Thursday, December 31, 2020

My Mailbox πŸ“«- Best of 2020

I've been reading quite a few BEST OF 2020 posts this week, as we say goodbye to what's been a pretty bad year in all of our lives, so, what the heck, here's my go at it. 

The "best" of anything is a personal choice, so, for myself, that's pretty much Tigers players, with a Michigan card thrown in here, and there.

I got quite a few new baseball cards this year, and here are just a few of my favorites.

In March the BEST Topps Base Card of 2020 was released, and it's a Detroit Tigers player not named Miguel Cabrera.

This awesome card of Detroit outfielder Travis Demerritt running out of the dugout bat Comerica Park during the Negro Leagues weekend from 2019 is just a magnificent baseball card.

Our buddy Fugi chose another 2020 Topps base card  as his favorite. 

2020 Topps Allen & Ginter Longball Lore cards.

These cards are some of the best inserts I've seen and their were actually Tigers players included, Miggy, and Big Daddy.

I purchased 8 different Project 2020 cards, a couple from Topps directly, and some from eBay.

I would like to eventually get at least one of these cards for each player from the set, especially Derek Jeter, the Kalamazoo Kid.

I ordered this Mike Trout card because it was possible to receive an autographed card.

I didn't get an autographed Trout card, but it's a cool cards, nonetheless.

I acquired a few football cards this year, w/ my favorite(s) being my first cards of Tom Brady as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer.

Anytime I get card of the former Michigan QB, it absolutely makes my day.

πŸ‘‰ I was also gifted this 1980 Topps Terry Bradshaw card...the "original TB 12."

I added a lot of cards of my favorite guy named BOYD, Matthew, way to many to post.

This was easily the BEST Matt Boyd card from 2020.

Card #1/3, I just couldn't pass up bidding on the card , and I was shocked when I actually won... possibly the best $20 that I've ever spent on a single baseball card.

πŸ₯‡ There's no doubt that the clear #1 card that I received this year was this magnificent baseball card of the late Mr. Tiger, Al Kaline.

I posted back this summer what getting this 1955 Bowman Al Kaline meant to me then, and it's still emotional when I think of opening up that package from Collecting Cutch.

Cutch also added another card to that package.

If he'd just sent the Bill Freehan autographed card, that would've made it the best card that I added in 2020.

Here's to a far better year in the next 12 months, and may God bless you all.

Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Happy Baseball Birthday... Sandy Koufax

Today we send out Happy Baseball Birthday! best wishes to Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who's turning 85! 

Sanford Koufax  was born on December 30, 1935, in, appropriately, Brooklyn, NY.

Few pitchers in baseball history dominanted from the mound in a short time as did Sandy Koufax, who won 102 games from 1962-66, winning 25 games in 1963, 26 in '65, and 27 in '66, his final season.

πŸ‘‰ Sandy also led the National League in ERA every year, from '62-'66, posting marks of 2.54, 1.88, 1.74, 2.04, and 1.73.

This year Topps cane out with Project 2020, a massive set that featured 20 artists collaborating to make 20 different cards of 20 different big league ballplayers.

Sandy Koufax was included in the set, and I made sure to scoop up a couple of the cards.

I wouldn't mind getting a few more of the Project 2020 cards of Sandy.

🚞 If you're on Twitter, are a Dodgers fan, or, like me, a baseball fan in general, I suggest following  Dodgers Cards, a terrific page that celebrates the history of the Dodgers, all the way back to the Bridegroons, Trolly Dodgers, Robins, and Superbas.

Sandy Koufax finished up his career before I really paid attention to the big leagues, retiring after the 1966 season due to increasing pain in his left arm.

🦾 Known as the "Left Arm of God," Sandy would go on to the TV booth for the "Game of the Week," and that's were I first learned about him.

As I grew up reading books and watching more baseball on TV, I learned about his playing baseball and basketball at the University of Cincinnati, in 1954.

Sandy was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, on 344/366 ballots by the BBWAA.

Sandy won just 9 of his big league wins in 3 seasons playing for his hometown Brooklyn Dodgers, before Walter O'Malley moved the ball club to Los Angeles, were he won just 27 games from 1958-60.

 1️⃣9️⃣6️⃣1️⃣ - Sandy saw the beginning of his future greatness in 1961, as he made his first All-Star team, winning 18 games, and striking out a N.L. leading 269 batters. 

Thanks again, for stopping by and taking time out of your day to give my blog a read.

Have you purchased any Topps 2020 cards?

Who's your favorite Brooklyn Dodgers?

Los Angeles Dodgers? 

For me, it's Steve Garvey, the great Dodgers 1st Baseman from the 1970s, and the wonderful Jackie Robinson, who's probably also many of your choices as favorite Brooklyn ballplayer. 

Here's hoping you all had a very Merry Christmas, and that we all have a wonderful, wonderful, Happy New Year!

Happy Baseball Birthday! Sandy Koufax, here's hoping that you're having a terrific day with family.

Play Ball! ⚾⛄

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Tigers Card Tuesday...Balling Boyd

Today's Tigers Card Tuesday! is the first addition of what's probably the start of another rainbow 🌈 card chase w/ the arrival of my first Ben Baller Topps card of Matthew Boyd.

Now, I'm not going to fib, I don't really pay that much attention to this kinda Topps stuff, usually, because I simply can't afford, but I saw a Twitter post of a Miguel Cabrera super collector, thought the cards looked cool, and headed to eBay.

This Boyd card is numbered #10/50, and the thought automatically came to me that I need to  find card #48, which is Boyd's jersey number.

There seems to be plenty of cards available, so I do my best to add to the ever growing BOYD Binder.

🐯⚾ Ever wonder how the Detroit Tigers got their name?

Here's a good story on the MLB App about how the ball club became known as the Tigers.

We're down to just three days before Santa comes to visit us all.

Be safe, and, as always, Play BALL! ⚾

Monday, December 21, 2020

Monday Mopup...Lions Lose, Tom Brady wins, and the Red Wings are Back!

Well, it was, as it has so often, a less than stellar weekend of football in the house, and, of course, the "less" part belongs to my Detroit Lions.

🦁🏈 Matthew Stafford played his heart out, as he usually does, with injured ribs and throwing finger, only to see the offense lose two fumbles, one on the goal line, and miss an extra point, as Detroit was run over by the Titans, 46-25, in Nashville.

🦁 It's really a shame that the Lions have spent 12 years of Stafford as their QB by wasting draft pick after draft pick, and, as with Barry Sanders, running the best receiver in team history, Calvin Johnson, into retirement.

🌈 As has been the case in the last 20 years, my weekend was at least partly salvaged, as the great Michigan QB, Tom Brady, led his team to a cone from behind win in Atlanta.

I don't like it when the Lions play against Brady.

It's not because I expect the Lions to lose (of course I want them to win), but I don't want Brady to get hurt, and in a game like this, with the Lions having nothing to lose, it's easy to see a freak injury happening. 

πŸ’ Elsewhere in my sports world, the NHL announced on Sunday that the league would be back on the ice on January 13, 2021, and I'm very excited to see my Detroit Red Wings back playing meaningful games again.

When hockey came back during the summer, the Red Wings were left on the outside of the playoff picture, and they couldn't play, so, it's been a very long time for us fans who love watching one of the Original 6 squads...and the most successful American based team in the NHL. 

                 11 Stanley Cup Championships! 

Also, our local team here, the Kalamazoo Wings, won't play hockey because of the Covid-19 pandemic, making my Red Wings, as well as Michigan hockey, my main focus by his winter.

πŸ€” How's your football team doing?
πŸ€” Are you a hockey fan?

πŸ€” Do you have a favorite player that doesn't play for your favorite team?

Have a terrific week... Play BALL!  πŸˆπŸ’

Saturday, December 19, 2020


Since I first learned about the Negro Leagues back in the 1970s, I've been fascinated by the players, the teams, and all that was great about a magical part baseball, now 100 Years old.

On Tuesday MLB finally made the decision, rightfully so, to make the Negro Leagues a part of all big league baseball, and will set forth on including all it's players, teams, stats, etc, into the big league record book.

For fans if baseball in the State of Michigan, and the City of Detroit, this includes the  players of the Detroit Stars, as well as the Detroit Wolves, who played only the 1932 season.

The most famous of the Negro Leagues players from the Stars was Hall of Famer Norman "Turkey" Stearnes, who played 10 of his 20 years for the Stars.

This iconic picture of Stearnes at old Tiger Stadium is one of my favorite baseball photos.

Turkey is famous for talking to his bat to coax base hits out of the lumber that he used to wallop 176 homers, including a 23 HR season in 1928, one of his 6 seasons of double digits dingers playing in Detroit.

The Stars uniforms were awesome, and I love getting Tigers baseball cards of players while they're wearing the replica uniform during the Negro Leagues weekends the team has celebrated over the last few decades.

⚾ I wrote an initial piece way back when Topps Series 1 came out, then shared a picture of the pink version in October.

It's only one week until Christmas, and I hope y'all are enjoying the season, and are staying safe as you go about your shopping.

⚾⛄🌲 Over on the Topps BUNT app, I have the Negro Leagues logo as my avatar.

πŸ€” Do you have a favorite Negro Leagues team, or player?

⚾🌲⛄ Have a terrific weekend...Play BALL! ⚾

Friday, December 18, 2020

Football Card Friday... Greg Landry

This edition of Football Card Friday! is also a special Happy Birthday! post for my favorite Detroit Lions player growing up, quarterback  Greg Landry, who's 74 today. 

Greg Landry was born in Nashua, New Hampshire on December 18, 1946, played his college football at the University of Massachusetts, and was the Lions 1st round pick of the 1968 NFL Draft (11th overall).

There's a real simple reason I loved Greg Landry as a kid.

He wore #11, an obvious magical number to me, and when I saw him tossing the old pigskin around, he became my favorite member of the Lions.

πŸ‘‰ Greg would go on to play QB for the old Baltimore Colts, and then the Arizona Wranglers of the USFL.

Greg continued to wear that magical #11.

πŸ€” Did you have a favorite QB from back in the day that either played in the old USFL, or went on to play for another team?

Did you have a favorite USFL team, like my Michigan Panthers, who won the Inaugural USFL well as having the best logo in the league! 

🏈 Oh, and, FYI, the QB for the Panthers was Bobby Hebert, who, of course, wore #11.

Have a great weekend of football, and thanks for taking a minute to read my blog.

Play BALL!  🏈

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Tigers Card Tuesday... #RAK Bill Freehan Cards

I had already started today's Tigers Card Tuesday! post, but I had to pivot after getting a couple cards in the mail today.


🐦 Twitter is a great place for me and baseball cards.

The hobby love is never ending,  it's just cool seeing collectors help each other out, or, in my case, have an overwhelming show of support from people who follow me and know my love of Bill Freehan.

The above cards of Freehan, a 1969 Topps Game, #11, and a 1969 Topps Deckle Edge, are two awesome cards of the former Tigers catcher, although I was always upset at Topps for just giving Bill a Walk card, well, because he only managed 626 bases on balls on balls in 6,900 plate appearances in 15 years.

One day, last week, I woke up from my afternoon nap to find...

( I'm really not happy about this new Blogger picture's enlarged as much as it can with going to it's original size...UGH!  😩

πŸ‘‰ I hadn't even come across the initial tweet about the giveaway, so when I saw the collectors asking to have the cards sent to me, well, I was amazed, to say the least.

🎁 The person running the giveaway, Ben Brown,  decided that he'd stop the contest feed, and start a new one, with different baseball cards, and I got this DM.

πŸ’› Thank You to each and every one of you that asked Ben to send them to me...I appreciate it very much.πŸ’›

Hope y'all have a very harmonious hump day tomorrow, and I thanks for taking the time to stop by and give ye olde blog a read.

Play BALL! 🐯⚾

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Tigers Card Tuesday...The BOYD Binder

Today's Tigers Card Tuesday! post is a bit different, but it's something I've ment to do for awhile, but just haven't gotten it started. 

πŸ’™ The BOYD Binder is my collection of cards that started because Matthew Boyd became a member of my favorite baseball team, the Detroit Tigers, and, well, his last name is my middle name, and so, he instantly became my favorite Tigers player.

πŸ‘Ά Growing up I was always called by my middle name, mostly because I had two Grandfather's, an Uncle, and probably a few other relatives named John, so, to avoid the confusion, everyone, mostly, started to call me "Boyd."

⚾ The first baseball player I remember sharing a name with was Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos in the 1980s.

I had a few of "Oil Can's" cards, but what is most unique about the two of us is that I spent about a month, or so, on Navy "A" School in his hometown of Meridian, Mississippi.

🏈 The first football player w/ my middle name that I can recall was former Green Bay Packers wide out "BOYD" Dowler, of the great Lombardi Packers of the 1960s.

πŸ“˜ The Boyd Binder is ever going, and I hope that Matthew stays the rest of his big league career w/ my beloved Tigers, but, of course, I'll continue to collect his cards as long as they make them, no matter the team. 

Recently, I posted that I'd passed 100 different Matthew Boyd cards, , quite the accomplishment, and I'm on my way to 200! 

"Boyd" cards in my collection. (137 cards)

• Matthew Boyd (107 cards)

            Card #107, 2020 Topps Triple Thread                             Matthew Boyd, #1/3.

 Easily the BEST Matthew Boyd card that I own! 

I can't believe that I actually own this awesome card...and that the card is BLUE, and that you can feel the Navy Blue stripe that was part of the Old English D on the Tigers uniform! 

πŸ‘‰While Matthew will always be the easy majority in the BB, there are other cards in the Boyd collection as well, and, they are...

• Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd (18)

• Tyler Boyd (3)

• Bob Boyd - Baseball (2)
• Bob Boyd - Football (1)

• Tajh Boyd  (2)

• Travis Boyd (1)

• Fred Boyd (1)

• James Boyd (1)

• BOYD Dowler (1)


Before I finished up this post, Matthew Boyd and his wife, Ashley, were live on Instagram, talking baseball, and his charity, 

The mission of the Kingdom Home is to end sex slavery....Tracy and I support a young girl, named, Tracey, w/ $20.00 a month.

It's still "Giving Tuesday," and it will be for awhile, as Matt and Ashley are back in the Seattle area, so, if you can, please give...the minimum amount is $5.00, and, if you're reading this after Tuesday, it's still OK to donate.

🐯⚾ I did get Matt to answer a question... 

"have you talked to A.J. yet." in reference to new Tigers Skipper A.J. Hinch.

πŸ€” He said that he had, that he likes A.J., and looked forward to playing for him.

🐯⚾ Matthew also referenced that Hinch was a catcher on the 119 loss Tigers team of 2003.

Hope y'all have an awesome week, and I appreciate the fact that you took time out of your day to stop by and read this post.

Play BALL! 🐯⚾

Sunday, November 29, 2020

#Freehan79 ...Happy Baseball Birthday...William Ashley Freehan

Today I send out Happy Baseball Birthday! Best Wishes to my All- Time favorite big league ballplayer, Bill Freehan, celebrating in Northern Michigan today, as he turns 79.

William Ashley Freehan was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Saturday, November 29, 1941, just 9 days before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Over the last 10 days I've posted articles about Bill, and talked about what he means to me.

My love of baseball, and the Detroit Tigers, was cemented by the greatest catcher in the 1960s, and in the history of the Tigers.

Many of you may not know this, but Bill is suffering from Dimentia/Alzheimer's, and is in Hospice Care at his home in the Petoskey area of Northern Michigan.

I'd ask a small favor, for those that are reading this today.

In place of part of your card budget today, I'm asking if you could take a portion of that, $11.00, and donate to Hospice of Michigan.

Hospice is helping to care for Bill, and I'm sure they could use and donations received to help aid in the care of, not just Bill, but many, many, of those that are in need of care.

Thanks to all of you who've stopped by my blog over the last 11 days, as I've posted about Bill Freehan.

I'm truly blessed to be part of such a marvelous community of baseball fans.

Have a awesome Sunday night.... Oh, and, of course...PLAY BALL! 🐯⚾ 

Saturday, November 28, 2020

#Freehan79 ... Day 10... The Card

Welcome to Day 10 of my countdown to the 79th Happy Baseball Birthday! of my favorite baseball player, Bill Freehan, tomorrow, November 29th.

                                The Card.

We all have one in our baseball card collections, that one card that means more to you all by itself than all of your other cards put together.

For me, acquiring The Card wasn't easy, a journey that would take me years to find.

1️⃣ The first card show If ever heard of was a small show in Battle Creek, about 20 minutes east of Portage, Michigan.

πŸš— I had a 1968 Mustang at the time, so I hopped in and drove to the "Cereal City" looking for the Bill Freehan RC, a 1963 Topps #466.

I looked around, found a few Tigers cards that I wanted, and found out that Freehan RC was a "High Number" card, and would be difficult to find.

How true that statement was, as it would be two years, and 1,200 miles until I found my holy grail of cards.

In Jacksonville, Florida, I saw an ad for a card show in nearby Orange Park, and off I was, cash in hand.

The first card table I went to I asked for the '63 Freehan, and the guy told me that he didn't have it at his table, but if I came to his card shop on Monday, he'd have the card for me.

Two days later, for $10.00, the 1963 Topps Bill Freehan RC, #466, was mine. 

39 years later, The Card, my Holy Grail, is still my favorite baseball card, and that will never change.

🐯 The list is about to be redone, after I was gifted a must have from my wish list that became real... however, the Top card won't change.

In 2002 Topps put the '63 Freehan RC into it's Topps Archives and Topps Archives Autographs, or, at least, the BEST part of the card.

πŸ’₯ My Princess bought the card for me one year for Christmas, and it's a terrific part of my collection.

(πŸŒ›It's late at night, almost 11 pm, so I'm using the TCDB image.)

πŸ¦ƒ Before I sign off, I'd like to send out a special thanks to Fugi, who's commented regularly on my #Freehan79 posts, and who mentioned me on his blog tonight.

I'm extremely grateful to Fugi for his comments, and for his terrific, and, very colorfulblog posts.

Hope you had a restful Saturday after Turkey Day and Black Friday, and, aw always, I'm blessed that you've taken part of your day to check out this post.

Play BALL! 🐯⚾

Friday, November 27, 2020

#Freehan79 ... Day 9/ Social Media

Today is Day #9 of my 11 Day Countdown to celebrate the 79th Happy Baseball Birthday! of my favorite big league baseball player, Bill Freehan, on November 29th. 

When I decided to join Twitter back in 2009, I was trying to think of a name to use, instead of just using my actual name. 

I have my Wife to thank for saying, "just use Freehan11."

Coming up with an avatar for my Twitter page wasn't to difficult, either.

I never wanted to use Freehan11  on any other app, so on the Topps BUNT, Topps Star Wars, Topps Marvel, and Topps WWE, I decided to use "FREEHANFAN11."

Speaking of Twitter, I follow the Detroit Tigers, of course, and they recently asked the fans what they wanted for a "Wednesday Wallpaper Wednesday" jersey... Home White, Road Gray, name, and number.

πŸ‘ Again, no problem.

🐯⚾ I always wanted to wear #11 in Little League, but it only happened once.

πŸ€” Did you play Little League Baseball, and did you get to wear your favorite players number? 

Hope all of you had a terrific Thanksgiving, are are resting up on this Black Friday, and many thanks to talk for taking a few minutes out of your holiday weekend to read my blog.

See y'all back here tomorrow...Play BALL! ⚾