Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#123 Lou Whitaker, Tigers

Card Front: What a beauty of a card! We find Lou in action during a game as visitors at Yankee Stadium. Obviously Lou hit some kind of ball and is busting out of the left side batter's box for first base. I love the look of the tighter uniforms and the stripes on the top of the stirrups is SO CLASSIC!! You can even see his teammates in the dugout looking to see if the hit will get through. There is still nothing better than day baseball.

Card Back: We see the beginnings of what should have been a Hall of Fame career. Lou won the Rookie of the Year in 1978 for the American League. He was a five time All Star, and three time Gold Glove winner. Lou and Alan Trammell made up one of the best double play combinations in the 80's. Lou had great numbers defensively and was great with the bat too, but was only able to muster 2.9% of the vote in 2001. Conversely, a guy like Roberto Alomar had very similar career numbers and got into the hall.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Lou was one of those guys that I love that stayed with one team his whole career. During the 1992 season in the Motor City, Lou would team up with Kevin Ritz. Kevin saw time in 151 games in his career with the Tigers and Rockies. During Kevin's next to last season in 1997, one of his Mile High teammates was John Thomson who was a rookie for the boys in purple and silver. John was a bit of a nomad playing for 5 different teams in 10 seasons. During John's time as an Atlanta Brave in 2004, he shared locker room space with Nick Green. Nick is another nomad seeing time in 11 organizations and playing in the big leagues for 8 teams. In the 2007 season, Nick saw time in 6 games as a Mariner before leaving after the season to be in the Yankees minor leagues.

Blog related to the team: The Tigers are a long, and storied franchise. It surprises me that they don't have more fans in the blog world. One that I have recently found is doing an outstanding job. I hope that you have all gotten a chance in the last few months to check the home of Hot Corner Cards. He is working on a project similar to mine where he wants to collect all the Tigers cards out there. If you have some extras Detroit cards go over and see if you can help, and tell him I sent you.

Next Card: #124 Dan Schatzeder, Expos

Sunday, April 21, 2013

#122 Mike Paxton, Indians

Card Front: Hey Mike, the hidden ball trick doesn't work when we all can see your hand is empty. You do have to love the pullover jersey and the fact that we get pics on cards from Cleveland Stadium. I guess it didn't matter if you saw the equipment that is out during warm ups, because kids want cards of all their favorite Indians players of the 70's.

Card Back: Here we see nearly all of Mike's career stats. He would pitch in 33 games in 1979, and see time in 4 games in early 1980 before being gone from baseball at the age of 26. One of the players that the Indians sent to Boston was none other than Dennis Eckersley. If you look back all the way to Willie Keeler in 1897 and getting his 5 hits or more for the 4th time in a season, you would only have to wait another 74 years from then to have me be born.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: The first time Mike saw the big leagues was with the Red Sox in 1977. Another guy that would take the mound in Beantown was Don Aase. During many years in the big leagues, Don played for a few teams including the 1989 version of the New York Mets. Another of those guys from Shea was Kevin Tapani. Fast forward to the 1996 season, and Kevin was part of the Chicago White Sox with Greg Norton. Greg saw time in 6 games for the Mariners before being sent to Atlanta for Nelson Payano who never made it past AA, but continues to pitch in the Mexican Leagues.

Blog related to the team: Indians fans are kind of like Mariners fans. Our team had a run of success and we had some great players for a time. The last run of years have been difficult to be a fan of either team. One guy that still loves his Tribe is Dan. He writes what was one of the first blogs I got hooked on way back in the day. He is a Saint of the Cheap Seats. He is a man that loves his team, knows what he like to collect, will show what he's got and writes a damn good blog. Go over and give a friend of the feather some Chief Wahoo love today!!

Next Card: #123 Lou Whitaker, Tigers

Sunday, April 14, 2013

#121 Checklist 1-121

Card Front: We all know that it was blinding to find these in a pack if you opened one back in 1979. I don't know about you, but I would always use these to know what I had in my collection. I would always mark the box with a ball point pen to mark my "checklist". There are so many recognizable names, whether they were newer guys or guys that would work their way to the Hall of Fame on these cards.

Card Back: Sadly, you needed a magnifying glass to read the names on most of these lists. The green really would wash out the black ink on the checklists and make it look like a jumble.I always thought that it was nice that Topps didn't waste a card with the checklist on the back like today's cards. Not only would you get a list like this, the team cards were so awesome to list the card, player, position, and uniform #'s. Back in the day when we were young, the library, newspaper, and baseball cards were our Internet to find out about baseball stats.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: On this first checklist card there are 9 guys that at one time or another that would put on the Mariners colors. I decided since Willie Stargell is still my favorite all time player, I want to do another link to Pops. During the 1967 season in the Steel City, Willie would play with Woodie Fryman. For our 1979 season, Woodie would be in Montreal as an Expo with Scott Sanderson. Scott would be part of the 1995 California Angles that would lose the division to the Refuse to Lose Mariners. Another of those Halos that year was Eduardo Perez. Late in July of the 2006 season, the Mariners would send a young Asdrubal Cabrera to Cleveland for Eduardo. Perez would finish the season in Seattle only to retire after that season.

Blog related to the team: It is kind of hard to link a blog to a card with a bunch of names and no team. I was thinking that with this being a card that is at least 30 years old, let's make a link. There are many Hall of Famers on this checklists too. One blogger that should be in the blogging Hall of Fame and has a love for 30 Year Old Cardboard is Brian. If you haven't read his blog and over 8500 posts, I don't know if I can help you in getting started in the card world. I know you've all read his work, and like me are always looking forward to his new work.

Next Card: #122 Mike Paxton, Indians

Sunday, April 7, 2013

#120 Jim Sundberg, Rangers

Card Front: There is just so much I love about the front of this card. There is no doubt that it is such a posed card from spring training. It is obvious that the Rangers played in a big park in spring if it is 350' down the left field line. Have you ever noticed how many guys would wear the mesh back hats during spring, but you would never see that in a real game? I know it all about being cool nowadays, but you have to love the style of the pullover jersey and the double snap pants with no belt. I miss the looks of the 70's.

Card Back: Back in the old days there was two drafts in January and in June. Jim was drafted in the Rangers first year in Texas. He would spent the 1973 season in AA Pittsfield, MA and burst on to the scene as the regular catcher in 1974. It was the start of a long career that would include a World Series with KC in 1985 only to come back and finish in Arlington in 1989. Jim was obviously a great defensive catcher to make it that long. He would be part of the Rangers first HOF class in 2003, and has been a Senior Executive VP of Baseball since 2008 with the Rangers.

Six degrees or less to Seattle: Jim was around for a long time. Today we can trace him to a player that was a Seattle Mariner without even leaving the state of Texas even though the Mariners are in Washington. During the 1978 season in Arlington, Jim was the catcher that would commonly catch Danny Darwin as the Rangers were in action. If you move ahead in time 10 years to 1988, Danny would move across the state and be a part of the Houston Astros. During that 1988 season, a 22 year old rookie was called up from the AAA Tucson Toros named Craig Biggio. Craig would be on the path to a long soon to be HOF career, and in 2006 would share Enron Field with Charlton Jimerson. Charlton spent parts of the 2007 and 2008 seasons in Seattle before being released and bouncing around. After not seeing the big leagues again, Charlton retired from baseball after the 2010 season.

Blog related to the team: It must be a great feeling to have your team go to back to back World Series. I know it has to hurt to lose both, but it's closer than my team's ever been to the series. I know that Rangers fans are a proud group and aren't afraid to be vocal about how they feel when their stars leave. One guy that is newer to the blog world, but is doing great and loves the Rangers is out there. If you haven't sat in it, you need to check out the Waxcaptain's Dugout. He is doing some great work, and loves his gunslingers from the Lone Star State. See if you can help him out with some cards or anything else Rangers.

Next Card: #121 Checklist 1-121