Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Oscar Gamble, 1949-2018

It was reported this morning on MLB Network that former big leaguer Oscar Gamble has passed away at the age of 68.


Oscar was a dynamic player in the 1970s and into the '80s with several clubs, however, what most baseball fans and card collectors remember about Oscar was that glorious afro that he is most famously sporting on his 1976 Topps Baseball Card.






There is no reported cause of Oscar's passing at this time.


We send out prayers to the family and friends of Oscar Gamble, may he rest in peace.


Monday, January 29, 2018

Happy Baseball Birthday... Alex Avila

Today we send out Happy Baseball Birthday! wishes to big league catcher Alex Avila.




Born in Hialeah, Florida, on January 29, 1987, Alexander Thomas Avila, would go onto play baseball at the University of Alabama, and, in 2005 was drafted by my team, the Detroit Tigers, making his big league debut on August 6, 2009, going 2 for 4 vs the Baltimore Orioles.


Alex is one of my favorite Tigers backstops, a tough guy who has been hit by more vicious foul balls than any other Detroit catcher in my lifetime...at least it seems that way.





Of all Alex's accomplishments, the one he probably remembers as his finest acheivement was catching former teammate Justin Verlander's 2nd career no hitter in 2011.







One of the great things about Alex as a Tigers player was fans getting him elected  through the Final Vote to the All-Star Game in 2011.




2011 was really Alex at his best, catching the Verlander no hitter, making the ASG, and then winning the Silver Slugger Award, as the best hitting catcher in the A.L., when he batted .295, with 19 HRs, 82 RBI, with a .506 slugging percentage.


Alex played for the Tigers from 2009 until 2015, when he was signed as a free agent to play for the Chicago White Sox.




In 2016 Alex came back to the Tigers, and had one of his most productive years as a Tigers player in just 77 games before being traded, by his Dad, Tigers GM Al Avila, to the Chicago Cubs.



Update...

I asked Gummy Arts if he would draw me a Alex card too add after coming across a post today.

He made me this.



Gummy does a great job every day of celebrating baseball through his drawings... give him a follow!

Alex, I believe,  is still unsigned to play in 2018, and I'd smile quite a bit if he was brought back to my Tigers this year.


Happy Baseball Birthday! Alex Avila....GO TIGERS! 🐯⚾️ 

Play Ball!





Aaron Judge is Card #1

Today on the MLB Network, it was revealed that card #1 in Series One Topps Baseball for 2018 is none other than 2017 American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge. 





Looking at the card, I absolutely love the photo chosen for the card, probably a Judge homer at fabled Fenway Park, and the Topps Rookie Cup makes the card an must have for any collection.


Collectors had the opportunity to vote for the #1 card last year.


The Cubs Kris Bryant was card #1 in 2016, with the Angels Mike Trout garnering the honor in 2017.


Topps Series 1 comes out this  Wednesday.


Play Ball!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Happy Baseball Birthday... Ernie Harwell

Today's a very special Happy Baseball Birthday! as we celebrate what would've been Ernie Harwell's 100th Birthday! 




100 years ago today  on January 25, 1918, William Earnest Harwell was born in the small town of Washington, Georgia.


We Tigers fans who were luck enough to have grown up listening to Ernie broadcast baseball games know how lucky we were to have the best announcer in baseball calling our teams ballgames.




We lost Ernie in 2010, but those who heard "foul ball back behind the 1st base line...and a great catch by a youngster from Kalamazoo!" will always have Ernie in our hearts and minds until we reunite with him in that big ball game in Heaven.

We LOVE YOU Ernie!


Play Ball!







Wednesday, January 24, 2018

BBWAA Elects Four into Baseball Hall of Fame

Today the Baseball Writer's Association of America announced that four players have been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018.





Chipper Jones,  Vladamir Guererro,  Jim Thome,  and Trevor Hoffman, were elected today, and they'll join Alan Trammell ,and Jack Morris, who were selected by the Veteran's Committee, at Hall of Fame Weekend Induction Ceremony on July 29th.


I agree with all four of the BBWAA selections, but I was disappointed that they didn't elect Mariners 3B/DH Edgar Martinez, who fell just short of the 75% required percentage with 70.4% of the 422 ballots cast.


My ballot doesn't count, but I did vote for Chipper, Thome, Vlad and Hoffman, as well as Martinez, who should get in next year.


I'm also glad that the steroids guys didnt have much movement at all.

Roger Clemens (57.3%), Barry Bonds (56.4%), Gary Sheffield (11.1%), and Sammy Sosa (7.3%), are at a stalemate, and as I have said, and will continue too say, these abusers of steroids should never be allowed anywhere near the city limits of Cooperstown,  New York.

Another thing happened in the ballot today, and that's, that, at 97.2% of the vote for Chipper Jones, NO ballplayer has ever been unanimously elected into the HOF by the writers since they started electing the greatest players ever in 1936.


Next year's eligible 1st year players that will appear on the BBWAA ballot include Mariano Rivera, Todd Helton, and Roy Halladay.

I'll vote for Rivera and Helton of the newcomers, and keep on voting for Martinez, Curt Schilling, and Larry Walker.


Play Ball! ⚾️

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Happy National Pie Day 2018

Today is National Pie Day across America.




Pie is part of our National Pastime as well, from a Cubs outfielder named Felix...



...too a Hall of Fame Pirates 3rd Baseman named Harold...



...and, my personal favorite, delicious Peach Pie, and a certain Hall of Fame Detroit Tigers outfielder named The Georgia Peach!







Tyrus Raymond Cobb, A Genius in Spikes, and the greatest Tigers player of All-Time.


Oh, and if your looking for a great baseball book to read, Ty Cobb, A Terrible Beauty, is highly recommended.


 


What's your favorite pie?


Play Ball! ⚾️πŸ‘

My 2018 Baseball Hall of Fame Ballot

Its that time again.

We're less than a week away from the announcement by the Baseball Hall of Fame of the players who've been elected for enshrinement into Cooperstown,  New York this summer.





The players elected will join Jack Morris and Alan Trammell, who were elected into the HOF in December by theVeteran's Committee.


As always, here's my criteria...

⚾️ First... My Eye Test.

I've been watching baseball since 1967, and I've watched games on TV, in person, and read newspaper box scores every day for about 40 years...I know what a HOF ballplayer looked like...I don't care what his analytics are... don't need to know what a players WAR, or BABIP is to know if he belongs.

⚾️ Second... If a ballplayer abused steroids to help him achieve stats and cheat the game and it's history, they shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Village of Cooperstown. 



πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ My 2018 Hall of Fame Ballot πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

⚾️ Chipper Jones

⚾️ Vladamir Guerrero 

⚾️ Edgar Martinez

⚾️ Trevor Hoffman 

⚾️ Jim Thome

⚾️ Curt Schilling

⚾️ Andruw Jones

⚾️ Larry Walker

Always remember, there is no right, or wrong ballot, just a baseball fans belief in who's the best if the best.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America was founded in 1908, and has voted for every HOF Class since 1936, when the inaguaral class of Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson  and Walter Johnson were elected. 


The 2018 HOF Class will be revealed on the MLB Network next Wednesday, January 24th, at 6pm.


Play Ball! 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Topps Series One Preview

Today on Twitter Topps officially previews what Series One Baseball will look like when the cards are released three weeks from today.

Topps asked fans which player they wanted to see first, and despite my pleas to not vote for a certain Angels centerfielder, that's exactly the card Topps released.





I knew it would happen...I would've like to have seen Aaron Judge, or Cody Bellinger, or, well, any player NOT named Mike Trout.


The card is OK...not because of my disdain for the constant bombardment of #27 in the Halos uniform...that ribbon thing isn't well thought out...and I'm not sure what's going on at the end of the players and team names.


I do like the team logo...I hope that every teams logos pop off the card like that.


I'll venture into Series One by way of Walmart here in Portage/Kalamazoo...can't really afford hobby prices until after my Birthday late next month.

The one goal I'll have  as always, is to collect every Detroit Tigers player cards and variations, although the latter will be difficult, as always.

Maybe a trade or two will help me out.

Play Ball! ⚾️πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ