Friday, October 31, 2008

More quick hits!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

* Mark from Stats on the Back sent me a nice stack of players that became managers. My favorites are this 1971 Topps card of Marcel Lachemann (which goes with the 1966 Topps card of his brother Rene that I got a few months ago), and this 1977 Topps card of Joe Torre. Thanks, Mark!

* As you know, the World Series is over, and the Phillies are world champions. Unfortunately, this means no baseball for 5 months, but as I've said before, we still have baseball cards.

* If you like playing flash games, check this one out. It's called Zombie Baseball, and it fits the Halloween season. It's a little gruesome for kids, though.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

WV Spotlight: John Kruk



This guy's gotta be one of my all-time favorite baseball players. He was born in Handley, but he was raised in Keyser.

He started his career with the Padres, but went to the Phillies with Randy Ready in a lopsided trade for Chris James. (Any trade for Chris James can be considered lopsided, no matter who's in it.) He was an all-star in 1991, 1992, and 1993, but health problems and weight issues slowed him down over the years, and he retired in 1995 after playing 45 games for the White Sox.

Since his retirement, he's done commentary for Baseball Tonight, written a couple books, and even guested on an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force.

I was gonna post a video of his ATHF appearance or him almost getting his head taken off by Randy Johnson in the '93 All-Star Game, but I can't find any. If any of you can find a link for one of these videos, post a link to it in the comments.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Quick hits!

* Patricia and Lucy from Dinged Corners sent me a few more cards, which I received yesterday. The highlight of the stack was this 1969 Topps Rookie Stars card of Richie Hebner and Al Oliver. I absolutely love old cards like this, and getting one sent to you just because you like the team on the card is sweet. I think I'm gonna have to dig through my doubles again to see if I have any more cards to send over there.

* I ordered a copy of the 2009 Sports Collectors Digest price guide from Amazon, and it came in today. I haven't looked it at much, but I can tell you that it's HUUUUUUUGE. I don't really care how much my cards or worth, but I bought it anyway so I can use it as a checklist and to get help with sorting out all those parallel and insert sets that have popped up over the past few years. The neat thing about it is that they threw in a digital version of the price guide on a DVD. if you want to order your own copy, go here.

* I just found out that Billy Martin was fired as Yankees manager in 1979 because he PUNCHED A MARSHMALLOW SALESMAN. No wonder the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man was so angry.



Oh, yeah. I almost forgot.

IT'S FREE TACO DAY!!!

Did you get yours?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On Sportscasters

There's a lot of hate going around regarding certain baseball sportscasters, and I don't get it. I love them all. You heard right. I love Tim McCarver, Ken Harrelson, and all the rest. I even love Joe Morgan! Sure, they ramble a lot, but every once in a while they say something I didn't know or pay attention to before.

In a way, I feel sorry for them. They've played baseball all their life. They don't know anything else. If a player can't play any more, yet still wants to stay in the game somehow, there are two options open to them: coaching or sportscasting. If their body can't handle coaching (as I imagine McCarver's can't, after 21 years of catching in the majors), then they don't have any other choice.

I don't think coaches or managers would be very good sportscasters, because they're not used to dealing with regular people. All of their discussions would be so specialized that the only people that would fully get what they were saying would be other baseball players.

Of course, you can get into sportscasting via studying the game, as people like Tim Kurkjian and Peter Gammons have done. While I think these guys are great, I'd rather listen to people like Harold Reynolds or John Kruk (more on him next week). Knowledge of stats and history doesn't compare to actually playing the game and being part of history.

What the...?

Behold! A card that defies space, time, and logic:

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Does anyone have any theories as to how this happened?

(Oh, and if you're waiting to see the cards I got from David, I've got a day off tomorrow, so I'll work on scanning them in.)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Trick or treat, yo!

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David over at Indians Cards has been sending out Trick or Treat packages for those of us that can't come and knock on his door. My box came in the mail today, and it was full of Piratey goodness. I had never seen some of the things he sent before, and there were some cards that I hadn't seen since I started collecting. I got all the big names (Honus, Maz, Pops, Clemente, Bonds), and quite a few Jason Kendall rookie cards (including an unbelievably awesome diecut card). My favorites were the vintage cards, especially this old piece of scrap iron. I have to say that this box of cards was right up my alley. Even Tim Wakefield would say that this turned out to be a fun pack of cards.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mailbag!

The fine folks at Dinged Corners sent me a bunch of cards, which I received in the mail yesterday. Most of them were Pirates, but there were also some minor league cards, as well as some oddballs. Here are my top 5 favorite cards I received:

5.) 2005 Fleer #51 Jack Wilson

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Give him a conductor's hat instead of the toboggan he has on, and he'd look like Stanley Spadowski.



4.) 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #199 Ken Griffey Jr./Roberto Clemente/Vlad Guerrero/ Joe DiMaggio

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The scan looks like crap, but it's actually a pretty nice card. Cards of Clemente always make me wonder how good the Dodgers would've been if they hadn't given him up in the Rule V Draft.

3.) 2007 Upper Deck Masterpieces #61 Jason Bay

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These cards are beautiful. If I ever see packs of these for sale, I might get one.

2.) 1989 Star #25 Lonnie Maclin

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This dude has some mad hops, doesn't he? The only thing that would make this card better is if it was of Lonnie Mack.

1.) 2004 Topps Garbage Pail Kids #23b Explosive Xavier

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All RIGHT!!! These things are great. I'm glad Topps is still making them, even in this age of political correctness we're in. I'm gonna look for an unopened box of these online. That would be a hell of a video for A Pack A Day, right?

As great as those cards are, it wasn't the best thing Patricia and Lucy sent me. This is. When Lucy becomes a famous artist, it's gonna be worth a crapload of money.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Send me some cards!

One of the cool things about having a baseball card blog is that people will actually trade cards with you. I've traded with Kevin, dayf, David from Indians Cards, and Ben Henry, and I even sent a big ol' box of cards over to Dinged Corners. Thanks to these guys, I completed two sets ('87 and '89 Topps) that I've been working on since I started collecting.

I've got way too many doubles over here collecting dust, and I want to send them somewhere they'd be appreciated, and (if I'm lucky) get some cards back in return. I don't know how to upload my list of doubles to here, but I'll send it and my address to anyone that's interested in trading.

Here are some of the cards I'd like to get:

1970 Topps: 111 224 323 359 393 473 514 533 556 574 596 652 667 688 713
2008 Topps Series 1: 5 154 191 266
2008 Topps Allen & Ginter USA: US48
2008 Topps Allen & Ginter World Leaders: WL12
people that played in Japan
people that later became managers, coaches, or broadcasters
people who had family members that became baseball players
people I've never heard of
frequent fliers (people that have been traded a lot)

I highly doubt I'll get any vintage cards, but a guy can dream, can't he?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Once a band geek, always a band geek...

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As I mentioned in another post, one of my favorite things to do is play guitar. It wasn't the first instrument I learned how to play, though. I started playing drums in the 5th grade. When I got to the 8th grade, I joined the high school marching band. (My high school started having 7th grade through 12th grade the year I went to 7th grade.) I couldn't march because of my bad ankles, so I played the auxiliary percussion (a.k.a the pit). Basically, the people in the pit play all the stuff that's too small to march, and there's a lot of instrument switching involved.

We had a really small band when I was in school (something like 50 people), but we did really well at all the competitions we went to. We went to a competition my senior year which had 28 bands from all over Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Some bands came in all the way from Michigan and New York. We were the smallest band there (I think), and we made it to the finals, where we finished 10th. (Here are the scores from the competition.) The picture of me at the beginning of this post is from that competition. It's also proof that I stick my tongue out when I'm concentrating, something I don't realize I'm doing at the time.

Even though I mainly play guitar, I still consider myself a drummer. Whenever my high school has Homecoming week, a bunch of alumni get together and play with the regular band during the football game. I always enjoy myself, even though I can usually barely walk afterwards. The unfortunate thing is that this might be the last year the alumni band will get together because very few alumni have been showing up the past few years. Even though we lost the football game, I still had a lot of fun. I got to see a bunch of people I haven't seen since I graduated.

What does this have to do with baseball cards? Nothing. I just had a lot of fun today and felt like writing about it. I just hope I can walk OK in the morning...