For the past couple of Saturdays I've been breaking down the 2014 Factory Team Sets (FTS) by taking a look at how they compare with the team sets released in Series One and Opening Day. Now that Series 2 has been released as well, I could probably throw them into the mix but for the sake of continuity, I won’t. Maybe next year.
Last week, I did the Braves and mentioned how there was a lack of variety among the sets (only 18 different players were used). The Yankees come in on the opposite end of that spectrum (no surprise there, Topps) with 24.
There were so many different groupings that I actually Venn diagrammed these out to keep track, so I’m going to present them a little bit differently than I have previous team sets.
Five cards were just in Series One.
Boone Logan, Vernon Wells, Zoilo Almonte
Boone Logan spent four seasons with the Yankees so he would seem like a safe bet to include but was granted agency and signed with the Colorado Rockies in the off season. Vernon Wells was released by the Yankees in January and has yet to find a team for 2014. I don’t even know if he’s looking, so this might be a sunset card for the former Gold Glovin’, Silver Sluggin’ All-Star. Zoilo Almonte is part of the Yankees 40-man roster but is currently with their Triple A affiliate, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.
JR Murphy made his debut last September and caught a bunch of games to finish out the season. Since the Yankees have to be represented at every position, he was Topps’ pick for catcher in Series One.
The omission of this particular Mariano Rivera card makes sense as it was a highlights/tribute card.
No cards showed up only in Opening Day. If they were in Opening Day, they were either included with Series One and/or the FTS. Two cards from Series One made the Opening Day checklist but not the FTS.
This is a great card. Its inclusion in Series One makes for a great final tribute. The decision to include it in Opening Day is a little questionable since it was well known that Rivera wouldn't actually be around to play on Opening Day. But that logic comes from the same company that puts out Pro Debut cards of guys two or three years into their pro career. But at least they had the forethought to not include him in the 2014 FTS.
A-Rod was another smart omission from the team set. He played last year, so he had stats to include on a 2014 card. Fine. I’ll be curious (not really) to see whether or not he gets a 2015 card after being suspended for this entire year.
One card showed up in Series One that didn’t make the cut for Opening Day but showed up in the FTS.
Eduardo Nunez played the bulk of the games at shortstop in place of the injured Derek Jeter last season. He was traded in early April to the Minnesota Twins, too late to be taken out of the FTS.
We got to see five new Yankees cards with the release of Opening Day that were also included in the FTS. As much I feel like I don’t need any more Yankees cards, I guess the inclusion of these next five guys as a preview of Series Two was a no-brainer.
CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira
CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira are fairly long term Yankees with 8 All-Star appearances between them, among other accolades.
Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury
Landing any one of these three big off season acquisitions would have been a small coup for just about any other team. All three? That’s the Yankee way.
These next four guys must be the “Core Four” I always here about because they appeared in all three issues thus far. (I kid)
Hiroki Kuroda, Derek Jeter
Brett Gardner, Alfonso Soriano
If there was going to be four that appeared in all of them, Jeter and Jeter were good bets to be among them. But I would have thought Sabathia would be one and Ichiro would be another.
(Spoiler alert: Ichiro didn’t make any of the sets?! Anybody know what’s up with that? I didn't even see him on the Series 2 checklist…)
So there you have it. Seventeen different Yankees cards. Wait, what? There’s still seven more cards from the Factory set that haven’t been shown yet??? Fine.
Ivan Nova, Kelly Johnson, Michael Pineda
David Robertson, Brian Roberts