Saturday, March 30, 2013

#119 Don Stanhouse, Orioles

Card Front: Ahh, good old Yankee Stadium on a nice sunny day. Don looks like he and a few of the boys just rolled out of the van after getting seriously baked! I guess maybe he is just smiling because neither you nor I have an afro as cool as his! You can see the beginnings of some massive 70's sideburns going but I don't remember Don ever growing them out. I'm not sure I like the no hat look though, it reminds me of this year's Heritage with all the forehead going on.

Card Back: It seems that neither the Rangers or the Expos could decide if Don was a starter or a bullpen guy. I remember Don form the 1979 World Series but not much else. I know he was in the game a long time but kind of gets forgotten about. He was traded with some recognizable names from Montreal to Baltimore. Don must obviously be comfortable in DuQuoin, Illinois since he was born there and is still listed as his home. I think they could have given us Don's minor league stats too, but I wonder if Topps had a rule that if a guy saw more than 5? seasons in the majors that they left off the minors numbers?

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Don's rookie season with the newly relocated 1972 Texas Rangers, another of those guys new to Dallas was Jim Mason. During that magic season of 1979, Jim was part of Les Expos de Montreal with Scott Sanderson. Scott was a guy that was here, there, and everywhere during his long career. One of Scott's stops include a turn with the 1994 strike shortened version of the Chicago White Sox. Another young player on that team was Warren Newson. Warren came to the Mariners in July of 1995 for Jeff Darwin. He saw some time in the black hole of Seattle: Left Field and was a pinch hitter. He was let go after that one season.

Blog related to the team: I really hope the Orioles have another good season. I think it will continue to bring us more bloggers that love the Birds. I'm still jealous that they stole Adam Jones away from us, but I do love the look they went back to last year with the iconic cartoon bird. I guy that I know loves all the logos of the Orioles is Kevin. You may recognize his work from the Orioles Card "O" the Day. It is awesome how everyday he can show us a card of a Baltimore player that we have all seen or one that is totally new and mind blowing. Head over and see what today's card might be..

Next Card: Jim Sundberg, Rangers

Saturday, March 23, 2013

#118 Bud Harrelson, Phillies

Card Front: It is nice to see that Topps did their homework and got a picture of a player with his new team and didn't airbrush it. I have to admit that I wasn't a Phils fan back in the 70's and 80's, but I did like the mix of burgundy and baby blue. There is so much going on here. You have to love Bud and his Top Gun aviator glasses. Maybe it's the batting glove that looks like a golf glove, or it could be the choking up on the bat to get the little guy a hit.

Card Back: All you have to do is look at Bud's card and you would have thought he would have been a Met for life. I don't know who really won in the trade, since Bud only did 2 part time seasons in Philly but his trade partner last saw the Majors in 1976 an '77 and was never back up. Obviously Bud had a long career in the big leagues for his defense, because those stats are nothing to write home about. I would assume that he was the typical #8 hitter in front of the pitcher.Hank Aaron was called out for stepping out of the box. You see it quite often today, but it is never called.  

Six degrees or less to Seattle: During Bud's long run in the Big Apple, he had many teammates come and go. During the 1973 season, Bud would play with John Milner as Mets. John would find fame and fortune in the Steel City. As a part of the 1982 Pirates, he would play on the other side the state from Philly and another of those Pirates was Junior Ortiz. Junior would catch many games, and was with a handful of teams, but in 1992 he was Cleveland Indian along with Reggie Jefferson. Reggie came to Seattle for the 1994 season with Felix Fermin in the trade that saw the Indians obtain soon to be HOF'er Omar Vizquel. The Mariners let Reggie go before the magical 1995 season.

Blog related to the team: So many Phillies fans out there. One blogger that has been at it for quite a while and does a great job gets the love today. How many of you read The Phillies Room? Jim is one of the authorities on all things Phillies related. He even does his own custom cards for the Phils. How about Twitter for a place to check him out? I say you must go to one or both today and see him, and tell him a ghost form the 1979 season sent you to see him.

Next Card: Don Stanhouse, Orioles

Saturday, March 16, 2013

#117 Grant Jackson, Pirates

Card Front: Here comes a pitch from the lefty. There is just so much to love about the Pirates and their uniforms from this time. I once saw something on MLB Network that said the clubhouse guy had a running list of combos so they wouldn't repeat them soon together. I like the way the blue walls of Three Rivers go with the blue banner below Grant. I love the black flattop hats, but wish they would have worn the yellow ones a little more...

Card Back: That is one big fat stack of stats there. Back then it sounded like a long time ago to be signed in 1962, but now it was over 50 years ago! It seems the Phils had him start in 1969 and 70 but then decided Grant was more valuable in the pen. Unusual to see someone born in Ohio, but lives in Puerto Rico. It seems strange to see the Acquired line say Trade, Mariners in 1976, when they hadn't even taken the field yet. I guess Topps must have been searching for anything to put on the side with the fact that the Padres and Giants used 13 pitchers in a doubleheader.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Yes, Grant was drafted by the M's in November of 1976 only to be traded to the Pirates in December so he never saw the field with a trident on his cap(see below to see Topps offering of Grant as a Mariner).  During Grant's only season in the Big Apple in 1976, he was a Yankee with Otto Velez. I think Otto liked Maple Syrup so he went to Toronto and was a Blue Jay in 1979 with a very young Dave Stieb. I still think of Stieb as one of the faces of the Blue Jays franchise. Almost 20 years in 1998, after a short stop as a White Sox?? for four starts and a four year absence from the game, Dave was on the bump in Ontario with former Mariner Pat Lennon. Pat was one of those thought to be a future star in the outfield with Junior, but Pat saw 10 games in '91 and '92 before being let go from Seattle.

Blog related to the team: Ahh, Pirates fans are becoming more common. I'm glad to see it. They are one of those franchises that has a great history but have suffered for a long time now. I know how their fans feel to have lesser ownership that doesn't give you a chance to win. I think the Buccos are on the right track and could have a really good year. One of those fans is from south of the Steel City but loves his team. You may know him ad BigDaddyFilth. He also goes by Victor, and he writes about Gravediggers, Mooses, and such.  Go and see his work, and maybe send some Pirates his way, and he will definitely help you back.

Next Card: #118 Bud Harrelson, Phillies

Thanks Topps for giving us Grant for 1977 even though he never threw a pitch with a trident on his cap

Saturday, March 9, 2013

#116 Ozzie Smith, Padres

Card Front: Welcome to the most celebrated Rookie Card of the 1979 set. There are just so many cool things about the front of this card. Just look at Ozzie, he was so bad ass that he made the hat/helmet cocked to the side cool before we see it today. We all know that we wish that was some way we could wear those sideburns and cool like Ozzie instead of looking like a dork. The Padres jerseys of '78, how many other teams have had city and team name on their jerseys?

Card Back: That's what a RC should look like on the back. One line of minors, and one of majors. You can tell the Padres saw something out of this kid coming out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. One year in short season rookie ball, and the the next year he makes the team as a NRI. Who would have thought is would lead to a Hall of Fame career that would last through the 1996 season. I would say it safe to say Ozzie was the star in Walla Walla in '77 since only he and three other guys would make the majors, but none with his impact.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Ozzie only would ever have two homes, one in San Diego and the bulk of it being in St. Louis. During his swan song season of 1996, Ozzie was a Redbird with Mike Difelice. Mike would make his way to the Motor City, and be a member of the 2004 Detroit Tigers with Ryan Raburn. Ryan would stay in Detroit, only to be a part of the 2009 Tigers with Ramon Santiago. Ramon had been a Tiger before coming to Seattle in 2004 for Carlos Guillen. After seeing time in 27 games in '04 and '05 he was released and went back to the comforts of being in Detroit City.

Blog related to the team: Where have all the Friars fans come from lately? There used to be two Padres bloggers but not much else. Now there are five that I know of, and maybe more that I haven't found yet. One of the guys that has burst on the scene since last year is Marcus. He was a guy that grew up with the Padres only to find himself in Texas. He writes about the All the Way to the Backstop Cards. He is always putting out good posts, and if you've never done a trade with him you are missing out. He's heading on trip but give him some love and catch up on some great Swingin' Friars!!

Next Card: #117 Grant Jackson, Pirates

Sunday, March 3, 2013

#115 Nolan Ryan, Angels

Card Front: How can you throw a pitch if you don't have a ball in your hand?? I personally would be scared to stand in the box against this guy even if he doesn't have a ball. Just look at the look on his face and tell me Nolan isn't just a bad ass. He has the stare down, he is rocking the classic Angels jersey and hat, and almost looks like he is an angel floating in the air. Topps definitely got it right with this one in 1979, I think it is one of the best cards we've seen so far!

Card Back: The back of this card is the stuff legends are made of. Little did we know that we would have The Express be around for another 15 seasons. If you look at his stats as of 1978, he was only part way to some of the staggering stats he would finish with. He was only half way on the win total, ONLY 2700 strikeouts so far and only about 3000 to go, and the four no hitters so far and on his was to 7 for his career. If you were a right handed pitcher back in those days, I hope you wanted to be like Nolan when you grew up.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: If you know your history, you know that Nolan's final pitch was in the Kingdome in Seattle. He came out of the game in the 1st inning after going 3-1 on Dave Magadan, and giving up a grand slam to Dann Howitt on September 22, 1993. Before that fateful day, while Nolan was a member of the 1983 Houston Astros, he played with Mike LaCoss. Mike would eventually make his way out west and and in 1991 would play in Candlestick Park as a part of the San Francisco Giants. Another of those 1991 Giants was closer Rod Beck. Rod would continue to pitch and in 2003, he was down the coast as a part of the San Diego Padres. One guys that played three games as a Friar before being traded in 2003 was Jason Bay. Fast Forward 10 years to spring training 2013, and Jason Bay is trying to make this year's Mariners squad.

Blog related to the team: It surprises me with the long sustained success of the Angels franchise that there aren't tons of people blogging about the Halos. One that I know has been out there for a long time gets his name from a player I remember well.  James is a dyed in the wool, unapologetic Angels fan and writes the great True Grich. I like to pop over and see what he is thinking about his team on regular basis. The Angels have always had a soft spot in my heart since they spent half their springs in my hometown of Palm Springs for spring training and I would watch Angel broadcasts so I could see them play my M's.

Next Card: #116 Ozzie Smith, Padres