Grand Cards: The Team We Had

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Team We Had

It's been a long time since I posted a card gallery, and since I recently got both the 2009 and 2010 Topps Factory Team Sets, I thought this would be a fun one.

For those not in the know, at the start of every season, Topps releases a 17-card set for each team. They will often include photoshopped images of the major off-season acquisitions, and in recent years have included photos that differ from players' normal Topps cards. Taken together, they are a nice pick-up for a team collector.

Of course, with production lead times being what they are and the uncertainty of baseball rosters being what they are, these sets can go awry. The 2010 set was one of those. Look at the team we had:

#DET1 Miguel Cabrera

#DET2 Jarrod Washburn

#DET3 Clete Thomas

#DET4 Rick Porcello

#DET5 Brandon Inge

#DET6 Nate Robertson

#DET7 Magglio Ordonez

#DET8 Jeremy Bonderman

#DET9 Marcus Thames

#DET10 Wilkin Ramirez

#DET11 Phil Coke

#DET12 Justin Verlander

#DET13 Joel Zumaya

#DET14 Robinzon Diaz

#DET15 Carlos Guillen

#DET16 Max Scherzer

#DET17 Daniel Schlereth

Let's see. The following players were not on the 25-man roster last year, an honest mistake that perhaps presumes a major-league call-up when one is not imminent, or ignores an injury that only insiders really pay attention to:

Clete Thomas, Wilkin Ramirez, Robinzon Diaz, Daniel Schlereth

Fine. Down to 13 players with 4 in the minors (Wilkin was traded mid-season)

Except, some players were no longer with the organization: Nate Robertson and Marcus Thames.

Oh, and one was no longer playing professional baseball. I'm looking at you Jarrod Washburn.

So that cuts us down to 10 players. Of those, Joel Zumaya, Carlos Guillen and Magglio Ordonez would miss significant portions of the season to injury.

That leaves us with a core team of Miguel Cabrera, Rick Porcello, Brandon Inge, Jeremy Bonderman (!), Phil Coke, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer.

If Topps is only able to accurately predict 10 players off of your 25-man roster, you're in trouble. If only 7 of those players actually play for most of the season, you're in even bigger trouble. 2010 was a rough year, and looking back on it, we really should have seen it coming.

Up next: The team we have--a look at the 2011 Team Set

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