Sandy Alomar Jr. has not really had any new mainstream cards since 2006, which is one year before his playing career was over. He did not have any cards in 2007, other than one minor league team set issue, despite still playing eight games during the season with the Mets. He also has not had any new cards, other than buybacks ever since. I recognize that Alomar is not a Hall of Fame talent but he was a very popular player who played for many years with a terrific Indians team that was one of the best teams in the league for about five years. And Alomar was a big part of that.
Some time last year was when I started keeping my eyes open for Alomar cards, although I did not delve deeply into it until early this year. In that time, I have watched as several possible opportunities for new Alomar cards have come and gone from new sets with no new Alomars. This post will look at those opportunities.
2013 TOPPS HERITAGE
Sandy Alomar Jr. completed the 2012 season as interim manager of the Indians. He managed the final 12 games of the season with a record of 6-6. It is not unusual for Topps to make a manager card of an interim manager though. I have 2002 cards of Joe Kerrigan who managed the final part of the 2001 season with the Red Sox. Alomar could have been included with a manager card but Topps decided not to give the Indians a manager card since they changed managers over the offseason.
2013/2014 TOPPS ARCHIVES
From 2003 to 2005 Topps Fan Favorites was one of my most-anticipated sets, so I was very excited when Fan Favorites was brought back as a short-print and autographed insert set in Topps Archives. While I would have preferred that it was a full set on its own, this was not too bad. Players like Mike Greenwell, Charlie Hough, Keith Miller, Hal Morris, and Mickey Rivers showed up in 2013, but no Sandy Alomar Jr. 2014 saw Mookie Wilson, John Olerud, Carlos Baerga, Bip Roberts, and Lenny Harris get cards, but again, no Sandy Alomar Jr. I will look forward to 2015, but Alomar seems like the kind of player who should get into this set.
2013 TOPPS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR TROPHY
The thick trophy cards are rare cards that fall about once per box. I don't have many in my Red Sox collection either. In 2013, one of the trophy inserts sets was for the Rookie of the Year, which of course Alomar won in 1990 unanimously. Most of the players featured went on to terrific careers, but there was a Jeremy Hellickson card in there.
2013 TOPPS UPDATE ALL STAR GAME MVP PATCHES
Similar to the Rookie of the Year trophy cards, these are manufactured patches. Alomar won the 1997 All Star Game MVP yet did not appear in this insert set either. There were just 15 card in this set and all were Hall of Famers or likely Hall of Famers. And Bo Jackson.
2013 TOPPS POSTSEASON HEROES
Okay, this one may be a stretch, but Alomar had a terrific postseason in 1997. I think it is a stretch because the Indians did not win the World Series in 1997.
2013 PANINI HOMETOWN HEROES
This is one of the biggest misses in my opinion. This set was basically Fan Favorites with some current players thrown in. Some of the more surprising players included in this set were John Tudor, Rick Aguilera, Paul O'Neill, Teddy Higuera, Ben McDonald, Keith Moreland, Dan Gladden, freaking Johnny Ray, and many more. Yet again, no Sandy Alomar Jr. I was hoping for a set in 2014 that might fix that, but none came. If Alomar is not a Hometown Hero for the Indians, I don't know who is, especially in looking at some of the players that are in the set.
2013 PANINI HOMETOWN HEROES RIVALRY
Alomar left the Indians to join the division rival Chicago White Sox in 2001. He could have had a card that featured him with both teams in this release.
2014 TOPPS ALL ROOKIE CUP MANUFACTURED PATCHES
Yet another Topps manufactured relic set, this one celebrated players that received the Topps All Star Rookie cup, which Alomar did in 1991. Again, this was a smaller set and seemed geared toward the best of the best. Topps of course put out the Rookie Cup set in 2005 which did feature Sandy Alomar Jr.
2014 TOPPS UPDATE FOND FAREWELLS
I am including this here because of the Omar Vizquel card. That card featured him with the Blue Jays, his final team. Topps did not have a card with him as a Blue Jay that year, or the next year. It would have been interesting to see a Sandy Alomar Jr. insert in this set depicting him as a Met.
Of course, Alomar did not appear in any of these sets. But hopefully one of these days, he will get some new cards.