A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tuesday Trade Bait #06 - A Big Lot of Goodness Part 1 American League

Last week's Tuesday Trade Bait was a HUGE success, because almost everything is now in new hands.  Of course with it consisting entirely of a 2014 product, I am not really surprised because new stuff is always easy to move.  That being said, let's transition into this week's trade bait bonanza.  A couple of weeks ago I was playing around on Check Out My Cards with $25 in store credit so I decided to bundle together a lot of cards with one dealer and make a nice offer.  I ended up with about 45 new Rockies and about 50 cards that would make good trade bait.  I could have bought exclusively Rockies, but where is the fun in that?  I am going to be showing the new trade bait over the next two Tuesday Trade Bait posts.  This week will be American League teams.  If you see anything you like, feel free to claim it in the comments or through email.

2009 Topps/Update Endy Chavez - Mariners   #'d 1583/2009

2013 Topps Gold Maicer Izturis - Angels   #'d 1228/2013


2006 Upper Deck/Future Stars Purple Huston Street - Athletics   #'d 0076/1799

2006 Upper Deck/Ovation Rich Harden - Athletics   #'d 407/499

2008 Topps/Triple Threads Sepia Rich Harden - Athletics   #'d 262/525

2008 Topps/Triple Threads Sepia Bobby Jenks - White Sox   #'d 077/525

2010 Topps/National Chicle Chrome Refractors Jake Peavy - White Sox   #'d 220/499

2011 Bowman Blue Jake Peavy - White Sox   #'d 328/500

2010 Bowman/Prospects Blue Rolando Gomez - Angels   #'d 111/520

2011 Bowman/Draft Blue Trystan Magnuson - Athletics   #'d 360/499

2011 Bowman/Draft Blue Eric Thames - Blue Jays   #'d 226/499

2011 Bowman/Prospects Joel Carreno - Blue Jays   #'d 359/500

Thanx for reading.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Rating the Rookie Cups - 1996

It figures that my first post under my original user name of hiflew is a day late, but I am going to blame the weather for that one.  A snow and ice storm kept me away from my computer for most of the night.  Of course, today it is 50 degrees outside and the weather flip-flops yet again.  It is getting tiresome, but spring is very close and with that comes the return of baseball and my winter blues are soon to be in the rear-view mirror once again.

Anyway, today I am focusing on the 1995 Topps Rookie All Star Team featured on 1996 Topps.  In my opinion, this set is the beginning of the Topps downhill slide that didn't stop for at least five years (2001) and maybe seven years (2003).  The design is horrible, but the players on the design are not bad at all for the most part.  The thing that stands out the most with this set is the omission of the card for Charles Johnson, the catcher on the RAST.  I am assuming that Johnson was not signed by Topps because he had tons of other cards in 1996.  Although he did have cards in both 1991 Topps Traded and 1992 Topps Traded as a member of Team USA, but his first pro Topps card was not until 1999.  If anyone knows the details of this situation, please let me know because I am curious.

Charles Johnson - Florida - C -                        (Rookie)   6   (Career)  6
John Mabry - St. Louis - 1B -                          (Rookie)   4   (Career)  4
Ray Durham - Chicago (AL) - 2B -                  (Rookie)   4   (Career)  7

Chipper Jones - Atlanta - 3B -                       (Rookie)   7   (Career)  9
Orlando Miller - Houston - SS -                     (Rookie)   4   (Career)  1

Garret Anderson - California - OF -                     (Rookie)   7   (Career)  8
Marty Cordova - Minnesota - OF -                     (Rookie)   8   (Career)  4
Shawn Green - Toronto - OF -                            (Rookie)   3   (Career)  7

Hideo Nomo - Los Angeles - RHP -                    (Rookie)   8   (Career)  6
Carlos Perez - Montreal - LHP -                          (Rookie)   5   (Career)  2

Strongest Team Members (in 1995) - Hideo Nomo, Marty Cordova, Garret Anderson

Strongest Team Members (as of 2013) - Chipper Jones, Garret Anderson, Shawn Green

Weakest Team Members (in 1995) - Shawn Green, Orlando Miller, Ray Durham

Weakest Team Members (as of 2013) - Orlando Miller, Carlos Perez, Marty Cordova

Rockies on the team (Present and future) - 2 (Johnson & Mabry)

Best Card (IMHO) - Hideo Nomo (Normally I prefer vertical cards, but this card is fantastic)

Worst Card (IMHO) - Charles Johnson (the worst card has to be the one that isn't there)

Overall Team Rating (1-10 compared to other RASTs)  6

This team has 1 almost definite Hall of Famer in Jones and one guy that will probably hang on the ballot for several years in Anderson.  In addition, there are four other really solid careers.  There is also one of the bigger Rookie of the Year fall offs in Marty Cordova, but he was really strong in 1995.  All in all, this is a slightly above average Rookie All Star Team.


Here are the players I feel should have been on this Rookie All Star Team.  This is based on rookie year data only.

Catcher - Charles Johnson - Florida
This was an easy choice as Johnson had almost no competition.  Do you really think Topps would have chosen him despite his lack of a card if there had been anyone else to take the spot?

First Baseman - John Mabry - St. Louis
This was another case of there not being a lot of competition.  Mabry did not have a great rookie season, but he easily outpaced half seasons from Oakland's Jason Giambi and Herbert Perry of the Twins.

Second Baseman - Quilvio Veras - Florida
Here is one that I can't quite figure out.  Topps chose Durham despite the fact that speed was his only positive quality in 1995.  Not only was Veras better at the plate and in the field, he was also much better on the bases with 56 steals compared to Durham's 18.  Just a bad selection by Topps.

Third Baseman - Chipper Jones - Atlanta
This was actually a harder choice than I ever anticipated.  Jones had some tough competition from both Jeff Cirillo of the Brewers and the Mets' Edgardo Alfonzo.  In the end, Chipper was just too much to take down.
Shortstop - Benji Gil - Texas
In 1995, the only real shortstops known more for his bat than his glove were Cal Ripken Jr. and Barry Larkin.  Most shortstops at the time were the good field / no hit variety.  Benji Gil definitely fit into that category and should have been the selection over Miller's half season.  Also considered was Tripp Cromer of the Cardinals and Alex Gonzalez of Toronto.

Outfield - Marty Cordova - Minnesota, Garret Anderson - California, Tom Goodwin - Kansas City
Cordova and Anderson were pretty much locks for two of the three spots.  That left one spot for Green, Goodwin, Jon Nunnally of the Royals, Detroit's Bobby Higginson, and Troy O'Leary of Boston.  In the end, Goodwin's speed (50 steals) won out over Green's still undeveloped power (15 homers).

RHP - Hideo Nomo - Los Angeles
There was absolutely no way that anyone was going to take this spot away from Nomo.  The people that tried were Nomo's Dodgers teammate Ismael Valdes, Pittsburgh's closer Dan Miceli, and Brad Radke of the Twins.

LHP - Andy Pettitte - New York (AL)
There were really only two contenders for the southpaw on this squad, and they were very similar in stats.  Pettitte was a tick better in just about everything except ERA so I chose him to take the spot. 


Previous Question:

Which Rookie Cup card had the highest card number?

Jeff Huson - card # 756 in 1991 Topps


What first name(s) is most common among Rookie All Star Team members? 
(the exact name used on the card, not offshoots...meaning Jon and John are counted as different)


The 1998 team appearing on 1999 Topps (on Sunday I promise).

Thanx for reading.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Triumphant Return of Hiflew

Since I returned to blogging just in November of 2013, I had adopted the user name Cards from the Quarry.  It worked pretty well, but it also required me to switch to the Google + account which I never use.  Therefore, I am switching to my original Blogger profile along with my original Blogger user name of hiflew.  Some of you may not know me as that name, but here is my introduction. 

Hello, my name is hiflew and I collect Rockies baseball cards.

The main reason I am changing is because whenever I commented on someone's blog my email address was showing up as noreply@blogger.com.  That makes it difficult for the other person's blog to reply to my comment if they are so inclined.  I know I get annoyed when that noreply@blogger.com address shows up whenever I try to reply to someone's comment on this blog, so I am switching.

You can still call me Quarry or hiflew or Johnny or even that crazy guy with the purple fetish.  Just make sure you are offering a good trade if you use the last one.

I'll be posting the latest Rating the Rookie Cups later tonight, so make sure you check that out.

Thanx for reading.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Best Donruss Set Countdown - #'s 16-13

Here we go with the third edition of the Best Donruss Set Countdown.  The first two weeks qualified as the bottom third of all Donruss sets, this week we start two weeks of the average Donruss sets.  These are the ones that I would consider very collectible, but they have some serious room for improvement as well.  This week will be a look at the start of the three different phases of the Donruss legacy: the original run, the Playoff run, and the Panini run.  Join me if you will for a journey through the midsection of the Donruss body of work.

16. 2001

PLUSES - Nice colorful borders that match the pictured team.  The star theme is okay, but nothing earth-shattering.  I like the 20th Anniversary stamp because it is there, but it doesn't overwhelm the front.  It works as a minor element of the design.

MINUSES - The back is vertical like every other Playoff-owned Donruss set (2001-2005), although this was the first so it's not THAT bad.   I take that back, all vertical backs are horrible.

15. 1983

PLUSES - I have always been a fan of the glove because it i a very under-utilized design element for a baseball set.  I also like the font used for the team name.  The first time seen "How Acquired" line on the back is my favorite card back element of all time.  The coloration on the back is probably my favorite of the entire "80's Donruss back" run.

MINUSES - The placement of the '83 should have be underneath the Donruss logo to match the '82 set.  The bat would have worked better in several colors mixed throughout the set.  It does get marked down quite a bit for the lack of creativity in the design.

14. 1982

PLUSES - Very simplistic design, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I like the multiple colors used for the border, even if sometimes the color doesn't match the team.  The back design is the beginning of a 10 year run, so you have to give it a little bit of credit.

MINUSES - Not a lot of credit though because the white letters on blue background has to have contributed to many sore eyes.  Like 1983, the bat would have worked better in several colors mixed throughout the set.

13. 2014

PLUSES - I like the throwback to 1987 with the baseball stripe, with the added improvement of matching a team color.  The semi-cursive team name really looks good, even though it does remind me too much of 1978 Topps.

MINUSES - If anything there are too many "nods to the past" mixed together.  It's fine if Panini wants to completely start anew next year, but it's a bit cluttered this year.  The border is too thick compared to the photo.  I hate that the back does not have the How Acquired line included.  The Panini logo is in a really bad place on the back.  It should be buried next to the MLBPA logo at the bottom.

One thing I have often liked is the "bookend" quality of 1982 and 1983 Donruss.  I realize that some people don't like it because it is not very creative, but I like the reciprocal factor of the two designs.  It's not the best idea, but it's not the worst either which means I guess I have it well placed here in the middle third.

When I did the Best Topps Set Countdown back in 2012, I put the most recent set right in the middle just because I wanted to give it enough time for me to make a legitimate judgment on the design.  I figured I would do the same with the newest Donruss set.  If I were to re-rank the Topps sets again, the 2012 set would drop around 20-25 spots because I really have developed a dislike for it.  Will the same thing happen to 2014 Donruss?  To be honest, it probably will.  I like the set just because it has brought back a lot of nice Donruss memories, but it does seem to have a lot of faults.  What do you guys think? 

Thanx for reading.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Tuesday Trade Bait - 2014 Topps Base, Inserts, and Parallels

When I started this year out, the last thing I was expecting was to collect 2014 Topps because I hated the preview images.  I have been surprised because I now have over half of the base set and I am actually starting to like the design.  So I figured why not just collect the flagship set for the first time since 2011.  Maybe some of you have had the same feelings.  If you have, then I have some base cards for you.  If you haven't, well then I still have some parallels and inserts for you.  I'd love to swap the parallels and inserts for some Rockies parallels.  Take a look at what is likely to be my final 2014 Topps post until Series 2 arrives in June. 

6 9 13 14 17 20 21 22 23 25 27 29 34 39 45 48 49 53 60 62 65 66 74 82 100 100 103 120 120 124 125 135 140 148 153 154 156 166 174 175 175 177 178 184 203 204 205 207 215 220 221 226 227 231 234 235 240 245 246 249 254 267 271 291 291 294 308 308 314 315 315 321 323 325 325 325 326 326 328


The Future is Now

5 Jurickson Profar - Rangers

15 28 40 89 96 114 193 212 301

Thanx for reading.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Rating the Rookie Cups - 1992

Here we go with the final "overproduction era" Rookie All Star Team (1986-1994) in this series.  For you new readers, I am selecting years in the order that I completed the team set which means that 1992 Topps was the final OP era RAST I completed.  I know a lot of people just scoff at the cards from these years, but they will always mean something to me because they are my childhood. 

As far as the actual team, one thing stands out with the 1992 team above all else and that is the 4 Houston Astros on the team.  Never before and never since has one team supplied four members to a Rookie All Star Team.  Whether or not all four of them deserved to be on the team is a question I will get into a little bit later.  Let's take a look and rate at the 1992 Topps Rookie All Star Team.

Ivan Rodriguez - Texas - C -                          (Rookie)   4   (Career)  9
Jeff Bagwell - Houston - 1B -                         (Rookie)   7   (Career)  8
Chuck Knoblauch - Minnesota - 2B -             (Rookie)   6   (Career)  6

Leo Gomez - Baltimore - 3B -                         (Rookie)   4   (Career)  2
Andujar Cedeno - Houston - SS -                   (Rookie)   2   (Career)  3

Milt Cuyler - Detroit - OF -                           (Rookie)   6   (Career)  2
Luis Gonzalez - Houston - OF -                     (Rookie)   5   (Career)  7
Ray Lankford - St. Louis - OF -                    (Rookie)   6   (Career)  6

Mark Leiter - Detroit - RHP -                      (Rookie)   4   (Career)  4
Al Osuna - Houston - LHP -                        (Rookie)   3   (Career)  2

Strongest Team Members (in 1991) - Jeff Bagwell, Chuck Knoblauch, Milt Cuyler

Strongest Team Members (as of 2013) - Ivan Rodriguez, Jeff Bagwell, Luis Gonzalez

Weakest Team Members (in 1991) - Andujar Cedeno, Al Osuna, Mark Leiter

Weakest Team Members (as of 2013) - Al Osuna, Milt Cuyler, Leo Gomez

Rockies on the team (Present and future) - 0

Best Card (IMHO) - Chuck Knoblauch (A nice professional batting photo)

Worst Card (IMHO) - Andujar Cedeno (I can't see past the wrong coloration of the letters despite the cool pic)

Overall Team Rating (1-10 compared to other RASTs)   6

This team should be right near the middle of the pack and maybe slightly above average when all is said and done.  Half of the players on this team would qualify as disappointments for their career, while the other half ranged from fairly solid to probable Hall of Famers.  Barring a PED backlash both Bagwell and Rodriguez should get into the Hall of Fame and there are very few teams with two Hall of Famers which would probably bump the score up a bit.


Here are the players I feel should have been on this Rookie All Star Team.  This is based on rookie year data only.

Catcher - Chris Hoiles - Baltimore
This is one of the more difficult changes that I have made.  Obviously, Pudge had a better career but Hoiles had a better rookie year.  A big factor was that Hoiles was 25 while Pudge was only 19, but better is still better no matter the qualification.

First Baseman - Jeff Bagwell - Houston
The two best rookies in 1991 were both first basemen.  Obviously Bagwell had a great year since he was the 1991 NL Rookie of the Year.  However, Orlando Merced of the Pirates was not that far behind him.  But he was still behind him and didn't qualify at any other position.

Second Baseman - Chuck Knoblauch - Minnesota
Unlike most years, second base was a relatively strong position in 1991.  Knoblauch, the 1991 AL Rookie of the Year, stood out above other full year starters Terry Shumpert of Kansas City and Luis Sojo of the Angels as well as strong half seasons from Craig Grebeck of the White Sox and Philadelphia's Mickey Morandini.

Third Baseman - Leo Gomez - Baltimore
Leo Gomez was not a no doubt candidate for the third base spot, but he was the only full season contender.  His full time gig was slightly than a strong half season from super utility guy Craig Grebeck of the White Sox.

Shortstop - Craig Grebeck - Chicago (AL)
This was another difficult position to choose, but unlike the other choices shortstop had no full season contenders.  Grebeck started at short less than at second and third, but he was still better than half seasons from Cedeno, Montreal's Bret Barberie, and Mark Lewis of the Indians.

Outfield - Milt Cuyler - Detroit, Luis Gonzalez - Houston, Ray Lankford - St. Louis
The outfield for this team was the easiest decision to make.  These three were the only full season starters and they all had solid seasons.  Other contenders included Thomas Howard of the Padres, Philadelphia's Wes Chamberlain, and Mark Whiten who split the year between Toronto and Cleveland.

RHP - Juan Guzman - Toronto
I have no idea what Topps was thinking with their choice of Mark Leiter.  In my research, I found seven pitchers that would have been better choices than Leiter, including Omar Olivares of St. Louis and Rich DeLucia of the Mariners.  In the end, it came down to two pitchers, Juan Guzman and Charles Nagy of Cleveland.  Nagy pitched more, but Guzman was a bit of a mid season wunderkind in 1991 and deserved the spot just a bit more.

LHP - Al Osuna - Houston
When choosing a pitcher for these teams, I start by separating the guys with both 10 wins or 10 saves.  Then I separate them by their pitching hand.  Out of the 8 rookie pitchers from the first separation, Al Osuna was 8th on the list in my mind but he was also the only left handed pitcher so he gets the spot. 


Previous Question:

Which Rookie Cup cards are first and last alphabetically by last name?


Jim Abbott - 1990
Ryan Zimmerman - 2007


Which Rookie Cup card had the highest card number?


The 1995 team appearing on 1996 Topps.

Thanx for reading.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

WOOOOHOOOOOO!!!! Go Colonels!!!

For the first time since 2007 and only the third time that I have been able to witness, my alma mater the Eastern Kentucky Colonels are going to the Big Dance.  A day after beating tourney darling Murray State, they upset Belmont in the OVC title game 79-73 tonight to earn a bid.  I have no illusions that they will do anything in the Tourney other than show up, but you never know.  They gave both Kentucky and North Carolina tough games in their two appearances when I was in school in 2005 and 2007 respectively.  Either way, I don't care because my school is going back to the dance.  Party time in Richmond tonight.

Friday, March 7, 2014

The Best Donruss Set Countdown - #'s 20-17

Well I guess I am a day late, but hopefully not a dollar short with this Thursday's edition of The Best Donruss Set Countdown.  I started out last week with my opinion of the bottom four sets in Donruss history based primarily on design and for the most part you guys are in agreement.  Will this week's four sets meet an equal agreement?  Only time will tell.  Although you can also tell me how right (or how wrong) I am in the comments section.  Let's take a look at the next four sets.

20. 2004

PLUSES - Pretty good photography.  I like the use of team colors in the design as well.

MINUSES -  I can't stand the dot matrix looking design.  It really subtracts from the card.  Those of you that read the Best Topps Set Countdown should know how little I like the vertical backs.

19. 1988

PLUSES - Nice big logos on the front that were usual for the time.  Blue is a nice color for both borders and backs.

MINUSES - Too much blue here.  The set just looks boring after ten cards or so.  Perhaps several different borders a la 88 Score or 90 Topps would have helped.  Lackluster photography as well.

18. 2002

PLUSES - Use of team colors again a plus.  It's different than most other Donruss sets. 

MINUSES - Different is not always good.  Vertical backs strike again.  The two black bars in the middle are completely unnecessary.  The corners should have been used for something such as the team logo and/or position.

17. 1989

PLUSES -  Good logo placement.  The color spectrum is used very well.  Better photography compared to the rest of this era.

MINUSES - Same old, same old on the back.  They should have gone all out and made the black bars on the sides color matched with the top and bottom.

That's it for part 2 of the countdown.  Is everything lining out as expected or am I completely ruining your memories of Donruss?  Let me know.

Thanx for reading.