Monday, February 13, 2017
Anxiety over the Topps Yankees Project
I won’t lie. On the eve of pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training, I’m nervous about the 2017 edition of my Topps Yankees Project.
For those that don’t know, I’ve collected a TTM autograph of a Yankee on every Topps issue from 1951 to 2016. There are no repeat players, and everything was done via the mail. I completed it a couple of years ago, and now my only focus is adding the next season. In this case, 2017. Here's a link to view, although I don't believe I've done a full rundown since 2015.
I'm anxious because the Yankees checklist in 2017 isn’t on my side, at least for Series One. Usually there is a reliever or role player I can count on, such as JR Murphy or Austin Romine or Boone Logan. This year, I’m not sure how this is going to work out. Here’s the checklist, with each player’s signing habits:
Gary Sanchez – Does not sign
Tyler Austin – Signed in minors, but likely not now
Brian McCann – Does not sign
Dellin Betances – Signed as a minor leaguer, but not now
Billy Butler – Decent signer during Royals days, but currently a free agent
Aaron Hicks – Does not sign
Jacoby Ellsbury – Does not sign
Masahiro Tanaka – Does not sign
Yankees team card – Doesn’t count by my made up rules
Nathan Eovaldi – Signs, but is rehabbing from injury and will miss the season. He just latched on with the Rays.
Aaron Judge – Signed as a minor leaguer, but that was early in his career
Tyler Clippard – Has not signed in a long time
So there you have it. Not encouraging. Eovaldi is going to be my best chance, assuming he signs with a team soon. I think I’ll send to each player, knowing that I won’t be getting them back. I always end up with a decent amount of Series One from trades, so I’m not too worried about losing the cards. Still, you never know! It’s worth a shot. Otherwise, I have to wait until Series 2, or <grasp> Update.