30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Thursday, May 31, 2018

All Autograph Team: Vol. 6 (Fan Favorites)

Every year there's one product I look forward to more than any other product... and it's not Stadium Club.  It's Topps Archives.  The base set is average at best and the inserts aren't much better.  But their on-card Fan Favorites autographs more than make up for their mediocrities.

Over the past six years, I've collected over fifty different autographs and today I'm going to show off my favorites using Kenny's Blog Bat Around topic:  All Autograph Team.

I'm gonna go with the standard starting nine, a designated hitter, a pinch runner, four additional starting pitchers, a reliever, and a manager.

Here are today's team guidelines:

#1:  All autographs will be on-card, pack pulled autographs.

#2:  All autographs will be Topps Archives Fan Favorites autographs.

#3:  None of these autographs have made appearances on any other All Autograph Teams.

#4:  With the exception of Mota, all athletes will be guys I've watched play.

Now that we've established the details, let's check out my team...

Catcher:  Tony Pena

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-TP

This is one of my favorite Fan Favorite autographs in my collection.  I grew up impersonating Pena's catching style and couldn't wait for Topps to finally add him to their Archives checklist.

First Baseman:  Will Clark

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-WC

This is the second time Clark has made an appearance on one of my autograph teams.  Had a lot of fun watching The Thrill hit at Candlestick Park back in the day.

Second Baseman:  Davey Lopes

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DL

I'm not going to claim to be a diehard Lopes fan.  However he was the best option among guys like Jose Vidro, Tim Teufel, Delino DeShields, Tony Womack, and Joe McEwing.

Shortstop:  Matt Williams

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-MWI

Did you know that Matt spent the majority of his rookie season playing shortstop for the San Francisco Giants during the 1987 MLB season?

Third Baseman:  Kevin Mitchell

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-KML

What can I say?  I grew up going to a lot of San Francisco Giants games in the 80's.  In fact, if Topps ever adds Robby Thompson to their Fan Favorites lineup... they'll own a monopoly on the infield

Left Fielder:  Ben Oglivie

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-BOG

There's just something about those early to mid 80's Milwaukee Brewers teams that I can't help but love.  It started with guys like Rollie Fingers and Cecil Cooper.  Then there were Yount and Molitor.  But it was guys like Ted Simmons, Jim Gantner, Gorman Thomas, Moose Haas, and Ben Oglivie that made the team stand out.

Center Fielder:  Fred Lynn

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-FL

I was a baseball fan before I started collecting baseball cards and as a kid, I was blown away by that amazing Red Sox outfield that featured Jim Rice in left, Dwight Evans in right, and Fred Lynn in center.  The Killer B's ain't got nothing on these guys.

Right Fielder:  Dave Parker

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DP

This All Autograph Team is filled with Hall of Very Good members... and Parker has to be close to the top of the list.  Cobra could do it all.

Designated Hitter:  Don Baylor 

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DB

Baylor was known for getting hit by pitches or hitting home runs.  But did you know that he also stole 20 or more bases in eight different seasons?  He's proof that you can't judge a book by its cover

Starting Pitcher #1:  Dwight Gooden

2016 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DG

Starting Pitcher #2:  Dave Stieb

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-DS

Starting Pitcher #3:  Ron Darling

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-RD

Starting Pitcher #4:  Yu Darvish

2012 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-YD

Starting Pitcher #5:  Phil Niekro

2014 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-PN

Gooden, Stieb, and Darling were three of my favorite pitchers during the 80's.  Darvish is the only active baseball player on this roster and represents my Japanese PC.  And Niekro was added to bring veteran leadership to this pitching staff and is the only hall of fame player on this roster.

Relief Pitcher:  Lee Smith

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-LS

Rollie Fingers and Kent Tekulve were originally slated to be this team's bullpen.  However... I was surprised to see that I don't own either of these guys' Fan Favorites autographs.  Oh well... having the guy who's third on the all-time saves list isn't too shabby either.

Pinch Hitter:  Manny Mota

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-MM

There's a pretty good chance that I watched Mota play at some point during the 70's.  I just don't remember.  With that being said... it's widely known that he's one of the greatest pinch hitters of all-time.  Therefore... he makes this roster.

Pinch Runner:  Vince Coleman

2013 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-VC

Coleman is the only guy since the start of the 20th century to record three consecutive 100 stolen base seasons... and he did it during the first three seasons of his career.  I'd say that qualifies him as my pinch runner.

Manager:  Tommy Lasorda

2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites Auto #FFA-TL

I shouldn't like Lasorda... since he and his Dodgers took down my beloved Athletics in 1988.  But sometimes, you just can't help but admire greatness.  Between fourth grade and my senior year in high school, I watched him lead the Dodgers to two World Series titles.  That forever left an impression on this collector.

That wraps up my sixth and final All Autograph Team post.  I was hoping to create a 7th team that included pieces of baseball memorabilia like bats, balls, and photographs.  However... I don't have access to all of my collection right now and didn't have enough stuff to fill an entire team.  Maybe one day though.

The conclusion of this series also means it's time to finish up my contest.  So today's contest question is:

If you could have Topps include any living baseball player to this year's 2018 Topps Archives Fan Favorites autograph set, who would it be?

The ones that immediately come to mind for me are Nate Colbert (Padres), Robby Thompson (Giants), Terry Steinbach (A's), Brian Downing (Angels), Mark Davis (Padres), Ted Simmons (Cardinals or Brewers), Kirk Gibson (Dodgers), Mike McCormick (Giants), Garry Templeton (Padres), Dwayne Murphy (A's), Larry Walker (Expos), Jeffrey Leonard (Giants), Steve Garvey (Padres), Pedro Guerrero (Dodgers), Willie McGee (Cardinals), Krazy George (A's), and Dick Allen (Phillies).

I know that Garvey and Gibson have signed for Archives before... but I'd like to see them in a different uniform this time.  Allen has a few Archives autographs, but hasn't been featured in years.  As for the others... I'm pretty sure they've never been featured in an Archives autograph set.  If they have, I've never seen it before.

I'm sure I've left out at least ten other guys I've considered in the past, but I'm currently drawing a blank.  But I'd love to see who you guys come up with.  Maybe someone at Topps will read this post and listen to our ideas.

Well that's it for today.  I'll close out this contest over the weekend and name the winners by Monday (maybe earlier).

Happy Thursday and sayonara!


  1. What a group Fuji! I’ve got quite a few of these myself but nowhere near 50, whoa!

  2. I mean, I would love to see an obscure PC guy of mine in Matt Mantei crack the Archives lineup, but his one certified AU card will have to suffice for now. I always admired Julio Franco for his longevity and production, so seeing a Fan Favorite autograph card of him would be awesome.

  3. I agree with you on Larry Walker. He was fun to watch

  4. I'd like to see 4x All-Star second baseman Glenn Beckert. His double play partner Don Kessinger has a card in the set.

  5. My daughter also copied Pena's style--our favo(u)rite would be Pat Borders

  6. Darn right Lopes was your best option!

    Some great autos here including the cobra on the seldom used 1978 design.

    I'm hoping for Reggie Smith in this year's archives.

  7. Tough question...a log of my favorites have been included (I've been looking at a Mookie Wison on eBay, but I think it has gone above what I'm willing to pay), and some of the Mets of my youth, such as Tommie Agee and John Milner, are no longer with us. But finding an auto of Felix Millan or Jerry Koosman in a pack of Archives would be pretty great.

    Nice to see two Mets and two non-Mets Mets on your team. I did manage to get Doc to sign a card for me at a signing at a supermarket a couple years ago. A thrill.

  8. Julio Franco from his brief time as a Brewers. My god, that would be a dream card.

  9. One, that's a spiffy looking Parker card. Two, I don't recall ever seeing a certified Kenley Jansen auto. So I'd pick him. Three, a triple featuring Kemp, Kershaw, and Russ Martin all as Dodgers would also greatly interest me.

  10. Orel Hershiser and Dave Dravecky. Hershiser could be dominating at times, and not many people know about Dravecky returning from cancer in his pitching arm.

  11. Dave Dravecky or Jeff Leonard (especially if it's a photo of one-flap-down) would hit me square in the feels.

  12. This might be my favorite autograph collection you've done! You're right - those Archive Fan Favorites are all amazing!

  13. I've been waiting forever for Tino to be in this set. Why won't it happen for me?

  14. I used to kick the leg out and say "Tony Pena" back in the day too.

    Put another vote in for Julio Franco, he's one of my PCs too.

    I've got a Teke auto I can trade you...like this https://www.comc.com/Cards/Baseball/2016/Topps_Archives_65th_Anniversary_-_Base_-_Autographs_Autographed/A65-KT/Kent_Tekulve/11914931

  15. Put me down for Julio Franco, too.
    I definitely agree with Nate Colbert.
    And Dick Allen would also be great, though I'd be hoping for him on a team other than the Phillies, just because it seems like most of his certified autos are of the Philadelphia type so I'd like to change it up (Ideally an A's card since he has none, but I'd settle for Dodgers or Cardinals, too.)
    But my top choice for getting an Archives auto would be Vin Scully.

  16. That is an awesome team and I agree they are all Hall of Very Good. Some players I would like to see would be Gary Sheffield in a Marlins or Padres uniform, Robin Ventura in a ChiSox uni, Mike Mussina in an Orioles uniform, Omar Moreno in a 79 pillbox cap Pirates uniform, and how about a Larry fricking Walker in a Rockies or Expos uniform.

  17. Another amazing set of autographs! Extremely gratifying to see Mota and Lasorda included--props to you for recognizing their accomplishments. As for any living player to be included in this year's Topps Archives, how about Mickey Hatcher, Hideo Nomo and Felipe Alou?

  18. That Fred Lynn is gorgeous.
    I definitely don't follow these autos all that much, but I think that's probably just cause I'm on the younger side. Terry Mulholland would probably be my choice, don't ask me why... or John Rocker for the lulz.

    1. Should clarify... Mulholland on the Braves, cause why not.

  19. Stunned silence at these glorious cards!

  20. Great collection of cards! I'm assuming Rick Sutcliffe hasn't signed yet...he'd be my choice if he hasn't.

  21. Brian Downing was a good pick. I also thought of Dickie Thon.

  22. Gonna close out the contest... and start putting together a list of all of the entries right now. I'll post the contest results tomorrow.

  23. jasongerman9, matt prigge, and gca - julio franco definitely deserves a fan favorite autograph

    hackenbush - hadn't heard of beckert... but looking at his career, i'd say he deserves an autograph as well

    al kawamoto - i'd love to see borders in the set

    gcrl - lol. figured dodger fans would appreciate that pick. as for your selection... smith is a good choice

    brett alan - both of your mets would be good picks. btw... koosman has a really nice jersey auto in 2001 ud decade.

    greg zakwin - i'd love to add a jansen to my collection. as for triple autos in archives, i'm praying they don't start that trend

    jeremya1um - yes and yes. i want both of those guys too.

    nick vossbrink - heck yeah... one flap down!

    matt - best of all... 95% of them are super affordable

    the lost collector - i say go for the trifecta... tino, bernie, and jorge

    gca - thanks for the offer. i actually have that card already. i didn't use it b/c it's not part of the fan favorites set.

    collecting cutch - omar moreno definitely deserves a card

    bbcardz - i'm assuming hatcher would have his big glove ;)

    matt stupienski - Mulholland is an interesting choice. i remember him mostly as a giant. lol. not sure about rocker... although he did have a place in baseball history

    jafronius - i vote for sutcliffe too

    the angels in order - dickie thon would get my vote too

  24. That Darvish card just looks wrong with the gold border around the team name.

    If I could pick a living player for this year's Archives set, I would pick Joe Randa.