Friday, May 14, 2021

John Kruk: 1993 Red Foley stickers

Sticker cards! Kruk was such a stud he had two stickers in the 1993 Red Foley issue. Though, to be honest other players had two stickers, too. One shows Kruk in the field; the other whiffing at the plate. Possibly in the same game at Veterans Stadium.

The 1993 Red Foley set consists of 130 small stickers.  

The backs are saying "Move along. Nothing to see here." Though, maybe that's not the case as the verso of the sticker is showing a bit of itself through the back. Ghostly! 


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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 1989 Pacific Cards

Hi! Today's post looks at three cards issued by the Pacific Cards & Comics company back in 1989, which I think was the waning days of pre-steroids baseball. Sure it was in the game then but the results weren't as whack as they would be in the 1990s and early 2000s.  And, I think, it might have been the last days of the kind of baseball many of us miss and yearn for when we watch the game we love now. 

Below are some more Spring Training cards. Pacific Cards and Comics released at least 15 sets in 1989. At least that many as Strawberry is in that many of them. I have four, so I need 11.* There is one with George Brett that is particularly nice. 

But these three are from Big League All-Stars (the top two) and "Crossed Bats" (the third).

ALERT*** ALERT*** Seriously. Bad. Photograph. Detected. ALERT*** ALERT*** 

What an absolute trash card! 

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* I did order two more. So, Yeah?!?!!

Monday, May 10, 2021

HOF Early Wynn

Early Wynn was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1972 by the BBWAA, squeaking in on his fourth ballot in a class with Sandy Koufax and Yogi Berra. That's some star power right there. Topps was flip-flopping about having a single year of stats and career stats at this time, and going with a single year & life in 1962 is perhaps, it's only design flaw.

Wynn won a Cy Young and ERA title and was a 9-time All-Star. Impressively on Baseball Reference he's listed as a two-time All-Star in both 1959 and 1960. What's that about? 

He played for the White Sox of Chicago, the Indians of Cleveland, and the Senators of Washington. In 1945 he was serving in the military. He finished his twenty-three year career with exactly 300 wynns.  He had 289 complete games! There may not be that many since 2000!

Although Wynn appeared in a few games in 1963, his final Topps card was in 1962. He looks very much the part of a mid-century American baseball player, doesn't he? They don't make 'em like that, any more...

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Friday, May 7, 2021

John Kruk: 1992 Magazine Cards

In the early 1990s, cards were coming out the wazoo. 

In 1992, John Kruk was in his prime, thriving on the east coast with the Philadelphia Phillies. In the top card here, issued by Baseball Card Magazine, he's pointing something out to someone. You probably didn't need me to point that out. For the card back, if there is video footage of the southpaw pitching I, like, have to see it. 

The investment advice is spot on, nearly 30 years later.

The lower card below was issued by Topps Magazine. It's an inferior card photograph and design in just about almost every aspect. Though there is must more text on the back, which is always a good thing. 

 Thanks for stopping by! Have a nice weekend. 

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Darryl Strawberry:

Some more Broder-type cards to flaunt this week. Ignore the card backs; going to the toilet is more exciting and if you don't believe me maybe I'll do a Twitter Live from it one day. 

The card fronts are a mixed back. The first, from the Baseball's Best One set, shows Strawberry gazing at something.

The second card, a Golden Superstars issue, shows a delicious spring training batting cage shot. 

 And the third card is from the Major League Superstars set. We don't know what was behind Strawberry out as the original background was removed and swapped out for a solid blue with a single gold star. 

Stars kind of connect these cards. The backs of the last two feature a great many of them. 

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Monday, May 3, 2021

HOF Red Schoendienst

This is a reprint card, like the 1956 Phil Rizzuto card I showed off a while ago. This is the likeness of Red Schoendienst's 1962 final Topps base card. I want an original, but the price of this one was more than I was willing to spend when I was looking for it. 

1962 Topps needs nothing said about it's delicious, all-time classic design. 

Schoendienst was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1989 by the Veterans Committee. He was a ten-time All-Star and was on two World Series winning teams with the Cardinals in 1946 and the Milwauke Braves of the National League in 1957. He also played with the New York Giants. He had a 19 year career but only hit 84 home runs. He had 89 stolen bases, making him--for his career--a member of the 80-80 club. The most he ever struck out in a season was 32 times. Some players probably do that in a week or ten days now.  He had 78 triples. I so wish he had more career triples than HR. So close. 

Based on his similarity scores on Baseball Reference, either he shouldn't be in the Hall of Fame or a lot of players like him should be,. 

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Friday, April 30, 2021

John Kruk: 1991 O-Pee-Chee

Sacre bleu! 1991 OPC, like 1990 before it, is somewhat hard to distinguish the OPC name didn't appear on the front of the card? No, instead you have to look at the copyright line on the card back. Or, possibly, French. Or both.

This was a re-do as I realized I was missing the OPC version of the card. I am sure I had it at one point, but likely got ride of it thinking it was a dupe. Because I'm a dope.

And, finally, the AL West players that I like:  (just wish he was healthy)
Anaheim Angels of Los Angeles Anaheim California: Anthony Rendon
Houston Assholes: I guess Michael Brantley? But, really, no one.
Oakland Athletics: Mike Fiers, I guess, but really no one. 
Seattle Mariners: Kyle Seager, I guess
Texas Rangers: Nate Lowe (we share a birthday)

Ugh, sorry for the above. It's a largely bleh division. 

Thanks for stopping by!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: Class of '88

Spring Training Photograph Alert!  Spring Training Photograph Alert!

Looks like an elementary school field they are on.

I do not have anything more to say.  

So, here are the players I like AL Central:

Chicago White Sox: Lucas Giolito
Cleveland Indians: Terry Francona
Detroit Tigers: Jonathan Schoop
Kansas City Royals: Michael A. Taylor
Minnesota Twins:  No one jumps out. 

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Monday, April 26, 2021

HOF Enos Slaughter

This is the last Topps base card for Enos Slaughter. His picture kind of is like "leave me alone" or "I don't give a bleep." 

Enos is another guy to be elected by the Veterans Committee. This happened in 1985, about 26 years after he stopped playing. Topps had to SQUEEZE his career on the back of the 1959 card and combined his military service years in one line, providing a range of dates rather than listing them each row by row. 

Slaughter was a 10-time All-Star and was on 4 World Series winning teams (twice, each, with St. Louis and New York. He had a fifth appearance but it was a Loss). He played most of his career with St. Louis (13 years) and New York (six years), but had stops in Kansas City and Milwaukee, too, in-between stints in the Big Apple.  He earned MVP votes in 8 of his 19 seasons, finishing second in 1942, and third twice in 1946 and 1949. Not bad. Like John Kruk he was a career .300 hitter.

Players I like AL East:

AL East: 
Baltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini
Boston Red Sox: Absolutely no one. So, I'll say listen to 98.5 The Sports Hub
New York Yankees: DJ LeMahieu
Tampa Bay Rays: Austin Meadows?
Toronto Blue Jays: It's an uninspiring team for me. I guess Joe Panik?

 Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 23, 2021

John Kruk: 1991 Medford

If you are like me, you had no clue what Medford was. A town in Massachusetts, sure! But in 1991, John Kruk got a Medford card. But, this is most certainly not related to a town outside of Boston.

According to the card back, Medford was the maker of quality foods since 1864. Seems to have been a DE, PA, NJ regional thing. Not sure if they are still in business in part because as I am a vegetarian I pay ZERO attention to anything meat related. 

Love the full career stats on the back and the acquisition information, too.  Card front is pretty simple. Nice, readable name plate in the bottom right and a full color action shot of Kruk showing off his agility. A solid card, don't'cha think?

Players I most like, National League Central:

Chicago Cubs: Anthony Rizzo
Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto
Milwaukee Brewers: Daniel Vogelbach
Pittsburgh Pirates: Gregory Polanco
St. Louis Cardinals: Paul Goldschmidt

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 1987 Press Box

Two cards I needed for my Darryl Strawberry collection were printed by The Press Box. It's a Broder-type card. Simple photograph on the front and minimal information on the back.

There are two other cards they put out in 1987 but I do not have them yet. I'd like them.They are part of my chase for 1,000 unique Strawberry cards! 

Pretty sure these are spring training games? In the bottom photo, it kind of looks like the Reds? The Mets and Reds did play four times that spring, so it's possible? 

Do you have any cards from The Press Box in your collection?

Players I most like, National League East:

Atlanta Braves: Frederick Freeman
Miami Marlins: Brian Anderson
New York Mets: I cannot find anyone I like
Philadelphia Phillies: Andrew McCutchen
Washington Nations: Max Scherzer

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 19, 2021

HOF Larry Doby

In 1998, the Veterans Committee elected Larry Doby into the Hall of Fame. Doby had a 14 year career in which he played for the Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers. He broke into the Major Leagues in 1947, the same year as Jackie Robinson. He was the second black player to play in the Major Leagues and the first to do so in the American League. 

Doby was a seven time All-Star and was on the 1948 World Series winning team which saw his Indians beat the Boston Braves. 

His final Topps card: 

Larry Doby earned MVP votes in three seasons, finishing second behind Yogi Berra in 1954. 

New Series! Players I like on each squad. This might be harder than that the players I dislike! We'll do it in reverse order to my most disliked players! So, here is the NL West...

Arizona Diamondbacks: Kole Calhoun
Colorado Rockies: Ryan McMahon
San Diego Padres: Joe Musgrove 
San Francisco Giants: Buster Posey
Los Angeles Dodgers: AJ Pollock 

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 16, 2021

John Kruk: 1990 Topps Tiffany

Does being in the 90th percentile of Hard-Hit rate and Sprint Speed get you aroused? If so, please leave this blog right now.

I discovered sometime recently that I had NO Topps cards for John Kruk, not a base and not a Tiffany. Rather, I had TWO O-Pee-Chee's!  So I went out and got the super bright happy Tiffany version and the more sedate, dulled base version. 

This captures Kruk in his number 11 jersey for the Phillies in 1989. He'd switch in 1990 a few times to number 19 and then again to number 28, ultimately settling on 29 in 1991.

So a nice card, overall (specifically, the Tiffany). 1990 isn't my favorite set in the world, but I think it's fine. It's just fine. I'm fine. Are you fine? 

Final installment of Players I most dislike: National League West:

Arizona Diamondbacks: Madison Bumgarner
Colorado Rockies: Daniel Bard
San Diego Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr
San Francisco Giants: Gabe Kapler
Los Angeles Dodgers: It's practically the whole team. Largely unlikable group of guys. But runner-up is that dink Trevor Bauer. Cody Bellinger wins. 

And, wherever he is, Yasiel Puig has to be mentioned. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 2021 Topps Living

 Today I'll share my first 2021 card: Darryl Strawberry's Topps Living Set card. I hemmed and hawed about this after P-Town Tom DM'd me about it on Twitter. I've hated the set since it was announced & begun, but I knew even back then that once they did a Strawberry that I'd probably buy it. Fortunately, this card is relatively harmless in it's representation of the player. And I particularly love that they seem to have used a non-Topps image of Strawberry for it. Like they couldn't pool from an image they had the rights too?

The image of Strawberry may be sourced to several cards. Most notably the 1990 Wonder Bread and 1990 Post (see this, er, post). But I feel like this image shows a much younger Strawberry than he was in 1990. Possibly many years earlier as a similar outfit, complete with white undershirt, appeared on his 1984 Donruss baseball card. Or from his 1985 Topps First Round Draft picks era.  You get the point. 

The card back is problematic, namely for the Dugout Quiz. Why would Topps include a quiz on the back of a black player whose answer is Kenesaw Mountain Landis less than six months after Landis' name was removed from the MVP award?  Topps just cannot keep out of their own way and I'm willing to bet there are at least twenty million other baseball related quizzes they might have done instead. 

Players I most dislike, National League Central:

Chicago Cubs: Craig Kimbrel
Cincinnati Reds: Nick Castellanos 
Milwaukee Brewers: Jackie Bradley Jr.
Pittsburgh Pirates: N/A
St. Louis Cardinals: Yadier Molina

I feel a failure about the Pirates but I'm just so completely unmoved by their lineup. Plus, they have a beautiful ballpark.

Monday, April 12, 2021

HOF Pee Wee Reese

Today's Final Topps card for a Hall of Famer is Pee Wee Reese! Reese retired after the 1958 season but wasn't enshrined in the Hall until the Veteran's Committee voted him in in 1984.  Like many, Reese missed time in the early-to-mid 1940s due to the War. Not WAR, but the War. 

With the exception of his final year in Los Angeles, Reese played his entire career with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a 10-time All-Star and was on the 1955 World Series winning team. His 1953 Bowman card is amongst the best cards ever made. It should be a required card in every collector's collection, along with the 1957 Ted Kluszewski.

I'm not totally in love with his career stats, to be honest. Offensively speaking. I looked at his fielding and he wasn't really that impressive either. Created a lot of errors. Compared to Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith, he made more than 100 more errors in three fewer seasons. And looking at his "Similarity Scores" on Baseball Reference, he's average. There's only one other Hall of Famer in the top 10 similar players: Alan Trammell, and he's a questionable Hall of Famer, himself.  So...

This week we'll focus on the National players I dislike the most: National League East:

Atlanta Braves: Dansby Swanson
Miami Marlins: Jesús Aguilar
New York Mets: Michael Conforto
Philadelphia Phillies: Jean Segura
Washington Nations: Erick Fedde

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 9, 2021

John Kruk: 1994 Fleer Extra Bases

Hello! Happy Friday. This is the 1994 Fleer Extra Bases card for John Kruk. A nice mix of home and away photographs here, both showing Kruk at the plate. 

I had never heard of this set before. It's a 400 card set of oversized cards: 2 1/2" x 4 11/16".

The patch on Kruk's sleeve is the 125th Anniversary patch for MLB, which was issued for the 1994 season. Which means these images were likely taken early in the season. Extra Bases was issued in August 1994. There were articles that ran on the set that were published in the Daily News and the Baltimore Sun, to name two newspapers. The Sun even had a Card of the Week feature!

Tell me, do you have any of these cards in your set?

Least Favorite Player: AL West
Houston Astros: Alex Bregman
Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim: Jose Iglesias
Oakland A's: Elvis Andrus
Seattle Mariners: Brock Holt
Texas Rangers: It was Rougned Odor when I drafted this post, but the Rangers got sense and pawned him off on the Yankees, who will DFA him by the All-Star break, so I'll go with the poor-man's Dansby Swanson: Charlie Culberson. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 1998 Pacific Online

When I first heard of 1998's Pacific Online card, I thought it was one of those hideously stupid digital cards, like Bunt. But, I was wrong because it's a physical card and I was taken back to 1998 myself when I thought Netscape and Yahoo were the most amazing search engines. I guess there was no place to go but up.

This is Darryl Strawberry's card for that set. 

I love the url listed on the card but it's not secure. Sheesh. And the url isn't even valid any longer. Using the Internet Archive's Way Back machine, I visited the site. There were three captures in the year 2000, but none of them was very revealing. There were 17 captures for the base website But, again, nothing was really loading so it was really disappointing.  Maybe I wasn't doing something right? 

Least Favorite Players AL Central:

Chicago White Sox: Adam Easton
Cleveland Indians: Cesar Hernandez
Detroit Tigers: Nomar Mazara
Kansas City Royals: Andrew Benintendi
Minnesota Twins: Josh Donaldson

Thanks for stopping by!