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Sunday, February 13, 2011

2011 Topps: CMC and Vacation Connections

Elsewhere in my first four 2011 Topps packs, I found a couple current players I've referenced in my CMC write-ups, and a couple players my wife and I saw last year on our 2010 vacation.

Those were in addition to the 1990 minor leaguers I wrote about yesterday, Jim Thome and Arthur Rhodes.

Rick Ankiel, up top, I've referenced in my two write-ups on Mark Riggins. Riggins worked with Ankiel when he was having his problems pitching.

And how about that photo of Ankiel? I've seen it on other blogs, but it's still really cool.

The Ankiel card is even cooler because it gives me a segue into my next group of cards, players my wife and I saw last year.

We didn't see Ankiel, but he did come in the Omaha Royals team set we picked up on our trip to Rosenblatt Stadium in August.

At that game was Omaha's Lucas May. That's him on the ultra-sparkley Diamond card, the one I received in my packs. As May's is marked a rookie card, I wondered if he was at the Omaha game we were at. I went back and looked at our photos and there he was. He was the starting catcher.

That's him behind the plate, one of our photos from the game. You can't really tell it's him from this angle, but trust me, it's him.

At bat? That's James Adduci. He's the guy I was actually taking a picture of. He's the son of CMC set member Jim Adduci, whom I featured back in March.

Jay Bruce, we saw at Great American Ballpark, the day he hit three home runs against the Cubs. On the one hand, I was heartbroken because the Cubs lost. On the other hand, it worked out. Jay Bruce was on my fantasy team.

I couldn't find a good direct photo of Bruce. But I believe that is Bruce on the JumboTron, on one of his home run trots. If it's not, just note the 3 home runs in the game summary. Also note that moon above the "EA" in Great American. The moon on that trip was crazy, making cameos in all three games we saw.

The other CMC connection in the packs was Manny Ramirez. I actually picked up two Mannys in the packs, his base card and his ToppsTown card. Manny was drafted in 1991. But he soon ran into a CMC set member, and that helped keep him grounded fresh out of the draft.

Harry Spilman coached Manny at rookie league Burlington. The New York Times had the story then that Manny looked homesick. It was Spilman who got him to call home, call his mom. That story was included in Spilman's feature in June.

I'll just throw this last card in here. No CMC connection. But just kind of funny. This is the History of Topps card, the one honoring Topps getting back its exclusive license.

I'm sure other people have noticed this, but the cards they used? They're all Mickey Mantles. I'm not sure what that means, but I'm sure it means something.

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