September 30, 2010

The "S" Word

In the country where nearly every politician with a "D" after their name is being called a "socialist" this election year, there are, you know, actual real living breathing socialists in the world...some even play professional baseball. I won't touch the delicious irony of a socialist who makes $15 million dollars a year but Magglio Ordonez certainly fits the socialist bill. He is a big supporter of Hugo Chavez, president of his home country of Venezuela and appeared in campaign ads for Chavez. His support even got him booed by his home team fans during the World Baseball Classic.

2003 Fleer Tradition Lumber Company Magglio Ordonez

Field of Dreams

A few weeks ago I was back up north to Minnesota/Wisconsin and was able to stop by the infamous card shop/memorabilia store in the Mall of America, Field of Dreams.

They have way overpriced packs and even more insanely priced Brett Favre autographs. But behind the counter you'll find a few boxes of singles that you might find a good deal in now and again. I dug through them and pulled this old school Twins.

Bert "Be Home" Blyleven was the pitching coach for the Netherlands team in last year's World Baseball Classic who surprisingly beat the Dominican Republic.

1973 Topps #199 Bert Blyleven

Here's an Everybody's Got A Record mini-post...Bruno is the only Twin to ever hit an inside-the-park grand slam. There have only been 40 inside-the-park grand slams since 1950.

1982 Topps #653 Tom Brunansky/Luis Sanchez/Daryl Sconiers Angels Future Stars

Al was the Twins first great closer recording 21 saves in the 1965 season.

1965 #216 Al Worthington

Interestingly, Frank was the pitcher when long-time Twins great Rod Carew got his 3,000 hit.

1984 Donruss #364 Frank Viola

Jimmie Hall burst onto the scene during the 1963 season smacking 33 home runs and finishing third in the Rookie of the Year voting. The next two years Jimmie was an All-Star hitting 25 and then 20 home runs. In 1966 he again hit 20 homers but each season after that would yield smaller and smaller totals.

1966 Topps #190 Jimmie Hall

Steve earned that All-Star Rookie trophy by hitting .254 over 128 games in 1971.

1972 Topps #244 Steve Braun

After leaving the Twins following the '71 season, Tom pitched for the Reds during the hey-day of the Big Red Machine.

1970 Topps #169 Tom Hall

Bill recorded the first ever win for the Twins after they moved from Washington, D.C. as the Senators in 1961.

1965 Topps #122 Bill Pleis

September 29, 2010

Everybody's Got A Record: Bob Friend Edition

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

When Bob posted a 2.83 ERA in 1955 he became the first pitcher for a last place team to lead the league in ERA.

1962 Post #178 Bob Friend

Common Genius #2: 1973 Topps #627 Luis Alvarado

**In this series we try to show the brilliance of the cards of common players that often get overlooked.**

Night Owl highlighted this back in May and I think it is important that this card doesn't fade into the ether of the card blogosphere.

1973 Topps #627 Luis Alvarado

September 28, 2010

Show and Tell #68: An Xponentially Great Trade

This collection of Upper Deck Xponential inserts comes from Reader Tim. I sent him some Yankees relics and I got a ton of shiny goodness.

The group of cards also gave me my first completed page in the Xponential to the 1st Power sub set. Joy!

Thanks Tim!

And if anyone has any Xponential inserts that they are willing to part with here is my needs list.

Royals vs. Twins 9-27-10

Last night I went to my first Royals game of the season and being that there are only six games left it will probably be my last. The Twins were in town but unfortunately with injuries there was no Mauer, Thome, or Morneau in the line up.

I was in the best seats I've ever had for a baseball game. I was in the second row up along 1st base line and so I've never had to deal with these signs before:

Kauffman Stadium is beautiful and really easy to navigate. Safeco Stadium in Seattle is my favorite ball park that I've been to so far with the old County Stadium in Milwaukee as my least favorite. County had these really annoying metal beams holding up the roof that caused many of the seats to have an obstructed view. I guess I had my own little obstructed view from my seats last night with the security guard or 1st base coach always getting in the way of my photos.

The game was probably the most fun I've had at a ball game. The Royals won a shootout 10-8 after falling behind 0-3 in the first inning. There were a bunch of homers, plays at the plate, and close calls on stolen bases.

Here are some action shots:

Denard Span is about to steal 2nd.

Billy Butler taking a swing:

Alex Gordon takes a swing:

And beats the throw into 2nd base:

Mike Aviles steals 2nd:

I think that is Mike Aviles beating the throw at home:

Two of my favorite players, Michael Cuddyer and Billy Butler, chatting it up during a pitching change. Billy went 2 for 4 in the game boosting his average to .321 which is fourth best in the American League.

I haven't seen too many Twins games this season so I'm not sure if this is normal but every time there was a conference on the mound every Twin went in for it.

Kauffman stadium gets an A+ for thier baseball card selection and display. They had two big displays of them with all the Topps low and mid-range prodcuts as well as teams sets from just about every team in the league.

A final shot of Kauffman stadium on the way out.

And remember kids, don't ever go to a baseball games without a Sharpie!