Saturday, March 31, 2012

#46 Ron Hodges, Mets

 Card Front: There isn't too much to discuss on this one. We see Ron leaning against the batting cage with the sun in his eyes. I would assume if it was today's players, you wouldn't see a squint just a pair of nice Oakleys. I have to admit, I still like the simple look and colors the Mets used back then.

Card Back: We see Ron's stats halfway through his career. He would be with the Mets his whole career through 1984. The action that Ron saw in the '73 series would be his only trip to the postseason. How did Ken Boswell go 13 innings at 2nd base without a chance in 1972??

Six degrees or less to Seattle: In Ron's last season in 1984, he would be able to catch a young guy named Doc Gooden. In 2000 as a member of the Houston Astros(yes, Doc pitched one game for Houston) Dwight was a teammate of Raul Chavez. Raul would be part of the 2005 Astros along with former Mariner Charles Gipson. Charles spent 5 years as a Mariner from 1998 through 2002.

Blog related to the team: While the Mets may be the little brother in the Big Apple, they have many fans. I agree with those fans because I don't like the Yankees. One of those numerous fans of the team from Queens is Kevin. Kevin has a newer blog over at Bonus Cantos. He touches on a little bit of everything but loves his Metropolitans. Head over, and check it out.

Next Card: #47 Fred Norman, Reds

Monday, March 26, 2012

#45 Al Hrabosky, Royals

Card Front: It is funny how Al doesn't look so scary in this year's card. When Al would sport the whole beard, it made  him look more nice. The times that he had the Fu Manchu was when he was a bad mutha. One thing that makes me happy is that except for the pullover shirt and the the beltless snap waist pants, the Royals have stayed pretty true to the uniforms.

Card Back: For a closer, Al would factor into a lot of decisions by getting the wins and losses. In his career, he would win 64 games and only have 97 saves. I think the cross state Royals got the better of the Cardinals in the two for one trade that brought Al to KC. Dodgers fans will love the blurb about Johnny Podres helping Da Bums to their first World Series win in 1955.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: We all know Al did his time against the M's as a Royal. The Mad Hungarian would finish his career in Atlanta. As a member of those 1982 Braves, Al was teammates with Rick Mahler. Rick would eventually be a member of the 1990 Cincinnati Reds with Chris Hammond. Chris would move south and be part of the 1998 Florida Marlins. Another player on that '98 team was Ryan Jackson, and Ryan spent 32 games on the Mariners 1999 roster.

Blog related to the team: It is amazing how many die hard fans there are of the Royals. It is understandable with their history. One guy that sounds much like me is Matt. He started in 1980 collecting cards on a small budget. His blog is about his 26 Cent Summer. He does many good things and is very proud to see the All Stars come back to Kaufman Stadium this year.

Next Card: #46 Ron Hodges, Mets

Sunday, March 25, 2012

#44 Kurt Bevacqua, Rangers

Card Front: The only thing I find interesting about this one is the Rangers whites. I'm amused by the on one knee with a bat and glove pose like a 7 year old in Little League. It is strange that they list him as an OF when he only was out there for 14 games in his 2 years in Texas. Kurt was an infielder. He is most famous for being part of Tommy Lasorda's rant in 1982(see below).

Card Back: As you can see from the stats on the back, no one really took a big liking to Kurt. He would bounce around quite a bit, but always seeming to end up back in San Diego in his last six seasons. What Topps fails to tell us is that Kurt was traded to San Diego in October of 1978 and never saw the Rangers in the 1979 season.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Kurt was supposed to be an original Mariner in 1977. He was purchased in October of 1976 from Milwaukee, but never made it out of camp in 1977 being released by Seattle in late March of 1977. Nearly 30 years later there would be another very short time Mariner by the name of T.J. Bohn. T.J. only lasted for 14 games with Seattle before being shipped out of town.

Blog related to the team: There are many Rangers fans. They have much to be proud of having been tot the World Series the last two years. One man that loves his Rangers and doesn't gloat about their success is Spiff. Spiff runs the great Texas Rangers Cards that has been a round for a long time. Read up on a team that has had many good guys in their time.

Next Card: #45 Al Hrabosky, Royals
I don't know why I can't get the video to embed, but click on it. It's funny, but definitely NSFW!!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

#43 Wayne Twitchell, Expos

Card Front: It is fun to see Wayne with a big grin on his face. I wonder if he's just happy because it's spring time or he knew he was in Daytona Beach. I like the player under his right arm and the batting cage on the warning track. At least they gave him a ball in his hand for the staged photo.

Card Back: Wayne was a quick call up in 1970, and it earned him a trip to the Phillies. Eventually he would head north of the border to Montreal. This card would show him as an Expo, but he would be released in February, and sign with the Mets in April. In August he would be purchased and come close to his home in Portland by coming to the Mariners. Wayne would not pitch again in the majors after the 1979 season.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: We don't have to go any degrees to get Wayne to Seattle since he was a quick Mariner. Another player that was a quick Mariner that You can't find any cards or photos was Luis "Puchy" Delgado. Luis was a September guy for the original M's in 1977 seeing action in 3 games. Puchy would spend the next two years back in the minors before retiring after 1979.

Blog related to the team: Is there any Expos or Nationals collectors out there?? The only other card blog I know of that does the team, hasn't posted anything new in almost a year and a half. The blog for NatsTown  is still up, but needs some new content. With the rich, colorful history of the the 1(2) teams I'm surprised more fans don't write about them.

Next Card: #44 Kurt Bevacqua, Rangers

Sunday, March 18, 2012

#42 Ron Blomberg, White Sox

Card Front: Here is Ron doing his best to look like a menacing hitter. It looks as though it was a nice sunny day in Sarasota, FL during the spring. I assume it was a little chilly since Ron's sporting the nylon windbreaker. How cool would it be to see the Sox go back to these old navy blue threads?

Card Back: As you can see, Ron didn't have the making of a great hitter. While his averages were high, the number of at bats are not very high. I like the historical fact Ron was the American League's first DH back in 1973. I think that Brooklyn's Karl Spooner started pretty well fanning 6 straight in his first MLB start. This card was Ron's last, since he was released on March 30 before the 1979 season.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Most all of Ron's teammates would be Yankees. As part of the 1974 Yankees, Ron played with Rick Dempsey. Rick would be one the catchers to catch John Wetteland as part of the 1990 Dodgers. John would make his name and spend time on the same mound as Mike Gardiner for the 1993 Montreal Expos. Mike broke into the Majors for 5 games as a part of the 1990 Mariners team.

Blog related to the team: I think we all know the White Sox. One of the more well known teams. They never get the love that their city mates from the north get, but they have their devoted fans. One of them that was been blogging for a long time is Steve of White Sox Cards. He always has a card of the day, and I'm really looking forward to his season pass cards for 2012 since last year's were pretty cool.

Next Card: Wayne Twitchell, Expos

Saturday, March 17, 2012

#41 Minnesota Twins, Gene Mauch

 Card Front: How awesome were these team pics back in the day. How cool would it have been to be one of bat boys and know you are forever immortalized on cardboard? Even the trainers and other staff were able to get in the picture. I always liked the little picture of the manager at the bottom. I miss these cards. After all the years in the Metrodome, I forgot that they used to play at Metropolitan Stadium, outside!

Card Back: How awesome were these? How many times did we all check off the cards we had on the back? I love it, card #, name, position, and uniform #. Remember this was the best way to get info on other teams before the Internet. Yes kids, there was a time when we didn't have Internet, cell phones, and remote controls for the TV.

Six Degrees or less to Seattle: The only player to tie to the Mariners is OF Willie Norwood. Willie was traded to Seattle in December of 1980. He would be released in the end of March of 1981 at the end of Spring Training. Donruss would show him as a Mariner in a Twins uniform in their 1981 set(see below). Willie would end his career playing for the Reynosa Broncos of the Mexican League in 1981 and '82.

Blog related to the team: While it is hard to find Twins collectors, there are other Twins blogs out there. One that I found is k-bro's baseball blog. It seems to have good info on the Twinkies.

Next Card: #42 Ron Blomberg, White Sox

Friday, March 16, 2012

#40 Dennis Eckersley, Red Sox

Card Front: Here is Dennis in with his flowing parted down the middle hair. Between that and the little moustache going, that was the fashion in the 70's. I remember when we all wanted a satin jacket like that back in the day. I don't think any of us would be caught dead in one nowadays.

Card Back: The early makings of a Hall of Fame career. While we know that Cleveland didn't have very good teams back in those days, they gave up what would be a 20 game winner in his first year in Beantown. It seems like the Sox gave up alot but got the better end of the deal. I find it odd that Topps can't spell out Ohio for his home.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Dennis played with many teams and many guys in all his years. While a member of the 1980 Red Sox, Dennis shared the mound with Steve Renko. Earlier in in Steve's career he was a teammate of Richie Zisk's as part of the 1977 Chicago White Sox. Richie would spend his final three years with the Mariners as their primary DH from 1981 to 1983.

Blog related to the team: We all know there are about a million Red Sox collectors. Most of them have blogs too. One of them is a bloody good chap to read, and to trade with too. If you haven't done it, head over to read Jack's work at Pursuit of Red Sox. It may cost a little extra to send a trade across the pond, but he's definitely worth it!

Next Card: #41 Minnesota Twins Team Card

Sunday, March 11, 2012

#39 Dale Murphy, Braves

Card Front: Here is a young Dale sporting the pinstripes. I don't think it is At Fulton County Stadium, but you definitely tell they are playing against the Montreal Expos. I don't think the Braves were meant to wear stripes, but I would love them to go back to the old look with the feathers and two tone with the little a.

Card Back: Dale was a #1 pick in the 1974 draft. He made a fairly quick but natural progression. Who would have known that a catcher would end up as a 2 time MVP as an outfielder. I think at 6'4", he might have been too tall to catch. How about Cy Young throwing a 20 inning complete game back in 1905??!!

Six degrees or less to Seattle: In all his time in Atlanta, Dale had many teammates. In 1989, Dale was a Brave with Kent Mercker. Kent would be around a long time, playing with Bill Bray who were members of the 2008 Cincinnati Reds. Two years later in 2010, Willie Bloomquist would team with Bill in the Queen City. Wille was a kind of do it all for the Mariners from 2002 through the 2008 season.

Blog related to the team: There are many fans of the feathers out there. I felt I had to start with the Godfather. While he might go off the deep end sometimes with ponies, you have to think Dayf of Cardboard Junkie is amongst the tops of bloggers. I know that his was one of the first blogs I read. Thanks for the inspiration Dayf.

Next Card: #40, Dennis Eckersley, Red Sox

Saturday, March 10, 2012

#38 Bernie Carbo, Indians

Card Front: A nice tight close up of Bernie in Cleveland's old Municipal Stadium. It's hard to tell what Bernie is staring off at. The shot is so close in, it doesn't leave much in details. You can see the light standard against the nice blue sky.

Card Back: As you can see Bernie had been around for awhile. While he had bounced from team to team, the final years of his career were filled with more travel. In November of 1978 he was released by the Indians. He would play in 52 games in '79 for the Cards. The next year would see 14 for the Cards, and 7 for the Pirates. He tried Detroit in 1981 but was forced out of the game.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Bernie had many teammates in all of his travels. As a member of the 1977 Boston Red Sox, Bernie would team with Fergie Jenkins. Earlier in Fergie's career, he was a member of the 1972 Chicago Cubs. Also on that '72 team was Joe Decker. Joe was 0-1 in 9 games for the 1979 Mariners. Joe was here and gone in the blink of an eye.

Blog related to the team: It's fun to try and find new blogs for teams. Some have many followers, some teams have very few, and some like teams that weren't around in 1979. One blogger that I found that was here for the '79 Tribe, the Baseball dad of All Tribe Baseball. I enjoy to read his work, and he is a dedicated Indians fan through and through.

Next Card: #39 Dale Murphy, Braves

Monday, March 5, 2012

#37 Joe Kerrigan, Orioles

Card Front: It seems as though it is a warm day in Florida. Joe is sweaty and the grass isn't very green. I for years have tried to figure out if that is his tongue in his cheek or just the weirdest looking chaw I've ever seen. His hat doesn't make much sense either with it's look of two birds on it.

Card Back: From the facts of Joe's brother Tom playing for the hometown Phillies to the players in his trade, there info galore on this card. I think the Orioles got the better end of the deal by looking at the players that came to Charm City. How amazing is it that Babe Ruth's 60th HR in 1927 was more than any AL teams total!

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Back in Joe's rookie season in 1976, the Olympics came to Montreal. As an Expo that year, Joe would play with Jim Lyttle. Earlier in Jim's career he was a Yankee in 1970. On that '70 team with Jim was Mike Kekich. Mike was an original Mariner in 1977, which was also his last season in the big leagues.

Blog related to the team: There are many bloggers out there that love the Birds. I can't think of one that I don't like their blogs. One that I have read for a long time and am very envious of is Ryan of The Great Orioles Autograph Project. He has just completed obtaining autos of everyone to wear an Orioles uniform. Go give him a look and tell him hello from the year 1979.

Next Card: #38, Bernie Carbo, Indians

Sunday, March 4, 2012

#36 Alan Ashby, Blue Jays

Card Front: Alan is in the dugout of an opposing ballpark. You can't really tell which one though. I think the look of the road blues with the classic Jays logo is great. Alan is looking so hip with his 'stache and his feathered hairdo. It is funny that this set has him as a Jay. He was traded to Houston in November of 1978.

Card Back: It took Alan a while to make it to the Indians after getting drafted in '69. Late call ups in '73 and '74 would lead to shared time in Cleveland in 1975 and '76. It seems the Blue Jays thought they needed another catcher for their first season, trading for Alan in the off season. He was their guy in that first season, but would split time with Rick Cerone behind the dish. Then it was off to Houston to finish his career.

Six degrees or less to Seattle:  While Alan was making his name as an Astro in 1980, he would play with Denny Walling. Denny would be a long time Astro, teaming with Joe Boever in the 1992 version of the Astros. The next year in 1993, would see Joe move to Oakland and be an Athletic with Brent Gates. Brent would see time at all 4 infield positions and a game in left field as a Mariner in 1997.

Blog related to the team: There are a few fans of the only team left north of the border. One guy that's been around for a while doesn't hide his love for the Jays. Ted over at Crinkly Wrappers does some great work. I've traded with him before, and he is more than generous. Go on over and give him some Toronto Love!!

Next Card: #37 Joe Kerrigan, Orioles

Side note: How awesome is the new Blue Jays logo for 2012??

Friday, March 2, 2012

#35 Ed Figueroa, Yankees

Card Front: Ed is making it look like he is doing his warm ups at Yankee Stadium. I doubt it since no one else is around. Are those reporters or who are those people lurking around in the background? It seems like Ed wanted to make sure to give the camera his game face.

Card Back: It is hard to comprehend what the Mets and Giants missed in this guy. 5 1/2 years in the minors and two teams before you make the majors with your third team. The Yankees must have seen something to get two good players for the always traveling Bobby Bonds. It seems that the Giants opponent on that August day must not have liked them with 8 hit batters.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: In the same year as this card, Ed was a 1979 Yankee with a young Dave Righetti. Dave would eventually take his services to San Francisco. In 1992, Rags would team up with another Dave in Dave Burba. Burba had just left the Mariners after spending 1990 and '91 in the Emerald City.

Blog related to the team: There is a newer blog out there that has another Yankee fan writing it. You haven't found it yet, head on over to Ryan's Pitch. While Ryan is still new to the blog world, I have enjoyed reading his stuff so far. Tell him I sent you form back in time in 1979.

Next Card: #36 Alan Ashby, Blue Jays

Thursday, March 1, 2012

#34 Rob Andrews, Giants

Card Front: Here is Rob sporting his best pose at Candlestick. You have to dig the nylon jacket WITH collar underneath his jersey. What is with the blue and red batting glove? Did he steal that from some Dodger player at 2nd base? Boy oh boy the Astroturf sure is green today dear....

Card Back: Rob decided to take the slow road to get the big leagues. After being drafted in 1970, it would take 4 full years in the minors to make the majors. Rob spent more games in the minors in his career, than in the majors. The Giants would release Rob after the '79 season, and he tried to make the Mets in 1980. He didn't last and he was done.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Since Rob had very little time in the bigs, this took work. Rob played with Jim Dwyer as members of the 1978 Giants. Earlier in 1978, Jim was a St. Louis Cardinal with Ken Oberkfell. Ken would eventually be a Giant in 1989 along with Russ Swan. Russ was a Mariner in the early 90's.

Blog related to the team: I didn't officially give give him due credit the first time. There a blog that was a little dormant until recently that talked all about Giants cards and players. He is back, and better than ever. I think everybody knows of Matt of A Giant Blog. He is a wealth of knowledge about the Giants, and baseball in the Phoenix area. Check out his good stuff.

Next Card: #35 Ed Figueroa, Yankees