Bold statement- Jeremy Jeffress is one of the best relief pitchers of the 2010s. His epic 2020 season in Chicago was the culmination of 9 strong years of solid service across the leagues. As great as he can be, Jeffress's strengths have often gone unappreciated, especially as far as Topps is concerned. For the majority of his career, because he's 'only' a middle reliever, Jeffress will either be included in the wrong uniform or not at all in Topps' sets. The good news is that in the last few seasons he's at least been getting cards in Topps' online exclusive Total sets, but...just like the 2002-05 run, they don't count as official Topps releases to me. So, we're gonna go through every year Topps dropped the ball with Jeffress.
2011: Jeffress gets a rookie card with the Brewers for his late-season debut in 2010. In all actuality, Jeffress is already in Kansas City by the time the set is released, having been traded for Zack Greinke. In 14 games for KC, he has a 4.70 ERA and 13 Ks in relief. It's enough to get him a Topps card in 2012, but because his 2012 use is minimal, Topps...gives up for a few years.
Jeffress begins the 2014 season with the Jays, does Spring Training with them, pitches 3 games but sports a 10 ERA. Now the Jays have even less use for him, and release him.
2015 and 2016 Jeffress gets Brewers issues, that's the right idea. Then, at the 2016 trade deadline, he's involved in a deal to Arlington.
Jeffress gets 12 games in Arlington to finish the 2016 season, doesn't add to his 27 saves in Milwaukee, but strikes out 7 plus one more in the postseason.
And yes, Jeffress does get a Rangers card in the 2017 Topps set. But...Jeffress is involved in another trade deadline deal. And because NONE of the 2017 trade deadline deals made it into 2017 Update...
The Brewers trading for Jeffress in 2017 is the opposite of his 2016- Jeffress was struggling in Texas and the Brewers wanted to bring him home so he'd excel for them. Sure enough, Jeffress sported a 3.65 ERA in 22 games, and returned to his former glory with the Brewers.
Once I figure out how to customize the 2020 design, I'll deliver his 2020 Cubs tenure. Honestly, doing 2020 customs might be a completely different project in itself, as the story Topps told of the 2020 season was more a story of the 2019 season stretched out throughout all of 2020. So if this project is filling in Topps' blanks, I'll have a LOT to do for the 2020 set.