not much else has happened. The following are the signings I'm predicting have a high likelihood of occurring over the next 4 months or so, starting with undoubtedly the 2 biggest names of the offseason.

Bryce Harper to the St. Louis Cardinals

Unexpectedly, the Cardinals became late-season contenders in 2018 due to strong managing and a strong balance between young players and veterans. Assuming their veteran outfielder and 36 home run hitter Matt Carpenter returns, he'd have a lot to teach 25-year old Bryce Harper if St. Louis is willing to spend big money to bring in the 2015 NL MVP. Then again, maybe he's the piece they need to contend for the NL Central title once again.

Manny Machado to the Philadelphia Phillies

The Phillies certainly have a young core on par with the Atlanta Braves for the top spot in the NL East. Unfortunately for Phillies fans, their team didn't have the strongest 2nd half as the team slipped from 1st place to the Wild Card spot and finally, were eliminated from playoff contention.

Truth be told, Maikel Franco, Odubel Herrera, Rhys Hoskins, and Aaron Nola may fall just short of being the leaders of the new-age Phillies team. By adding Manny Machado, Philadelphia could easily be a championship contender just other Philly teams like the Eagles and 76ers, assuming Machado checks his attitude before taking the field at Citizens Bank Park.

Dallas Keuchel to the New York Yankees

He'd have to shave his beard, but other than that, Dallas Keuchel seems like he'd fit right in with the New York Yankees given how shaky their pitching appeared in the ALDS. Even Brian Cashman said so, declaring that Masahiro Tanaka was the only reliable one in the playoffs against Boston. If New York lets Happ walk, there's no reason why they wouldn't bring Keuchel in as his replacement.

Wilson Ramos to the Atlanta Braves

Although it's hard to find a weak spot on the Atlanta Braves 2018 NL East winning team, the one piece they could use to progress even farther in 2018 is a new catcher. Current backstop Kurt Suzuki did a solid job this year, but solid isn't what the Braves should be looking for after a 2018 campaign that way exceeded expectations.

Ramos has played for the Phillies and Nationals, meaning he could be a powerful tool in taking down the 2 biggest threats to Atlanta in their division. All these factors make Ramos a near-perfect fit for Atlanta in 2019, even if it's a 1 or 2-year deal for the 31-year catcher.

DJ LeMahieu back to the Colorado Rockies

Given that the Rockies are at risk of losing many valuable players like Carlos Gonzalez and Adam Ottavino to free agency, it's vital that they bring back as many of their players from their 91-win team. 

One of baseball's most underrated players, LeMahieu is a career .298 hitter who has captured 3 gold gloves and the 2016 batting title. He's only 30 and seems like a loyal type, so he should be one of the easier pieces for the Rockies to bring back in hopes of finally taking home the division title over the Dodgers.

Andrew McCutchen to the Los Angeles Angels

His 2018 spent with the Giants and Yankees was altogether disappointing, but there's no reason to count out the 2013 NL MVP Andrew McCutchen, especially if he finds the right team. Why not the Angels, a team that always appears to be lacking a piece or 2 to become a threat in the AL West. He could play DH when Ohtani isn't in the lineup, and moving Justin Upton to right field to have Cutch play left like he did in New York is far from impossible.

Adam Jones to the Seattle Mariners

God Bless Adam Jones, but he deserves better than what he's getting in Baltimore. At the age of 33, Jones shouldn't have to be stuck with a 100-loss team in full rebuild. Instead, he should contribute what he can to an up and coming club, especially if he's played for that team before. 

The Mariners slowly dipped beginning in the Summer and couldn't recover no matter what. I don't know all the details, but they should be able to find Jones a place on the team, whether it be at DH or moving Dee Gordon to a corner outfield position. One thing's for sure, he has plenty left in the tank, having hit .281 in 2018.

Josh Donaldson back to the Cleveland Indians

If Cleveland feels they can work with Jose Ramirez at 2nd base and Jason Kipnis in the outfield, then there's no reason why they shouldn't try to bring back former AL MVP Josh Donaldson, if they believe he's healthy enough for a complete 2019 season. 

There were 3 100-win teams in the AL in 2018, and the Indians were not one of them, having been blown out big time by Houston in the ALDS. A full season from Donaldson at 3rd base would help the Indians contend once again in the American League. People tend to forget how good he used to be, and it seems he could be signed to a fairly cheap deal and utilized throughout the season.

Mike Moustakas to the Tampa Bay Rays

The Rays were one of the biggest surprises of 2018, having won 90 games. Unfortunately, they played in the AL East with the 108-win Red Sox and the 100-win Yankees. Even though they had pieces traded throughout the season, I could see the Rays contending for a Wild Card spot if they bring in a free agent or 2. 

Mike Moustakas is a proven veteran at 3rd baseman who took a small step back this year. Despite that, he's pretty well-rounded and can be brought in on a relatively short and inexpensive deal.

Craig Kimbrel to the Atlanta Braves

It pains me to say this, but Craig Kimbrel is all but likely to return to the Boston Red Sox. Coming off an iffy season by his standards, Kimbrel could certainly be looking for a new team as he enters his age-31 season. He spent 3 seasons in Boston, but now, Kimbrel could be returning to the city where his career first started; Atlanta.

The Braves, as I said before, are ready to make an even bigger splash in 2019, possibly make it to the NLCS and beyond. In need of a bullpen boost, the Braves could bring back their former superstar closer and officially establish themselves as the team to beat in the NL.

Friday, November 16, 2018

I Can't Believe I Forgot to About These

I'm not sure about you guys, but I'm often overwhelmed with all that I have to do with baseball cards. Thankfully, it hasn't reached the point in which it affects my joy of the hobby, but there's always something to do, both a good and bad thing.

Especially for the last year and a half, I've always found work to do with my cards, ranging from moving cards to boxes, putting sets in numerical order, organizing the card room(s) of my house, keeping relic cards and autographs protected, and of course, the online player collection inventories I've worked so diligently to complete. And it's likely I'm just scratching the surface with what I've been getting done.

Occasionally, the abundance of tasks to perform and even the sheer number of cards forces me to improvise for the time being. Usually, this means placing stacks of cards in temporary homes until I can find full-time spots for them to go. 

However, these temporary spots all too often become permanent as I start to lose track of what's where leaving them to be found by a slightly more organized version of myself a couple months later. 

This kind of thing is exactly what happened to me earlier this week when I was organizing some stacks of doubles from 2005 Bowman Heritage and 2010 Topps 206. I opened up a drawer of one of my plastic storage drawers and found my National Sports Collectors Convention exclusive sets from all the way back in August. 

Somehow, I had never, until today, shown these here on the blog. Again, it connects back to how difficult it can be to stay organized in what has become a pretty crazy hobby.

4 companies produced cards to commemorate this years' National Sports Collectors Convention in the form of exclusive sets, ranging from 4 cards all the way to 10. In most sets, multiple different sports were represented even if the company didn't have the licensing rights. 

As was the case for Leaf who, although not possessing the licensing rights for any of the 4 major sports, unless I'm mistaken, chose 4 sports legends to recognize in their set. Although the no logos with a bland design is a turn-off, I've never seen a set with Allen Iverson, Bo Jackson, Brett Favre, and Mariano Rivera all together, so I'll give Leaf some credit for creativity.

The same thing could be said for Upper Deck's product, who went with basketball, tennis, and a golfer despite actually having the Hockey license and being the main producer of Hockey cards in today's sports card market.

At least, in this case, Serena Williams and Tiger Woods don't require any airbrushing of logos, nor do Michael Jordan and LeBron James, both of whom are not shown in NBA jerseys, specifically chosen so that airbrushing would not be necessary.

Although I'm slightly unsure if I would have preferred this set to the alternate option for Upper Deck, using actual jerseys without team names or logos showing, but I am certain of one thing; the inclusion of Ben Simmons with 4 future Hall of Famers in their respective sports is puzzling.

It just seems weird to include someone, in any sport, coming off a rookie season alongside Michael Jordan and LeBron James.

Clearly, only Topps has the MLB license, but that didn't stop Panini from rolling out 4 high-caliber MLB rookies in their 10-card National Exclusive set, 1 of whom, Shohei Ohtani, would go on to win 2018 AL Rookie of the Year.

The other 3, Hoskins, Albies, and Devers, each had their own struggles in 2018, not to say Ohtani didn't. However, they each finished with some remarkable stats, especially for rookies. Hoskins drove in 4 short of 100, Albies was an All-Star with 40 doubles, and Devers won a World Series while going yard over 20 times in limited at-bats.

They didn't just stick to baseball, however. Panini, known most for their extensive number of basketball and football sets, included the top 3 picks in the NBA and NFL drafts respectively, starting with the Phoenix Suns #1 pick, center DeAndrew Ayton out of the University of Arizona.

Marvin Bagley III went 2nd in the draft and Doncic, an international player from Slovenia, went 3rd and was later traded from the Hawks to the Mavericks. Truth be told, I think this is the first time I've talked anything but baseball on the blog before. 

Basketball happens to be my 2nd favorite sport, but I haven't found the same passion for Basketball cards as I found for Baseball which is why I'm not collecting cards of NBA players, yet.

As for Football, Panini did the same thing as they did for the NBA; include the top 3 picks from this years' draft. No, I don't understand why, despite Bagley being picked before Doncic and Barkley being picked before Darnold, their positions were swapped in the set. 

Similar to the NBA set, the NFL top picks were shown in their college jerseys rather than their brand new pro uniforms.

I'm not quite sure how Baker Mayfield has panned out for the Browns so far. I only know that they're managing to pull it together and win a few games this year. I don't follow Football as much as I do Basketball, but I recall that Mayfield wasn't the ideal #1 pick in the draft, forgive me if I'm wrong.

Ultimately, as much as I appreciate all these sets, I attended the National for Baseball cards, meaning that the set that was geared more towards me was Topps' exclusive cards. As you could see from the card at the top of this post, the subjects of the set are all Cleveland Indians players, and the set itself is 1983 Topps.

Recent Hall of Fame inductee Jim Thome was one of the players included as was Francisco Lindor and Corey Kluber, arguably the 2 best current Indians players, or at least toss-ups with 3rd baseman Jose Ramirez. 

Kluber is a 2-time Cy Young award winner who's also finished 3rd in the voting twice. On the other hand, Lindor just turned 25 a couple days ago and is already one of the best shortstops in the game, and that's a bold statement.

Finally, we have 2 retired Indians greats rounding out the Topps set and the entire group of exclusive cards from this year's National. I don't have a huge knowledge of Indians history, but Bob Feller and Omar Vizquel are certainly fantastic choices for the set. Combined with Thome, Lindor, and Kluber, I don't think anyone could've chosen a better balance of players, or even a better 5 Indians to be represented in the set.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Frankenset Page #28

In my personal opinion, the first 2 days of the BBWAA awards have not gone the way they should, and I'm not even making the argument that Alex Cora should've won AL Manager of the Year. Simply, I feel mistakes were made in the voting thus far.

If we think back to Monday, Ronald Acuña Jr. took home NL Rookie of the Year. No problems with that, I presume, given he hit .293 with 26 homers in a season in which he helped drive the previously 72-90 Braves to the playoffs. 

As for the AL Rookie of the Year, I have a problem. Sorry, but I'm still not buying the Shohei Ohtani hype, and there's no way he was better in 2018 than Miguel Andujar. Everyone's raving about the guy who made history by pitching and hitting even though he barely reached 50 innings pitched before not throwing a pitch for the rest of the season.

Granted, he put up a respectable .285 average with 22 homers in less than 250 at-bats, but that's also a point against him; his lack of plate appearances. Furthermore, if J.D. Martinez can't be considered as a top 3 candidate for AL MVP due to being a DH, Shohei Ohtani shouldn't have won Rookie of the Year, plain and simple. 

Snitker for NL Manager of the Year was also a pretty easy choice, though the real competition was for the AL honors. To be fair, every one of the 3 candidates (Kevin Cash, Alex Cora, and Bob Melvin) made strong cases as to why they should win, though I personally think Cash had less of a chance of succeeding since the Rays were sellers at the deadline and still won 90 games.

All I'm saying is, they better not mess up Cy Young tonight nor MVP tomorrow night. Blake Snell, Jacob deGrom, Mookie Betts, and Christian Yelich better be the 4 names called. However, I have the 27th page of the frankenset before any more names are announced. Page 27 includes cards #244-252.

#244 1973 Topps Ed Acosta
I could definitely see myself piecing together the 1973 Topps set someday in the near future for no reason other than I have a significant number of cards from the early 70's product. It's not as if I'm a huge fan of it, but with 1972 and 1975 Topps completed, it could be on my radar before I realize it.

#245 1999 Topps Chrome Sandy Alomar Jr.
The 1999 Topps and Topps Chrome set appears more like a Stadium Club set rather than a Topps Flagship product, easily one of the more minimal sets produced in the 66 years since the very first Topps Flagship set was released back in 1952. Although the surface of Sandy Alomar Jr.'s card isn't looking too hot, the picture is a classic choice for any catcher's baseball card.

#246 2016 Topps Heritage Logan Morrison
If Topps hadn't made such an effort to create such blurry images to resemble the actual 1967 Topps set, I'd think much more highly of the 2016 Topps Heritage set than I currently do. Instead, it's more of a "good effort" set that ultimately couldn't get out of its own way and made a totally unnecessary mistake along the way.

#247 2005 Topps Rafael Furcal
It's pretty cool to see the Atlanta Braves #1 from 2001 point 1 finger up to the sky after it appears he hit a double at a home game. Similar to Ronald Acuña Jr., Furcal won the NL Rookie of the Year as a member of the Atlanta Braves back in 2000, the last Brave to win the award before Acuña took home the honors just a few days ago.

#248 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen Jose Quintana
I'm not sure I'll ever know where the photo was taken, but I absolutely love the background in which Jose Quintana's 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen card was taken in front of, even if it is a little bit blurry. You don't typically see a baseball card with a ton of trees and plants in the background. Not to mention the fact that the dark brown border compliments the green background details quite well.

#249 2017 Topps Gypsy Queen Luke Weaver
Here we have back-to-back Gypsy Queen cards with the latter of the 2 being from the 2017 Gypsy Queen set, showcasing Cardinals rookie pitcher Luke Weaver in a photo that appears to have been taken at Wrigley Field given the sheer amount of Cubs blue that's visible in the background among what appears to be a few scattered Cardinals fans as well.

#250 2016 Topps Stadium Club Bartolo Colon
From what I hear, Bartolo Colon aims to return for yet another season in 2019 which would be his 22nd big league season. I vaguely understand all the fans' hype around "Big Sexy," but if you look at his stats, the guy has been downright awful ever since his 2016 All-Star season with the New York Mets.

#251 2007 Topps Heritage Tom Gordon
Not that I'm head over heels for the 1958 Topps set, but 2007 Topps Heritage was one of the best recreations of an original Topps product we've ever seen. This could be due to how abstract and crazy the set was with all the colors, but even so, Topps did a hell of a good job with a set that's unbelievably over 10 years old now.

#252 1991 Topps Mel Rojas
I'm a huge fan of the 1991 Topps set, one of the most underrated sets ever made. I also love nearly every Montreal Expos jersey, especially ones that are powder blue. Together, they create an incredible combination and no one is going to be able to ever convince me otherwise.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sign of the Times

If I'm not mistaken, the 2010's have already become the decade with the most cards produced with 2018 sets and all cards from 2019 yet to be released, a testament to what could be described as a neo-overproduction era of baseball cards.

Contrary to the late 80's and 90's, the 2010's have seen 1 brand dominate the industry while still producing products of value. However, the sheer number of sets produced by Topps each year including 2017, in particular, leads me to one simple question; why.

Here's a quick screenshot from COMC's inventory showing the number of cards listed from each year of the 2010's thus far. Obviously, the total number of cards produced is far greater, but COMC still serves its purpose of demonstrating the increase in totals. Although 2018 is not over and the total is sure to rise, it's beginning to look more and more like 2013 or 2016 rather than years like 2014 and 2015 where we see well over 60,000 cards listed.

Oh, and don't even get me started on the nearly 80,000 cards from 2017. What a mediocre year for cards.

The card at the top of this post is from the 2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out insert set, a reproduction of Al Kaline's classic rookie card from 1954 Topps. The very reprints of this card help to prove the very point I just made about overproduction. It's happening right before our eyes, and it isn't necessarily a good thing.

Furthermore, I don't believe it's impossible to prevent the overflow of new cards. If we ended these ridiculous 100-card insert sets, we'd be right back to where we were 2 years ago. Hey, remember 2016 where we had normal insert sets that were 25 cards. Me neither.

By the way, that's not the same card, or at least, not the same reprint of the card. That's from a different set, 6 years after Cards Your Mom Threw Out.

The 2nd reprint of Kaline's 1954 Topps card is from the 2016 Berger's Best set from Series 2 of Topps. To be fair, both the Series 1 and Series 2 sets of Berger's Best commemorated 1 card from each year of Topps up until that year, meaning those insert sets would be rather large. However, they're nowhere close to 100 cards and actually serve a purpose. 

I, for one, am okay with having a card from each year of Topps in an insert set. It's kind of cool. However, I'm not someone who needs to see the same players, current and retired, represented in Topps Salute year in and year out.

At least this card, the 3rd reprint of Al Kaline's rookie card in my collection, makes it painfully obvious that it's a reprint and a different type of reprint by slapping a highly unnecessary "Topps Rookie History" stamp right below the Tigers logo. Still, point proven. Topps needs to chill with excessive insert sets and reusing cards they've done before.

Seriously, I have 3 different reprints of Al Kaline's 1954 Topps rookie card dating back to 2010. The saddest part? I can't say for certain there aren't any more out there.

I suddenly feel the need to appreciate the 1960's even more.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The New Player Collection Tiers

In an effort to have a complete list of all the players I collect in one document and know all the totals at once, I spent my day off today completing said list in what I call my player collection tiers.

The complete list, which can be found here, is complete with all 245 players I collect and the total number of cards next to them. Those numbers range from as low as 8 total cards all the way up to 447, one wide range if I've ever seen one.

As a way to make it easier to have these 245 names in one place, I developed 4 separate tiers, 1 tier for each player collection to fall into. In this post, I'll be explaining what each tier requires for a total number of cards as well as a brief description of some of the players in each tier and how many made the cut.

Tier #1 consists of just 4 players out of 245 and is the highest tier, for now, on the list. This is what I'll be calling the Platinum Tier, featuring my 4 player collections with 200 cards or more. 

First up, we have the largest out of all my player collections. At 447 cards, the total I mentioned before to be the highest, Nolan Ryan has a comfortable 200+ card margin between him and the next subject on this list. As soon as I find 3 more cards of his to bring the total to 450, the next task will be the once unfathomable feat of having a 500-card player collection.

Maddux recently joined the 200-card club, or I suppose I should say Platinum Tier, as recent as a month or two ago, but he's already catapulted past a heavy-hitter to become my 2nd largest player selection at a grand total of 238 cards and counting. Consisting of mainly Braves cards from the mid to late 1990's, Maddux's player collection is one that typically brings home 5-10 cards from a show.

With 234 cards, Manny Ramirez is anything but far away from the 2nd largest player collection spot that he held for a while, or at least as long as I've been counting PC totals. However, the lack of Ramirez cards in the dime bins and the abundance of Greg Maddux cards likely means the gap between these 2 is only going to increase over the years.

Finally, the newest member of the Platinum Tier just snuck in here after last weekend's card show which delivered 10 new cards for the collection. Ken Griffey Jr., whose player collection currently rests at 205 cards, has been extremely prominent in the dime boxes dating back well over a year. Given that it wasn't too long ago that he was just over 100 cards, it's clear that the last year or so has been good for the Griffey Jr. PC.

Don't worry, I'm not going to go that in-depth for each and every tier. I simply wanted to elaborate on the very first one, since it includes all my largest player collection and consists of just 4 players. Next up, the 2nd tier aka the Gold Tier.

Even if you don't count members of the Platinum Tier as Gold Tier members despite meeting the requirement of 100 cards or more, you still have a tier that consists of 32 members, 36 if the top 4 players from the Platinum Tier are added. From as long ago as Babe Ruth to as recent as Craig Kimbrel and Joey Votto, the Gold Tier is the level that I strive for each PC to reach. 

Within this particular tier, you have a few players closing in on Platinum Tier status. For example, David Ortiz who is just 9 cards away from becoming the 5th player to reach the 200-card mark in my collection.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, you have 2 members of the Gold Tier who have just recently made it in as they currently both sit at 100 cards exactly. After last weekend's show, Jeff Bagwell and Frank Robinson both obtained the necessary cards to reach the 100-card total, no more and no less. After them, you have a gradual increase all the way up to the top of the Gold Tier.

With 66 players included in it, Gold and Platinum Tiers notwithstanding, the Silver Tier is a mark reached by player collections on their way to higher status. By this point, a player collection has reached the 50-card mark, proving that this player collection is not stagnant but rather one that will continue to grow throughout the near and distant future.

Located directly below the Gold Tier, the player collection Silver Tier encompasses player collections starting at 50 cards and through 99 total cards. As for the players whose collections have yet to reach 50 total cards, their player collections are part of the 4th, final, and tier with most total members; the Bronze Tier.

Made up of all remaining players who have yet to be included in a tier, the Bronze Tier includes a whopping 143 total players, conceivably ranging from 0 cards all the way to 49. However, the lowest number of cards in any one of my PCs is 8, a total belonging to 2 players (Curt Flood and J.R. Richard).

While some players may be stuck in the Bronze Tier forever due to how infrequently I see their cards at the show, other members are young, current players who I expect to make it to the Silver Tier and beyond in the future. In fact, there are 33 total players who currently sit 10 or fewer cards away from the Silver Tier status, including 2 (Stan Musial and Madison Bumgarner) who are just 1 card away, sitting at 49 as I type this post.

When I was making this list today, I created it not with the intentions to become number-obsessed and only care about player collection totals but rather, as a way to have a complete list of all my player collections and their respective totals organized in one place. 

To have this new information on tiers and know who's close to a certain total, that's simply a bonus.