Monday, May 31, 2010
It wasn't really his fault I suppose. There was some confusion on my part on the date. That wasn't really my fault. They date I was given was wrong.
I'm not going to say yet who it was because there is a chance I might still get to meet the guy. I will say there's a chance the 20 and under crowd hasn't heard of him.
I hope you're enjoying your Memorial Day and taking a moment to reflect on the meaning of the day.
Marine Cpl. Jacob C. Leicht didn't survive his second encounter with a bomb this week. The death of the 24-year-old Texan born on the Fourth of July marks a grim milestone in the Afghanistan war.
Leicht, who spent two painful years recovering from the Iraq blast, was killed Thursday when he stepped on a land mine in Helmand province that ripped off his right arm. He had written letters from his hospital bed begging to be put back on the front lines, and died less than a month into that desperately sought second tour.
An Associated Press tally shows Leicht is the 1,000th U.S. serviceman killed in the Afghan conflict. The first death — nearly nine years ago — was also a soldier from the San Antonio area." By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press Writer
In the 230+ year history of our country, over 1 million military servicemen and women have given their lives to further the cause of freedom and democracy. Marine Corporal Jacob C. Leicht was the 1000th soldier to die in a far off place called Afghanistan. A place most of us will never visit and many couldn't find on a map. Over 4,400 have died in Iraq. All current members of the military know the situation they face and everyone who has ever served in the military, said the oath knowing the danger they may find themselves facing.
I want to say thank you to all those who have ever served and are alive to spend this day with their loved ones. I also want to send out a prayer for everyone who made the ultimate sacrifice and one for their families as well.
Regardless of your political leanings, whether you think we should have our troops in harm's way around the world, they are there and need to know we haven't forgotten them. There is an old saying that if you can read this, you should thank a teacher (and you should). I say, if you have access to the internet in the luxury of your own home or on your phone or at work, and have the freedom to be expressing your own opinions, no matter the subject, thank a veteran.
So, even though those who have died can't read this, I'm thinking of you today. Especially you Brian R., my former shipmate who died in 1992.
Sunday, May 30, 2010
July 24, 1976 Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees
It's the bottom of the second inning and the Sox and Yanks are tied 0-0. Rick Jones is on the hill and Thurman Munson leads off with a double. Chris Chambliss follows up with a walk. Craig..I mean Graig Nettles flies out to left. Jones gets Juan Bernhardt to strike out. Willie Randolph reaches on an E5 to load the bases. Fred Stanley singles, scoring Munson and Chambliss and leaving Randolph at third. Mickey Rivers lays down a bunt and this is what happens next:
Randolph is SAFE! The Yanks finish the inning with 3 runs and go on to win 4-1.
NOTE: The above scenario was the only one I could find from a 1976 game that fit the picture. However, as the Night Owl pointed out recently, sometimes the photo used could be years older than the card.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Here we have regular Mark McGwire. You'll be so kind as to notice the shiny, silvery foil background.
Let me introduce you to white Tony Gwynn. Over 10 years ago, this card came out of the pack without the foil background. You can see a couple of spotches just to the left of the Fleer Ultra logo. I don't know the story behind this other than to assume it was a printing error.
I don't have any pre-1953 cards in my collection. Yet. If I did, one of those might be my favorite card. As it stands right now, this gem from 1962 is one of my favorite cards that doesn't fit into any of my specific collections.
Like many of the older cards I got from the old man, I didn't know who this was at first. I remember taking this card home and holding it up to the wood paneling in my bedroom. It almost matched. When I got a bit older and read a little about Warren Spahn, I was amazed at the numbers he put up.
Spahn played for 21 years, 19 of them for the Boston/Milwaukee Braves. He pitched in 750 games, compiling a record of 363-245 with a 3.09 ERA. His other career numbers are just as gaudy.
We'll start with the 5,243.2 innings pitched and the 2,583 strikeouts. Oh, how about the 382 complete gamess, 63 shutouts and let's tack on 29 saves for good measure. He won 20+ games 13 times. He threw 20+ complete games 12 times! He won 16+ games 17 times. In a row. A ROW people. Mind boggling.
To put those numbers in perspective, you have to look at them from the All-Time standpoint. He had the 2nd most complete games by a southpaw. He ranks 5th on the All-Time win list and holds the top spot in wins for lefties.
The back of the card mentions the second of Spahn's 2 no-hitters. He was a 7 time All-Star. He pitched in 3 World Series for the Braves, winning one title with the 1957 squad. He was the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year 4 times and unbelievably, only managed one Cy Young Award (1957).
Spahn was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973 by the BBWAA. He died November 24, 2003.
Friday, May 28, 2010
1966 Topps Sandy Koufax
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
The back of the base card mentions Kenny's perfect game on July 28, 1994.
The back of the Cyber Stats card includes "computer simulated data for games of August 12, 1994 througth the scheduled conclusion of the 1994 season." I wonder what computer they used to get these simulated stats. For those too young to remember, the baseball strike started on August 12, 1994 so Topps took the liberty to "simulate" the remainder of the season and give us the results on the Cyber Stats parallel cards.
If you can read the back of the base card, Kenny pitched in 24 games, going 11-8. That means he had 5 no decisions. According to Topps simulated stats, Kenny would get 10 more starts, going 7-3 to give him an 18-11 record for 1994. I think that's pretty optimistic of Topps.
I don't have any other Cyber Stats cards from 1995 so I wonder how Topps' simulated stats look for other pitchers and some of the big hitters of the day.
No, that's not a custom. It's from the 2010 Topps Rangers Team Set.
Vlad has been amazing this season.
Last night, the Rangers beat the Royals 8-7. Vlad was 3-5 with a double, 2 homers, 2 runs scored and 5 RBIs. The 5 RBIs gave him the Major League lead in that category (according to MLB.com).
His numbers for this year are just amazing. He is batting .347 (2nd in the A.L), with 29 runs scored, 8 doubles, 12 homers (4th in the A.L.), 42 RBIs and even has 4 steals. He has 8 walks and only 18 strikeouts. I don't know how long he can keep this up, but I'm going to enjoy every minute of it. He was often referred to as a Ranger killer in his time with the Angels, so it's nice to have him on our side this season.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
I just want the current ownership OUT and the new owners to take over. I hope it works out so this guy:
is part of the new ownership group and keeps his current job.
It wouldn't hurt my feelings if the Rangers current ownership got out of the hockey business either.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Do you notice anything that isn't right about this card?
First off, it's Albert Pujols, 1st Baseman for the Cardinals. Second, it says he's an outfielder, but he's apparently playing 3rd Base.
This is a 2003 Fleer Ultra Albert Pujols. A quick check of the wonderful Baseball-Almanac.com shows Albert played a variety of positions in 2002. He had 21 games at first, 41 games at third, 118 games in the outfield, primarily left, and 1 game at shortstop. Can you imagine Albert Pujols at short? That seems crazy.
Albert didn't become the Cardinals primary first baseman until 2004.
I would like some Cardinals fan to tell me why Albert played one game at second base in 2008? What happened...did LaRussa lose a bet?By the way, here is the back of the 2003 Fleer Ultra cards.
These cards had great colors on the front and the back. The only negative to this design is on the front. The space below the red and yellow colored border is wasted. They should have dropped that border down to the bottom of the card, leaving a little more room for the great photos they used.
Here is another example of a great Fleer Ultra card from 2003.
I'm not an A's fan or a Miguel Tejada fan, but that is a great picture. That's what I like about Ultra and what a certain company should think about as they put out more products...great photos and great designs make a product hold up long after people tire of the gimmicks.
Some people think blue refractors are great for Dodgers...and they are, but this is pretty nice too with Michael in his Ranger blue uni. This card looks amazing in person and is really appreciated. Thanks so much CCC!
Sunday, May 23, 2010
June 18, 2000 Cleveland Indians vs Detroit Tigers
It's the top of the 8th inning, with the Indians leading 6-4. There are 2 outs in th innings and Omar Vizquel draws a walk off Tiger pitcher Allen McDill. Roberto Alomar follows that up with a double that sends Vizquel around third and this is what happened:
Vizquel is SAFE!! He slides in just under the tag and the Indians go on to win the game 9-4.
See if you can see what these two cards have in common.
I wouldn't normally feature a Yankees card AND a Giants card, but these two have a common feature that I liked. I choose to believe Tino's ball is headed foul.
I'm sure you guessed the common theme is a cameo by Mike Piazza. One against an American League team and one against a National League team. Unfortunately Mike is in a Mets uni, but I'm going to call this "post-Dodger" Mike.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Baseball-almanac.com, which I use to get my stats for these posts, had this great quote.
I had to start with a player favorite....2002 Fleer Ultra Rusty Greer. That's trademark Rusty right there. He's going into a slide or dive after a ball. The design is simple and unobtrusive. The names can be a little difficult to read on some of these.
Maggs doesn't have the greatest facial expression, but like Sheffield, you get a real feel for how intense he is.
I'll end this first post with one of the more humorous cards I found.
"When I started playing my head was small and now, after years of being "Balconized", my head is this big."
Here is the back of the 2002 card. It's quite busy and has a variety of colors, but it works. It gives a fair amount of stats and a little highlight of something that happened that season.
***NOTE: The spots on the cards ARE on the cards. That's a lesson to you youngsters...don't store your cards out in the garage. They can and will stick together eventually. ***
Friday, May 21, 2010
I rarely buy Finest because of the cost and I like these even though they are not may favorite players.
2009 UD Icons James Shields Letterman #25/35.
2008 Razor Letterman Bobbie Ross-auto'd
I'll be the first to admit bat cards have lost their appeal for the most part. However, this 2004 Upper Deck Etchings Hank Blalock is great. The bat sliver has been etched with the Rangers logo and looks really sharp.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Go back 8 years to 1992 Topps for this Will Clark "pre-Rangers" card. That's right, I didn't say Giants, I said "pre-Rangers".
The ultra rare 1990 Fleer pack.