Good evening everyone. I am back from my two week absence from the Rating the Rookie Cups series. I guess I just needed a little bit of a mental health break. Who knows, but I do know that I am ready to get going again. Tonight we will take a look at another more recent team which contains some still active players, the 2013 Topps Rookie All Star Team pictured on 2014 Topps cards. As usual, with active players the career ranks are as of the end of the 2020 season and are subject to change in the future.
The elephant in the room with this team is extremely sad and that would be the untimely passing of right handed starter Jose Fernandez. No matter how he died, it is still an absolute tragedy that an athlete in the prime of his life was cut down at the young age of 24. It's hard to believe that it has been almost 5 years since that awful boat crash took place.
This particular Rookie All Star Team means a lot to me because it was the first of two teams that I chose as part of my Quarry Unlimited sets that I did between 2012-2014. You can see my post about it along with the custom cards here. My selections were actually made before Topps, so selections are not the same. We actually only differed in one outfield position. I chose A.J. Pollock and Topps chose Christian Yelich. Read on to see which of us made the correct choice according to the stats.
As far as the 2014 Topps set goes, I think it can be summed up with one hyphenated word CLOSE-UP! This set is full of photos that are zoomed in way too much. You get a good look at the players' faces, but you lose all context of what is happening in the action shots. It is just really off putting.
One major design element of the set was a sideways tab which featured the team name in what appeared to look like an old file folder. It's not really bad, but it seemed a little anachronistic for a 2014 set. It seemed like something that would more at home in the mid 1980s since file cabinets were quickly becoming a thing of past by the mid 2010s.
The other major design element is the name plate which is located beneath a really strange wave. Again it is not a horrible element, but it seems to have absolutely nothing in common with the file folder theme. If you cover up everything else and just look at the bottom quarter of the card, it would be fine. But as a whole it just doesn't work.
I enjoyed this set more than most people when it came out mainly because I loved the parallels. But to me, this set has not aged well at all. It's not as bad as the border-free era which followed, but I would rate 2014 as a very below average flagship set. Definitely bottom 20, possibly even close to bottom 10. But it does have some good points. As I said, it is probably the strongest flagship set when it came to parallels ever. They do look great in a page.
Let's take a look at the 2013 Topps Rookie All Star Team.
Evan Gattis - C - Braves - Season Rank (33 of 61) - Career Rank (29 of 61)
Matt Adams - 1B - Cardinals - Season Rank (46 of 61) - Career Rank (42 of 61)
Jedd Gyorko - 2B - Padres - Season Rank (38 of 61) - Career Rank (37 of 61)
Wil Myers - OF - Rays - Season Rank (133 of 184) - Career Rank (118 of 184)
Yasiel Puig - OF - Dodgers - Season Rank (70 of 184) - Career Rank (98 of 184)
Christian Yelich - OF - Marlins - Season Rank (171 of 184) - Career Rank (68 of 184)
Jose Fernandez - RHP - Marlins - Season Rank (3 of 50) - Career Rank (9 of 50)
Hyun-Jin Ryu - LHP - Dodgers - Season Rank (7 of 49) - Career Rank (6 of 49)
Jim Henderson - RP - Brewers - Season Rank (19 of 34) - Career Rank (24 of 34)
Strongest Team Members (career) - Nolan Arenado, Christian Yelich, Hyun-Jin Ryu
Weakest Team Members (rookie) - Matt Adams, Wil Myers, Jim Henderson
Weakest Team Members (career) - Jim Henderson, Matt Adams, Wil Myers
Rockies on the team (Present and future) - 2 (Arenado, Adams) (Adams just joined the Rockies last month)
Best Card (IMHO) - Wil Myers (the card is too close up, but the look on his face is priceless)
Worst Card (IMHO) - Jedd Gyorko (the Padres camo uniforms are among the worst of all time)
NEXT WEEK'S PREVIEW
The 1980 team pictured on 1981 Topps cards.
Thanx for reading.