Saturday, December 15, 2012

#110 Vida Blue, Giants

Card Front: I'm not too sure I would want to get in the box against a lefty with a look on his face like that. I guess it's safe to say that Vida knew he was a bad ass. I still wish that Topps would go back to the banner or something on cards to tell who was last year's All Stars. I know most people don't like the pullover double knits of the 70's, but I think the Giants was classic. How would you like to be that one person in the blue shirt in an empty Candlestick Park immortalized on Vida's card here?

Card Back: It is easy to see why he was an NL All Star in 1978. While it was an off year from previous, those are damn good stats. Look specifically at 1971's stats. Those are the kind of numbers that win you the Cy Young and MVP award in the same year. We see that Vida was traded across the Bay before the '78 season, but the Giants gave up 7 players and $300K to bring Vida to San Francisco. If you look at his IP for every year but 1972, you don't see those kind of innings nowadays with pitch counts.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: If we leap ahead a year to 1980, we find out that Vida was a Giant with Ed Whitson. In the summer of 1990, Ed found himself as a San Diego Padre as did  a young Rich Rodriguez. After winning the title in 2002, a 40 year old Rich tried to make the Anaheim Angels in 2003, but only lasted 3 games and quickly met Jose Molina. The Toronto Blue Jays needed a catcher in 2011 and for that year, one of their options behind the dish was Jose. Along with Jose, out in the outfield was Eric Thames. Eric played a half season in 2012 after a trade to bring him to Seattle.

Blog related to the team: This was the year of the never say die attitude of the Giants. To win 6 consecutive elimination games en route to a World Series title is amazing. I was routing for them every game of the playoffs. I became a secondary Giants fan a couple years ago after going to AT&T Park and seeing a game. In honor of their team winning the ultimate prize this past year, every Giants blogger I know gets some love. We all know Matt R of A Giant Blog, and 1977 Baseball, there is ARPSmith who has his Obsession for the Giants and Willie Mac, and Ryan G who I'm sure watched every game from his new home in Japan but knows that This Card is Cool. Another Bay Area guy that deserves a shout is the great Chronicles of Fuji. While I know he is an A's fan, I know he had to be rooting for the boys from the Bay!

Next Card: #111 Roger Freed, Cardinals

Sunday, December 9, 2012

#109 Joel Youngblood, Mets

Card Front: I have to admit that this card is so simple, but so right! You have a player in his home white uniform in a posed batting stance. There is no one behind him but empty seats, and the on deck circle. I'm really surprised how well Topps did. They could have maybe had Joel have matching gloves but I still think this is a card of beauty!

Card Back: You have to wonder if old Joel was starting to think he would never make it to the big leagues. When you spend 6 years in the minors, and three of those at AAA, it looks like your career has stalled. Joel would turn that around to last for another 10 years finally hanging it up at age 37 with a second stint back in Cincinnati. The Expos and Pirates use 74 players in a double header, they must have made call ups to almost the entire 40 man to pull that off...

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Joel would be in the Big Apple until the middle of the 1982 season, when he would head to Montreal for a quick stay as an Expo. Another guy to be in Montreal at that time was David Palmer. David would eventually find himself as part of the 1989 Detroit Tigers. During that same season, Matt Sinatro saw a total of 13 games in his career as a Tiger. Matt would move on to spend the next three seasons and 53 games as a Mariner. Matt coached for 15 years under Lou Piniella in Seattle, Tampa Bay, and Chicago.

Blog Related to the team: Do you know Michael? I hope you do. He is a newer blogger that has been with us for the last six months or so. You say to yourself I think so, but which one is his blog? You know you heard of it before, he is known as The Card Raven. I know that you all have seen or read one or many of his comments on your blogs, as he is a good commenter, and a great blogger. I'm proud to give him a little love today and am really hoping you will read his stuff and some him some niceness too.

Next Card: #110 Vida Blue, Giants

Sunday, November 25, 2012

#108 Eduardo Rodriguez, Brewers

Card Front: Here is Eduardo. If you kids didn't know, Eduardo is cool. Just look at the guy. To have an almost afro, wear a rubber jacket under your uniform, and do it all Milwaukee you must be a bad ass. I do find it odd that the way the sunshine off the blue in the Brewers uniform almost matches the purple banner below Eduardo's awesome profile shot.

Card Back: Little did us kids in 1979 know we were looking at Eduardo's entire career stats with the Brewers. In February of 1979 he was bought by the Royals to play in 1979 and retire at the age of 27. Relievers were used very differently in those days. I mean anywhere from 32 to 45 games and 105 to 143 innings, nowadays guys are pitching to a batter, or maybe one inning.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: While Eduardo spent only his 1979 season in Kansas City as a Royal, he did have Frank White in his infield. If you look to the 1989 version, Frank was still in the infield in Missouri, but now he had Bret Saberhagen on the mound. Later in his career, Bret would take the mound as a 1999 Boston Red Sox. Another of those Beantowners was Derek Lowe. Derek saw 12 games of service in Seattle before being dealt with Jason Varitek in 1997 for Heathcliff Slocumb.

Blog related to the team: I still wonder what would have happened if the Pilots would have never been taken off to Milwaukee by the now commissioner to become the Brewers? One guy I'm sure that couldn't care less is also a Brew Crew fan. While we have heard much from him in a long time, I'm hoping we can maybe rile him out of hibernation, and give us some new posts. When I first started reading blogs, one of the regulars was Sharpe Since 92. He has only given us one post this year, but maybe we can get him back since I used to really enjoy his work.

Next Card: #109 Joel Youngblood, Mets

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

#107 Jesus Alou, Astros

Card Front: Here we have one of the three famous Alou brothers. Jesus was the last of the boys to play in the majors. Both of his brothers would retire after the 1974 season. I know that many people will bash on the Astros and their rainbow uniforms, but I for one loved them. I'm wondering if this picture was taken at spring training because we all know the home whites would be in the Astrodome, but you can see the shadows of sunlight.

Card Back: This is what the backs of cards should look like. Fifteen seasons of stats from the early 60's all the way to the previous season. The Astros must have felt they needed another extra outfielder before the '78 season. It seems that after the 1971 season, Jesus either started to succumb to injuries, or age was starting to catch up since most seasons were a low number of games each season.  How about being drafted in 1959 to eventually play with Willie Mays?

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Jesus' first season back in Houston in 1978, Jesus played with Tom Dixon. Tom would be a part of the 1983 Montreal Expos with Tim Raines. During Tim's final hurrah in 2002, he was a Florida Marlin with Brad Penny. Brad would move to be a Detroit Tiger in 2011 with Chance Ruffin. Chance came to the Mariners in the 2011 trade that lost us Doug Fister. Chance never saw Seattle in 2012, spending the season at AAA Tacoma.

Blog related to the team: While there aren't many Astros fans to be found in the blog world, I can make a somewhat similar connection. A blogger that at least comes from the same state gives us all good information about baseball cards. I'm sure that many of you read Craig in Texas' blog. He writes about My Topps Cards. I'm sure the Astros have a soft spot in his heart. If you haven't been there lately go and read up his great posts.

Next Card: #108 Eduardo Rodriguez, Brewers

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#106 Frank Duffy, Red Sox

Card Front: Here we have Frank in all his posed glory on his swan song card. I would think that for a pitcher seeing him come up to the plate wouldn't all that intimidating. You have to love the simplicity and style of the classic Red Sox uniform including the iconic red hats. I can't tell if this is a Spring Training shot from Florida with two decks, or is it a stadium that I can't quite figure. Does anybody know the answer??

Card Back: I guess these would be the proto-typical numbers of a SS back in the 70's. There was a time when you could get away with that if you could play the field. Nowadays they are big and put up big stats. Frank left Cincy in a trade for a cog in the Big Red Machine in George Foster. He left the Giants with Gaylord Perry to head to Cleveland. Frank saw time in 6 games with only 3 AB's in 1979 before being let go on May 22, 1979 and was done with baseball.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: In the middle of Frank's productive years in Cleveland, one of his teammates during 1975 was Oscar Gamble of Afro fame. As Oscar would continue on in his career, he would team up with Dennis Rasmussen as part of a forgettable 1984 New York Yankees team. Dennis would keep plugging along in his career to be part of the 1995 Kansas City Royals with a September call up at Catcher in Mike Sweeney. Mike would wind down his career in 2009 and part of 2010 with Seattle before a quick stop in Philly, and hanging it up after the 2010 season.

Blog related to the team: It was a rough season for fans of the Sox in 2012. What should have been a celebration with the 100 years of Fenway was a nightmare. But I know that their fans are a proud bunch and never give up on their team. One guy that sometimes is quite a poster, does kind of go into hiding sometimes too. One thing he doesn't hide is his love of Boston sports teams. You might know him as Offy. You might have known and read him as The Sports Syzygy. It's been awhile since we've gotten new stuff from him, so I hope we can bring him out of hiding.

Next Card: #107 Jesus Alou, Astros

Saturday, October 27, 2012

#105 Rick Camp, Braves

Card Front: Does this card just scream 70's or what? There is just so many things to laugh at. Between Rick's high top mesh cap to the longer hair, even the fans in the background look like turn back the clock. I wish I could remember the Braves wearing the pinstripes, I think they look good but I like the cleaner look of today' uniforms. Why is Rick looking off to his left? Is there some kind of rare West Palm Beach bird he sees?

Card Back: How about that? Grow up in Georgia, go to college in Georgia, and then your hometown team selects you in the draft. That is what dreams are made of boys and girls. Two full seasons in the minors and you get a late call up. Rick would spend his whole career with the Braves through 1985 before being released in 1986. Sadly, he was convicted to 3 years in a Federal Prison in 2005 for conspiring to steal $2 million. He did hit a game tying home run in the early hours of July 5, 1985 only to see the Braves eventually lose, but it is the one few memorable hits he had.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Rick's 1977 season in Atlanta, he was a Brave along with Eddie Solomon. Eddie would than takes his talents to Pittsburgh, and in 1980 be a Pirate with young Tony Pena. Tony would move around quite a bit, but would be part of the 1997 Chicago White Sox with Magglio Ordonez. In 2011, Doug Fister was traded to the Detroit Tigers and was a teammate with Magglio. Doug spent 2 1/2 seasons from 2009-2011 with the M's before a bad trade that got us nothing, but got Doug to the World Series in 2012.

Blog related to the team: I love teams like the Braves. How could we all not be some kind of Braves fans back in 1980's. We were all starting to get the SuperStation WTBS in our homes and watching baseball every day. One guy that isn't too far away from me geographically, is a big Braves fan. He does a great break down of cards with his tomahawk on The Card Chop. Give a west coast Braves some love and go over and read up!!

Next Card: #106 Frank Duffy, Red Sox

Sunday, October 21, 2012

#104 Johnny Oates, Dodgers

Card Front: It is always good to see the back up guys get their own cards. Johnny may have on the old school catcher's gear, but it looks good. From the simple but effective chest protector, to the flowing hair and moustache coming from under his backwards helmet it screams 70's. He definitely looks like a ball player, and not some robot that we see on some catchers today.

Card Back: Eight years in the big leagues and you have seen four teams. Sadly two seasons saw less than 10 games, and only one time did Johnny play more than 100 games in a season. Topps says he was 6 feet tall, but when he was a manager, my wife and I both remember him as "little Johnny Oates." In 1915, a 41 year old Honus Wagner hit a "Grand Slammer", I like how the name has slowly changed in the baseball community.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: In what would be John's first full season in the big leagues with the Orioles in 1972, Johnny would spend time with Don Baylor. Later, before both players would manage, Don moved on to be part of the Boston Red Sox in 1986, another of those Sox was a young Roger Clemens. Toward the end of his tainted career, Roger played on the 2007 version of the New York Yankees. Another part of that Yankees team, with his high price tag, and checkered past was Alex Rodriguez. Alex gained fame in Seattle, and saw time from short stints in 1994 and '95, thorough the end of the 2000 season before heading to Texas for the big money.

Blog related to the team: If you have ever read a few blogs about baseball collectibles, cards, or any other good stuff you know there are lots of Dodgers fans. I know of one that writes his blog about his True Blue love affair. He can show you autographs, stuff you didn't know about, or his specialty-- DodgerBobble. I know he has been around for a long time, and he will travel to just about anywhere in Southern California to get his bobble head, or autos and I love reading about the successes. Go look for  yourself.

Next Card: #105 Rick Camp, Braves

Sunday, October 14, 2012

#103 Jim Todd, Mariners

Card Front: Here we have Jim doing his best to show off the beauty of the Mariners road blues from the 1978 season. With the sunny day in Oakland, you kind of lose where Jim is, and the sky. I do have to say that the big bushy moustache, and long wispy hair coming from that super high pitchfork hat just screams late 70's. If the teammate over his left shoulder isn't careful Jim may take a throw to the back of the head.

Card Back: You know you are trade fodder when the back of your card tells more about your trades and moves to other teams than there is stats for your big league carer. Because Topps used to create these cards so far in advance and there was no Update set like today, you would never know that Jim was released in February of 1979, only to go back to the A's and be there in 1979. The Royals must have been awful lousy to use 27 guys in a nine inning game back in 1969!!

Six degrees or less to Seattle: When Jim first got to the show with the Cubs in 1974, there was a young 3rd baseman named Bill Madlock who played with him. Before Bill got to Pittsburgh fame, he was a part of the 1977 San Francisco Giants. Another of those Giants from that year was Marc Hill. After spending his time in Orange and Black, Marc would move to the south side of Chicago to play for the White Sox with Bobby Thigpen in 1986. Bobby would ride off into the sunset in 1994 with the Mariners, seeing 7 2/3 innings in 7 games and going 0-2 to finish his big league career.

Blog related to the team: I can honestly say it is lonely being a Mariners fan. Not many people will admit to being able to root for this team. We have been pretty bad for a long time. One man that may not root for them, but I'm sure has picked up his fair of Mariners cards buys his Sportscards From The Dollar Store. While it is a newer blog, I have totally fallen in love with the cards that he is finding in the cheap stores and showing off to us. Go head over to see what can be found on the cheap. and maybe you should head out and get some inexpensive cards of your own!!

Next Card: #104 Johnny Oates, Dodgers

Thursday, October 11, 2012

#102 Mike Anderson, Orioles

Card Front: Thanks for this thing of beauty Topps. Are you telling me that some time in the last months of the 1978 season you couldn't get down to Baltimore to get some king of picture of Mike in Orioles gear? The airbrush job on Mike's hat is awful. The bird isn't smiling, he almost looks like he's unsure. Mike even looks like he was aged by the airbrush to look older.

Card Back: I guess that looking at Mike's numbers, he was more of a defense first guy. While none of his stats in either Philly or St. Louis were off the charts, those Orioles numbers absolutely horrendous. I guess the only positive from an .094 average is that you had as many RBI's as hits. Jimmy Cooney of the Cubs, never heard of him but unassisted triple plays are awesome to see.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Mike's second and final season as a Redbird in 1977, he spent time playing along side Joel Youngblood. Joel decided it was time to go out west , and in 1987 was a San Francisco Giant with Candy Maldonado. Candy decided he needed some foreign time and in 1995 was with the Toronto Blue Jays, and being teammates with Paul Menhart. Paul would come to Seattle for the 1996 season in a minor deal of players. Paul did see 11 games for the Mariners.

Blog related to the team: Do you know Bob? I'm sure you know a Bob, there are many out there but this man is Commishbob. He is multi talented and has more than one blog. Today he is proud to show us the joys of being The Five Tool Collector. He's kind of like me in that we like the same things but different teams, and decades. I have really found this blog to be a joy to read. It is well written, and always is giving me something new to look out. How could you not love that his avatar is being used by the O's in their postseason run this year!! Go see him and read up on some fun stuff.

Next Card: #103 Jim Todd, Mariners

Saturday, October 6, 2012

#101 Roy Howell, Blue Jays

Card Front: There is just so much goodness going on here. As we can all tell it is taken at Yankee Stadium during a day game. That definitely isn't Thurman Munson behind the plate, but I think it is either Ellie Hendricks in 1977, but most likely the 6' 4" Cliff Johnson in 1978. I personally have always loved the baby blues that the Jays used to rock in the 70's and 80's. I know it's all changed, but wasn't the Yankees and their orange chest protectors and knees on the shin guards kind of iconic?

Card Back: Roy has going along just fine in Texas after getting a late 1974 call up. While he wasn't a big bat by today's standards he was there. Then in 1977, the Rangers had Toby Harrah to play 3rd, and Roy was out to Toronto. The fact of hitting .300 for an expansion club I think is a little skewed since Roy only got into 56 games for 364 AB's. Regular 3B at the age of 21, and traded away not long after turning 23 has got to be hard to swallow.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Roy's first full year playing 3rd base for the Rangers in 1975, one of his fellow Rangers was Mike Cubbage(with that name he should be in Chicago). In the strike shortened season of 1981, Mike was a part of the New York Mets with a young man that would last in the big leagues forever in Jesse Orosco. Finally at the age of 46, and playing for three teams in 2003 Jesse saw time in 1252 games and shared the mound in San Diego as he and Oliver Perez were Padres together. Oliver signed as a free agent and spent 2012 in the Mariners bullpen.

Blog related to the team: Is it just me, or are there just not enough fans of the teams from the north? It is not easy to find fans of the former Expos, and I have been able to track a few of the only Canadian team left. One of those that's out there and giving us great stuff on the Blue Jays tells us the virtues of the Tao of Stieb. I remember Dave Stieb as one of the first Jays I knew and liked. The two writers of the blog give you good info and insight to the players and the team that proudly represents the Maple Leaf. Go and see what they have say, and read up!

Next Card: #102 Mike Anderson, Orioles

Saturday, September 29, 2012

#100 Tom Seaver, Reds

Card Front: Finally Topps decides to give us some "action shots." While I like being able to see Tom's form with the left arm bent down, and the right arm in good from not to blow out his elbow. I'm going to take a wild guess and say with the road grays and all the green on the walls that we might be looking at Three Rivers in Pittsburgh? I don't get how a yellow banner works with the Reds color scheme though.

Card Back: Just look at all those career stats that would lead to Cooperstown! That is a model of consistency always in the mid 30's in starts and mostly all in the 2's in ERA. Of course the trade from the Mets in June of 1977 was part of the famous "Midnight Massacre" when the Mets traded everybody. Is it cool or creepy to see the day you were born on the back of a baseball card? Not only did Bob Bailey have those assists on my day, but he also did it in a game against Tom and the Mets in Montreal.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: If you decide to look ahead to Tom's final season in the Queen City, you will find that that 1982 also included Charlie Liebrandt as a Cincinnati Red. Charlie would move down South and in 1990 be part of the Atlanta Braves with a young player by the name of John Smoltz. During the final season of Smoltzie's soon to be Hall of Fame career in 2009, John was a Cardinal in St. Louis with Josh Kinney. Josh has spent time in the Mariners bullpen during this 2012 season.

Blog related to the team: There is a very happy Reds fan out there right now. His team recently punched their playoff ticket for this year, and yesterday Homer Bailey throws a no hitter for the Reds. I would like to introduce you to TheHitKing who writes for us at Spoke Bait and the Game. All you have to do is read the man's bio and how could you not admire him. I appreciate the fact that he is like me in loving a team that doesn't get much love from the media unless they are doing something great. Go over and read his stuff, and make sure to thank him for his service to our great nation!

Next Card:  #101 Roy Howell, Blue Jays

Saturday, September 22, 2012

#99 John Wathan, Royals

Card Front: OK, look to the right like you are hitting and give the pitcher a serious look. I can only imagine what the cameramen had to say to these guys back in the day to get some of these poses. John does look good with his long sideburns, small afro, and sweet powder blue KC uniform, but he really needs to wax those eyebrows and get them under control.

Card Back: How can you not love a card that shows a guy's entire professional career stats on it? It seems like the first two years were a bounce in A ball, then holding steady in AA, before going to AAA, and finally a shot with the big club. I wonder if John was given a full scholarship to go to USD since it seems strange for a kid from Cedar Rapids, IA to go to school in San Diego. If you are in school in SD, why didn't the Padres take a shot on him??

Six degrees or less to Seattle: John spent many times against the Mariners but only could fare a .228 average against us. Near the end in 1984, John worked with Danny Jackson on the Royals mound. Fast forward to the the 1992 playoff heartbreak version of the Pittsburgh Pirates to find Danny teaming with a skinny Barry Bonds. Barry would go on the cheat his way to records, and one of his 2006 San Francisco Giants teammates was Jason Ellison. Jason saw 67 games after a April 1, 2007 trade from the Giants only to be waived in early August and ending up in Cincinnati.

Blog related to the team: Do you like creative? Do you like to see things from today put into historical context? I do, and I know there are many out there who do customs. One of the best, and long standing makers of custom cards, is also a Royals fan. My blogging friends, I introduce to you Dave of Goose Joak. If you have never seen his work you need to take an hour or two and look through all the great stuff he has done. Tell him what you want to see, and he can do it up for you and tell him I told you to come by and see him!

Next Card: #100 Tom Seaver, Reds

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

#98 Ray Burris, Cubs

Card Front: I can't decide if Ray is more happy to be at spring training or playing for the Cubs. It is great to see a player that can have a smile for there card. I'm really not sure how Topps expects to believe he is going to throw with no ball in his hand though. I do like the fact that the Cubs have kept the hats and uniforms simple and classic looking after all these years.

Card Back: These stats would almost sum up Ray's career with the Cubbies. In May of 1979, he was dealt to the Yankees. Ray would not see another season of 10+ wins except for his 1984 season in Oakland. I would have to agree with Ray that it would be a thrill to make the majors in your second season. Ray have been a pitching coach for the Erie Seawolves for the past five seasons.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Ray's breakout 1975 season, he would share the Wrigley mound with Rick Reuschel. Rick would make his way all the way to the 1991 San Francisco Giants to play with Royce Clayton. Royce would find himself in the thin air of Denver to be a 2004 teammate of Denny Stark. Denny spent a brief stint in 1999 and 2001 with the Mariners. He would return for a brief time in 2009 before deciding to hang it up from baseball.

Blog related to the team: There are many Cubs fans out there. I feel there pain of continuing to watch losing baseball. I think it would great to see the North Side be relevant again baseball. There is a blog that's been around for a bit but is newer to me and I like that he is keeping the faith. When you were younger, how many of you had a Blue Batting Helmet? I'm sure Sirrahh who writes the blog did, and probably does still have one. I like his ever expansive things to write about and keep us coming back for more. Keep up the good writing, and go give him a look.

Next Card: #99 John Wathan, Royals

Saturday, September 15, 2012

#97 Sam Mejias, Expos

Card Front: Kind of a boring front to a card. We get a nice tight close of Sam in his batting helmet. The great part is the beauty of the Expos logo on the front. It is too bad you can't make out the advertisements on the wall in the background. If you could find one, how much would you pay to own an old white or powder blue Expos jersey? I wonder if the Expos wouldn't have left Montreal for DC, would they be as successful as they are this year?

Card Back: It took two organizations before Sam had a shot at playing time in Montreal. Milwaukee and St. Louis didn't think much of him, the Expos took a chance but this is another of those cards that the guys was traded in the 1978 off season, going to the Cubs. Not only did Sam pitch in 1974, but also for the Expos in 1978. He finished a 9-4 loss to the Mets on 9/7/78 facing 4 men with a HBP, two ground outs and a fly out.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Do you remember Sammy being Lou Piniella's 1st base coach for the Mariners from 1993-99? I do, but  if you aren't an M's fan or historian like I am you forgot. During Sam's first year in Montreal in 1977, he played with Tony Perez. Tony would go back to Cincinnati in 1986 to team up with John Franco. John being a man of many hats would eventually find himself on the 2001 version of the New York Mets along with Desi Relaford. Desi would come back to the Mariners for the 2002 season. Desi was drafted by Seattle in 1991 only to be sent to the Phillies for Terry Mulholland in 1996, and came back from the Giants for David Bell before the '02 season.

Blog related to the team: Now that the Expos are a team of the past, it is surprising there aren't more people out there wanting to own the history of the bleu, blanc, and rouge. The team did produce many players that would be big stars in the big leagues. One man that is a big fan of a guy that made his debut in Montreal in 1980 in Corey. If you have never seen his blog about Tim Wallach Cards, you must go there and see some of his beauties. If you have extra cards of his favorite player, hit him up and help him collect them all!!

Next Card: #98 Ray Burris, Cubs

Sunday, September 9, 2012

#96 Cleveland Indians, Jeff Torborg

Card Front: Boy oh boy, doesn't this look like a happy bunch of Indians? Is it the continuous losing seasons or the great Mistake by the Lake? You do have uniformity with everybody having their arms crossed, but some guys are looking off to the right, some smiles, and bad cropping of half the guy on the far left. I must know why Jeff has an old wishbone C hat in the little photo, while the team picture has everyone in the block C caps? The two different polo shirt guys, and Mr. suit and tie not happy to be in the picture just make this fun!

Card Back: As far as Mariners go, it is pretty slim pickings on the back of this card. The only guy that would actually don a Mariners uniform was Ted Cox. Ted was in Seattle for the blink of a eye during the 1980 season. I guess except for a few guys, the Tribe was pretty bad back then.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Jeff Torborg had a playing career in Southern California. During his time as a member of the 1970 Dodgers, Jeff played with Don Sutton. Fast forward to 1983, and Don is part of the Milwaukee Brewers with HOF'er Paul Molitor. Paul would take his travels to north of the border to be a Toronto Blue Jay in 1995 with Giovanni Carrera. Giovanni spent the 2003 season in the Mariners bullpen.

Blog related to the team: It really is becoming harder to find blogs for teams. Some have thousands of bloggers that are fans, and some are like me. Lone  voices rooting for an empty team that seems to flounder. The only new one that had a post or two about cards was called Cleveland's Rocks. They do talk about all three of Cleveland's teams but there is some stuff about the Tribe.

Next Card: #97 Sam Mejias, Expos

Sunday, September 2, 2012

#95 Robin Yount, Brewers

Card Front: Nothing like a young skinny Robin in his road Blues in Oakland in a photo from 1978. He definitely doesn't looked like the grizzled veteran that he was at the end of his HOF career. How can you not love the intertwined MB that the Brewers used to have for the caps?

Card Back: All the makings of a long productive 3000+ hit career. What makes me love it more is that Yount was one of those guys that did it all while playing for only one team, and not bouncing around trying to hang on. Playing outfield briefly in 1976 would only be a foreshadowing to where Robin would play later in his career.

Six Degrees or less to Seattle: Robin spent 20 seasons playing in Wisconsin. During the strike shortened season of 1981, another Brewer would Frank DiPino. Fast forward to the 1993 version of the Kansas City Royals to find Frank playing with Rico Rossy. Rico would spend another five years in the minors only to make a short 37 game appearance with the Mariners during the 1998 season.

Blog related to the team: Where are the guys or gals that collect Brewers cards and blog? I would think with big names like Prince and Braun there would be more than two. One I did find that is mostly news based is The Brewers Bar.

Next Card: #96 Cleveland Indians, Jeff Torborg

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

#94 Len Barker, Rangers

Card Front: I'm not too sure Len was ready for his picture here. Couldn't Topps find a better shot of Len? I hate to say it but with Len's long hair, and 1970's moustache, he really looks like he might have just got done smoking a big fatty. I guess it's better to have a pitcher that is stoned instead of on the juice. I honestly don't remember Len being a Ranger, Indian and Brave yes, but Ranger no.

Card Back: How can you not just love cards that have as many if not more minor league stats than big league stats. Len had started to see the country having made his way up the ladder. I would have to believe that a guy who could throw 96 back then must have been thought to be the next Nolan Ryan. A nice note to Jim Bagby for hitting a homer in the 1920 World Series. Funny that Len was traded in October of 1978 to the Indians, but is still shown in Texas colors.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: After Len made a short stop in Cleveland, Len was a part of the 1983 Atlanta Braves and would play with a young Brook Jacoby. Brook would make his way to Cleveland just like Len, and would be a part of the 1991 Indians with a 20 year old rookie named Jim Thome. Fast forward to the 2007 version of the Chicago White Sox to find Jim playing with Scott Podsednik. Scott only saw time in 19 games in 2000 and 2001 before being waived by the Mariners.

Blog related to the team: In May of 1981 Len would throw the 10th perfect game as his Indians defeated the Blue Jays 3-0. That accomplishment would give Len the honor of receiving the first Donruss Diamond King in their 1982 set. A blogger that lives a couple hundred miles down the road from me is Kevin. Kevin is dedicated to The Diamond King with his blog. He can definitely tell about the greats as they were portrayed on those cards. Head over and tell him I sent you.

Next Card: #95 Robin Yount, Brewers

Sunday, August 12, 2012

#93 Phil Mankowski, Tigers

Card Front: Why such the frowny face Phil? You look like you are not so happy to be with the Tigers. I have to admit that when I see Phil's picture, I think of the quintessential 70's ball player. Average height, mostly skinny, tight jersey and pants that show stirrups. Today's players look like they are in their pajamas with everything so baggy, loose and long. The fans in the stands could care less about Phil and his photo shoot.

Card Back: It was a long, slow, and steady climb for Phil to make it to the Motor City. Six years of mediocre numbers in the minors warranted a September call up and then a few years of riding the pine part time with the big league club. Phil would get traded to the Mets after 1979, and bounce between New York and Tidewater before after the 1982 season at the ripe old age of 29. Phil would play the part of  Hank Benz in the 1984 film "The Natural" with Robert Redford.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: While Phil moved on to be a Metropolitan in New York in 1980, one of his teammates at Shea Stadium was Alex Trevino. Alex would take his talents out west to be a part of the 1985 San Francisco Giants along with Mike Jeffcoat. Mike would move to Texas for most of his career, but got one last shot for 4 games with the 1994 version of the Florida Marlins. Another part of that second year teal clad Marlins team was a young Carl Everett. Carl's last big league stop was Seattle in 2006 when the M's thought he could behave and be our DH. Neither of those two things were able to happen and Carl was gone by the end of July that year.

Blog related to the team: I have to admit that the Tigers are one of those teams that if they are on TV, I will definitely watch. I did not like them at one time when they played my favorite Tony Gwynn in the 1984 World Series. Even though it was rickety, I loved the look of old Tiger Stadium. Another person that collects cards and loves his Tigers is out there. I'm sure you have all heard of the ToppsGuy. He has a blog dedicated to Baseball Cards, Sports, and Life. He can give you not only the Motor City Kitties, but there is other educational topics too. Get over there and give him some readership.

Next Card: #94 Len Barker, Rangers

Sunday, July 22, 2012

#92 Jim Bibby, Pirates

Card Front: Here is Jim in all his pinstripe glory at Three Rivers. It is funny to see no one in the stands at all, but you can find people in the dugout. I wonder if something caught Jim's eye or if the cameraman thought it would look cooler on his card to look away.

Card Back: It is sad to see that until coming to Pittsburgh, Jim played with some not so good teams. It is cool that Jim threw a no hitter in 1973 and would also give up a lead off hit but then throw a perfect game in 1981. Jim would coach for quite a long time after retiring in 1984, but tragically lost a battle with bone cancer in 2010.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Jim's All Star season of 1980 as a Pirate, he would have a young catcher names Tony Pena. Tony would play many years in the Majors including a stint with the 1997 version of the Houston Astros with Jose Cabrera. Jose would stay in Texas and in 1998 would share time in the Astrodome dugout with John Halama. John was the PTBNL that sent Randy Johnson to Houston in 1998 because Mariner management thought the Big Unit was done and wouldn't pitch much longer. John was a Mariner from 1999-2002.

Blog related to the team: I'm really having a hard time finding my Buccos fans. I would think with them playing so well that maybe they would become more well represented. I decided let's see what other bloggers that have done set blogs think of Jim's cards. There was a blog for Jim's first card as a three player rookie for the Cardinals in 1972, but Jim's card was never written about. Mr. Bibby missed out on having his own card in 1973.  We would find that wobs would write about Jim and his 1974 card with the Rangers. In the far out 1975, night owl showed us Jim as a Ranger again. We would Jim in Cleveland thanks to Matthew in his 1976 version. Matthew hasn't gotten to Jim in 1977, and there was a 1978 blog, but they never got to Jim either.

Next Card: #93 Phil Mankowski, Tigers

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#91 Terry Crowley, Orioles

Card Front: It is always good to see a player that is all smiles. I don't know if Terry is just happy to be wearing the Orioles colors or if something caught his eye. It seems as though it is a nice sunny day in Charm City. I must say I'm very proud of the O's for going back to tradition this year and bringing back the cartoon bird for their uniforms. As we all know, this logo is much more happy and playful than the correct looking bird just standing on the front of a cap.

Card Back: As you can tell, Terry is the defensive replacement extraordinaire. While Terry never really was a full time starter, Earl Weaver and other managers found a spot for him. Terry even has a World Series ring to show for his big league career. Since Terry retired in 1983, he spent three years ad a hitting coach in Baltimore. He then moved to Minnesota for the same job from 1991-98, and came back the Birds from 1999-2010 to help Orioles hitters. Not bad for a career .250 hitter.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Terry's season with the 1975 Big Red Machine, he would play along with Dan Driessen. Fast forward to 1985, and Dan has moved on to Les Expos in Montreal to team with and teach a young Andres Galarraga. Near the end of the run in Montreal, the Big Cat would call Brad Wilkerson an Expo teammate. Brad would spend a very forgetful April in 2008 as the Mariners DH being released at the end of the month for getting 13 hits in 68 AB's with no homers.

Blog related to the team: I hope with their new success that Orioles fans will start to come back to the blog world. There are a few that are loud and proud of the Orange and Black. One that I must say I'm jealous of the amount of success that William has on his autograph adventures. William is a lover of the great Foul Bunt, or should I say that's his blog. Go over and check how well he does with obtaining them, and his minor league adventures.

Next Card: #92 Jim Bibby, Pirates 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

#90 Bob Boone, Phillies

Card Front: Bob is in the classic catcher pose. I wouldn't even recognize it was him if it didn't have his normal #8 and his name on the card.  You have to wonder how well did those jerseys with zippers up the front work. I know that most people aren't big fans of the road blues from the 70's but I think they worked well for the Phillies.

Card Back: Bob was starting to get some star status with a card ending with 0. Bob would play through 1981 with the Phils before going out west to the Angels. Does anybody remember his two seasons in Kansas City? It's not hard to say the Boone family was a baseball family through and through. Ray was the first, followed by Bob, and then his sons Aaron and Bret all were All Stars in their careers. While not always the greatest hitter, Bob was might good behind the dish.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: We all know Bob's son Bret played twice with the Mariners, but that's too easy. During the the 1985 season Bob would be an Angel with Bob Kipper. Mr. Kipper would move on and in 1988 would be a Pittsburgh Pirate with a young skinny Barry Bonds. Barry would come back out west and bulk up to be a part of the 2007 San Francisco Giants with Travis Blackley. Travis made his debut with the M's in 2004, and from 2007 until just this season with the A's, Travis had not been back in the majors. It is good to see him make a full return.

Blog related to the team: Because of the fact that I just got in on his annual summer clearance trade for some Mariners cards, there is one man who must get some love. If you don't know who Cliff is, you need to go check out his Capewood Collections. Not only does he love his Phillies, and his close to home team in the Astros, there is other knowledge to gain. Cliff will give his opinions on movies, and give us the song of the week-- of which I've found some new songs and bands I've come to like. Go over and get in on the card bonanza!!

Next Card: #91 Terry Crowley, Orioles

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

#89 Dick Tidrow, Yankees

Card Front: If you were in the batter's box would you want that mug throwing at you? I've always thought the look on Dick's face on this card scared me. With that violent arm follow through, and the pushing of the lips out to point that moustache at you is creepy. I must give high marks to Dick though for the awesome stirrups and the low key Adidas shoes before they were cool.

Card Back: The drafting by the Indians in 1967 was the 4th time Dick was drafted. Look at those IP's in his first two years, 237 and 275! I think the players that came to New York worked out better than for the Indians. This would be Dick's last Topps card in the pinstripes as he would be sent to the Cubs in late May of 1979 for Ray Burris, but Ray would be released in August of that same year only to go to the other NY team.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During what would be Dick's last season in 1984 with the Mets, Dick would be along side Calvin Schiraldi. Fast forward four years to 1988, and we find Calvin as a Chicago Cub along with Dave Martinez. Eventually, Dave would take his talents to the other Chicago team and in 1996 would wear White Sox. Another of those 1996 White Sox was Jeff Darwin. Jeff saw action in 2 games in 1994 with the Mariners for a whole 4 innings giving up 6 runs and having a 13.50 ERA as a Mariner.

Blog related to the team: How can there not be like 9 million fans of the most famous team out there? There probably is more than that many fans who love the Yankees. Does any body know where I can find one that also loves baseball cards, Star Wars, and playing the bass guitar? I know where he is, and his blog has that play on words: Bass on Balls. While he's only been n the blogging world for a few months, I have to say I'm hooked. Go over and check him out and show some musical pinstripe love to him.

Next Card: #90 Bob Boone, Phillies

Saturday, July 7, 2012

#88 Bob Molinaro, White Sox

Card Front: Bob looks like he might have gotten a hit, or did he just ground out? It is good photography to get the dust from his foot in the shot. It look like the Sox were on the road in the Bronx for this picture. I don't know why but I still kind of like the old uniforms with the collars they wore. I can't tell if Bob is wearing batting gloves or some kind of leather work gloves, they look awful strange there.

Card Back: It is amazing that a guy that had only been given 11 games experience in the big leagues got that much time all of a sudden. Granted, most of his time in '78 was at DH since the Sox brought in a hot shot outfielder named Claudell Washington. Bob did spend almost all of 1979 in the minors before being claimed by Baltimore and getting into a few games for the Birds in '79. Wow, 74 players used in a double header tells me they must have been long games...

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Bob only had a total of about 400 games in his career, but he did bounce to a few teams. During his few games with Baltimore in 1979, Bob was on the field with Tim Stoddard. Fast forward 10 years to 1989, and Tim would be a Cleveland Indian with Rudy Seanez. Rudy would stick around for an eternity to make it on to the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies. Another guy on that Phils team was Greg Dobbs, who saw limited playing time with Seattle in 2004, 2005, and the 2006 seasons.

Blog related to the team: The South Siders just won the World Series 7 years ago. You would think they would have a ton of bloggers. One guy that isn't afraid to fly his White Sox flag if Jeff. You might know him better as the author of My Sports Obsession. I could take or leave his baseball and football teams, but Jeff is a man after my own heart since he is a Michigan Wolverine fan(GO BLUE!!). If you have some extra White Sox, Colts, Wolverines, or 1981 Topps laying around get with him and help him out.

Next Card: #89 Dick Tidrow, Yankees

Sunday, July 1, 2012

#87 Pete Falcone, Cardinals

Card Front: There is so little that can be said about this card. Topps got so close that Pete's head fill up almost the whole card. I can't tell if Pete is unhappy or if it's one of those glamour pics look away poses. I don't think they could get his hat to sit much higher off his head, but the little redbird at the top of his jersey makes up for all the deficiencies.

Card Back: Pete is a traveling man. A little Northwest, some California, head to the Midwest in the majors and the minors, and why not go east and play in the Big Apple? It had to feel special to Pete to be able to come close to home in Brooklyn to play in Queens for his local team. Pete was already traded to Mets in December of 1978 long before these came out to us kids in 1979. The game was different in 1912, but 36 triples in a season?! Most guys don't get that many in a career in today's game.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Pete's time in a Mets uniform, he spent time in 1981 playing with Ray Searage. Ray would move on to play on the West Coast in 1990. Another player on the Los Angeles Dodgers roster in 1990 was Darren Holmes. Darren had a tendency to move to many other teams, and finished his career in Atlanta in 2003 as a Brave with Horacio Ramirez. Ho-Ram was part of a STUPID trade that sent Rafeal Soriano to Atlanta and Horacio spent the 2007 season in Seattle en route to a 8-7 record with a 7.16 ERA.

Blog related to the team: Ahh, Cards fans are everywhere. Whenever one comes up on this blog I know I can find a blog to love on. I recently found our future in the collecting world in a young man that is running a fantastic blog! You must go over and check out Andrew's Baseball Cards. He recently just held a contest, and loves his Redbirds. Since he is a teenager, let's help him out and load him up with readers, and maybe send him some cards to keep him in our great hobby.

Next Card: #88 Bob Molinaro, White Sox

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

#86 Rodney Scott, Cubs

Card Front: Rodney is looking as bad as bad can be in his pose. With his I'm gonna knock you out sucka look to his big time afro. I never realized the Cubs had such a big blue snap belt on their uniforms back then. I'm happy to see that Topps could send someone to Wrigley Field to take Rodney's picture during the 1978 season. How could you not love the ivy and the green grass? That is one stadium on my list of must sees.

Card Back: I guess Rodney really couldn't impress the Royals to stay with them after a few years in the minors. He got a handful of games north of the border and stuck with the A's. In all his travels, Rodney even was a Ranger for 11 days in the spring of 1977. Rodney was part of three different deals with players that had Mariners ties. How in the world did Ed Herrmann participate in 8 double plays in one game as a catcher??

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Rodney's one and only season in 1975 with Kansas City, he played with a young George Brett. George would spend part of the 1992 season as a Royal teammate of Tom "Flash" Gordon. The Flash would also make it to the 2007 version of the Philadelphia Phillies with Freddy Garcia. The "Chief" would come to Seattle as part of the Randy Johnson deal and spend from 1999 thorugh midway through 2004 wearing Mariners colors.

Blog related to the team: There are so many poor Cubs fans. They have waited so long for a champoinship to come their way. There are also many of them that blog about cards. One of the better and long time bloggers give us good stuff everyday. I'm sure if you have read any blogs you have heard of Hackenbush. He is the man that always tells us you Can't Have Too Many Cards. He can hit you with Birthdays, Cubs knowledge, or just about anything in general. Go read up, GO NOW!!

Next Card: #87 Pete Falcone, Cardinals