Archive for May 2011

2011 Topps Royals: a look at player choices   3 comments

So I am a big Topps fan. I am also a huge Royals fan. I collect all of the Royals Topps sets, I currently have every year from 1976 to 2011. I anxiously await what Royals will be released with each series Topps puts out. I am focusing on 2011 in this post. I just mentioned in another post that Series 2 Topps comes out in a couple short weeks on June 6, 2011. This led me to find a checklist and review what Royals cards I would soon be getting my hands on.

So far here is what I have:

Series 1 :Gil Meche, Lucas May, Gregor Blanco, Zack Greinke, David Dejesus, Mike Aviles, Kyle Davies, Alex Gordon and Yuniesky Betancourt

Kansas City Royals Topps Series 1 complete set

The cards for the Royals on the 2011 series 2 checklist are as follows: Wilson Betemit, Billy Butler, Vin Mazzaro, Jason Kendall, Kila Ka’aihue, Joakim Soria, Luke Hochevar and Mitch Maier.

The series 2 checklist is not final though, several should be added, see below for more details.

Lets look at Series 1 and 2 more closely along with their current standing with the Kansas City Royals:

Gil Meche: retired, 0 games with the Royals; FAIL

Lucas May: in Omaha, 0 games with the Royals; FAIL

Gregor Blanco: started in Omaha, now traded to Washington, 0 games with the Royals; FAIL

Zack Greinke: traded to Milwaukee, 0 games with the Royals; FAIL

David Dejesus: traded to Oakland 0 games with the Royals; FAIL

Mike Aviles: starts nearly every day for the Royals; PASS

Kyle Davies: injured but for some reason is still in the Royals rotation; PASS

Alex Gordon: everyday player; PASS

Yuniesky Betancourt; traded to Milwaukee, 0 games with the Royals; FAIL

Wilson Betemit: starts nearly every day for the Royals; PASS

Billy Butler: everyday player; PASS

Vin Mazzaro: 2 games with the Royals, now in Omaha; FAIL

Jason Kendall: injured all year, 0 games with Royals; FAIL

Kila Ka’aihue: played in just 23 games before getting sent to Omaha; PUSH

Joakim Soria: Royals closer having a rough year; PASS

Luke Hochevar: pitches every 5th day; PASS

Mitch Maier: played in just 14 games as a backup outfielder: PUSH

So that is 17 Royals cards and just 7 that are legitimate forces on the team so far: horrible choices by Topps.

Every year Topps releases a “Stadium Set” for teams to sell in their stadium gift shops. This year the set included a respectable 17 cards and here they are.

Stadium Set: Billy Butler, Mike Aviles, Alcides Escobar, Chris Getz, Kyle Davies, Vin Mazzaro, Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar, Kila Ka’aihue, Jason Kendall, Sean O’Sullivan, Joakim Soria, Wilson Betemit, Melky Cabrera, Jeremy Jeffress, Jeff Francoeur and a team card.

Of these Escobar, Mazzaro, Cabrera, Jeffress and Francouer were all pictures of them on other teams but photoshopped to look like they were in Royals uniforms. These are better choices that the first two series’ of Topps.

Kansas City Royals 2011 Topps Stadium Set

Alright now for more additions to the series 2 set.

Last year the Royals series 2 set was 11 cards, the year prior to that 12. This is a good point to expect cards for 2011 except that the Royals have a ton of rookies and new additions so they might get a couple extras. They should really clean up in the Update set expected  around September. Escobar and Jeffress had Brewers cards in the 2011 Topps set so they won’t appear until the update set if even then. I don’t think Eric Hosmer was called up in time to have a card in series 2 this year so he will have a very sought after update card.

Alright so we know 8 of the cards in the series 2 set but several numbers on the checklist are listed as “TBD.” Some of these will be Royals. Lets figure the Royals will get 13 cards in series 2. That leaves 4 more in the TBD category. Lets guess at these 4 cards. My guesses are Jeff Francoeur, Melky Cabrera, Bruce Chen, Aaron Crow Rookie and Jeff Francis. This is ignoring a couple big options, mainly Chris Getz, Matt Treanor, Tim Collins Rookie, Jarrod Dyson rookie and Brayan Pena.

The update set this year could be absolutely killer! Hosmer and Duffy rookies are a lock. In either series 2 or update we should get all of the following rookies: Hosmer, Duffy, Collins, Crow and possibly Dyson, Teaford. There is even an outside chance some other callups could happen and get cards in the update set(Moustakas, Montgomery, Lamb)

I wish I could get about 35 Royals cards this year but that probably won’t happen. I’ve rambled enough, any thoughts?

History of Joakim Soria: 2011 Topps   Leave a comment

History Of Joakim Soria 2011 custom cardThis card has appeared on my site before but I thought I would officially induct it into the “History of Joakim Soria” set. It is originally from my 2011 Royals spring training set that was all Royals, all from spring training and came in at a whopping 55 cards, wow, good times.

This Soria was one of my favorites from the set. I was actually forced to use a picture that I normally wouldn’t. I like to give the picture room to breathe and I had to crop really tightly on this one. I had the same issue with Brayan Pena’s card from the same set. In retrospect, those two cards are likely among my top 5 from the set.

The 2011 Topps design got mixed reviews from me. I like that it is not drenched in silver foil and that it has a big picture on it. The bad points were more minor but annoying nonetheless. I hated the fact that it said Kansas City Royals around the baseball on top and bottom in addition to having a Royals logo in between the two. Not too bad though, I am anxious to see what Royals are included in series 2, could there be an Eric Hosmer rookie card? We can only hope. June 6th you can get your grubby little hands on them and find out.

Custom Card of the Day: Billy Butler 1984 Donruss   2 comments

Billy Butler 1984 Donruss custom cardThis is the second card in my Royals 1984 Donruss series. I plan to get the whole team captured in this set in their powder blue uniforms. This is a great picture of Butler, I think it captures the full body in action shots from the original set.

Posted May 25, 2011 by VocalsOnTop in Custom Card of the Day

36 Greatest Royals: David Dejesus   2 comments

Royals Greats David DejesusHere is another of my greatest Royals series. This one is not as obvious as the first two. Paul Splittorff and Cookie Rojas were extremely likely to be on the list of the top 36 Royals of all-time but David Dejesus may raise some eyebrows.

For the Royals Dejesus was one of the most consistent players in an era where the Royals were a terrible team. He was never a big power hitter, he was never in the chase for the batting title, he was just a model of consistency.His numbers aren’t striking for his career, he usually didn’t crack double digit home runs and ended with 50-70 runs driven in and even though he spent a lot of time at the leadoff position, didn’t steal many bases either. He was always one of the best players on the team though.

He played in Kansas City for 8 season before being traded to the Oakland Athletics and I believe he will once again be a Royal. I think that there was so much mutual respect between Dejesus and the Royals that he will return to the team to be a forth outfielder in a few years. The Royals will be contending and Dejesus will be on the decline so the front office will bring back the fan favorite.

History of Joakim Soria: 1981 Topps   Leave a comment

History Of Joakim Soria 1981 Topps cusom card1981 Topps was never a card design I liked a whole lot. I didn’t like all of the orange, I didn’t like the hat. I don’t like when a baseball card set has a really cartoony feature like this. It made the set have sort of a “cheap” feel I guess. To make matters worse, like 1972 Topps, the set was bookended by two very nice sets. 1980 Topps is a classic set that has to be a top 10 Topps set and 1982 had the subtle stripes going down one side to frame the card nicely.

This picture is not a high favorite of mine either. It was from the series in Detroit earlier this year, one of the few days the Royals wore the solid blue uniforms. The picture itself isn’t bad, it is just the fact that all I can see when I look at it is a Goose Joak custom card. He used the picture on one of his excellent Goose Joak originals around the same time I made this card. His has been up a while now so he definitely beat me to the punch. I am low of pictures of Joakim for this “History” project so I decided to leave it.

Custom Card of the Day: 1993 Topps Mike Stanton and Carlos Gonzalez   3 comments

Mike Stanton 1993 Topps custom cardCarlos Gonzalez 1993 Topps Custom CardHere are a couple guys that can flat out rake the ball. They each belong to expansion franchises that began their legacy in the major leagues in 1993, the year of Topps I have depicted them in. I remember seeing the very first cards of the new Marlins and Rockies back in 1993(actually 1992 Upper Deck had a couple.)

I made the Carlos Gonzalez and realized I hadn’t had a card of Mike Stanton yet on my site. I felt it would be highly appropriate to do these two great young talents together in the 1993 Topps design.

In the pursuit of Kansas City Royals bobbleheads   23 comments

I hated bobbleheads when they first came out. They were all the rage at baseball stadiums and everyone loved them. I was not on board, I thought they looked stupid and had no interest in them. Something has happened since then. I am now in a pursuit to get all of the Kansas City Royals stadium give away(SGA) bobbleheads.

It started with the Alex Gordon bobblehead give away, then Larry Gura, then Zach Greinke. I had a few then I started feeling like I needed the rest. I collect many things dealing with the Royals. I really like old pennants, magazines and cards. So now I am up to a collection of 9 bobbleheads. This led me to make a list of all of the stadium give away bobbleheads I knew of because I really couldn’t find a list on the internet. I listed what I knew of and even included the two that will be given away this year; Willie Wilson and Joakim Soria, two I am really excited about.

Then I attended the Royals game last Thursday against the Rangers, a 2-1 win in 10 innings, and made my first trip through the Royals Hall of Fame. They had a display case possessing every bobblehead they had given away. It is what I hope for my collection to be one day.

Kansas City Royals stadium give away bobbleheads through 2010This is what the display case looked like, pretty impressive huh? I have no idea who that first guy is with the bald head and gray hair but I will run through the rest of them:

Top Row left: unknown bobblehead, Sluggerrr, Denny Matthews, Tony Pena Jr., Cookie Rojas, Carlos Beltran, Alex Gordon, Mike Sweeney and Zack Greinke.

Bottom Row left: Bret Saberhagen, John Mayberry, Larry Gura, Paul Splittorff, Frank White, Dick Howser, George Brett, Steve Busby, Fred Patek, Dan Quisenberry and Dennis Leonard.

The former Royals all have the same base’ the number in the Royals “crown” with career highlights written around the sides. The current players have different kinds of bases. A couple quick notes: Denny Matthews bobblehead has a button that plays Royals highlights from Matthews. The Sluggerrr bobblehead is incredibly hard to find, apparently it was given away to kids under a certain age only and it was raining that day so there aren’t many Sluggerrr bobbleheads available.

Custom Card of the Day: 1984 Donruss Nate Adcock   Leave a comment

1984 Donruss Nate AdcockNate Adcock stepped into a bad situation and made a great start for the Royals today. Because of the injuries to Kyle Davies and Bruce Chen and the unfortunate outing by Vin Mazzaro, the Royals are left very short-handed in their starting rotation. So enter long man Nate Adcock.

Nate Adcock is a rule 5 draft pick in his first year with the Royals. He has been in a few games so far this year and has far exceeded expectations for a throw away of sorts from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. His longest outing before tonight was 3 1/3 innings. This was his first start of the season. He stretched himself into a great 5 shutout innings against a very good St. Louis Cardinals team. He didn’t get the win, nor the loss. The Royals would go on to lose 3-0 to the Cardinals.

Adcock’s great start will likely be forgotten by most people which is a shame. He has been a very pleasant surprise for the Royals and I think he will continue to be a great addition to the bullpen/rotation.

He donned the fabulous powder blue uniform shown in this 1984 Donruss custom card today. Look for more Royals custom cards in powder blue from the 1984 Donruss set on this site soon.

36 Greatest Royals: Cookie Rojas   Leave a comment

Royals Greats Cookie RojasCookie Rojas wasn’t an original Royals but he joined them in their second season in 1970. He was a big part of those early teams too. He would go to four All-Star games as a Royals second baseman in the early 1970’s.  He spent several years with the Phillies before going to Kansas City but played the best years of his career for the Royals. He would play second base right up until Frank White would take the position from him.

2011 Just Fair: Mark Ellis, Tyler Chatwood and Juan Miranda   Leave a comment

Diamondbacks Juan Miranda

Athletics Mark EllisAngels Tyler Chatwood