Saturday, September 23, 2017

2017 Topps Now - #642 & #643 - Clinching & Bellinger's Record Blast

Cody Bellinger has been a revelation this season. He didn't make the Dodgers out of spring training, but soon got the call 21 games into the year. Quickly, he would make his presence known in LA.

During his fifth game in Dodger Blue he socked his first two home runs. By game 40 he had twelve dingers and was slugging a healthy .544. When game 60 came around it was obvious that Bellinger was a rookie unlike anything we'd ever seen. He had recorded 24 homers by this time, with 56 RBI's and a OPS of .998. Last night, on his 124th game, he rocketed his 39th home run of the season to break and set a new National League rookie record for homers.

To celebrate the achievement Topps has issued a new 2017 Topps Now card, #642. Go here to check it out and order. Per Cary Osborne at Dodger Insider:
“We’ve said it from the start, as soon he came up, he changed our dynamic,” said 2016 NL Rookie of the Year Corey Seager. “His attitude, his personality, it took over the clubhouse and everyone sort of hopped on his back.” 
The Dodgers are 85–39 when he plays, 83–37 when he starts. 
“I think he energized (the lineup),” said Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi. “I think that would be the best word for it. Coming up, being the power threat he is, running the bases, playing first base, but just the threat he posed every time he went up — it was just an energizing thing. Our win-loss record shows we really took off from there. It goes to show that one guy being that one threat can lift everybody’s game”
Per the description on the reverse:
Cody Bellinger launched his 39th home run of the season off of San Francisco Giant pitcher, Jeff Samardzija, setting th National League Rookie Record for most home runs in a season. Bellinger broke the record which was held by Wally Berger and Frank Robinson.

Also, the Dodger clinched. WooHoo!!!

For a bit there, I was a little worried... Not like, really worried... Just a little bit... Like, there was a creeping sensation that 1951 would rear its ugly head. Per Rowan Kavner at Dodger Insider:
It was, in some ways, cathartic — the exact type of moment manager Dave Roberts thought his group could use on the way to the greater goals ahead. 
“Until we clinched, just to see the way the guys have released a lot of emotion tonight, there was so much build-up and anticipation,” Roberts said. “I think this is great for the team.”
I think much of the Dodgers fanbase breathed a sigh of relief when last night's last out was recorded. Now, we are on to bigger and better things. It is time to ready ourselves for the playoffs.

In the meantime, check out this great new 2017Topps Now card that celebrates last nights clinching victory over the NAtional League West Division for the fifth consecutive season. Go here to check it out and order. Per the description on the reverse:
The Dodgers clinched their fifth consecutive National League West Division title with a 4-2 home victory over the San Francisco Giants. Cody Bellinger set a National League rookie record with his 39th home run as Rich Hill struck out nine to earn the win and drove in a run with his first double in a decade.

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