Sunday, January 31, 2021
Monday, January 25, 2021
Picked up a few new Topps Giants cards for my set project. There are a total of four cards in this post, they were all pretty easy to find and inexpensive. My next update is going to have some really good names. Thought about waiting a week, but I think the next group of cards deserve their own post.
First up for this post is Reds pitcher Jim Maloney.
Here is the back of the card.
Solid player. Made a few All-Star games, struck out a ton of batters.
Next up is Bob Bailey. I know him mainly as an Expo in the 1970s, but he started out with the Pirates in the early 60s. Kind of an interesting career path. Here is the front of the card.
The back of the card focuses on his defense. The second sentence was generous in describing his offensive talents at this point in his career. Love that action picture on the back. Very nice.
Another great action shot here with the pitch almost over his head. I also like that the mention his basketball career at Duke on this card. Groat's career with the Pirates was far more notable than his time with the Cardinals, but he did win a World Series with them in 1964.
Looks like he had a really odd motion.
Here is my updated checklist. I have 14 out of the 60 cards, roughly a quarter of the set. A few new cards will be posted next week, a good name or two is included in the next group of cards.
Saturday, January 23, 2021
As a Minor League baseball fan, inevitably all of your favorite players are going to leave. Minor Leaguers get promoted to the Majors, get traded, and get released all the time. Sometimes it is easier to maintain a connection with the player after they have moved onto a different team. Other times it is a little bit more challenging.
I have spent a lot of time lately trying to process the Blake Snell trade from the Rays to the Padres. I was expecting him to leave at some point, not exactly the type of player that they can afford to re-sign, but this off-season felt a little soon. I thought I would get at least half a season more of Snell with the Rays.
I guess not.
Snell is one of my all-time favorite former Durham Bulls. How many autographs of Snell have I posted on here over the past four or five years? Fifty or sixty something?
The number is large.
I don't mind the Padres. There are far worse places he could have ended up. Do you know how many former Durham Bulls have been on the Cubs the last few years? I know there was a strong connection with Joe Maddon managing the team. A little hard to think good thoughts about players like Mike Montgomery and Ben Zobrist while they are beating the Cardinals.
For the moment, I am going to press on with my Blake Snell cards. I picked up a few inexpensive singles over the past two weeks. There are still a few Snell autographs from 2020 that I am still missing from my collection, but not going to buy them at their current prices.
Here are the new cards:
How many times can Topps remake the 1993 Finest set? It seems like an annual event at this point. Maybe it's not that often, it just feels that way. Not scanning the back of the card.
The card is serial numbered to 571 copies.
This is going to be the first of many Blake Snell posts I make in 2021. Even if I get annoyed with the Padres, still more preferable than the Dodgers, I will just go back and collect all the Rays cards I am missing.
Sunday, January 17, 2021
I have been working hard over the past two weeks to find a few more cards from the 1964 Topps Giants set that I am taking on as my first project of 2021. I posted five cards the other week when I introduced the project, which included Hall of Famers Bob Gibson, Warren Spahn, and Joe Torre. This week, I have five more cards to cross off the checklist.
Here are my newest additions. I will start out with the two Hall of Famers I found.
This is a mid-career card for Kaline. I did not realize that he never played a Minor League game until I looked up the batting title listed on the back of this card. I thought maybe as a 20 year old he had led the league during his rookie season, but it turned out to be his third year. Kaline played 22 years in the Majors, but retired before he was 40.
The second Hall of Famer I found the past two weeks is Giants first baseman Orlando Cepeda.
The back of the card has a typo in his stat line from his rookie year. The card states that Cepeda had 38 triples his rookie year, but that should have read doubles. "Cha Cha" does not seem like the type of player who hit a lot of triples. Looking on Baseball-Reference, he had a total of 27 in 17 years.
Last three cards. A little quicker. All three of these players would be greats of the era. They were all All-Star caliber players at some point in their careers, but just not enough to be Hall of Famers.
He hit four home runs in a game before Mark Whiten.
Wednesday, January 13, 2021
It's that time of year. I am keeping the same format I have used the last several years. There are 25 players on the ballot this year, voters are allowed to vote for up to 10 players. If I had a ballot, I would definitely vote for 8 of the players, others I would consider. We are going to start out by getting rid of the players that I would not vote to put into the Hall. Notable players, blog favorites will be given pictures of cards. One stock photo of a clown is included.
Indians fans, just click the back arrow before you read any further.
25. Omar Vizquel
I chose this photo for Omar Vizquel, because I could not find a photo of a clown being questioned by the police while they were investigating a domestic violence call at his house. No, the Hall of Fame is not a Hall of Morals. My morals will let me vote for steroid users, but not someone who beat the crap out of their wife.
24. Curt Schilling
I do not post politics on my blog, so I will leave it at this:
I have friends, co-workers, and former students whose race, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or religious views that have been attacked by Curt Schilling. Similar to what I wrote for Vizquel, the Hall of Fame is not necessarily a the Hall of Morals, but we all have our line. Schilling crosses my line. I will not vote for him.
23. Michael Cuddyer
22. LaTroy Hawkins
LaTroy started playing when he was 22, retired at 42, and pitched in more than 1,000 Major League games. Many of them with the Twins and Rockies. Guy had an ERA+ of 134 (100 is an average Major League pitcher) pitching for the Rockies. That's pretty good in a very tough stadium. He also pitched in Game 6 of the 2011 National League Championship Series and was the only Brewers pitcher who was not completely torched by the Cardinals. LaTroy is worthy of a card.
21. A.J. Burnett
What's the worst no-hitter of all-time? There are actually several articles on the internet making the argument that the answer is A.J. Burnett. In 2001, while pitching for the Marlins, Burnett threw a no-no that included 9 walks and a hit batter. Every position player in the starting line-up reached base at least once. Ryan Klesko walked twice. A.J. Burnett still has more no-hitters than a lot of other really good pitchers. A.J. Burnett gets a card.
20. Nick Swisher
19. Shane Victorino
18. Aramis Ramirez
If you could make the Hall of Fame by repeatedly bludgeoning one team over a 17 year period, than Aramis Ramirez would be in Cooperstown. There is no player that Cardinals fans have feared more during the first two decades of the 200s outside of Aramis Ramirez. Well, maybe Carlos Beltran in the NLCS that one year and David Ortiz in the 2013 World Series. Outside of those two occasions, the answer is Aramis Ramirez. Worst of all, despite being a free agent a few times and being traded, he spent his entire career in the N.L. Central on the Pirates, Brewers, and Cubs. ARam has an .885 career OPS against the Cardinals, or the same as Eddie Matthews over the course of his entire career. I am happy that Aramis is out there somewhere not hitting against the Cardinals. A card.
17. Dan Haren
Former Cardinals pitcher, long career. Not a Hall of Famer, but it pained me for years that the Cardinals traded him to the A's for Mark Mulder. Not so great, Bob. Dan Haren gets a card.
16. Barry Zito
Where is Mark Mulder?
15. Torii Hunter
I would not vote to put Torii Hunter in the Hall of Fame, but he was a fun player to watch. I am not putting videos in this post, but if you've never seen the home run he took away from Bonds in the 2002 All-Star Game, it's worth a minute of your day. Definitely worthy of a card.
14. Billy Wagner
I am not a huge fan of modern closers. One inning, that's it. I'm not sure how to give that value. There are a few exceptions, but I am not going to get into the weeds too much. I will say that if he makes it into the Hall, he is more deserving than Trevor Hoffman.
13. Tim Hudson
Hudson is a Hall of Very Good player. Then again, somebody put Jack Morris in the Hall of Fame. Hudson had some great years with the A's and Braves, also won a World Series with the Giants in 2014. Definitely need a Tim Hudson card.
12. Mark Buehrle
Buerhle is another Hall of Very Good player. He won a World Series with the 2005 White Sox, threw a no-hitter and perfect game, and he's from the St. Louis area. He's got over 200 wins, but less than 2,000 strikeouts. He's not getting in, but then again, somebody put Don Sutton in the Hall of Fame. Maybe he will make it someday. I have seen people making the argument, just not sure I buy it.
11. Andy Pettitte
10. Jeff Kent
I am not a huge fan. At the same time, I will say that I really did not like Jeff Kent as a player. I know that other players, like Dick Allen, have missed out on the Hall for similar reasons. It's not just that I dislike him, but I also feel like his numbers aren't great. If we are going to put a second baseman in the Hall, I would rather it be Lou Whitaker or Bobby Grich. He's the all-time home run leader amongst second baseman, so he's got that going for himself.
Not sure I would complain too much if he got voted in, but I just wouldn't be a supporter. I am always willing to listen though. I will give Jeff Kent a card, but only because I am nice.
9. Bobby Abreu
7. Gary Sheffield
5. Todd Helton
4. Manny Ramirez
Great hitter who helped end the Red Sox World Series drought. I'd vote for him.
3. Scott Rolen
He hit more than 300 home runs, 500 doubles, and won 8 Gold Gloves. One of the best defensive third baseman ever, really good hitter in the prime of his career. I'd vote for him.
2. Roger Clemens
One of the greatest pitchers of all-time. I don't care if he was a jerk. I'd vote for him.
1. Barry Bonds
One of the greatest hitters of all-time. I'd vote for him.