Last week, I started my own tournament in conjunction with March Madness: Card Madness. I created a bracket and I'm pitting baseball teams against each other in a battle to the death by showcasing cards from my collection, which have been randomly selected. The bracket is here, so you can view progress.
After one round of play (which is really the point of this--playing with my cards), we have elimated 14 of the 30 MLB teams. The Astros and Cubs will be joining us this round, as they both had byes in Round 1.
Round 2: Houston Astros vs. Cleveland Indians
2015 Topps Chrome #149 Evan Gattis vs. 1991 Topps #692 Efrain Valdez
Two great card designs here. I love 2015 even more when it is chromed, and 1991 is one of my all-time favorite flagship designs. The photos here are pretty boring. Both players are featured in uniforms that looks like Spring Training t-shirts than actual uniforms. The real edge goes here to Gattis, who is not only a superior player, but a really interesting guy. El Oso Blanco picks up the victory here.
Round 2: Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies
1991 Upper Deck #332 Jerome Walton vs. 2016 Topps Archives #114 Jose Reyes
Jose Reyes is clearly the better player here, but Jerome Walton won Rookie of the Year after a pretty nice debut season and even garnered some MVP votes in the process. The ROY award gives him
a special place in my heart. The juxtaposition of the photos is interesting to me here. Both in their batting stances, on opposite sides of the plate, looking like they're facing each other. I like the design on both, but I think I favor the clean look of early Upper Deck, and the team logo on the front. The back will decide. . . and the trademark second photo on the flipside gives the edge to Upper Deck.
Round 2: Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays
2016 Topps Opening Day #OD-32 Raul Mondesi vs. 2017 Topps Update #US76 Miguel Montero
Until this past June, Montero was my possibly favorite Cubs catcher ever. He fell from grace quickly then. Still, I have to say his career body of work far surpasses Mondesi's. I'm not sure which design I prefer out of Topps's last two offerings. A slight miscellaneous edge might be given to Mondesi for its being a rookie card, but it's not big. Both photos showcase a follow-through. On to the backs then: Mondesi refers to the cool fact that he was the first player to make his Major League debut in the World Series. That's quite the stage to make an appearance. Montero refers to his suddenly becoming available on the trade block. That's just a bad reminder to me of the ignominious way he talked himself out of Chicago and off my Cubbies' roster.
Round 2: Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Diego Padres
2017 Topps Update #US193 Orlando Arcia vs. 2012 Panini Cooperstown Induction #15 Tony Gwynn
There's an obvious mismatch in players here. Arcia has shown lots of potential, but Gwynn is just too much for the youngster to overcome. I like the design of Topps here more, but I have to admit that the somewhat bland design on the Induction card is well-suited for its subject. It would be cringeworthy if it were meant to feature anything but a formal ceremony, though. In all, I like the dichotomy in this matchup: Rookie Debut vs. Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. I'll take Gwynn.