Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Falling off the Scooter

I hate days like today.


I've spent most of the day in pain as my arthritis beat down my body...I'm use to it, but today was particularly bad, as it caused me to pay very little attention to any social media.



My day...take meds, eat, watch TV, sleep, take more meds, watch some TV, sleep.


I wasn't myself, and my train of thought really wasn't good, my focus was all about the pain...not baseball, which during the regular season is something I think about even when I'm sleeping.



The thing about baseball is that you simply don't know what's going to happen in a ballgame...162 game days...never the same thing twice.



If you lose, well, tomorrow there's another game to play.



That's how my health is, except it's literally hour by hour most days.



Today I missed something that only happened 16 times before tonight...I missed it because my pain wouldn't allow me to follow the magic that happened at The Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati tonight.



Scooter Gennett, a average big league ball payer with the Cincinnati Reds,, had the game of his life, going 5-5, with 4 home runs and 10 RBI.




                                                        Click to enlarge

                                                          I couldn't find a Reds card of Scooter.




Not only was Scooter the 17th player, and the first Reds player to smack 4 dingers in a game, he became the very first batter in the 141 years of the big leagues to go 5-5, collect 10 RBI and bang 4 homers...THE FIRST!



Ken Rosenthal of  FOX Sports has 8 things you didn't know about Scooter Gennett.


Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated shows us just how impressive Scooter's 4 HRs were.





As usual, I'll have Quick Pitch with Heidi Whatney on at 1 am...I'll see all the baseball highlights, watch Scooter's 4 HRs, and hope that I fall asleep before the Tigers loss comes up on the screen.



Here's hoping for a much better day tomorrow... PLAY BALL!





Monday, June 5, 2017

Breaking Down 1,000 Baseball Cards

OK, It's 11:40 pm on Sunday Night, and just as I was ready to close up for the night I find a awesome 1,000 Baseball Card Giveaway Contest.





                               




Defgav is celebrating 1,000 blog posts over at Baseball Card Breakdown.




Man, a thousand posts about baseball cards!



Head on over to the above link, post a comment on the post, and well, heck, you never know, you may have 1,000 baseball cards headed to your mailbox!




Play Ball!

Friday, June 2, 2017

30 Day Baseball Card Challenge...Day 26

Day 26 of the 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge is a favorite oddball baseball card from the 1980s.







As I have with some posts, I had to google this, because, well, I really didn't feel like going through every single card album and boxes of card I have to find one.



I just got back into this challenge after taking a break, and so I need to get it done quickly, so I don't have another break because of my health.



I found a blog, The Oddball Card Collector, and used his page to help me decide on a set of oddball cards that I like from the 1980s...and what a success it was!




                                                1981 Drake's Big Hitters Baseball Cards






1980s Drake's Heavy Hitters Cards are absolutely awesome and I wish they would've been available in the Jacksonville area when I lived there.




The American League players are in a Red Border, while the National League players had a Blue Border.







Topps produced the cards for Drake's, and the cards were inserted into the company's baked goods products through 1985.



Now I have more Detroit Tigers cards that I need to add to my collection wish list.



Up next in the challenge is a favorite oddball card from 1990 or later...that should be fun to serch for as well.


PLAY BALL!

SABR Cards has a 1980s Baseball Card Poll

The fine folks over at SABR Cards is asking collectors to VOTE on the BEST Baseball Cards of the 1980s.



The poll starts with years 1981 through 1985...remember, 1981 is when the Topps card monopoly was ended and Fleer and Donruss were allowed to produce big league baseball cards.








Next week SABR Cards will do years 1986-89.



That first year was brutal, especially the Donruss cards...yikes!



Here's how I ranked the cards, 1st, 2nd, 3rd...



1981 


#1    Topps







#2 Fleer







#3 Donruss





1981 Donruss might be the worst baseball cards ever made.




1982


#1 Topps





#2    Donruss    




This could've been a great card...I love the pose by Dale Murphy, but the photography was bad.


#3    Fleer




Same here with the '82 Fleer Reggie Jackson... Great pose of Reggie waiting to get into the batting cage, but the picture is dark.



1983


#1  Topps




The 1983 Topps cards are my favorite set of all the '80s cards that Topps produced...easy call here.




#2   Fleer





#3   Donruss



I really should've switched Donruss to the second spot because of The San Diego Chicken card!





1984 



#1    Topps



Another great card design by Topps in 1984...the Mattingly card is in my Top 10 cards of All-Time.




#2   Fleer




You have to give Fleer props for cards like this...they were really trying to be different, separate themselves from the other two card companies.




#3   Donruss





1985


#1   Topps



I put the '85 Topps Mark McGwire card on here because this was the must have card to get, not only when he hit 49 HRs as a rookie in 1987, but the card hit the collecting Hall of Fame Chase when he was chasing the single season HR record in 1998.



#2   Donruss






#3    Fleer



1985 was probably a tie between Donruss and Fleer, as their cards were getting better, but I chose Donruss second...don't ask me why.




Obviously I showed Topps lots of love for the first 5 years, and well, that's because the early photography from Donruss and Fleer wasn't good, and the cards themselves lacked in design, although both get props for creativity, especially with the great San Diego Chicken cards.

The next poll, years 1986-89, will be much different , as both Fleer and Donruss challenge Topps in design and improve on the pictures on the cards.




Make sure to head over to the SABR page and vote for your BEST 1980s baseball cards.... Play Ball!

30 Day Baseball Card Challenge... Day 25

Day 25 of the 30 Day Baseball Card Challenge is a oddball card I like from the 1970s.







Hammering Hank Greenberg powered the 1945 Detroit Tigers past the Chicago Cubs in the first Series after World War II,  and my beloved 1968 Tigers, after a magnificent play by Willie Horton and my hero Bill Freehan, came back after being down 3 games to 1 to the St. Louis Cardinals.




I knew that I'd use these cards for this challenge...they're  probably the most unusual, well, oddball baseball cards that I own.



Unlike most of my cards in this challenge, I really don't remember how or when I got these cards, and they're the only 2 cards of the 1970/71 Fleer World Series Cards that I own.




Fleer 1970 World Series Cards were great cards that taught you the history of the Fall Classic in a set of 66 baseball cards.



It's been awhile since I posted in this challenge, and I apologize for that...sometimes my health gets in the way, but I'm hoping to get back at it and finish days 26-30 off quickly.




Up next is another oddball card, this time from the 1980s.







PLAY BALL!




Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Cracked Bat...Congrats on 100 Posts!

My blogger friend Julie at A Cracked Bat is having a very cool contest on her blog as she celebrates her 100th blog post.



                             Image result for 100



Julie is simply the best, and finding her, a blogger and Tigers fan, has been a true blessing.









Head over to the link above, give her 100th post a look see, FOLLOW HER BLOG, and enter her contest...you just might win some cool baseball cards!


PLAY BALL!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

My All-Time Baseball Lineup (1967-present)

The past few days on social media I've noticed people asking for our All-Time Baseball Players from each position...in our lifetime.


My lifetime is since 1960, but I use 1967 as my baseball lifetime since that's when I attended my first baseball game at Tiger Stadium in Detroit.



The lists started among a group of fellow Tigers fans,  and today I saw it expanded to the big leagues on Facebook.



So, since I've done the Tigers poll, I thought, why not write about non- Tigers players, so, here it is.




My Favorite Big League Baseball Players, 1967-present (Non Detroit Tigers)



C... Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals




My favorite position in baseball.


I've been watching a lot of baseball games in my 50 + years, and none, not Johnny Bench, Thurman Munson, Carlton Fisk, Bob Boone, or Pudge Rodriguez, were better behind the plate than Yadier Molina.

Not to say that Yadi's better than Bench, but he's just as good behind the dish that Bench was, in my opinion, and I've always appreciated the way Molina caught and played the game.



1B... Steve Garvey, Los Angeles Dodgers/San Diego Padres





My favorite All-Time baseball infield was the 1970s Dodgers.

Garvey, Ron Cey, Bill Russell, and Davey Lopes.


To me, the entire '70s Dodgrs infield should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.



2B... Ryne Sandberg, Chicago Cubs





The best 2nd Baseman in the National League in the 1980s...it was a baseball fans joy to watch a Cubs game on WGN with Harry Caray calling day games at Wrigley Field.



3B... Brooks Robinson, Baltimore Orioles





Not only is Brooks Robinson my favorite 3rd Baseman, he's also the greatest 2nd Baseman in my lifetime, possibly of All-Time.

I have written many times about watching the 1970 World Series from a hospital bed as a 10 year old, watching every single pitch of every game, rooting for the A.L. Orioles because a beautiful nurse told me I should.




SS... Derek Jeter, New York Yankees





In my 51 years watching and following baseball no player played the game with more grace and dignity than The Kalamazoo Kid.


Derek Jeter set the Gold standard for all ballplayers to come.



OF... Dale Murphy, Atlanta Braves






Dale Murphy belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame...nobody was a better ballplayer in the N.L. in the 1980s than Murphy was...including winning Back to Back N.L. MVP Awards in 1982 and 1983.



OF... Ken Griffey, Jr., Seattle Mariners





Simply the sweetest swing I've ever seen.

No ballplayer smiled more or had more fun playing The National Pastime that Junior.



OF... Fred Lynn, Boston Red Sox/California Angels




As a 15 year old Tigers fan I watched on TV one night as Lynn single handily beat Detroit all by himself, driving in 10 fellow BoSox players...as a Rookie!

Lynn may have been the best defensive center fielder I ever saw...he never gave up on a ball and crashed many, many times into outfield walls chasing down would be doubles and triples.

That daredevil play made him one of my favorite all around ballplayers ever.




DH... Edgar Martinez, Seattle Mariners





Edgar Martinez was simply the best DH that I ever saw hit a baseball...in 2018 he shoud become the first DH elected into the HOF.



RHSP... Greg Maddux, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves





Greg Maddux looked like he was a friend of yours sitting in the desk next to you in math class, and not a big league pitcher that won 4 consecutive Cy Young Awards.



LHSP... Jim Abbott, California Angels/New York Yankees





Jim Abbott... a kid from Flint, Michigan, was born without a right hand, yet he pitched baseball at every level, and did it well, in High School, at The University of Michigan, for Team USA in the 1988 Olympics...winning a GOLD Medal, and in the big leagues, throwing a no-hitter for the Yankees in 1993.



Closer... Tug McGraw, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies




"Ya Gotta Believe." and that's what Tug McGraw did.

No player believed in his teammates more that Tug, a kid who played Double-A Baseball in Jacksonville, Florida for the Suns, and was the closer for the 1980 World Series Champion Phillies.

Oh, and he was Tim McGraw's Dad...that's also pretty cool!



Manager... Tommy Lasorda, Los Angeles Dodgers







I love Tommy Lasorda, and remember him coaching 3rd Base for the Dodgers before becoming the Manager...I can't say that I ever saw any manager with more passion for baseball than Lasorda... " Bleed Dodger Blue" was how he lived every day in baseball.







I had to separate the two teams, Tigers and non-Tigers players, because, obviously, I'd have half the team simply of former Tigers ballplayers, guys like Freehan, Cabrera, Trammell, and Sweet Lou Whitaker.


I also added a Manager to my list, although I've seen nobody else use the team's skipper.



My Favorite Detroit Tigers Players, 1967-present







 Catcher...                                                                   Bill Freehan.. My baseball hero.








1B... Cecil Fielder



2B ... Sweet Lou Whitaker



3B ...                                                                                Miguel Cabrera




 


SS ... Alan Trammell




OF... Al Kaline



                                                                                        Steve Kemp








JD Martinez




RHSP ....                                                                         Justin Verlander







LHSP ... Mickey Lolich



Closer... John Hiller



DH... Gates Brown



MGR...                                                                                    Mayo Smith








Head over to my friend Dub's blog, to check out his post on his favorite players, and a contest.



Play Ball!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sports Illustrated Cover... May 29, 2017

For the 3rd time in 4 issues, the great game of baseball has made the cover of Sports Illustrated. 








Senior SI Baseball writer Tom Verducci takes a look at old Uncle Charlie, the Curveball.



I'm not sure when S.I. last put baseball on the cover so often, but, as I've stated many times, it's awesome when The National Pastime graces sports most recognizable magazine.




Yankees young slugger Aaron Judge graced the cover on May 11th.








High School phenom Hunter Greene made his S.I. debut on May 1st.







Make sure to head over to S.I.com and give Verduuci's article a read, or, if you can, go out and get the issue at your local area bookstore.


PLAY BALL!