On twitter I joined a discussion with Mike, and Frank on perceived under the radar guys – players who are great at their job but don’t get the national attention they deserve. Where if they were on the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, etc., they would have endorsement deals with all the major brands, be on the cover of sports games and card boxes, etc. Established players so, not your Aaron Judge, Rhys Hopkins, Andrew Benintendi types.
It’s far from a conclusion but we agreed that Jose Abreu, Nolan Arenado, Ian Happ, Jose Altuve would be far more popular if they were on either of the coasts. I had a similar question for Topps at the National. I’d noticed a trend with their releases this year that the Twins were getting stiffed. For example, in the base set of Museum Collection there’s no Twins. In Bowman, outside of the prospects ‘insert’ set, there’s no Twins – something that hasn’t happened since the first release of Bowman in 1948! I just don’t see how in for example a 100 card set, with the 30 MLB teams any of them get 0. Sure, mistakes happen but routinely canning teams on the midwest? I’ll get off my soapbox, but if I wanted to spend money with them, Panini’s looking greener and greener for this collector. Their response was essentially that that’s an area we need to work on. Pfft.
Meanwhile Topps is hosting a contest on their website to decide who will end up #1 in next year’s Series One. I saw it when Ryan posted it shared it – among the candidates were Jose Altuve, Nolan Arenado, Kris Bryant, Miguel Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Aaron Judge, Clayton Kershaw, Francisco Lindor, Buster Posey, Chris Sale, Giancarlo Stanton, Mike Trout, and Adrian Beltre. A few players that would fall into the original conversation, but several of the usual suspects – Cubs, Yankees, Red Sox, etc. I’m all for Ryan’s idea, using the write-in ballot to vote for Bartolo Colon. Not only because that would guarantee at least one Twins card in Series One and Ryan gets another Ex-Expos card to collect, but to spite the major market teams. :D.
It’s not quite ready, but I’ve put together a spreadsheet with everything Topps has released this year. Base, inserts, hits, the whole shebang. Originally it was just the base sets, but since they provide everything on their checklists, what’s the harm? I’ll have that post out soon – seeing which TEAMS get undervalued and yes, I did the math. ;).
2014 Bowman Ryan Eades black printing plate.
Edit: Yes, in fairness, I do intend to create a 2017 spreadsheet for Panini as well.