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Random posting for the start of the postseason

For several years on this blog, I wrote an annual "if I was king of the postseason" post to kick off the baseball playoffs.

It was fun -- just me riffing on who my favorites and least favorites were for that particular year -- but it was a lot of work. Then it started getting repetitive/monotonous and also a couple people got their undies in a bunch about what I wrote. I don't need to be dedicating a lot of time to something just to get a bunch of grief out of it, so I stopped. I don't miss it.

But I do miss writing about the postseason a little. I thought it'd be fun to take a look at each of the wild card matchups in a lighthearted fashion -- no overt rooting here -- with the help of TCDB and my collection.

I'm going to take a look at the oldest and newest cards in my collection for each team, plus a random card selected by the TCDB randomizer. There are some interesting connections between these teams.

Here we go:


Texas Rangers
(cards in my collection: 2,367. Overall rank: 21st)

Oldest card in my collection: 1972 Topps Ted Kubiak ("oldest" for a lot of these is the card to appear first in a given set. Kubiak is card #23).

Newest card in my collection: 2023 Topps Heritage Josh Smith (#384)

Random card from my collection: 1979 Topps Richie Zisk

Thoughts?: Wooo, two of the three guys here I've interviewed! (I promise I didn't fudge the results). The other guy, Josh Smith, sorry, I don't know who that is.
Tampa Bay Rays
(cards in my collection: 786. Overall rank: 31st)

Oldest card in my collection: 1997 Topps Che Gunner and Paul Wilder

Newest card in my collection: 2023 Topps Heritage Josh Lowe

Random card from my collection: 2011 Topps Heritage Manny Ramirez

Thoughts?: God bless the late 1990s, you've got two guys who never made the majors to kick off your coverage of the Rays. ... Lowe is a high number! I was today years old when I found out that the Rays' Josh Lowe and the Rangers' Nathaniel Lowe are brothers. Hey, that's why there's the playoffs.

Who I want to win: Rangers


Toronto Blue Jays
(cards in my collection: 2,032. Overall rank: 25th)

Oldest card in my collection: 1977 O-Pee-Chee Otto Velez

Newest card in my collection: 2023 Topps Heritage Matt Chapman

Random card from my collection: 1988 Topps Willie Upshaw

I'm sure players enjoyed having nine years in the majors and Topps pulling out stuff they did in the minors.

Thoughts?: The O-Pee-Chee card automatically makes me want to root for the Blue Jays, but let's check the Twins out now.

Minnesota Twins
(cards in my collection: 2,561. Overall rank: 15th)

Oldest card in my collection: 1962 Topps Don Lee

Newest card in my collection: 2023 Topps Heritage New Age performers Luis Arraez

Random card from my collection: 2000 Topps Doug Mientkiewicz

Thoughts?: I just showed that Luis Arraez card two posts ago. I'd say it'd be interesting if Arraez had a chance to face his old team in the World Series, but that would mean a Marlins-Twins World Series. ... The back of the Mientkiewicz says that a manager once called him Doug Meningitis, which made me laugh.

Who I want to win: Tough call. Probably the Jays but fine with either.


Milwaukee Brewers
(cards in my collection: 2,382. Overall rank: 20th)

Oldest card in my collection: 1971 Topps Phil Roof

Newest card in my collection: 2023 Topps Heritage red parallel Christian Yelich

Random card in my collection: 2010 Topps Update More Tales Of The Game insert, 'There's No Tying in Baseball'
Thoughts?: Ha ha on the random card, the Brewers franchise will always have that dumb thing following them around ... The red Christian Yelich was a pull out of one my gift card blasters. They're wildly unnecessary and make my brain go right to 2024 Heritage and how many border parallels there will be in that.

Arizona Diamondbacks
(cards in my collection: 783. Overall rank: 32nd)

Oldest card in my collection: 1997 Bowman Kevin Sweeney

Newest card in my collection: 2023 Topps Heritage Ketel Marte

Random card from my collection: 2007 Topps Chad Tracy

Thoughts?: Player cards created for a team a year before the team debuts seems like a bad idea. I think Kevin Sweeney, who is a Buffalo boy, might even agree after not getting out of Class A.

Who I want to win: Brewers


Miami Marlins
(cards in my collection: 1,061. Overall rank: 28th)

Oldest card in my collection: 1992 Donruss Bonus Card Florida Marlins

Newest card in my collection: 2023 Topps Heritage '74 Stamps, Max Meyer, JJ Bleday, Jazz Chisholm Jr., Sandy Alcantara


Random card in my collection: 2008 Topps Update Paul Hoover
Thoughts?: Now, that's how you do a card made the year before the team starts, create a cool logo card! ... Two players on the Heritage stamps "card" are currently playing for the Marlins. JJ Bleday is with Oakland and Max Meyer was not in the majors this year.
Philadelphia Phillies
(cards in my collection: 2,868. Overall ranking: 5th)

Oldest card my collection: 1956 Topps Ron Negray

 Newest card in my collection: 2023 Topps Heritage Clubhouse Collection relic Aaron Nola

Random card in my collection: 2009 Topps Chrome Geoff Jenkins

Thoughts?: OK, we now have a REAL TEAM with 1956 TOPPS CARDS. Ron Negray is so real that in my '56 binder he is directly below Ted Williams. ... Aaron Nola is the Game 2 starter for the Phillies, maybe I'll put it next to my TV for luck. ... 2009 Topps, and that includes Chrome, gives me the warm fuzzies.

Who I want to win: Phillies.

OK, there you are. Now that I put that out in public, the Rays, Twins, Diamondbacks and Marlins will advance out of the wild card round.

Maybe I'll do this again for the Division Series. Or maybe not. Let's see how fired up people get.


Old Cards said…
That 1971 Phil Roof is a great looking card. Not fired up about the playoffs, but enjoy your posts on the subject.
I'll root for the Rays, Jays, Brewers, and Marlins.
Nick Vossbrink said…
A fun idea that has me rooting for the older teams to make it through. A little surprised that you don't have any 1961 Twins though.
Jeremya1um said…
I really hope you jinxed the Rays into winning.
If Manfraud goes forward with expansion, you might get some of those ‘the year before they play’ expansion cards sooner than you think.
RJ Sahl said…
The Twins have always been my favorite team. I have spent 53 of my 60 years on earth living in Minnesota. I have the Rocco Baldelli card at the top of this post. Go TWINS!!
Bo said…
Through this post I realized that three of the four 1990s expansion teams are in the playoff, including both 1998 teams.
1984 Tigers said…
Kubiak luckily got traded to As in early 1972 to fill in for injured 2b Dick Green. He won three rings in the 3 years he played for them.

As for 1961 twins, a few later series players are photo'd with Twins hats or uniforms. Reno Bertoia is the first guy who looks like he has an authentic twins hat on but the background looks to be from another photo so his image is superimposed. The twins team high # card is actually the 1960 Washington team.
What a great concept for a post. Makes me want to do the same for my cards.

Hope to see the next iteration of this for the next round...
beefman said…
Why am I only just now noticing how similar 09 and 85 Topps are? Wow...
jacobmrley said…
Poor Max Meyer. Good name, though, if I do say so myself.
Michael D said…
Great post! I love the idea of this post. Hope you do this for the duration of the playoffs. Keep picking Rangers!
Fuji said…
Batting .500. That's pretty solid. I didn't make any predictions... but if I had, the only one I would have gotten correct was Philly.
Jafronius said…
Fun post! Thanks for using that Randomizer!