Saturday, June 21, 2014

2014 Topps #641 A.J. Burnett

Phillies 5, Cardinals 1
Game 72 - Friday Night, June 20th in St. Louis
Record - 34-38, 4th Place, 3 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  A.J. Burnett battled moths and the Cardinals in St. Louis to pitch a complete game and help the Phils to a 5-1 victory.

What It Means:  The Phillies have won five in a row and they're now back to just four games under .500.  Watching the Phils is fun again.

What Happened:  Burnett allowed just the run on seven hits in his best outing of the season so far.  He and Jimmy Rollins hit back-to-back RBI doubles in the fifth to give the Phillies the lead in this game.  Marlon Byrd added a solo home run in the sixth.

Featured Cards:  I actually think Topps did a nice job with its Phillies player selection in its recently released second series of its flagship set.  Fringe reliever Luis Garcia earned his first Phillies card, and even long-time minor leaguer (and short-time Phillie) Steve Susdorf somehow ended up with a card.  Roy Halladay has a series two card, and the card will serve as a nice final tribute to the former ace, showing his entire career stats on the back.

2014 Topps #484
My only complaints about the Phillies cards is that Topps didn't use spring training photos of new acquisitions Burnett and Byrd.  Burnett gets the photoshop treatment, made evident by the fact that he's had a short hair cut since arriving in Philly.  When the Topps Phillies retail set was released, a few of us noticed that the photo used for Byrd's card came from 2005 or earlier, during his first stint with the club.    (Byrd wore #29 during his first stint with the club, and he's wearing #3 this season.)  This was fine for the retail set, but the hope was that Topps would produce a more recent photo for their flagship set.

I'd really like to be a fly on the wall at a Topps quality control meeting (if those meetings even occur) to  listen to their reasons as to why this was deemed acceptable.  Someone at some point had the thought, "We have this nine-year-old picture of Byrd in a Phillies uniform.  Let's just go with that and maybe no one will notice."  We noticed, Topps.

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