Friday, August 7, 2020

John Kruk: 1992 Red Foley

Yo! It was not intentional to post two Red Foley stickers this week, but the world works in mysterious ways. This is John Kruk's 1989 Red Foley sticker, issued in the year that he changed coasts going from West to East. 

For some reason this photograph makes me chuckle!  



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Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1992 Red Foley

You can always spot a Red Foley sticker. They are pretty small and they have blank backs. These were stickers meant to be put into books. No frills. 

This particular photograph I really like as it's more or less a close-up of the third base side dugout view. Normally you get pitcher, shortstop, or third basemen's view.


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Monday, August 3, 2020

HOF Carlton Fisk

This is the first post I'm writing with the new Blogger interface. I'm not sure I like it, but I suspect it's because I was so used to it being the other way. For, like, longer than a decade. How are you other Blogger users liking it?

This post isn't, though, about Blogger. It's about Carlton Fisk. I recently read The Wax Pack by Brad Balukjian (no relation to Tim Kurkjian). Fisk is, apparently, a dick. But he was a good enough baseball player, it seems. Good enough, in fact, to have been elected in to the Hall of Fame in the class of 2000. He got a relatively squeaky 79.6% of the vote in his second year of eligibility. I'm collecting the last Topps cards of MLB players who are in the Hall of Fame. But sometimes I wish I was doing it for just first year guys. Why? Because I sometimes feel that getting in in your 2nd to 10th or 15th year of eligibility is invalidating. Like, you weren't good enough to have been voted in by your peers in your first year of eligibility...so what changed? This is especially relevant for guys getting elected in the 10th or formerly 15th year. 

Being a schmenzer notwithstanding, Fisk played a long time for a catcher: 24 years. That's awesome. I wonder how many other player have played their entire year for both teams that represent the garments that go on our feet? 

This is Fiske's 1993 Topps card. While he did play some in 1993, Topps didn't issue him a 1994 Topps card. Which is fine, as I think the design of '93 is way better than '94. The back is nauseatingly busy; it can't make up it's mind what direction it wants to go. But the front of the design I feel is a classic, clean, beautiful one. One gleans from the image his position; but I prefer the position to be on both the front and the back of the card. What about you?


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Friday, July 31, 2020

John Kruk: 1989 Fleer Glossy

One of the more confused Faces of John Kruk. I always know he was on the Padres for a few years but yet somehow seem most to associate him with the Phillies. Which is probably normal.

Fleer Glossy (Flossy, if one is prone to portmanteau-ing) is, for me, one of the harder parallels to discern. Here is John Kruk's 1989 Fleer Glossy card. Don't you feel better for seeing it? 


Frankly these kinds of things are, well, kind of annoying. I prefer truly discernible differences in parallel sets. I daresay I even think color parallels are better. I'm biting my tongue. I'm mad at myself for feeling that way. I guess Fleer Glossy is supposed to be like Topps Tiffany? Maybe?

How'd the first week of baseball go for you? Are you happy about it? Frustrated? 

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1992 Panini Sticker

Hi. How are you? I'm doing all right, thanks. 

1992 Panini Stickers. Looks like a shark might have gotten at the left hand side of the sticker! Or, it was cut with fun scissors. Darryl wit his classic stance and leg kick in lamentable Dodgers gray. 


Panini here has put some kind of game on the back of it. At least, I think it is a game? It could be the outcome of the at-bat depicted in the sticker, too. I suppose.

Darryl Strawberry wore 44 in LA. Likely in homage to his friend Eric Davis. But when Davis joined the Dodgers for 1992 and (part of) 1993, rather than give up the number, Davis took 33. Davis' tenure in LA was pretty abysmal, following a pretty crummy 1991 in Cincinnati. Though his 1993 campaign was better as he seemed healthier. But for as bad as Davis, was, Strawberry was worse in 1992. It's safe to say that experience (that hope!) pretty much failed for the franchise. Crikey, looking again at Strawberry's years from 1992 to 1997 is just depressing.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

HOF Willie McCovey

The (other) Willie, Mickey, and the Duke....

Willie McCovey is synonymous with the San Francisco Giants. With the exception of a three year trial separation between San Diego and Oakland in the mid-1970s, he was a lifelong Giants.  His best three year period was 1968 to 1970 and saw him win his only MVP award in '69. McCovey was also a Rookie of the Year and a six-time All-Star, winning the MVP of one of those mid-summer classics. Mid-summer Classics. The All-Star game is still played in "mid"-summer (actually, it's early summer... mid-summer would technically be in August), but it's hardly a classic.



McCovey played some games (48) in 1980 but wasn't in Topps' 1981 set. Which I think makes sense as 48 games isn't even half of a season. Things I love about this card in addition to the design are his warm-up jacket which is straight-aces, and the batting cage net that's just visible like a spider web seen from the right angle.

McCovey was voted in on his first ballot in 1986 and received 81.4% of the vote. Not overwhelming, but enough. His 521 career home runs is tied with Frank Thomas and Ted Williams. I was a little dismayed to see McCovey's RBI total at 1555. That doesn't feel like a ton. Compared, at least, to Frank Thomas and Ted Williams who both had at least 149 more RBI.

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Friday, July 24, 2020

John Kruk: 1989 Bowman Tiffany

I wonder if anyone with the surname Tiffany has ever named their kid Bowman (or Topps)? Wondering this probably means I have too much time on my hands. 

This is John Kruk's 1989 Bowman card, the Tiffany edition. So it's much brighter. I know some people aren't a fan of the card back breakdown of stats but I particularly like it. I do prefer the standard card backs, but this one is kind of nice. 


A lot of people also don't like the Bowman size. I don't mind it, but I do prefer the standard card size. I wonder when Topps decided to resurrect the Bowman brand? Because I sometimes think that Topps Big, which debuted in 1988, might have been a trial run? In fact, Topps Big appears to be a fraction bigger than Bowman (Big is 2 5/8" x 3 3/4"; Bowman is 2 1/2" x 3 3/4", according to Trading Card Database). People complained enough about the size of Bowman so that for their 1990 issue, the cards were reduced to standard size. Yet Topps Big remained, well, Big. Though it was cancelled after just three years.

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