Monday, November 20, 2017

Michigan-Ohio State ... Go Blue!

Yes, this is a baseball blog, but as a Michigan Wolverines fan  it's also the greatest week in the college football season for me as my beloved Wolverines battle the arch rival Ohio State Buckeyes this Saturday at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

My first Wolverines vs Buckeyes matchup as a fan was in 1976, as Bo Schembechler took Michigan to Ohio Stadium and whipped the Bucks, 22-0.

The signal caller on that '76 team was Rick Leach, the first great Wolverines quarterback that I remember.

Leach led Michigan to three straight Big Ten Championships, 1976-77-78, and when he left college football his 38 wins were the most in the history of Intercollegiate Football.

Like many athletes back in the day, Leach was a multi sport star, including playing centerfield for the Wolverines baseball team.

Even though Leach was drafted by the NFL's Denver Broncos, it was his first love, baseball, that Rick chose, and that led to a long career playing in the big leagues.

I've posted a couple of times about Rick Leach here on the blog...

Happy Baseball Birthday! Rick Leach (2013)

My Favorite Toronto Blue Jays Player of All-time, Rick Leach

So, as day one of Buckeyes week is here, I give another shout out to the GUTS and GLUE of Michigan Football, the great Rick Leach.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Happy Baseball Birthday...Bill Welch and Michael Miller

A very  special Happy Baseball Birthday! to two awesome Detroit Tigers fans, Bill Welch and Michael Miller. 

Bill and Michael are fellow members of a group of terrific Tigers fans on Facebook who collect and talk Tigers, baseball , baseball cards and memorabilia.

This group of Tigers fans has really been a blessing to me since I moved back home in the summer of 2016...being able to actually meet and interact with Tigers fans in my hometown and state...going to local card shows and seeing all the Tigers stuff people have's been fun for sure, and these two are a big part of why I love being back in Michigan.

Happy Baseball Birthday guys...... PLAY BALL!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Happy National Pickle Day!

I love pickles.

Today is National Pickle Day, a day to celebrate the awesome goodness of a sweet bread and butter pickle chip, or the crispy crunch of a hamburger dill.

Baseball is no stranger to the pickle! 

In honor of pickle day we celebrate by honoring the brief life of former big league catcher Pickles Dillhoefer.

William Martin Dillhoefer  made his big league debut on April 16, 1917 with the Chicago Cubs.

Pickles served in Word War I, reaching the rank of Seargent, and after returning from The Great War, played his final 3 seasons in the big leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Pickles played in just 247 big league games, batting .223, with 48 RBI.

On February 23, 1922, at the age of 27, Pickles passed away after contracting typhoid fever from complecations during surgery.

So, give Ole Pickles Dillhoefer a shout out today when you bite into that crunchy, delicious delight!

Play Ball!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Game 7

Tonight all baseball fans will sit down in front of our televisions to watch one final game of the 2017 Big League Baseball Season... Game 7 of the World Series. 

The Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers will take the field tonight at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles to put a bow on a magnificent year of baseball.

I was hoping to post today about a Astros win in Game Series prediction...but the Dodgers case away with a 3-1 win.

This has been a weird Series for me to watch.

Early on in my baseball fandom I learned about the Dodgers...their history of playing in Brooklyn, becoming the best team in the National League upon the arrival of a man named Jackie Robinson, winning the 1955 World Series...and the heart breaking move to Los Angeles.

The Brooklyn Dodgers are my favorite team that doesn't play anymore...yes, I separate the old Brooklyn Dodgers from the current team in Los Angeles...just something I separating the current Washington Nationals from the old Montreal Expos.

I love the Brooklyn Dodgers.

I cheered on the L.A. Dodgers in 1974, 77, and 78, only to see the Dodgers lose...and I rooted for them with Series Championships in 1981 and 1988.

That said, I'm also a fan of Astros RHP Justin Verlander, who pitched for my beloved Detroit Tigers for 12 years before agreeing to be traded to the Astros on August 31st.

His success in Houston is surreal, because we wanted one more run for our Tigers with JV as our ACE.

I wanted Verlander to win his first championship last night...he gave up just 2 runs, losing for the first time in a Houston uniform, as the Dodgers beat the Astros in another great game played by these two teams.

Tonight, Game 7... if Houston wins I'll be happy for Verlander...and former Tigers outfielder Cameron Maybin, who was traded to the Astros by the Angels over the summer.

If the Dodgers win, well, I'll be happy also, because of a man named Rich Hill... a terrific former Michigan Wolverine pitcher who's made a magnificent comeback the past few years, and for another former Tigers player, Curtis Granderson.

At one time all three players...Verlander, Granderson, and Maybin, were in the Tigers organization...both Verlander and Granderson were on the 2006 American League Pennant winning team in Detroit.

As a baseball fan Game 7 is a way to say thanks one last time to all the ballplayers that made 2017 a year to remember.

Good Luck know to the fans of both teams...good luck!

Play Ball!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Collecting Matt Boyd 2017 Topps Update

Topps 2017 Update Base released the other day, and there's one card, well cards, that I'll try to acquire... every variation of Card #82 of Detroit Tigers LHP Matt Boyd.

Matt has become my favorite Tigers pitcher now, as Justin Verlander has gone onto Houston,  and  starting with tomorrow's card show here in Kalamazoo, I'm going to try and acquire every version of Matt's  #82 Topps Update card...and as many Boyd cards as possible.

According to Beckett that means 10 cards...

Regular Base

Rainbow Foil ( 1 in 10 packs)


Black (#/66)

Father's Day (#/ 50)

Mother's Day (#/50)

Memorial Day (#25)

Printing Plates (1/1)

Platinum (1/1)

The last 2 issues will be a most daunting task... the 1/1 cards will obviously be very hard to find...but I'm going to give it my best shot.

I have limited income, so I may have trade for the card..and that will be awesome as well...the BLACK variation is already on for $9.99... and I hope that when I can get it it's around that price.

Matt is kind of special to me, as my middle name is Boyd.

So, if you buy, or have bought, the Topps Update cards, and come across a Matt Boyd variation, I hope you'll think of me I  any impending trades or sales...thanks in advance.

Play Ball!

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Happy Baseball Birthday... Andrew McCutchen

A quick Happy Baseball Birthday! post to Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder  Andrew McCutcheon, who turns 31 years young today.

I wanted to give a shout out on McCutcheon's Birthday to honor one of my favorite  blogs, Collecting Cutch, who's posting every day to raise awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

1 in 8 women will get Breast Cancer, and you can get all the information you need RIGHT HERE.

Every day over at Collecting CUTCH you'll find a post with Breast Cancer info, a beautiful celebrity picture to help all us guys remember why we want a cure found, and a PINK ANDREW MCCUTCHEON Baseball card.

My Celebrity to post is the beautiful Sofia Vergara from Modern of my favorite celebrities for sure.

..I posted Sofia because she's married to actor Joe Manganiello, who'said a huge fan of Pittsburgh sports...the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins

I don't own a Pink Cutch card, so I found this one on good Ole Google.

McCutcheon is one of my favorite baseball players, a 5-tool player who can absolutely take over a game single handedly.

Head on over to the Cutch won't be disappointed.

Play Ball!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Making Baseball History...Almost.

There's not much chance that fans of Michigan Baseball will get to see a no-hitter pitched by a former Wolverines hurler...but that almost happened tonight in Pittsburgh.

Rich Hill, who pitched at Michigan through his Junior year in 2002, lost a no-hitter when he gave up a walk off home run against the Pirates in the bottom of the 10th inning Wednesday night...and lost, 1-0.

The fact that the Dodgers, the team with Baseball's Best Record, would get shout out when a Michigan alum is pitching a gem like that, well, it doesn't go unnoticed by fans of the Maize and Blue.

The last Wolverines pitcher to toss a no-hitter in the big leagues was the legendary Jim Abbott.... who put it perfectly in this tweet tonight...

Giamatti said "it's designed to break your heart" Baseball...  What a game Rich Hill #GoBlue

Play Ball...and Go Blue!

This Week's Sports Illustrated Cover, August 28, 2017

The Los Angeles Dodgers have been the best baseball team for quite some time now, and now they're This Week's Sports Illustrated  cover...

...the Dodgers have now played 22 consecutive series without losing to an opponent.

The Dodgers are playing in rare baseball air, with a record of 89-35, 13 games better than the 76 win Houston Astros, who have the best record in the American League.

Wether or not they're the best team ever, well, that's yet to be proven....look, fir instance, at the 1906 Chicago Cubs, who hold the All-Time winning record of 116 games won, only to lose to the crosstown Hitless Wonders White Sox in the World Series in 6 games.

When baseball makes the cover of Sports Illustrated  I try to always post about it the day its released, but I didn't find out about this cover until today...I blame myself.... SI fooled me by releasing their other cover, of Roger Federer, first, so, I went on my way...ugh!

With the start of football season it might take some more time...possibly the playoffs, before SI does another baseball cover...but, you never know.

Play Ball!

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Baseball Bulletin...August 2, 2017

The trading deadline in the big leagues has come and gone, and unless a player gets through waivers, the rosters are set for the pennant runs and it's Play Ball! time!

My Tigers made one deadline move, sending battery mates Justin Wilson and Alex Avila to the Chicago Cubs for prospects late Sunday night.

The one thing that made me happy was this...

Justin Verlander posted this picture to his Facebook page today, posting **BREAKING** Source: I'm still in the Tigers locker room." 

,,,I've made it known that I want Justin Verlander to play for the Tigers his entire career, and as of today he's still wearing the Olde English D.

I don't get the fans who want the Tigers to trade JV...there are no certainties when it comes to prospects when you trade...I'd rather have JV, the veteran pitcher who can mentor the young arms of Michael Fulmer, Matt Boyd, and Daniel Norris...not to mention the young pitching arms in the minors, guys like Matt Manning and Beau Burrows.

Here's a few things that have happened in baseball the past week, or so...

➽ Adrian Beltre became just the 31st player in big league history to collect 3,000 base hits when he doubled on Saturday afternoon in Texas.

Beltre, in this fans opinion, is a first ballot Hall of Famer, a great ballplayer who quietly became one of the best 3rd Baseman in baseball history...he's the first Dominican born ballplayer to get 3.000 hits, and just the 5th foreign born player to amass 3.000 hits...the others... Roberto Clemente (Puerto Rico), Rod Carew (Panama), Raphael Palmiero (Cuba), and Ichiro Susuki (Japan).

I'm old enough to remember all the members of the 3,000 hit club since Clemente accomplished the feat on the last day of the 1972 season, the final at bat, as it turned out, in his career.

➽ Just as Beltre was joining the 3.000 hit club, another famous Texas Ranger, Ivan Rodriguez, was entering the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

"Pudge" Rodriguez joined former players Tim Raines and Jeff Bagwell, along with executive John Schierholtz and former Commissioner Bud Selig.

➽ There have been some awesome baseball cards produced this year, way too may, in fact, to keep track of.

This 2017 Topps Stadium Club of new HOFer Tim "Rock" Raines is one of my favorite.

Also, you can't go wrong if you pull a Kelly Nash card out of a pack of Series Two Topps.

➽ Speaking of collecting baseball cards... a quick shout out to these great baseball card blogs that I follow (there's more to come)...

➤ If you grew up collecting the "junk wax" cards of the late 1980s and into the 1990s, then my fellow blogger and card collector Dub Mentality is for you!

➤ The first collector to ever send me cards in the mail was Julie, a great blogger, baseball fan, and...a Tigers fan...she blogs over at A Cracked Bat: Baseball Cards and a Hot Dog.

➤  Another great Tigers collector is Dennis at Too Many Verlanders.

➤ If you love to Raise the Jolly Roger! after a Pittsburgh Pirates game then I have two awesome bloggers for you...

... Bob Walk the Plank and  Collecting Cutch are great Pirate collectors...give them a look see.

➽ Here's a terrific article on those colorful Houston Astros Rainbow uniforms of the 1970s and 1980s.

➽ Before we go, here's the "catch of the year," in the big leagues, or so they say...the Indians Austin Jackson slammed into the bullpen at Fenway Park last night to take away a HR.

➽ It's hard to believe that 38 years have passed since the death of New York Yankees All-Star catcher Thurman Munson.

➜ Munson was killed when the plane he was piloting crashed near Akron, Ohio, on August 2, 1979.

➜ The Yankees, two-time defending World Series Champions, never recovered after the loss of their Captain, and it would take the Yankees another 17 years until they won another championship.

To learn more about Thurman Munson, here's the official web site.

Until next time...

Play Ball!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Baseball Bulletin... July 25, 2017

It's been some time since I last made a Baseball Bulletin seemed as if every time I started to write any blog post my bad health rared up and stopped me from finishing, so, I'm hoping this one gets finished.

Last night may have been Justin Verlander's last start in a Detroit Tigers uniform, and maybe that's why I'm posting today...I can't wrap my head around Verlander pitching for any other team than my Tigers.

For 12 years Verlander has been there for us to enjoy, winning 178 games, striking out 2,317 batters, tossing 2 no-hitters, winning the 2011 Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player Award, while leading our boys from Motown to 2 American League pennants, in 2006 and in 2012.

If last night was his final start wearing the Olde English D, I wish JV the best, and will continue to follow him wherever he goes.

At times I write about baseball cards here on the blog, so why not add my favorite JV card...

...his 2012 Topps Series 2 Short Print... JV's holding two baseball's, one for each of his 2 No-Hitters.

Here are a few other things going on across the baseball world that I've come across...

➽  Speaking of my guy Justin Verlander, Marlowe Alter of the Detroit Free Press has the 20 Best Detroit Athletes right now.

➽ My favorite new player in baseball is... Johnny Field, a outfielder in the Tampa Bay Rays organization... how can you NOT like a ballplayer named Johnny FIELD!

I'm now in need of a Johnny Field baseball card...absolutely!

➽ Michael Clair had a great piece over at Cut 4 on old bullpen cars.

➽ T.M. Detwier of The Washington Post asks you how many of the 30 big league ballparks you've been too.

➽ Ben Linderg at The Ringer on how the baseballs are juiced this season.

➽ I love watching 12:25 With Alexa. a terrific 35 minute show from that I watch LIVE on my Facebook page Monday thru Friday at 12:25 pm.

Oh, and why not, if last night was Justin Verlander's last start as a Tigers pitcher, here's a picture that I love, of Justin and his finance Kate Upton.

Well, that'll do it for now...until next time...PLAY BALL!