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.



GO BLUE!

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 collected....it'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 6....my 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 do...like 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)

Negative

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 ebay.com 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 Family...one 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 Blog....you 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 post...it 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 mlb.com 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!

Topps National Baseball Card Day Checklist

Watching the Go GTS Live show last week I found the link to the checklist of the set of cards that will be given out by Topps on National Baseball Card Day on August 12th.








The only Detroit Tigers player in the set is RHP Justin Verlander.








All participating local baseball card shops will hand out FREE packs of cards, and any collector purchasing $10 or more at the card store will receive a special Mike Trout card.


The Trout card is card makes the set 30 cards...one for each big league ball club, but to get the Trout card you must make a purchase.








There are 11 autographed cards that are possible to pull, including, of course, the Yankees superstar rookie Aaron Judge.



Contact your local card shop for details.



Play Ball!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Jason Kendall and Bob Walk the Plank

My fellow baseball fan and blogger Matthew over at Bob Walk the Plank wrote a terrific piece on former  Pirates catcher, Jason Kendall.




It's a well thought out post on how Kendall has some of the best action shots on his baseball cards, and, well, because Blogger doesn't let me post a photo in the comments section,  I wanted to post about how I liked watching Kendall play baseball...being a guy who loves big league backstops...and post my favorite Jason Kendall card in my collection.







I know, its a relic card, not a action card, but it's a card called Gamers Lumber, and I pulled it out if a pack of 2000 Fleer Gamers, and, well, Kendall was a good hitting catcher, and I thought it was awesome that he was in the set...even though Jason only hit 75 HRs in his career.




Another reason why I always liked Jason is that he's a 2nd generation big league catcher...and I remember watching his Dad, Fred Kendall, also a catcher, who played in the 1970s, mostly with the San Diego Padres...he only smacked 31 dingers in the big leagues.


.





If you're a Pirates fan, or a card collector, head over to BWTP and check out Matthew's blog.



PLAY BALL!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

WIN a Aaron Judge Autographed Card

He's been the biggest slugger of the baseball card season in 2017, and now you have a chance to win an Aaron Judge  2016 Topps Certified Autographed refractor card from 2016 Bowman's Best.



                           Image result for 2016 bowman best certified aaron judge card



Blowout BUZZ has a contest running through July 15th , so head over to their site for your chance at a beautiful autographed card of the clear front runner for the American League MVP.




Judge has powered the Yankees into the surprise team in the first half of the baseball season, batting .326, smashing 27 home runs, with 62 runs batted in, as the Pinstripers are only 1 game behind the Red Sox in the A.L. Eastern Division as we start the month of July.




So, head over to Blowout BUZZ before July 15th to get entered into this awesome contest.



PLAY BALL!



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!