Thursday, April 18, 2019

Darryl Strawberry Degrees of Separation

Darryl Strawberry made his first Major League Baseball start on May 6, 1983 against the Cincinnati Reds. It was a 13 inning game which the Mets won. He faced Mario Soto, which seems to be bad timing as Soto was on fire: he pitched 9 inning, struck out 12, and walked 1.

Strawberry had six plate appearances going 0-4 with three strikeouts, a foul pop fly, and two walks. In his second walk, in the bottom of the 13th inning, he stole second base and later scored the actual game winning, go-ahead run after George Foster's home run. Veteran Tom Seaver was the starter for the Mets.

I thought it would be interesting to play a little game to see how I could connect Strawberry to other players. And it goes like this:

Who was the oldest player in the Mets starting lineup when Strawberry debuted? Then I went to that player's debut to see who was the oldest player on his MLB debut, and so on. And then looking forward, I went to Strawberry's last game and found the youngest player in the starting lineup that day. Looking at regular season games only.

In Darryl Strawberry's MLB debut, the oldest player in the starting lineup was was Rusty Staub, who was born on April 1, 1944 (Tom Seaver was second oldest, born November 17, 1944).

Staub debuted in MLB for the Houston Colt .45's on April 9, 1963 against the San Francisco Giants. The oldest person in the starting lineup that day was Pete Runnels, who was born on January 28, 1928.

Runnels debuted in MLB for the Washington Senators on July 1, 1951 against the Philadelphia Athletics, which was the first game of a double-header at Shibe Park. The oldest person in the starting lineup that day was Clyde Klutzz, who was born on December 12, 1917.

Klutzz debuted in MLB for the Boston Braves on April 20, 1942 against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a defensive substitution at catcher, replacing Ernie Lombardi. He went 1 for 2. The oldest person in the starting lineup that day was Tony Cuccinello, who was born on November 8, 1907.

Cuccinello debuted in MLB for the Cincinnati Reds on April 15, 1930 against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The oldest person in the starting lineup that day was Harry Heilmann, who was born on August 3, 1894. Harry is in the Hall of Fame.

Heilmann debuted in MLB for the Detroit Tigers on May 16, 1914 against the Boston Red Sox. He was a pinch-hitter and substitution for Hugh High in left field and went 0-1. The oldest person in the starting lineup that day was Sam Crawford, who was born on April 18, 1880. Crawford is in the Hall of Fame.

Crawford debuted in MLB for the Cincinnati Reds in 1899, but Baseball Reference records don't go that far back. The first game on the site that Crawford played in was on April 14, 1908 against the Chicago White Sox. The oldest person in the starting lineup that day was Ed Siever, who was born on April 2, 1875.

Siever debuted in 1901 for the Detroit Tigers; but like Crawford his first game isn't listed on Baseball Reference until 1908. At this point I'm running in circles. So the game is ruled over going backwards.

So let's move forward! Let's look at Strawberry's last game but then find the youngest player in the starting lineup and do that going forward.

Darryl Strawberry played his last regular season baseball game for the New York Yankees on October 3, 1999 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He went 0-1 with a walk. Strawberry's last regular season hit in the Major's was two days earlier on October 1st, a home run, his 335th. Strawberry did play in the postseason that year, but this game is only looking at regular season. The youngest player in the starting lineup for the Yankees on October 3, 1999 was D'Angelo Jimenez who was born on December 21, 1977.

Jimenez played in his last MLB for the Washington Nationals on September 29, 2007 against the Philadelphia Phillies. He pinch-hit. Well, he got a pinch strikeout. The youngest person in the starting lineup that day was Ryan Zimmerman, who was born on September 28, 1984. He's an active player so I guess I'm done.

So in this game the line of players connected to Darryl Strawberry are:

Ed Siver -- Sam Crawford -- Harry Heilmann -- Tony Cuccinello -- Clyde Klutzz -- Pete Runnels -- Rusty Staub -- Darryl Strawberry -- D'Angelo Jimenez -- Ryan Zimmerman

This list features 2 Hall of Fame ball players. If you play, how did you fare?

Since this is a baseball card blog, primarily, here are the cards of players I have in my collection!

Rusty Staub's 1983 Topps, Darryl Strawberry's 1983 Topps Traded, and 2018 Stadium Club Ryan Zimmerman.


Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 12, 2019

Topps & Hall of Fame Project 2000

These guys retired a while ago... Tim Raines and Wade Boggs.

First,Wade Boggs after the 1999 season. While a Devil Ray for just two years, they were so desperate for attention they retired his number in 2000.

Tim Raines kind of fizzled towards the end. His last base card for Topps was in 2000 which show his impressive stats up to 1999. Raines did play some ball in 2001 and 2002 and was issued an Update card but my project is mostly focused on base cards. Though his update I think has full stats. Dammit. I might have to really reconsider some aspects of my Hall of Fame collection!

Raines was elected to the Hall of Fame after what could be considered a peer-pressure and bullying campaign on social media. He should have been elected earlier and I wouldn't be surprised if he felt both honored and insulted to be enshrined in Cooperstown.

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Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Darryl Strawberry: 3 Card Lot

Boy oh boy. These are Sportlots cards. I finally learned recently to buy as many cards from a seller that they'll do for the cheapest combined shipping. So these three came from one dude.

They are the 1990 Fleer Award Winners and then two 2018's: Topps Instant Impact and Topps Silver Pack.

The Silver Pack is particularly delicious. Not the head shot in the circle, which leaves a lot of be desired (did they even try to get a better picture?) but the main picture on the card.

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Friday, April 5, 2019

Topps & Hall of Fame Project 2008-2009

My Hall of Fame/Topps for every year since 1952 project evolved quickly once I decided on doing it.    In fact, I think I do have most of the years represented. The collecting focus shifted from just one card from every year (preferably a Hall of Famer) to also including if possible the Hall of Famer's last card. This is ideal as for a lot of the players it does include their full stats. Topps is inconsistent (SHOCKING), however, as it does not always issue a card for what was a player's last year.

This post shows two guys that hung up their spikes in 2007 and 2008 and were elected into the Hall of Fame.

First up is Pedro Martinez. A no-brainer Hall of Famer. This is his 2008 Topps card. Martinez got a 2009 Update card, but I'm only collecting base. For now. I might change my mind. Or if someone has it and just wants to send it to me, fine. Thanks.

Next is Mike Mussina who was a borderline player. Kind of the always-the-bridesmaid-never-the-bride kind of career. If I had a vote, and it's probably rightful that I don't, I can safely say he never would have gotten one from me. This is his 2009 Topps card.

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Tuesday, April 2, 2019


These three cards came off eBay! I ordered a fourth but the seller couldn't find it or something so he sent me a refund which was pretty nice. They took forever to get to me, though, which was frustrating as I wanted to be patient, didn't want to maybe get into an argument or anything. I don't like controversy, for the most part. When the mailer arrived the stamp wasn't even postmarked! So there was something weird going on. The day before these came another packet was delivered, also with no cancellation on the stamp. Bizarre.

Anyway, these fine specimens are

John Kruk, 1990 Bowman Tiffany, Card 154

John Kruk, 1992 Bowman, Card 541

Darryl Strawberry, 2012 Gypsy Queen mini (Straight Cut back), Card 342

Now, I had ordered, I thought, the base mini. So when this insert one showed up I was perplexed a bit. I'll take it. What choice do I have?  The fourth card that failed to materialize was another Darryl Strawberry card. [sad face emoji]

I've largely gone off inserts and parallels. I think with rare exception I'll actively/intentionally go for this. How do you feel about inserts and parallels?

Thanks for stopping by!