Monday, July 15, 2019

Top 5 Hall Of Fame: Harold Baines

Next Sunday, the Hall of Fame will induct (for the second straight year) an amazing 6 new members into its hallowed halls. In honor of this event, I'm going to do a daily series this week showing off my 5 favorite cards in my collection for each player.

We'll start the series with a player that many people don't think deserves the honor, Harold Baines. Personally, I have no issue with his induction. I remember him for his consistency and ability to get the big hit. In my youth, I would have probably bet that he'd make the Hall, not because of any real stretch of dominance, but because I was certain he'd compile stats and reach some lofty numbers. I'm presenting these in chronological order.

1981 Topps #347 Harold Baines (RC)

Along with his 1981 Fleer card, I can now say I have two more Hall of Famers' rookie cards in my collection. The 1981 Topps set is one of my favorites, and I'm pleased that the two premiere rookies from that set (Tim Raines being the other) are now enshrined.

1985 Topps #275 Harold Baines (FRDP)

This card gets in solely because of those beautiful wide shirt collars the White Sox wore in the 70's! Baines becomes the 3rd #1 Draft Pick to be elected (joining Ken Griffey Jr and Chipper Jones).

1988 Topps #321 White Sox Leaders

This card went from being a good card to an awesome multi-Hall of Famer card just like that! Ironically, neither of these guys were listed among the White Sox's 1987 team leaders.

1993 Select #257 Harold Baines

Who doesn't love shots of ballplayers with big smiles on their faces! I much prefer this over the stoic professional glare he often had in the batter's box.

1997 Upper Deck #37 Harold Baines

The clear winner of the best Baines photo in my collection. This is such a cool angle shot of him sliding into third base!

Congratulations Harold Baines!  Welcome to the Hall!

Friday, July 12, 2019

First Impressions: 2019 Stadium Club

A couple weeks ago, I picked up my first pack of this year's Stadium Club set. Although this set has been blogged many times over by writers better than me, I'm still giving my first initial impression of the pack as I opened it.

#16 Fred McGriff

The underrated Fred McGriff gets the honor of being the top card. As always, Stadium Club's signature is full bleed photos with minimal graphics on front. I absolutely love the script they use here! It reminds me of a font you would find on a 70's rock album cover. The band Yes comes to mind for some reason. Stadium Club also likes to give us photos we're not used to seeing before. I never thought of it before I saw this card, but has a true knee-buckling line drive catch ever been shown on a card before?

#21 Charlie Blackmon
#146 Cody Bellinger
#161 Clayton Kershaw

I repeat myself here - Stadium Club shows you baseball in ways you've never seen. To be honest, I could have shown off every card in this pack. The photography is exactly what you would expect from this set. This Kershaw is easily the best of the pack. Absolutely incredible!

#44 Alex Bregman
#6 Kyle Wright (RC)
#247 Austin Meadows

Here's a look at the backs. Standard Stadium Club back - truncated stats, well-spaced, fairly nice background photo.

#170 Jose Altuve
#EZ-22 Mariano Rivera (Emperors Of The Zone insert)

Here's the one insert I got in the pack. Meh - not really digging the use of space here, although I appreciate the SO/BB ratio concept.

#119 Luis Severino
#218 Marcus Stroman

Another great shot as Stroman receives his Gold Glove award!

#182 Robin Yount

Last card revealed is another great photo of Brewers legend Robin Yount. Love those powdered blue uniforms!

All in all, a great entry into the Stadium Club series!

Oh, and this is officially my 400th post on this blog! Whoo-hoo!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Repack Haiku #110 (Dave Kingman)

One season, four teams
Mets, Padres, Angels, Yankees
Each division too

1990 Pacific Senior League
#186 Dave Kingman

"Kong" went coast to coast and back again in 1977:


Monday, July 8, 2019

Time Travel Trading Update #32

The last update failed to generate any new trades. In the past to keep things moving along, I picked some cards from the stack and basically held them for ransom. If nobody traded for them, I pulled them from the stack and added them to my collection. This idea hasn't been a huge boost to the trades either, so I came up with an idea that I hope will pique some curiosity and interest.

I'm offering a completely blind trade!

Random 80's card
Random 70's card

I've picked two cards from the stack - one from the 80's and one from the 70's. I'm looking for one or two brave souls willing to blindly send me a card from the previous decade in exchange for these mystery cards. Plus as an added bonus, I'll include an additional card from the stack - a 2 for 1 deal!
If this doesn't generate any interest, I'll reveal the two mystery cards and pull them permanently from the stack.

Or, if you want to know what you're getting, just make me a straight up trade for any of the cards below!

So, any willing volunteers? Help me keep this stack of cards flowing! Traders needed! Comment below or send me a trade through the Trading Card Database (User Name: Kep75)

The Time Travel Trade Stack:

2018 Topps
#502 Xander Bogaerts

2017 Bowman
#12 Trea Turner

2008-09 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#128 Tim Thomas

1998 Score
#60 Carlos Delgado
#68 Scott Rolen
#74 Mark McLemore

1993 Classic Draft Picks (basketball)
#33 Will Flemons
#67 Bennie Seltzer

1992 Fleer Ultra
#594 Dave Righetti

1991 Upper Deck
#778 Dave Righetti

1990-91 Hoops (basketball)
#168 Glen Rice (RC)

1990 Upper Deck
#626 Frank Viola

1990 Pro Set - Theme Art (football)
#10 Super Bowl X Pittsburgh Steelers / Dallas Cowboys 

1989 Fleer
#29 Bob Welch

1989 Score
#495 Larry Parrish

1986 Sportflics
#122 John Tudor

1986 Topps
#5 Rose Special '75-'78
#6 Rose Special '79-'82
 #401 Fernando Valenzuela (Turn Back The Clock)

1985 Topps
#694 Joe Carter

1982 Donruss
#NNO Checklist 545-653

1982 O-Pee-Chee E.T. The Extraterrestrial (non-sport)
#15 Among Elliott's Toys

1981 Topps 
#100 Rod Carew (AS) 
#210 Jim Palmer

1980 Topps
#2 Willie McCovey (HL)
#143 Bruce Bochte
#157 Willie Wilson
#290 Steve Garvey (AS)
#605 Terry Forster
#671 A's Future Stars

1979 Topps
#25 Steve Carlton
#130 Bob Watson
#214 Boston Red Sox (TC) 
#465 Reggie Smith
#680 Carlton Fisk (AS)
1978 Donruss KISS (2nd Series) (non-sport)
#99 Paul Stanley

1978 Topps
#63 Don Zimmer (MGR)
#131 Bert Blyleven
#295 Bill Lee
#373 Jim Willoughby
#424 Boston Red Sox (TC)
#482 Rick Miller
#706 Rookie 1st Baseman (Cage/Cox/Putnam/Revering) 

1977 Topps
#524 Rowland Office

1976 Topps
#50 Fred Lynn (ASR)
#70 Roy Smalley/Roy Smalley Jr. (FS)
#78 Cecil Cooper
#118 Boston Red Sox (TC)
#193 '75 NL Home Run Leaders
#597 Rookie Pitchers (Aase/Kucek/LaCorte/Pazik)

1975 Topps
#220 Don Sutton
#310 '74 Victory Leaders
#378 Derrel Thomas
#402 Bob Tolan

1974 Topps
#38 Don Kessinger
#67 Tommy Helms
#141 Pat Bourque
#158 Jack Billingham
#158 Jack Billingham
#227 Mike Lum 
#349 John Vukovich 
#372 Ken Reitz

1974 Topps - Team Checklists
#NNO Montreal Expos

1973-74 O-Pee-Chee (hockey)
#53 Richard Lemieux

1973 Topps
#18 Leroy Stanton
#29 Tony Taylor 
#30 Tug McGraw
#36 Steve Barber
#68 1972 Leading Firemen (Carroll/Lyle)
#75 Vada Pinson
#79 Jim Willoughby (RC)
#80 Tony Oliva
#85 Ted Simmons
#98 Dick Woodson
#99 Carl Taylor
#116 Ralph Houk (MGR)
#145 Bobby Bonds
#225 Albert Oliver
#230 Joe Morgan
#232 Ken Singleton
#240 Bobby Murcer
#258 Tommy John
#325 Boog Powell
#329 Ed Kranepool
#365 Rico Petrocelli
#368 Bill Buckner

1972-73 Topps (hockey)
#8 Stanley Cup Trophy

1972 Kellogg's All Time Greats 
#1 Walter Johnson  

1972 Topps
#43 Rick Wise
#109 Jerry May
#437 Maury Wills
#438 Maury Wills (IA)
#450 Mickey Lolich

1971 Topps
#16 Ken Singleton (RC)
#63 AL 1970 RBI Leaders (Howard/Conigliaro/Powell)
#71 AL 1970 Strikeout Leaders (McDowell/Lolich/Johnson)
#90 Joe Pepitone
#95 Luis Tiant
#105 Tony Conigliaro
#146 Ralph Houk (MGR)
#183 Gil Hodges (MGR)
#195 AL Playoffs Game 1 - Powell Muscles Twins!
#208 Billy Martin (MGR)
#270 Rico Carty
#290 Tony Oliva
#374 Clete Boyer
#374 Clete Boyer
#385 Maury Wills
#388 Al Oliver

1971 Topps (football)
#22 Ken Avery (RC)
#110 Floyd Little (AS)

1970-71 Topps (basketball)
#16 Bob Weiss 

1970 Fleer World Series
#1 1903 World Series Pirates vs Red Sox  

1970 Red Rose and Blue Ribbon North American Wildlife In Danger (non-sport)
#32 Polar Bear

1970 Topps
#47 Bob Miller
#56 Phillies Rookies - Joe Lis/Scott Reid (RC)
#103 Frank Reberger

1970 Topps (football)
#135 Paul Warfield 

1969 Topps
#66 Orioles Rookies
#139 Andy Kosco

1969 Topps - Deckle Edge
#13 Mel Stottlemyre

1969 Topps (football)
#73 Bennie McRae
#115 Randy Johnson
#154 Sam Baker
#175 Joe Morrison

1968 Topps
#4 1967 AL RBI Leaders (Yastrzemski/Killebrew/Robinson)
#309 Ken Henderson
#348 Larry Colton/Dick Thoenen
#449 Gene Oliver

1968 Topps - Game
#15 Steve Hargan

1968 Topps (football)
#7 Earl Gros

1967 Philadelphia (football)
#109 New York Giants (TC)

1966 Topps
#154 Chuck Hiller

1966 Philadelphia (football)
#104 Rams vs. Browns

1965 Topps
#27 Dick Bertell
#86 Les Narum
#87 Nelson Mathews
#108 Don Mincher
#111 Lee Thomas
#178 Dalton Jones
#239 Doc Edwards
#307 Barry Latman

1965 Philadelphia (football)
#193 John Paluck

1964 Philadelphia (football)
#172 Ken Gray (RC)

1964 Topps - Coins 
#7 Frank Malzone

1963 Topps
#155 Bill Stafford

1961-62 Fleer (basketball)
#32 Willie Naulls 

1961 Topps
#32 Ray Sadecki
#38 Bob Lillis
#96 Billy O'Dell
#165 Gino Cimoli
#258 Jack Sanford
#267 Norm Siebern
#273b 4th Series Checklist
#399 Cliff Cook (RC) 

1960 Topps
#289 Willie Jones
#548 Don Mincher (RC) 

1959 Topps
#298 Tex Clevenger
#424 Ken Aspromonte

1959 Topps (football)
#80 Joe Perry

1958 Topps Zorro (non-sport)
#83 Rude Awakening

1957 Topps
#66 Brooks Lawrence
#235 Tom Poholsky
#249 Dave Pope
#371 Bob Lennon
#406 Bob Hale

1956 Topps
#21 Joe Collins
#103 Willie Miranda (white back)
#156 Johnny Antonelli

1956 Topps Flags of the World (non-sport)
#70 Jordan

1955 Topps
#126 Dick Hall (RC)

1954 Bowman
#73 Don Mueller

1952 Bowman
#57 Clyde Vollmer

1938 Church & Dwight Useful Birds Of America Tenth Series (J9-6) (non-sport)
#2 Black-throated Green Warbler

The Time Travel Trading Project is simple in concept. I started out with a random pack of 2018 Topps Series 1 baseball cards. My aim was to trade every card in that pack for something older. Each card I receive in turn is then made available for trade, with the goal to get the oldest card I can get.

Number of trades completed: 35
Unique trading partners: 25

Number of cards mailed out: 105
Year of oldest card mailed out: 1956

Number of cards received: 263
Year of oldest card received: 1938

Friday, July 5, 2019

The Absolutely True Story Of Mike Perez (A Contest Entry)

March, 1992

"One last pitch, then you're done!"

Mike Perez nodded to his catcher and began his windup. His arm felt good, and this early in Spring Training, it was all he could really hope for. He fired the ball squarely into the catcher's glove, not quite a full strength fastball, but getting there. Happy with the workout, Mike began the slow walk back to the training room.

The path was quiet, as it usually was at this time of day. Off in the distance he could see guys doing sprints, while some photographers took pictures. The sounds of bats hitting balls, and balls hitting gloves permeated the air. As he walked along the wired fence, a young boy approached him.

"Excuse me, Mr. Perez, would you please sign my card?"

Mike was surprised by the sudden appearance of the child. The crowd of fans usually gathered near here closer to game time, hours from now, but one quick glance proved they were alone. Mike always believed a few seconds spent signing for the fans, especially the younger ones, was time well spent. He took the card and pen, transferring the pen to his writing hand as he did so. Mike briefly studied the card. It was one he hadn't called seeing before, but it was fairly unremarkable. Ironically, the photo showed him about to sign a baseball card.

"Hey Mike! Smile for Upper Deck!"

Mike looked over and saw Gene, one of the Cardinals' public relations guys, along with a photographer from one of the newer baseball card companies. He flashed a smile as the man with the camera took a few quick pictures, scribbled in his notebook, then moved on. "Thanks Mike!" Gene called out as he led the photographer to the next closest ballplayer.

Mike Perez finished signing the card. As he was about to hand it back to the boy, he was overcome with a strange sense of deja vu. He looked at the card once more. The palm trees, the fence, even the pen in his hand - it all looked so familiar. It was like he was looking at some fancy new Polaroid. As he returned it to the small child's hand, he nonchalantly flipped the card to peek the back. In a split second he was able to see the last line of stats, from this upcoming year!

He looked up and tried to get Gene's attention. He was far away now, but Mike yelled for him to come quickly. He barely heard the "Thank you, sir." from behind him, and when he finally did turn around, the boy was gone.

Mike Perez would see this card hundreds of times in the future. He always had the same thought: "How?"

July, 2099

Ziggy Anderson stepped out of the machine sweaty and breathless. His hand shook as he held the baseball card he just had signed. This was bad. This was very, very bad. Ziggy took a deep breath, counted to 5, and exhaled slowly. Calmer now, he reached over and turned off the Age Illusion Modifier (A.I.M.) - and the young freckled 12 year old morphed back into his actual 68 year old self.

Ziggy laid the card of Mike Perez on the table and just stared at it. Watched it, intently, for the next 10 minutes. He kept asking himself the same question over and over: "How?"

It was a one-in-a-trillion chance of probability. It's never been done before in the recorded age of time travel. If he arrived just 30 seconds earlier, even a few seconds later, he would have been fine. But to arrive at that very instance that card was taken? Inconceivable!

The slightest movement on the desk caught his eye. In horror, he watched the card change before his eyes. The card once showed Mike Perez, standing by a fence, holding his 1991 Topps rookie card. Now, in it's place, he's holding the exact same card that he appears on, creating a paradox of epic proportions.

Ziggy pulled up a search field on his wrist computer and began researching the card. Fortunately, it looks like the anomaly had a minimum impact. It appears collectors accepted this strange oddity of a card as nothing more than a graphically altered promotional gimmick. Still, he would have to be more careful. He couldn't afford another misstep if he was going to complete his ultimate collection of autographed baseball cards.

Ziggy checked his list and pulled the next card from the stack -  a 1997 Stadium Club Neifi Perez. Ah, Colorado! Maybe he'll take some extra time and do some skiing as well. Historic files suggested the Rocky Mountains were quite spectacular before global warming melted all that snow.

A few punched in coordinates, a slight adjustment to his A.I.M. device, and Ziggy Anderson disappeared once more into the past. Another autograph will soon be his.

1993 Upper Deck #204 Mike Perez

I hope you enjoyed my story! It's another entry for a contest hosted by Daniel at It's Like Having My Own Card Shop. Interested in winning some awesome cards? Check out his post here!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Repack Haiku #109 (Danny Tartabull)

Another Royal,
Another acting credit
Appeared on "Seinfeld" twice

1990 Bowman #375 Danny Tartabull

Just like his former teammate Bret Saberhagen, he's got his own IMDB listing!

Monday, July 1, 2019

6 Degrees Of Mookie - The Charles Hudson Connection

It's time once again for "6 Degrees Of Mookie" - the fabulous game show blog post where I take a random card in my collection and attempt to connect it to current Red Sox superstar Mookie Betts! Let's take a look at today's contestant!

Random TCDB Card: 

1989 Topps #236 Charles Hudson

Hudson was a pitcher in the Major Leagues from 1983 to 1989. His career pretty much ended in August 1989 after he drove intoxicated into a telephone pole and had to have reconstructive knee surgery. The most interesting thing about this card is it shows him holding the ball in a split-finger fastball grip.

Teammates in the 1989 Topps set
#236 Charles Hudson
#380 Rickey Henderson

Hudson didn't play for the Yankees for very long, but long enough to play with the immortal Rickey Henderson.

Teammates in the 2003 Upper Deck set
#598 Rickey Henderson
#590 David Ross

Rickey's last stop was with the Dodgers in 2003. Even then I bet he could still out-run a fresh legged young David Ross.

Teammates in the 2014 Topps Update set
#US-60 David Ross
#US-26 Mookie Betts (RC)

Ross of course went on to being a key member of Boston's 2013 World Series title run. Mookie would make his debut the following year.

Degrees of Mookie: 3