Sunday, November 22, 2020

Finishing my Topps Rays team sets and some questions

It’s funny how things are working in the world right now. I got a nice bonus check from work and I was hoping to try to knock out some of my Rays team sets. I quickly started searching on COMC, and was able to find everything except for a 2000 Topps Traded Greg Vaughn, a 2008 Topps HR leaders Carlos Pena, and most of the 2020 Topps Update set. I didn’t know how long it would take for any 2020 Update cards to hit COMC, and judging by the prices I saw on the Randy Arozarena card (6 bucks plus), I decided to get the Update set as well as the 2 previously mentioned cards, on eBay. 
I found a team set for 8 bucks, which I thought was a good price for having the Randy A. card in it. The other 2 cards I got for like a buck each. I placed my shipment request for the COMC order maybe a day after the eBay orders, and while the COMC cards will be there around March 3, 2021, the eBay cards, as you can see, already made it to my doorstep. 
All of this (mainly the COMC order) leads me to a few questions. First, what do you think the reason for all of the COMC delays?  Are there way more orders than normal?  Are they understaffed?  Is it a combination of both?  Are the idiot millennial flippers going to COMC now to support their “jobs” of buying out every card and selling it for profit?  Is COMC just being cautious and doing a ton of sanitizing?  I just would like to know the reason behind the shipping issues. I’m ok with waiting. It will kind of make the order in March a nice surprise. 
It also gives me another predicament. If the cards don’t arrive until March of next year, I figure 2021 Topps will be out, making my Topps Rays run incomplete. While I hope I will be able to find some packs at retail stores, judging by how idiots have been scooping them up before they even come off of the delivery trucks, we may not even see the cards. I’m a little pessimistic about the whole COVID thing. I think whoever ends up running the country in January, they need to make some changes in how we handle it, perhaps coming up with a different way to get rid of it. Here is a short theory on how to do it. If you don’t care, just skip to the next paragraph. 
I think instead of a stimulus check, each person in the US needs to first register with the government. After registering, they will get 4 weeks worth of food, any medicine/sanitation supplies, and essentials in place of a stimulus check. Once all of the food/etc. are distributed, the country needs to go into a 3-4 week lockdown, with only emergency services, police, and maybe a handful of news stations open. Perhaps have other places like power companies on call in case of emergencies. I.E., the more places not open, the better. Hopefully, everyone will stay in and not co-mingle in places like apartment complexes or neighborhoods. I think this would give us a hell of a chance to get rid of the virus. After the last day of lockdown, everyone gets rapid  tested for COVID. Anyone coming back negative gets another stimulus check. Anyone testing positive will not get a check, and immediately put into quarantine at a local hospital, which will hopefully have room due to the virus hopefully being eliminated. A little harsh, but do we really want to put up with years more of this $hit, or just have 3-4 weeks of being at home, and then a normal life again. 
Back to the 2021 Topps situation, if we still have COVID in March, I’m sure the cards won’t see much time on the shelves. I could probably get the team set on eBay, but I just love the thrill of getting cards right after they are released. These low down $hitheads that hoard the cards are taking that away from us. 
I also wonder if this would lead Topps to overproduce the cards. Nobody would really be able to tell with the non-numbered inserts, so the only way people would really be able to tell is with perhaps the 1 per box numbered inserts. Topps would just have to make enough of them that people would still pull them 1 per box, but not too many that people would figure out that they were overproduced. The only potential for worry would be if these low-numbered cards would appear on eBay and 2 of the same number would be discovered. I'm actually ok with Topps overproducing.  I would still pull whatever I pull, not anything earth-shattering, but that's ok. I don't sell my cards. It would probably thwart these flippers because after everyone discovers that Topps overproduced 2021 Series 1, the cards would lose value. We would find the cards on the shelves, the flippers would find something else to do, MLB would probably slap Topps on the wrist and allow Upper Deck/Donruss to produce cards with logos to punish them, and everyone would win. Topps would probably shrink their production back to normal, and perhaps we would get our hobby back. 
I am almost done with the Detroit Tigers in my 1992 Topps Traded custom set, and although I would like to finish the set by the end of the year, I don't think it will be possible. Work is insane, but you don't want to hear me whine about that. I'm working on some trade packages to sent out. Hopefully I'll get them done withing the next 2 weeks. I don't know if the shipping will be as fast as the stuff I got from eBay, but I'm sure they will be shipped before my COMC order gets here.
What are your opinions on why the COMC shipping issues? Do you have any theories on if we will get our hands on 2021 Topps?
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Friday, November 6, 2020

New additions


Just wanted to post some of the latest card pickups from various different sources. A little over a week ago, I got a surprise box of cards from Kerry of the Cards on Cards blog. 
Kerry sent me a ton of Tigers cards that were on my wantlist, and helped me complete a number of team sets. 
A number of the cards replaced cards that I've gotten autographed that were sold about 5 years ago, including the 1988 Topps Johnny Grubb, 1988 Topps Matt Nokes All-Star, 1989 Bowman Frank Tanana, 1989 Donruss Ted Power, 1989 Fleer Jim Walewander, 1989 Score Larry Herndon, 1989 Topps Steve Searcy, and 1989 Topps Jim Walewander. 
Others were cards that I have already obtained, but were part of my Favorite Player binder. Guys like Cecil Fielder, Phil Clark, Brandon Inge, and in the Rays portion Quinton McCracken, Aubrey Huff, and Elliot Johnson. 
There were a number of cards from sets that I didn't have many cards of, including '93 Upper Deck, '94 Donruss, '96 Stadium Club, '97 Bowman, and '97 Stadium Club. 
Even some cards from the years when I heavily collected ('00-'06, and '10-'11) helped fill in holes in my wantlist. 
For the years where I didn’t open very many packs at all (‘12-‘14), I was lucky enough to get a number of cards to help me out. 

The last time Kerry sent me cards, it had a ton of Rays, and this batch also had some Rays. The ‘06 Topps Huff was especially appreciate, as it helped me complete that set. 
I haven’t seen much of any 2020 product on store shelves, so I am glad that Kerry participated in a lot of group breaks and gets Rays cards from time to time. All of the recent sets were either ones I haven’t opened packs of or even seen packs in the wild (Bowman Sterling and Archives), or ones I was lucky enough to get a hanging box of before shelves went dry (Stadium Club and Series 2). I’ve never been a fan of manufactured relics, but that McKay card is sweet. 
The guys for my Favorite Player binders finish off Kerry’s box. I love the 1990 Upper Deck Cecil Fielder as it almost completes my run of 1990 Cecil Fielder cards. I have his 1990 Bowman, Donruss Best, Topps Traded, and now Upper Deck cards. Don’t know if Fleer Update or Score Traded have him in their sets, but if they do, they shouldn’t be too difficult to pick up. I’m going to try to place an order of COMC during the Black Friday sale and try to finish off my run of Topps Rays sets. I really don’t care that it will take months to ship. It’s to be expected with things the way they are, and it will just give me something to look forward to 6 months down the road. 

Next up are 2 pics of new cards of players I collect. A few of these are newer guys. Basilio Cabrera was a longtime Tigers minor league coach who I’ve met several times, and Kohl Stewart is a Type 1 diabetic like me. I forgot to pull the Gregg Olson no-hitter card from my highlights binder, so that is a new one. 
The Stadium Club cards came from 2 boxes of ‘94 Stadium Club which I recently purchased. The idea was for me to have my son open the packs and the cards would go in my collection, but my wife thought these could be the start to his collection, so we agreed that if he got any doubles, I could have them. Well, it turns out that every pack from Series 1 contained 2 doubles each, so I ended up with a halfway decent stack of cards. The Series 2 box wasn’t as bad. We have had the boxes for a little over a month and there are still about a dozen packs left. The suspense is killing me. So far, he’s pulled a Matt Nokes 1st Day Issue from Series 1, 2 Dugout Dirt Mike Piazzas (do you need one, Night Owl?), Golden Rainbows of Barry Bonds, Piazza, and Cal Ripken, Jr., and Bowman Previews of Ricky Bottalico and Cliff Floyd. I’m still hoping for a 1st Day Issue from Series 2, and a Super Team card from Series 1. I got lucky, and he pulled doubles of Orel Hershiser and Rafael Bournigal, a guy who once drove me home from the YMCA, took a picture with me, and signed some cards for me. 

Ryan Yarbrough is the newest addition to my Favorite Player binder. I somehow didn’t realize he was born in Lakeland, FL, which is where I’ve lived from 1990-2006, and 2009-2012. It means I need to add his 2018-2020 cards to finish my Rays Topps team sets, but I’ve found an extra 2019 card, and I may have another 2018 with my rookie cards. 

This last photo is just some cards that I picked up at my LCS yesterday. Every time I’ve went I wear a mask and wash my hand and I feel pretty safe since I’m usually the only one there. They had a box with some newer cards for 50 cents each. I would be more comfortable paying 10-25 cents each, but with how hard it’s been to find cards, I think 50 might be a steal. The owner of the shop told me that some of these idiot millennial flippers actually know the delivery drivers and call them before they get to the store, so they don’t even get stocked on the shelves and they are gone. There’s a special place in you-know-where for people like that. Leave some for the rest of us. 

Anyways, I just got some shiny cards of Rays, Tigers, and guys I collect. I found a Randy A. Chrome card, so I immediately scooped it up. If I would’ve had more one, I would’ve spent a few hours going through the 3 boxes they had looking for refractors. I’m sure I could’ve found one of Randy A. and probably other stats. There was also a ‘17 Addison Russell World Series highlight card that I will add to my highlight binder. They do these 20-card mystery packs that contain a relic or autograph, so I got one of them. They usually contain junk wax for the rest, but I did get that Diamond Skills Cecil Fielder card. The hit I got was a Kaz Sasaki relic, which is good. Sasaki was a good pitcher and I wonder what would’ve happened had he stayed in the states past 2002. I’m glad I pulled a relic of him. I love relic cards, so I’d be happy if you want to dump some on me. 

If you didn’t know, the 2020 Topps Update checklist is out. I went ahead and updated my 2020 Topps page, and the 2020 Topps and 2020 Topps Update missing player checklists are now complete. I’ve also started adding a few more cards to the 2021 Topps missing player checklist, including some new managers like AJ Hinch and Tony LaRussa, and a few playoff and season highlights cards. 
As far as customs, I still haven’t finished the NL in my 1992 Topps Traded set due to working on the ‘20 checklists, but I’m only 7 cards away, so if all goes well, the NL should be finished by the end of next week. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Missing Topps Kevin Kennedy cards

 I shall not speak of the game last night other than to say Congrats, Night Owl, GCRL, etc. 

Yesterday I recieved an email from a reader kind of asking me how I made the cards and templates and saying that he used to work with Kevin Kennedy. I told him my process of doing things, and shared a story I had about Kevin, and that evolved into me trying to finish Kevin's career Topps run.

First, the story. Back when Kevin was broadcasting for the Rays, I had went to a Rays game and brought his 1993 Topps card along with me. I pulled the card out of a pack way back in 1993, and had sent it to Jim Riggleman, and Riggleman sent it back signed. I had hoped to get Kevin to sign it and get it finished. At this point in my life, I went to 3-4 Rays games a year, and the only time I had got any of their broadcasters who had baseball cards was during their fan fest in February. Missed out on Joe Magrane, Brian Anderson, Orestes Destrade, and others. After the game that I went to, I saw Kevin walking to his car, and was able to call him over, and he signed his card for me, no problem. It was nice to get the card completed, but even better to finally get a broadcaster to sign something after a game. 

Now, the cards. Kevin played minor league ball, and never got to the Majors, except for a call-up with the Orioles. He broke his foot, and was unable to play, so never made it in a game. He got his first Major League coaching/managing action in 1992 with the Expos as a bench coach, and was named manager of the Rangers for the 1993 season. He managed them in 1994 before getting the boot, and then was hired by the Red Sox to manage them in 1995. He led them to the playoffs in 1995, and spent his last season in the Majors in 1996 with them. 

The only Topps card Kevin recieved was the 1993 Topps card with Riggleman. 
That leaves a 1992 Topps Traded, 1993 Topps (Expos), 1994 Topps, 1995 Topps, 1995 Topps Traded (Red Sox), 1996 Topps, and 1997 Topps card to complete his career Topps run, and possibly a 1978 Topps Prospects card just for good measure picturing him as an Oriole.  Let's see what I came up with.

1978 Topps Rookie
1992 Topps Traded
1993 Topps

1994 Topps

1995 Topps
1995 Topps Traded

1996 Topps

1997 Topps

I believe the 1997 Topps card is one that one of the guys on the FB Custom Cards page, Richard, did for me, I just worked a little bit on the lettering. 

So there you have it, all of the Kevin Kennedy cards that Topps missed. 

Since Kevin's managing days, he does podcasts and videos on his website, and even manages OOTP baseball games (I haven't played in ages, need to start back up). He is also on Twitter

I'll be spending the next few days licking my wounds from the Game 6 loss, organizing my Rays binders, setting up billions of cookies at work for a sale, and probably try to mow the lawn tomorrow. If things go really well, maybe I'll get close to finishing the missing NL cards in my 1992 Topps Traded set by then. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Game 5 misery and Randy A.

 Well, the Rays blew a chance with runners on 1st and 3rd with no out, and are now behind 3 games to 2 in the World Series. Being a fan of teams that have always let me down in the finals since I’ve been alive (Detroit Tigers 06 and 10, Rays 08, Auburn 13), I’m not expecting much. In fact, I would rather have them just bow out in Game 6 rather than winning it and then dropping the Series in 7. Things may somehow work out, but I’m just preparing for disappointment since it’s all I’ve really known other than the Braves winning in ‘95 when I rooted for them, FSU’s football championship in 1999 when I rooted for them, Auburn’s title in 2010, and the Lightning (2004 and 2020) and Bucs titles (2003). With the Rays being the team I have rooted for and stuck by the longest other than Detroit, I just really want them to join the club because I know they probably won’t have a chance for a while. 

I say this because there are just too many up and coming teams and current juggernauts that underperformed in 2020. The Yankees, Dodgers, and Braves are my favorites to win it all in 2021. The Blue Jays, Padres, Phillies, and White Sox are just going to be better. The A’s, Angels, Twins, Indians, Marlins, Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers,  and probably Astros are all going to be in the hunt as well. Throw in a sleeper team or two, and I just don’t think the Rays are going to get through the postseason in 2021 like they did this year. They might lose Charlie Morton as a free agent, they probably aren’t going to sign a big bat or frontline starter, and I just don’t think they are going to perform at their peak like they did in 2020. I might be pessimistic, but I really think if Tampa doesn’t pull it off, Detroit will win a title first. Mark my words. 

I guess while the Rays are still alive it’s a good a time as any to show off my Randy Arozarena cards. He was acquired in a trade last year, and hasn’t stopped hitting. 

The first 3 cards I pulled out of packs, and the Gypsy Queen was sent as part of a trade. The Red Stadium Club card was pulled from a hanging box my wife got me about 2 months ago. When I pulled it, I knew Randy was starting to come up with some clutch hits for the Rays, but never dreamed he would be like the newest Robert Lewis and have his cards skyrocket in price. Too bad he is a Ray. Topps will probably still only give him just a base card in 2021. 
I haven’t given up all hope on the Rays. I remember I had given up on Arizona in 2001, and they scored like 16 runs in Game 6, and Luis Gonzalez walked Rivera off in Game 7, so there is hope. I just don’t want to get heartbroken again. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post. Go Rays!


Monday, October 19, 2020

Top 5 Rays moments

 Although my Rays scared me this past week, they finally got their act together and beat the evil Astros in Game 7 of the ALCS, to advance to their 2nd World Series, and first since 2012. I really like how this team is looking. I am a little scared that we have to face the Dodgers, but with Kershaw pitching Game 1, it may not be too hard to envision them winning the first one, perhaps getting a 2-0 lead, and who knows what could happen after that. Anything can happen. 

To celebrate their AL Championship, I’m going to list my personal top 5 moments in Rays history and try to post cards or customs with them. These rankings will hopefully change after a week and a half, and I will have a new #1....

5. First ever game, 3-31-98 
I was so excited to see Tampa Bay get a professional baseball franchise, and I spent 1996 through 1998 wishing time would pass, and finally the expansion draft came in November ‘97, and the Rays played their first game on March 31, 1998. I watched the game live and also recorded it on a VHS, and saw Davey Martinez get our first hit, the gimmick signing Wade Boggs get our first Home Run, and unfortunately, they lost to the Tigers, but that didn’t matter because that game meant the beginning of the Rays in Tampa. 

4. Manuel Margot’s putout to send the Rays to the 2020 World Series

Even though Game 7 of the ALCS ended not even 24 hours before I made this custom, I wasn't able to find a picture of Manuel Margot catching the final out of the game. MLB and ESPN and the powers that be hate the Rays, and were hoping the Yankees would beat them ever since the playoff brackets were set. Don't believe me? Here is a screenshot for all of the headlines on from my phone on Saturday afternoon.  

Nothing about the Rays, just crap about the (cheatin') Houston Astros. I would love for the Rays to win the World Series for nothing more than for Topps to have to put out a Rays World Series team set and put playoff cards of them in Heritage.   
Back to the moment, this was huge for me, just because it hasn't happened since 2008, and this was the first time the Rays have been in the World Series with my son being alive.

3. Dan Johnson’s HR of Rivera, Game 162, 2011
Dan Johnson hit a 2-run HR with 2 outs in the 9th in the last game of the year made it possible for Evan Longoria to win the game in extras to send the Rays to the playoffs. 

2. Evan Longoria’s walkoff HR in Game 162, 2011
I was working overnight when it happened, so it was kind of crazy. We had lunch and had the Orioles game on and saw that they were keeping Boston close, but then we had to go back to work before that one and the Rays game ended. I think the Yankees lead was pretty good when we left, so I was surprised as heck when we went on our 15-minute break a few hours later and found out that the Rays has won on Longo’s Homer. Definitely one of the top moments in franchise history besides anything related to the World Series. 

1. Akinori Iwamura putout to send the Rays to the 2008 World Series

I remember watching this game on TV either at my church’s rec room, or at home. Can’t remember which. I just remember the final out when Aki fielded a ground ball, stepped on second to retire Jason Bay and send the Rays to the World Series. It was nerve racking because the Sox were threatening, and I think it was a big power hitter like JD Drew or Youkilis who hit the grounder to Aki. 

The card picture was taken just seconds after the lut, and I love so many things about it. You can see Aki and Jason Bartlett celebrating, but what is interesting is that Jason Bay is still sliding, almost like he slid very late, like almost after Iwamura stepped on the bag. I love the excitement of Iwamura and Bartlett. You can just tell something big happened. I was lucky enough to send the card to Aki when he was playing with the Pirates and get it back signed by him. He didn’t stay in the Majors too long after 2008, so little did I know that there would be a short window to get this one signed in the US. 

Well, those are my top 5 Rays moments. There are others that could’ve made the top 10 like Matt Garza’s no-hitter, Tony Saunders’ 6 innings of no-hit ball that I saw in person, Game 5 of this years’ ALDS, and the home opener in 2009, where I was lucky enough to see the 2008 AL Champion banner being raised, the Yankee$ had to sit there and watch it too, and the Rays scored like 18 runs of something and Nick Swisher was forced to pitch for New York. 

I hope there will be a ton of runs scored by Tampa in the World Series. Maybe just maybe, we will see them win it all, get a nice boxed set from Topps, have a few extra player and postseason cards in Flagship and Heritage, and maybe get a little respect from MLB and the baseball community. I’d be happy for Night Owl if the Dodgers won, but he has 1988 to reminisce on, the Rays have nothing, plus the Dodgers appear in a good position for 2021 and beyond. Hold on to you seats. This might be a good World Series. Go Rays!

Thanks for checking out my latest post. 


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Happy Yankee Elimination Day 2020!!

 I figured with all of the crap that 2020 has thrown at us so far, that a Yankee$ World Series title was all but a given. My Rays hung in there with them throughout the whole season, and ended up with the best record in the AL. I was happy that they got to the playoffs, but the Yankees just looked so friggin strong, that I was hoping somebody else would somehow take them out before Tampa had to play them. Well, after beating the Blue Jays, the Rays made it to the ALDS, and of course, the Yankees beat the Indians, and they ended up having to face each other. After dropping the first game, Tampa ended up winning the next 2, then dropping Game 4, forcing a deciding Game 5. Somehow, the Rays got an Austin Meadows HR off of Yankee Ace Gerrit Cole, and only allowed an Aaron Judge Home Run through 7 1/2 innings. Mike Brosseau stepped up to the plate against Aroldis Chapman, and slugged a HR to give the Rays the lead, and then Diego Castillo closed out the game, sending the Yankees home, and the Rays to the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

Every time the Yankees get eliminated from the playoffs or playoff contention, I like to celebrate the next day and call it "Yankee Elimination Day". I also do the same thing with the Alabama Criminal Crimson Tide. This year, it happened 10 days earlier than last year, and the earlier it happens for me, the better. 

Every year for Yankee Elimination Day, I make some customs for the next years' Topps set celebrating the Yankees elimination. Here are 2 for this year on the 2021 Topps design.

Hopefully, Topps at least makes a card from one of the 2020 ALDS games in the flagship or Heritage set. 
I really like the players on the 2020 Rays team. I think they have a good shot against the Astros, especially since the Astros are short Verlander, Gerrit Cole is gone, and Greinke might be hurt. If the Rays can just score a few runs and hold the big boppers like Altuve, Correia, and Springer, we might be looking at the Rays 2nd World Series berth. I would be so excited. If Tampa gets to a World Series or wins one, it might just get MLB to notice them and they will be forced to put out a few more cards of them in 2021. PLEASE TOPPS & PANINI!!!!

I have a feeling that if they make it to the World Series, they would have a better chance against the Braves, since the Braves don't have too many big boppers (just Acuna, Freeman, Ozuna, and Riley), and their pitching staff has had injuries. If it were the Dodgers, I would hope they could hold their own, but going up against Kershaw, Buehler, Urias, and bats like Pederson, Seager, Bellinger, Betts, etc, it might be too much, and I would be happy for Night Owl, I really would, but I just would be crushed that they got so close and still haven't won a World Series title. 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.


Monday, October 5, 2020

Baseball video games

 The other day, while doing a search for something, I came across a video game I had played for a few years in my early 20's, called 2020 Super Baseball. The game was released for the Super NES in 1993, and offered a take on what they thought baseball would be like in the year 2020. I thought it would be fun to kind of go over some of the rules and things and see how close they got. I figured it might be fun to do this and maybe talk some of my other favorite baseball games. 

It should be noted before I get started, that the site Baseball Life did an article about the game and how they got some things right, but that article was written in 2019, before Covid. 

The game predicted that baseball would be played between some of the most elite strong human player, and robots. There were also female players in the league. In the game, you would earn money for doing things in the field and at bat or on the bases, and you could also lose money. The money you earn can be used to buy 'upgrades' which make your human or robot stronger, or could even be used to upgrade your human to a robot. The robots could lose power by throwing too many pitches, jumping or diving too much, and sometimes they would explode, making them worthless and unable to hit, field, or throw. 

One of the biggest differences in the game was the field of play itself. The game had 12 or so teams, but they all played in one stadium, called Cyber Egg Stadium. 

I don't know if you can tell in the picture, but in 2020, the developers imagined that human players would have become so advanced in hitting Home Runs, that there would need to be glass installed over the stands in order to keep batted balls from injuring fans, and there were some crazy rules with the new stadium/version of baseball in 2020. 

You still had fair and fould balls, but fair territory was turned into a 'fair zone' and was much larger of an area, basically anywhere past 3rd and 1st base. The 'foul area' was basically any area before 3rd and 1st except for the infield grass. Another difference is that balls hit ontop of the stands are in play since there is glass covering the fans in the stands, so balls can ricochet off of the glass and back into the field. The only way to get a Home Run is to hit it basically straight ahead, into or past the 'Home Run zone' or to leg out an inside-the-park one. 

I had played this baseball video game on my friend Jon's Nintendo in the 4th or 5th Grade in 1995, and I distinctly remember there being robots in the game, and if there was a close play, the robots would fight, and whoever won would get the call that they wanted. I don't remember the name of the game, but in 2006, when I moved to Montgomery, Alabama and was staying with my future brother-in-law JT, I told him about the game, since he had some gaming system where you could play old-school Nintendo and Super NES games on it. After doing some research, he found 2020 Super Baseball, and the title sounded the same, so he downloaded it, and we got to playing. We soon found out that it was a different game, but it was just so fun to play, that we played it for the rest of the year, until he ended up taking a seasonal job in Indiana delivering plants to stores. Around 2014, I got a Retron system, and JT got me a copy of 2020 Super Baseball for Super NES, so I've played it a few times when I get the urge to.

Where I think the game got it dead on are that they had females playing the sport. While there aren't any actually playing in games, the Giants hired Alyssa Nakken as a coach, and others have followed her. The game also predicted that there would be a ton of HRs hit, prompting the HR Zone in order to reduce the number of Homers hit. 2019 was a record setting year for HRs hit, and had Covid not come, I think 2020 would've been a record year, too. The one stadium for all teams wasn't true when the 2019 article came out, but MLB is doing it for the playoffs (kind of), and I really think that would've been the best option had the season been fewer games over more time. While the glass covering the fans didn't happen, there is more netting up, and if fans are ever aloud back in games, who knows, there may be (plexi) glass put up to stop Covid. The Fair and Foul Zones haven't happened, but Manfred hasn't hit his prime yet. Robots aren't playing, but there has been talk about Robo Umpires to call balls and strikes. 

I think out of the 8-10 baseball video games I've played, this one is in the top 5. 

I won't go into too many details on some of my other favorites, but in order, they are probably 

5. Star League Baseball 
4. 2020 Super Baseball
3. MVP Baseball 2003
2. Backyard Baseball

And my number one favorite baseball video game ever is Hardball (the original). Nothing earth-shattering about the graphics, but just a fun game to play!  The view of the pitcher and hitter is still a unique one. The game was just so easy to get good at if you knew the hang of it. I would basically swing up if I had a hitter who didn't have power, and more times that not, it seemed that they would hit a ball in the infield that would drop before a fielder caught it, and beat the throw to first. If it was somebody who hit in the #1, 2, or 8 (with a pitcher batting) for the Champs, or #1 for the All-Stars, you could automatically steal 2nd on the next pitch if 2nd base was open. Little things like this can help you dominate. I would usually just sit on slow stuff, and eventually I would have a power hitter mash one over the fence, and I got good enough at reading where a ball was going to land and what kind of throw a runner would beat out, that I could have the right runner take off to the right base, and they would cause the computer throw to a base that would generate a throw that would take longer, and put my team at an atvantage. I played a whole 162 game season out as the Champs with no DH, and posted it the Lemon 64 website.  user named Doomtints started the post, and he used the Champs WITH a DH, and posted his stats. That gave me the idea for no DH, and I posted my final stats on page 5 of the thread, and I smashed the OP's ones. I played the original game on my Commodore 64 computer, but now play it on an emulator on my laptop. Do you guys have any favorite baseball video games?

If you were looking for a baseball card angle, I do get my Series 1 & 2 boxes of '94 Stadium Club today! I really don't know how this thing will work. I really want to open the whole 2 boxes with my son tonight, but I just don't think we will have the time, the cards are probably going to brick together, so taking them apart is going to be a challenge, and he just hasn't been behaving good this past week, so I don't want to give him a huge reward like that. Guess Daddy's going to have to be patient and maybe open a few packs at a time with him, and maybe let him open some on his birthday (he turns 4 in a month and a day). 

Thanks for checking out my latest post.