Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Card Madness 2023: Baseball Edition (Round 1)

Last year's Card Madness featured a tournament of NFL teams using randomly selected cards from my collection. As evidence of my impartiality, the Minnesota Vikings were crowned NFL Card Madness champions. This year, I'm going to switch it up a little and hold a Major League Baseball tournament. Here's how it works: I seeded every MLB team based on last season's results. World Series participants Astros and Phillies earned first-round byes. I used the random card feature on TCDB to select one card from each team to face off against the opponent. The judging of the matchup will be subjective, but I may consider the quality of the player's career, the visual attractiveness of the card, the collectibility of the card, or even card condition. I will declare the winner and update the bracket. A new card will be chosen to represent the team in each round. Here is the field:

Which team will be collection champions? Let's start the Madness.

Round 1: San Francisco Giants vs. Minnesota Twins

1993 Topps Colorado Rockies Inaugural Edition #698 Ted Wood vs. 2005 Bowman Chrome Refractor #149 Trevor Plouffe

Neither player here was any kind of star, but at least Plouffe ended up with a positive career WAR (7.2 to Wood's -1.0). The Rockies Inaugural will always be a treasure in my collection, but this card doesn't represent it well. All of the orange and black with a splash of yellow just doesn't do anything for me. Not to mention that the picture is goofy and unflattering. Refractors, on the other hand, always do something for me. If this were a base Bowman card, I'm not sure it could overcome the 1993 set. But the stronger player on a refractor will give Minnesota the win.
Winner: Twins

Round 1: Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers

1997 New Pinnacle #100 Randy Johnson vs. 2013 Triple Play #27

This decision doesn't take much thought. Hall of Fame pitcher in clean, glossy full-bleed design? Or a middle-of-the-road outfielder on an all-time bad, corny, cartoony, set? I'll think I take Randy Johnson and move on.

Winner: Mariners

Round 1: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Colorado Rockies

2004 Fleer Legacy #43 Scott Rolen vs. 2008 Stadium Club #56 Garrett Atkins

Two horizontal cards squaring off here. I like the Stadium Club look much more than the Fleer Legacy. Everything on the Rolen card looks blurry to me and the border is ugly and obtrusive. However, Scott Rolen had a long, solid career that culminated in a Hall of Fame induction this year. Garrett Atkins had a pretty good three-year peak, but even his best was not much than Rolen's worst. In this case, the player carries the day.

Winner: Cardinals

With the Houston bye, we only have three match-ups on our opening day of Card Madness. Tomorrow, we'll continue Round 1 by looking at a different region.



  1. This will be fun! Johnson wins easily against any of these.

  2. A. I love brackets!

    B. Wasn't too familiar with Plouffe during his playing days... but I love the work he does for Jomboy Media.