Monday, December 31, 2018

Wolverines to Giants

While reading the blog-a-thon over at Sport Card Collectors I couldn't help but remember the connection between football in Ann Arbor, Michigan and the Big Apple from the mid 1980s until the mid 1990s, and I had to go dig out some old football cards.

Here's just a few of them.

Jumbo Elliott

Chris Calloway

Jarrod Bunch

Tyrone Wheatley

Amani Toomer

The reason that this small pipeline between my favorite college football team, the Michigan Wolverines, and the New York Football Giants strikes a happy cord with me is that at the time it was happening my stepson loved the Giants, and we would collect the cards together.

Michigan also had a tie to the Giants in the late Ron Johnson, the former Wolverines running back who still holds the single game rushing yard game, in 1968, vs Wisconsin.

Finally, my favorite old school NY Giants football player was Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who was married to the lovely Kathie Lee Gifford.

So, thanks to Matt and his blogging today, I got to relive the good times of being a stepdad, watching great football, and, of course, collecting cards.

I hope you got involved in the blog-a-thon and had fun reading and commenting about sports...and non-sports cards.

Have a safe and Happy New Year's!

Play Ball!

Belated My Mailbox... A Very Merry Cutchmas!

As I wasn't well enough to post all the packages that I got over the holidays, I'm going to start posting now as much as I can.

I received a great package from Collecting Cutch for winning his October Save the Boobies contest.

Winning said contest wasn't about the awesome 2012 Topps Heritage Flashback card of Carl Yastrzemski that he sent me,

as much as it was to help him support Breast Cancer Awareness....and, well, looking forward to the daily #SaveTheBoobies lady...oh, and, of course, pink Andrew McCutcheon baseball cards.

Getting namesake cards in the package is always a good thing... is any card that has the great Miguel Cabrera on it.

Thanks again to CUTCH, and an extra special thanks to all the great baseball fans and bloggers out there who posted on his blog in October to help the cause.

After all, it's certainly worth it!

Happy New Year!

Play Ball!

Roberto Clemente

Today is the 46th anniversary of the night we lost the great Roberto Clemente in a plane crash off the coast of his native Puerto Rico.

I'm posting this because the author of the book Clemente, David Marannis, is on Twitter today as he remembers the man who gave his life trying to help victims of a horrible earthquake in Nicaragua.

Clemente may be the best baseball book that I've ever read, and if you've never read it I suggest you go pick up a copy.

If you're on Twitter, go follow Mr. Marannis and enjoy his thoughts on the legendary ballplayer and humanitarian.

Play Ball!

Blog-a-thon-a-long w/ Sport Card Collecors!

Matt from Sport Card Collectors is having a Blog- a- thon and I thought I would help promote this event, as it sounds like a good idea to help break in the New Year.

Today is the 365th day of what's been a tough year for me and I'm ready for 2019 to be a heck of a lot better. 

Taking out the trash of what's been a miserable year for me health wise will hopefully be off to a good start this week as I go to see my specialist to get my MRI results on my right shoulder, a major reason why my pain is so bad.

As Matt starts his marathon of blogging, I thought I try and do as many posts as I could along the way. 

Be safe out there tonight.... and have a safe Happy New Years!

Play Ball

Saturday, December 29, 2018

The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

The Good.

Just thought I'd let everyone know that Google has straitened out my log in issues and I'm back into my account.

The Bad.

Since Thursday night I've been very sick, as all my pain issues, arthritis, diabetic nerve pain, neuropathy, and fibromyalgia all ganged up on me at once and caused the perfect storm, a storm that hit me like a Walter Johnson fastball to the chops.

The Ugly.

It was a good thing that my being sick kept me from watching my Wolverines, as they got hammered today by Florida.

Here's hoping that as I get better it coincides with 2019 being a heck of a lot better that this past year.

Play Ball!

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Locked out of Google

Just a quick post to let you all know that I'm currently locked out of Google on my new phone (long story), and I'm typing this on my tablet using the phone's  mobile hot spot, which has limited usage available.

To all those who sent me packages in the mail, thank you, I'll get up posts as soon as Google gets me back in and I can use my phone.

Hope you all had a great Christmas yesterday and Santa Claus took care of all the good boys and girls in the blogging community.

The Santa card was FREE on the Topps BUNT yesterday.

Merry Christmas! ...and, of course,  PLAY BALL! ⚾️🎁🎄🎅

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Secret Santa... #Freehan77 ... cards from a Bulldog

My Secret Santa arrived  a couple of weeks ago but I thought I'd wait until it got closer to Christmas to write the post.

🎄I have to admit up front that it hasn't been the best of times the past few months.

My health hasn't been good, and, well, life just isn't great right now, on many fronts, and getting this package has helped my spirits tremendously.

The one thing that keeps me going through all the bad stuff going on right now is the wonderful bloggers who posts I read every day, as well as my awesome Twitter and Facebook Family of collectors as well.

🎅I must admit also that I hadn't previously known my Secret Santa and his blog, but now I've gained another awesome blogger to follow.

Many thanks go out to Roy, a.k.a "The Bulldog," for coming through with a couple of awesome  Bill Freehan art cards that are a wonderful addition to my collection.

Roy has a terrific blog, Nothing if not Random, and I'm  glad that we are now connected in Ye Olde Blogosphere! 

The cards are beautiful, and again, I'm blessed that Roy got my name...thanks Roy, on a job well done.

Merry Christmas! 🎅🎄🎁

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Thank You! James McCann

Former Detroit Tigers Catcher James McCann thanked the Tigers and all of the Motor City in a tweet today.

McCann is one of my favorite Tigers catchers, a young man who, although he didn't get to be the great catcher we thought he'd be, battled injuries, as catchers do, and gave it his all every time he put on the Olde English D.

McCann was also my wife's favorite player, not just because of the player he was for Detroit, but because if the man he is.

A devout Christian, McCann, who played college baseball at Arkansas, spoke at a function we attended early in the 2017 season at Comerica Park and spoke to those in attendance before a Tigers game about his faith and beliefs. 

One  of my favorite things about McCann  is the way he signs his baseball cards.

McCann was released by the Tigers on November 30th, making way for younger backstops like Grayson Griener and Jake Rogers to claim their spot in the big leagues.

McCann is now officially  a member of the rival Chicago White Sox, so we'll  see James again at least another 19 times in 2019.

Thanks James, for proudly wearing the uniform that I've loved for 52 years, for honoring all the Tigers catchers that have played with the tools of ignorance since 1901.

Good Luck in Chicago James McCann, well, at least in 143 out of the 162 games next season. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Happy Baseball Birthday... Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline

Today I send out Happy Baseball Birthday! wishes to the best right fielder in Detroit Tigers history, William Albert Kaline, a.k.a. the one and only Mr. Tiger.

Al Kaline was born 84 years ago today in Baltimore, Maryland, and wasn't it appropriate that his 3,000th career base hit was in his hometown.

3,007 base hits as a Tiger, second only to Ty Cobb in franchise history, Kaline was the best defensive right fielder in the American League for more than a decade, and won 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards starting in 1957.

🐯⚾ The Gold Glove Award was started in 1957 by Rawlings, and I think had the award existed at the start of the 1954 season, his rookie year, that total would've been 13 for sure.

As far as his baseball cards, my favorite that I have in my collection is his 1960 Topps Card, from the year I was born.

                   Al Kaline 1960 Topps #50

In 1960 Kaline played 137 games in the outfield, committing just 5 errors in 377 total chances, w/ a fielding percentage of .987%.

 I was lucky enough to have seen Kaline play baseball at old Tiger Stadium, including this 1969 game.

At 84, Kaline is in his 65th year working for the team that he signed with out of high school, playing in his very first big league game on June 25, 1953.

🐯 Kaline never played a game of baseball in the minor leagues, but he did play a Tigers team record of 2, 834.

Every single fan of the boys from the Motor City is glad that the kid from Baltimore made Detroit his home.

Happy Baseball Birthday! Mr. Tiger!

Play BALL! 🐯⚾

Friday, December 7, 2018

My Mailbox... #Freehan77/ Gummy Arts/ Burls Breaks

It looks like I entered My Favorite Baseball Card post in P-Town Tom's contest a little early as today's mailbox goodies included the following card...

...from the awesome Gummy Arts, who drew the special card for my hero's 77th Happy Baseball Birthday! on November 29th! 

When Gummy messaged me that he was going to send me the card that he had drawn for Bill Freehan I was overjoyed by his kindness, and I cannot thank him enough.

I've showcased Gummy's art before, including this 1968 The Sporting News Topps Bill Freehan card.

📪 As always, if you're a baseball card collector on Twitter, Gummy is a must never know what card will appear.

📪 Speaking of 1968 Topps, today's delivery also had my winning card from Burls Sports 1968 card break last week.

⚾ Tommie Sisk pitched his first 7 years in the big leagues for the Pirates, from 1962-68, compiling a 37-35 won/loss record with a good 3.69 ERA for the Buccos.

⚾ 1968 is my absolute favorite Topps Baseball card set, so I'm very happy that I won a free spot in that break.

Be sure to follow Burls Sports on Twitter and Facebook as they are always breaking sets of great old baaeball cards.

Well, that's it for this post, as it's 12:40 am and I need to get ready to watch the beautiful Gewn Stefani sing Christmas music on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in a few minutes.


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

My Favorite Card of 2018...BIG John Hicks

P-Town Tom is once again hosting his favorite card of the year contest, and I automatically thought about my 2018 Topps Update Series #139 of BIG John Hicks! 

Why is this my favorite card of 2018?

Because it took 2 years and every Topps baseball card issue for BIG John to finally get his first Tigers card!

Another terrific thing about the card is that instead of a picture of BIG John batting, or playing 1st Base, Topps used a great in action photo of him wearing the tools of ignorance.

I know that Julie from the blog A Cracked Bat, a fan of a catcher in his gear, loved this card of the Goochland, Virginia native as well.

BIG John had his best season in the big leagues, playing in a career high 81 games before a groin injury ended his season in August.

What's your favorite baseball card from the past year?

If you have one, get over to the contest and submit your entry...the deadline is January 7th.

Play Ball! ⚾

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Just Dam (on) Ugly.

There are somethings that are just ugly, and this card, I hope, is ugly enough for Peter's UGLY Baseball Card Contest this year.

 2010 Topps National Chicle Johnny Damon

The first time I pulled this card out of it's pack it's scared me, and nothing's changed.

I'm not sure what's going on with Damon's expression, but it looks like, while his mouth is ready to explode, his eyes seem rather calm.

Also, the Olde English D isn't correct, as they're using the same wider D as on the jersey instead of the traditional skinny D that's been on the cap (which looks like a batting helmet on Damon's head) for decades.

To make matters even uglier, I've had many collectors send me the card in packages over the years...and in multiples...clearly they also agree that it was, well, too ugly to keep.

Anyway, thats my ugly baseball card post, and I hope you found it amusing, or, at least, well, ugly.

Play Ball! ⚾