Wednesday, March 01, 2023

2023 Topps team runs completed

One of the loose card projects I work on is trying to get a flagship Topps card from all the MLB teams over the past 45 years - that may only run from 1978 onward, but I'm looking at over 40 years and it's a perpetual work in progress to fill holes, where I would like to get all the cards I need.

When opening a Topps flagship blaster in previous year, maybe I wanted to be able to complete a current year run within that one box - but the choices in-hand don't always end up inspiring and I might have held off on a team spot in case there was a card in Series 2 I wanted to use or maybe a Series 1 card I didn't pull.

I had a hobby box of Topps Series 1 to work with this year and except for potential Series 2 cards - I wouldn't have a problem finishing off this year's run.

Best players or seat fillers [?] - I don’t want to always use the more obvious stars or superstars, where a personal rule is only being able to use a player three times for a team's entire run.

I want to highlight either a breakout or underrated player and in most cases, will defer to using notable players - especially if they were the story for a particular year and I have the card for them.

Considering considering cards for my Topps team runs collection - maybe the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks left me wondering if I actually had the cards to pick from.

I could have used a Michael Harris RC for the Braves - but that is going into my award winners collection, where it's my first card of the 2022 National League Rookie of the Year.

I ended up going with a card of Raisel Iglesias - who hasn't really been a Braves' player for that long, but might be counted on to be the team's closer this upcoming season.

I could have used an Adley Rutschman (RC) for the Orioles, but I want to keep that card around as a 'single' or maybe a binder material centerpiece - even though there are probably a million of the cards printed where it's worth $5 rather than $25.

For the Orioles, I ended up using the rookie card of Gunnar Henderson - maybe it's a little fast forward thinking, where he hasn't done anything yet, but Henderson is the No.1 prospect in the game and his rookie teases a nice 'dirt fetish' at-bat shot.

For the Diamondbacks, I didn't want to use another Merrill Kelly or Ketel Marte, so I went with Josh Rojas - not quite an inspiring player, but he had a decent year in 2022.

#17 Shohei Ohtani - Angels
#181 Yordan Alvarez - Astros
#153 Kevin Gausman - Blue Jays
#115 Raisel Iglesias - Braves
#60 Josh Rojas - Diamondbacks
#257 Yadiel Hernandez - Expos / Nationals
#262 Camilo Doval - Giants
#116 Steven Kwan - Indians / Guardians
#330 Julio Rodriguez - Mariners
#206 Gunnar Henderson - Orioles
#279 Yu Darvish - Padres
#314 Ke'Bryan Hayes - Pirates
#124 Nathaniel Lowe - Rangers
#227 Yandy Diaz - Rays
#11 Rafael Devers - Red Sox
#33 Kyle Farmer - Reds
#122 Yonathan Daza - Rockies
#7 Bobby Witt Jr. - Royals
#62 Aaron Judge - Yankees
#6 Paul Blackburn - Athletics
#109 Eric Lauer - Brewers
#5 Albert Pujols - Cardinals
#54 Marcus Stroman - Cubs
#50 Mookie Betts - Dodgers
#107 Sandy Alcantara - Marlins
#21 Max Scherzer - Mets
#293 J.T. Realmuto - Phillies
#74 Tarik Skubal - Tigers
#25 Byron Buxton - Twins
#132 Gavin Sheets - White Sox; #53 Dylan Cease - White Sox

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