Thursday, November 29, 2018

Happy Baseball Birthday! ... Bill Freehan

Today's Happy Baseball Birthday! celebration is in honor of my baseball hero, Bill Freehan, born 77 years ago in Detroit, Michigan.

I woke up to this awesome card on Twitter from the great Gummy Arts.

Gummy draws amazing baseball cards every day and he's a must follow on Twitter.

Over the years I've written many times about my hero, so I won't go over the same stats that I've done so many times, they're all readily available on Baseball Reference.

I'm gonna do something that I haven't done before, but I feel like today's the day.

I'd like to ask that, in honor of my hero, Bill Freehan, if you can, please donate exactly $11 to Alzheimer's Research.

Where it asks "IS THIS A TRIBUTE GIFT?" hit the "YES" button...

If you know someone who's battling dementia, Alzheimer's, then by all means, donate in their name.

For over a decade now Bill has been battling dementia, a horrible disease linked with Alzheimer's.

Please take a few minutes and read this article about Bill and his battle to fully understand what he's going through.

My thoughts over the past few days have been about Bill, his wife Pat, and their family as his Birthday got closer.

When the article about his illness was published earlier this year, well, I honestly didn't know if Bill was going to still be here, but he is, and I'm so glad.

To my hero, and his family, I send out my love, and hope that today was truly special for the Freehan family.

Happy Baseball Birthday! William Ashley'll always be my hero...PLAY BALL! 

Thursday, November 22, 2018

#Freehan77... Giving Thanks.

On this day of Thanksgiving I'd like to thank all the awesome bloggers out there who make each and every day special.

Some 8 1/2 years ago I started this blog to share my love of baseball with other fans, and it hasn't let me down once, and that's more important than anyone will ever know.

Giving me something to do, to look forward to, as I battle being disabled and not able to work, well, the blogging community has made a place for me, a community of great baseball fans.

I've been a baseball fan longer than I can remember, and it's a joy to go through all the different posts every day and read about other fans team loyalties, players they love, and the collections of baseball cards that fuels their passions every day.

For over 50 years my passion has been the Detroit Tigers, and my favorite player to watch has been Bill Freehan, a young man from Detroit who grew up playing baseball and football,  went to the University of Michigan to play both sports, and who, for 15 years, gave his heart and soul every day to his teammates and the Motor City.

Every city has that player...a player that gives everything for his team, a player that gives everything on each pitch, each ground ball, each drive into the right field gap, each play at the plate.

On this day of THANKS, I send out a huge THANKS to each and everyone of you, and ask that, if you're a person of faith, that you send out a prayer to my hero, and to his wife Pat, and their family as they go through this season of THANKS taking care of Bill as he battles Dementia.

It's 8 days to Bill's 77th Birthday, and I'll see you all back here tomorrow as I look forward to Michigan Football vs Ohio State on Saturday.

May all of you have a great Thanksgiving Day weekend....PLAY BALL! ⚾

p.s... GO BLUE! πŸ’›πŸ’™πŸˆ

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

#Freehan77 ... .993%

It's nine days until Bill Freehan celebrates his 77th Happy Baseball Birthday! 


For almost three decades after he retired, my baseball hero, Bill Freehan, held the record for all big league catchers with a .993 fielding percentage... .993! 

Just so you know, his .993% was better than catchers named...

Elston Howard (.992)
Lance Parrish (.991)
Gary Carter (.990)
Johnny Bench (.990)
Joe Torre (.989)
Yogi Berra (.988)
Roy Campanella (.988)
Pudge Fisk (.987)
Benito Santiago (.987)
Ray Fosee (.983)
Thurman Munson (.982)

...that's pretty darn good!

Bill's .993 % as a catcher was always the thing that made me so proud of him, that it took all those years for a catcher to surpass that record,  even though he's now 33rd on the fielding % list.

In 1971, at age 29 and battling back issues, Bill caught 144 games, with 966 total chances, 912 putouts, and only 4 errors! 

His defensive accomplishments in an era where catchers were ran over at home plate nearly every game stands out to me.

Bill was always considered the Tigers team leader, and catching a 31 game winner named Denny McLain and a pitcher who won 3 World Series games named Mickey Lolich is a pretty good testament to that.

My Uncle Bob used to always tease me about being a Freehan fan, and he and my other family members would always ask me who the best catcher of all-time was, thinking I would always answer with Freehan, but I knew that Bench was better, and said so.

I've always believed that Bill's accomplishments were over looked because he didn't always have gawdy offensive stats, but to me, there was never a better catcher in baseball...on the field, with the tools of ignorance on, than my hero.

I'd like to hear from you...give me your list of the best defensive in your lifetime, just comment below, I'll look forward to your responses.

Have a great day... PLAY BALL! 🐯⚾

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

#Freehan77 ... Hit By Pitch

I'm continuing to post about my baseball hero, Bill Freehan, counting down the days until he celebrates his 77th Happy Baseball Birthday! ⚾πŸŽ‚πŸŽπŸŽ‰  on November 29th.


One of the things I've always remembered about Bill was that he always seemed to get hit by pitch quite a bit.

Bill was hit 114 times in his 15 years wearing a Tigers uniform, and 42 years after he retired he's still the Tigers All-Time team leader.

Bill led the American League in hit by pitch three times, getting plunked 8 times in 1964, 20 times in '67, and 24 times in '68.

One of the great things about baseball is a stat like this.

Each baseball fan remembers the minutiae, the small things, that go mostly unnoticed, and that's a key to why we love baseball so much.

It's not just the big statistical numbers, like batting average or home runs, but also the smaller, but still important stats, like getting hit by pitch, that separates baseball from other sports.

I know there's probably a way to find out how many times after those 114 HBP that led to Bill's 706 runs career runs scored, but I haven't the patience to look that up.

Thanks for reading about my hero, it's important that I post about Bill and what he means to me.

Have a terrific night everyone...PLAY BALL!

Monday, November 19, 2018

#Freehan77 ...11 Time All-Star

It's 11 days until Bill Freehan turns 77, and I want to post a little something each day leading up to his Happy Baseball Birthday! on November 29th.


Bill Freehan was an 11- Time American League All-Star, 1964-73, 1975.


Bill's best All-Star Game batting performance was in the game at old Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., in 1969, when he collected 2 hits, including his only ASG home run, off Steve Carlton.

Overall, in the 8 ASG in which he batted, Bill was 4/17, a .235 average, with 2 walks, 2 runs scored, 1 sacrifice hit and 3 strikeouts.

I'll be posting about Bill every day on Twitter until his 77th Birthday, using the #Freehan77 hashtag in my tweets.

As always, I appreciate you all for taking time to read my posts about Bill, and if you'd like, please feel free to comment.



Starting tomorrow I'll be doing a daily post on my hero, Bill Freehan, one post a day for 11 days, leading up to his 77th Happy Baseball Birthday! ⚾πŸŽ‚πŸŽ on November 29th.

Being today is Sunday, I thought it would be appropriate to post this quote from Bill when he was 27, and coming off the 1968 World Series Championship...

"God has always been good to me... He gave me a certain amount of talent with a baseball, and He has helped me develop it."

As you may have read, Bill is now in Hospice Care, and while he's in the twilight of his days here with us, his strong belief in God will no doubt help him and his family as they all go through his illness together.

πŸ“– While I'm not overly religious, I am a Christian, and it's awesome that my childhood hero is as well.

πŸ“– As far as a Bible verse for this post, I refer you to current Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann, who signs his baseball cards with Mark 10:27.

I'm very happy to say that this signed James McCann card is in my collection.

πŸ“– Our friend Collecting Cutch also posts a "Scripture Sunday" verse each week, along with, of course, a Andrew McCutcheon card.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend, and hope you all will be blessed this Thanksgiving.


Play Ball! ⚾

Friday, November 16, 2018

My Mailbox...Veteran's Day

Each year over at the Facebook group Detroit Tigers Collectors "Cards and Memorabilia" there's a Veteran's Day "contest" that rewards military members and Veterans for their service.

The group administrators asks anyone in the group that's also a Veteran, or an active duty military member, to post their names and service history, so that they can be included in receiving packages of baseball cards.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ My package came on Thursday, and, as I've said before, I'm truly blessed!

I didn't own any if these cards, and never asked for any particular card, and yet, what an amazing gift it was.

Here they are...if you're in the Tigers group feel free to lwt me know what you received.

🐯⚾ Magglio Ordonez ⚾🐯

2008 Upper Deck SPx Baseball 
Winning Materials #31/50

🐯⚾ Victor Martinez ⚾🐯

2016 Topps Triple Threads #31/36

🐯⚾  Anibal Sanchez ⚾🐯

2013 Topps Triple Threads #16/18

πŸ˜€ Absolutely my favorite card in the package... WOW!

Simply one of the best Tigers Auto/Relic in my collection! 

The administrators of the Tigers Collectors page are as good as it gets, including Bill Welch, a US Army Veteran.

If you're a Detroit fan, I suggest you look into the group.

                       Still the GREATEST Tigers logo! 

Thanks again to Ben Moore for my package, I love the cards!


Friday, November 9, 2018

Topps Living Set, Cards #1 - #100

One of my favorite Twitter follows is Topps Living Stats, who follows the weekly issue of the Topps Living Set.

Stats provides information on the set, including how many of each card was purchased, and breaking down the cards by team, player position, and weather it's a rookie card, regular active player, or retired players.

One thing I hope Topps does is start to issue famous manager cards...I think they would be a fun addition.

The set has now reached over 100 cards, with The Great Bambino checking in at #100.

I have two Living cards, Roberto Clemente,  which I ordered, and Cody Bellinger, which I won from Stats.

I also ordered the Ruth card, going with all three cards that week in order to get card #102 of former Detroit Tiger Victor Martinez.

Each week there's a contest in which baseball fans and card collectors guess which cards will be released that week, and if someone correctly predicts the card issue, Stats will send out that card to the fan.

⚾ Several fans have correctly predicted cards, and it's really fun to try and figure out the players upcoming each Wednesday.

Here's a collage that Stats made of the first 100 Topps Living Set Cards.

If you're on Twitter, be sure to follow along, it's really great interaction with awesome baseball fans and card collectors.

As always, PLAY BALL! ⚾

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Nicholas Castellanos is the 2018 Tiger of the Year

Detroit Tigers right fielder Nicholas Castellanos is the 2018 Tiger of the Year Award winner, as selected by the Detroit Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Complete list of Tiger of the Year, 1965-2017.

Castellanos finished the 2018 season with a .298 batting average, 23 home runs, and 89 RBI while playing in 157 games for the Tigers.

Nicholas is also a finalist for this year's Silver Slugger Award, which will be announced later today.

Nicholas is a terrific hitter and plays hard every single day when he hits the ball field, be it playing at third base, the outfield, being a Designated Hitter, or running the bases, and is a well deserved winner of this year's award.

The Tiger of the Year Award began in 1965, with 3rd Baseman Don Wert taking home the first honor.

Play Ball! 🐯⚾

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Seeing RED!

Monday was National Redhead Day and as I was watching Dancing with the Stars I thought hey, why not post a picture of my favorite DWTS professional, Sharna Burgess.

OK, this is, after all, a baseball blog, so here we go... OK, one more pic of Sharna...

OK, now, on to some baseball stuff and the color red.

⚾ Red Schoendinst was a terrific ballplayer, manager, and coach for the St. Louis Cardinals, and is synonymous with baseball and the Redbirds.

⚾ A few other bloggers also celebrated today's love of the fair haired.

Chris at The Collector.

Night Owl Cards.

The Cheat Sheet has your All-Ginger Team.

⚾ I've also, in the last few months, become of a fan of actress Emma Stone after I saw her in the bio pic about Billie Jean King, and, of course, in her Oscar winning performance in La La Land.

⚾ Speaking of the color red, 2019 will be the 150th Anniversary of the Original Big League Baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds unveiled several uniform and promotional info for the year, including their Official Logo.

Cincinnati is about 4 hours south of Kalamazoo, and I need to get to a game for sure in 2019.

The celebration should be fun, plus I can add another big league ballpark to my list.

Baseball history is very important to me, and I'd love to get to a Reds game and visit the team Hall of Fame.

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΈIn closing, I hope you have a great Tuesday, and, please, remember to get out and VOTE! 


Monday, November 5, 2018

Baseball Bulletin...Bloggers Secret Santa 2018

Last year I had the opportunity to participate in my first Secret Santa over on Bob Walk The Plank, and I really enjoyed the experience.

With Bob having retired from active blogging earlier this year, many of us wondered if the Secret Santa would continue this season, and today we got our answer.

Jon over at A Penny Sleeve For Your Thoughts has taken the lead this year, with the blessings of Matthew, and Secret Santa is a go this holiday season, so, lets get the word out on Ye Olde Blogosphere, and make sure you let Jon know if you want to participate.

It was so much fun finding out who I was giving for, going through all my cards, and picking out the one's I thought would bring joy upon opening up the package...I know it brought me happiness.

It's just a $10.00 minimum to get involved in the holiday giving with all the awesome bloggers out there.

Thanks, Jon, for your leadership this year, it's greatly appreciated!


Friday, November 2, 2018

Topps BUNT Then & Now Reward... Miguel Cabrera

For 30 weeks on the Topps BUNT app I collected thirty (30) different Then And Now insert cards, and last week I received the card that was the reason I started the quest.

                                             Miguel Cabrera Topps BUNT 2018 THEN & NOW

When I saw that Miggy was gonna be the reward card I had to go for's rare that any Tigers player is the main focus of a reward like that on BUNT, so it was a no-brainer for me.

Each card had the player in the background wearing the uniform of the THEN big league team they started with, and the NOW uniform he's currently sporting.

There were three Waves in the year long contest, with a reward card at the end of each wave.

Cards 1-10... Ichiro Suzuki.

Cards 11-20... Albert Pujols.

Cards 21-30... Max Scherzer.

I log onto BUNT every day, and it's been the first thing I've done when opening up my tablet or phone every day for many years now, and I also have the NFL Huddle and NHL Skate APPS.

I am also looking forward to tomorrow when I get another BUNT Reward card, and I'll post that as well.

Have a FANTASTIC weekend...and, as always, PLAY BALL! ⚾️