Saturday, January 26, 2019

Frankenset Page #38

On Tuesday, 4 more talented individuals joined Lee Smith and Harold Baines as the members of the 2019 Baseball Hall of Fame Class. Before I share my thoughts, congratulations to Edgar Martinez, Mike Mussina, Roy Halladay (RIP), and of course, the first-ever unanimous selection, Mariano Rivera.

This year's HOF class is definitely pitching heavy with 4 pitchers, including 2 relievers being elected. Rivera being a unanimous decision is surprising, especially when you consider that Ken Griffey Jr. was 3 votes away from that mark back in 2016. Seriously, I would love to hear a justified reason for not voting "The Kid" into Cooperstown.

Better yet, it took Trevor Hoffman, arguably the 2nd best reliever of all-time, 3 years to make it into Cooperstown. While Rivera has certainly earned his place in the Hall, it was surprising to see him be the first unanimous inductee.

As for Martinez and Halladay, both of them were included on my 2019 Hall of Fame ballot. One of the most dominant pitchers of the 21st century and one of the 90s' most feared hitters, I'm thrilled to see both Doc and Edgar be elected into Cooperstown. 

Martinez along with Tim Raines being elected on their final years of eligibility also gives me hope that Todd Helton will be elected someday, having debuted on the ballot with just 16.5% of the votes.

The only inductee I'm struggling to agree with is Mike Mussina. On his 6th year of eligibility, Mussina received roughly 76% of the votes, including a pretty large jump from last year to 2019. 

However, with only 1 20-win season, his final year, under the 5-time All-Star's belt, his numbers don't exactly blow me away. His career 3.68 ERA is fine, but it doesn't exactly scream Hall of Fame. I suppose his 2,813 strikeouts help his cause but keep in mind that number is through over 3,500 innings pitched.

I could talk about the Hall of Fame class for much longer, but I'm going to move onto the 38th page of my frankenset now. This page includes cards #334-342.

#334 2014 Topps Heritage Alcides Escobar
A true test of how good a Topps Heritage set recreates the original product is having not just the set design, but the pictures resemble something you'd see in the older set. 

1965 Topps featured a lot of headshots rather than action images or photos of that sort, so I must give Topps credit for the image they used for this card as well as the ability to use a nice retro color combination for a team like the Royals who weren't around back in 1965.

#335 2008 Topps Heritage Brandon Phillips
It'll be a shame once I reach the mid-400s of my frankenset, for there will be little to no Topps Heritage cards remaining. I always count on there at least one of them on any given page, and with cards like the Escobar and Phillips, it's easy to see why Topps Heritage is my favorite set year after year.

#336 2014 Topps Gypsy Queen Ivan Nova
Even with my dislike for the Yankees, I don't think I'll ever get tired of seeing crisp and bright Yankee home jerseys with pinstripes on cardboard. The Yankees' home uniforms are one of the most recognizable uniforms in all of the American sports, hence why I collect so many Yankees players like Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera.

#337 2016 Topps Heritage Yordano Ventura
It's been roughly 2 years since the Baseball world lost Yordano Ventura to a tragic car accident in the Dominican Republic. He was such a key part of the 2015 Royals World Series team, and I fondly remember Edinson Volquez's no-hitter back in 2017 which he dedicated to Ventura, his former teammate. 


#338 1986 Topps Jorge Bell
When you have a set as large as 1986 Topps, 792 cards to be exact, it's almost necessary to have some untraditional photos that aren't necessarily taken on a Baseball field. That's what makes this Jorge Bell card so cool, along with the slightly sideways Blue Jays cap that he has on and the awesome Blue Jays uniform from the mid-1980s.

#339 1984 Topps Roy Lee Jackson
Speaking of the cool Blue Jays uniforms from the 80s, here they are once again, this time in the 1984 Topps set. Roy Lee Jackson's card, along with Jorge Bell's, is predominantly blue. Even the Blue Jays' pitchers' pants seem to be a light shade of blue along with the uniform, seats, player name, and team name throughout the card.

#340 2010 Topps John Buck
I didn't even realize until I started this blog post that I have 3 straight Toronto Blue Jays cards on my 38th frankenset page, but at least I made some good choices. I love seeing action shots of catchers make it onto Baseball cards which is the main reason why a lesser-known player like John Buck made the cut for this page.

#341 1983 Topps Doug DeCinces
In one way or another, Topps' methods of overproduction can be a blessing in addition to a curse. For example, 1983 Topps has always been a very underrated set, but after Topps chose to include the product as an insert set throughout 2018 Topps Series 1, 2, and Update, myself along with all sorts of collectors were able to become more familiar with the greatest Flagship set of the 1980s.

#342 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen B.J. Upton
While we've all been waiting to see where Bryce Harper and Manny Machado end up, MLB has taken the time to inform us of other, less exciting news. For instance, apparently, Melvin Upton Jr, formally B.J. Upton, has changed his first name back to B.J. 

Side note; I really do like this card. I just wish MLB free agency was a little more exciting during these cold, New England months.

1 comment:

  1. Mike Mussina has 82 or 83 WAR depending on which version you use. Anyone with over 80 WAR is Hallworthy in my book.

    John Buck is my fave of the page. Quite liked him when he was with the Mets. Really nice action shot.