Friday, June 13, 2014

2014 Topps Series 2 Baseball - Dodger Short Prints - Topps Does Moneyball

The second series of Topps' flagship Baseball card set was released earlier this week.  I'll have plenty of pics available to share with you next week.  For now, I want to focus on the known Dodger short prints, and the growing analytical trend that now appears to have taken hold in the collectible cards. 

Topps has gone full-on moneyball. 

A few years back they added statistics like WHIP and OPS to their card-backs.  This year they have added WAR to their card-backs, and as a special bonus they have issued short printed variations that feature nothing but "Sabermetric" fueled statistics.   

So far, only one Dodger player has one of these "Sabermetric Stat Back" cards and it is Clayton Kershaw.  Check it out below.

#400 Clayton Kershaw - Sabermetric Stats Short Print

As you can see, the stats shared are not what you would typically see on a Baseball card.  There's no wins or losses, ERA is nonexistent and static statistics like walks and strike outs are a no-show.  Instead, we see a Quality Starts %, Left On Base %, Ground Ball %, and so on.  Heck, there are even stats I have no familiarity with at all... Like, what's WPA - the Works Progress Administration?  And, I'm still trying to figure out what's RS/GS.

For comparison, check out the typical stats found on the back of Clayton's card.

Normal Back

BTW, since only a Dodger pitcher is available with a "Sabermetric Stat Back"card I thought I would show what the stats look like for a fielder.  Check out the back of the Mike Trout "Sabermetric Stat Back" card.

As for other Dodger short printed cards that are available, check out the couple "Sparkle" variations that are known to exist below.  So far, only a Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp "Sparkle" cards have been found, and I have included appropriate markings to show were the "Sparkle" is.  As time goes on, more may be found.  So, I will surely update this post if that is the case.

SP Sparkle Variations

#400 Clayton Kershaw - Sparkle

#460 Matt Kemp- Sparkle

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