Monday, February 1, 2016

Two Extra League Leader Cards

As I was looking a bit more carefully over the 2016 series one checklist, it dawned on me that there were a couple extra league leader cards.  Since 2010 Topps has made 10 league leader cards.  From each league there are cards for the leaders in HR, RBI, Average, Wins, and ERA.

This year there are twelve instead of the usual ten.  The problem with the checklist is that it states only league leaders.  It doesn't say HR leaders, ERA leaders, etc.  So which new stat was included? Going way back, Topps used to have leader cards for strikeouts and saves.  Those two seem like likely candidates.

I went to MLB's league leader page and compared the top three in various categories to the checklist.  Card #346 is the key.  The three listed leaders are Corey Kluber, Dallas Keuchel, and Marco Estrada.  And which stat did these guys make up the AL's top three?

WHIP, walks and hits per inning pitched.

Topps has included a 21st century stat leader card.  WHIP has been on the back of a pitcher's card since 2004.  Twelve years later it gets a leader card.

We know that #346 is the AL WHIP leader card.  The NL card is an unknown, though.

The problem is this...There are two leader cards on the checklist with the same three players.  #58 and #125 have Zach Greinke,Jake Arrieta, and Clayton Kershaw.  These three were the top three in both ERA and WHIP.  In fact they finished in the same order in both, Greinek, Arrieta, and Kershaw 1-2-3.  So until we see the cards, we don't know if #58 is for ERA or WHIP.

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