Thursday, July 18, 2019

Krukking with Carl

The other week Carl (Twitter) DM'd me to say he found a John Kruk card that was missing from my collection. Which is great, because at my age sometimes a surprise mail day makes my heart skip a beat: which is dangerous.

The card is John Kruk's 1993 Score Select State National League leaders card for batting average. In 1992, Kruk finished tied for third with Bip Roberts behind Gary Sheffield and Andy Van Slyke. 


A very welcome addition to my collection. My 170th unique Kruk card.

Thanks Carl!

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Friday, July 12, 2019

1981 Topps Ozzie Smith

A while back I was ordering cards from The Battersbox and decided to spend another dollar or so to make the order be a round number, or something. This Ozzie Smith Topps card from 1981 was the bonus card and filled in a year missing from my project to have one Topps card from every year and even better if the representative card is a Hall of Famer.

I have the whole 1981 Topps set, but I wanted a separate card for my little sub-collection. And for that matter I have all complete sets for the whole of the 1980s but haven't gotten around to acquiring separate cards for this collection for 1983-1990. I'll work on that... But enough rambling: here's the card.

1981 Topps Ozzie Smith


I'm trying very hard to limit the tangential directions that my collection goes. I have the Strawberry and Kruk PC and this one. I'm working another little project that should be completed pretty soon.

How many mini collections do you think is average? How many do you have? 

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

eBay Code: John Kruk edition

With the eBay code I blogged about last week I decided to go a little fancy with my John Kruk cards. It was $5 off an order of $10 and so I splurged and got this 1984 Cramer Las Vegas Stars card for a shade over $3. I have now both cards from this set issue and I'm stoked about it.


Then we get this beautiful 1987 Topps Toys 'R Us Rookies card which I know I had in the set back in the day. Those small 30ish-40ish card sets were a lot of fun to find and collect back in the day. Fairly certain this was taken the same day as was Kruk's 1986 Topps Traded card. You think so too?


Frankly the only thing sexier than John Kruk is a silhouette of John Kruk.


Found this 2017 Trader Jack McKeon Box set card randomly and thought, "I kind of like this". So I snagged it. It's a 58 card set that seems to feature Padre greats.  If Kruk were absent it would likely have been described as "guys that played for San Diego" such as the 3G's: Garvey, Gossage, and Gwynn. I'm glad to have two images of Kruk as opposed to some card backs that just feature the SD logo. These cards were given to people who bought a special ticket package back in 2017.


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Tuesday, July 2, 2019

eBay code: Darryl Strawberry edition

A short while back I had a eBay code for $5 off an order of $10 and so I went out and got some baseball cards. This is the Darryl Strawberry card I got. It's the 2019 Silver Pack 1984 Topps Baseball Chrome.


Not totally a fan of these Chrome Silver Pack thingies but then I guess I'm something of a hypocrite for buying it? I figured for $1 or $2--whatever it was--it was worth it to see it in person. The back is as bright and crisp as the old Tiffany cards, and I like seeing an alternate looking card for players who were issued a card in an historic set. I would almost prefer that these cards were printed on older gray stock. I wonder which is more expensive to produce?

I also got some John Kruk cards, but that's for another post.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Bob's Throwback Strawberry

Hi. This is a card that came as a surprise to me from Matt, formerly--but also sporadically--of the blog  Bob Walk the Plank.

It's of the 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads - Throwback Collection Material Prime card for Darryl Strawberry. He's depicted as a Dodger in this photo which is maybe how some people choose to remember him.


They are wrong to do that.

I, of course, think of Strawberry as first and foremost a Mets player. Last weekend Strawberry's 36 year record as the Mets Rookie HR king was broken* by something called Pete Alonso. The * denotes that I will forever contest Alonso's clout because there is something amiss with the baseballs as many players and reporters have contended.

This card is serial numbered 5/25. I feel lucky to have have it. I have to try to figure out which part of the jersey is comes from. A letter? A number? Maybe part of the "r" or "s" at the end of the team name?

Thank you Matt! This is outstandingly generous of you!

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Friday, June 21, 2019

Young Managers

Is the recent trend to hire younger, mostly inexperienced manages like Aaron Boone, Alex Cora, Mickey Callaway, and Gabe Kapler here to stay? Is it a response to a teams' belief in analytics...the number crunchers dictating decisions and moves moreso than the figurehead at the top of the steps?

I've lumped these four together as they all became first time managers in 2018 and have had roughly a season and a half under their belts. Boone and Cora are winning despite their inexperience. Cora, like the blasé John Farrell, won a world series almost by accident. Callaway simply walked into a house of horrors...but at least Cora and Callaway had coaching experience. Kapler is simply inept and is proving it every day--and he was even a minor league manager back in 2007 (his team finished 14th with a record of 58-81).

I believe managers should be trained in the minor leagues just like players are groomed for The Show. And, I believe there needs to be a larger age gap between the manager and the players. How do you all feel?

n.b. Ted Williams was selected for the card for this post as it's the only manager card I had scanned.



Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Mail Day from I Draw Baseball Cards

When Baseball Beyond Batting Average podcast co-host Mark Mosley--who was actually, according to my Crystal Ball reader friend, Bill Bergen in a previous life--wants to spoil you, he does so. Recently Mark, who can be found on Twitter at IDrawBaseballCards, decided to spoil me with some distinctive cards.

First up is the 1989 Baseball Talk/LJN John Kruk card! I have the Strawberry already, so this files in nicely to my Kruk PC and means I have both cards for my PCs. Yeah.


I already have this 1990 Bowman Kruk, but this card is in better shape--much sharper corners--than my other copy.  Is this a quasi-homage to the 1989 Ripken Fleer card? Has he written "hi" on the butt of the bat? Must have, as he was never number 14. 


Now I have NO FLIPPIN' clue what the following card of Darryl Strawberry and Don Mattingly is but it's certainly an oddball issue. I can't find anything remotely "Big League Prospect" like at all on Trading Card Database. Any help from the people?




Mark draws his own cards and he has a style that is original and unique and identifiable as his own genre. Often in his cards I find that I wonder if the Italian sculptor Giacometti was a source of inspiration? I like Mark's cards far and away more than I like the Topps Living Set.

The below is a combo card of Strawberry and Mattingly. It's delicious. A card that I don't think ever was, but that I wish would have been.


And then there is this one. 

Mark...drew...me! His inspiration came from a photograph I posted on The Twitter:


He gave a much more aesthetically pleasing background than can be found in the original. And he took out my little paunchy stomach (thank you).  Nice going! It's autographed on the back, which is rather special. And he included a set of cards serial numbered to 5. I'm really honored to have this card, which has joined a different card Mark drew of me a while back. Thank you so much, Mark.

If you don't already, please give the BBBA Podcast a listen. They are on a bunch of different platforms but I link to their Twitter as it's active, fun, and can get you to their shows. I'm largely an anti-analytics revolution MAN, but I enjoy the podcast a lot. Don't tell the hosts, either, but I've actually learned stuff from them. 

Thanks so much, Mark!

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