Monday, September 20, 2010

2010 Orioles Topps Team Set

For the past few years, I have looked forward to purchasing the Orioles Topps team set, you know the ones that are prepackaged and aren't part of the actual Topps master set. The Orioles cards are number BAL1-14 (or 15) and typically feature a recently acquired player or two photoshopped into an Orioles uniform; this is generally their first Orioles card, so it makes me happy. 

This year's set included the first (and to-date, only) Orioles cards of Mike Gonzalez and Cla Meredith. 

The 2010 Topps set has this exact picture showing Mike in a Braves uniform, but they worked a little photoshop magic to show him in an "Orioles" uniform. The hat is fine but his jersey looks more like a Giants uni than an Orioles. I'm cool with it since it's his only Orioles card.  

I got two of these signed and this one actually has the "better" signature of the two. Mike's a pretty good signer at the Yard but I'm not really sure what's going on with his 'graph. I see M____  maybe a G and then I really don't know. 

This card's inclusion surprised me since Cla was/is a middle reliever who didn't do anything to specifically stand out from the rest of the O's relief core during the '09 season. By my count, there were five other Orioles relievers (Jim Johnson (64), Danys Baez (59), Matt Albers (56), Mark Hendrickson (53) & Brian Bass (48)) who pitched in more games than Cla (29) and were on the Orioles for the entire season too. Cla's ERA was lower than those other guys but Jim Johnson was the Orioles (awful) CLOSER for the last two months of the season and he didn't get any love. Baez and Bass were out of Baltimore following the season but the other three pitchers could have a beef with being passed by so Topps could include Cla. 

Anyway, I'm happy to have his only Orioles signed card to include in my collection but I'm skeptical that he is actually wearing that O's uniform.  I think this is another photoshop job from Cla's time with the Padres.  His '08 Topps card used a similar picture and the jersey just doesn't look right.  Was Topps not able to get a photographer out to an Orioles game after mid-July?  I like that he was included but find it hard to believe that they didn't have a decent O's pic of him. 

No comments: