Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Grich before Halloween

Bobby Grich #90

Photo Front: A batter box follow through by Grich photo taken from the same game as Ford, Burelson and Carew's Donruss Cards. You can see the blurred Angel sitting back in his chair near the dugout.
Back Stats: Signed a new 4 year contract after the '81 season after compling his best year yet....(As I think I mentioned before, in 1982, Donruss became the first card manufacturer to mention a player's contract status on the back of cards).

Friday, October 29, 2010

Gorman Thomas #132 (Boo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Since Halloween is almost upon us, I present you with something that is very very scary: Gorman Thomas

Photo Front: An in action shot of Thomas in his batting stance in the batter's box. This photo appears to be taken from the same game as the Robin Yount as the Oakland A's are prominant in the back ground of the card.
Back Stats: He was originally signed by the Seattle pilots in 1969 (at age 19).

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Leon Roberts #415 (Texas Ranger)

One of the great expansion type players of all time (These are the players who are given chances to play because expansion i.e. Nate Colbert,  Otto Velez, Dante Bichette,  Rick Bosetti,  Miguel Cairo, Dave Dellucci, Don May and Bob Kauffman – the last 2 are Basketball players for the 1970-71 Buffalo Braves.

Photo Front: An action shot of him awaiting a pitch. Another good 2010 Upper Deck photo as his Team name is obscured.
Back Stats: Traded to Texas from Seattle 12/12/80 with Rick Honeycutt and Mario Mendoza for Richie Zisk and 5 other Players.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

NBA opener edition (Panini?)

Every Sport has a major defining base brand mass produced set. Topps has its base brand for Baseball. Football has Topps and Score. Hockey has Upper Deck, Victory and Score (and maybe O-Pee-Chee). However, what is it for Basketball. Last Year (2009-10) we had Panini Basketball, Upper Deck and Topps (even Bowman 48). However,for this year (which Panini has exclusive rights) what exactly do we have. Is the major Panini  base brand set this year going to be Donruss (which seems very expensive at 3 bucks a pack.). Is there going to be a Panini Basketball set this year, at all?

So far Panini exclusive agreement with the NBA is dissapointing. They are not really defined , they put out all these sets and call them different names (Certified, Absolute, Rookies and Stars, Classics) and I can't differentiate between them all. I know out of the 4 major team sports Basketball does not have that major set that everyone collects every year. It has been that way since Fleer ended its reign in the early 1990s. Topps and Upper Deck seemed to fill that niche and even Bowman Basketball  seemed like the set to collect for the past few years.

Come on Panini, what is your major base brand set going to be this year(and years after).

Monday, October 25, 2010

6 degrees of Bump Wills #289 (Bump to Buck to Bip)

In 1982 Bump played with Fergie Jenkins; In 1966 Fergie Jenkins played with Robin Roberts on the Cubs; In 1948 Robin Roberts played with Dutch Leonard on the Phillies. In 1933, Dutch Leonard played for the Dodgers with Joe Judge. In 1915 Joe Judge Played with Christy Mathewson on the Giants. In 1900 Christy Mathewson was coached by Buck Ewing.

Before there was Bip Roberts there was Elliott Taylor Wills. Set the Rangers club record for Stolen Bases in ’78. Nice shot of the TR logo on his left shoulder.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NFL Football Sunday (the Overrated edition)

The top 7 overrated players in the NFL. 1. Peyton Manning (though his 1998 Topps rookie card is one of the most underrated football cards) 2. Tony Romo 3. Nate Clements (who?) 4. Tony Gonzalez 5. Albert Haynesworth 6. Philip Rivers 7. Ray Lewis.

I view tend to view being overrated as receiving excess accolades and compensation than one should.

Peyton Manning is a great quarterback, so how could he be overrated. Well he has won 4 MVPs more than anyone ever in the NFL. Think to yourself he is not the greatest QB ever and there were other players at other positions who were greater (Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Jerry Rice, Lawrence Taylor). So why does he have the most MVPs. He has won as many Super Bowls as Eli Manning (who I think is underrated). In most playoff games, other teams are able to exploit his limited athletic ability and render him somewhat ineffective. For the player with the most MVPs, this should not happen to.

Tony Romo, this is easy, I doubt more has been talked about a player that has done so little.

Nate Clements after the 2006, signed the largest contract ever for a defensive player. He has played on one team with a winning record and he has made the pro bowl once. He is an average player that was paid more than anyone else.

Tony Gonzalez is a 10 time pro bowler and 5 time All Pro.   Gonzalez has only played on 3 teams that won 10 or more games and one was in his rookie season when he did not start a game. He has made the playoffs 3 times since 1997. He has never played on a team that won a playoff game. You would think his greatness would translate into winning for his team.

Albert Haynesworth received 21 million dollar bonus in March to play a position that he can’t play.

Philip Rivers there are so called football experts who think Rivers is a better QB than Big Ben, are you kidding me.

Ray Lewis is an 11 time pro bowler and 7 time 1st team all-pro, he is good. But is he really a game changer. (though he recovered a fumble in today’s game) He is rock solid but Ed Reed who has been with the Ravens has been more of a big play changer than Ray. Ed has been there best defense player since 2002 and not Ray. This was the toughest pick

Friday, October 22, 2010

Joe Charboneau #363 (The Incredible Hulk?)

Photo Front: A full head shot while wearing an Indians cap. Joe looks like Lou Ferrigno without all the green makeup. This photo appears to be taken before a major league game as a few fans can be seen milling around in the background
Back Stats: Had a bitter and unexpected comedown last year from his rookie of the year season of '80 (This is more descriptive langauge than you usually get on a baseball card up to this time - In fact I doubt the words bitter, unexpected and comedown have ever been used more than 5 times ever on the back of a baseball card.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Robert Castillo #236

There were some recent great articles over at SCU and the Basketball Card Blog (live from Rip City) about the state of the Hobby. Check them out.

Photo Front: This action photo was taken at Dodger Staduim. Castillo is in full windup just lifting his left leg off the mound.
Back Facts: (A Classic line) A screwball specialist. He serves as Fernando Valenzula's interpreter for the media.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cecil Cooper #256 ( vs Mike Schmidt and George Brett)

Between 1979 to 1983 Cecil Cooper may have been the best (offensive) baseball player in the game. Compared to Mike Schmidt and George Brett he stacks up fairly well.

             Hits  HR    RBI  Runs  RP RP Avg  SB   TB     Slug Avg   Bat Avg    BB
Cooper   942   123   535  459   871  .277       41   1522    .517         .320        192
Schmidt 686   199   522  503   826  .274       54   1436    .576         .275        517
Brett      806    99    443  439   783  .289       52   1375    .559         .328        251

Cooper had more hits, RBI, Runs Produced and Total Bases.  The only stat that he is significantly behind both players is Slug Avg.   (Cecil had a great run in the late 1970s and early 1980s - he seemed to lose it all over night around 1984)

Photo Front: This is an in action photo of Cecil as he is bent over awaiting a pitch while at first base. He is wearing a blue and gold wrist band on both wrists.
Back Stats: He finished second to George Brett in the '80 batting race.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Len Barker #6 (Diamond King and the Top 10 Grid Iron QB Kings of all-time)

The top 10 QBs of All-Time. 1. John Elway 2. Joe Montana 3. Terry Bradshaw 4. Brett Farve 5. Tom Brady 6. Steve Young 7. Roger Staubach 8. Peyton Manning 9. Johnny Unitas 10. Bart Starr.

Just Missing the Cut Dan Marino.

The Perfect Game and QB edition.

John Elway is the greatest QB of all time. He had a great arm, was a great athlete and had 
an aura about him. I remember his first game in 1983 at Three Rivers Stadium. The Pittsburgh Paper that day ran an article about him with a picture of him in a cape with a S on his chest. He was 1 out of 8 for 6 yards that game against the Steelers. He did not look like NFL QB much less Superman. However, later that season I saw him go against the Browns, from his own 20 yard line he threw a pass 80 yards into the other end zone (though it was incomplete) and you just had to say WOW.

Joe Montana was the James Bond, Joe Dimaggio, Jedi Knight of QBs, he was just so SMOOTH.
He was not as strong or athletic as Elway and tended to fade during the end of his career. The other great fact about Elway, he went to the Super Bowl in his 4th season and in his 16th and last season.

Terry Bradshaw another physical specimen, he was built like a fullback (in fact after his rookie season there was talk of converting him to a full back). He had a powerful arm and was very athletic. He was also the greatest winner as a QB.

Brett Farve – Jokes aside, while not as swift as some QBs, he is/was probably the Strongest to play the game. I remember about 10 years ago, As one pass rusher closed in on him, Brett with his left arm just flicked him away. Even though he only won one Super Bowl, he is the most durable QB ever.

Tom Brady – Joe Montana lite. He seems to do what Joe does but seems to lack Joe Elusiveness. His Jedi powers are not as developed as Joe.

Steve Young – maybe the most athletic QB of all time. When he was coming out of College, he ran the 40 in a faster time than Heisman Trophy Winner Mike Rozier. The only lefty in the top ten.
His 49 yard run vs. the Vikings in the late 1980s was one of the most incredible feats ever performed by a QB (besides his 6 TD passes in a Super Bowl)

Roger Staubach – Roger the Dodger. If you look his career mirrors Steve Young. Both got starting jobs in their late 20, both took over already great teams, though Steve replaced a legend where Roger replaced Craig Morton. Roger was also a great Athlete but not quite Steve Young

Peyton Manning – Brett Farve lite. A big strong guy but not that swift. Peyton game and stats do seem to be helped by the more open passing offense rules of the NFL in the first decade of the 21th century. He was won more MVPs than any other players.

Johnny Unitas – a tough guy to classify, not like any other QB on the list. It is hard to define why he was great but he was. A man for a different time. The John Wayne of QBs.

Bart Starr – Tom Brady lite. If Tom Brady was a QB in the 1960s, he would have been Bart Starr. 

Len Barker #6 (Diamond King)

A Diamond King. On the back mentions that his perfect game on May 15, 1981 was the first PERFECT  game in the majors since 1968 (Catfish Hunter)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Woodie Fryman (The Gumby and Woodie Woodpecker Version)

Side Note: I am Joe the Collector mentions that to correct the Bend in 2010 Topps Chrome card is to put the cards in a penny sleeve and toploader. I am not sure about this Joe. These cards are more bendable than 2008 or 2009 Topps Chrome. The stock on 2008 Topps Chrome seems thickest of all three years. 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects bend more than 2008 or 2009 Topps Chrome but it is nothing like 2010 Topps Chrome which bend like Gumby.

Since we are talking about Gumby, Woodie Fryman always made he think of Woodie Woodpecker

Photo Front: Woodie is standing just to the left of where Bill Lee was standing for his photo on his card. You can see the top of the white building that is also on the spaceman's card

Back Stats: Is the all time major league leader in fielding percentage by a pitcher (.991).

Side Note: I am Joe the Collector mentions that to correct the Bend in 2010 Topps Chrome card is to put the cards in a penny sleeve and toploader. I am not sure about this Joe. These cards are more bendable than 2008 or 2009 Topps Chrome. The stock on 2008 Topps Chrome seems thickest of all three years. 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects bend more than 2008 or 2009 Topps Chrome but it is nothing like 2010 Topps Chrome which bend like Gumby.

Since we are talking about Gumby, Woodie Fryman always made he think of Woodie Woodpecker

Photo Front: Woodie is standing just to the left of where Bill Lee was standing for his photo on his card. You can see the top of the white building that is also on the spaceman's card

Back Stats: Is the all time major league leader in fielding percentage by a pitcher (.991).


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Von Hayes #237 (Rookie Card)

One of the greatest remarks of all time about Von Hayes came from Pete Rose.  After meeting Von Hayes, Pete stated that he thought Von was black because the Phillies traded five guys to get him. The deal is a bit of a mystery because it is not very often 5 guys are traded for a prospect. It is usually the other way around. (Five prospects for a veteran).
Photo Front: A posed shot of Von with his bat on his shoulder and a big C on his cap. This was taken in spring training as empty bleacher seats can be seen in the background.
Back Stats: Von was playing 3rd base before he was called up by the Indians at the end of 1981. Von Hayes a third baseman?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Breaking News (in with the old and out with the new.

Breaking News from are regularly scheduled Blog Post. Topps brings back the old All Star Rookie Trophy for Topps Chrome. I just got a 2010 Topps Chrome Gordon Beckham and wa la the old Rookie Trophy is back and better than ever (especially over the new one)

Topps must be listening.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Rick Burleson #342 (Brett Farve is not an Angel but Rick is)

Rick is pictured here as an Angel. However, most sports players are not Angels. Brett Farve, at least through the media was always perceived as a good old boy from Mississippi wearing those
Rangler jeans. In truth, he is a kind of good old boy who chased hot women (because he could) and maybe also a creepy good old boy who took photos of his private parts and sent them to hot women. Brett is no Angel and maybe never said he was but the image that helped him get million dollar endorsement deals obviously was not him. 

Photo Front: Another Angel whose photo was taken from the same game against the Milwaukee Brewers as Ford, Carew and Grich. This photo as the others was taken from the first base side.
Back Stats: Was an AL all star from 1977 thru 1979.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Charlie Hough #447 (Just Great Day in Sports )

(Just in the last 30 minutes). The Titans just downed the Cowboys and overrated Tony Romo. The Raiders just beat the Chargers as another overrated QB Phillip Rivers coughed up a fumble that was returned for a TV. Finally overrated Nate McLouth just grounded out to overrated Freddy Sanchez as the Giants downed the Braves  

Charlie Hough #447
Photo Front: A very youthful looking Hough is smiling in this posed shot which encompasses most of his upper torso.
Back Stats: One of the Rangers best "bargain" pickups in recent years

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Robin Yount #510 (Larry Bird's Face and Derek Jeter's Stats)

Robin Yount #510
Growing up I always thought Robin Yount looked a little like Larry Bird (but not the other way around). They were about the same age, Yount was 2 years older than Bird. Yount seemed to have a Bird (a real bird) like face, with a crooked angular nose and jaw.

There are two requirements (in my opinion- Dominance and Durability) for being a HOF. Yount gets a 10 in Durability because of his long career which he attained great statistics but even though he won 2 MVPs I never thought he was dominate.

I tried to think of a player that Yount was most similar to today and Derek Jeter was the first player that pop into my head. After looking up there statistics, darn I think I was right
            H     HR RBI      R    SB  BAT OPS
Yount 3142 251 1409 1632 271 .285 .772
Jeter   2926 234 1135 1685 332 .314 .837

Yount drove in runs because he hit lower in the order. Jeter had a higher OPS because he played in a more offensive era.

Photo Front:
as a blurry vision of some A's can be seen in the dugout in the background of this card. A lot of Brewers Donruss 1982 cards were taken from this game.
Back Stats

: As most Donruss 1982 back it is stat heavy but it does mention Yount was the MVP in the playoffs vs. the Yankees last fall.
Another action shot as Yount is leaving the batter's box about to drop his bat. The photo was taken in a game against the Oakland A's

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don (don't spend your) Money (on Jersey cards) #384

There is a great post over at Sports Memorabilia News. It appears that a Mr. Ornstein sold allegedly authentic game used Jerseys to one card manufacturer who cut them up used them in their card sets. Well, Well, is this a surprise........... Always beware of all those super patch and jersey cards for sale as they may not be what they purport to be.

The Pirates were the only team to have Money (Don) and Cash (Dave) on the same team.

Photo Front: Money appears to be readujusting in the batter box between pitches, as he is holding his bat in only his right hand. There is a flash of green at the bottom of the card (which I think could be a Oakland A's catcher, thus making this photo taken from the same game as Yount and Thomas)
Back Stats: He underwent knee surgery after the '80 season.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Roy Smalley #22

Halftime Score Update: Baltimore 10 Pittsburgh 7. It does not look good for the Steelers todays
Photo Front: First Diamond King Card. These cards were ground breaking way back in 1982. Topps never produced anything like it up to that time. (though boyhood photos
from the 1972 set was unique.) In some ways they could be considered one of the first insert sets
Back Stats: In college he played under the famed Rod Deeaux at Southern Cal.

Dave Geisel #633

Score Update: Baltimore 0 and Pittsburgh 0 - The Ravens missed a field goal after a six minute drive
Photo Front: A posed spring training shot with him holding his glove chest high. A portion of a building appears in the background on the right.
Back Stats: A hard luck hurler who hopes to finally get his chance in '82. He pitched 3 no-hitters in his last 7 starts in high school.

Also as a side note Goodbye John Russeell

Friday, October 1, 2010

Rod Carew #216

Photo Front: In this action shot, Rod is leaving the batter box after hitting the ball. He is wearing a change around his next, it is not a cross as Rod converted to Judiasm in the early 1970s. As with the Dan Ford card there is a blurred Angel sitting outside the dugout in the background.
This shot was taken at the same game as Ford's and as we will find out later Bobby Grich's card
Back Stats: Was traded for Ken Landreaux, Dave Engle and Brad Havens