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