Friday, July 23, 2021

John Kruk: 1994 Select Sample

Well. Sometime in the last couple of years I showed off the regular base 1994 Select (by Score) card depicted here. This one is a Sample. So it's really special and probably relatively rare in the scheme of things. I'm not trying to stay it's a $2.50 card. No, it's probably under a buck, which might be what I paid for it. But any card showing Kruk fielding, napping, and at bat is a winner. Score!

Do you collect sample cards in general? Not just for your PC, but just to have an example in your collections?

What do you think of the new Cleveland Baseball Team name? Guardians is neutral, sure, but I find meh.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 2012 Gypsy Queen Gypsy Queen Back

600th Post!

This is the 2012 Gypsy Queen mini card for Darryl Strawberry. I think I'm a hypocrite because I really can't stand these sets, yet keep getting cards that are missing from my collection. Maybe hypocrite isn't the right word, but you know what I mean.

But this one is "special" because it's got the "Gypsy Queen" back. Ooooooh. Ahhhhhh. So it's the 2012 Gypsy Queen mini , er, variation Gypsy Queen back. Great!

Who's better looking? The Gypsy Queen back or the Starbucks mermaid thingy?

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Monday, July 19, 2021

HOF Luis Aparicio

1974 is probably the first really beautiful card set of the 1970s. Thinking about the decade as a whole, I think I'd rank them as follows: 1974, 1976, 1973, 1977, 1979, 1978, and I guess, 1970. 1971, 1972 and 1975 are ineligible for ranking because they are so awful. 

This is the final Topps card for Luis Aparicio. It's an exceedingly boring photograph, saved by the design, which is just about perfect. Aparicio was elected to the HOF in 1984 by the BBWAA in his sixth year of eligibility. I'm still not exactly sure what makes someone a HOFer six years or ten years or 50 years after he first appeared on the ballot. He got 84.6% of the vote. 

He played 18 years with Chicago, Boston, and Baltimore and was a Rookie of the Year, a 13-time All-Star and was given nine Gold Gloves. In 1966, he was on the World Series winning team from Baltimore. In 1959 he was the runner-up MVP to Nellie Fox. But if you're into revisionist history, he was 19th best in the league per "WAR". Something called Camilo Pascual had the most in 1959, at 8.6. Never heard of him. Ironically, Pascual finished 19th in the MVP voting that year. 

In his career, Aparicio had six more strikeouts (742) than walks (736) and nine more triples (92) than home runs (83).

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Friday, July 16, 2021

John Kruk: 1994 Red Foley

This is the 1994 Red Foley Team Leaders card depicting John Kruk and a no-hitting pitcher called Tommy Greene. 

I was initially surprised when I got this to see that the Red Foley back wasn't blank! John Kruk's text does not disappoint. 

How did you feel about the heinous All-Star uniforms? I guess I've stated now how I feel. If you're a team follower, rather than like me, a follower of the sport, do you see your team as buyers or sellers? 

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 2004 Donruss Elite Team

This card certainly did not scan very well! It's the 2004 Donruss Elite Team, SN to 1500. I scored number 530. The card features Strawberry along with Gary Carter and Dwight Gooden and has some text about them on the back. 

I'm really embarrassed by the scan. But it's the card's fault, really, not mine. Stupid shiny card.

I was a big fan of Gooden and (obvs) Strawberry but I never really was a fan of Carter. My immature adolescent petty self hated his hair. 

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Sunday, July 11, 2021

HOF Willie Mays

This blog has highlighted a lot of Hall of Famers in the last week and I think this is the first no-brainer. Willie Mays. His 1973 Topps card recalls 1963 and predicts 1983. The stats on the back are something else, and this is a vast improvement over the 1972 design. 

Not really sure I should really talk about Mays at all because his career is so well-known; it's just kind of a travesty his career ended this way, rather than with the Giants with whom he had spent the previous 21 years. He went in on his first ballot earning 94.7% of the vote. Which feels low.  He did play in some 1973 games but was not issued a 1974 base Topps card. Which is sad to me since 1974 is the best set of that decade. He missed one year, 1953, for Military Service. Looking at his 1951-1952 stats and 1954 and after, you can safely say he came back a better ball player. 

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Friday, July 9, 2021

HOF Hoyt Wilhelm

Yes, I want the last Topps cards of all MLB Hall of Famers, no I'm not paying the stupid prices that some of these high number cards from 1972 go for. This is why I'm showing here the .18 cent Topps Archives reproduction of Hoyt Wilhelm's last Topps cards. See yesterday's post (and those from Tuesday and Wednesday, too) which will explain why I've probably been blocked, disowned, and VooDoo dolled by Night Owl cards. 

Wilhelm went in on the 1985 ballot in his eighth year of being eligible. An eight-time All-Star, two-time ERA winner, and 1954 World Series winner. In 21 years, Wilhelm played for the White Song, Giants, Orioles, Braves, Dodgers, Indians, Cubs, Cardinals, and Angels. Did I leave any team out? 

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Thursday, July 8, 2021

HOF Bill Mazeroski

These are dark ages. As if 1971 wasn't bad enough for obvious reasons, you got this absolute crap from Topps in 1972. The only saving grace is that a) Bill Mazeroski is depicted and b) his warm-up jacket is divine. 

A 2001 Veterans Committee inductee to The Hall Of Fame, Mazeroski had a 17-year career, all with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a ten-time All-Star, a two-time World Series champion, and was given eight Gold Gloves. 

He has, perhaps, one of the top three World Series hits of all time. I'm not convinced he's a Hall of Famer; his standard stats are mediocre at best. But he was a better player than this aged, hokey, drug-inspired Topps design. This makes 1995 Fleer look like a Cezanne. 

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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

HOF Jim Bunning

Ugh, another 1971 Topps card. Win some, lose more. See my post from yesterday to learn a bit why I think 1971 Topps is crap. Not that what I think is relatively important or relevant. 

Jim Bunning this time gets focus on this blog. Probably the highlight of his career. Bunning is a late inductee to the Hall, going in in 1996 via the Veterans Committee. His accolades are wanting, being a nine-time All-Star. He got MVP votes five times and was a runner-up Cy Young guy (1967, lost to Mike McCormick but tied with Fergie Jenkins).

Bunning was in the Majors for 17 years, pitching for Detroit, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Dodgers. But you wouldn't really know that from the back of this terribly designed card. 

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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

HOF Ernie Banks

1971's black border cards are legendary. So is Ernie "Mr Cub" Banks. This is his final Topps base card and I cannot stand the photograph they used on the face of the card. The photograph on the back, depicting a much younger Banks, is far more lovely. 

1971 Topps sucks. The lack of full stats on the back is stupid. The lower case name on the card front is a terrible design decision. And the lower case "base" in Banks' position is also stupid. Banks' 1970 card is way better.

Ernie Banks is a first ballot Hall of Famer. He went in in 1977, having earned 83.8% of the vote. A solid showing. He was a two-time MVP and 14-time All-Star. He did not win a World Series. In fact, Ernie Banks NEVER APPEARED IN THE POST SEASON! 

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Monday, July 5, 2021

HOF Don Drysdale

This is the final Topps base card for Don Drysdale, from the glorious Topps 1969 set. He had a 14 year career in Major League Baseball and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1984, his 10th year of eligibility, with 78.4%.

Drysdale won a Cy Young award (1962 per the back of the card and corroborated with Baseball Reference), was a nine-time All-Star and was on three World Series winning teams between Brooklyn and Los Angeles. 

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Friday, July 2, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: A Slew of '05s

Hey! 2005 was quite the year. I'm sure we all know the inundation to the card world that took place at this time. These five cards show Darryl Strawberry as a Yankees, a Mets and a D------s.

First up is the Donruss Studio Heritage card. This is SN 330/1000. This might be the worst looking and most boring of the cards in this post.   

Following on that, we get SP Authentic. Maybe just as boring...

Well, shit. This 2005 Topps Retired Signatures and this is a beautiful mother bleeping baseball card. HOLY COW. But what a stupid name for this set. Where's the signature?

Upper Deck comes in now with Classics Retro Star Rookies. Beautiful image on on the card front. 

And then there is the Post Season Performers card. Not bad. 

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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: A Tale of Two Cities

More Darryl Strawberry cards. These clear out my backlogged 1990s cards. 

First we have 1993 Stadium Club Members only. You can take your pick as to whether you think this Pacific Terrific card is a Strawberry card or a Ken Griffey, Jr. card. The former is correct, the latter only slightly less correct. I had the base card, but didn't know about the Members Only until recently (November 2020).

And then there is a smiling Strawberry in his Giants uniform for 1994's Mother's Cookies card. 

In which uniform to you think Strawberry looks better: Dodgers or Giants?? 

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Monday, June 28, 2021

Dodging Darryl Strawberry

Still working through my backlog of Darryl Strawberry cards, I'm foregoing my normal Monday HOF card to showcase more of the, to me, fruitiest player in baseball history. These are some 1992 cards below.

First up is Ballstreet, featuring Eric Davis. These guys with the Dodgers were a bust. Were they of Carl Crawford with the Red Sox or Jacoby Ellsbury with the Yankees busts? Maybe Davis was comparable to those. Even though Strawberry didn't last it out or do well because of injuries and other stuff, he at least did better than Davis in his one full and one partial years on the squad.

This is 1992 Donruss Cracker Jacks. I liked Cracker Jacks back in the day but I'm no longer really a popcorn kind of guy. If you have to stop reading this due to philosophical differences I perfectly understand. 

Starting Lineup! This seems to be "Starting Lineup Black".

What's this? 1992 Legends Sports, that's what it is. There are a lot of borders on this card. The maroon, the marble, and the white. Unique angle on the photo, or it was taken by Danny DeVito.

And finally, RBI Magazine. With a nearly epic batting cage in the background. 

Showing all these Dodgers cards just makes me hope I'll be, somehow, starting to spend some of Night Owl Cards' money.

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Friday, June 25, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: Some 1991 cards

I am going to double-up on Darryl Strawberry card posts this week---and maybe for a while---as I have a lot more Strawberry cards than John Kruk and last Topps HOF cards to show off. Do you mind?

So today are three 1991 cards that I got back in November 2020. Yes, that's how far behind I am.  Or, rather, that goes to show just how many cards I acquired last year. Showing off just one a week, as I had been doing, was bothering me. We're moving out of the Mets phase, though, and into the portion of his career that was an unfortunate career move: the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

This cards is from Legends Sports Memorabilia, Inc. It has such a janky batting cage/net in the background. It is legendarily terrible netting/caging, right? This set has 54, multi-sport cards in it. Even a college player! And a Brooklyn Dodgers (Duke Snider)!

Ah, that's more like it: Strawberry in a Mets uniform. This is something called Media Materials reading cards. It is a 30 card, multi-sport set. And it's in two parts. Or at least I have two physical items. Whereas the images in Trading Card Database show the face of one and the back of another. Weird. 

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