Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Steve Dillard #174 (May the Force be with you)

Dillard made his major league debut in the summer of 1977, the same summer of Star Wars debut. Now Star Wars will be release in 3-D. How often can George Lucas go to the well and milk his cash cow. This will be the umpteenth version of the movie. George why did you not just write the last 3 movies.
Photo Front: In full after swing in the batter box after apparently hitting the ball. A blurred Giant or Met is sitting in the dugout in the background.
Back Stats: Signed originally by the Red Sox and made his major league debut (1977) with them, but was later traded to Detroit.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dan Ford #468

Photo Front: This is almost a full body batting posed action shot of Ford. A blurred Angel is sitting just outside the dugout in the background. This guy will figure prominently in many Angel cards in this set.
Back Stats: Mentioned that his knee at first did not respond (from surgery) in 1980 which limited his playing time.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ken Griffey #634

Photo Front: An in action batting stance photo of Griffey from the upper torso takes up the whole photo on this card.
Back Stats: The back mentions that he signed a multi year contract with the Yankess (though there is no Yankee designation anywhere on the card as his current team. Baseball Reference mentions that he was traded to the Yankees on November 4th, 1981 but I always thought he was a Free agent signing.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Gary Ward #571

Gary Ward #571
He was the beginning of the Twins youth movement that would bring in Hrbek, Gaetti and Brunansky in 1982.  Photo Front: A fantastic spring training posed shot by the batting cages. There is a player actually at bat in the cage. Also, lotsof trees in the background of this picture. Heck it even looks like a forest. However, from the postion of the sun creates a large shawdow over Wards face from the Twins cap he is wearing.
Back Stats: Ward was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Twins in 1972.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Chicken #531

Photo Front: Possibly that most unique baseball card ever made up to 1982. Outside of Kurt Bevaqua 1976 Topps blowing bubble gum winning card,
I can't think of a more unusual card in the modern era from 1952 to 1982. The only thing I do not like about the photo is that it is Horizontal. The Chicken is
laying on his side with a bat, ball and glove just in front of the stands
Back Stats: The Chicken would autograph the card if you sent it to the Donruss Co. (I wonder how many exist - also is this the first big hit Autograph card
in Sports card history - predating the 1991 UD Reggie Jacksons?). It is also of not the - The Chicken Co. was copyrighted.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wayne Garland #489

September 22 is an incredible day in Baseball History especially from the pitching perspective. In 1911, Cy Young won his 511th and last game. In 1954 Karl Spooner became the first pitcher in baseball history to strikeout 15 players in his first game. In 1968, Cesar Tovar played all nine positions in a game. Bert Blyeleven threw a no hitter in 1977. Fernando Valenzuela became the first Mexican to win 20 games in 1986. The Hawk joined Willie Mays in the 300-300 club in 1990 and Nolan Ryan pitched his last game on this date in 1993. All of this has nothing to do with Wayne Garland.

Wayne Garland #489
Photo Front: Wayne has one of the best hair dos of the early 1980s as he is not wearing a cap in this photo taken around the batting cage.
Back States: There is mention of his 10 year contract that he signed on 11/19/76 with the Indians. (I think it was the longest contract at the time for a pitcher).

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Sal Bando #592

An underrated player who should have been given more credit for the 1970s A's championship teams
Photo Front: A fantastic posed shot of Bando with a big smile on his face holding a Rawling glove at his chest area. For some reason in the lower bottom left of the photo there appears to be a shot of another baseball glove. You can't tell if someone else is holding it or Bando himself
is holding it. The blue and gold of the Brewers uniform just stands out in the card.
Back Stats: It stated that Bando announced in mid seasons that he was retiring, but the Brewers hoped he would change his mind. He didn't and the
Brewers went to the World Series in 1982.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Terry Bulling: #612

Photo Front: this a posed batting stance shot at a major league stadium. There is a huge scoreboard partially obsured in the background This shot was taken behind home plate a few feet up the third base line.
Back Stats: A noted non-roster player who made the Mariners team out of spring training. He appeared in 15 games with the Twins in 1977 and did not make the majors again until 1981.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Tim Laudner: #549

Photo Front: this is a posed shot at a major league stadium. It maybe the old Met staduim. A couple of advertising signs are blurred and out of focus in the background.
Back Stats: He hit 42 HR in the Southern League in 1981. He was a home grown boy born in Minneapolis.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Eddie Milner #425

I believe 1982 donruss was the first set to use the word Steal as a name of a statisitcal category on a baseball card (as opposed to SB). I think 1981 Topps was the first year steals and (slugging percentage were listed on the back of a base ball card)

Front Photo: This appears to be a posed outdoor shot of him against a white mesh screen. The sun appears to cast a shadow on his left shoulder.

Back Stats: After 111 lifetime games through 1981, Eddie failed to hit a home run but he had 45 steals.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steve Comer #341

ERA: The designs for 2011 Topps have been issued. The curious thing about the design is the use of the team logo. It appears that while Topps has used team logos on cards before (2002,2001, 1997, 1996, 1987 etc...) they have not been this large or prominent on the card design since 1985. In fact at least initially they appear larger than the logo on the 1985 Topps set. Cards. Personally I love card use of card logos on sets.

ERA = Extra Reading Advisory

Steve Comer # 341

Front Photo: A posed Spring training shot with a picture of a light tower to his left. The Rangers logo is
prominent on his shoulder.

Back Stats: Stated he was completely overlooked in the 1976 June draft and was working in a lumber camp
when the Rangers invited him for a try out.

Charlie Lea #320

Front Photo: A head shot with a nice picture of the Expos Logo. The background is all blue (could that be the sky?).

Back Stats: Charlie through a shut out the next start after he threw a no-hitter in 1981. He was born in Orleans, France.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chris Chambliss #47

Will always be remembered for the 1976 HR against the Royals to lead the Yankees to the World series for the first time in 12 years.

Front Photo: A posed spring training shot of Chambliss batting. A 2nd baseman appears in the background awaiting infield practive. To the left of Chambliss's back there appears to be a palm tree.

Back Stats: A quote from Joe Torre "He bores you to death with his consistancy" He batted between .272 and .287 from 1977 to 1981.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bob Horner #173

When Horner came straight from College in 1978 to the Braves there was talk of him breaking Hank Aaron's Home Run record. For about 2 years it seemed like he could.

Photo Front: an in action photo of Horner at the plate awaiting a pitch. The background is blurry but I think it is from a spring training game. The intersting thing is that his bat handle is light brown while the barrel of the bat is a very dark brown color.

Back Stats: It states that his weight is 195lbs. I always thought we has around 220.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Bill Lee #194

Photo Front: A posed head shot with him holding his glove up chest high. The glove was a Rawlings. The incredible thing about this glove is that the word Montanez appears written on it. So Bill Lee in (Spring Training 1981) posed for this card using/wearing Willie Montanez's glove (Willie began the season with the Expos). (Hopefully Photo's to Follow). This appears to be a spring training shot with large white building top in the backgroud.   The classic Expos logo appears on his cap.

Card Back: It appears Bill was a great college with USC in 1968. Bill was also the third Bill Lee in his family.

Bateman Comments: There is no mention anywhere on this card of his nickmane "Spaceman".

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jon Matlack - #215

I have decide to review each card of the set as they ramdonly appeared in the opened factory set I purchased.

First up is Jon Matlack.

Interesting notes about the card:

Front Photo: Posed shot of Matlack covering the front part of his uniform. The background appears to be clear blue ski. Matlack's cap is promenantly displayed on the front (A big Texas T).

Back Facts: Matlack's middle name is (get this) TRUMPBOUR. The back mentions that he had a disappointing season in 81 and prompting the Rangers to offer him in trade talks over the winter. It also mentions he was the player rep during the strike.

Bateman Comments: I believe the back is more descriptive than most of the 1982 Donruss cards which are mostly factual based and not opinionated or glowing with tidbits.


I have collected sports cards for almost 40 years. About 3 years ago I began selling a large part of my collection. I used to own every major baseball, basketball, football and hockey set from 1971 to 1988. Over the past year or so, I have had seller's remorse. One of the sets I sold was  the 1982 Baseball Donruss set. Recently, I bought the set again through ebay.  As an ode to some of the sets I no longer own, I have decided to pay homage to this set, one card at a time.

Also, I will touch on other aspects of the hobby and pulp culture. It should be a great ride.