Monday, August 30, 2021

Teammates in the Hall of Mediocre!

This blog post features a couple of guys that are now enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame and that were teammates for a while for the Tigers of Detroit: Jack Morris and Alan Trammell. Both players were not deemed worth enough to be voted in by the BBWAA within the time frame of allowance after they retired in, respectively, 1994 and 1996. 

Jack Morris' last Topps card was on the beautiful-fronted 1993 Topps. It's a wonderful photograph, too. The back is a bit "meh" for me. But the back is where his stats are. Morris was a five-time All-Star, a World Series MVP, and a three-time World Series winner. Morris played 18 years and four four different uniforms (Detroit, Toronto, Minnesota, and Cleveland). He earned some MVP votes & Cy Young votes, but was never truly competitive in either award category. Not a Hall of Famer... though he did lead the league in six seasons in Wild Pitches. Way to go! 


Alan Tramme's last base Topps card was 1995. I don't care for the design; and it's nearly impossible to read his name plate on the front. The "screen" look on the back is awful, too. Alan Trammell is unequivocally not a Hall of Famer. Like Morris he was  World Series MVP. He was a six-time All-Star, won four Gold Gloves, and three Silver Sluggers. He earned MVP votes in seven seasons, finishing second in 1987.  He played his entire career with Detroit, which is admirable. 

Both players are Hall of Mediocre. 


How do you feel about the Mets and ThumbsDownGate?

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Friday, August 27, 2021

John Kruk: 2006 cards

Two 2006 Fleer cards for John Kruk this week. Wahoo! The first up is "Greats of the Game" "Decade Greats". Kruk is representin' the 90s, word.s

And then we have just a standard "Greats of the Game" card. This one has full stats, whereas the above focuses, obviously, on his 1990s stats.



Are you with me that because Tatis, Jr., has missed too much time that he shouldn't even be considered for NL MVP?

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: Some 2020 cards

Hey! What's new with you?

This is an "On Demand Mini" card for Darryl Strawberry that's the exact same as one of the cards I showed off last week. I should have shown it off then, but I forgot that I had it. 


 
So because it might be boring to see a very similar card two weeks in a row, I'll also show this 2020 card as well. Topps Turkey Red. Even though it's grey with little to no red at all. I think this was my first foray into Turkey Red's. I don't find I care for them very much. Fine for the actual old cards. They are beautiful. But this just feels like a lazy, cheap, cash grab. At .18 cents, though, I "won the trade". Even though I still probably over-paid for it. 


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Monday, August 23, 2021

HOF: Carl Yastrzemski

This week I'm showcasing the last Topps base card for Boston Red Sox great, and Hall of Famer Carl "Yaz" Yastrzremski. Yesterday was his birthday! I think I spelled that right? And I'm even looking at the card on the screen and I still cannot be sure. Do you think there is a harder to spell surname in baseball history? 

Yaz went in to the Hall of Fame in 1989, on his first ballot, receiving 94.6% of the vote. (He went in with Johnny Bench. Not a bad class at all.  Yaz played 23 years in baseball, including 119 games in 1983, but yet again was not issued with a 1984 Topps base card. Such a shame. In his career he was an MVP (1967), won the Triple Crown (also in 1967), was an 18-time All-Star, won three batting titles, seven Gold Gloves, and was the MVP of an All-Star Game, too. 


A solid career and a no-doubt Hall of Famer. 


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Friday, August 20, 2021

John Kruk: 2005 Donruss Champions Impressions

John Kruk got this 2005 Donruss Champions Impressions card. But the card back spends an awful lot of time and attention on Jim Thome. Which is unfair as Kruk was a far superior and likable player. Thome just flitted around on too many teams. In fact if you look at Kruk's six years with the Phillies and Thome's four years, you'll have to agree with me Kruk was a better producer. And not just in stolen bases. 

The text on this back highlight's Kruk's No 29 jersey as being a great seller and his awesome 1991 season, yet the image depicted here shows Kruk in the number 11 jersey, which he wore in 1989-1990. Weird.  Topps-esque.


The back of the card. What a mess. I cannot stress how much I loathe the distorting "Career Highs" stats line. Maybe it's something that might be interesting to see in a snapshot? What his highest numbers are in these important statistical categories? Do you like it? 

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PS: Dear Luke Voit,  

Shut up. I'm really glad you lead the league in home runs in 2020. That's great for you. But please consider why the Yankees went out and got Anthony Rizzo as there are two major reasons for it.

A) They didn't want the Red Sox to get him. 
B) You've largely stunk this year for the most part, and, you have had several stints on the injury list.  

So I find it suspect how, seemingly suddenly, that since the Yankees traded for Rizzo you've been healthy. 

Sincerely,
Baseball Every Night


Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: Some 2020 cards

This week we have two 2020 Topps cards for Darryl Strawberry. The first is the Stadium Club insert "Power Zone" which partially did not scan well. 


And then a 35th Anniversary 1985 style from the Topps set. The colors here are crisp; the photograph really lovely; but the text on the back is nearly impossible to read. This is a similar shot to the real, original 1985 Topps card for Strawberry
 
 

Frustratingly, the original is much easier to read than this version. How could they not have gotten the coloring of the card and font not to match? That is, of course, a rhetorical question. Everything you wonder about Topps, these days, is a rhetorical question.

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Monday, August 16, 2021

HOFers Lou Brock & Jim Hunter

1979 Topps was the last base card issue for two Hall of Famers: Lou Brock and Jim "Catfish" Hunter. Both of these card are beautiful, from Brock's mock turtleneck & classic Cardinals sitting on bats logo to Hunter's Spring Training shot, with an absolute vastness of land, air, and space behind him. Just stunning.

Lou Brock went in on his first ballot in 1985, receiving 79.7% of the vote. Brock was a six-time All-Star and a two-time World Series winner in his nineteen year career. He received MVP votes in 10 of his seasons, finishing as high as second in 1974 (behind Steven Garvey). Looking at the back of his card, I had not really realized he was on the Cubs when he broke into the big leagues. Brock had two consecutive four-year stints leading the league in stolen bases; and he finished his career with 38 more SBs than RsBI. 


Jim Hunter went into the HOF in 1987, two years after Brock. It was his third ballot and he squeaked in with 76.3% of the vote. He won a Cy Young, an ERA title, five World Series and was an eight time All-Star in his 15 year career. He played for the Kansas City  and Oakland Athletics  and then went to the Yankees. He had a cycle of Cy Young finishes in four consecutive years finishing 4th, 3rd, 1st, and 2nd. And he earned MVP votes in five straight seasons. His peak years seemed to have been 1971 to 1976.  

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Friday, August 13, 2021

John Kruk: 1995 Cards

Red Foley issued the below sticker/card in 1995 for John Kruk and Lenny Dykstra. I guess he was off "Len" and back to Lenny? These two guys were clutch players for the Phillies in the early 1990s. Dykstra even finished as the bridesmaid in the 1993 MVP, the year in which Kruk finished 16th (but should've have won it because of his mullet, naturally). 

The following two Kruk cards are from Stadium Club. The top card is the "Members Only" issue. 

And this one has a special "World Series" stamp. Though in 1994 the Phillies---tied for 2nd in the NL East with the Mets and 21 games out of first place---were decidedly not in the World Series. 

Take your lead from the back of this card and "Do the Kruk." Tweet your pictures to me @pksteinberg!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 2020 cards

Beats me. I don't know. I can't tell the difference from one Allen & Ginter to the next; the same can be said with the Gypsy Queens. They all look alike. They are all relatively boring Though this A & G below has a black border. Which I think adds like .23-.33 cents to the value?  And it's from the X set. Whatever that means. 


I used to really like the spelled out stats on the back, but I do not think I do any longer. They never change. It just feels lazy. Oh, wait...what's that? Oh, it's Topps. That explains it. 

And then this one is something called Kenny Mayne? Is that a person?  Darryl is the confusing 9 of High-5's? 

This is apparently a "Booster" pack card, and apparently, also, not a High-5, but a glove. Glove my tushy! This is a 26 card "set" or insert or something. I don't even know. And I still haven't the foggiest idea of what a Kenny Mayne is. Is it related to Kennebunk or Kennebunkport, Maine? 

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Monday, August 9, 2021

HOFers Billy Willams and Brooks Robinson

In 1976 and 1977, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Billy Williams and Brooks Robinson. These are their last Topps cards for 1976 and 1977 respectively. Billy Williams is like Frank Thomas and a few others who signed with the A's to end their career. It's an odd look for him, who I consider to be like Ernie Banks and Ryne Sandberg, the epitome of the Cubs. 

Williams was elected in the Year of the Best Topps Card Ever, 1987, on his sixth ballot. He got 85.7% of the vote from the BBWAA. A six-time All-Star who also won Rookie of the Year, Williams won a single batting title. His only postseason experience came in 1975 with the A's. He played 120 games in 1976 but wasn't given a 1977 Topps (base) card. Which is lame as that was like three-quarters of the season. He earned MVP votes eight times, finishing as the bridesmaid in 1970 and 1972. I can see why the BBWAA was wary.  


Brooks Robinson, however, is a no-brainer Hall of Famer. In part because he was elected on his first ballot in 1983 with 92% of the vote. He was an MVP (1964), and 18-time All-Star, won two World Series and 16 Gold Gloves. He was the All-Star MVP once and the World Series MVP once, too. His resume is impressive in his 23 year career with the one team. Robinson played a smidge in 1977 before hanging it up & in the card below he's wearing a beautiful outfit. 

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Friday, August 6, 2021

John Kruk: 1994 and 1995 baseball cards

Today's trio of John Kruk cards are from 1994 and 1995. The first two are part of 1994 Ultra's Phillies Finest, a 24-card insert set featuring 12 cards each of John Kruk and Darren Daulton. These two are M4, the last I needed, and, as well, a sample promotional card. 


I'm glad that I have all the insert cards for Kruk now but let's be honest this design sucks. 


There are apparently five autographed cards of Kruk in the Ultra insert set but I've never seen one, though I also probably haven't been looking. And I'm also not likely to buy one. If you want to buy me one, thanks!

And then there is 1995 Collector's Choice Silver Signature. On the card back Kruk shows you just how flexible he was. This is another card showing the player in two different uniforms and I really like that. It's great having full stats on the card back, too. 

So these two cards show you one with just text on the back and stats. Do you have a preference? 

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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Darryl Strawberry: 2018 & 2019 cards

This post features a couple of lame, boring, sedate, and drowsy Allen & Ginter cards. The first two that are here are the 2018 and 2019 base issues. There is really nothing exciting about them. But they were two integral cards in getting me to 1,000. 



This third card is familiar in that it's yet another reprint of the iconic 1984 Topps card. In fact, this is Topps' Iconic Reprints---a 100 card insert set in two series---and features a very basic write-up on the back. 


Trout gets three cards. Aaron gets four. Etc. Etc. You'd think Topps could find 100 different players with cards considered iconic, wouldn't you? But complaining about Topps is pointless, isn't it?

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