Sunday, April 29, 2012

#62 Randy Moffitt, Giants

Card Front: A nice look for Randy in a spring training game. It appears to be a home game in Phoenix during a sunny day. The trees in the background don't give away where they are. I love the classic mid calf pants with the stirrups. At least  this was before the Giants went with orange sanitaries for one year.

Card Back: Randy was in the middle of his time as a Giant in '79. He would stay until late in 1981 in San Francisco. Surprisingly, Randy would only have 1 start in his entire big league career. Pretty athletic family to have a baseball player and a pro tennis player in his sister. I didn't even know a triple steal was possible, but to do it twice!!

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Randy would spend his final season as a part of the 1983 Toronto Blue Jays playing with Tony Fernandez. A new member of the 1990 Blue Jays was the Crime Dog Fred McGriff. Fred would move down to be an Atlanta Brave in 1997 with a young Kevin Millwood. Kevin is part of the 2012 Mariners, and trying to contribute to the rotation.

Blog related to the team: As most of us know there aren't too many fans of the 2010 World Champions. At least as far as card collectors or bloggers. One fan of the Orange and Black has come to the blog world recently and is enlightening all of us. Longtime lurker turned blogger arpsmith is pimping the Giants now. Head over and give ARPSmith's Sportscard Obsession and tell him I sent you if you would like.

Next Card: #63 Jack Brohamer, Red Sox

Saturday, April 28, 2012

#61 Bo Diaz, Indians

Card Front: Dude, that's one tough catcher! No padding, no mask, just crouch and catch it. I know it is offensive to some, but I've always liked the Chief Wahoo logo better than the block C. I like how back in the day Topps didn't care if us kids saw the Marlboro man, now it is so taboo for kids to see that.

Card Back: Bo would platoon with Ron Hassey as the Indians catcher, but also spend alot of time at AAA Tacoma. His hot start in 1981 would also earn him an All Star selection that year. Bo would play through the 1989 season, but tragically he was killed at his home in Venezuela at age 37 when he was adjusting his satellite dish and it fell on his head and neck. 

Six degrees or less to Seattle: After Bo left Cleveland, he was a part of the 1982 Philadelphia Phillies playing with a young Julio Franco( who hasn't played on a team with Julio?). Mr. Franco would make an appearance on the 1999 version of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Another player in Tampa in 1999 was Quinton McCracken, who would spend a whopping 19 games with the 2004 Mariners.

Blog related to the team: I still am having a hard time finding Indians card collectors. I have featured the two I know of. I decided to go with the first Indians blog to pop up on Google. Let's Go Tribe was the first pop up. It looks to has good info for the friends of the feather as Harry Doyle would call them.

Next Card: #62 Randy Moffitt, Giants 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

#60 Mickey Rivers, Yankees

Card Front: I have always loved this card. The look of Mickey hustling out of the box after maybe a bouncer to third. The flapless helmet, and the stirrups look great with the pinstripes. All of his teammates in the dugout look so disinterested. I never really did understand an orange stripe for the Yankees banner though.

Card Back: Mickey couldn't get regular playing time with the California Angels until two years before he was traded to New York for Bobby Bonds. Once in the Yankees outfield he was able to shine. The guy had such speed to be able to have 53 triples and 135 doubles in his career to this point. Mickey spent time in four organizations before making the big leagues.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: In Mickey's first full year with the Angels in 1974, Mickey spent time with Frank Tanana. Frank would move on to be part of the 1993 New York Mets, playing with "Doc" Gooden. Dwight would spent a brief time(8 games) as a Tampa Bay Devil Ray in 2000 having Randy Winn as a fellow Devil Ray. Randy would come to Seattle in the deal for Lou Piniella, and be a Mariner from 2003-2005.

Blog related to the team: There are so many Yankees fans. I don't think we all can keep enough Yankees cards in our collections to satisfy Yankee fans in trades. One team of bloggers that has been going for quite a while is the ladies at A Cardboard Problem. Sooz and Marie have gone underground for a while blogging but I know they are still around, go see for yourself.

Next Card: #61 Bo Diaz, Indians

Monday, April 16, 2012

#59 John Denny, Cardinals

Card Front: I can't tell where this is, Chicago maybe or is it a Spring game? John doesn't look happy and really wants the batboy to take his shirt so he can get on the mound. I do remember those blue pullover shirts the Cards had with the classic Redbirds on the bat. Some things stay the same through time just as they should.

Card Back: I guess Topps found that all the information they gave us on the bottom of John's card about the no hitter, the ERA title and going to junior college was super necessary. They took away all of his minor league stats and left us with big leagu numbers. It is always good to see the college name and I always thought SIU had a cool mascot name in the Salukies.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: After John left the Cards, he was part of the 1981 Cleveland Indians. John would play that season with Von Hayes. Von would make it big in Philadelphia as a Phillie. One of Von's 1990 Phillie teammates was Chuck McElroy. Chuck came out west to be part of the Anaheim Angels in 1997. That year was the first  for Shigetoshi Hasagawa, who came over from the Orix BlueWave in Japan. Shiggy would be part of the M's bullpen from 2002-2005.

Blog related to the team: I did get a few requests to be put on the Cardinals list when I begged for more blogs. One blogger that stepped up and asked has gotten pretty popular in the blog world. I read him, and you should too. I'm sure you all know Matt. He runs the blog that is known to carry the Tenets of Wilson. I wish I could remember who Wilson is, I'm sure he's a cool dude.

Next Card: #60 Mickey Rivers, Yankees

Sunday, April 15, 2012

#58 Bob Randall, Twins

Card Front: Thanks to astute reader Jeff, I now know that this was taken in Oakland. I didn't really recognize the cavern that is Alameda County Coliseum without Al Davis mountain in the background. The stadium was much nicer back then. I really with Bob would have stood more straight on because I don't need to see his man bump above his name.

Card Back: I seems like the Dodgers had Bob on the six or seven year plan to make the big leagues. I think it was a hard go with a guy like Dave Lopes in front of you. At least he got his chance when the Twins traded for him in December of 1975. I'm guessing that 1 HR in 1111 AB's isn't a good ratio. It's always nice to see Teddy Ballgame's name on any card for any reason.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: In Bob's time with Minnesota, he would share the infield with Rod Carew. The Hall of Famer would be part of the California Angels, and in 1985 play with a young Kirk McCaskill. Kirk would move on and play for the Chicago White Sox in 1996 with Mike Cameron. Mike moved to the Reds and would come to Seattle for Ken Griffey Jr in 2000. Mike spent 4 great seasons here, and officially retired as a Mariner this past Friday night, throwing out the first pitch at the home opener.

Blog related to the team: I recently ran a big ad on ECDG asking for blogs for teams. The Twins fans didn't step up, I wonder if anybody collects their cards? I guess we will have to pimp a blog that is full of Twins info instead. One of the first I found was called Twinkie Town. I don't know much about the site but it seems to have plenty of info. If you know of some Twins fans let me know, so I can feature those bloggers.

Next Card: #59 John Denny, Cardinals

Saturday, April 14, 2012

#57 Eric Rasmussen, Padres

Card Front: The look that Eric is giving off frightens me. I have a feeling it either scared me or made me laugh back when I was 8 years old. I must admit the big eyes and moustache are definitely different. I can't say enough about how much I love the Padres jerseys from 1978 with the two tone and the All Star patch- nice look!

Card Back: It didn't take him too long to make it to the bigs and stick around. While his numbers weren't off the charts, the Padres saw something in him. They were willing to give up a good hitter in George Hendrick. Eric would be a Padre, play in Mexico and make his way back to the Cards in 1981, nice work San Diego.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: At the end of Eric's big league career he spent a couple months as a Royal in Kansas City in 1983. One of his fellow Royals Butch Davis. Butch would move on, and in 1994 be part of the Texas Rangers with Darren Oliver. Darren has been everywhere, but in 2010 was back with the Rangers. A new guy on that Rangers squad was Mark Lowe. Mark came to Texas with Cliff Lee in a trade with the Mariners.

Blog related to the team: Even with asking people to sign up for a team, some teams got no love. The Padres got have one guy, but we will feature the other today. One of the few that have love for the Brown and Gold is an on again off again. When he's on, he is dynamite! That's right the other Padre lover is the great Punk Rock Paint. He comes and goes, but he does cool stuff and has some great custom cards.

Next Card: #58 Bob Randall, Twins

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

#56 John Hale, Mariners

Card Front: Here is John making it look like he is in the batter's box. Too bad he doesn't have a helmet on in the on deck circle at Diablo Stadium in Tempe. I'm amazed that the Angels still play there every spring to this day. It must be a cool day in Arizona with the long sleeves. I really miss the old Trident M on the hats.

Card Back: It took John a few years to get from the draft to the Dodgers. I know it was hard to find playing time in their outfield in those days. While you could say John found a home in Seattle playing everyday, he would leave after the 1979 season and would spend the next 2 seasons in AAA before retiring. By doing my research, the Indians and Red Sox scored 19 runs in that 8th inning.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Of course John was a Mariner. Why can't we dig a little deeper do tie him to another Mariner player? When John came up in 1974 he was a Dodger with Charlie Hough. Charlie would be part of the 1991 Chicago White Sox, playing with Roberto Hernandez. Roberto would move on to be a member of the 2006 Pittsburgh Pirates along with Jack Wilson. Jack come to Seattle in 2009 and be shipped out in the 2011 season.

Blog related to the team: There is a man who spent many a day in Seattle. He might be far away and in Massachusetts but he still loves my team. He also has a great feeling for the #5. That is the basis for some of his collection. That great blogger is Matthew of the Number 5 Type Collection. He has a vast array of old cards from all over and is always willing to share. Tell him I sent you to see him.

Next Card: #57 Eric Rasmussen, Padres

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

#55 Willie Stargell, Pirates

Card Front: Here is the player that started my love affair of baseball. I don't know what it was about "Pops," but watching his windmill of the bat and just the constant smile made me love him. I love how he brought the team together in 1979, created the Stargell stars for good plays, and always came through clutch.

Card Back: Now that's one impressive set of statistics!! All the way from 1962 through '78 and all with one team. It is amazing to think he was born in 1940, was drafted in 1958 at 18, and made the majors by 22 in 1962. By the '79 season Willie was starting to age but could still step when he was needed. His ultimate honor would come in 1988 when he would be inducted into Cooperstown. We lost Willie in 2001.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Willie never came to Seattle with the Pirates. In his final season in 1982, Pops played with Larry McWilliams in the Steel City. Larry would move to the mound in Atlanta in 1987, and play with a young guy named Tom Glavine. Tom would be part of the 1996 Braves when in late June free agent Mark Whiten signed with the Braves. Mark would be traded to Seattle in mid August and finish the '96 season as a Mariner.

Blog related to the team: I really wanted to be selfish and keep the blog love to myself since my son and I are both collectors of Willie. That isn't what this section of each card is for though. I have a feeling the Pirates will do big things this year. Another fan that is keeping that faith and flying the Jolly Roger high is the New Jersey host of Pirates Treasure Room. He even has his girlfriend who collects and loves baseball, what a LUCKY DOG!!

Next Card: #56 John Hale, Mariners

Monday, April 9, 2012

#54 Dell Alston, A's

Card Front: I'm proud of Topps for sending somebody to the West Coast to take photos. I was a good thing they did, or they wouldn't have Dell in the A's glorious Green and Gold. I have to admit the stripes on the shirt and down the side of the pants really do make that green jersey stand out.

Card Back: It looks like Dell was what we would now call a AAAA guy. Not really a minor leaguer, but not a good enough for the bigs. At the end of Spring Training in 1979, the Athletics would let Dell go, only to see him sign with the Indians for the 1979 season. Dell would spend his final 2 years in Cleveland. On my birthday in 1883 Tommy Burns had 3 Long Hits in an inning. Is a Long Hit a HR back in the olden days??

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Because Dell didn't have a long MLB career doesn't mean we can't find him a home in Seattle. In his short time in Oakland, Dell played with Dwayne Murphy as Athletics in 1978. Dwayne would go on to be part of the 1989 Philadelphia Phillies with Terry Mulholland. Terry would come to the Mariners in a deadline trade for Desi Relaford and would finish the 1996 season in Seattle. 

Blog related to the team: The A's don't have too many faithful, or no one wants to admit it. One blogger that had been gone for a while looks like he might be coming back. Nathan is a Canuck. He runs the blog at Canadian Cardboard  and one of his teams is the Athletics in Oakland. Read his stuff and let's get him back on the blogging wagon.

Next Card: #55 Willie Stargell, Pirates

Sunday, April 8, 2012

#53 Mick Kelleher, Cubs

Card Front: Mick has great form when it comes to laying down the bunt. I'm not too sure on the high hat and that awesome moustache, but I'm loving the uniform. What did the Cubs do with the tight unis with the blue cuffs on the jersey and what happen to the bear on the sleeve??

Card Back: As you can see, Mick is usually one of the bench guys that can play the infield. The Cubs gave him a shot for the year in 1976 but obviously didn't think he was the best. Mick would leave the Windy City after 1980 spending 1981 in Detroit, and splitting the next year with Detroit and California before hanging it up.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: As you see Mick was a Seattle kid, even attending Shoreline HS. But for the Mariners sake, Mick was part of the 1981 Tigers along side a rookie named Kirk Gibson. Gibby would be part of the 1993 Tigers with David Wells. Boomer was a member of the 2007 San Diego Padres with Hiram Bocachica. Hiram was a part of the 2004 version of the Mariners.

Blog related to the team: As we all know if you like baseball, there are many fans that love the Cubbies. There are just about as many that blog about them too. One man that has done it for a long time and keeps himself very busy keeping us informed is JayBee. Not only does he keep us up to date with the Blogroll, he also runs bdj610's Topps Baseball Card Blog. He is one of the handful of blogs that inspired me to start mine.

Next Card: #54 Dell Alston, A's

Saturday, April 7, 2012

#52 Randy Lerch, Phillies

Card Front: We see Randy the lefty in his windup on the road. I would venture to guess this was taken at Shea Stadium in New York. It is really hard to tell too much about this card because it was taken from a distance. We can see his stirrups and his #47. I wonder if he is giving them the heater?

Card Back: It seems Randy made the eventual climb to the Phils with September call ups in 1975 and '76. His 11 wins in the 1978 season would be his highest total of his career for any one year. Granted it was minor leagues, but 11 complete games is way more than any major leaguer gets nowadays. The baseball date of Dale Long homering in 8 consecutive would be matched by Don Mattingly in 1987, and Ken Griffey in 1993.  

Six degrees or less to Seattle: While Randy was always an NL guy he can tie to the Mariners. As part of the 1983 San Francisco Giants one of Randy's catchers was Steve Nicosia. Steve would move on to be part of the 1985 Montreal Expos playing along with a very young Andres Galarraga. At the end of his career, the Big Cat was a member of the 2001 Texas Rangers. A new $252M man had come to Texas that year from Seattle named Alex Rodriguez.

Blog related to the team: Ahh, the Phillies. They have so many fans, and so many of them have blogs and collect cards. One fan that just recently featured me on his blog is Paul of the great blog Phungo. Not only does he love his Phils, but he also does some awesome custom cards. I hope to someday get my hands on some custom M's cards.

Next Card: Mick Kelleher, Cubs

Friday, April 6, 2012

#51 Ray Fosse, Brewers

Card Front: Ray is looking rough and tumble in his photo time at Yankee Stadium. Yes boys and girls the Brewers used to be an AL team. We all know that his career was never the same after that fateful 1970 All Star game. While I give him style points for the stache, the big winner is the two tone hat with the "MB" logo of old.

Card Back: I like how a guy who didn't even play in 1978 gets a card with his new team. As you can see the '70 All Star game was his undoing, his stats were never the same after it. I like that they mention his scoring a run in that game. I guess going to the A's was a good thing because Ray did win rings with them.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Yes Ray did play a handful of games for the inaugural Mariners in 1977. As a part of the 1976 Indians Ray was teamed with John Lowenstein. John would move on to Baltimore and play with Eddie Murray in 1984. Eddie was a part of the 1993 New York Mets(I don't remember that) along side a young Josias Manzanillo. Josias was with the Mariners in 1997 until a Manny Ramirez comebacker hit him where it counts without a cup.

Blog related to the team: The Brew Crew has their fans even without their big boy first baseman. One great blogger lives even farther North and out of the way than me. The man that loves his Brewers is in Alaska, but you might know Mark as the cynicalbuddha. He is the sole proprietor of the great Collector's Crack. He is a man that knows his TTM's, loves vintage, and is always working on a great Top 100, so go give him a look.

Next Card: #52 Randy Lerch, Phillies

Thursday, April 5, 2012

#50 Steve Garvey, Dodgers

Card Front: Here we see Steve in the box against the hated Giants and catcher Marc Hill. It seems like Marc isn't sure what pitch to call and has to look to the dugout for guidance. I know that people have troubles with the colors associated with teams, but I wish Topps would go back to the All Star banners of old.

Card Back: Steve would get a taste in '69 and '70 before seeing good time for the next two years. By 1973 he took over full time. Mr. Garvey would continue to shine year in and year out for the boys in blue. When he would eventually leave and head down south to the Padres it just never seemed right to me.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Steve would only play for two teams in his career. He would play some of the great players of the 70's and 80's. During the 1980 season, Steve played with a young Steve Howe. Mr. Howe would have his share of drug troubles and would be in and out of the game many times. Howe would be part of the 1996 New York Yankees with Jeff Nelson. Jeff spent time with the Mariners on 3 different tours with the team.

Blog related to the team: We all know there are many fans that have their blood run Dodger Blue. One blogger has Steve right in his name. I'm sure you all know Jim from Garvey Cey Russell Lopes. He has been at this blog thing a long time is one of the greats, the granddaddies of card blogging. I applaud him for helping me remember my grandma's favorite infield in my youth.

Next Card: #51 Ray Fosse, Brewers

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fan mail from a player

As you may remember, card #31 belonged to former Mariner Tom House. I knew that Tom had his own website, so I sent him a quick e-mail letting know he was featured on the blog. I didn't think I would hear anything, but low and behold look at the response I got below directly from Tom himself. He gets high marks in my book for answering some little guy with a blog!!

 Larry.....thanks for the email & heads up on your 1979 blog. Great job, it's nice to be remembered! Obviously, Mariner fans from those days are a rarity. Best of luck, from one of your fans, Tom House

Sent from my iPhone
T House

On Feb 24, 2012, at 6:58 AM, "Larry Littman" <nosaint44atyahoodotcom> wrote:

Dear Mr. House,

I am a big Mariners fan and currently write two different blogs. My first is dedicated to the Mariners in particular. The second is solely about the 1979 Topps baseball card set. Today I did a post about your 1979 card as a Mariner. If you would like to see it, here is the link:

 I just wanted to share it with you if you are interested. Thanks again from a Mariners fan for you time in Seattle.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

#49 Vern Ruhle, Astros

Card Front: I wonder why Vern looks so glum? It can't be the colors of his jersey or hat because they are bright and cheery! Maybe it was just a warm day in Florida. I don't know about all you fans, but I'm excited for the Astros 50th so they can wear these again. I don't know yet about them being in the AL West next year.

Card Back: How awesome of a feeling must it have been to not only get drafted, but play or 4 years for your hometown team? I'm sure it is every kid's dream story. The Tigers felt they could let Vern go for other  players they had coming up. He would spend a number of years in the Astrodome in Houston, before Cleveland and Anaheim to finish his career.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: In the summer of 1982, Vern was an Astro with Frank DiPino. Frank would move on to play for the Royals in Kansas City in 1993, and hang out with Tom "Flash" Gordon. Flash would be a member of the 2003 Chicago White Sox with a young Joe Borchard. Joe saw the batter's box 9 times in 6 games for the Mariners in 2006 before being waived in the end of April.

Blog Related to the team: I feel for the fans of the Astros. You have a team that was pretty good for a long time and have had some really good players. Just a few years ago in 2005 they were in the World Series. The team has fallen on hard times with an inept ownership group. Hopefully that will change starting this year. One man keeping the faith is Sam of The Daily Dimwit. When it comes to cards, breaks and trades, he is no Dimwit my friends.

Next Card: #50 Steve Garvey, Dodgers

Monday, April 2, 2012

#48 Merv Rettenmund, Angels

Card Front: Here is Merv showing off to the camera. I may not be big and strong, but I can get the job done. I really dig the two tone batting glove with the little velcro loop belt to tighten it on the left hand. The most awesome is the old California Angels logo on the arm, since now they name 15 different cities in their title.

Card Back: Merv did do some bouncing around, except for a few years in the NL he's all AL baby. It is hard to comprehend a guy that doesn't have much offense, but was a good outfielder won two rings in the 70's. While he lost with the Orioles in the '69 and '71 series, he won in 1970 with the Birds, and again in 1975 with the Reds.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Merv spent a little time in the Brown and Gold of the Padres. Another member of the 1977 Swingin' Friars was Dave Winfield. Dave would eventually move on and be part of the 1995 Cleveland Indians that would beat the Mariners in the ALCS. Also on that Indians team, was a young Manny Ramirez. Last year before being suspended, Manny was part of the Tampa Bay Rays with John Jaso. John is going to be the backup catcher in 2012 for the Mariners.

Blog related to the team: Friends of the Halo are hard to come by. I have a feeling with Albert being there now though, the fans will hit the Internet. One site that's been around for awhile is Halos Heaven. If you are an Angels fan, it is a very informative site for news and notes.

Next Card: #49 Vern Ruhle, Astros

Sunday, April 1, 2012

#47 Fred Noman, Reds

Card Front: Fred has done his time with photographers in his career. He looks none too happy to be standing in the sun on the road before a game to please the picture guy. I really have a hard time deciding what's worse: the big chew in the left cheek, the stare of death, or those monster eyebrows Fred has working.

Card Back: Now that's what I call a healthy career! From Kansas City, to Chicago, LA, St. Louis, San Diego and Cincinnati in the span of 16 years with a few years in the minors. It's hard to tell if it's bad teams, or Fred just wasn't all that great. His highest wins in any year is 14. Fred did win two rings with the Reds as part of the Machine though.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Since Fred would see the country by playing in many places, he had many connections to the Emerald City. During Fred's time as a member of the 1970 Cardinals, one of his battery mates was Ted Simmons. Ted would move on to be part of the 1986 Atlanta Braves along with Jim Acker. Jim would finish his career in 1992 with Seattle. Ted now works in the front office with the Mariners also.

Blog related to the team: I know that the Reds are down from their heydays, but I'm surprised they are hard to find in the blog world. One die hard that is blogging about his team has a good one. The title is simple: Cincinnati Reds Baseball Card Collector. He is working on some old cards and new cards, so go give 'em a look.

Next Card: Merv Rettenmund, Angels