Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1993 Panini Stickers

I'm so glad to know that Panini baseball stickers and albums were bigger than ever in 1993! I was 19 at the time and very much out of both collecting baseball cards and even more so, collecting stickers. So glad that baseball didn't make scratch and sniff cards. That could go terribly wrong. However, baseball glove smell is one of the best smells of all time. Don't you think? What are some other good smells associate with baseball?

I was really hoping the color scheme at the top where the team name is would be customized to that team but looking at the checklist is isn't. But there are some variations. It seems that sometimes the blue up top is red and the red down the bottom is blue. It's something, at the least...

Darryl batted an abysmal .140 in 1993 in just 32 lean games. 

The sticker is 219 and I was looking for some stat that year that might be .219 but I'm not seeing anything. That would be a fun thing to do, to try to find a stat that matched the card number. Came close with a 2.17 on Baseball Reference. Some stat called lgRF9.

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Monday, September 28, 2020

Baseball Cards for "sale"

I'm forgoing my normal Monday HOF post this week to try to move some baseball cards to collectors that may want them. I've put them on Twitter a couple of times with some success, but I thought I'd try the blog in case there are some that come here as opposed to that other platform. 

I've already gotten all the shipping materials and these are ready to go. I just ask that you reimburse me for shipping which should be less than $5. Or, you could send me a card of my choosing that will not exceed $3 (including shipping).

Teams available are: Brewers, Mariners, White Sox, Padres, Twins, Cardinals, Braves, Red Sox, Orioles, Giants, Indians, Rangers (with a few random Astros in the there), and Dodgers. There are some dupes but there are some good cards in there, too. Rookies. HOFers, oddballs here and there. 

Thanks for stopping by and to considering this! All unclaimed cards by October 10th will be shipped off to some charity or other. Probably commons for kids, which I've heard about via Wax Ecstatic podcast | Twitter

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Strawberry in 3-D

Collecting Cutch is holding a 3D contest in advance of his Save Second Base posts that will commence on the 1st of the month. I hope that these Topps 3D cards count? These are Darryl Strawberry's two Topps 3D cards for 1986 (top) and 1985 (bottom). 

Thanks for running the contest and thanks for stopping by! 

Friday, September 25, 2020

John Kruk: 1992 Leaf Black Gold

What's better than Gold? Black Gold, naturally. This is a parallel of Leaf's regular base card. I wish there was a regular Gold parallel. Sike. 

This card is far less attractive than the base card. They've taken the team logo off the front and insert this swooshy baseball-in-motion thingy. They've made the Leaf logo black, too. 

Not sure really why it's "Black Gold" when the back of the card says it's the "Gold Edition". Shouldn't it say "Black Gold Edition"?  If I ruled the world....

Not much to say about this card which includes the Pirates legend Krik Gibson. Gibson was traded from the Royals to the Pirates on March 10, 1992. The Pirates let him go on May 5, 1992. The Phillies visited Pittsburgh from April 17 to 19. This image may come from the Sunday April 19th game as Gibson went 2 for 5 with two singles. However... he went 0 for 4 the day before and in that Saturday game it just might maybe be the better selection as he reached on an throwing error by the pitcher during a sacrifice bunt. This photo seems to maybe match that, no?

How have you felt about the baseball "season" this year? Did your team perform as you expected? Better? Worse? 

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1993 Los Angeles Dodgers Police

I'm sure it's mean. And I don't mean it to be mean. But, I find it ironic that Darryl Strawberry has a police issued baseball card from his time in Los Angeles when he had some run ins with them for various reasons. He was in pain and needed help. And fortunately he got help. 

This is my first LA PD card for Strawberry. It's a great photograph of a post-contact swing. Not the usual image for him. Having this card as well as the Mother's card last week is just a great feeling considering that when I was collecting---and by 1993 I wasn't in the hobby anymore---I didn't fathom that there were cards out there like this. The internet has made getting these cards pretty easy.

My local fire house gave out football cards for the Washington Redskins when we were growing up. Did yours?

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Monday, September 21, 2020

HOF Don Sutton

I love baseball cards of guys pitching with gray hair! You don't tend to see them that much any longer and I can think of two reasons for that. One is that guys don't pitch for 23 year years any more. And the other is that guys might be coloring their hair. Or shaving it. That's three. I'm not very good at math.

Don Sutton's fro-tastic last Topps card was for 1988 when he was shown pitching for the California Angels. He did pitch some in 1988, but he had re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team with which he broke into the league.

Looking at Suttons stats, he really seemed to be on his "game" from 1972 to 1977. In those six years he was on four All-Star teams, received Cy Young votes five times, and even some MVP votes. But aside from being an MVP of an All-Star game and winning a singular ERA title (later, in 1980), he didn't rack up a lot of awards. So was he just a "compiler", which is kind of a dirty word. 

Don Sutton was voted into the Hall of Fame on his fifth ballot in 1998. He did so gaining 81.6% percent of the vote. In his previous years he earned 73.2% (1997), 63.8% (1996), 57.4% (1995), and 56.8% (1994). So he had steady improvement in his vote getting. I'm still relatively fuzzy on what exactly changes to make someone more likely to be voted in---and in fact sometimes actually voted in---after he is first eligible. That's something of a rhetorical comment. 

Sutton played 23 years with five teams: Dodgers, Astros, Brewers, Angels, and A's. I don't think of him as an A's player and I'm sure more will say Sutton=Dodgers. But I think of him most as a Brewers. 

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Friday, September 18, 2020

John Kruk: 1991 US Playing Cards

Hey. How's it going? If you're reading this it's Friday. Not bad. Not bad at all. 

John Kruk is obviously more of a King of Hearts guy, but I'll take this 4 of Spades in the 1991 US Playing Cards baseball card set. This is a 56 card set. There are the standard 52, plus two Jokers (Bonilla and Tartabull) and two Wild Cards (Boggs and Will Clark). 

I didn't know these cards existed until recently. Did you? 

I'm excited that we'll have some different teams in the playoffs this "season". Should be interesting. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Two Darryl Strawberry White Whales

The Lost Collector took advantage of an eBay code and blogged about it.  So did P-Town Tom, falling into "the trap". (I read that hearing Admiral Akbar shouting "It's a trap!" in <i>Return of the Jedi</i>. 

So did A Cracked Bat and Johnnys Trading Spot, and Fuji did too. And many others I'm sure. 

After reading Tom's blog post I was jealous and logged into eBay only to find... I had the code and less than three days to use it before it expired. 

Following on the last eBay code that I had wherein I acquired two of the earliest John Kruk cards, I took this opportunity to use this generous $25 gift to go after some early Darryl Strawberrys. 

I thought about going after about a dozen or more $1 or $2 cards: go for quantity as well as purported quality. But as appealing as that was, then I thought maybe there are some harder to get, more expensive early cards that would be kind of more celebratory. It isn't every day you're given $25 and I did just hit a milestone of 900 cards. So, I went and got cards 901 and 902... 

Well, behold the 1983 TCMA Tidewater Tides card number 28 and the 1984 TCMA Tidewater Tides card with no number, nothing on the back and limited to a print run of just 2,700. 

The seller was asking for $50 to BIN or to try your luck with an offer. And free shipping. I'm not a greedy man. I knew I already had $25 off, so threw out a modest $45 offer. 

The offer was accepted almost instantaneously. Soooooo it was about $47 and change (with tax), less $25 which means I got them for $22 total. Or $11 each. 

And the baseball cards showed up two days later.

I've always been anxious about these cards because I've wanted to own them badly but have always kind of felt these would be relatively easy to forge. Am I just paranoid? I really hope they are authentic. 

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Monday, September 14, 2020

HOF Mike Schmidt

One of the best third basemen of all time. Mike Schmidt. I remember the day he abruptly retired in 1989 and seeing him cry during the press conference. I was kind of floored by that as his demeanor, from what I saw in games, was really kind of stout and serious. Sometimes he could look downright mean. I'm sure there's a cliche in there about seeing a grown man cry.

Schmidt was a no-brainer Hall of Famer. Voted in on his first ballot in 1995, he received 96.5% of the vote. That's solid. Impressive. That's about right. 

This is Schmidt's last Topps card from the 1989 set. He played 42 games before hanging it up after 18 seasons all with the Phillies. Schmidt won 3 MVP awards (1980, 1981, and 1986), was voted into 12 All-Star games, won a single World Series and in that series was the MVP, and he earned a lot of Gold Gloves and Silver Sluggers. 

Schmidt batted over .300 just once in his career: .316 in 1981. 

I have this school folder of Schmidt for 1988. Does anyone want it? I have a Canseco one, too. That's also available.

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Friday, September 11, 2020

John Kruk: 1990 Panini Stickers

The Panini photographer liked himself some John Kruk's butt.  

Kind of like someone from Topps was really into Keith Hernandez who had a number of "look at my tushy" cards (1982 Topps, 1982 Stickers1984 Topps, 1984 Donruss Action All-Stars, to name a few).

Feel free, in the comments, to supply a potential caption for this sticker. Happy Friday!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1993 Mother's Cookies

I like Darryl Strawberry. And I like cookies. But I have no idea how good or bad Mother's Cookies are. I know Nick V has memories of these cards, which were a west coast thing, but I'd still like to taste test them. 

My favorite cookies are chocolate chip. I prefer plain chocolate chip because why mess with perfection?  But if they are homemade, or Doubletree Hotel brand, I'm ok with having nuts in them. But I'm generally an equal opportunity cookie eater. Anything with mint or raisins can pointedly fuck off. I love black-n-whites, Nilla wafers, ginger snaps, Italian sandwich cookies with jam or chocolate, M&M, etc. etc. etc. Oatlmeal cookies are fine but please use nuts or chocolate chips. Cookies as big as or bigger than my head are a joy to eat. 

Mother's Cookies was founded in Oakland in 1914 and was in operation until 2008. Kellogg's bought them when they were in bankruptcy and brought them back to shelves in 2009. Shame that they couldn't get to the century mark. They are or were connected to Archway Cookies, which I have had. 

What kind of cookies do you like?

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Monday, September 7, 2020

HOF Bruce Sutter

You say Suitor, I Subter. ... Let's stop this song because it's already obnoxious and call the whole this off...

Bruce Sutter, the lost brother of hockey's Brent and Brian Sutter, was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2006 along with 734,978 others. His final year in baseball was 1988 with the Braves. Oddly, he was the only Major Leaguer elected that year, his 13th on the ballot, and with a somewhat, um, pathetic, 76.9%. There were 17 players from the Negro Leagues voted in that year, including the unfortunately named Cum Posey. (Is there anyone out there that collects players with "adult" sounding names?)

Anywho... Sutter only played 12 years and he missed 1987 due to injury. He played for the Cubs, Cardinals, and Braves. He never started a single game, but did save 300. He appeared in 661; so he was just under .500 for his career whereby if he played, he almost earned a save every other appearance. He lost more games than he won, which means he blew a lot of saves. (If he hadn't gone 1-4 in 1988, he'd've ended his career 67-67 for W-L.)

See how easy it is to show someone was good, but not Hall of Fame great?  Thoroughly unimpressed by this player, who I did grow up watching and knowing about. 

Sutter was a Cy Young Award winner; a six time All-Star, won the World Series with the Cardinals in 1982, and, the no-brainer pinnacle of his career was being the Rolaids Relief player of the year four times. He's currently an abysmal 29th in the list of all time saves leaders in MLB. Jonathan Papelschmear has 68 more saves, a few points less WAR and was in the Major Leagues for 12 years, too. Should he be in the Hall? NO!

Is he the first full-time Closer to be elected into the Hall of Fame? Like, I think he is...but with people like Trevor Hoffman and Mariana Rivera now in, and even Lee Smith, I think it's safe to say that Sutter was erroneously elected. 

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Friday, September 4, 2020

John Kruk: 1990 Fleer Canadian

This is the Fleer Canadian version of John Kruk's beautiful 1990 Fleer American version. Boy is is sharp and bright. 

Kruk here is wearing his number 11 jersey. He wore this in 1989 when he came over from the Padres and for a bit of 1990 before changing numbers to 19.

Kruk actually appropriated 10 bases in 1990 which was his second highest steals total. He previously nicked 18 for the Padres in 1987. He ended his career with 58 pilfered bases, and was apprehended just 31 times. Which means he was nearly twice as likely to successfully achieve an ill-gotten base than not.

What a card!

Does a player earn credit for his WAR for his performance in a game when his team loses? If so, why? Neither he nor his team won. Asking for a friend.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Darryl Strawberry: 1993 Donruss Long Ball Leaders

In 1993, Donruss put out a "Long Ball Leaders" insert. In 1992, Strawberry hit a home run that traveled 460 feet on April 26 at Candlestick Park. 1992 was a down year for him; he appeared in just 43 games and hit only 5 long balls.

This card is awesome because the back shows a ballpark, which is, I think, a sort of a fetish. I don't have very many stadium cards, but I think they are ace. No, I'm not phishing for some (yet) either. I'm only half serious when I say that I'm confused why they show Dodger Stadium on the card back. I know that was Strawberry's then home park. But I think showing the ballpark in which the home run was hit would have been more appropriate, and actually more original.

There are 18 cards in this insert set, so not all teams are represented and some are in there twice. The checklist should have been in descending order of longest home run to the shortest-longest home run. 

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