2014 Topps Series One – My First Look
Along with finishing up the 2013 Topps Series Two set (I got distracted late last year) I am going to start putting together the 2014 Topps Series One set. I bought my first Jumbo Pack (36 cards) at Wal-Mart the day they came out. Here are some of the highlights from that first pack –
BASE SET CARDS
#267 Ryan Vogelsong, San Francisco Giants
Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 215 Throws: Right Bats: Right
Born: 7-27-77, Charlotte, NC Home: Atglen, PA
Drafted: Giants #5-June, 1988 Acq: Free Agent, 1-14-11
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Ryan supplied one of the great October performances in 2012. He went 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA, including an NLCS victory in which he was the first Giants pitcher since 1924 to rap a postseason extra-base hit.
ROOKIE FACT: 62 percent of Ryan’s pitches in 2000 were strikes.
#136 Will Middlebrooks, Boston Red Sox
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 220 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Born: 9-9-88, Greenville, TX Home: Texarkana, TX
Drafted: Red Sox #5-June, 2007 Acq: Via Draft
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Will put together some monstrous games in 2103 – a sign of things to come for the young masher. In one, he came up with three homers; in another, he drove in seven runs with a grand slam and a three-run trip.
ROOKIE FACT: Will tied a record with 9 RBI in his first four Major League games.
#56 Taijuan Walker, Seattle Mariners
Ht: 6’4″ Wt: 210 Throws: Right Bats: Right
Born: 8-13-92, Shreveport, LA
Drafted: Mariners #1-June, 2010
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Roughly 40 friends and family members turned out for Taijuan’s first Major League start at Houston on August 30, 2013, and he did not disappoint them. Showing off the mid-90s fastball that prompted Baseball America to name him the No. 2 prospect in the Seattle system, Walker allowed just two hits, one walk and one unearned run over five stellar innings.
ROOKIE FACT: At 21, Taijuan became the youngest Mariners pitcher to win his debut.
#133 Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 185 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Born: 10-1-92, Oranjestad, Aruba
Signed: Red Sox-2009 as Free Agent
For those that do not read the back of the cards – By the time USA Today named Xander its 2013 Minor League Player of the Year honoree in September, the affable Aruban was impressing Red Sox teammates in the Majors. “He’s a great athlete,” Dustin Pedroia says. “He’s got a ton of ability.” The slick-fielding, power-hitting Bogaerts played well enough in 18 games to make the postseason roster.
ROOKIE FACT: Xander’s 2013 promotion made him the youngest Red Sox rookie since 1972.
#281 Robbie Erlin, San Diego Padres
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 190 Throws: Left Bats: Right
Born: 10-8-90, Oakland, CA
Drafted: Rangers #3-June, 2009
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Summoned to San Diego early in 2013, Robbie warmed up for possible relief appearances three times before finally getting in a game on April 30. There was no such uncertainty near the end of the season once he’d cracked the rotation. Erlin closed the campaign with three straight quality starts, including 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Dodgers.
ROOKIE FACT: Robbie earned his first Major League win at Toronto on June 1, 2013.
PARALLEL SET CARDS (I am not collecting the Parallel set cards so if you need these let me know.)
#192 Pedro Alvarez, Pittsburgh Pirates
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 235 Bats: Left Throws: Right
Born: 2-6-87, Santo Domingo, D.R. Home: Bronx, NY
Drafted: Pirates #1-June, 2008 Acq: Via Draft
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Pedro led the NL in 2013 with what ESPN Home Run Tracker calls “No Doubts” – 11 long-gone bombs. There also in no doubt that the young third baseman is now among the most fearsome hitters in Baseball. Alvarez topped the League in fewest at-bats per jack and was Pittsburgh’s only player of the season to go deep in four consecutive games
ROOKIE FACT: Pedro drove in a run in seven straight games, August 4-11, 2010.
#193 Ricky Nolasco, Los Angeles Dodgers
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 235 Throws: Right Bats: Right
Born: 12-13-82, Corona, CA Home: Rialto, CA
Drafted: Cubs #4-June, 2001 Acq: Trade with Marlins, 7-6-13
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Shoring up the rotation after his acquisition from Miami, Ricky won eight of his first nine decisions in Dodger Blue. He is one of only 10 pitchers with double-figure wins totals each of the last six years.
ROOKIE FACT: A home run off Tom Glavine was the first hot of Ricky’s career.
#15 Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
Ht: 6’3″ Wt: 245 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Born: 9-10-87, Wilmington, DE Home: The Woodlands, TX
Drafted: Diamondbacks #8-June, 2009 Acq: Via Draft
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Paul strapped his team on his back during a phenomenal 2013 campaign in which he led the League in RBI and OPS. Teammate Aaron Hill calls his work ethic “by far the best I’ve ever seen in a guy.”
ROOKIE FACT: Paul’s late tie-breaking triple on 9-23-11 clinched the NL West Division.
#221 Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
Ht: 5’11” Wt: 190 Bats: Right Throws: Right
Born: 5-15-87, Tupelo, MS Home: Fulton, MS
Drafted: Twins #8-June, 2009 Acq: Via Draft
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Brian crafted a marvelous transition from shortstop in 2013, leading AL players at all positions in assists with 461 – fifth most ever by a Twins second sacker. His 18 homers were second among AL keystoners
ROOKIE FACT: Brian came up with at least one hit in 14 of his first 18 MLB games.
1989 TOPPS DIE CUT MINIS
#TM-49 Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
Ht: 6’2″ Wt: 230 Bats: Left Throws: Right
Born: 10-16-92, Las Vegas, NV Home: Las Vegas, NV
Drafted: Nationals #1-June, 2010 Acq: Via Draft
For those that do not read the back of the cards – In 2009, Bryce launched the longest home run ever hit inside Tropicana Field – a drive that would have measured 502 feet had it not hit the back wall of the dome. He was 16 years old. By 20, Harper had twice been named to the NL All-Star Team.
THE FUTURE IS NOW
For those that do not read the back of the cards – A “Welcome to the Majors” Moment: On May 3, 2012, Bryce was the youngest three-hole hitter in the Major Leagues since Andruw Jones in 1996. Harper embraced the challenge by driving in the winning run with a double in Washington’s 2-1 defeat of Arizona.
#UC-9 Roberto Clemente, Pittsburgh Pirates
For those that do not read the back of the cards – Rookie Season Superlatives: Hit safely in his first seven and 17 of his first 19 games . . . Tagged 11 triples – the first of nine times would reach double figures . . . Went 5-5 with three doubles, 5/29/55 vs/ Phillies . . . Logged 18 outfield assists (second in NL).
More packs coming soon!
Posted on February 19, 2014, in Topps Sets and tagged 1989 Topps Die Cut Minis, Blue Parallel, Brian Dozier, Bryce Harper, Future Stars, Green Parallel, Paul Goldschmidt, Pedro Alvarez, RC, Red Foil Parallel, Ricky Nolasco, Robbie Erlin, Roberto Clemente, Ryan Vogelsong, Taijuan Walker, The Future Is Now, Topps Sets, Upper Class, Will Middlebrooks, Xander Bogearts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.