December 29, 2010

Everybody's Got A Record: Robin Ventura Edition

***In this series we strive to prove the universal truth that every baseball player holds some kind of record.***

Appropriately this relic card is labeled "Double Header" and Robin's record deals with the same thing. Mr. Ventura is the only player to hit a grand slam in both halves of a double header.

This next stat isn't a record, but I think it's pretty amazing that over 6% of Robin's homers were grand slams.

2003 Fleeer Double Header Robin Ventura Jersey

December 27, 2010

The Metrodome

I'm in Minnesota for a few days for Christmas and had to swing by the Metrodome to see what it looks like without a roof. Here's a little video:



My camera was recording the video in the .mov format and so it was giving me problems in Windows Movie Maker which I normally use for my videos. When I converted it, it came out looking like this:

December 26, 2010

My Best Of 2010: Best Jayhawk Mascot Appearence

If you go to any big KU related sports event, chances are the Jayhawk mascot, Jay Hawk, and his pint sized partner, Baby Jay, will probably be there as well. I went to quite a few games/events this season and here are some of the many shots I have of Jay in action.

You can find him chatting up the cheerleaders...


Or giving the scoring table some rules interpretations...


Or making fun of the cameramen at a KU football game...


Or doing their best interpretation of the KU football team this season...


But no event can compete with Jay's appearance at the Homecoming 5K run/walk...words fail me.


**To see the other My Best Of 2010 posts, just click the "My Best Of 2010" tab under the logo.**

Books For Christmas?!? Followup

I'm happy to say that the kid in the video from my last post has a more healthy opinion of books this Christmas. There was a new video posted of his reaction to receiving books this Christmas:

December 25, 2010

Bieber...For Christmas?

We all know this kid right? If not, please take a second and catch up:



Bieber?



Bieber for Christmas?


What the heck is that? I don't get...that's not cards, that's Bieber!



I don't get Bieber for Christmas!


Q: You don't like getting Bieber for Christmas?

No, I hate it! Yeah, boo!


I said poo!



Now who are these for?


[Yes, there is really a card that is just Justin Bieber's right elbow]

Horizontal Integration

I doesn't matter how many times I see it, I'll never get used to finding cards at Best Buy...all I wanted was to pick up my copy of Just Dance 2 and now I'm tempted to blow my gift cards on retail Chrome...

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2010

A Viking Shrine

I've been to quite a few Ikea stores but I've never seen a shrine to a sports team in one...right off of Killebrew Drive the Ikea in Minneapolis has one:

The items weren't for sale but I could totally see a nice spatula and serving spoon set called the Harvin in Ikea's future.

December 23, 2010

Somebody Is Going On Santa's Naughty List

A pack searcher ruining Christmas for the good boys and girls in Lake Elmo, MN.

Usually when I come upon a pack searcher I'll go over and stand by them and usually that stops them. This guy wouldn't quit but in the end he didn't find anything as the packs had probably already been searched.

Everybody's Got A Record: Kirby Puckett Edition

**In this series we strive to prove the universal truth that every baseball player holds some kind of record.**

Kirby is one of only three players [Ichiro and Al Simmons are the others] to get to 2,000 hits in his first 10 years in the majors.

2007 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts #MM-KP Kirby Puckett Jersey Relic

December 22, 2010

My Best Of 2010: Best Mini Card

I went 27 months without posting anything about Sibby Sisti and here is my 2nd post about him in just a few days. The mini version of his 2010 Tristar Obak card is my pick for best mini card of the year. What a great photo and that background really works for me.

2010 Obak #19 Sibby Sisti Mini

Everybody's Got A Record: Dontrelle Willis and Kerry Wood Edition

**In this series we strive to prove the universal truth that every baseball player holds some kind of record.**

We are having a 2-for-1 deal today...two records for the price of one.

1. Dontrelle was the 1st pitcher to win 20 games in a season for the Marlins.

2. Kerry is one of two pitchers [Bob Feller is the other] who have struck out their age in a single game. Kerry struck out 20 batters when he was 20 and Bob Feller struck out 17 at age 17.

2004 Fleer Authentix #DW-KW Dontrelle Willis/Kerry Wood Jersey Relic

December 21, 2010

This For That?

This:


For That?:


What do you think?

All-Time Top 10 [In No Particular Order]: 1951 Bowman Sibby Sisti

A few weeks ago on Twitter, as he usually does, Beckett Baseball editor Chris Olds was tweeting random photos from his personal card collection. There was one photo of pages and pages of Jose Canseco's Donruss rookie card. It got me thinking about my own collection and why I don't really do that sort of collecting. Sure, I collect players but there are only a few cards that I actively search for again and again.

One of these cards would be the 1986 Topps Kirby Puckett. My fascination with that card stems from a random day when my I was at a card shop when I was about 12 and splurged and bought an old '86 wax pack for $5.00 [those were the days]. I was/am a huge Twins fan and so pulling my first copy of that card was earth shattering for me.

Which brings us to one of my All-Time Top 10 Cards [In Particular Order]: the 1951 Bowman card for Sibby Sisti. Sibby is a little known outfielder for the Milwaukee Braves. Sisti was never what you would call a great player...he had a career batting average of .244 and had a career high number of homers [6] and RBIs [45] in 1941. Sibby also lost the 1943, 1944, and 1945 season due to his service in the Coast Guard during World War II.

Sibby's 1951 Bowman card first entered my life through the famous Flipping and Trading book. I've been working on a project for a few years to get a copy of every card highlighted in that book and Sibby's card is found on the very last page with the caption "Goodnight Sibby Sisti, where ever you are."

There is just so much to love about Sibby's card. He's got that great old glove. Plus, it is an action shot...not the greatest action shot ever but an A+ action shot for the '51 Bowman set. If you've got the time do an image search of "1951 Bowman" and see how many of those cards of just of the player standing there. And then there is the fence. It's not really the kind of fence you would expect to see at a major league ball park, it's more like a back yard fence. You might look out your back window think, "oh look, Sibby Sisti is playing catch in the backyard."

So far I've got three copies of the card ranging from poor to what I would call very good. None have been graded and I've gotten all of them through eBay. I'm always on the look out for more so if you have one you are willing to part with just let me know.

1951 Bowman #170 Sibby Sisti

Here are a few of the more recent Sisti cards including one of the Distinguished Service inserts from 2007 Topps honoring Sibby's military service.

1991 Topps Archives 1953 #124 Sibby Sisti


2007 Topps Distinguished Service #DS14 Sibby Sisti

December 20, 2010

Everybody's Got A Record: Chuck Knoblauch Edition

**In this series we strive to prove the universal truth that every baseball player holds some kind of record.*

It's hard to believe that with a franchise that has had such hitters like Harmon Killebrew, Joe Mauer, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Paul Molitor, Tony Oliva, and Rod Carew, it is good old Chuck Knoblauch that holds the record for runs in a season with 140.

2002 Topps Chrome #TOC-CK Chuck Knoblauch Bat Relic Refractor

Vintage Legends Countdown #46: 1988 Topps Willie McCovey

**In this series, I am counting down my personal favorite cards in the 2010 Topps Vintage Legends insert series from #50 to #1.**

The devil is in the details and this card gets just about every detail wrong. To begin, the font used for "PADRES" is all wrong.

2010 Topps Vintage Legends #48 Willie McCovey

In particular, compare the "R" and "E" with a 1988 Topps original Joey Cora below.

Also, in the 1988 set each team had their own set of colors. For the Padres it was a brown background behind the name lettering and the team name in blue. So the orange and yellow combination on Willie's card just doesn't work and this card's ranking suffer because of it.

**To see the other entries in this countdown, check out the links on the right under the heading "Vintage Legends Countdown."**

December 19, 2010

Thoughts on the Stale Gum Gypsy Queen Video

Why Isn't Anyone Writing About Yuniesky Betancourt Being Traded To The Brewers?


The Royals sent out an e-mail this afternoon confirming to Royals Nation that Zack Greinke was really traded to the Brewers. Now I personally love the trade. I'm a huge Greinke fan and really the only other team I would rather seem him pitch for would be the Twins. But for any true Royals fan this is the equivalent of trading George Brett at his prime. All their advertisements are Zack centered. If you were casually planning to attend a Royals game, you always try to figure out when Zack was pitching and go to that game. I wish I had the patience to figure out how much of an attendance bump the Royals got when Zack pitched. I wouldn't be surprised it is was 10,000-15,000 more.

Here's the e-mail they sent:

"Royals trade Greinke to Brewers
The Royals acquired a package of prospects from the Brewers on Sunday in exchange for right-hander Zack Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt and cash. The group of players coming to Kansas City includes shortstop Alcides Escobar, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, right-hander Jeremy Jeffress and right-handed top pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi. Escobar, played his first full Major League season with the Brewers, hit .235 (119-for-506) with 14 doubles, 10 triples, four home runs, 41 RBI and 57 runs scored.
"

I can just hear the conversation going on the front office:

"Okay, we've just traded the face of our franchise. Let's send an e-mail telling our fans that we got Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun in return..........wait, we didn't get one of them from the Brewers? We got four prosepects that probably won't help us at all next season? How the hell are we going to sell that to ticket holders? Well, let's start by letting everyone know that Alcides Escobar hit .235 last season."

Maybe they should have titled the e-mail, "Yuniesky Betancourt traded for four prospects."

If It's Photoshopped It Has To Be Real

We're getting closer and closer to this being 100% real...ESPN even broke out the photoshop:

A 2001: A Space Odyssey for the 10's?

I know I've had my heart broken by movies like this but please, please, please let The Tree Of Life be a 2001: A Space Odyssey for the 10's.

All I Wanted For Christmas...

Was Zack Greinke to not be traded to the Yankees...instead he might be a freakin' Brewer!?!?! Santa must have gotten my letters! And as Britney from Glee says "when you write your letters to Santa, remember that even a small envelope is a big envelope for an elf."

December 18, 2010

Last Minute Gift Ideas

For those out there looking for a last minute gift idea for the card collector in your life, may I suggest this Satchel Paige rookie card reprint for $170 that's at the Lawrence Antique Mall...it's a steal at double the price.

Trout Mask Replica

Cardboard Junkie's post let me know about the passing of Captain Beefheart...now I can't name a song by The Captain but I've owned Trout Mask Replica for years. I know there are true fans of Captain Beefhart but I know he also spawned a ton of fans like me that added Trout Mask Replica to his CD collection to look cool but never really grasped what was going on or what statement it was trying to make.


and I might not be the only one:

And The Winner Is...

We'll get to that in a second...

Thinking about what the greatest Christmas song is was a pretty interesting experiment. At first I was intrigued by the idea of new bands doing Christmas classics. Take for example this version of "Winter Wonderland" by Radiohead:



And then there are the rock Christmas classics, like Slade's "Merry Christmas Everybody":



And my personal favorite rock Christmas carol, The Kinks song "Father Christmas":



And then there are the religious hymns. My personal favorite in that category is "The First Noel"...it takes a little bit to get going but when Mario Lanza sings "Noel" you can't help but stop and take notice.



But the song for me that is in a class of its own is sung by the greatest Christmas singer ever, Burl Ives. He did a lot of great songs, but #1 for me is "Holly Jolly Christmas."

But it's important that you've got the right version of "Holly Jolly"...it has to be from Burl's actual album and not from the TV specials. Those versions just don't have the joyousness that the album versions have:



And so the winner is PunkRockPaint who guessed "Holly Jolly Christmas" right on the nose. By his own comment, he did give everyone a chance to beat him to the prize, "Wow. I was going to sit this one out, but I am floored that nobody has mentioned the greatest Christmas song EVAR!!!"

Honorable Mention go to Night Owl and his selection of The Ramones "Merry Christmas (I Don't Want To Fight Tonight).

December 17, 2010

Heartbreakingly Great Names #25: Gizmo Williams

1989 Pro Set #535 Gizmo Williams

Real name: Henry Williams

Henry was given the nickname "Gizmo" from none other than all-time Packer great Reggie White when both he and Reggie were members of the USFL team, the Memphis Showboats, in 1985. Without doing any research, you might just think that Gizmo was one of countless NFL prospects that never really amounted to anything and just sort of faded into the background after playing one season with the Eagles in 1989. Instead you are looking at one of the all-time great Canadian football players, the holder of over 20 records in the CFL, and a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Gizmo played with the Edmonton Eskimos from 1986-2000 [with one year with the Eagles in 1989] and was the best kick returner in the league. He holds the all-time record for punt and kickoff return yardage as well as the most kick return touchdowns [31]. He was also a part of the Eskimos team that won the Grey Cup in 1987 and 1993 and in 2006 he was elected to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

My Best Of 2010: Favorite Vintage Purchase

In my unofficial poll of baseball card blogs that I read, I don't think there is any non-all-time great player with a larger following than Vic Power. I put it down to his awesome name and the great smile he has on almost all his cards. To demonstrate my devotion to the Alter of Power, earlier this year I made Vic's 1958 Tops one of my All-Time Top 10 [In No Particular Order].

I've been slowly trying to collect all his cards and what makes it a little easier for me is that Vic played for the Kansas City Athletics so Power cards are all over my local card shows. This beauty, my favorite vintage purchase from 2010, is from the 1955 Topps set and, as was the practice for a lot of Topps cards of the era, has the same photo as his '54 and '56 cards.

1955 Topps #30 Vic Power

Humbug

In a case a bad planning, the winner of the Christmas contest won't be announced until later today when I'm off from work. I was going to write it up on the sly at work but since the last time I tried doing that youtube has been blocked at my office...soooo for the moment all that I will say is that someone hit it right on the nose and picked the Greatest Christmas Song Ever. And I think I will also throw in a few honorable mention winners as I am in the Christmas spirit.

December 16, 2010

Last Chance To Enter

You've got about 133 minutes to enter my Christmas contest to win my 2010 Topps Update cards. Enter here by telling me what the best Christmas song ever is? The winner will be announced tomorrow.

Bob Feller, 1918-2010


Bob Feller passed away today and so to honor him here is a re-post of my trip to the Bob Feller Museum this past autumn. It was a great experience and if you ever get to the little town of Van Meter, Iowa I highly recommend it.

************************************************************

This was originally posted October 14th, 2010.:



The Bob Feller Museum is the centerpiece of Van Meter, IA which is just outside of Des Moines. I had been there once before during a family vacation in 1996 or 1997.

While the museum itself is not huge they do have a very impressive autograph collection and the museum has regular signings of legends and current players. They have Lou Brock and Wally Moon coming October 16th. Bill Buckner and a bunch of other former Cubs will be there October 30th while Goose Gossage will be signing November 2oth.


There is little doubt that Bob Feller is one of the greatest pitchers ever but due to his service in World War II he doesn't have the all-time great statistics. Bob became the first baseball player to enlist in the armed forces after the attack on Pearl Harbor and so he missed the entire 1942, 1943, 1944,and most of 1945 season. He had been averaging about 25 wins a season before enlisting so there is a good chance that he would have ended up with a career win total closer to 340 rather than the 266 wins he earned.

This huge painting portrays Bob pitching on Opening Day of the 1940 season. He pitched the only Opening Day no-hitter in major league history that day against the White Sox.

The centerpiece to the museum is the famous Babe Ruth bat that he leaned on in one of the most iconic baseball photos ever taken. The photo was taken on June 13, 1948 during a ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of Yankee Stadium. The Yankees were playing the Cleveland Indians that day and Ruth was holding Bob Feller's bat [remember no designated hitter back then] when he stood on the field.


The bat is encased in a plastic case that let's you see all sides of it.


It has a bunch of different signatures on it, the most famous being Babe's. The autograph has faded greatly but you can still make out most of his signature when you examine it closely.


Which leads me to the the best part of my visit. I was the only person visiting the museum at the time I was there and so the guy behind the front desk showed me around a little bit. He was telling me about the Ruth signature and where to find it on the bat and then he said "I wanted to get a black marker and write over the top of it so that everyone can see it better but they told me that that wasn't a good idea."

I was dumbfounded by what he had said and after a few seconds I said, "yeah, that probably wouldn't be a good idea."

He left me to look around some more and later when I was leaving and buying some souvenirs he was on the phone talking with someone about an upcoming signing to be held at the museum. He kept referring to "Tommy Johns" with an added "s" and it made me wonder about a person who works at a baseball museum who didn't really know much about the sport. It's a living I guess.

Here's a poster from the museum of The Heater from Van Meter!


And remember kids, sleep tight because Chief Wahoo will be waiting for you in your dreams:


And here is another post, highlighting what I bought at the museum's gift shop.