Four more teams were eliminated yesterday. We have this weekend to narrow the field down by seven more to reach the Sweet 16. Let's see what the cards hold for today.
Round 1: San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves
2016 Topps Bunt #72 Buster Posey vs. 1997 Leaf #97 Fred McGriff
Great matchup here! Two All-Stars, McGriff is a borderline Hall of Famer and Posey will probably make it in. Two nice sets as well. I really liked the colorful, bold design when Bunt appeared two years ago, but 1997 Leaf is just as good for different reasons. It looks more elegant. Both have good action photos, but the recognizable Crime Dog follow-through is a work of art. The back of these cards is where we’ll separate the two. Leaf may not have full stats, but it does have a second photo. Bunt’s backs are just terrible. There is no contest with the backs. I’m giving this one to McGriff.
Round 1: Kansas City Royals vs. Seattle Mariners
2013 Topps Opening Day #5 Eric Hosmer vs. 1994 Collector’s Choice #317 Ken Griffey, Jr.
For the second matchup in a row, both players are PC guys. And my first thought is “It’s Griffey! Of course he wins!” But let’s just slow this down for a minute. First, there is no contest between Hosmer and Griffey. But the rest of the cards tell a different story. If this were the regular base card of 1994 Collector’s Choice, it would be better for Griffey. But this checklist isn’t really to my taste. It’s not all that excited and the artwork isn’t eye-popping. Hosmer has a nice follow-through shot on the Sea Turtle design, and it just looks better. Add in the backs, where we have full stats versus cards 65-128, and the advantage goes to Hosmer. I’m not a checklist enthusiast, unfortunately. Eric Hosmer pulls off an upset against Ken Griffey, Jr.
Round 1: Miami Marlins vs. Milwaukee Brewers
2016 Topps Bunt #98 Dee Gordon vs. 2017 Topps #3 Chris Capuano
If this matchup were on TV, I wouldn’t be watching. But one of these teams will advance to the Sweet 16. I like the intensity shown in the photos of both of these cards. I’m not sure who I would take between Gordon and Capuano. I typically like Bunt, but I don’t like Miami’s new look, and seeing it so big on the card in this set is not appealing. The clincher here is the back, though. Capuano’s blurb is a shout-out to his “tenacity” for overcoming multiple injuries throughout his career maintaining a Big League level of play. I’ll take that for the win.
Soon we'll finish up the first round and finalize the Sweet 16. Thanks for reading!