Saturday, May 31, 2014

2014 Topps Factory Team Set - Mariners

So far, I've broken down three factory team sets, comparing them to the Series One and Opening Day releases. They have all been National League teams (Cubs, Nationals, Rockies) so I'm going to jump to the American League with the Seattle Mariners.

In Series One, the Mariners had 14 different players represented on 15 cards. Hisashi Iwakuma had a base card and also appeared on the American League ERA leader card. Of the 14 base cards, 11 also appeared in the factory team set. That doesn't leave a whole lot of room for new cards.

When Opening Day rolled around, the Mariners were slotted with 9 base cards, but only two that didn't appear in Series One. Rollovers include James Paxton, Mike Zunino, Hisashi Iwakuma, Kyle Seager, Nick Franklin, Taijuan Walker and Kendrys Morales (more on him later). New to Opening Day were King Felix and probably the biggest free agent acquisition in the league, a Photoshopped Robinson Cano.

Knowing that one of the remaining cards is a stadium card, that leaves only three new player cards from the factory team set.

Brad Miller took over the starting shortstop job from a struggling Brendan Ryan (who was eventually traded to the Yankees) last season and continues on this year. Logan Morrison joined the Mariners following an off-season trade with the Miami Marlins. Corey Hart was a two-time All-Star in nine seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers before missing the entire 2013 season recovering from knee surgery. He signed as a free agent for 2014.

My mom's side of the family lives in Washington state so while I made several childhood trips to the Kingdome, I haven't had a chance to check out Safeco Field yet.This is completely random, but I wonder what that large group of people wearing yellow in the left field corner are representing.

For those paying attention, there were a couple of cards from Series One that didn't make the cut for the team set. 

Danny Farquhar and Abraham Almonte are both currently with the Mariners so the only reason I can think of that they weren't part of the team set is that the team was over represented in Series One. Farquhar is a middle reliever and Almonte is a 4th/5th outfielder, both expendable positions in the team set game.

Kendrys Morales was granted free agency following the 2013 season. So while this photo was an interesting selection for a Series One card, Topps couldn't justify using the card again a few months later for the team set.

And finally, we have the mascot from Opening Day.


  1. All the yellow shirts are the King's Court. It's a special promotion the team runs on the days Felix pitches. for $30 you get a King's court t-shirt (usually yellow I believe), and a big K card. The idea is actually brilliant as on the days Felix doesn't pitch I believe the section is mostly empty. So the team gets to sellout undesirable seats that without the promotion would probably be empty.

    What it means is that Felix was pitching the day the picture for the card was taken.

    1. Thanks for the info! I was leaning towards a boy scout troop or corporate outing. Learn something new everyday!