Friday, December 31, 2010

In Memoriam--2010

MLB and Baseball Related Deaths in 2010

This may not be an exhaustive list, but it covers most of the baseball people who passed away this year. May they rest in peace.


January 3 – Bobby Wilkins, 87, shortstop for the 1944 and 1945 Philadelphia Athletics
January 4 – Rory Markas, 54, play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Milwaukee Brewers
January 12 – Hillis Layne, 91, third baseman for the Washington Senators in the 1940s, who also led the Pacific Coast League hitters in 1947 with a .367 average

January 21 – Bobby Bragan, 92, major league catcher, manager and coach
January 21 – Hal Manders, 92, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs between 1941 and 1946
January 21 – Curt Motton, 69, backup outfielder who hit .213 with 25 home runs and 80 RBI from 1967 to 1974
January 26 – Ken Walters, 76, backup outfielder for the Philadelphia Phillies and Cincinnati Reds in the early 1960s
January 27 – Sammy Drake, 75, Negro League infielder and a member of the original 1962 New York Mets
January 28 – Frank Baker, 66, outfielder for the Cleveland Indians and a Vietnam War veteran


February 7 – Paul LaPalme, 86, left-handed knuckleball pitcher for the Pirates, Cardinals, Redlegs and White Sox from 1951 to 1957
February 12 – Jerry Fahr, 85, pitcher for the 1951 Cleveland Indians

February 16 – Jim Bibby, 65, Major League pitcher from 1972 to 1984; won World Series with Pirates in 1979 and pitched first no-hitter in Senators/Rangers history (1973)
February 16 – Jim Waugh, 76, pitcher who posted a 5–11 record with a 6.43 ERA for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1952 to 1953
February 18 – Bob Chakales, 82, pitcher for the Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Senators and Red Sox
February 19 – George Cisar, 99, outfielder for the 1937 Brooklyn Dodgers; the second-oldest former major-league player player at the time of his death
February 21 – George Strickland, 84, Major League shortstop for 10 seasons with the Indians and Pirates and a coach, manager and scout for 11 more


March 3 – Frank Bertaina, 65, pitcher for the Senators, Orioles and Cardinals between 1964 and 1970
March 3 – Hank Small, 58, first baseman who played for the 1978 Atlanta Braves
March 6 – Jim Roland, 67, pitcher who played from 1962 through 1972 for the Athletics, Twins, Yankees and Rangers

March 9 – Willie Davis, 69, three-time Gold Glove outfielder for the Dodgers, Expos, Rangers, Cardinals, Padres and Angels, member of the Dodgers' 1963 and 1965 World Series champions
March 15 - Ken Holcombe, 91, pitcher who posted a 18-22 record in six seasons with the Yankees, Reds, White Sox, Browns and Red Sox

March 16 – Billy Hoeft, 77, All-Star pitcher whose career spanned 15 seasons, mainly with the Detroit Tigers
March 17 – Van Fletcher, 85, pitcher for the 1955 Detroit Tigers
March 23 – Edith Barney, 87, catcher for the Grand Rapids Chicks of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
March 28 – Joe Gates, 55, former Chicago White Sox player and Gary SouthShore RailCats bench coach
March 28 – John Purdin, 67, relief pitcher who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers between the 1964 and 1969 seasons.


April 2 – Mike Cuellar, 72, 4-time All-Star pitcher for the Cincinnati Redlegs, St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, and California Angels between 1959 and 1977; won 1969 NL Cy Young Award and 1970 World Series; and was one of four 20-game winners on the 1971 Baltimore Orioles
April 3 – Jim Pagliaroni, 72, catcher for the Red Sox, Pirates, Athletics and Pilots, who set a Pirates all-time, season-record for catchers with 17 home runs in 1965
April 9 – Bill Moisan, 84, relief pitcher for the 1953 Chicago Cubs, who had been a prisoner of war in Germany in early 1945, earning the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and Purple Heart
April 15 – Takuya Kimura, 37, Japanese player for the Nippon-Ham Fighters, Toyo Carp, and Giants from 1992 to 2009, and a member of the 2009 Japan Series champion
April 20 – Keli McGregor, 48, President of the Colorado Rockies and a former tight end in the National Football League
April 22 – Pete Castiglione, 89, third baseman who hit .255 in eight seasons with the Pirates and Cardinals
April 22 – Dick Kenworthy, 69, backup infielder who hit .215 in 125 games with the Chicago White Sox from 1962 to 1968


May 4 – Ernie Harwell, 92, Ford C. Frick Award winning broadcaster who spent 42 of his 55-year career with the Detroit Tigers, joining Mel Allen, Jack Buck and Harry Caray, between others, among the game's most famous play-by-play voices

May 6 – Robin Roberts, 83, Hall of Fame pitcher and a seven-time All-Star in 14 seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies, who led the National League in wins from 1952 to 1955, innings pitched from '51 to '55 and complete games from '52 to '56
May 8 – George Susce, 78, middle relief pitcher who posted a 22–17 record with a 4.42 ERA and three saves in 117 games for the Red Sox and Tigers from 1955 to 1959
May 13 – Jay Schlueter, 60, left fielder for the 1971 Houston Astros

May 17 – Dorothy Kamenshek, 84, seven-time All-Star first basewoman and two-time champion bat in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
May 23 – José Lima, 37, All-Star Dominican pitcher who posted a 89–102 record in 13 seasons with the Tigers, Astros, Royals, Dodgers and Mets
May 24 – Morrie Martin, 87, pitcher who played for seven different teams from 1949 to 1959, mainly with the Philadelphia Athletics
May 24 – Rogelio Martínez, 91, Cuban pitcher for the 1950 Washington Senators
May 27 – Louise Arnold, 87, pitcher for the AAGPBL champion South Bend Blue Sox in 1951 and 1952, who hurled a no-hitter and led the league with a .833 winning percentage in 1951
May 29 – Jeriome Robertson, 33, who won 15 games as a rookie pitcher with the Houston Astros in 2003


June 1 – Freddie Burdette, 73, middle reliever who posted a 1–0 record with a 3.41 ERA and one save in 68 games for the Chicago Cubs from 1962 to 1964

June 6 – Jerry Stephenson, 66, pitcher who posted a 8–19 record in a seven-year career, and a member of the 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox team
June 14 – Oscar Azócar, 45, Venezuelan outfielder for the Yankees and Padres in the early 1990s.
June 16 – Bob Hartman, 72, left-handed pitcher who had brief stints with the Milwaukee Braves in 1959 and the Cleveland Indians in 1962.


July 8 - Clint Hartung, 87, pitcher and outfielder for the New York Giants from 1947 to 1952, who became the 11th player in major league history whose first home run came as a pitcher and later homered as a position player.
July 8 - Maje McDonnell, 89, Philadelphia Phillies coach from 1951 to 1957, and a World War II veteran who earned five battle stars and a Bronze Star.
July 9 - Frank Verdi, 84, shortstop who played briefly for the Yankees in the 1953 season and later managed in the minor leagues.
July 10 - Ed Palmquist, 77, relief pitcher who played from 1960 to 1961 with the Dodgers and Twins.
July 10 - Johnny Van Cuyk, 89, relief pitcher who played on the 1949 Brooklyn Dodgers team that won the National League pennant.

July 11 - Bob Sheppard, 99, public address announcer at Yankee Stadium from 1951 to 2007.
July 13 - George Steinbrenner, 80, New York Yankees owner since 1973.

July 15 - Billy Loes, 80, pitcher who posted a 80-63 record in 12 seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles and San Francisco Giants.
July 16 - Kenny Kuhn, 73, backup infielder who hit .210 in 71 games with the Cleveland Indians from 1955 to 1957.
July 20 - Jimmy McMath, 60, backup outfielder for the 1968 Chicago Cubs.
July 21 - Ralph Houk, 90, third-string catcher for the New York Yankees who went on to win three straight American League pennants and two World Series championships in his first three seasons as their manager.
July 22 - Larry Fritz, 61, pinch-hitter for the 1975 Philadelphia Phillies.
July 26 - Jake Jacobs, 73, outfielder who played from 1960 to 1961 for the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins.


August 7 - Keith Drumright, 55, second baseman for the 1978 Astros and the 1981 Athletics.

August 9 - Gene Hermanski, 90, outfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates from 1943 to 1953, who also was a World War II veteran.
August 11 - Nellie King, 82, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1950s and broadcaster of the last Pirates game at Three Rivers Stadium in 2000.
August 15 - Joe L. Brown, 91, Pirates’ general manager who helped build 1970s’ teams that beat the Orioles twice in the World Series.

August 16 - Bobby Thomson, 86, whose Shot Heard 'Round the World in 1951 has echoed through baseball history as perhaps the game's most famous home run.
August 21 - Satch Davidson, 74, National League umpire who worked behind the plate when Hank Aaron hit his historic 715th career home run as well as when Carlton Fisk hit his memorable homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
August 26 - Cal McLish, 84, All-Star pitcher with a 15-season career for five teams, who set a major league record with 16 consecutive road wins over the 1958-59 seasons, which stood for 36 years until Greg Maddux surpassed it over the 1994-95 seasons.


September 1 - Don Lang, 95, infielder for the Cincinnati Reds and St. Louis Cardinals.[78]
September 9 - Eddie Phillips, 80, pinch-runner who scored four runs in nine games for the 1953 St. Louis Cardinals, but never batted or fielded a ball in the majors.
September 15 - Al LaMacchia, 89, relief pitcher for the St. Louis Browns and Washington Senators from 1943 to 1946, who also is credited with having scouted players such as George Bell, Cito Gaston, Dale Murphy, Dave Stieb and David Wells.
September 16 - Wayne Twitchell, 62, 1973 NL All-Star pitcher who posted a 48-65 record in ten seasons with the Brewers, Phillies, Expos, Mets and Mariners.
September 18 - Ray Coleman, 88, outfielder and World War II veteran, who hit a .258 average in five seasons for the St. Louis Browns, Philadelphia Athletics and Chicago White Sox.
September 20 - Al Pilarcik, 80, outfielder and Korean War veteran, who hit .256 in 668 games for the Kansas City Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox.

September 23 - Bob Shaw, 77, who spent eleven years in the majors pitching for the Tigers, White Sox, Kansas City Athletics, Milwaukee Braves, SF Giants, Mets and Cubs, and beat Sandy Koufax in 1959 World Series.


October 3 - Maury Allen, 88, sportswriter and former columnist for the New York Post.
October 3 - Ben Mondor, 85, long time owner of Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.
October 8 - Dale Roberts, 70, relief pitcher for the 1967 New York Yankees.
October 16 - Valmy Thomas, 81, first Puerto Rican catcher to play in the majors.
October 17 - Joe Lis, 64, first baseman who played from 1970 through 1977 for the Phillies, Twins, Indians and Mariners.
October 17 - Freddy Schuman (Freddy Sez), 85, Yankee Stadium staple for the last 20 years.
October 20 - Otey Clark, 95, pitcher who played briefly for the 1945 Boston Red Sox.
October 20 - Bill Jennings, 85, shortstop for the 1951 St. Louis Browns.
October 20 - Tony Roig, 82, utility infielder for the Washington Senators from 1953 to 1956.
October 25 - Rudy Rufer, 84, shortstop for the New York Giants from 1949 to 1951, who later scouted for the Los Angeles Dodgers during 25 years.
October 27 - Gene Fodge, 79, pitcher for the 1958 Chicago Cubs.

October 31 - Artie Wilson, 90, Negro Leagues All-Star shortstop.


November 2 - Clyde King, 86, whose major league baseball career as a player, coach, manager and front-office man spanned six decades.

November 4 - Sparky Anderson, 76, Hall of Fame manager; first manager to win the World Series in both leagues with the Cincinnati Reds (1975-1976) and Detroit Tigers 1984).
November 6 - Jay Van Noy, 82, a four-sport standout in Utah State, who later played for the 1951 Cardinals.
November 7 - George Estock, 86, pitcher for the 1951 Boston Braves.

November 10 - Dave Niehaus, 75, Hall of Fame broadcaster for the Seattle Mariners since its inception in 1977 to their final game of the 2010 season.
November 13 - George Binks, 96, outfielder/first baseman who hit .253 in 351 games for the Washington Senators, Philadelphia Athletics and St. Louis Browns from 1944 to 1948. Hit .300 for the 1938 Tyler Trojans of the East Texas League.
November 14 - Hal Bamberger, 86, outfielder for the 1948 New York Giants.
November 15 - Ed Kirkpatrick, 66, outfielder with a 16-year major league career, seven of them for the Los Angeles Angels.
November 20 - Danny McDevitt, 78, pitcher who posted a 21-27 record and a 4.40 ERA in six seasons, who is most remembered by start for the Dodgers last home game in Brooklyn, hurling a 2–0 shutout victory over the Pirates.
November 21 - Steve Kuczek, 85, pinch-hitter for the 1949 Boston Braves.
November 22 - Jean Cione, 82, pitcher who hurled three no-hitters and turned an unassisted triple play in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
November 22 - Tom Underwood, 56, pitcher who posted a 86-87 record with a 3.89 ERA for the Phillies, Cardinals, Blue Jays, Yankees, Athletics and Orioles from 1974 to 1984.
November 27 - Bill Werle, 89, who pitched for the Pirates, Red Sox and Cardinals from 1949 to 1954.
November 28 - Cal Emery, 73, first baseman for the 1963 Phillies, who also played in Japan, managed in the minors, and was a a major league coach.

November 28 - Gil McDougald, 82, All-Star infielder who helped the New York Yankees win five World Series championships during the 1950s.
November 30 - R. C. Stevens, 76, first baseman who batted .210 with eight home runs in 104 games for the Pirates and Senators from 1958 to 1961.


December 2 - Ron Santo, 70, nine-time All-Star and one of the greatest players in Chicago Cubs history.
December 4 - Ken Lehman, 82, left-handed specialist who posted a 14-10 record and a 3.91 ERA in 134 games for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Baltimore Orioles and Philadelphia Phillies.
December 7 - Art Mahan, 97, first baseman for the 1940 Phillies.

December 15 - Bob Feller, 92, Cleveland Indians legend and Hall of Fame pitcher.

December 17 - Walt Dropo, 87, who played 13 seasons in the majors and won the 1950 American League Rookie of the Year award with the Boston Red Sox, after batting .322 with 34 home runs and a league-best 144 RBI in 136 games.

December 18 - Phil Cavarretta, 94, three-time All-Star who won the National League MVP in 1945 to led the Chicago Cubs to their last World Series appearance.

December 28 - Bill Lajoie, 76, general manager who played an integral role in building the Detroit Tigers into a World Championship team in 1984 and a division title winner in 1987.

December 30 - Steve Boros, 74, who played 7 seasons with the Tigers, Cugs and Reds and managed the A's and Padres.

December 30 - Tom Vandergriff, 84, former mayor of Arlington, Texas and the man who fought to bring Major League Baseball to Arlington and succeeded when the Washington Senators became the Texas Rangers in 1972.
Credit to Wikipedia for the list.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lazy, Lazy, Lazy

Night Owl mentioned Topps' laziness in his "Worst Card of 2010" post yesterday. It had to do with a reused play at the plate picture on two Joba Chamberlain cards. It's definitely lazy on Topps part, but those are modern day cards that I don't care that much about.

This is something else altogether. A peek at some of the early cards of one of my favorite childhood players and someone who is on my player collection list.

Do you see the similarites?

1960 Yaz

1961 Yaz

1963 Yaz

1964 Yaz

1968 Yaz

1969 Yaz

That's just sad. I can almost understand the '60 and '61, but the others? As most of you already know, these are just examples from one player. There are many other vintage cards that have the same photos. In order to complete my player collection, I need both the 1960 and 1961 Yaz, but I sort of feel cheated since it's the same card with a different design.

Do I even need to ask how you feel about it? Ok...I will. How do you feel about it?

Best Wishes To Harmon Killebrew

Harmon Killebrew announced today that he has esophageal cancer and is being treated by doctors at the Mayo Clinic.

Killibrew was one of my dad's favorite players because he lived in Minnesota in the late 60's/early 70's.

Best wishes and prayers go out to Harm for a speedy recover.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The first MCG Tradethon Prize trade is complete

I decided that I had enough cards to make big offers for two cards. I took 65 of the 137 cards and made about 20 offers for cards that fit into the collecting interests of the group involved in the Tradeathon.

Yesterday afternoon, one of the trade offers was accepted.

This is a decade breakdown of what I sent.


This is what I got in return....

Sorry, you'll just have to wait until I do the randomization to find out which 1954 card I got.

MCG Tradeathon by the Numbers

Like the Topps MCG Giveaway, the MCG Tradeathon is coming to a close. I thought I would share some of the numbers with you.

Hey, where are you going? Come BACK!!

As of this moment there are 16 people involved in the Tradeathon, yours truly excluded. Cardsplitter and I are playing email tag in hopes of getting one more trade done by tomorrow, but as of now, it's 16.

In no particular order, the players are:

Cards on Cards
Hey, That's Mine
Stats on the Back
Dawgbone, A Phillies Phan
Too Many Granderson
The Collective Troll
Prophet Got It
Tomahawk Chopping-Cardboard and More
The Vintage Sportscards Blog
Justin's World
Padrographs: Abner to Zimmer
Smed's Baseball Card Blog
"O" No...Another Orioles Blog
Midwest Cardboard
Clear Cut Cards
No One is Going to Read this Blog

I think that's everyone, but if I left you out, let me know ASAP!

I made 21 trades with 14 of these bloggers, netting 102 cards. Two others sent codes for me to redeem. Ryan from "O" No sent 2 codes and Big D from "Hey, That's Mine" sent another 12.

I also made 8 trades outside the Tradeathon that netted an additional 21 cards.

That makes the total number of cards available 137. That's enough cards to make at least two trades so...pending a deal with Cardsplitter, stay tuned for more news later.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Collector's Christmas Wish

I don't need anything this Christmas. I have lots of wants, but really I'm very blessed and the needs are all covered. I have my health, my family, a home and a job.

The collector in me is always hungry for more cards, but even on that front, I'm pretty good. I don't have all my wantlists completed yet and I'm sure there are hundreds if not thousands of Rangers cards I still don't have. That will wait for another day.

My wish this Christmas is for all of my blogging/collecting friends to be happy and healthy. I hope your struggles are few and the good times outweigh the bad. I hope you all get a pack of cards in your stocking or a box under the tree. May all your hits be from your favorite team and of your favorite player.

Merry Christmas everyone!

For all the youngsters who don't remember the junk wax era

Maybe you've only heard about it, but weren't around to experience it.

Check this out.

Trust me on this do not want to go there. As my dearly departed father would say, "Go back, it's a TRAP".

I remember those days somewhat fondly now. It's not so much the era as it is that I sometimes feel a little nostalgic as I get older. I don't want to go back to that time, but the bad memories have sort of been glossed over with time. It's sort of like when I went through Boot Camp. I don't seem to remember all the bad parts anymore.

In 1988 I bought a case of this stuff.

I was 17 and Score was the new kid on the block. I thought I would be rich someday by having an unopened case of the very first Score cards ever!!! Is there any doubt about how that worked out for me. It didn't take long to figure out that 1988 Score was not a goldmine. The whole case ended up going in the big garage sale back in 2006. Along with a couple hundred thousand other cards. *Sigh*

Anyway, that big miss, caused me to avoid Upper Deck in 1989. At the height of the Griffey Jr. Rookie hype I didn't open one pack of UD. However, in my infinite wisdom and glorious timing, I probably bought 20,000 cards in 1989-1990. I had a ton of 1989 Pro-Set football and 1990 Fleer, Donruss and Topps baseball. Oh, the good old days. Most of that went the way of the garage sale too.

*Editor's note* As I read back over this post, I realized it was the ramblings of an exhausted person. Too much time awake and too many hours at work will do that to a guy. Oh well, if it saves one person from 1990 Topps, it was all worth it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Just when I think I'm out...they drag me back in!

Just when I think I'm done getting new trades for the MCG Tradeathon, I get another one. Or in this case, two.

I finally touched base with mmosley of Stats on the Back. We played email tag for three full weeks before we got a deal done. I sent Mark a highly collectable 2005 Bronson Arroyo in exchange for the following:

1960 Chuck Tanner
1976 Bigg Pocoroba
1978 Earl Weaver
1979 Jim Mason
1982 Glenn Hubbard
1987 Steve Garvey
1991 John Olerud
1993 Juan Gonzalez
1999 Will Clark
2000 Javy Lopez
2006 Clint Hurdle

The second trade was with Dawgbones aka Richard. You should check out his "blog with the incredibly long name." In exchange for a 1987 Mike Schmidt AS, Richard sent over:

1960 Albie Pearson
1969 Yankees Rookie Stars
1972 John Strohmeyer
1979 Johnny Oates
1979 Steve Kemp
1982 Ron Guidry
1982 Alvis Woods
2001 Roger Cedeno
2001 Ivan Rodriguez

Thanks guys! I'll be starting the trade process in the next day or so!

State of the Blog

Raise your hand if you noticed my absence. one...hmm, that's what I was afraid of.

Well, that and ending a sentence with a preposition.

After dealing with some out of town family issues, I'm back. The good news is that I now have a little gift money and will be purchasing a scanner just after Christmas. The bad news is that I'll be posting all those catchup trade posts, but hopefully that won't drive off too many of you.

I still have the MCG Tradethon going and will be trying to trade off all the stuff I acquired in the next few days.

I'm also trying to figure out the best way to have the end of the year contest for all the monthy winners. Nothing diabolical of course, but...well, I'll let you know when I figure it out.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

I Love Gum!

Community Gum that is. The boys over at CG are having a "Milestone" contest. Give it a look-see!

Why are you still here? Go!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Unexpected Travels

I had to travel out of town unexpectedly to deal with familial issues. If you've commented or emailed, give me a couple of days to get stuff in order and I'll get back to you.

Until then...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Final Tradeathon Update?

I'm going to try to work out deals with Cardsplitter and MMosely through the weekend and then the entry to the MCG Tradeathon will be closed. This may be the final update before I start making trade offers for vintage cards to give away. I want to start that process on Monday and have it all wrapped up so I can have my cards shipped by the end of the month.

So here are the latest cards added to the stockpile.

First up are two trades with Too Many Grandersons. In exchange for a 1979 Jason Thompson, he sent over the following:

1976 Dick Lange

1976 Manny Trillo
1982 Willie Randolph
2005 Placido Polanco
2007 Classic Combo Card Mets

Later,we did a second deal and I traded away the 1970 Gates Brown for this...

1967 Fred Whitfield

That brings up yet another trade with The Collective Troll.
I sent him a lovely (did I just say that?) 2007 Cleveland Indians Team card for these cards:

1978 Warren Cromartie

1979 Ed Herrmann
1987 Mark McGwire
2006 Adam Dunn

Last, but certainly not least, was one more trade with Jimmy from Prophet Got It... Jimmy sent over these awesome cards in exchange for a 2005 Placido Polanco.

1960 Chuck Cottier
1969 Ollie Brown
1978 Don Baylor
1978 Gary Matthews
1979 Mike Garman
1979 Pete Vuckovich
1979 John Ellis
1980 Doyle Alexander
1980 Jerry Augustine
1980 Tom Dixon
1982 Rick Cerone
1983 Mark Belanger
1984 Mike Jorgensen
1985 Tom Brunansky
1987 Dale Murphy
1990 Randy Milligan
1990 Tom Lampkin
2001 Dustin Hermanson

That was a great trade...a little lopsided maybe, but that's what the Tradeathon is all about. That brings the unofficial count to 86 cards, but I know there are more because I have 12 codes to redeem that were sent by Derek from Hey, That's Mine fame.

Planting More Seeds

Fifteen more packages are going to school today to go into the Christmas stockings of some 5th graders. My son and I loaded them up last night with a good mix of cards from 2009-2010, including a bunch of inserts and some shiny Chromeiness.

I did NOT send the super bendy Chromy cards though. I'm trying to create collectors, not scare the bejeesus out of the kids.

I have to extend a huge thank you to Greg from Nearly Mint. He sent over an 800 count box stuffed with seeds to plant. I haven't received it just yet, but it will be put to good use before Christmas. I'll let you know how that goes.

Is there anyone out there planting seeds? C'mon, anyone???

You wanna a piece of this contest?

You dig hockey? You dig contests?

Good. Go here. Now.

Drop the Gloves is rockin' the contest his way. Good for him.

All About Contests

I love a good contest and I've had a pretty good run of luck winning them lately. I hope my luck hasn't run out, because All About Cards is having a good contest.

Check it out, but don't plan on winning, because I want to!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The "IT" follow-up

Thanks to you, the amazing readers, the comments for yesterdays "How do you think IT is affecting the hobby?" post were outstanding. It's great to be able to check the pulse of the collecting communty like that and is one reason blogging is so much fun.

My humble opinion reflects much of what you guys had to say, but I'll give you a little rundown anyway.

First of all, I started collecting in 1981, so I just missed out on the first Topps monopoly. I didn't know the good from bad from the ugly and loved all the cards in 1981. As I matured as a collector, I became more aware of quality vs. quantity. That's where I am today. I don't want 50 or 60 sets to choose from and I honestly don't card if Topps has the only licensed either.

I just want Topps to care about the product they put out. Produce cards as if you don't have a monopoly. Design cards as if the continuation of the monopoly depends on it.

I decided that I'm going to change my buying habits a bit in 2011. I'll continue with the same budget as this year, but I'm going to be a lot more selective about what I buy. I'll still buy a pack or three of each new product that comes out, but I'm going to stick with Topps Flagship and A&G as set collecting goals.

The part I'm most looking forward to is splitting my budget in half. Half will go to new stuff. The other half will go toward vintage cards. Earlier this year, GCRL picked up 44 vintage Washington Senators for me for $20. That's a much better use of $20 than a blaster of new stuff if you ask me. I don't have a good LCS for vintage cards and haven't been to a show in 15 years. I suppose that leaves Ebay and COMC as the best avenues for spending my vintage budget.

Don't think I'm down on the hobby because I'm not. There's more to this hobby than what Topps decides to sell in 2011. However...I have an opinion on that too.

For next time.

How's that for perspective?

Yesterday I was having a Cliff Lee conversation with a friend.

Yes, smarty pants, I have friends. Ok...a friend.

Anyway, he put the whole Cliff Lee signing with Philly situation into perspective for me.

He says, "Look at it this way, the Rangers didn't re-sign the losingest World Series pitcher in team history. Big deal."

I never thought of it that way. Good riddance you big loser!

Truthfully, as much as it would have been nice to have Lee leading the Rangers pitching staff, I can't say I'm too upset about him leaving. The Rangers have been down this overpaid path before with A-Rod and A-Rod put up good numbers here, but his contract put a stranglehold on the payroll. Well, that and the ridiculous Chan Ho Park deal.

At any rate, we'll see what happens next season. I don't know about you, but Spring Training and Opening Day can't come soon enough.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How do you think IT is affecting the hobby?

I'll get to the "IT" part in a minute.

If you were around for the start of Play at the Plate, you know I had a stack, no, make that a mountain, of trades to post. I'm getting dangerously close to that stage again and will be making it up to you guys when I replace my scanner. If you've mailed me something and wondered if I got it, I probably did and it's in a pile of opened packages just waiting to be shown off.

Now, for the real point of this post.

I mentioned earlier today, in my State O' the Sphere follow up post, that the Topps monopoly is ruining this hobby. I want to expound on that thought, but first I want to know what you think about it.

Is the monopoly really that big a deal? Is it just a blip on the hobby radar or is it strangling what is already a struggling hobby? How has it affected your buying habits?

I'll give you my thought in the follow-up, but I will say this. The monopoly is going to change the way I approach the hobby in 2011.

So...what are your thoughts?

State O' the Sphere followup

It appears that my state o' the sphere post hit a nerve with some people. It's not often I get 13 comments on a non-contest post. The nice thing is that it shows people are still reading, even if the number of posts out there are decreasing (or maybe not).

There were a number of reasons given for the possible slowdown.

Four people cited taking (or giving) final exams for school as part of the problem. I remember those days and I don't think I would have been reading blogs, much less writing one, during finals.

Four people said, and I know it's true because I read their work, that their blogs are either ramping up or continuing normal posting patterns.

Four people gave the holidays as a primary culprit for a blog slowdown. Is it January yet?

Two people blamed it on Topps and/or Panini. I know only two people said it, but the monopoly is killing the hobby. Along with a myriad of other things.

One person, and I think he's onto something here, said it was just me.

He may be the smartest one of all of us.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

One More Vintage Play at the Plate Card

I still have some great 1956 PATP cards to post from The Collective Troll and Chris over at Vintage Sportscards. I'll show you one today that came via trade on the Topps MCG site.
I first saw this card on the Night Owl's 1975 Blog. I had to have one and the easiest way to get one was via a trade on the MCG site.
For a rather bland looking 1973 Rudy May, I got this great Joe Ferguson patp. I won't go into the details of the play involved because you can read all about it here. I haven't seen all the '75 cards, but this has to be one of the best. And one day soon, it will be in my hot little hand.

Monday, December 13, 2010

So now it's Cliff phil-Lee

I was listening to the Dallas Stars game and during the second intermission they reported that Cliff Lee informed the Rangers he was signing a 5 year deal with the Phillies.

Holy Crap!

I need to do some investigating, but does that mean the Phils have Halladay, Lee, Oswalt and Hamels all under contract?

Here's hoping Oswalt and Hamels are done.

State O' the Sphere

I've noticed a significant decrease in the number of posts around the blogosphere in recent weeks. I assume, and I know how dangerous that can be, that it has more to do with baseball season ending than it does with bloggers kicking the habit. At least I hope that's the reason.

I know my posting has dropped off considerably this month, but that's due more to my scanner issues than a loss of interest in the hobby or my blog. The scanner issue is one I hope to have rectified soon. After all, I've received some very nice cards in the mail and I know you want to see them.

How about the rest of you fine bloggers? What's your story? Why the slowdown around the blogsosphere?

Of course, I know this doesn't apply to all of you and I don't mean it as a slight to anyone who's enjoying the offseason. I guess I'm being a bit selfish, hoping that it's nothing more than a temporary lull, because I really enjoy scrolling down the dashboard and reading all the great posts that you write.

While we're on the subject, I know there are a lot of people out there who are just reading the blogs. I was encouraged to start my own blog by some of the best bloggers out there and I think there are a lot of you readers who should start one too. Let your hobby voice be heard and show off those collections!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I really mean it this time!

The MCG Tradeathon has had a great response.

This really, really is the last call for anyone wanting to participate.

I'm still trying to coordinate with MMosley and hope to get that done by Tuesday. At that point I'm going to do one final update post and then start making trade offers. I have so many cards I may be able to get more than one vintage goodie to give away!

Thanks everyone!

The Envelope Please!

Ok, I used to get the winner of the December contest and the answer isn't in an envelope.

The answer is at the end of this very short video.

(Sorry about the audio...a couple of co-workers were lurking so I didn't narrate).

Or you can skip the video and just read it.

The winner was Smedscards from the blog, Smed's Baseball Card Blog. Congrats for winning and claiming the last spot in the 2010 end of year contest as well!

Many thanks to all the people who entered and left some great, if not downright bizarre, comments. You'll never know how much it means to have someone take the time to read my blog. Unless of course you have a blog, then you know EXACTLY what it means.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Do you remember the December Contest?

Well, I certainly do.

There were 152 comments.


That's a boatload of comments. I just got back to my normal work schedule and planned on posting a recap of some of the comments and the winner. Unfortunately, I just don't have time to do it tonight. Just writing down the entries and making sure I don't miss any is a tedious process.

I promise I'll get the winner announced Friday morning.

Is anybody else sick of this guy's name?

I'm not talking about this guy.

I'm glad the Yankees overpaid for DJ. I really am. I hope they sign him again in three years to another three year deal worth $45 million.

No, I'm talking about this guy.

I'm tired of Cliff Lee talk. It's everywhere. All the local sportsradio talk shows. All the local TV sports talk. All the local newspaper coverage. I'm tired of it.

Sure, I'd love to have Cliff Lee as the Rangers' staff ace, but there's no way I'm giving him a 7 year deal. Maybe 5 years, maybe even a mutual option on a 6th with a moderate buyout. If the Yankees or the Nationals (really, the Nationals?) want to pony up $23-25 million/year for a 6 or 7 year deal, then I say have at it. Now that Carl Crawford got tired of waiting and signed with the Red Sox, I think it would be quite comical if Lee signed with Texas or Washington. I don't think that will happen, but you just never know.

Like most people, I don't understand why $15 million/year isn't enough, but I guess it's all relative. I'm quite certain turning down that kind of money because someone else offers $20 million isn't a problem I'll ever have.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Remembering Pearl--Random IPhone Post #1

I know I said I wouldn't be posting until Thursday, but I couldn't neglect to mention the 69th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

I had the honor of being stationed at the Navy base at Pearl for three years in the early '90s. I was always touched by the survivors of the attack, who would return each year to remember friends and brothers lost so many years ago. Their dedication and service made me proud to be a sailor and it still does.

Time takes it's terrible toll on the remaining survivors as fewer and fewer live to see another anniversary each year.

Take a minute today to think about that day and the changes it brought to our country. (No offense Canuck).

Monday, December 6, 2010

Contest and blog status

I'm in training the next three days. That throws me off because I'm not used to being up during the day.

That means I won't be posting until Thursday. That probably won't affect you much except you'll be so sad that you're missing you're daily dose of PATP.

I also won't get the contest results up until Thursday morning. I am sorry for that and I'll sweeten the prize pot a bit for making you wait.

Until Thursday...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Last Time

This is the last time I'll remind you about the December contest.

I promise.

I know you're tired of clicking on these posts, expecting some witty banter about some great or not so great card. Wait, that's someone else that does those witty banter blog posts.

Anyway, go here to get your last entry.

I'll be randomizing tonight and posting the winner tomorrow.

Good luck!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Super Saturday...You know what this is

It's that time again. Your "day before the last day to enter the contest" reminder post.

Go here to enter.

Enjoy your what's left of your Saturday.

Planting Seeds Update 2

Day 2 of seed planting went as well as Day 1. My son gave away the remaining 15 packs of cards and there was happiness in the land. Well, mostly. He still had a few kids wanting cards, which is perfect, and I'll make up some more packs over the weekend. We'll be starting basketball soon too, so that will be another opportunity to pass out cards.

I was really touched by the people who offered to send me cards after the first update post. I'm really flattered that they would offer to help out in that way. I do want to say that I didn't write that post as a plea for cards. I would love it if other people who had cards to spare would give them away in their own area. I know there was a blogger who was trying to give 1,000,000 cards away to needy kids at one point, but I don't know if that effort is still underway. I think that is as generous a use of cards as I've seen.

I'm more than happy to pass out cards to kids in my town, even it they are your cards. I'm certainly not trying to be unappreciative of the offers either, but I'll only accept if there isn't any avenue for you to give them away in your town.

After all, if the only seeds that get planted are in my area, then I'll have too many people competing with me for Rangers cards!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Calling All MCG Tradeathon Participants

As sometimes happens when I have an idea for the blog, I don't think of all the angles until I've already posted it. After I started taking trades for the Tradeathon contest, I started thinking about how I was going to decide what to cards to make offers for and I didn't really have a plan.

I could just offer trades for early Topps cards, but without a clue as to what you guys might want, it would just be a shot in the dark. As I was thinking about this problem, another idea came to mind and I wanted to get your input on it, since it will have an impact on those of you who are participating.

Instead of trading for something and then randomizing it off, how about if I do the randomization first? That way the winner gets to give me some feedback on what team, player or year they want me to try to obtain.

Let me know what you think of that idea. Since I didn't put it out that way in the original post, I'll only change to the new plan if it's ok with the majority of the participants. Leave a comment with your thoughts please!

On a side note, I have two more people that have expressed an interest in the Tradeathon and if we can coordinate a time to get the trades completed, we'll have more trade bait.

It's Friday...Like You Didn't Already Know!

I wasn't going to do a reminder post for the December Contest every day.

At least not until several people thanked me for the reminder yesterday. I figure it won't hurt to remind people to go here to enter the contest. Just remember Sunday is the last day to enter.

Interestingly, probably only to me, there were 36 entries on the 1st and 23 entries on the 2nd. I know one commenter thinks he can win with only one entry, but what happened to the others? Who knows, but it matters not.

Good luck and stay warm if you live in one of those snow covered states.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Granny can beat up your granny

Not long ago, I got a new Granny.

It arrived courtesy of the one and only Collective Troll and was part of the payoff when the Rangers defeated the Rays in the ALDS.

It's a beautiful 1956 Granny Hamner play at the plate card. I have to admit that these images aren't of the card the Troll sent. I "borrowed" these from the interweb for reasons I won't go into again. Rest assured the card the Troll sent is every bit as nice as this one.

Granville Wilbur Hamner played 17 years in the big leagues, 15 of those with the Phillies. He was primarily a shortstop and secondbaseman. His career numbers aren't too shabby. He had 1,529 hits, 104 homers and 708 RBIs to go along with a .262 average. He played in 3 straight All-Star games ('52-'54) and the 1950 World Series in which the Phils were swept by the Yankees. Granny did hit .429 in that World Series, but it didn't help.

Many thanks to Troll for adding yet another great 1956 PATP card to my collection. I have one more from him to post and just received 3 more in the mail from another great blogger.