March 31, 2010

Show and Tell #45: More '86 From Michel

Reader Michel sent along some 1986 cards from my dwindling '86 Needs List but all my favorite players were pictured on the wrong team!

Juan Beenguer as a Tiger? Not Pancho Villa! He'll always be a Twin in my heart.

1986 Topps #47 Juan Berenguer
Rob Deer as a Giant?!? I can't believe my eyes! He'll always be a poor man's Gorman Thomas in a Brewer's uniform to me.

1986 Topps #249 Rob Deer
Harold Baines as a White Sox. Now that seems right!

1986 Topps #755 Harold Baines
Thanks Michel!

March 30, 2010

The Name Game: Bowman Edition

I'm moving in on Night Owl's territory here so I will tread lightly. For the past few month's when I'm board at work I take out my Flipping, Trading book and work on my project to get a comprehensive list of all the cards featured in that book. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, nearly all the cards featured are between 1951 and 1969. There are little stories that go along with each card but there isn't any index or notation as to which cards are featured. That led me to this project as I hope to eventually collect every card highlighted in the book. [Thankfully the '52 Mantle is not included. The toughest card will end up being the Sandy Koufax rookie or Ted Williams rookie]. But a huge majority of the cards featured are commons or semi-stars and very easy to find at reasonable prices.

Having never really owned many vintage cards until recently it was a bit of a struggle to identify and keep straight all the Topps and Bowman sets of the 50's and 60's. So I took a page from Night Owl Define the Design and created my own sort of cheat sheet giving each set my own personal nickname so that I could easily identify them. We will highlight my Bowman list now and the Topps list in another post:

1951 Bowman -- The Black Box Set


1951 Bowman #170 - Sibby Sisti - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

1952 Bowman -- Only Signature Set


1952 Bowman #115 - Larry Doby - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

1953 Bowman -- The Greatest


1953 Bowman Color #99 - Warren Spahn - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

The great color photograph make this set the best ever made. The lack of any added graphics also make the cards from this set nearly impossible to identify if the players aren't recognizable stars and you can't see the reverse of the card.

1954 Bowman -- Signature In A Box Set


1954 Bowman #132 - Bob Feller - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

These are essentially the 1953 Bowman set with a signature in a box added. All I can think about is this:



1955 Bowman -- TV Set

1955 Bowman #123 - Marv Grissom RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

Who doesn't like this set? It is probably the most easily identifiable of all of these. It was also the first to have umpire cards.

1955 Bowman #286 - Frank Secory UMP - Courtesy of CheckOutMyCards.com

I have two cards from it [Minnie Minoso and Harvey Kuehn] and of all my old vintage cards I probably take these out most often just to take a look at the awesomeness.

Show and Tell #44: Cards From The Call Of Cardboard

Two weeks ago I was a lowly baseball card collector who had a total of zero Harmon Killebrew relic cards. Now I have two, one featured last week and one I received from Cardsplitter from The Call of Cardboard blog.

This one features a Twins jersey and is from the 2001 Topps Tribute set [which has to win the award for "most improved image of a set released in the past 10 years"].

2001 Topps Tribute #RJ-HK Harmon Killebrew Jersey Relic

As if that wasn't good enough, he sent me a bunch of my 2008 Upper Deck X needs list. I ask you, isn't the really sad thing that Upper Deck won't be making baseball cards anymore is that it means there won't be a 2010 Upper Deck X! Just think of the tens of collectors who are disappointed!

2008 Upper Deck X Diecuts
2008 Upper Deck X 1st Power Xponential
2008 Upper Deck X 2nd Power Xponential
2008 Upper Deck X 3rd Power Xponential
2008 Upper Deck X 4th Power Xponential

Thanks Chris and my return trade to you is in the mail.

March 29, 2010

Tonight's Episode: Dominican Dandy or If Baseball Was Played With A Tennis Ball, I Would Have Been Better Than Sandy Koufax

A little while ago I asked "without consulting Wikipedia name the pitcher with the most wins in the 1960'?"

Chances are your mind probably jumped to one of two answers. Sandy Koufax or Bob Gibson. The correct answer is the subject of this post: Juan Marichal.

1970 Topps #210 Juan Marichal


Juan had 191 wins over the 60's and he never won a Cy Young award. It's got to be one of the greatest travesties in modern baseball history. Heck, during the 60's when the Cy Young award voters could only vote for one pitcher [rather than the top three as they do today] there would be years when Juan wouldn't even get any votes. Do I even need to mention that he won 25+ games twice in his career.

1974 Topps #330 Juan Marichal

He kept that "high kick" in this pitching motion throughout his entire career.

1972 Topps #568 Juan Marichal In Action

What you consider the greatest baseball game ever played says a lot about the things you love about the game. I'm personally a pitching man and so I love a tight low scoring game.

I never really got into the home run chases of McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds and now that we all know the truth behind them I'm glad I was spared that disappointment. It's like the episode of the Simpsons called "Brother's Little Helper" [that's episode AABF22 for those of you scoring at home] in which Major League Baseball is spying on Springfield and at the end Mark McGwire asks "do you want to know the terrifying truth, or do you want to see me hit some dingers?" The angry mob, previously hungry for answers, gets distracted and begins to chant "Dingers, Dingers, Dingers." That's not me. I'm a pitching kind of guy.

I always wanted to be a pitcher in Little League. All off-season I would practice my delivery against the side a huge brick building near the home I grew up in. The ball of choice was a tennis ball to not attract the attention to the janitors of the building that would sometimes shew me away from practicing. If baseball was played with a tennis ball, I would have been better than Sandy Koufax. I had taken some chalk and made marks for the strike zone and I could hit it every time. I started working on throwing some different pitches other than fastball [although I stayed away from the curve ball as I was supposedly doing damage to my arm throwing it so young.] But when it came to the pitchers tryouts and a real baseball I just wasn't the same. I was Chien-Ming Wang of 2009 rather than 2006.

And so we come to what I view is the greatest baseball game ever played. You know maybe a better way to say it is "the greatest baseball game ever pitched." It happened July 2, 1963. It was a Tuesday in San Francisco. The Giants were playing the Milwaukee Braves and the game was a hot ticket because of the pitching match up: Warren Spahn vs. Juan Marichal. The fans wouldn't be disappointed. The two giants battled through nine innings of scoreless baseball and then decided they would add seven more innings for good measure. Both pitchers were still going strong into the 16th inning! The game was so good it took possibly the greatest player ever to put it to rest. Willie Mays hit a home run off Spahn in the bottom of the 16th giving Marichal the 1-0 win.

Perhaps most amazingly, the entire game was played in only 4 hours, 10 minutes.

Quick Question

Quick question. Without consulting Wikipedia name the pitcher with the most wins in the 1960's?

More on that to come...

Engine #42

Picture is from the Indianapolis Fire Station 42 here.

I had personally never heard Bruce Sutter's nickname of "Engine #42" before trying to find something interesting to write about him. In 2006, Bruce's #42 was retired by the Cardinals. This may make him the only player ever to have their number #42 retired because every team has already retired #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

1977 Topps #144 Bruce Sutter Rookie Card

2009 Upper Deck Icons #LI-BS Bruce Sutter Jersey Relic

March 28, 2010

The Chiefs 2009 Season In One Video

I've been meaning to post these for months now...in December I got to go to the Chiefs/Bills game and took a couple of videos highlighting the experience.

First we have this video of the Chiefs trying to score a touchdown on 4th down at about the four yard line. It's a FAIL and sums up the Chiefs season pretty nicely.



If you've never been to a Chiefs game, the crowd gets really into 1st downs. It's pretty much all we have to cheer for as touchdowns are pretty rare. Here's the 1st down cheer:

Mariners' Wood

Here is some Mariners' wood for you...I know it's a Sunday but I think you can handle it.

2000 Upper Deck SP Game Bat Edition #EM Edgar Martinez Bat Relic

2007 Topps Sterling #BS-IS Ichiro Bat Relic

March 27, 2010

Minimum Suggested Retail Price

There should be some sort of law that cards of Hall of Famers have to sold for over a $1.00. It would be like the lowest amount that a pack of cigarettes can be sold at. "We sell our cards at the lowest legal price!" These were 40 cents and 30 cents, respectively.

1972 Topps #195 Orlando Cepeda


1974 Topps #83 Orlando Cepeda

Related to this, Slate has a nice little article about "The Great Baseball Card Bubble" and why your unopened 1988 Donruss wax box will never sell on Craigslist for $5,000.

The Big Mitt Big Post

Today is quickly becoming retro Saturday...

I've mentioned a couple of times that this is one of my favorite cards ever. I love cards with The Big Mitt and a card dedicated to it is absolutely magnifique!

2009 Topps Heritage #BF4 The Big Mitt

I love The Big Mitt so much that I needed to expand my Big Mitt related collection. First let's start with the creator of The Big Mitt, Baltimore Orioles manager Paul Richards.

1960 Topps #224 Paul Richards


Paul's photo was so good from the 1960 series that Topps recycled it in the '61 set.

1961 Topps #131 Paul Richards


Why did he design a giant catcher's mitt? To give his catchers an advantage at handling the knuckle ball pitches from this guy:

1960 Topps #395 Hoyt Wilhelm

The bigger the mitt the better the chances the catcher would be able to get to wherever Hoyt's pitches went.

1960 Topps 115 Roy Face & Hoyt Wilhelm Fork & Knuckler

It helped also that there were no rules governing how big a catcher's mitt could be.

Earl Battey

Earl Battey confirms my theory that Germans love David Hasselhoff if you dig deep enough every major league player holds some kind of record or was the first or last to do something.

Earl, while a better defensive catcher than offensive contributor, maybe best known as being the first player to wear a batting helmet with an earflap.

He aslo has the record for picking off 15 base runners in a season.

1964 Topps #90 Earl Battey

1963 Topps #306 Earl Battey & Elston Howard Star Receivers

Heartbreakingly Great Names #5: Shooty Babitt

1982 Topps #578 Shooty Babitt


Real name: Mack Neal Babitt

March 26, 2010

At Least I Can Get A Blog Post Out Of It

To all you card bloggers out there...have you ever purchased a card thinking "there's got to be a post in there somewhere." Buying a Wally Joyner jersey card seemed like a good idea a few weeks ago. I enjoy collecting autographs and relics of semi-stars and at worst I could get a blog post out of it I thought to myself.

Well, this scan has been sitting in my drafts for two weeks now with no real ideas other than this:

"Surprising Wally Joyner facts:

He was traded from the Royals to the Padres for...you guessed it...Bip Roberts."

I can always fall back on the old standard!

2006 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts #LM-WJ Jersey Relic #083/225

Show and Tell #43: Getting '86ed By Saints of the Cheap Seats

Dan from Saints of the Cheap Seats took a huge bite out of my 1986 Topps needs list recently. Here are some of my favorites:

As far as I can remember I don't think I've ever seen this Bruno card...it was a 24 year wait but it was worth it.

1986 Topps #565 Tom Brunansky
The only thing better than George Foster playing in aviator glasses is...

1986 Topps #680 George Foster
Kent Tekulve in Blublockers...

1986 Topps #326 Kent Tekulve
Thanks Dan!

More LOLKaats

From a reader who wants to remain anonymous:

March 25, 2010

LOLKaats

This all started out with me buying a Jim Bunning card for a future post entitled "Jim Bunning: Hall of Fame Asshole." But as often happens, by the time I got the card and sat down to write the post my strong emotions regarding the actions of a washed up politician had subsided. So I'm left with Jim Bunning's floating decapitated head highlighting his great talent for striking people out and how that contrasts with his political ability.

1963 Topps #10 '62 American League Strikeout Leaders

But let's not give up on this card yet. We also have a bunch of other great pitchers that deserve to be highlighted on the blog.

Let's start with Juan Pizaro.

1959 Topps #188 Juan Pizarro


No, he did not conquer the Incas...that would be Francisco Pizarro. But I wouldn't mind seeing a Francisco Pizaro cut auto...here's what his autograph looks like:


Juan is one of those pitchers that almost always wins more games than he loses and pitches forever [18 seasons]. Known for his fastball, Pizaro led the league in strikeouts per nine innings in '61 and '62 [he finished 4th overall in K's those two years].

And now for some Kaat, Jim Kaat:

1970 Topps #75 Jim Kaat


Jim never lead the league in strike outs although he did finish 2nd in 1966 to Sam McDowell of the Indians [and 4th in 1962...yeah, you read that right. Kaat and Pizarro tied for 4th place in strikeouts at 173].

Jim's also the inspiration for a new craze sweeping the internet...it's called LOLKaats and it's cards of Jim Kaat with humorous sayings added usually about Jim's love of fastballs...

Hitler and The Jayhawks...Comedy Gold

Heartbreakingly Great Names #4: Rip Repulski

1959 Topps #195 Rip Repulski

Real name: Edlon John Repulski

March 24, 2010

2 Boogs Do Make A Right

Boog Powell has been in my brain since watching the Mystery Science Theater Episode for "Puma Man" over the weekend. I believe the joke was "Look, it's an Aztec Boog Powell"...

So here are my two Boog Powell cards:

1970 Topps #200 Powell Scores Winning Run!
1974 Topps #460 Boog Powell

Heartbreakingly Great Names #3: No Whammys No Whammys No Whammys...STOP!

1959 Topps #431 Whammy Douglas

Real Name: Charles William Douglas

For some thoughts on this card, check out this post from The Baseball Card Blog.

More Luis

As if I need a reason to show more Luis Aparicio cards...

2006 Topps Turkey Red #590 Luis Aparicio

1972 Topps #314 Luis Aparicio In Action

The interesting thing here is the back of the In Action card...in case you were under the assumption that Topps was doing something new with the horrible 2010 Topps When They Were Young insert set, they're really just recycling a bad idea from the 70's.

"See Your Favorite Stars When They Were Kids!" No, thanks.

This is exactly the same trap that George Lucas fell into with the first few Star Wars prequels.

Do you like Darth Vader? Well here's a movie of him as a little kid.

Do you like Boba Fett? Well here's another movie of him as a little kid.

Do you like David Ortiz? Well here's a card of him as a little kid.

[I wish I could say I thought up the George Lucas idea, but Patton Oswalt did first.]