Friday, May 27, 2022

The Trading Post #170: The Angels, In Order

Due to inclement weather in our nation's capital, the Rockies have been rained out Friday night. But that's okay, because I still have a game to watch while writing this quick three-card post. The Colorado Avalanche were in St. Louis tonight for a Game 6 against the Blues, advancing to their first Conference Finals since 2002. 

Hockey isn't always at the top of my list of sports, but it's a fast-paced sport that is a delight to watch. It's a good contrast to the chess match that is baseball. Don't count on me getting hugely into hockey cards, though. Baseball remains the #1 sport in my heart.

It's amazing that the MLB season is already a quarter over. It feels like just yesterday when I went to Opening Day. That much of the season has zipped by since my last post. It's been about that long since I claimed three cards from a generous giveaway run by Tom over at The Angels, In Order. He hasn't been particularly active lately, nor have I, but he did pop up long enough to spread some cheer through the blog community.

2013 Topps Making Their Mark #MM-1 Yoenis Céspedes

The first of my three picks is this insert from 2013 Topps, showing the not-quite-retired Yoenis Céspedes. The Cuban-born outfielder hasn't played in the Majors since 2020, when he appeared in eight games during the shortened season before deciding to opt-out. He put together a solid career, mainly for the Mets and A's, and also won the Home Run Derby in two consecutive contests, putting him among Ken Griffey, Jr. and Pete Alonso as the only ones to accomplish that feat.

Long before sending exhibition-game moonshots into the midsummer night, Céspedes hit his first major league home run in early 2012, giving Topps plenty of material for the Making Their Mark insert set. Céspedes's first Major League home run actually happened in Tokyo, facing off against the Seattle Mariners during an overseas opener. It was officially part of the 2012 regular season, a tradition the teams repeated in 2019.

I haven't seen this insert set in years, but it was familiar enough for me to easily recognize it and give myself a chance to open the 2013 binder again. I haven't done that in a while.

2017 Honus Bonus Fantasy Baseball #52 Ryon Healy

Another green-colored selection was my first-ever Honus Bonus card. Among the oddest of all recent oddballs, this product briefly made a splash (maybe more of a gentle ripple) in 2017, never to be heard from again. The 500-card unlicensed set made the rounds back then, and still pops up from time to time on the more oddball-focused blogs around here.

If you're interested, there are some extremely affordable Honus Bonus 1/1s on eBay right now. I'm content to have just one example of this oddball in my collection, if only as a curiosity.

The green borders are about the only splash of color on this whole card, and that's the only clue that Ryon Healy was playing for the A's at the time. You have to flip the card over to check the team, which of course just says "Oakland", given the unlicensed nature of this set. The card back also has a small selection of 2016 stats, his uniform number which we clearly see on the front, and his position. The stats line omits hits, but we are given at-bats and batting average, leaving us to do the math ourselves. They did include his stolen base total (zero), as well as his OPS.

It's a strange one.

Also on the card back is a barcode and a scratch-off section, meant for playing Honus Bonus Fantasy Baseball online. The URL is long-dead, although there are some fossilized fragments remaining at

Speaking of all this green, the Rockies unveiled their City Connect uniforms today, set to debut on-field on June 4th against the Braves. The mostly-green uniforms are patterned after the retro Colorado license plates, which were mostly green with white lettering. Even the typeface is the same. There are other Colorado-themed elements, such as the GPS coordinates of Coors Field, a double black diamond meant to represent a ski slope sign, and a few purple accents scattered throughout.

In fact, in taking a closer look, the yellow patch containing the GPS coordinates and the diamonds looks a bit like the annual stickers that go on the corner of a license plate.

I can't wait to see it appear on a card.

1998 Topps Stars Gold #58 Masato Yoshii /2299

Rolling things back to the late-'90s, our final collectible is a parallel of Masato Yoshii's Topps Stars card, serial numbered to 2,299. That print run identifies this as the Gold parallel. So does the gold lettering, of course. Even the regular base cards are serial numbered to 9,799, making these on the scarce side.

As you can see, Yoshii's first team in North America was the New York Mets, where he stayed for two seasons. Following that stint, he joined the Colorado Rockies for one season, becoming the first Japanese-born player to suit up for the Rockies.

The card back has a five-star player rating system for a variety of metrics, from the easily measurable "Velocity" to the highly intangible "Savvy". He rates two and five stars in those categories, respectively. Below that is a trivia question, asking us which Met was the team's first Rookie of the Year in 1967. We have to check the next card in the checklist to find the answer, but in case you're not one of the fewer than 10,000 owners of card #59 (I am not), I'll tell you that the answer is Tom Seaver.

The trivia answer that carries over from card #57 is "Fernando Valenzuela in 1981", which was obviously asking about that year's Rookie of the Year Dodger. Card #57 is Hideo Nomo, cleanly tying it all together. I don't have that card either, but maybe Night Owl has it hiding somewhere and can confirm for us.

Thanks to Tom for the giveaway and enjoy the next three-quarters of the MLB season!


  1. I had high hopes for Healy and was bummed when he was traded to Seattle. I think a lot of it had to do with me being sentimental. I was at the game where he hit his first MLB home run.

  2. I'm not a fan of the City Connect gimmick - but those Colorado ones look pretty good.