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Talkin’ baseball cards with Jon Finkel of Beckett Media

Topps released their 2018 Legendary Royals Lineup, and Jon Finkel of Beckett Media sat down to talk with us about it.

One of my favorite things about sports is the idea of “fantasy sports.” Fantasy sports are a lot of fun. I play in several fantasy football leagues, I play fantasy baseball, I even joined up in a fantasy basketball league (that I did poorly in) this year because my buddy needed an extra player. It’s fun to be able to imagine what a team would look like if you had the power to assemble one yourself. You kind of get to play General Manager for a day in fantasy land.

One of the most unique things about the game of baseball is the trading card hobby that is around the game. When I was a kid, I couldn't wait for the day that we’d get to go to Target, buy a new pack of baseball cards, and see who was inside. It was kind of like my own little fantasy team, on a deck of trading cards.

Beckett Media joined up with baseball card powerhouse Topps to create Legendary Lineups for all 30 MLB clubs. It’s like an all-time Royals fantasy team on trading cards. Pretty sweet, right? Here was the lineup they unveiled for your Kansas City Royals:

So there ya have it, your 2018 Topps Legendary Lineup. If you’re anything like me, you probably have a few questions in regard to how Beckett and Topps came up with this Royals lineup. Luckily for us, Beckett Media publisher Jon Finkel was willing to answer a few questions about how we got this specific Royals lineup:

Q: “What was the criterion used to select your Legendary Lineups?”

Jon: “We used a selection of four criterion to pick our lineups. The first thing we considered is what a specific player meant to a fanbase. Part of that process involves how long they played for a certain team, how and if they became a fan favorite, and did they win over the fanbase without much national attention. The second thing we looked at was the skill and accomplishments of the player. The actual production a player put up while with a specific team. Number three was a player’s overall star power. Did they transcend a team’s national spotlight in the national media. The final consideration was the popularity of the player’s baseball card at the peak of their careers.”

Q: “George Brett is pretty unanimously the best player in Royals history, if you had to pick a second best player, who gets your nod?”

Jon: “For me it’s a toss up between Brett Saberhagen and Dan Quisenberry. That time period they played in was arguably the most popular time period in history for baseball cards, and those two were stars on one of the AL’s best teams in that era.”

Q: “There is only 1 player from the 2015 World Championship team on your list. Is part of the market of trading cards just selling to an older crowd?”

Jon: “The players from that 2015 team are still so recent that their careers are still in progress. In 15 years we may look back and say, ‘Hey, Eric Hosmer had a really nice career, maybe he deserves the nod their over Mike Sweeney.’”

Q: “What is the most expensive Royals baseball card ever sold?”

Jon: “There is currently a BGS graded 9.5 Topps OPC George Brett card for $7,500.”

My goodness. Jon also mentioned that it’s possible that a BGS graded 10.0 Topps OPC George Brett card could go for upwards of $40,000. I knew George was popular but, $40,000?! Goodness. Big thanks to Mr. Finkel of Beckett Media for doing that interview with us. Baseball cards have a rich history in the sport and it’s fun to talk about them in the same conversation as real, on-the-field baseball.

So there ya have it folks, a little story behind the selection of the Royals Legendary Lineup that was released this week. Give us your own Royals Legendary Lineup in the comments, I'll see you there with my own.