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