The past couple of weekends I've been able to find an hour or so of time to go through the giant box of Blue Jays. Trying to find enough cards to put together pages of either players or sets can be very time consuming. Maybe one day I'll be smart enough and just sort the entire damn box so my life will be easier!
The time was well spent, don't get me wrong. I managed to put together another 15 pages of cards, meaning there's 135 cards that I don't have to continually sort through in the future. While I was able to put together player pages of Halladay, Bautista, Overbay, Shannon Stewart, John Olerud along with a handful of early 80's Donruss and Fleer pages, the 2009 Topps Heritage page that I'm going to show off is the one that caught my eye.
I pondered for a moment how I would show off the set, since it's a completely horizontal release. I didn't think too long before figuring out what to do...
Top row: Tall isn't the only common thread
Looking these 3 up on baseball reference to see what their current status is was an eye opener, not because of where they are, but because of their size. Rios is the shortest (6'3"), while the other two stand 6'5". By happy accident, it turns out that all 3 are first round picks of the Jays as well, Rios in '99, McGowan was the 33rd pick in 2000, and Purcey was a first rounder in 2004.
None of the three are with the Jays now...
Middle row: No links here
Scott Downs in my opinion, is going to be one of those lefty pitchers that pitches into his mid 40's, finding a new job on a new team each season. He's on a tryout in 2015 with the Indians.
Shaun Marcum is also with the Indians. Marcum didn't throw a pitch for the Jays in 2009, due to arm troubles, which have plagued him throughout his career.
Both Marcum and Downs were drafted in the third round (another happy accident).
Third row: Sprinkle in a couple of rookies
Love the Brett Cecil pre-glasses picture. 2009 was his rookie season with the Jays, and it saw him struggle as a starter. His ERA was quite bloated while the Jays kept him as a starter during his first 4 seasons. The last two years he's been in the pen, and very effective. Cecil looks so different here than on some of his more recent Topps issues, which show off some great tattoos along with his trademark glasses.
2009 was also Brad Mills rookie season, but he didn't fare anywhere near as well as Cecil. Mills is in the A's system right now, but unless something improves it appears that he's going to end up as a AAA/fringe starter.
I remembered reading about Jesse Litsch last summer, he had retired after having some very serious health problems over the previous 3 years. The 2007 & 08 seasons were very good for Jesse, but Tommy John surgery in 2009 unfortunately started the arm problems that would eventually cost him his career.
Topps in my opinion did a nice job replicating the 1960 set with the 2009 Heritage release. There are those out there who don't like it because it's completely horizontal, which does make it tough to look at cards in pages unless you turn the binder sideways. I like the different colored backgrounds in the secondary photo on the front.
I wondered while writing this post how far I was from completing the Jays team set for '09 Heritage. Turns out I still need 9 cards, which include the SPs of Halladay, Rolen and Romero. Maybe one day I'll hunt them down and knock another team set off the want list.
thanks for reading, Robert