Last week I was working on updating my 2012 checklist and want list and realized there was a Willie Mays SP in the 2012 Topps base set. It parallels card #330. It parallels Matt Kemp. Outside of a huge disconnect with Mr. Kemp playing for the evil ones in blue, it probably isn't too bad of a comparison. Mays was a 5-tool player and Kemp brings some solid tools to the diamond as well.
At first I was a little bummed that I have another card to chase. I thought I had the full team set for the Topps base sets. However I had a quick change of heart. I am not a huge fan of some of the gimmicks Topps pulls (including leaving out card #7 which it appears will happen again in 2013) but this is one I like.
I will happily share my Mays card once I get it but thought I would share a trio from back in 2009 that I picked up late last year to finish off my 2009 Topps team base set:
Let's grade how closely the player in each of these parallels makes sense.
#195 Christy Mathewson parallels Tim Lincecum - A+ - to me this is a perfect match. A fellow Giant - check. Right handed starting pitcher - check. Track record of domination - check. Everything lines up pretty well. Although Mathewson is well known for being a perfect gentleman and Lincecum is known for his proclivity to toke up, maybe I should adjust the grade. Nah, I will keep it on the diamond.
#240 Mel Ott parallels Ryan Braun - C - on the plus side, they are both know as pretty dominant hitters with all around ability and a lot of power. On the minus side, Ott is left handed, Braun right. The teams aren't close, Giants vs. Brewers. Fairly decent comparison but not a perfect match by any means.
#476 Juan Marichal parallels Edison Volquez - B - Decent match, both are right handed starters hailing from the Dominican Republic. Both are decent strikeout pitchers but not known particularing for their ability to K batters. However Volquez is a career .500 pitcher and the Dominican Dandy had a .631 winning percentage in his HOF career. The nationality match gives this one the nod over the Ott/Braun matchup.
Any fans of these parallels? I like it when they are the legendary players. Appears from the 2013 Topps checklist that we won't be seeing any of these in Series 1 this year (but there sure are lots of current Giants!).