Friday, July 30, 2021

John Kruk: 1994 Stadium Clug Dugout Dirt Members Only

This is the 1994 Stadium Club, Dugout Dirt, Members Only parallel card for John Kruk. Such a caricature nowadays might be frowned upon. There are twelve cards in this set. Do you have any of these?

This is a card I thought I had TWICE until I realized I didn't have it at all. I guess that makes me a dumbass? But actually what it came down to is sometimes buying cards on Sportlots burns you. Especially when an image doesn't accompany a listing. I got this last November-ish and cannot remember where from; but I do know I saw a picture of it before buying. Fool me once. Fool me twice. Etc. But actually, in my defense, there are 13 different Stadium Club cards for Kruk so it's a bit much to keep track of all of them! 

Thoughts on the trading deadline? It was pretty intense from my point of view. Lots of "big" name players changing uniforms. I'm particularly stung by the Scherzer & Turner trade from the Nationals to the Dodgers. I get it, it's business. But Scherzer's to good of a person for the Dodgers. And, well, at least now with Turner there the best shortstop (who'll move to second base) in the National League is finally on the West Coast. 

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Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes Rivalry

In 2013, Panini brought out the Hometown Heroes cards. And this is the Rivalry insert card showing Strawberry in airbrushed New York Mets and New York Yankees clothing. It's a 20-card insert set. And it's one of just 41 insert sets for the 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes set. 

This card is ugly. 

If you PC a player and they played for rival teams, do you struggle to collect cards for him in the undesirable uniform? Or hate yourself, just a little bit, for buying them. This is the way I feel sometimes with Strawberry. But I usually buy them anyway. And medicate with booze. 

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Monday, July 26, 2021

HOF Juan Marichal

This HOF player, Juan Marichal, has a HOF worthy final Topps card. That leg kick! Too bad it appears there was no one in the stands to witness it!

Marichal was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1983 receiving 83.7% of the vote in his third year of eligibility. He appeared in 11 games in 1974, and even in two games in 1975, but either of these facts led to Topps giving him a card in either of the next two years. 

He was a 10-time All-Star, was the All-Star game MVP once, and won an ERA title. This is a pretty skimpy list of awards and recognitions for a Hall of Fame player, in my opinion. He played in 16 seasons for three teams: The Giants of San Fransisco, the Dodgers of Los Angeles, and the Red Sox of Boston. 

In his career he won 101 more games than he lost and his ERA was 2.89. Which is scorching. His 244 complete games came with 52 shut outs.  What's a strange stat to me is that he had 11 GF (Games Finished). I'm sure this is a metric for someone that came into the game after the starting pitcher (i.e. a relief pitcher), but it's just weird to see 244 Complete Games next to 11 Games Finished. Isn't a complete game a game the starting pitcher finished?

Marichal appeared in just two post seasons. 

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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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