Thursday, January 31, 2019

Card Corner... First Images /2019 Topps Detroit Tigers Cards

Scanning the usual social media feeds,  card blogs, and ebay on Wednesday I finally got a look at first images of  the Detroit Tigers cards in Topps Series 1.

  


Even though I haven't yet opened up any packs, the images of Matthew Boyd still has me as excited as I was when I first started collecting cards 51 years ago.



Look at that beautiful BOYD card!


I'm not sure that the name BOYD has been so boldly displayed on a card as this black parallel card of Matthew.

Because of the horrible winter weather here in Michigan, I'm not sure when I'll get to open cards, but hopefully it'll be by this weekend.




I look forward to reading through all the blogs as my fellow collectors start the new baseball card year by ripping through those hanger packs, boxes, and cases.




Play Ball! ⚾️

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Card Corner... 2019 Topps Detroit Tigers Short Prints

Tomorrow is officially release day for Topps Series 1 Baseball cards, and yet, as always, some collectors have gotten their hands on them early, and with that, we're seeing images of short prints as well.

Thanks to Beckett.com , and Ryan, a.k.a. @tradercracks on Twitter,  a list of all 75 SP and SSP (Super Short Print) card images are known, including the 3 Detroit Tigers cards.




🎯 #176 Ty Cobb (SSP)


This card is pretty cool, and the use of the Olde English D from back in Cobb's day makes the card  even better.

The SSP will, most assuredly, make it hard for me to find,  and as equally hard to afford.


🎯 #209 Nicholas Castellanos


As a fan of the slugging right fielder, I'm certainly hoping to add this to my collection.


🎯 #230 Miguel Cabrera



I'm not sure why Topps used this card of the Mighty Miggy, it looks like a base card to me.


Now, while its certainly fun to pull, and collect these cards, it's no secret that many Tigers fans, including myself, wish that Topps would actually include other players instead of Cobb and Cabrera.


A card of Matthew Boyd, Nico Goodrum, Mickey Lolich...or Bill Freehan short print would be nice for a change, after all, Detroit has been in the American League for 119 years.


A couple non-Tigers SP cards I like.

✔ This SP card of former Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander is pretty snazzy...certainly a card I'll try and obtain...



... as is this SP of former Jacksonville Suns catcher and the hottest catcher in all the trade rumors, Miami Marlins backstop J.T. Realmuto. 🐟



Another terrific SP card is of perennial All-Star and 🌟Gold Glove Award 🌟 winning St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.



Because of the horrendous winter weather here in Kalamazoo I doubt I'll get my hands on any packs until next week, but I'll certainly be reading the blog posts and scanning my Twitter feed to see other collectors opening the first baseball cards of the year.



Enjoy ripping those packs, and, of course...Play Ball!



Monday, January 28, 2019

Card Corner... 2019 Topps Card #1

Today Topps revealed that card #1 in this years base set of cards is Atlanta Braves phenom Ronald Acuna, Jr.





Acuna, Jr.,  who turned just 21 in December, won the Topps Fan Vote for the coveted card #1.

Previous winners of the fan vote are Mike Trout (2016), Kris Bryant (2017), and Aaron Judge (2018).



For purposes of open transparency,  I cast my Topps #1 card vote for my favorite southpaw hurler, #48 of the Detroit Tigers,  Matthew Boyd.


Series 1 has already been poorly received for it's design among many collectors that I've read on blogs and Twitter, but until I actually open a pack and hold the cards, I will hold my judgment.


As for the #1 card of Acuna, Jr., I think it looks good...maybe it's the Topps All-Star  Rookie Cup that makes it appealing at first glance.




Whatever the variety of opinions, we'll all find out in two days when Topps officially releases Series 1, on Wednesday,  January 30th.


Until next time... PLAY BALL!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Baseball Bulletin... January 23, 2019

                      Happy National Pie Day!


While you're enjoy that delicious piece of apple, cherry, blueberry, or peach pie today, always remember that when it comes to baseball, there's no better choice than the great Harold Joseph "Pie" Traynor.



Pie Traynor was considered the greatest 3rd Baseman in baseball history prior to the likes of Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt coming around, put his accomplishments speak for themselves.


⚾️🐐 Speaking of the Hall of Fame, the newest additions to the HOF Class of 2019 were announced on Tuesday.

Here's just a few things about each HOFer.

Roy Halladay



The first time I remember hearing his name, "DOC" Halladay was throwing a no-hitter vs my Detroit Tigers for 8 2/3 innings, until Bobby Higginson broke it up.

Halladay was a magnificent pitcher, who excelled in both the A.L. and N.L., and although I best remember him as a Blue Jay, his no-hitter in the 2010 playoffs vs the Cincinnati Reds will go down as his greatest performance.



Halladay's widow announced on Wednesday that Doc's HOF plaque will have no logo on the ballcap, in reference to her husband's love of both Toronto and Philadelphia.


Edgar Martinez



Edgar Martinez could flat out hit, and in the era of the designated hitter, few did it better.

It's about time the stigma of the DH is ended when looking at a players career, after all, it's been around both leagues since Inter-league play began in 1997, and it's been used in the American League since 1973.

With both Martinez and  Harold Baines entering Coopestown, this will hopefully open up looks of other ballplayers that were mainly the team DH to get at least another look by the Veteran's Committee.




Designated hitters like Edgar, Cecil Fielder, Victor Martinez, Mo Vaughn, and David Ortiz had many big time hits in their playing days, and why not all are HOF players, they deserve to stay on the ballot for the full 10 years


Mike Mussina



Mussina won 270 games...yes, wins matter, and he was a terrific defender, winning 7 Gold Glove Awards.

I'll always consider Moose a Baltimore Orioles pitcher, and I hope that's the cap he chooses for his HOF plaque, and not the NY of the evil empire.


Mariano Rivera


This Rivera card is part of the Topps Living Set, and is available on topps.com for one week.


Every HOF Ballot since the very first one in 1936 resulted on no player receiving 100% of the vote...until Tuesday.

It's so good too see that Rivera became the first player to unanimously be elected, and I expect that Derek Jeter will be the 2nd player next year.

The 83 year battle that many baseball writers had with certain players because the player snubbed them in an interview one day so they refused to vote for them is hopefully dead and buried now.

Another problem was that many writers refused to vote for the likes of Brooks Robinson, Wade Boggs, Ted Williams, and Al Kaline for the simple reason that neither Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, or Walter Johnson got 100%, so how could other players deserve the honor.



πŸ₯œ Well, I started this post on National Pie Day, but it's taken me so long to finish that it's officially now National Peanut Butter Day.

As a baseball fan, and a fan of peanut butter, I have to give a shout out to Home Plate Peanut Butter, and can attest that the creamy is absolutely delicious!


Well, that's it for now, I'm on my way to the land of football greatness, Ann Arbor,  to take my wife to the UM Medical Center for a consultation and I have to be up in 6 hours.


Until next time, you know the drilll... Play Ball! ⚾️

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Blog Bat Around...The First Name That Comes To Mind

I saw this interesting post by The Collector where he writes down the first big league ball player name that comes to mind for each team.


This is a wonderful idea, originally posted by Night Owl Cards, and, of course, I automatically had to start my own lists.

I will, as I always do, separate the teams that aren't around anymore...like the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Boston Braves, and the Washington Senators.

First, the current big league teams.

Arizona... Paul Goldschmidt 

Atlanta... Hank Aaron



Yes, you could go Dale Murphy here, but I was watching Hamnerin' Hank the night he hit HR #715 off Dodgers lefty Al Downing to pass Babe Ruth...no question it's The Hammer! 

Baltimore... Brooks Robinson



I saw every game of the 1970 World Series from a hospital bed, watching the Greatest 3rd Baseman ever personally beat the Cincinnati Reds.

Boston... Fred Lynn

Chicago Cubs... Ernie Banks

Chicago White Sox... "Shoeless" Joe Jackson

Cleveland... Bob Feller



Back in the 1980s I met Bob Feller at a minor league game and we talked about his battles with the great Tigers teams, including his showdowns with Hank Greenberg.
A great night in my life.

Cincinnati... Pete Rose

Colorado... Todd Helton

Detroit... Bill Freehan 



If this is your first time here, you may wonder why I didn't say Ty Cobb, Al Kaline, Alan Trammell, or Miguel Cabrera.

If you've been here before you completely understand.


Houston... Dennis Menke




I know...you're saying Dennis who?

Menke, a good shortstop, was traded in the winter of 1971 to the Cincinnati Reds... and he played on the 1972 Big Red Machine...that's probably why I remember him so much.

Kansas City... George Brett 

Los Angeles Angeles... Nolan Ryan

Los Angeles Dodgers... Steve Garvey

Miami ... Giancarlo Stanton 

Milwaukee... Robin Yount



"Rockin" Robin is still the greatest Brewers player of All-Time...I don't ever remember him not being good...mostly he was just great, a two time A.L. MVP...at two different positions, shortstop and centerfield.


Minnesota... Harmon Killebrew 

New York Mets... Rusty Staub

New York Yankees... Babe Ruth

Oakland Athletics... Reggie Jackson 

Philadelphia Phillies... Mike Schmidt

Pittsburgh Pirates... Roberto Clemente 




When you watch a player like Clemente you're simply in awe of the magnificence in which he plays the great game of baseball.

When you find out that player has died in a tragic plane crash on New Year's Eve in 1972, you cry...and never forget what he meant to the game, his family, and his country.

St. Louis Cardinals... Stan Musial

San Diego Padres... Nate Colbert 



Yes, Nate Colbert!
The big power hitting 1st Baseman was one of my earliest memories of the Padres, and, heck, Big Nate even played briefly for the Tigers, in 1975.



San Francisco Giants... Willie May's

Seattle Mariners... Ken Griffey, Jr.

Tampa Bay Rays... Rocco Baldelli 

Rocco is my favorite Tampa Bay Devil Rays player,  so this was an easy one.



Rocco was named the new Minnesota Twins manager on October 28, 2018.
Texas Rangers... Toby Harrah

Toronto Blue Jays...  Dave Stieb

Washington Nationals... Bryce Harper 



Long Gone

Brooklyn Dodgers... Jackie Robinson 



I have loved Jackie Robinson since I was a kid, listening to stories of the 1950s World Series clashes between Brooklyn and the New York Yankees from my Uncle Bob.

Oh, how I wish I could've gone to a ballgame at Ebbetts Field.

New York Giants... Bill Terry

Boston Braves... "Wee" Willie Killer

Milwaukee Braves... Eddie Matthew's

Eddie Matthews played for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta... the only ballplayer to do that.

Eddie was on the 1st Cover of Sports Illustrated, 


and, he played on the 1968 World Series Champion Detroit Tigers!



Montreal Expos... John Bocabella

Kansas City Athletics... Hawk Harrelson 

Philadelphia Athletics... Jimmie Foxx

St. Louis Browns... George Sisler

It's quite possible that George Sisler is the most underrated 1st Baseman in baseball history.



Oh, and he played baseball at Michigan... for a man named Branch Rickey.

GO BLUE! 

Washington Senators... Walter Johnson 


The great Ty Cobb once told a reporter that the reason he had so much success against  The BIG Train was that Johnson was scared he hit someone so hard it would seriously hurt them...so he stood right on top of the plate to get an advantage against the powerful right hander.

  ⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️⚾️

😎 Well, it took awhile, but there it is. 😎

I hope to read all of the blogs on this topic...if you haven't done one yet I urge you to...you'll have fun for sure!

Take some time to search for all the other bloggers lists, like Jon of a Penny Sleeve for your Thoughts, or Adam from Cardboard Clubhouse ...great job guys!

Again, thanks to Night Owl Cards and The Collector for this, what fun it was was, and, of course, thanks to all who take the time to read my blog.


PLAY BALL! ⚾️

Monday, January 21, 2019

Monday Mopup...January 21, 2019

First off... I had no idea that Sunday was National Cheese Lovers Day... but that's probably because I was much to busy watching great championship football games.



πŸˆπŸ“Ί There were two awesome games played on the gridiron Sunday, and for the first time in NFL History, both the AFC and NFC Championship games went into overtime.

First, in New Orleans, the Los Angeles Rams came back to win in OT in the Superdome, on a 57 yard field goal from kicker Greg Zerlein.

Then, a few hours later in frigid Kansas City, my favorite QB, the legendary Tom Brady, drove the New England Patriots right down the field in the first possession of OT, and the Patriots beat the Chiefs, 37-31, to advance to their 3rd straight Super Bowl, the 9th with Brady, and the franchise's 11th overall since 1985.

                          🐐🐐🐐🐐🐐

I never hide my love for Brady, the former Michigan Wolverines signal caller who beat Alabama...in OT...to win the 2000 Orange Bowl, and who I brilliantly (?) predicted after that game that some NFL team was going to get themselves a terrific player.


Tom Brady's 2000 Score Rookie Previews Autographed card is easily my favorite football card in my collection.


πŸ“ΊπŸˆ Speaking of football on TV, here's a great article on former Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo's brilliance on TV.



⚾️ OK... Some baseball stuff.

⚾️πŸŽ‚πŸŽ Happy Baseball Birthday! to former big league pitcher Mike Krukow.



One of my favorite things during the baseball season is listening to late games from the West Coast, including San Francisco Giants games with Krukow, Duane Kiper, and Jon Miller...one of the best in the game.


πŸŽ™πŸ“»⚾️🐐 Greatness and brilliance, both qualities that certainly can be said about long time play by play voice of the Cincinnati Reds, Marty Brenneman, who has announced that 2019 will be his last calling Reds Baseball.


I really want to own one of these gorgeous 2017 Topps Archives Fan Favorites.

I go back a long way with Marty, as I remember him doing baseball games for NBC back in the 1970s...he takes me back to when I was learning baseball, and he's truly a HOF broadcaster.

πŸ“Ί⚾️ FOX Sports Sun has a new addition to their coverage of Tampa Bay Ray's baseball games... Tricia Whitaker.




⚾️🐐 Will Leitch has your Hall of Famers for all 30 baseball teams.

Miguel Cabrera is the obvious choice for my Tigers, and Justin Verlander as well,  although I disagree with him that the Colorado Rockies have no HOF players.

He's obviously never seen Nolan Arenado play...or, I guess, it's more dumb talk about how players who spend their careers playing at Coors Field don't count.

Any doubts...ask Paul from A Scribbled Ink about the Rockies 3rd sacker.

Oh...and then there's Todd Helton...he's a HOFer as well...and he played his entire career in the Mile High City.




⚾️ Brian Hoch writes on the MLB App that the Reds and Yankees are finalizing a trade for Sonny Gray.


⚾️ Michael Claire at Cut 4 has a marvelously written piece on the history of sanitary socks and baseball stirrups.



Stirrups on baseball cards...a great tradition!



Well, that's it for now, I'm getting tired...it's 2 a.m. on Monday morning and I need some sleep.


Until next time...have a great week...and PLAY BALL! THE ⚾️😎