Thursday, September 30, 2010

Best Career Numbers Ever?

One year and one day ago, the greatest hitting career began and ended on the same day.

The scene: Houston Colt .45s stadium, September 29, 1963 (final game of the season)

The game: New York Mets vs. Colt .45s

John Paciorek, recently called up from the minors, starts in right field in his major league debut.

Paciorek, batting 7th, gets a walk in his first major league plate appearance in the bottom of the 2nd. He later scores on a triple by John Bateman.

Paciorek came up again in the bottom of the 4th and singles, driving in Rusty Staub and Bob Aspromonte. Paciorek would score his 2nd run on a sac fly by pinch hitter Pete Runnels.

Paciorek would single again in the bottom of the 5th, driving in Aspromonte again. He scored his 3rd run on a single by pinch hitter Bob Lillis.

Paciorek came to bat again in the bottom of the 6th, drawing his 2nd walk. H scored his 4th run on another Bob Lillis single.

Paciorek's last at-bat came in the bottom of the 8th inning and he hit his 3rd single of the game.

The game ended and John Paciorek's line looked like this:

3-3 (all singles) 4 runs scored, 3 RBIs, and 2 walks. This would be the only major league game in John Paciorek's career. He ended up with a batting average of 1.000, an OBP of 1.000 and an OPS of 2.000.

Unfortuately for John, he had to have back surgery in 1964. He came back and played in the minors until 1969, but never made it back to the majors.

Of the 20 people in major league history with a batting average of 1.000, none has as many hits as John Paciorek.

John's brother Tom Paciorek played 18 seasons in the majors. His other brother Jim, played 48 games for Milwaukee in 1987.

As for the title of this post, I'm sure John would have traded his perfect stats for the 4465 at-bats and .282 average his brother Tom had in his career.

I don't have a card to show, but you can see one here.

Cy Who?

I'm sure you've heard the talk about who will win the Cy Young Award in the A.L. this year. Quite a few people thing Felix Hernandez should be considered despite his win/loss record. Others say only David Price and C.C. Sabathia have a shot.

Let's have a little comparison shall we?

Win/Loss Record:

Felix Hernandez 13-12
David Price 19-6
C.C. Sabathia 21-7

Edge: Sabathia

Innings Pitched:

Felix Hernandez 249.2
David Price 207.2
C.C. Sabathia 237.2

Edge: Slightly to Hernandez

Earned Runs and ERA:

Felix Hernandez 63 ER, 2.27 ERA
David Price 63 ER, 2.73 ERA
C.C. Sabathia 84 ER, 3.18 ERA

Edge: Hernandez


Felix Hernandez 232 Ks/70 BBs
David Price 187 Ks/79 BBs
C.C. Sabathia 197 Ks/74 BBs

Edge: Hernandez


Felix Hernandez 1.06
David Price 1.20
C.C. Sabathia 1.19

Edge: Hernandez

Number of starts 8+ innings:

Felix Hernandez 16 of 34 (47.1%)
David Price 7 of 31 (22.3%)
C.C. Sabathia 10 of 34 (29.4%)

Edge: Hernandez

Run support in losses:

Felix Hernandez 14 runs/12 losses (1.16 runs/loss)
David Price 11 runs/6 losses (1.83 runs/loss)
C.C. Sabathia 12 runs/7 losses (1.71 runs/loss)

Edge: Hernandez gets the least run support. Period. Read on.

Run support in wins:

Felix Hernandez 73 runs/13 wins (5.62 runs/win)
David Price 149 runs/19 wins (7.84 runs/win)
C.C. Sabathia 157 runs/21 wins (7.47 runs/win)

Edge: Hernandez has to win with less help.

Times his team scored in double digits during his starts:

Felix Hernandez 1/34 (2.9%)
David Price 5/31 (16.1%)
C.C. Sabathia 7/34 (20.6%)

Edge: Again, Hernandez has to win with less.

Overall Run Support:

Felix Hernandez 104 runs/34 starts (3.06 runs/game)
David Price 163 runs/31 starts (5.26 runs/game)
C.C. Sabathia 193 runs/34 starts (5.68 runs/game)

Edge: Do I need to repeat myself? Hernandez does more with less than Price or Sabathia.

I'm sure some mathematician could use an algorithm to figure it out, but put Hernandez on either of those other teams and he probably has 25 wins.

I don't think King Felix will win the Cy Young, but you simply cannot say he doesn't deserve consideration. I certainly wouldn't argue if he won.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

So, I had this great idea for a post...

I really did. I was busy doing the research for it, digging out the facts.

You'll never guess what happened. Really, you'll never guess.


Since I have a fair amount (read: a lot) of down time at work, I do most of this blog stuff from work. Well, wouldn't you know it, work jumped up and demanded some attention today.

I may have to find something to post about from home today.

I know, I know, life is rough. Try to contain yourself! Just kidding.

Happy hump day. I mean it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What were they thinking?

I'm guessing back in the late 50's/early 60's, Topps only gave the photographers one roll of film at a time. How else do you explain pictures like this?

I know we are in the digital age now and photographers have immediate confirmation of the quality of their pictures. I take 50-100 pictures at my son's games and usually end of with 8-10 that are really nice shots worth keeping.

That said, how else do you explain Topps using this photograph for Cal's card? I can't imagine the photographer took 3 or 4 shots and this one was the best.

Do you know of any more examples of the "Eyes Wide Shut" look?

How to Combat Packsearchers--Retail Edition

Before we get started, I feel it's only fair that I warn you. As a matter of fact, if you are one of those talented people who make your own sketch cards, you may want to skip this post and come back later. I can't be held responsible for what you are about to see.

Yesterday, I stopped at one of the two Wally World's I normally frequent. I didn't have any money in the old budget for cards, but that didn't stop me from checking out the card aisle. I quickly noticed that the remodel of the front end was complete and the standard card aisle no longer existed. After a brief moment of panic, I found it.

Unfortunately, I didn't have my phone with me so I could photograph the new card display. I did manage to sketch it for you and I now present the sketch in all it's glory.

Don't blame me for being a bad artist. I warned you this wasn't going to be pretty.

As you can see, the card section has been placed next to the bountiful cigarette display. This area is off-limits to non-employees, meaning that any 8 year old who wants cards has to stand beside the 15 year old trying to illegally purchase cigarettes.

I have mixed emotions about this development. On the plus side, it should prevent packsearchers from getting their big, clumsy mitts on the cards. The downside is that I have to ask for help getting my cards the next time I want to buy something. I don't like that so much, but anything that keeps the packsearchers at bay is really ok with me.

So far this is the only store that has this new setup, but I'll be checking out other stores to see if it's the way of the future.

Has anyone else seen this type of change in the retail setup?

Monday, September 27, 2010

How sweet it is!

It's been a long time since Ranger's fans got to see this...

11 years to be exact.

I want to enjoy the fact that the Rangers have made the playoffs for a bit and then start looking forward to actually trying to make it to the ALCS for the first time in team history.

The Rangers will have to defy history to make it to the ALCS. Their 3 previous AL West Championships led to the same disappointing results each time.

1996--Lost ALDS to the Yankees 3-1
1998--Lost ALDS to the Yankees 3-0
1999--Lost ALDS to the Yankees 3-0

Is it any wonder most Rangers fans hate the Yankees?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Great Play at the Plate courtesy of Too Many Grandersons and MCG

Too Many Grandersons had some cards on the MCG site he was looking to trade for Tigers. One of them was a great play at the plate card that I just had to have.

After trading emails, I used some of my cards to acquire a 1973 Willie Horton. I sent the Horton and two other '73s over to him for this gem.

This 1973 Pat Corrales instantly becomes one of my favorite play at the plate cards. Let's take a look.

Pat Corrales vs. Ferguson Jenkins

June 14, 1972 San Diego Padres @ Chicago Cubs

Steve Arlin is on the mound for the Padres. It's the bottom of the 2nd and the Cubs already have a 3-1 lead. Ron Santo leads off with a single to center. Randy Hundley flies out to left. Fergie Jenkins, the Cubs starting pitcher, singles to left, moving Santo to 2nd. Don Kessinger doubles to left scoring Santo. Jenkins is waved home and the relay throw from Leron Lee to Enjo Hernandez to Pat Corrales is in time! Jenkins is out in what looks to have been a mighty collision.

Both Jenkins and Corrales stayed in the game and the Cubs won the game 12-9. Jenkins got the win despite giving up 7 earned runs.

Many thanks to TMG for trading this card to me!

Piece of Resistance

My grandfather was born in Texas and never left except to serve in the Air Force during World War II. He was a rancher and real estate guy. Above all, he was a country boy. When my grandmother would make a meal, he would often refer to dessert as the "Piece of Resistance". I didn't know what he meant, but my grandmother explained he meant "Pièce de résistance", which is French for the best part of something. She would try to explain to him that he wasn't saying it right, but he didn't care. Being from the "Greatest Generation", his opinion of the French wasn't very high.

I said all that, to say this. Here is the "Piece of Resistance" from the latest package I received from The Collective Troll.

My first ever silk card. It is a 2010 Topps Nelson Cruz #44/50. The Troll never ceases to amaze me with his generosity and ability to send something new and interesting. The first thought that popped into my head when I saw this card was that it was the "Piece of Resistance" of the package. Of course that made me think of my grandfather. Today isn't his birthday or the day he died, it's just a day when I'm thinking of him. He's been gone 13 years and I still miss him.

Thank you Troll, for your generosity and more importantly, for bringing back a good memory of my grandfather.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Droppin' Some Coin

Due to a somewhat limited (read non-existent) budget for cards, there may not be any coin dropped on cards around these parts for awhile. Other than a couple of group breaks and mailing some cards, I may be done until the '11 Topps set hits the street.

With that said, I took a spin on the Collective Troll Slot Machine. I'm not sure it was a jackpot, but a few coins dropped out.

One of the packs the Troll sent over in his last package was this unopened 1989 Topps Baseball Coins. As you can see it contains 3 coins and 1 stick of gum.

Topps printed the checklist on the back of the pack. I guess they thought that would be easier to read than a checklist coin.

The scanner obviously didn't like these coins. The first one to drop out of the pack was Juan Samuel. I don't know much about Samuel. I do remember getting his cards back in the day, but I've never heard his name associated with things like these next two guys.

The Rocket...Roger Clemens. I'm not saying anything bad about Clemens. He only lives 5 hours from me and I would hate for him to drive up here and try to fight me. You know what they say about Roid Rage. Oops.

Last, but not least, is Mark McGwire. Skinny necked Mark McGwire.

When I saw Clemens and McGwire, I was certain the 21 year old gum was tainted with PEDS so I didn't chew it.

Once again the Troll has come through with a product I've never opened before. Many thanks Marck!

Where's PATP?

You'll never guess where I am going today, so I'll give you a hint.

Still don't know?

That's right. I'm going to the great State Fair of Texas. It started yesterday and it's one of my favorite events of the year. We go 3 or 4 times every year and it's only here for about 3 weeks.

Here is a list of some of the crazy foods they have served over the years.

2005 Most Creative Viva Las Vegas Fried Ice Cream
2005 Best Taste Fried PB, Jelly and Banana Sandwich
2006 Most Creative Fried Coke
2006 Best Taste Fried Praline Perfection
2007 Most Creative Deep Fried Latte
2007 Best Taste Texas Fried Cookie Dough
2008 Most Creative Fried Banana Split
2008 Best Taste Chicken Fried Bacon
2009 Most Creative Deep Fried Butter
2009 Best Taste Fernie's Deep Fried Peaches & Cream
2010 Most Creative Fried Beer™
2010 Best Taste Texas Fried FRITOS® Pie

I'm not into all the weird fried foods, but there are some "healthier" choices that are great. Of course, the slogan "Super Sized Fun" could refer to all the people who are eating those fried foods.

Have a great day. I know I will.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Play at the...Wall?

What? Do you think I'm only interested in play at the plate cards? I'm not that one-dimensional, despite appearances.

When it comes to vintage goodness, I love the play at the plate cards in the 1956 set, but there are some other great cards in that set.

This is the latest 1956 card I acquired via trade on the Topps Transmogrifier site.

It's a great Jim Rivera card. I'm not sure how high that wall was, but it looks like Rivera is about 10 feet off the ground. According to Wiki, "Rivera was a sparkplug for the White Sox. A smart and fast runner, he ran the bases with abandon, sliding into bases on his belly before it was fashionable, and made many a game-saving catch in the right field. A ground ball hitter, he used his speed to full advantage and was a much tougher in clutch situations." I guess that would be one of those game-saving catches on the card.

Initially, I was confused about why the front of the card said his name was Jim, when the back lists it as Manuel Joseph Rivera. I would have expected the name Joe before Jim. Then I saw his nickname was "Jungle Jim". Apparently a sports writer gave him that nickname because of his head first approach on the bases. I don't really get it, but that's just me. I do like the cartoon on the back that shows him balancing on top of the fence. It goes nicely with the photo on the front.

Jim Rivera played 10 seasons, most of which came with the White Sox. He had 911 hits, 83 homers and 422 RBIs while hitting .256. He had 160 career steals, leading the A.L. with 25 in 1955. He was the runner-up in that category in 6 other seasons.

Master of My Domain

Don't worry. This is a family friendly blog. If you don't get the reference, start watching Seinfeld reruns.

This is more swag from the one and only Collective Troll.

The Troll sent over three of these packs of 1993 Donruss Masters of the Game. These packs contain one 3 1/2" x 5" Dick Perez cards. I flipped the pack over and saw that the 16 card set contained two Rangers and Will Clark. I was hoping to get at least one of these guys when I opened the packs.

Lo and behold, I tear the first pack open and who do find? Will Clark, my favorite all-time player. That is great luck. Or so I think. This is a great card! The black border is a perfect fit with the Giants colors.

Here is a quick shot of the back of the card. It has a place for a stamp, but I wonder if anyone ever actually mailed one of these.

I started to tear open the second pack when I notice the end of the pack is open already. I slide out the card and find this...

Jose Canseco. One of the two Rangers in the set. Sly little Troll. He's already opened these and sent me the ones he knew I would want.

That left only the Nolan Ryan, which of course was in the last pack. These are a great addition to my collection, especially since I've never seen them and didn't know they existed.

As always, thanks a bunch Troll.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Gint-A-Cuff Prize: The Final Hit

One last time, here is the list of participants in the Gint-A-Cuff prize box giveaway.

FanofReds (Nachos Grande)--Reds
Night Owl (Night Owl Cards)--Dodgers
Dan (The Other World)--Phillies
Mark (Mark's Ephemera)--Nationals--Adam Dunn
David (Indians Baseball Cards )--Indians
darkship (MidWest Cardboard)--Royals
Community Gum (Community Gum)--Cubs
Tunguska (Long Fly Ball To Because ...)--Blue Jays
Bud (First Day Issue)--Mariners
Marck (The Collective Troll)--Rays
dayf (Cardboard Junkie)--Braves--Yunel Escobar

The lucky 4th hit of the box is...

Joey Votto. This one goes to Chris over at Nachos Grande.
I'll get everyone's address and get these out asap. Thanks for playing.

The Magic Number is 4!

Thanks to the White Sox and the Rangers pitching staff, the magic number is now 4!

I was beginning to wonder if that number 6 was a permanent feature.

In other Rangers news, which I know you're just dying for, Neftali Feliz tied the Major League Record for saves by a rookie with his 37th.

One more save and he'll leave Kazuhiro Sasaki behind. Sasaki saved 37 games for the Mariners back in 2000.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hot Russian Chicks from Florida

Ok, I stretched the truth a bit. It's really only one Russian Chick and she came to me from Florida, but she's not from Florida. I'll let you decide if she's hot.

This was one of the cool, yet odd, packs of cards the Collective Troll sent over in his last package.

This is a Space Shots Series 3 pack. It has 8 cards, but I only scanned my three favorites.

It would appear from the pack design, that the US and USSR were space buddies.

This is the crew of Gemini 4, James McDivitt and Edward White. Gemini 4 was in space from June 3-June 7, 1965 and is most notable for the first spacewalk, or Extra-Vehicular Activity (EVA), by an American. White spent 22 minutes tethered to the outside of the craft and when ordered by Houston to re-enter the craft, called it the "saddest moment of my life." I can only imagine.

The interesting thing about this card is that it refers to a big fancy Science Experiment. Isn't that what every space mission is? Well, that and super secret spy stuff.

"In 1984, millions of tomato seeds were sent into space aboard Challenger Shuttle Mission STS-41C, as part of NASA's Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) project. LDEF carried dozens of experiments from many different disciplines. The purpose of Park Seed's part of the experiment was to observe the effects of deep space on seeds. The cargo remained in Earth orbit for 5 years until 1989, when Columbia Shuttle Mission STS-32 retrieved the LDEF, and the seeds were returned to Earth. They were then distributed for use in science experiments. Ultimately, 132,000 experimental kits were sent to 64,000 teachers in more than 40,000 schools, involving more than 3 million students, throughout the United States and 30 foreign countries - one of the largest science experiments ever.
Participating students from elementary schools, high schools, and colleges were given at least 50 flight seeds and 50 control seeds (i.e., seeds that never left Earth). Students designed their own experiments and participated in testing their own hypotheses, making decisions, and collecting data. Students prepared detailed reports about their observations, and those results were compiled and published in 1991 by NASA's Educational Affairs Division as SEEDS: A Celebration of Science.
(In case you are wondering, the space seeds did not grow into mutant killer tomatoes. As it turns out, space is a terrific place to store your seeds-it's nice and dry, and cold enough to keep the seeds dormant. On the down side, though, getting to a space station is pretty inconvenient when you want to pick up a few seeds for your garden!)" This tidbit of info is courtesy of

Here is the Hot Russian Chick.

Svetlana Yevgenyevna Savitskaya was the second woman in space and the first to complete a spacewalk, or EVA. According to Wiki, she was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title twice, has an asteroid named after her and set all manner of flying and parachuting records.

Here's a shot of Svetlana sans helmet. As for the hot factor, I'll let you decide.

Troll, thank you for a very cool package of cards!

Gint-A-Cuff Prize Box: Hit 3 Goes To...

Once again, here is the list of participants in the Gint-A-Cuff prize box giveaway.

FanofReds (Nachos Grande)--Reds
Beardy (Mojo & Beardy's Fantastic Card Blog)--Orioles
Night Owl (Night Owl Cards)--Dodgers
Jeremy (No One's Going To Read This Blog)--Mets
Dan (The Other World)--Phillies
Mark (Mark's Ephemera)--Nationals--Adam Dunn
David (Indians Baseball Cards )--Indians
darkship (MidWest Cardboard)--Royals
Community Gum (Community Gum)--Cubs
Tunguska (Long Fly Ball To Because ...)--Blue Jays
Bud (First Day Issue)--Mariners
Marck (The Collective Troll)--Rays
dayf (Cardboard Junkie)--Braves--Yunel Escobar

The third hit of the box goes to...

me I guess. No one claimed the Twins so I'll hold on to this Brian Duensing auto for a bit.

You'll be glad to know that there was a 4th hit in the box and it was for a team that was claimed.

I'll post it in the morning and then, after much fanfare and hoopla, Gint-A-Cuffs 2 can finally be finished.

Gint-A-Cuff Prize Box: Hit 2 Goes To...

Once again, here are our participants who participated to get the hits from the Gint-A-Cuff 2 prize box.

FanofReds (Nachos Grande)--Reds
Night Owl (Night Owl Cards)--Dodgers
Dan (The Other World)--Phillies
Mark (Mark's Ephemera)--Nationals
David (Indians Baseball Cards )--Indians
darkship (MidWest Cardboard)--Royals
Community Gum (Community Gum)--Cubs
Tunguska (Long Fly Ball To Because ...)--Blue Jays
Bud (First Day Issue)--Mariners
Marck (The Collective Troll)--Rays
dayf (Cardboard Junkie)--Braves--Yunel Escobar

If you were one of the 6 people who read the first post, you know the first hit was Yunel Escobar and went to dayf.

The second hit is...

an Adam Dunn bat card and goes to Mark the Commish, from Mark's Ephemera.

Congrats to Mark. Stay tuned for one more hit? Or is it two???

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Gint-A-Cuff Prize Box: Box Topper and the First Hit Goes To...

Before I get to the good stuff, I need to thank Mark from Mark's Ephemera again. He may say it's not a lot of work to run Gint-A-Cuffs, but setting up the scoring, answering questions and making scoring updates must take some time. Thanks Mark.

Also, a huge thanks to Topps for getting involved and offering up a box of Ginter as a prize.

Out of 29 Gint-A-Cuffs 2 participants, there were 13 people who entered this little "contest" to get the hits from the prize box. That includes our esteemed commissioner, Mark.

This is the order in which the participants commented, along with the team they chose.

FanofReds (Nachos Grande)--Reds
Beardy (Mojo & Beardy's Fantastic Card Blog)--Orioles
Night Owl (Night Owl Cards)--Dodgers
Jeremy (No One's Going To Read This Blog)--Mets
Dan (The Other World)--Phillies
Mark (Mark's Ephemera)--Nationals
David (Indians Baseball Cards )--Indians
darkship (MidWest Cardboard)--Royals
Community Gum (Community Gum)--Cubs
Tunguska (Long Fly Ball To Because ...)--Blue Jays
Bud (First Day Issue)--Mariners
Marck (The Collective Troll)--Rays
dayf (Cardboard Junkie)--Braves

The box topper was...well, it was one that I needed if I'm going to collect them all, but it made me a little queasy.

It says "Yankees Bring World Series Title Back To Yankee Stadium". Ugh. Let's hope they don't need another one of these next year.

The first hit of the box goes to...

Dayf over at Cardboard Junkie. He was the last to enter and the first to win as this Yunel Escobar bat card came out of pack number 7.

Congrats Dayf. I'll get your address and get this out to you later this week!

Stay tuned for more hits.

Blog Bat Around--Step aside Bud

This was a great topic for the Blog Bat-Around. Thanks to David from Indians Baseball Cards for putting it out there for everyone. Let's just dive right into this thing.

1. Expansion?

First order of business is to put all teams AND their fans on notice. There will be contraction. It will be done fairly and all teams will be subject to it if they don't meet one requirement. It's all about attendance. I'm going to take the attendance numbers for the last three years and combine that with the attendance numbers for the next two years and the 6 teams with the lowest average attendance per game are gone. The teams with low attendance history don't get a free pass, but all teams have two seasons to get their numbers up and stay in the game. No crying from the fans. Get your butts in the seats or you can watch teams in other cities on TV. I'll take care of the expensive tickets with step 3.

2. Leagues, divisions and playoffs.

Those things stay the same for the next two years while the fans determine which teams will be eliminated. After our two year plan goes into effect, we have 24 teams. For the most part, teams will stay in the same league, but changes may have to be made to allow for two 12 team Leagues. Each League will have two 6 team divisions. Come playoff time, 3 teams will make the playoffs from each League. The team in each League with the best overall record will have a first round bye. This will leave one division winner to play the "wildcard", the non-division winner with the best record. That may sound a bit odd to have a division winner play the wildcard, but that may help teams play out the season instead of coasting into the playoffs.
The first round of the playoffs is best of 5 with the LCS and WS still best of 7.

3. It's too expensive to go to games. All teams will be able to lower ticket prices because I'm about to jack with your player salaries. There will be no more big fat contracts. If you're the best player in baseball, you'll get your money. All players will be paid based on a league minimum salary of $500,000. Each full year of service results in a $50K bump in the minimum salary. The big money comes from performance. Wins are worth $X, homers are worth $X and so on. I don't know how that will work exactly, but I'm no accountant. Bonus $ will be paid for leading a team and league in statistical categories. If you have a bad year, you don't just hurt your team, you hurt your bank account. The categories could offer crazy money, I'm not talking about making the players poor. A win could be worth $ win 20, you get $2 million.

4. There will be no salary cap, because you won't need it. There will be a salary floor, but that will be hard to judge with the wacky salary structure. The point is, you WILL be spending most if not all of that revenue sharing money that you get. Revenue sharing will be based on a complicated algorithm involving record and attendance.

5. Since I'm already pissing off the union, I'm axing the DH. It has to be the same in both leagues and I would rather do away with it than force it on the National League. It's time pitchers in the A.L. had to face the opposition and think about it when they go head hunting. Plus, pitchers could earn a few bucks extra. As a little olive branch to the union, I'll expand the rosters by one. Only one.

6. After contraction, if you're team falls into the lowest two teams in average per game attendance three years in a row, you will be contracted and your spot given to another city in your geographical region. Deal with it.

7. The All-Star game will remain in it's current place on the calendar and will NOT count for the World Series home field. All players/coaches on the winning team will receive a $150K bonus and all players/coaches on the losing team will receive $25K. This money will be paid by MLB, not the teams.

8. Instant replay will expanded. I love the human aspect of the game, but the game is too fast or too distant sometimes for the human eye to see what really happened. Umpiring crews will be expanded by two and those two will be in a booth just behind the plate. They will be able to make near instant changes to calls that are wrong and convey this to the homeplate umpire. This will take far less time than it takes for a manager to argue, kick dirt, get thrown out, turn his cap around backward, scream, cuss...etc, etc.

9. Nyjer Morgan will be suspended for the entire 2011 season. Douchebag.

10. There will be no more public money for stadiums. This will henceforth be known as the Marlin Rule. You want a new stadium? You save your pennies, a small percentage of your revenue sharing, get investors, or take out a 30 year mortgage like the rest of us. No more double dipping by getting the fans to PAY for your stadium then charging them to come into a venue they ALREADY own.

11. After every Sunday game, both visiting and home teams will sign their jerseys and hats and give them away to randomly selected seats in the stadium. Maybe even a few balls, bats and bases too. Let's start giving back to the fans. It's not up to the few guys who are really good autograph signers to build the fan relationship. It's up to all the players and teams.

12. Joe Morgan will be banned from announcing anymore games or forcing people to refer to him has "Hall of Famer" Joe Morgan. He can take Chris Berman with him on his exile.

13. Courtesy of the Night Owl, umpires will enforce the strike zone as established by the rule book. No more forcing the pitchers to serve up a fat pitch in a strikezone the size of a salad plate to get a strike called. I see parents all the time yelling at little league umpires for calling the real strike zone. They're spoiled. So are the hitters.

14. I've seen people who are FOR expanding into Mexico. No way. Not until Mexico gets it's act together. I wouldn't force anyone to travel there against their will. I think I'd rather spend a week in Baghdad wearing a United States Flag shirt than spend five minutes anywhere in Mexico.

15. Since I've got all this power, I'll clean house at Upper Deck. Then they get a license along with Topps and the newly reformed Fleer and Donruss companies. Each company will make no more than 6 baseball products per year. Major League players will not be allowed to sign sticker autos. No plain white or gray swatches on relics unless they have real live grass stains or dirt from an actual Major League field. A handful of trusted bloggers will form a panel to approve all designs before they are put into production.

I'm sure there are things I've left out and even things I might change my mind about. As commissioner, I reserve the right to make any further changes without consulting the team owners.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Post #600 mingles with the most famous card in Topps History: 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle

This is post #600.

For a guy who started a blog to post trade packages, that's not too shabby.

Yesterday, I completed my 110th trade on the Topps Million Card Giveaway site. It was for another 1956 Topps card, but I'll save that for another day.

I noticed that this card had been unlocked.

Some lucky stiff bought a two dollar pack of cards, or maybe a blaster, value box or retail box and redeemed his code and had to go nuts when he saw how the card gods had blessed him.

Can you even imagine owning that card?

I did a quick search of the trade offers that had already been made for the Mick. There were already 70 such offers and some of them were downright hilarious.

These are some of the "SINGLE" cards that have offered for the '52 Mantle.

1974 Ron Cey

1975 Alan Foster

1981 Bill Madlock

2006 Barry Bonds

Some guy even offered his Stephen Strasburg, but at least he offered over 75 other cards ranging all the way back to 1955. That said, there is NO trade that would be worth giving up that card.

I would have already requested shipment of that amazing card. I probably would have written 100 posts about it too.

Congrats to whoever got it. That was the "pull" of a lifetime!

Some Ginters are Missing

Not the cards, the Gint-A-Cuffs participants. Only 9 of 29 have commented to try to get the hits out of the Gint-A-Cuffs 2 prize box. I decided to hold off on opening the box until tonight and give everyone until midnight to get their team down.

Go here to get involved.

Any hits for unclaimed teams will go to little old me and I'll use them for trading material.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This Post Brought to You by the Number 2

That's a "Sesame Street" reference for all you youngsters. I grew up watching Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers. That is why I know how to spell, count and leave my dirty outside shoes at the door.

The number 2 is all about current NFL records. I'm not a big football card collector, but I do like football. I'll buy a few packs now and then, but I usually save my money for baseball stuff. I'm very surprised by some of the current records for NFL teams.

I'll break it down into three categories.

Not Surprised:

Carolina Panthers: 0-2 I never expect much out of the Panthers.

St. Louis Rams: 0-2 Sam Bradford may be a future star or not, but rookie QBs don't usually fare too well and they won't be doing well in St. Louis anytime soon.

Detroit Lions: 0-2 No surprise here, but that Jahvid Best kid looks goooooood!

Buffalo Bills: 0-2 No offense to Night Owl, but this is no shocker.

Cleveland Browns: 0-2 Do I need to say anything else? They have some good pieces, but they
aren't working.

Green Bay Packers: 2-0 The only winner in the bunch and a popular Super Bowl pick. No surprise here.

Mildly Surprised:

Pittsburgh Steelers: 2-0 The QB issue made them vulnerable, but that defense is stout.

Chicago Bears: 2-0 Cutler looks good, but I'm not sure if they beat the Cowboys or if the Cowboys just suck.


Miami Dolphins: 2-0 I've gotten used to not paying any attention to Miami so this is a total surprise to me.

Kansas City Chiefs: 2-0 Matt Cassel is pathetic. He was obviously a product of a good system in New England and is 26 of 50 for 224 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 picks through two games. That'll get about zero more wins this season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 2-0 See Miami above.

Minnesota Vikings: 0-2 This is a big shock and tell me if you think Brett isn't wishing he was back in Mississippi right now.

Dallas Cowboys: 0-2 I think most Cowboys fans are in shock. Everyone says the Cowboys have the best team on paper, but guess what...the games are played on the field and the Cowboys look like a warm pile of dog poop.

I'm looking ahead to the Cowboys-Lions game on November 21st. I just want to see Jahvid Best play.

Biggest Pull Ever

Technically this card came in a package from the Troll, not in a pack I opened. Actually, all three cards were in the package.

I had to scan these together just so you could see the size of this "pull".

The Vladimir Guerrero is a mini from the 2008 Heritage set. I didn't even know they had minis in that set. The Roger Pavlik is hilarious. It's a normal sized card and and he has a real live 1970's pornstache going. Not that I know what that looks like. Finally, it's the ginormous Lance Parrish card. This is a 1985 Topps card that obviously took PEDs. It measures 4 7/8" x 6 7/8" and is the biggest card I've ever seen (that isn't a 2010 A&G Cabinet Card). I don't know if those came in packs, but I'd like to bust a box of those big cards.

There will be more Troll terrificness coming up soon.

Thanks Troll!

The Troll Never Fails to Surprise

You'll see some Troll goodies posted this weekend on The Great Sports Name Hall of Fame blog this weekend. It seems the Troll has been in a mailing mood. I got a large assortment of cards from his big break a while back, but he sent more stuff a couple of days ago. There were only a few single cards, but one of them was a first for me. He also included an assortment of unopened packs, most of which I had never seen before.

Here's a little preview of what you'll be seeing in coming posts.

Great military hardware

A Hot Russian Chick

Baffling trade material...

A rock hard piece of gum

A PED filled sleeve of coins

Pure greatness X 3

Stay tuned for more. Thanks Troll!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Play at the Plate 25: Mystery Solved

I recently posted this card...

I didn't know where the photo was taken so I couldn't try to figure out the details surrounding the play. Thanks to John from the Donruss 82 blog and Jeff from I am Joe Collector, I learned it was Candlestick Park. After a little research, I narrowed it down to one play that was most likely captured by the photographer.

It's July 16, 1972. The Phillies are already behind 6-1 in the top of the 4th inning. Willie Montanez singles to center off Jim Barr and advances to 2nd on a Garry Maddox error. Don Money follows with a single which scores Montanez without a close play at the plate. It appears that Dave Rader, the Giants catcher, doesn't even have the ball yet. The Phillies would go on to lose the game 10-7.

Thanks again to John and Jeff for identifying Candlestick Park.

Gint-A-Cuffs 2 Prize Box in Hand...Come Get Some

Friday when I got the mail I found the prize for Gint-A-Cuffs 2 waiting for me. I have to thank Mark, aka the Commish, for sending it over. I also have to thank Topps for donating the prize. The idea that a big company would get behind our little blogo-contest is pretty cool.

I'm pretty sure Beardy is somewhat involved in the whole thing so I'll thank him as well.

Unfortunately, I don't have nearly the number of base cards that Chris over at Nachos Grande does, but I know he was going to have a giveaway if he won, so I thought I would try to do something as well.

Here's the plan. I'm going to bust the box on Sunday night. Before I do, I'd like to give all Gint-A-Cuffs 2 participants (and Mark too) a chance to get a card from the box. If you were a participant (or commish) this year, leave a comment with your favorite team and I'll give away the hits from the box. For example, if you list the Red Sox and I pull two Sox hits, they are yours. I know you had a favorite team for Gint-A-Cuffs, but I need it relisted below.

This will be FIRST COME/FIRST SERVED and only one person can pick each team.

I'll be keeping the toploader and any Rangers hits as well as what I need toward completing the base set. I'll be happy to share any dupes down the road.

I'm limiting this giveaway to participants from Gint-A-Cuffs 2! If you didn't participate, don't worry, I'll still be having my regular contest on October 1st.

This is a list of participants that I took straight from the Gint-A-Cuffs blog.
FanofReds (Nachos Grande)
Travis (PunkRockPaint)
Baseball Dad (All Tribe Baseball)
Night Owl (Night Owl Cards)
Cardsplitter (The Call of Cardboard)
Teddy (Mack's Mets)
The Wax Wombat (Wax Wombat!)
Motherscratcher (Achiever Card Blog)
Community Gum (Community Gum)
Slangon (Condtion: Poor)
22Byrdman22 (22Byrdman22)
Anthony K. (Balk Four)
Todd Uncommon (Todd Uncommon's Tomb)
Thrifty Ryan (Card Cache)

I know not all of the participants are followers of mine, so let any of your buddies know so they get a team. I'll post the hits on Tuesday morning!

Thanks and good luck getting a hit!