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!

Thanks for stopping by!

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!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

1987 Strawberry Error

HeavyJ28 sent me the most unique card I think I've ever received. It's difficult to qualify a statement like that as there are some really unique cards out there. But this one features two amazing things. The first, it's a 1987 Topps Card. The second is it's Darryl Strawberry. But going further, it's an error card as the back isn't Strawberry's AS card. This is what the card back should have been:

Well, the card shown here is Tiffany, but you get the gist and I apparently do not have a scan of the base card.

So at any rate... HeavyJ's card looks like this:

That's sassy!

It's Joe "Don't Have A" Cowley (card #27) and even a bit of T.R. Bryden (card #387) who was a rookie for the Los Angeles California Angels of Los Angeles, Anaheim, California. It was Bryden's rookie card.

I kind of look at this as a double error, or maybe even a rare triple error? First off, it doesn't have Strawberry's rightful back. Secondly, it is a miscut of two other cards.  What do you think? Does the back count as a single error or a double error?

The bumper cards in the pack were nothing to shake your head at either...

I scanned this through the penny sleeve and failed to realize that it had a price sticker on it...

Thank you Jason!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, June 7, 2019

Topps & Hall of Fame Project 2002-2004

My Hall of Fame collection started as a way to acquire vintage cards of Hall of Fame players. I wasn't too picky. I chose to collect Topps as they've been around the most amount of time and never missed a year since 1951. I just wanted a player's card who was in the Hall of Fame even if the team he was playing for at the time wasn't the team he proudly sports on his plaque. And then when I got to the more modern guys, I decided I'd go for their last base set card as it would show, hopefully, his complete stats. The modern cards are great because they are super reasonable (cheap) to acquire: on average I pay .18 or .25 cents per card. Sadly in fifty years they may still be worth the same amount, but that's not why I buy them.

But Topps is consistently inconsistent in sometimes giving a  player a final card the year after he retired and sometimes they pretend he didn't play a full or partial season. These cards here are a great case in point. Topps is missing Martinez's 2004 season in which he only appeared in 141 games. But they did include Gwynn's final season in which he appeared in just 71 games. Martinez was given an insert card in 2005 but that doesn't count for me.

These two cards are 2004 Edgar Martinez and 2002 Tony Gwynn.  The former was voted in by bullying, by and large, on his last year appearing on the ballot and the latter on his own merits in his first year of eligibility. I know some of you will disagree with me on Martinez. That's cool. 

I love that both players played for a single team their entire career. A rare breed of the species. 

Thanks for stopping by!