Friday, December 14, 2018

Frankenset Page #32

The 2018 Winter Meetings have come to an end. Paul Goldschmidt is a Cardinal. Joe Kelly is a Dodger. Edwin Encarnacion is a Mariner. Carlos Santana, before stepping foot on a Baseball field as a member of the Seattle Mariners, is now a Cleveland Indian once more.

Although incredibly eventful, this years' Winter Meetings ended without Bryce Harper or Manny Machado cashing in with any team. With that being said, plenty of thrilling signings and trades were made, but none more out of the blue than the 3-team trade that went down yesterday between the Indians, Mariners, and Rays.

After driving in 100 runs in 2018, Edwin Encarnacion was abruptly traded to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Carlos Santana. While neither player provides fabulous defense or a stellar batting average, it's pretty safe to say that Encarnacion is a better overall player than Santana at this point in time. Maybe the Indians wanted Santana back pretty badly, but it still doesn't make too much sense.

In fact, Seattle bringing in Encarnacion in the first place doesn't make sense either. After trading James Paxton, Jean Segura, Edwin Diaz, and Robinson Cano, the Mariners suddenly trade for Encarnacion as if they trying to contend, yet they just blew up their entire roster.

Finally, the Rays, being the franchise they are, felt the need to mix up their team chemistry by trading young 1st baseman Jake Bauers to Cleveland for catcher Yandy Diaz as a part of this trade. With C.J. Cron having been designated for assignment, the Rays don't have much going for them in this trade. 

As bizarre as the entire transaction was, the Rays getting involved made it even more baffling.

Moving on, I have page #32 of the frankenset ready to go, showcasing cards 280-288 of the set. With 1987-2017 represented, it covers a relatively small chunk of Baseball card history at just 30 years.

#280 1993 Flair Juan Gonzalez
Other than a very glossy cardstock and high-quality images, the original Flair cards didn't necessarily have a whole lot of exciting things going for them. Given the name, I'd expect something a bit more high-end and interesting, though they certainly made up for it years later with sets like Flair Greats which combined stellar checklists with interesting set designs.

#281 1988 Topps Jerry Hairston 
When I first began collecting the 1976 Topps set, I remember Jerry Hairston's card #391 being one of the few cards I had in my possession prior to officially adding the set to my want list. 12 years after that set came out, Hairston was still in Chicago, wearing the ironic red White Sox uniforms that had become popular towards the end of the 1970s. 

#282 2002 Topps 206 Clint Nageotte
The image choice is pretty standard, but the colors and artwork help to bring a little more excitement to this particular card from the 2002 Topps 206 set. Specifically, I'm fond of the attention to detail used to get the exact shade of the Seattle Mariners' uniform to compliment the rest of the card nicely.

#283 2003 Fleer Tradition Update Hideki Matsui Tale of the Tape
I liked the Tale of the Tape subset from the 2003 Fleer Tradition Update product as it reminded me quite a bit of the Tape Measure Blasts insert that Topps released in Flagship several years later in 2015. As for the player, Matsui was one of the more exciting players I remember watching in the 2000s, even when he was playing for the rival New York Yankees.

#284 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen Reggie Jackson
I'm really not a fan of Topps' decision to make the retired players in today's Topps Gypsy Queen sets high-number SPs. The best Gypsy Queen sets ever made are years like 2013 and 2014 when the retired players were a part of the base set, taking up dozens of spots on the checklists. Now, it's chock-full of rookies I've never heard of instead of retired players that I'd love to see.

#285 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen Adam Eaton
More on Gypsy Queen since next years' set design has already been previewed on Cardboard Connection and Beckett respectively. While I believe it's the best we've seen in years, I really wish there was a different color chosen for the base set. Besides 2012 and 2015, virtually every year of Topps Gypsy Queen has used the same couple colors for the base set, a trend I'm beginning to get tired of.

#286 2017 Topps Heritage Dellin Betances
Although it's not a super well-loved set when compared to other sets from the 60s, 1968 Topps will always remain one of my favorite sets of all-time. The unique burlap design is something that Topps hasn't really come close to replicating since besides the wood borders from 1987. Last year, Topps did an exceptional job of recreating the set for Topps Heritage.

#287 1987 Topps Dave Von Ohlen
1962, 1968, and 1987 Topps remain the most unique Flagship products that Topps has ever put out, meaning that these sets are likely either a hit or miss with most collectors. Personally, I'm not too big on 1987 given that it's pretty similar to 1962 Topps since they were both wood bordered products, but since '62 did it first, I like that set a lot more.

#288 2012 Topps C.J. Wilson
With 3 Gypsy Queen sets represented on this page, I've been able to reiterate a lot of previously mentioned opinions that I have on individual sets as well as the brand as a whole. The purple-bordered 2012 set is always gonna be pretty high up there, along with 2013, on my list of favorite sets in the brand's relatively short history.


  1. I'm a huge fan of '68 Topps/'17 Heritage, as you probably know. Just completed the Heritage set and I have the full set of 1993 Flair, but of the cards you scanned in this post I'd go with Gonzalez.

  2. Nothing I love on this page, so I'll opt for the Van Ohlen because all the green looks so nice.