Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 Topps Now -- #291 -- Bellinger's 24 Homers Most Since 1933

Cody Bellinger is not human. He's some sort of bat-wielding cyborg with a swing a smooth as silk and strength that you only hear about when speaking of the gods. Cody is like a mythical beast we all wish for, but never expect to see. He's become a game-changer, and if not for his sudden emergence we would likely not be anywhere near the top of the standings like we are today.

As you know, Cody Bellinger walloped two more home runs yesterday afternoon to reach a league high 24, and for his efforts he was awarded his 11th 2017 Topps Now card of the season. The card celebrates the most home runs in the 1st half of the season by an rookie since 1933. Go here to check it out and order. BTW, Cody was also named the National League Player of the Week this morning. Per a Dodger press release:
Bellinger posted a slash line of .370/.400/1.037 with seven runs scored, three doubles, five home runs and 12 RBI over seven games to claim his second career NL Player of the Week Award, last winning earlier this season on May 8.  Bellinger, who made his Major League debut on April 25, is the first player in the Majors this season to garner multiple weekly honors.  The 21-year-old rookie paced the Majors in home runs, RBI and total bases (28), while among NL leaders, finished the period third in slugging percentage, tied for fourth in hits and tied for fifth in doubles.
Bellinger began his award-winning week in historic fashion last Monday, going 3-for-5 with a pair of home runs and four RBI.  The multi-homer effort was his fifth of the 2017 season and propelled him to becoming the fastest player in MLB history to reach 21 round-trippers (51 career games).  Additionally, the Scottsdale, Arizona native surpassed Adrian Beltre (20 HR, 2000) to log the most home runs as a Dodger in a season at age 21-or-younger.  The following night, the dynamic slugger connected for his 22nd home run of the season in a game that saw Los Angeles record a season-high-tying five homers.  With the prolific output, the Dodgers had blasted 27 home runs in its previous 10 games, establishing a new franchise record for homers over any 10-game span.  For Bellinger, it was his 10th home run over his last 10 games (June 10-20), and he became just the second player in team history to log 10 homers in 10 contests, joining Shawn Green (May 2002).  In addition, Bellinger became the first rookie in Major League history to accomplish the feat, and was the first big league player to do so since Troy Tulowitzki (September 8-18, 2010).  In Sunday’s contest against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium, Bellinger finished his extraordinary week with another three-hit effort, including two home runs and four RBI.  Not even halfway through the season, Bellinger enters play today with six multi-homer efforts, and trails only Mark McGwire (7) for the most multi-homer games as a rookie in MLB history.  The overall single-season mark of 11 multi-homer games is held by Hall of Famer Hank Greenberg (1938) and Sammy Sosa (1998).
The reverse of the Topps Now card says:
Cody Bellinger set a National League record for home runs by a rookie before the MLB All-Star break, with 13 games still remaining. His first home run on Sunday came in the third inning, when he hammered a fastball to right-center field for a two-run shot. His second career homer came in the eighth inning on a two-run shot to right, which gave the Dodgers an 11-6 lead.

UPDATE: the total print run for the above Bellinger card is 2,650 copies.

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