10 years ago, the Tampa Bay Rays were finishing second in the division and squeezing into the wild card race with a lot of homegrown talent. Nowadays they're doing the same thing but finishing first and chasing world series'.
There were a lot of interesting pieces of the 2011 team that either came too late or were too obscure for Topps to really do anything about. For instance, because he came up in September, Topps couldn't make a card of Matt Moore until 2012, a lot like Shane Baz this year. Moore is very similar to Baz, actually, with some scorching late-season starts, a very low ERA, and even some postseason numbers worthy of onlookers, like, oh I dunno, STARTING GAME ONE OF THE ALDS. Matt Moore, with 3 regular season appearances to his name, goes 7 innings with the win in Game 1 of the doomed 2011 ALDS. He's basically exactly Shane Baz. I hope Baz's career goes a little better.
Tomorrow, we tackle some stories from the 2012 Red Sox.