Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Nelson Cruz was activated off the DL and played last night against the Royals. He had a double in his first at-bat and scored the first run of the game for the Rangers in a 3-0 win. Cruz' return means Julio Borbon and David Murphy will be rotating in the 3rd outfield spot.
Derek Holland is supposed to get the start Friday because the Rich Harden woodshed treatment didn't take. Harden did throw nicely in a start last week, but gave up 4 runs in 4 1/3 innings Saturday. The Rangers have banished him to the bullpen so it remains to be seen how that turns out.
Last, but not least, the Rangers intend to move their AAA affiliate to Round Rock, Tx (near Austin) from Oklahoma City. That may not matter to many, but I have family in Round Rock and now I may have an excuse to go visit them.
You want your starting pitcher to be confident. You want him to want the ball in big games.
You don't want your starting pitcher to be arrogant. He shouldn't antagonize the other team's big hitters. He shouldn't demand to testify before Congress.
Monday, August 30, 2010
The problem with blind trading is that you oftentimes end up with cards you already have in your collection. I am so jealous of some of your detailed wantlists that I decided to follow up with some wantlists of my own.
I've been working, slowly, but diligently, on developing my own wantlists, going all the way back to the Washington Senators of 1961. Not having a wantlist has led to this...
Lots and lots of duplicates.
Hopefully, I'll start getting wantlists posted for my Rangers collection soon. I started sorting the Topps cards first since I had more of them than anything else.
My goal is to get the list completely done by the end of the year and spend 2011 knocking as much of it out as possible. Maybe I can even make a trade with Spiff over at Texas Rangers Cards. He only contacted my last November about a Rangers for Rangers trade.
Here's my issue. I have Canon CanoScan LIDE 100 Scanner. A few days ago it started acting up. The problem is that after I scan, it doesn't reset. Here's where I get techno on you...what I mean is after it scans, the little slidy part doesn't go back to the other end. What I have to do is hit scan again and immediately hit cancel. A minute or two later, after it processes my ridiculousness, I hit scan again and it slides down and proceeds to scan the item.
That is a HUGE pain in the butt. I've searched through my online manual, I've searched the interwidewebnet and nothing has helped.
If you have any ideas, tips or advice, I would greatly appreciate it. Unfortunately, I can't do what I would normally do. That is to treat it like the fax/printer from Office Space and then go buy another one.
Thanks in advance.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
It looks like Joe Ferguson is either returning to the plate from a bathroom break or from chasing a foul ball. Either way, I love the "non-action" action shot. I'm a big fan of shots that aren't your typical pose. This isn't exactly a play at the plate as the catcher is running toward the batter, who I believe is Phillie Craig Robinson. Robinson wore 18 for the Phils in '73.
As for the play, notice the crowd looking back and to their right. If Ferguson was chasing a foul ball, he seriously misjudged it's trajectory. I wonder if it might have bounced off the dugout and back into the crowd.
Joe Ferguson played 14 years in the majors. He appeared in 1,013 games. He hit 122 homers and drove in 445 runs while batting .240. He appeared in two World Series with the Dodgers, 1974 and 1978. Unfortunately for Joe, the Dodgers didn't win either one.
Thanks for a great card Joe...and Topps too I guess.
The front part of this page is pretty bare, a sure sign that I traded away some cards. Considering the cards that are here, I wonder what cards I traded.
The top two rows are empty and the lone card on the page is a much handled 1972 Topps Bob Gibson. The corners are soft, there's a small section on the back that is peeled away and there is the rather large crease down the left side. Even with all that wear, Bob still has the beginnings of a smile on his face. So do I as I sit here looking at the card.
The back of the page has a few more cards to offer.
In position two, top middle, we have a 1980 Topps Highlights card of Pete Rose. It commemorates Rose setting a record with his 10th straight seaon of 200 or more hits. That record still stands today. Ichiro went hitless yesterday, so he has 33 games to get 35 hits and tie Rose's record.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
So, having written that post just before the news of Strasburger's impending surgery, I felt bad about the post as it went up. Unfortunately, I was unable to get to a computer to stop it from posting. That doesn't mean I won't include the care in a prize package, just that it was bad timing.
I don't think a lot of people are shocked by the turn of events surrounding Strasburg's arm. I only speak for myself, but as much as I was put off by Strasmania, especially the way Topps was acting, I hate to see the guy get hurt. Baseball needs all the superstars it can get-and it needs them in more places than just New York. Every team needs a few big names, players to get the local fans excited and coming to the ballpark. Players that people want to watch, follow and maybe...just maybe get people to buy more cards.
I'm going to be really cutting back on the money I spend on new cards for the next few months.
That means no more unopened packs in my monthly contests. Well, I probably won't be able to stick to that, but that is the plan right now. I'm trying to save my pennies for the end of the year prize, which all the monthly winners will be eligible to win. For the Sept-Dec contests, I'll be trying to find cards out of my collection to give away.
I asked the other day about this one and got no comments.
Would you be interested in getting this as a part of a prize pack?
In the unlikely event you haven't seen this, it's the Strasburg refractor from those goofy Topps "Value" Boxes.
I'll give everyone who voices an opinion one extra entry into September's contest.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Alas, the Rangers didn't get the 4 game sweep anyway, but I'll take 3 out of 4 every time.
The game started out with a demonstration by the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team. You may have seen this on the news or ESPN.
You can check out the video on the Golden Knights blog. At first a lot of us thought the "snag" was part of the show, but it quickly became clear that it was NOT. He was ok though and quickly released himself onto the platform atop the scoreboard and his chute was retrieved about 15 minutes later.
I don't know when this happened...
but it's a funny picture. At least that's what the girl behind him thinks. This was also at the game that night and I'm guessing he's either clapping because he got a black eye, or he whiffed on the catch. Most likely it was the latter. That's why I always take a glove. I don't care what anyone says, I know how to use a glove, I have a glove and I'm going to have my glove if I'm sitting where I might get beaned. (I must admit, my glove is usually down under my seat by the middle of the 1st inning.)
As for the game recap, the Rangers won 4-3, Josh Hamilton hit a homerun, Bengie Molina made an awesome pick of a Mitch Moreland throw in the dirt and tagged someone out on a "play at the plate". Joe Mauer DH'd and I was happy. Neftali got the save on a called strike three so that was nice.
As for the end of the 4 game series with the Twins, it leaves the Rangers 1/2 game behind Minnesota for home field advantage. It also finished up with the Rangers leading Oakland by 8.5 games and the LAAAAAA Angels by 9.5. Oakland comes into town for three games starting tonight (Mojo, are you going?) so the Rangers need to take care of business.
Oh yea, my son did manage one autograph. I think I'll use if for the September contest so I'll show it to you in a few days.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
The improvements that I'm referring to are over at the Topps MCG site.
I know, I know. Many of you are over it. You either don't have any cards in a virtual portfolio or do and don't bother to check the site out anymore.
They have made some improvements worth noting. First, you can see all the trades you've made. Even the ones where someone else initiated the offer. Until a day or two ago, you could only see the completed trades if you initiated them. I had 53 completed trades that I initiated. Now I can see I've completed a total of 105 trades. That's kind of nice to see.
The best improvement is in how you can search for cards for which you'd like to make an offer. Previously you could search for specific players by year or for just a certain year. Now you can search for specific players, teams, or even positions for a certain year or range of years. For example, I'm looking for vintage catchers. I can search for catchers from the years 1956-57. The only limitation seems to be that it will only show one page of results so if you search for catchers from 1952-1960, there may be hundreds of cards, but it will only show one page worth.
Still, it's an improvement and one I hope to put to good use as I try unload a bunch of the 70 cards in my portfolio for more desirable vintage cards.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I opened the A&G pack first. It's a hobby pack, but I was still surprised to get a hit.
That is one tiny piece of Joey Votto's bat.
Next up were the 6 packs of Topps Series 2. I managed to get one of the copper parallels. I think these are only available through the Topps Value packs, which basically makes them a gimmick in my eyes. How much do we have to trick up the sets these days?
Luis Valbuena Copper Parallel #309/399
I pulled one MCG code from the packs to go along with the one they include in the box.
These are the cards Topps so graciously added to my portfolio.
Not really. I'm not into the Strasburg mania. I'd like to get the necessary cards to complete sets, but this is pure money grubbing by Topps. Of course, they are in the business of making money so that's their right.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
This will be my first chance to see Joe Mauer play in person. I hope he goes back to Minnesota wondering how the Rangers managed a four game sweep of the Twins.
See you all back here tomorrow! (Hopefully!)
I'd say 6 2/3 innings of no-hit ball against the Twins earned him another start. That said, I think the Rangers are tired of the inconsistency Harden is giving them. He's 5-4 this year, with a 5.00 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP. Last night's win was just his 3rd since June 1st, and it was only his 3rd start since June 11th.
It would certainly be nice to see Harden pitch well enough to contribute to the playoff hunt. Good pitching is more important now than ever before and any arm that can provide a boost to the team is fine with me.
Monday, August 23, 2010
So I just had to buy one when they finally appeared at my Wal-Mart. It contains one of those "Exclusive" Chrome cards of Babe Ruth, Cal Ripken or some Nats pitcher. It also has 6 packs of 2010 Topps Series 2, one Hobby pack of 2010 Ginter and one MCG code.
Of course I ripped the Ginter first and the best card I got was this one.
I also got another copy of possibly my favorite card of the set. How many cards have you seen that show the homeplate umpire making a call at 3rd?
1984 Topps AL Active Home Run Leaders--Nothing special, but dig that Luzinski beard!
Any empty spaces are from cards that were traded to my best friend. As I mentioned the other day, I got most, if not all, of my 1980 Topps cards from my friend who found 1980 cards in late summer of 1981.
This is apparently the Red Sox page. We have three 1980 Topps Carl Yastrzemskis, one of my favorite players ever. The only other guy keeping the Yaz company is fellow BoSox teammate Jim Rice. Sadly, while transporting this loose page to work, I lost the top middle Yaz card. That sleeve was torn down the side and I've looked everywhere for it. Hopefully it will turn up somewhere.
The back side has more variety. We'll start with a pair of 1980 Topps Gary Carters on the top row. I just realized I lost a Carter too, the one that was in the middle with Yaz. *Sigh*
Row two has a couple of 1980 Topps "1979 Highlights" cards. The first one Lou Brock and Carl Yastrzemski reaching 3000 hits. The second informs collectors that Willie McCovey set a new career homer mark for NL Lefties with 512. That number, and all others, has of course been passed by he of the large head. And I'm not talking about Kevin Mench. The final card in row 2 is a 1980 Topps Rod Carew.
Row 3 has a 1980 Rick Sutcliffe who I'm sure warranted binder treatment just for being a 1980 card. The last card for this sheet is a 1978 Topps Lou Brock 1977 Record Breaker card. Brock passed Ty Cobb as the Career Stolen Base Leader in 1977 with a nice round 900 steals.
You haven't seen all the 1980 Topps cards yet, but the last three pages have some nice vintage cards. Nice if you don't worry too much about condition, which I don't.
Friday, August 20, 2010
From the blog that is.
The Rangers have been taking some time off from playing winning baseball so I think I'll join them. They've lost 4 in a row. They don't like it when people talk about the usual "August Swoon", but guess what. They are 6-10 this month and don't look they did earlier this year.
I know every team goes through rough stretches during the season. The Rangers rough stretch goes back to the beginning of July. They are 20-23 since then. The only thing saving them is that the Angels and A's haven't been able to put together a really good run. Guess what Rangers. The A's have won 3 straight and that means they've made up 3 games in 3 days. The A's and the Angels now stand 7 games out of first in the division and even though that seems like a big lead, it really isn't. Not when you can't win.
The Rangers have 42 games left. They need to rediscover the win column. Maybe even today.
I'll be back on Monday...hopefully in a better mood.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I was a big fan of Pete Rose early in my collecting days. There are three or four pages of Rose cards in that binder. This was the first section of those cards. You have two different 1981 Topps cards, one 1981 Fleer, and doubles of three different 1981 Donruss Rose cards.
However, if you're into cards, you're in the right place.
I didn't expect anything card related for my birthday yesterday. My wife is not exactly anti-baseball cards, but she's close to it. She didn't disappoint me either. She didn't get me any cards, but something very cool in the electronics category.
My little baseball card collecting offspring did manage to surprise me with this little gem.
That's a very sharp 1975 Topps mini Willie Stargell. That is the toploader it was in when he bought it. I was very suprised, not that he would get me a card, but how he would have gotten it. My wife never would have taken him to a card shop. So I asked him where he bought it. He said it came from a garage sale he had been to with my wife. He found it mixed in with some newer baseball cards and a bunch of Pokemon cards. He bought it because he saw it was from '75 and that was close to the year I was born. The best part was he only paid a quarter for it. I was very touched that he would get it for me. Even though Willie isn't one of my collecting goals, this one will have a special place in my collection, much like the Michael Young Turkey Red he gave me a while back.Here is a better scan of the card. It's in really great condition. It's a bit off center, but the corners are really sharp.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
As the post title said, this is all about Randy Jackson.
No, not this guy.
I'm talking about this Randy Jackson, circa 1956 Topps.
It turns out that I really don't want to pay to have all 78 of the cards in my Topps MCG portfolio shipped. So I bundled up a bunch of Red Sox cards and started making trade offers for a variety of cards. The first offer that was accepted was for this Randy Jackson card. That puts my portfolio down to 68 cards and I'll be making some more trade offers trying to pare down the list.
"Handsome Ransom" Joseph Jackson played in the majors for 10 seasons for the Cubs, Dodgers and Indians. He played in 995 games, totalling 835 hits, 103 homers and 415 RBIs. His career average was .261. Jackson was also a 2X All-Star, coming off the bench in 1954 and 1955.
In 1955, Jackson led the National League in double plays. He was traded to the Dodgers in December of 1955. The Dodgers used him as a backup for Jackie Robinson in 1956. In 1957 he had a major knee injury and was never the same player.
This little tidbit comes from Wiki..."17 April 1954: With the wind at his (Jackson) back, he had four hits, including a home run that hit an apartment building on Waveland Avenue, across from Wrigley Field, in a NL record three-hour and 43-minute game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs won the game 23–13, the highest scoring game ever between these two rivals, and the two teams combine for 35 hits, including five homers and a 10-run Chicago 5th inning. Jim Brosnan is the winning pitcher over Gerry Staley".
I'm off to have a nice birthday dinner. Thanks for the birthday wishes earlier.
Forty-one years ago today, the 4 day experience known as Woodstock came to an end. Roughly half a million people saw 32 musical acts perform in what Rolling Stone magazine called one of the “50 moments that changed the history of rock and roll”.
Topps gave Woodstock a little love on this 2001 American Pie card.
Now for some birthdays.
This great Hall of Famer would be celebrating his 76th birthday today.
Unfortunately, he was killed in a plane crash on December 31, 1972, while escorting relief supplies to earthquake stricken Managua, Nicaragua. Clemente got his 3000th hit in his final regular season at-bat and was voted into the Hall of Fame in a special election just 3 months after his death.
This next player is definitely a step (or 10) down from Clemente, but he today is his birthday also.
Bobby Higginson is turning the big 4-0 today. Why is that significant you ask? It just so happens that Bobby and I share the same birth date.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Todd Helton SP
Justin Morneau bat relic
Road to 500...Meh
Jason Isringhausen SP
Mark Teixeira SP