As with most of the newer products that I open, I like to include a few cards of catchers in a post of their very own. Lately, I haven’t been too impressed with the images that Topps has used for catchers. I prefer cards of catchers in their gear, as it distinguishes them from all other players on the diamond. I pulled a number of catchers in my blaster, so here a few of them:
# 407, John Jaso
#633, Alex Avila
#595, A.J. Pierzynski
#529, Jesus Montero
John Jaso is currently a backup with Oakland. While his career hasn’t been stellar, he has been part of baseball history: he caught a perfect game. On August 15, 2012, Felix Hernandez pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Jaso was the catcher for King Felix’s brilliant game, so Jaso deserves some credit for his ability to call an incredible game. It’s a shame Topps used this boring image instead of one more fitting.
The card of Avila is a standard image on recent cards and is almost the exact image used on three of the four cards depicted. Avila is a silver-slugger and starter of the ’11 All-Star game, and on this card he looks like just about every other player depicted on modern products. Come on Topps, you’re better than this.
A.J. Peirzynski is one of the most exasperating players in baseball. He is an extremely talented catcher. While not tremendously dangerous at the plate, he does have a career average of .283, with 175 HR’s and 815 RBI’s. His greatest strength is his ability to call games: he caught Mark Buehrle’s no-hitter on April 18, 2007 and Philip Humber’s perfect game on April 21, 2012. He is a silver-slugger and 2x all-star, and in 2005 contributed to the White Sox first World Series Championship since 1917. And with all of that, he is the most hated player in baseball. 9 times he has been ejected from games. Boston released him a few weeks back, and he is currently a free agent; I wonder who the lucky team will be to pick him up.
Of these four cards, it is no surprise that my favorite is Jesus Montero, which is ironic, as Montero is the biggest disappointment of these four catchers. For the entirety of his minor league career, Montero was considered to a Top 10 prospect. After he was traded by the Yankees to the Mariners, he crumbled and has yet to produce as a catcher. His involvement with the “Biogenesis Clinic” cost him a 50 game suspension, from which he has yet to recover. But this is still a good-looking card.
#346, Derek Norris (Target Red Parallel)
What’s not to like about this card? First, Norris is a bad**s. He looks like a lumberjack, not a professional ball-player. Second, the image used shows him in his catcher’s gear, and it looks good. Third, the colors of the A’s uniform work well with the red border. This is a great card of an exciting young catcher. He was an all-star this year, and I look forward to picking up more his cards in the Update Series product.
#620, Yan Gomes (Red Foil Parallel)
This is another great image of a catcher in his gear. Gomes, who is so talented that the Indians moved Carlos Santana to 3rd/1st base, is the 1st Brazilian born player in MLB history. This year his numbers are very solid: .275/.321/.462 with 13 HR’s and 39 RBI’s. And he has played in 87 of the Indians 101 games this year.