Saturday, March 25, 2017

Baseball Card of the Day... My 1971 Detroit Tigers Team Card

Today's Baseball Card of the Day  is my 1971 Detroit Tigers team card.









                                  ⚾ My 1971 Topps #336, Detroit Tigers Team Card ⚾



The 1971 Detroit Tigers were just three years off their win over the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1968 World Series, still had stars like Al Kaline, Mickey Lolich, Bill Freehan, Willie Horton, Mickey Stanley, and Jim Northrup.



The Tigers finished the season with a record of 91-71, finishing second in the American League East Division behind eventual A.L. champ Baltimore Orioles. 





The 1971 Topps set is still my favorite set of 1970s Topps Baseball cards.



Play Ball!


Friday, March 24, 2017

Baseball Card of the Day... 2017 Topps Now Ian Kinsler

The Baseball Card of the Day isn't a card that I have... not yet.


A couple of hours ago I ordered just my 3rd Topps Now card.


In the 2017 World Baseball Classic  Championship Game on Wednesday night, Team USA 2nd Baseman Ian Kinsler hit a 2-run HR to give the Americans all the runs they needed to win the game...

...that HR is on the card I ordered today.




⚾ There's still time, as of this post, to order this card on Topps.com.








I would like to one day own all of the Topps Now cards of Tigers players that played in the WBC...and this card is a great start.



Play Ball! ⚾

Baseball Bulletin... Friday, March 24, 2017

Well, here I am, a day after my Michigan Wolverines were bounced from the Sweet 16, trying to focus on anything but hoops.



Today I'm venturing back into the radio thing, 5 years after I last broadcast.



It's all baseball  this time around, focusing solely on this surrounding our great game.



Here's how you can listen.









Here's some baseball stuff I've come across lately.....



⚾ The United States of America won their first ever World Baseball Classic Championship after beating Puerto Rico, 8-0, on Wednesday Night at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles.


It was the single greatest baseball tournament I've ever watched, a celebration of baseball world wide in Japan, Korea, The Netherlands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, the United States, Canada, Columbia...a truly global represention of baseball.









51, 565 cheering baseball fans saw the American Baseball team defeat Puerto Rico at Chavez Ravine.


A record 2.3 Million viewers watched the game on The MLB Network.


ESPN had the Spanish broadcast, on ESPN Deportes and ESPN 2.


Somehow...not sure how...some baseball fans weren't paying attention the previous two weeks, and blamed ESPN for only broadcasting the game in Spanish, getting very upset.... they should've known that all the English speaking  WBC games were broadcast on the MLB Network.




⚾ Again this year New Era and MLB  are using the hash tag #CapsOn to celebrate Opening Day across the big leagues.

Fans can go here to enter New Era's 2017 Ultimate Fan Giveaway.





⚾ Benjamin Hill at Ben's Biz has the battle of Bacon vs Tacos.


I chose Bacon... purely based on the ballcaps.









⚾ Hail to the Flying Squirrels  is a brand new theme song for the Richmond Flying Squirrels. 




Tim Tebow is headed to Single-A  all with the Columia Fireflies.... get your Tebow jerseys right here.




⚾ USA Today wants to know if you can identity all 30 ballparks...from above.

...Good Luck...I had to stop after a few.



⚾ Former big league catcher David Ross is on Dancing with the Stars and his first dance was a HOME RUN !


And if a World Series ring with last year's Cubs and the DWTS gig wasn't enough, Shawn Anderson of Hall of Very Good says there's a movie about Ross in the works.




⚾ A 1956 Topps Roberto Clemente Baseball Card sold for $100,099.




Kevin Kiermaier of the Tampa Bay Rays signed a 6-year contract with the team.



⚾ Former big league pitcher and manager Dallas Green has passed away at age 82.








Rest in Peace Mr. Green...enjoy the great ballgame in Heaven. 😇



Play Ball! ⚾

Back on the radio.

Back seven years ago I had a little radio show on Blog Talk Radio.







I really didn't know what I was doing, I just wanted to talk about sports...I still don't know what I'm doing, but hey, that's life.



My health and a few other setbacks caused me to stop doing the show, but I always hoped to get back into it.



Tomorrow that day is here as I'll re-start my sports radio venture again.


A few things...


⚾ It's all baseball this time around. ⚾


Yes, all things baseball, including this blog, collecting baseball cards, and anything else I can think of.


Last time it was all sports...and that's too much for me anymore, so it's all about Our National Pastime.


⚾ I hope to do the show every Monday through Friday at 1pm.


This is my Home Page.... Big John on Baseball



That's a good time, I hope, as there are lots of 1pm games still going on in Spring Training and at the start of the season there are lots of 1pm day baseball games.


* I continue to battlehealth problems every day, so some shows may be delayed, or re-scheduled.



⚾ I want to include baseball card collecting this time around.

I hope this attracts a good group of listeners, as many of the baseball blogs I follow are of the card collecting variety.



⚾ I'll have guests talking baseball as much as I can...no callers, just guests that love to talk baseball like I do.



So, that's about all for right now... I should go get some sleep, since my first show back is less that 12 hours away.



Until then... Play Ball!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Baseball Card of the Day... 2016 A.L. ERA Leaders

I've wanted to do a post like this for a long time, just never got around to it.



I've been collecting baseball cards since the late 1960s, and I still like to tear into a pack of baseball cards like I was a kid.



Last night my Princess surprised me with a pack of 2017 Topps Heritage.



That pack produced the first ever card of the day, card #8, American League ERA Leaders.



It's the card of the day because of the guy in the middle, Detroit Tigers RHP Justin Verlander.











Any pack of cards with a Tigers player in it, and when Verlander is on one of those cards, well, that's even sweeter.


Until next time.... go rip open some packs, have fun.


Play Ball! ⚾




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Happy Baseball Birthday... Bob Costas

Today we say Happy Baseball Birthday! to life long baseball fan, broadcaster, and Emmy Award winner, Bob Costas.











When I think about Bob Costas, I automatically think about baseball, and his love and passion for our National Pastime.



 Bob Costas was born 65 years ago today in Queens, New York, grew up loving the New York Yankees and his boyhood idol, Mickey Mantle.



Among his many baseball games he broadcast in his career   none was better than the legendary performance of Chicago Cubs 2nd Baseman Ryne Sandberg  on a summer day at Wrigley Field with Costas on the call for NBC's Game of the Week.








Besides being a tremendous baseball fan and broadcaster, I always think of  Costas and the 1958 Topps All-Star Baseball card  that he carries with him every day, no matter where he goes.








Bob Costas gets plenty of grief on social media for things he says....myself, I tend to appreciate what's great about him...his unbridled passion for the game that we both grew up loving and playing.



The game of baseball is a better place with Bob Costas in it.



Happy Baseball Birthday! Bob Costas.... PLAY BALL!



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Happy Birthday Birthday! Charles Leerhsen

A special Happy Baseball Birthday! today goes out to writer Charles Leerhsen, who's baseball book Ty Cobb, a Terrible Beauty, arrives at my doorstep tomorrow.










Charles is a nationally recognized writer who's book about the greatest Detroit Tigers player, and the greatest hitter in baseball history, won the 2015 Sabr Baseball Research Award.




One of my Baseball Bucket list items will now include meeting Mr. Leerhsen one day to have him sign my book.



Happy Baseball Birthday! Charles Leerhsen.... PLAY BALL! 



New! Baseball Bloggers Alliance Logo for 2017

Today the Baseball Bloggers Alliance released a brand new logo for our group.




The logo, created by the talented Rebekah Dyer, is a new, fresh, exciting baseball logo that starts us BBBA Bloggers off to what's certain to be an amazing year of baseball.











The BBBA is a terrific group of lifelong baseball fans who love to write about the greatest sport ever invented, our National Pastime, the game of baseball.





If you're a baseball fan who's also a blogger, check out our awesome community right here.




Play Ball!

This Week's Sports Illustrated... 2017 Baseball Covers

Well, it's been awhile since we've had baseball on the cover of Sports Illustrated,  but with less than 2 weeks until the start of the big league baseball season, we get not one, not two, but Three S.I. Baseball covers.



Reigning National League MVP and Chicago Cubs World Series Champion Kris Bryant...






American League MVP Mike Trout...






and the young Boston Red Sox outfielders...








 are your three National covers for Sports Illustrated annual Big League Baseball Previews. 




Living now in West Michigan, it's 99.999% that I'll walk into my local bookstore and find the Bryant cover, and that's fine...as long as it's not Trout, I'll buy a copy.



Play Ball!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

My Favorite 1970s Topps Baseball Card Sets

It all started today over at Baseball Prospectus, who's staff got together and ranked their favorite 1980s Topps Baseball Cards.



I saw the post, thought it was pretty well done, although my favorite 1980s Topps Baseball Card design is the 1983 set.






⚾ In response, Sabr Baseball Cards decided to do the best Topps Baseball Cards of the 1970s.



Of course, being a young baseball fan who grew up collecting every set of 1970s Topps Baseball Cards,  I couldn't just send an email or Tweet for my vote, I had to post about it...maybe you'd like to vote yourself...the information is in the Sabr link above.



Topps cards were the only choice we had for baseball cards in the 1970s...no Fleer, Donruss, or Upper Deck baseball cards to open.




⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾ My Favorite 1970s Topps Baseball Card Sets. ⚾⚾⚾⚾⚾


Oh, of course, I'm using Bill Freehan cards from 1970-77...you know I have to get my hero included.




⚾ #1... 1971

There was always something special about those 1971 Topps cards...that black border allowed the players picture to pop right off the cards, and the players signatures were awesome as well.







The players and team names were all different colors, blue, yellow, red, green...it all came together to make it the best set of Topps cards in the 1970s.



⚾ #2... 1976

This set is a very close 2nd...what made me love these cards were the little ballplayers that Topps put next to the players names on the bottom of the cards, especially the catcher, who looks in in charge of the game.







⚾ #3... 1973

Again, the position players were cool, and I liked the borders around the pictures.

I'm still trying to figure out why Bill Freehan has the ball in his right hand as he's trying to tag out the runner with his mitt.






#4... 1974

The team banners popped right at you in '74!




#5... 1972

The best team name nameplates of any '70s set was this Hollywood marquee look in the '72 set, and the colors popped right at you.







#6... 1975

These were great cards...the players signatures were awesome!







Topps also produced a mini version of the '75 set, very hard to find and collect.








⚾ #7... 1970

Classic pictures in the '70s set, but the Grey borders get the ranking down.






⚾ #8... 1977

Players signatures were back in the '77 set, and the team name at the top was big and bold...I saw those Tigers cards easily opening up the packs.







⚾ #9... 1979

For the only time in the decade, the tradition Topps logo appears on the bottom of the card...a solid baseball card for sure.





#10... 1978

In my opinion, the '78 Topps set was blandest of all the '70s sets...not much has going on.







⚾ The bottom three card sets aren't bad at all, but it's a top 10 list, and something has to be last...the 1978 set, to me, is the bottom set of what was a great decade...my decade, of collecting baseball cards.


Let's hear your rankings...and go to the Sabr Baseball Cards link above to give your opinions to the poll.



Play Ball!