November 30, 2010

Heartbreaking Damage #8: Roberto The Set Builder

There are a lot of great things that I like about this card. I enjoy how the word checklist is "CHECK LIST" on this card rather than the single combined word. This is also technically my first Roberto Clemente card from when he was a player.

1967 Topps #361 5th Series Check List [Roberto Clemente's Floating Head]

Furthermore, the previous owner of this card was clearly a set builder and building sets in the 60's was certainly a lot harder than it is today with eBay and sites like CheckOutMyCards. In total, they were just missing four cards from #371-#457...they are

#372 Mike de la Hoz
#374 Mel Queen
#379 Jerry May
#445 Don Sutton

Everybody's Got A Record: Andy Pettitte

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

Andy's got a bunch of records so he will probably be making a repeat performance in this series. Today we'll just highlight that Andy has the most wins of any pitcher during the oo's.

2005 Leaf Century Collection #195 Andy Pettitte Jersey

Should Have Been Better

I know Ken Griffey Jr. wasn't the same skinny kid that he was when he burst onto the scene and made another card company world famous but couldn't Topps/Bowman have picked a better photograph for one of his last cards as a player. It looks like he's got a spare tire and some junk in the trunk.

2010 Bowman Chrome #155 Ken Griffey Jr.

November 29, 2010

Show and Tell #74: My Prize From Thorzul

As a prize for coming in tied for 2nd place in Thorzul's Halloween Contest [you can find my entries on my blog devoted to the fake cards I've created, Heartbreaking Originals] Thorzul sent me this great Torii Hunter jersey card.

2003 Fleer Hot Prospects MLB Hot Materials #THU Torii Hunter Jersey Relic 402/449
I've added quite a few Torii relics to my collection but I didn't have this one yet. Thanks Thorzul!

November 28, 2010

Ron Washington: 1982 Topps Traded #124T

Company: Topps
Set: Traded
Year: 1982
Card: #124T

Our last post of The Ron Washington Appreciation Society is Ron's first card which comes from the 1982 Topps Traded set.

Things will return to normal shortly and I hope you enjoyed my All-Ron-All-The-Time tribute these past few days.

Ron Washington: 1983 Donruss #431

Company: Donruss
Year: 1983
Card: #431
Ron's best statistical season was 1982 when he played in 119 games and had 122 hits, 5 home runs and 39 runs batted in.

Ron Washington: 1983 Fleer #626

Company: Fleer
Year: 1983
Card: #626

Ron doesn't look too happy in this photo bu he should be. After his trade to the Twins in 1980 Ron finally was able to get some steady playing time as a shortstop and utility infielder playing as many as 119 games in the 1982 season.

Ron Washington: 1983 Topps #458

Company: Topps
Year: 1983
Card: #458
After being traded to the Dodgers he played for the Waterbury Dodgers and Albuquerque Dukes in the minors before playing 10 games with the Dodgers in the 1977 season. He didn't get a card in the 1978 set but that problem has been taken care of by GCRL.

Ron Washington: 1984 Donruss #391

Company: Donruss
Year: 1984
Card: #391

Generally, I'm not a huge fan of player cards where they are looking straight at the camera but this is my overall favorite Ron Washington card.

Ron Washington: 1984 Topps #623

Company: Topps
Year: 1984
Card: #623

As we get closer to the end of my Ron Washington Appreciation weekend we get closer and closer to Ron's start in the majors. Ron was a free agent signed by the Royals in 1970 and then spent the next six years up and down the Royals farm system playing with the Waterloo Royals, San Jose Bees, and the Jacksonville Suns. In 1976, Ron was traded from the Royals to the Dodgers.

Ron Washington 1985 Topps #329

Company: Topps
Year: 1985
Card: #329

The 1986 Topps set gave fun facts while the 1985 set gave us trivia questions. On Ron's card we are asked "Which club's pitching staff hurled 43 complete games to lead the American League in 1984?"

Answer: The White Sox

Ron Washington: 1985 Donruss #391

Company: Donruss
Year: 1986
Card: #391

Although Ron mainly played short stop and as a utility infielder, he was signed originally as a catcher by the Kansas City Royals way back in 1970.

Ron Washington: 1986 Topps Tiffany #513

Company: Topps
Set: Tiffany
Year: 1986
Card: #513

Each card in the 1986 set gives an interesting little fact that usually doesn't have anything to do with the player shown. On Ron's card we learn that Gary Gaetti was the 1st Twin to hit two home runs on Opening Day.

Ron Washington: 1986 Fleer #409

Company: Fleer
Year: 1986
Card: #409

Of all my Ron Washington cards this one has the best view of Ron's outstanding Jheri curl. That is all.

November 27, 2010

Ron Washington: 1986 Donruss #560

Company: Donruss
Year: 1986
Card: #560

This is the first Donruss card I've highlighted for the weekend and if you can remember those Donruss cards they had some great stats and facts about the player in the Career Highlights section of the back of the card...on this card we learn that Ron had an 11-game hitting streak in 1983 and that Ron was the oldest Twin going into the 1986 season.

Ron Washington: 1987 Topps Base & Tiffany Versions

Company: Topps
Set: Base [Left] and Tiffany [Right]
Year: 1987
Card: #169
This posts highlights the first "Ron Washington as a Twin" cards we've shown this weekend. We have two version of the 1987 Topps set...the regular and Tiffany which as the Topps Traded neon backs.

Ron played six seasons for the Twins from 1981-1986 missing out on the Twins World Series run in 1987.

Ron Washington: 1988 Topps Traded #125T

Company: Topps
Set: Traded
Year: 1988
Card: #125TAfter playing for the Orioles in 1987, Ron signed as a free agent with the Indians...hence this 1988 Topps Traded card with the super awesome orange back:

Ron Washington: 1989 Fleer #416

Company: Fleer
Year: 1989
Card: #416

As we move into Day #3 of The Ron Washington Appreciation Society we're running a little behind my intended we are going to pick up the pace a little. The '89 Fleer set offers you the player's birthplace and their current home. Both are listed as New Orleans for Ron where he still lives when not coaching the Rangers.

November 26, 2010

Ron Washington: 1989 Upper Deck #519

Company: Upper Deck
Year: 1989
Card: #519
This is the first card I've highlighted with Ron as a player, specifically here with the Cleveland Indians. Ron would play seven games as an Astro in 1990 but he wouldn't have an Upper Deck/ Topps flagship card as an Astro.

November 25, 2010

Ron Washington: 2007 Allen & Ginter #248 Base & Mini

Company: Topps
Series: Allen & Ginter
Year: 2007
Card: #248 Base & Mini Versions

This card uses the identical image from the 2007 Topps flagship set. I never quite been sure how the Allen & Ginter images are constructed. In the case of this card I don't think a separate painting was created...instead the image seems to have gone through the Ginter-fication process and an image that looks like a painting is spit out. I could be totally wrong however.

Ron Washington: 2007 Topps Variations

In the long list of meaningless variations Topps has included in their sets, the red/white variations in the 2007 set seems to be pretty stupid. This would only interest the super collector as there is little value difference between the two logically as the accidental Ron Washington super collector I actually have both versions.

Company: Topps
Year: 2007
Card Number: 606 [White lettering on the back]

Company: Topps
Year: 2007
Card Number: 606 [Red lettering on the back]

Ron Washington: 2008 Topps #22

Company: Topps
Year: 2008
Card Number: 22

This card highlights Ron's first year as Ranger's manager when they went 75-87. Before becoming manager Ron was an infield and third base coach for the A's from 1996-2006.

November 24, 2010

The Ron Washington Appreciation Society

As we enter the season of thinking of things we are thankful for, I'm sure there are few people who should feel more thankful than Rangers Manager Ron Washington. The Rangers could have dumped him when he told them of his drug use or when it went public but they didn't. He remained their coach and was able to lead the Rangers to their first World Series.

As I dug through my commons trying to finding players of the World Series, I realized that I might qualify as a Ron Washington super collector. His cards were turning up all over the place and so I've decided to share my collection with you all today. Let me present the Ron Washington Appreciation Society.

Company: Topps
Year: 2009
Card Number: 584

This card is from Series 2 of the 2009 set and like all cards from this set they have some interesting statistical info in the arc at the top of the back of the card. On Ron's card is lists his career batting averages for the five teams he played for:

Dodgers: .368
Twins: .265
Indians: .256
Orioles: .203
Astros: .143

Career: .261

November 23, 2010

2010 Bowman Chrome $8.99 Value Pack

Like they did with Topps Chrome, Bowman Chrome is now also available in an $8.99 value pack. The value is smaller of course as Bowman Chrome has only three cards per pack but in this configuration they offer three "bonus" green-bordered X-Fractors.

Here's what I pulled:

X-Fractor Pack:

#BCP209 Josh Satin, #BCP154 Brady Shoemaker, #BCP135 Jordan Pacheco

Pack 1:

#97 Kenshin Kawakami, #107 Jimmy Rollins, #BCP159 Anderson Hidalgo

Pack 2:

#BCP220 Juan Urbina, #217 Andy Oliver, #28 Koji Uehara

Pack 3:

#65 Nick Markakis, #USA-20 Tony Wolters, #BCP219 Robbie Erlin

Nothing great in the regular packs but I would love a green X-Fractor Strasburg someday.

Seen At An Antique Store

Robby Thompson rookie for $6.00. It's up there with those horribly bad craiglist offers.

November 22, 2010

Everybody's Got A Record: Patrick Ewing Edition

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

Patrick's 1,039 games as a Knick are the most ever for the team.

I really enjoy doing these non-baseball "Everybody's Got A Record" [see my Ed Asner post] and this one is no different. Patrick Ewing was one of my favorite players as a kid because he wasn't a Bull and really I could only take so many Bulls' championships.

2009-2010 Panini Classics #23 Patrick Ewing Jersey Relic

I really can't explain how I don't remember this but Patrick was a Seattle Supersonic for the 2000-2001 season [he was also a member of the Magic for 2001-2002]. When I lived in Seattle the Sonics became my adopted NBA team of choice and would have been really great to have Kevin Durant tearing it up as a Sonic instead.

Here are a selection of Patrick as a Sonic cards:

2000-2001 Fleer Ex #86 Patrick Ewing

2000-2001 Fleer Tradition #83 Patrick Ewing

2001-2002 Fleer Platinum #24 Patrick Ewing

When It Rains It Pours

When it finally rains it pours....after having no luck in finding a Strasburg for what seemed like forever now they are showing up everywhere.

2010 Topps Turkey Red #TR148 Stephen Strasburg

2010 Topps #US-55 Stephen Strasburg Pro Debut 6/8/10

2010 Topps #US-274 Stephen Strasburg "Merry Stras-Mas"

November 21, 2010

I Still Can't Belive King Felix Won The Cy Young

When I did a post about the baseball award schedule I wrote that I was curious where King Felix would end up in the Cy Young voting but I never really thought he would win and by over a 50 point margin.

Here are few Felix cards from my collection:

2010 Topps #377

2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee #445 Black Border

2005 Bowman #150

2005 Topps Total #706

2007 Upper Deck Future Stars #84

2009 Topps Finest #116 Blue Refractor #119/399

2009 Upper Deck X #81 Die Cut

2008 Upper Deck Series 2 Starquest #SQ-45 [Super Rare Version]

Kansas vs. North Texas

On Friday night I went to my first Jayhawks basketball game...well, calling it a "game" really isn't fair. A "massacre" might be more accurate word. Or possibly a "religious experience." You know how they used to feed people to lions for entertainment? North Texas was fed to KU on Friday and the crowd loved it.

As you enter the Allen Fieldhouse you get an eye full of KU history from Wilt Chamberlain to Danny Manning [more on Danny later]. The university recently expanded the museum part of the stadium and they have some great pieces like the original flooring from the court.

As you move past the food vendors and t-shirt displays you are met with the bellowing clamor that is coming from the court. It reminded me of attending games at the Metrodome when they would crank the overhead music.

Instead you realize that all the sound is coming from what seems to me to be a pretty small school band.

I took the above photo from across the stadium. To give you a better idea of the Field House here is a panoramic shot I took:

There are a ton of traditions that the Jayhawk fans follow during the game...the best being the pulling out and reading of a newspaper while the North Texas team is being announced...

And then the shredding of said newspaper and tossing it up in the air like you are Rip Taylor each time a player from the Jayhawks starting line up is announced.

All this finally brings us to the game...which had the Jayhawks dominating throughout. North Texas brought it to within seven points late in the first half but they ended up winning 93-60. The leading scorers were of course the Morris brothers, Marcus and Markief.

Here is Marcus just about to add to his game-high 20 points.

And here is Markief hitting a jumper.

The crowd went nuts when the team took the court before the game but the biggest ovation was when Kansas legend Danny Manning, who is an assistant coach to Bill Self, took the court.

Overall, it was a great experience but it would have been so much more fun had it been against a Big 12 team or a team that had a chance.