21 October 2015

Topps Mini Baseball Scan Clear-Out, Post 1 of 4: Gold Parallels

These pictures were buried at the bottom of my Scans folder for a very long time, and I've finally gotten around to chopping and cropping all the images. Judging by the contents of the scans vs. what I remember coming out of the average box of these cards, I think the scans are made up of the 'hits' from 4-5 boxes of 2014 Topps Mini Baseball and either one amazing or 2 really good boxes of 2013 Topps Mini Baseball. The scans are dated December 2014, so these were probably the result of some Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals. I've gone ahead and broken the scans out by insert type. Today's post features all the Gold parallels from the scans. This first card is a League Leaders card featuring the 2013 NL Home Run leaders Pedro Alvarez, Paul Goldschmidt, and Jay Bruce. The Gold cards from 2014 Topps Mini have a print run of 63 cards while the Gold parallel in 2013 had 62 copies of each card.

The star of this trio is Adam Wainwright, who was unfortunately injured early this season and missed much of the year with a ruptured Achilles tendon. Somehow he was able to make a very rapid recovery and made 3 relief appearances late in the season, just 5 months after the injury. That didn't help my fantasy teams any, though, as I drafted him at the top of my rotations in a couple of leagues this year.

Anibal Sanchez is another guy I drafted in a couple of fantasy leagues, although not in the early rounds like I did Adam Wainwright. His numbers did plenty of damage to my teams' pitching lines before I dropped him. I didn't do very well in fantasy baseball this year. It was nice to pull a Josh Reddick Gold parallel as he is one of my main PC guys. I haven't added a whole lot of his cards lately, though. The 2014 Mini parallels suffered heavily from chipping and flaking along the edges and corners.

One of the 2013 Gold cards was this World Series card featuring the moments leading up to some man love between Sergio Romo and Buster Posey.

I can't say I have any love for the Giants. Madison Bumgarner has pet Basset Hounds, though, so I guess there is something good about the Giants. Their fans do seem pretty devoted, at least among the category of 'people I know who are Giants fans.' Here's my Basset Hound:

He's kind of a lazy turd, which makes him a perfect pet for me. His fur is super soft, which is pretty much why we keep him around.

Here are the rest of the 2013 Gold cards. Nothing too crazy there. Motte's beard game is pretty strong, so I tend to take notice og his cards. Kyle Seager has been a pretty decent sleeper player in fantasy baseball the last couple of seasons. He hasn't got the big name or the big market appeal, so he comes at a discount in drafts.

This guy, however, does not come at a discount. Most years over the last decade or so he has been worth the high pick, but 2014 and 2015 saw most of his counting stats dip a bit over previous production that led to two MVP Awards and plenty of voting consideration in the years he didn't win the award.

Jason Motte and his beard make another appearance in this post, this time with his 2014 card. That grip on Matt Thornton reminds me of an idea I had to photoshop fruit into the hands of players so that they all would appear to be standing around holding apples and pears and stuff. It would work especially well in sets with a lot of close-up posed shots, like Heritage.

Jeurys Familia racked up 43 saves in the regular season and he's come away with 5 saves so far in the postseason. Pretty good stuff. The Astros could have used a bullpen arm like his for their playoff run. The Mets are a game away from a World Series berth. If the Blue Jays and Cubs don't put something bordering on miraculous together it looks like there's gonna be a Royals - Mets World Series for 2015.

Closing things out (shoulda put Familia's card here; then that would have been a good pun) is this trio. Brad Peacock started one game for the Astros this year, then went on the DL with an intercostal strain. He could come back in 2016. Nelson Cruz was an All-Star for the Mariners this year, hitting 44 home runs and batting .302 on the season. Pretty good numbers. Josh Beckett's card shows the chipping and flaking that this year's parallels had, especially along the right edge there. Josh Beckett retired after his 2014 season was derailed by injury. He was in the Cy Young conversation in 2007 and a 3-time All-Star. He put up decent strikeout numbers for a starter throughout his career, so I had him on a few fantasy baseball rosters over time.

That does it for the Gold parallels from this batch of 2013 and 2014 Topps Mini baseball parallels. This is by far the longest of the four posts I've put together for these cards, as the Golds were the most numerous parallels in these sets.