Friday, April 28, 2017

dusty, paciorek, baylor, and the hulk

i'm trying to catch up with the 30-day baseball card challenge, so here are a couple more days worth of posts.

day 7 was supposed to feature a card you bought in person and the story behind it.  one of the many many many cards that fit that bill is this 1971 topps tom paciorek rookie card
shortly after i started collecting cards in 1978 - right after i completed the topps set from that year - i became a team collector trying to finish off the dodger team sets dating back to 1970.  it took me about 17 years to finish that task, with rich allen's 1971 topps card being the last one i obtained (things were much more difficult before the internet).  that in person purchase has a story that i've told before, so i'll talk about another tough card from 1971 instead.  we had one card shop in town when i started collecting.  then another popped up around 1984.  there was another shop about an hour away in santa barbara, but we didn't get there too often.  my dad took me to a couple of card shows, including the national in anaheim once, but this card was always either not in stock in any of those places, or it had a premium price because of dusty baker being a dodger fan favorite and don baylor being the american league mvp as an angel.  such was life living in socal.  the kicker was, i wanted the card because of the guy in the middle who was wasting away in seattle and later the south side of chicago.

when we would go on vacations, my parents would often drive my brother and i to comic and card shops, so long as we didn't complain too much about slogging through antique stores and cemeteries (my dad was researching genealogy stuff, again, this was before the internet).  anyway, sometime circa 1982, we were up visiting some relatives in san jose - giant territory - and my dad and i went to a card shop there.  i offered to pay $12 for the card which had no additional regional value to the guy behind the counter up in nocal, and the card was mine.  i stared at it all the way back to my cousins' house.  and then we went waterskiing.  the end.

actually, not the end, as i will add another day's card into this post.

day 8 was supposed to feature a card that reminds you of a family member.  the two cards that remind me most of family members are the 1966 topps jim lefebvre card, and the 1971 topps brooks robinson world series card.  i've written about both of those before (the lefebvre card was the subject of an early blog bat around post, and the robinson card was the first 'tatooine' card dubbed as such by my brother and i back in the late 70's), so i'll go with bill bonham's 1978 topps card
this card also reminds me of my brother, who had a slight allegiance to the reds back in the late 1970's.  as such, i would show him cards of reds that i pulled from the packs that i opened.  when i showed him the bonham card, he took it from me and said that bonham had 'hulk' hair.  he was right.  bonham's hair did resemble the wig that lou ferrigno wore on the cbs television series 'the incredible hulk'
which was airing at the time that this card was issued.  my brother went further into conspiracy theory mode, noting that bill bonham had the same initials as mild mannered scientist bruce banner, the hulk's alter-ego, who was played by another 'bb', bill bixby.  it was all very curious.  at any rate, we figured that we wouldn't like bill bonham when he's angry.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

well, that didn't take too long...

...but it would have been well worth the wait.
i suppose this also counts as my day 6 entry into the 30-day baseball card challenge, as it is most definitely a card i spent more than $10 to obtain.  very happy to have spent that money, too.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

30-day baseball card challenge, two more days at a time

i'm way behind on the 30-day baseball card challenge, so i'm going to combine a couple of days into this post.

day 4 was supposed to feature a rookie card of one of your favorite players.  there are a few players that could fit this bill, from the obvious to the more obscure.  to me, rookie cards are generally multi-player cards, so i decided to go with ron cey's 1972 topps card
as it is the first multi-player rookie card for any member of the infield of my youth.  another reason that i chose this card is that cey's inclusion on a multi-player rookie card in 1973 gets more attention than this, his true rookie card.  and then there is the text from topps that lists the penguin as an outfielder.  i used to take this as gospel, as bill russell was a converted outfielder and jim gilliam also worked his magic with garvey's move from third to first, so why not have the dodger third baseman of my youth be a transplant from another position?  besides, topps wouldn't mislead a young collector, would they? well, with baseball reference logging minor league position stats, i now see that cey appeared in a total of 3 minor league games as an outfielder.  what makes this more confusing on topps' part is that the card is not a 'rookie outfielders' card, just a 'rookie stars' card. curious.

day 5 was supposed to feature a certified autograph card of one of your favorite players, and for this one i chose a recent steve garvey pick-up for my collection.  it's a 2004 topps originals buyback autographed card - specifically his 1985 topps card - numbered to 129.
it's been broken out of its case (which included some stickers further identifying the set), but it does still have the hologram on the back
so we know it's legit.  i suppose i would have preferred to have this card still encased to match the others i have from this set, but it obviously wasn't a deal breaker. i also appreciate the fact that there is no mention of the padres' 1984 nl championship run on the back of the card.  no, it's still better to mention the batboy story and the junior high school than garvey's nlcs mvp performance or the first world series berth for the padres.

i'm really trying not to have this 30-day challenge turn into a bunch of garvey cards, so i'll try to mix it up a bit going forward.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

my favorite card, no contest (but really, a contest)

everyone's favorite darryl strawberry collector is running a contest - all you have to do is post about your favorite card of your favorite player (as long as that card is worth less than $15 - i'm looking at you, bob walk the plank guy).  for me, this is a no-brainer.  my favorite player is/was steve garvey, and my favorite card is his 1978 topps card.
i've written about this card quite a bit in the past, so i won't spend a lot of time on it here.  it's the first garvey card that i ever saw, ever coveted, and ever owned, and it has stood the test of time.  it is such a great card that it doesn't even matter that there is a big power line transmission pole in the background.

thanks for the contest peter!

Monday, April 17, 2017

building a custom 2016 panini prime cuts box of my own

i recently considered purchasing a box of 2016 panini prime cuts.  i've picked up several 2016 panini steve garvey cards and have been very happy with them.  adding to my enthusiasm was a series of posts by the daily dimwit, who returned to the blogosphere to show off some great pulls from the product.

before i pulled the trigger, however, i listened to the angel on my shoulder who reminded me that it's probably wiser to purchase singles from the product since my collection is fairly focused.  that voice also reminded me that fuji had done something similar a while back.  so, i set out to build a custom box.

there are five cards per box, but i didn't pay attention to the typical splits (if there are typical boxes of prime cuts), i just focused on five cards for less than $149.95.  that was the price i was considering paying for a box.  let's see how i did.

first up is a fairly generic eddie murray relic card, numbered to 149
it's always nice to see guys like murray featured as a dodger in products.  better that than as a met.  here, eddie is all bundled up in blue and gray and has his signature little league hat under the helmet thing going on.  we don't see that very often these days.  this card cost me $6.98 (all prices include shipping).

next up is a auto biography (fairly clever, panini) auto/relic card of don sutton
this card is numbered to 10, and pays tribute to sutton's rookie season of 1966 when he won 12 games and had an era of 2.99.  the photo is not from 1966 (sutton's hair was straight then), but it's a classic sutton action pose. too bad that the card design doesn't allow for a 'suttoning' pose.  i enjoy picking up cards of sutton, as he was the only hall of famer on the team of my youth, and has been featured in a bunch of recent sets from panini and topps.  this card cost me $17.50.

next up is another card numbered to 10 - a dual patch clayton kershaw and don drysdale card
that's two great pitchers that go great together.  obviously, sandy koufax is usually the southpaw to drysdale's, what, right-handedness?  eight years ago, i was kind of hoping that kershaw and chad billingsley would form the same sort of dodger duo, but the closest the dodgers have come to sandy and don is a year or two of kershaw and zack greinke.  this card cost me $43.00.  i probably overpaid for that one.

here's kershaw all by himself on a patch card numbered to 25
i didn't see any red number patch versions, unfortunately.  the photo selection for kershaw is about the best panini could do.  the hat logo is missing, but otherwise there are no tell-tale signs of the lacking license.  this card cost me $22.50.

last up is the big hit.  it's a corey seager dual relic/auto numbered to 49.
aside from the blank jersey (which i do still find annoying), it's an on-card auto with some jersey (or pant) piping of the 2016 national league rookie of the year.  good stuff.  this card cost me $46.67.

so, i came in at $136.65 for my five cards. there's no jackie robinson relic, but i would have been very pleased with a box that had those five cards.  and, since i was under my price point, i added a sixth card - a basic mike piazza relic numbered to 149
for $8.98.  that's not a bad box, if i do say so myself.

speaking of the daily dimwit, i won a contest he ran shortly after he showcased all that prime cuts goodness, and he sent me a few dodgers as my prize. thanks sam!

here's former dodger prospect grant holmes on a 2015 bowman's best auto card
i was hoping that holmes would be the second coming of don sutton - both on the mound and with the hair - but now he's with the a's and just getting his first taste of double-a action.

this is a 2016 topps adrian gonzalez scouting report relic card
this one features a gray swatch, and i also have a white swatch version. relic variation, yo!  by the way, the scouting report i'm thinking of has cody bellinger hot on gonzalez's tail.

finally, here's my friend yasiel puig on a 2016 topps allen & ginter relic card
i watched two of the first three dodger games this season, and i liked what i saw from puig. hopefully he can keep it up for another 150+ games.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

30-day baseball card challenge, a few days at a time

tony at off hiatus recently posted a 30-day baseball card challenge, similar to a blog bat around
tony used a photo of the brewers' former home, county stadium, as the backdrop for his list of 30 different posts.  i modified it to feature dodger stadium.  i've failed at the daily part of the challenge, but i like the idea.  here are the first 3 challenges all wrapped up into a single post.  i'll try not to show just dodger cards...

day 1 was supposed to feature a card from the current year with a photo you like.  easy.  here's a 2017 topps heritage dodger team card
it features a photo of charlie culberson celebrating his division winning walk-off home run last season in what was also vin scully's last home game.

day 2 was supposed to feature a card with more than one player on it. also easy. here's a 2001 topps devil rays team card
it's got a roster full of players on it, but most importantly, it features coach bill russell in the front row.  he's right about the ray, fifth from the left. i mentioned this card in my previous post.  2000 was the only year russell was on the major league coaching roster for tampa bay - he had spent 1999 managing their triple-a team, and then moved on to manage in the giants' minor league system in 2001.  davey lopes and dusty baker show up on a bunch of non-dodger team cards, too, and i've just begun putting them in my post-dodger player collections for each of those guys.

day 3 was supposed to feature a card from the first set you tried to complete. for me, that's 1978 topps.  just to be random, here's bob bailey's 1978 topps card.
bailey played for the dodgers in 1967 and 1968, and hit exactly .227 (73 for 322) both years.  that's one of my favorite statistical anomalies, and i only knew of it because, back in my day, complete career stats
were printed on the backs of topps baseball cards! bonus back of the card info: "beach" can be abbreviated as "b'ch".

Monday, April 10, 2017

rustlin' up a new russell

after bill russell was fired by the fox regime, he joined the tampa bay devil rays organization and managed their triple-a team in orlando in 1999.  i found a card of him serving in that role, and was happy and sad about it at the same time.  in 2000, russell was promoted to the major league coaching staff for the devil rays, and so is featured on their 2001 topps team card.  however, that is not the same as a solo card, so when i became aware that russell had a card in the 2001 shreveport swamp dragons team issue set, i hunted and watched and stalked and waited.  now, thanks to a comc seller, here is the last of the bill russell managerial cards:
here's the back, that drops the knowledge that the swamp dragons are an affiliate of the san francisco giants!
russell managed the swamp dragons for just that one season, and then began his current role as an mlb umpire observer in 2002.

i'm still on the hunt for russell's 1997 dodgers police card (i finally bought the team set, but would like another russell for the pc), but this card puts a capper on his uniformed career.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuc and the cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuup

a couple of months ago, brian at hsca showed off his stanley cup on a card collection.  a long time ago, i showed a card featuring lord stanley's cup that is no longer in my collection.  i noted in that post that i  considered holding on to the stevens card because of its greatness, but in the end it went to calgary and is hopefully resting comfortably in captain canuck's collection.

when i saw brian's post, i was moved to scan two of the ten or so cards that show the cup in my collection, and send the rest to brian (minus one or two that might be headed elsewhere).  the two i scanned will remain in my collection until i'm gone.  that's because they feature my favorite hockey player and the subject of the lone hockey player collection i've kept - luc robitaille.

here's the first one:
that's a 2012-13 upper deck black diamond championship rings card, and it features robitaile as a king (sort of) celebrating their first cup win ever.  of course, luc was in the front office by then.  i was sure that he was going to win a cup back in 1993 (i didn't make it to a stanley cup final game that year, but did attend game 3 of the campbell conference finals) but there was stickgate and three straight overtime losses, and robitaille never got back to the finals as a king.

now, i don't recall if game 7 of the 1994 finals ever came to a finish in the film 'sudden death', but i do recall luc (in his pittsburgh penguin days) scoring the game-tying goal to send the game into overtime and give jean claude van damme the time he needed to defuse some bombs and save the day.  in all seriousness, luc did not win a cup with the penguins or rangers, but he did win in detroit, and i have a card to prove it.
that's a 2010-11 certified champions card marking the red wings' 2002 championship, as well as the first time robitaille ever touched the cup.  i remember watching the deciding games in both the 2002 and 2012 finals and then waiting for the cup to be passed to luc. it didn't take long in '02 - steve yzerman gave it to scotty bowman, and then to domink hasek, and then it was robitaille's turn.  and that's when it got pretty dusty in the room. in 2012, it took a while longer for the cup to get to luc, but it was still a great moment.

the 2017 stanley cup playoffs start next week, and even though the kings didn't make the cut, i'll probably keep an eye on the wild.  although i am no longer as avid a hockey fan as i was growing up (and i was an avid one, thanks to canadian parents) and into the late 1990's, i've always perked up a bit during the playoffs.  playoff hockey is the best, and i'm hoping that the finals go to overtime in game 7.

Monday, April 3, 2017

is this heaven?

no. it's dodger stadium. and, since today was the dodgers' home opener, let's see some cards featuring dodger stadium.

chavez ravine hosted a stadium series hockey game between the ducks and the kings a couple of years ago, and i was able to track down some cards that show dodger stadium in the background.  unfortunately, they were all ducks cards.  i was a pretty big kings fan, even prior to the gretzky era, and attended several games (including the 1980 all-star game) at the fabulous forum in inglewood.  it would have been a trip to see hockey at dodger stadium.  anyway, here are the cards - a 2014-15 upper deck canvas cam fowler card
baseball, hockey, and soccer all represented.  also, seeing the fan in the number 11 kings sweater made me think of charlie simmer and mike donnelly.  i don't know who wears 11 for the kings these days.

here's jakob silfverberg on a 2014-15 upper deck card
i was about as young as his kid when i first visited dodger stadium.

finally, here's ryan getzlaf
walking with every level of seating visible behind him.

dodger stadium recently hosted the wbc semi-finals and finals, and i decided to pick up the topps now cards from those games, too.  i followed through with my decision, although there were a couple of cards i did not buy.  those won't make it to me for a while, so i'll show them later.  in the meantime, here are some more dodger stadium cards i've obtained recently.

1989 woolworth's rick honeycutt
the current dodger pitching coach is seen here throwing in game 2 of the 1988 world series.  he retired all three dodgers he faced, two by strikeout, but orel hershiser and the dodgers still won the game 6-0.  honeycutt picked up the win in game 3 in oakland (which is the reason he is featured in this set), but i'm glad topps used a photo from a game in dodger stadium.

i also picked up this 1993 cracker jack prize card featuring my favorite stadium
complete with team trivia and an appearance by the garv.
poor hank webb. they had to pick someone so obviously not in the hall of fame that they went with a guy who spent all but 5 games of his career with the mets.  still, webb was a member of the 1977 dodger team, and so he is a respected member of the franchise on my blogs.

oscar at all trade bait all the time also sent over some dodger stadium cards for my collection.

2000 upper deck angel pena
i miss the old light bulb field level scoreboards.

2012 bowman ted lilly
which is not as nice as his 2013 topps card (this being the target red parallel version)
nick punto's 2013 topps update card (also the target red parallel version)
includes a nice double play turn and the always welcome union 76 logo ball.

it doesn't snow in la, but there's snow on josh reddick's 2016 topps holiday card
this photo must be from early in the game as there are a lot of empty seats.

last but not least, here's a 1987 donruss ron darling card
with the left field pavilion and its distinctive awning nicely matching the mets' color scheme.

thanks oscar for being on the lookout for dodger stadium!

Friday, March 31, 2017

does this look like a final tribute?

what is this?
it sure looks like the back of a 1989 topps baseball card with steve carlton's complete career stats, including his horrendous numbers with the defending world champion 1988 minnesota twins.  much to my chagrin (because i am a big fan and collector of 'final tribute' cards) all of the card manufacturers whiffed on carlton in 1989. or so i thought.

here's the complete back of the card in question:
yes, topps did make a card of lefty in 1989, but they did not feature him as a twin.  rather, the front shows him as a cardinal, as he was in 1967
still, the card meets the criteria i have laid out - issued the year following his final season, and with his complete career stats on the back.  i will happily add this card to my final tribute binder.

now for a more traditional final tribute - one that i was surprised to find missing from my binder recently.  that would be the 1975 topps ron santo card
that is strange for a couple of reasons right off the bat.  his complete stats on the back are marred by that last line that seems out of place
but the card fits right in with my final tribute collection.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

another update (and highlight) to my topps dodger autograph project

no sooner had i posted an update to my topps dodger autograph project (hat tip to the lost collector who inspired me to do this a few years ago with his similar yankees endeavor - here is his latest update) than i received a couple more new cards to add to the tally.  in a nutshell, the project was an attempt to have a card from each topps flagship sent signed (for free, ideally) without repeating a player.

i haven't considered traded or update sets crucial to the success of the project, but if i have them, i add them to the list.  mark hendrickson signed and returned his 2006 topps update & highlights card
which featured that florida fog that was on a lot of tampa bay devil ray cards in '06.

fast forward 10 years later, and topps put out another card with some fog on it (although manufactured weather this time).  
as you can see, mike bolsinger signed and returned his 2016 topps update card. i sent it to him c/o the blue jays' spring training home.

the biggest add, or actually update, to my project was sending out and getting back this 1954 topps card
i had previously paid for my 1954 topps entry (billy herman), but finally got around to sending a request to thompson. he flew under my radar until a year or two ago when i saw a success pop up on sports card forum with a scan of his card attached.

there's no chance of replacing the 1951 topps on the list below, but i did finally come to my senses and pick up a second 1955 topps ed roebuck to send for a ttm try.  if successful, i'll make roebuck my 1955 entry and move don zimmer to 1963, since the gerbil signed that card for me gratis.  stay tuned on that one...

here's the updated tally of the project:

1951 topps - preacher roe (purchased)
1952 topps - rocky bridges
1953 topps - bobby morgan
1954 topps - billy herman (purchased) charlie thompson
1955 topps - don zimmer (purchased)
1956 topps - randy jackson
1957 topps - carl erskine
1958 topps - joe pignatano
1959 topps - fred kipp
1960 topps - chuck essegian
1961 topps - bob aspromonte
1962 topps - norm sherry
1963 topps - ed roebuck
1964 topps - ken mcmullen
1965 topps - dick tracewski
1966 topps - john kennedy
1967 topps - phil regan
1968 topps - jim campanis
1969 topps - jeff torborg
1970 topps - al mcbean
1971 topps - sandy vance
1972 topps - manny mota
1973 topps - wes parker
1974 topps - claude osteen
1974 topps traded - jim wynn
1975 topps - ron cey
1975 topps mini - joe ferguson
1976 topps - bill russell
1976 topps traded - dusty baker
1977 topps - steve garvey
1978 topps - dave lopes
1979 topps - charlie hough
1980 topps - jerry reuss
1981 topps - doug rau
1981 topps traded - ken landreaux
1982 topps - dave goltz
1982 topps traded - jose morales
1983 topps - ron roenicke
1983 topps traded - rafael landestoy
1984 topps - fernando valenzuela
1984 topps traded - mike vail
1985 topps - burt hooton
1985 topps traded - mariano duncan
1986 topps - enos cabell
1986 topps traded - franklin stubbs
1987 topps - steve sax
1987 topps traded - matt young
1988 topps - len matuszek
1988 topps traded - jay howell
1989 topps - mickey hatcher
1990 topps - kal daniels
1990 topps traded - juan samuel
1991 topps - tim belcher
1992 topps - roger mcdowell
1993 topps - dave hansen
1993 topps traded - tim wallach
1994 topps - jody reed
1995 topps - chris gwynn
1996 topps - todd hollandsworth
1997 topps - brett butler
1998 topps - greg gagne
1999 topps - jose vizcaino
2000 topps - jeff shaw
2001 topps - chan ho park
2002 topps - andy ashby
2002 topps traded - joel hanrahan
2003 topps - jim tracy
2003 topps traded - ron coomer
2004 topps - edwin jackson
2004 topps traded - milton bradley
2005 topps - chad billingsley
2005 topps update & highlights - jason phillips
2006 topps - bill mueller
2006 topps update & highlights - mark hendrickson
2007 topps - james loney
2007 topps update & highlights - andy laroche
2008 topps - delwyn young
2008 topps update & highlights - casey blake
2009 topps - matt kemp
2009 topps update & highlights - brad ausmus
2010 topps - juan pierre
2010 topps update & highlights - ronnie belliard
2011 topps - hong-chih kuo
2011 topps update & highlights - matt guerrier
2012 topps - nathan eovaldi
2012 topps update & highlights - matt treanor
2013 topps - randy choate
2013 topps update - clayton kershaw
2014 topps - ricky nolasco
2014 topps update - scott van slyke
2015 topps update - brett anderson
2016 topps update - mike bolsinger

as always, thanks to these players who sign through the mail.  i'm still hoping that one of the 2015 and 2016 flagship cards i've sent out will make their way back to me.

Monday, March 27, 2017

here's to you, mr. robinson

so, i've sent out a few ttm requests over the past couple of months - mostly having to do with my attempt to get 1978 topps team cards and set checklists signed - and i've had some good success.  i'll show more signed cards i've received lately in a future post, but there was one success that i had to showcase sooner rather than later:
i had noticed some successes popping up with brooks robinson, and so i gave it a shot.  it took only about a week with no fee! simply awesome.

sadly, this is the only card brooks robinson had in the 1978 topps set, and it doesn't come close to qualifying as a final tribute, but it's been an important card for me as a fan of the game.  i've liked robinson for a few reasons, even though he retired just as i began following the game.  first, there is the name.  i think that a 'plural' first name is unique and cool, and one of the reasons that i also have an affinity for rogers hornsby. second, it was his 1971 topps world series card that launched my tatooine mini collection in 1978 when my brother and i saw it in our local card and comic shop.  third, buying packs in 1978, i saw this card and immediately wanted to know more about robinson's career, and as an extension, baseball's past.

this card helped me understand that there was history to be appreciated with the game of baseball.  of course, when i asked my dad about robinson, he started with the 1966 world series which made me like brooks a little less.

this was an awesome success, and i am very happy to have this card signed in my collection.  thanks brooks!

Friday, March 24, 2017

a pared down 2016 topps flagship vs. dodger team set comparison

i used to do a post each year comparing dodger cards from the topps flagship and team factory sets. i didn't do that last year, and in fact, just recently picked up the 2016 topps dodger 17 card set.

the factory sets had lost their luster for me after a couple of years without a stadium card or manager card, and just one or two photo variants.  however, the price i paid for the 2016 set was low enought where i figured it made sense to pick it up and have another corey seager rookie card in my collection.

i decided not to compare every card as most are the same between the two sets.  instead, i'll just show the ones that are different.  i will list the full checklist, however, starting with

lad-1 clayton kershaw
lad-2 carl crawford
lad-3 joc pederson

flagship (on the left) identified joc as a 'future star', while the team set just lets him be.  the result is a differently cropped photo.

lad-4 yasmani grandal
see what i wrote about joc? ditto for grandal.

lad-5 adrian gonzalez
lad-6 frankie montas
so here's a decent variation. for flagship, topps photoshopped montas from white sox duds (in detroit, i believe) into the dodger, um, home grays? at least they got the red number in there.  for the factory set, topps used a photo from the same game, but correctly photoshopped 'los angeles' text onto the gray jersey and added the pant piping. but then forgot about the red number.  as it turns out, montas never pitched in the bigs for the dodgers due to injury and then on account of his being traded to the a's in the rich hill deal.

lad-7 chase utley
lad-8 corey seager
lad-9 justin turner
lad-10 andre ethier
lad-11 yasiel puig
lad-12 hyun-jin ryu
lad-13 kenley jansen
lad-14 brett anderson
lad-15 scott kazmir
kazmir's flagship card came along in series 2, with a photo of him from spring training wearing the 'd' hat.  topps couldn't wait for that photo for the factory set, so they photoshopped him into the away uniform, but without the red number.

lad-16 alex wood
lad-17 scott van slyke

and that's it.  four variations, but really only two.  it would be great if topps went back to adding a unique player or subject to the factory set, like dodger stadium or dave roberts or even farmer john.  unfortunately, i took a look at the checklist for the 2017 factory set, and it's similar to this one.  and, with no free agent additions as part of the checklist, i'm guessing there won't be any variations.  i'm not sure that will be enough to keep me away, however, so stay tuned...