Saturday, August 6, 2011

Topps predicts the future!

Sometimes when I’m watching Yankees game, I’ll pull out a stack of cards and look them. I might try and remember where I got that card or why I like it. I’ll read the backs of cards to see if I can learn something new.

1998 was a fun collecting year for me because my favorite player, Tino Martinez, was featured in a lot more sets and insert sets. He hit 44 HRs in 1997 and that gained him entry into most insert sets that would have overlooked him in the years prior. Remember, these were the days of Fleer and Ultra and Donruss and Stadium Club and Pacific, so there were a lot of insert sets.

This 1998 Finest Power Zone is a cool card. The purple front isn’t particularly special, but it’s different. The back of the card is what stands out. Topps broke out Tino’s season stats by month. A few card companies did this here and there, it wasn’t that new. Man, did he have a great start to the season. In the write-up below, Topps then takes a stab at guessing the years for Tino’s milestone HRs - #200, 300 and 400. He ended his career with a very respectable 339, so let’s check out how accurate Topps was:

#200 – Topps says 1999. Actual date: August 5, 1999 (in Seattle vs his former team, no less). Nice work on this one, Topps.
#300 – Topps says 2003. Actual date: March 30, 2004 (vs the Yanks, his former team). This was opening day of 2004, so Topps jussssst missed this one.
#400 – Tino ended on 339, so unfortunately no #400 here.

Overall, Topps was pretty close on their projections. Oh, and if you’re curious about your favorite player’s HR totals and basically every HR-related stat, Baseball-Reference is a great resource. Here is Tino’s page:

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