Monday, May 31, 2021

A-Z= My Favorite Ballplayers by Letter

This wasn't easy, as my memory ain't what it used to be.

I've been watching baseball for a long time, and I definitely had to go through the A-Z Guide on Baseball Reference to help my memory.

So, here goes, from AARON to ZIMMER

A- Hank Aaron

⚾ The most important live event of my lifetime on TV was Henry Aaron breaking the 39 year old record of the legendary Babe Ruth with his 714th and 715th Home Runs at the start of the 1974 season.

That Monday night in Atlanta, broadcast by the great Curt Gowdy on NBC, Aaron's mighty feat certainly help shape my passion for learning about the games history beyond just the back of my baseball cards.

This has always been my favorite card of Aaron. 

B- Matthew Boyd 

                            🐯Yeah, BOYD! 🐯

As Fugi said a couple of times in his blog post, there are gonna be no-doubters in every list, and this is the first of my list.

C- Ty Cobb

Another no-doubter choice, Cobb is the greatest hitter in baseball history, and the greatest Detroit Tigers player to ever wear the Olde English D.

D- Ed Delahanty

One if the great ballplayers of the 19rh Century, I've grown to appreciate the big man much more from playing the HOF Quiz on Sporcle.

E- Luke Eater

Luke played baseball in the Negro Leagues, and signed w/ the Bill Veeck ran Cleveland Indians.

He's a favorite of mine, to a large degree, for being someone I can name on quizzes on Easter Sunday.

F- Bill Freehan


My hero since I was seven years old, Bill Freehan is, and always will be, the best catcher in Tigers history.

My #1 no doubter in my A-Z list, Freehan, who played baseball at Michigan, still holds the Big Ten record for batting average in a single season, .585, in 1961.

His 5 Gold Gloves remain a standard for Tigers catchers, as does his .993 lifetime fielding percentage, 11 All-Star Game Selections, 

1️⃣1️⃣ Yes, this is card #11 of 25...VERY COOL! 

G- Charlie Gehringer

The "Mechanical Man," Gehringer is one of the most underrated second baseman in baseball history, a man who won two A.L. pennants, a World Series, an A.L. Battling Title, a MVP Award, and is in the HOF.

πŸ‘‰ When you get to hold the bat Gehringer used to win the A. L. Batting Title you can't not smile.

H- Harry Heilmann

Another overlooked player, Heilmann won A.L. Batting Crowns in 1923, 25, 27, 29.

I- Ichiro (Yes, I'm going with ICHIRO because that's all I've ever called him and know him by.)

I've been a fan of Ichiro from the day I saw his first highlights on TV, and read his first box scores in the morning newspaper.

J- Derek Jeter, a.k.a, The Kalamazoo Kid! 

This could've been almost anybody...until Jeter became the starting shortstop for almost 20 years in the Bronx...oh, yeah, he's from my hometown of Kalamazoo Michigan, and had already committed to playing college baseball at Michigan under Bull Freehan before being drafted by New York.

K- Al Kaline

There was never a ballplayer that ever played right field better than Al Kaline.

Clemente ( I love Roberto, by the way) was a great right fielder as well, and is as good as Kaline, but just not better... Clemente was the Kaline of the National League, and not the other way around. 

This is one of the best baseball cards you'll ever see.

L- Rick Leach 

When your favorite college QB as a teenager decides to play baseball for your favorite team, instead of playing in the NFL, that gives you a special place, and that's what Leach did, going from All-Big Ten QB at Michigan, to playing for my Detroit Tigers.

M- Dale Murphy

Nobody, nobody, in the National League, played better baseball than Dale Murphy did during the span of 1982-88.

Moving to Jacksonville, Florida in December, 1980, I quickly found Superstation TBS and was fascinated by pro wrestling, cool TV shows, and, every single Atlanta Braves baseball game.

On Michigan, we only got a few home games a year, and selected road games per year...we never got to watch every game.

Murphy quickly became my favorite Braves player, and I would watch the replays of tat nights games after getting home from my Dad's bar at 3am.

Murphy should already be in the HOF, and I hope he eventually gets there.

N- Jim Northrup

A true Detroit Tigers World Series Hero.

O- Tony Olivia

All Tony Olivia did was hit, and, it seemed like all of them came against my Tigers.

P- Mike Piazza

I was a HUGE Piazza fan when he played for the Dodgers (my favorite Senior Circuit team), and followed and cheered for him through his days in New York playing for the Metropolitans.

Q- Frank Quilici

Quilici played for, and managed, the Minnesota Twins...and, he played college baseball in my hometown of Kalamazoo, for Western Michigan University.

R- Jackie Robinson

The best to ever wear the uniform of the old Brooklyn Dodgers.

S- Turkey Stearnes

My favorite ballplayer from the Detroit Stars.

T- Alan Trammell

Yes, he's in the Baseball HOF, but Trammell is still highly underrated.

For 19 seasons in the Motor City, Team and Lou Whitaker were the best double play duo in baseball...Sweet Lou belongs next to Team in the HOF.

U- Bob Uecker

When I was little I would stay up late with my Uncle Bob when he visited and we watched Johnny Carson together...that's how I learned about "Mr. Baseball." 

V- Justin Verlander

No right handed pitcher in Tigers history was better than JV, who, had he not been traded at the deadline in 2017, would hold every single pitching record in Detroit history.

W- Lou Whitaker

The best second baseman in the American League in the 1980s.

X- n/a

Y- Robin Yount

Yes, I'm old enough to remember "Rockin' Robin" play as a teenager.

Z- Don Zimmer

OK, so Im not old enough to have watched "Zim" play baseball, but, he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and I watched him manage a lot of baseball games over the years.

A.K.A. "Popeye," Zimmer was such an amazing baseball man who saw more than any of us can imagine.

Well, that's my list, appreciate you checking it out.

Are you, have you, done the A-Z blog around?

Hope you're having a terrific weekend.

Play BALL! ⚾ πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Johnny VanDer Meer Lives!

There's been six (6) no-hitters already tossed in the 2021 big league baseball season, and that's not including the 7 inning no-no tossed by the Diamondbacks Madison Bumgarner on April 24th.

If Im feeling well, I always go to Twitter on the pitchers first start after a no-no, and, as soon as that pitcher hives up a base hit, I immediately tweet out "Johnny VanDer Meer Lives!," in honor of the only pitcher to toss back to back no hitters.

πŸ‘‰ In 2021, I'm pretty sure VanDer Meer isn't known by 90% of fans and ballplayers combined.

After the Tigers Spencer Turnbull threw his no-hitter against the Mariners just a week ago tonight in Seattle, broadcaster Jack Morris asked Spencer if he knew who Van Der Meer was...and, of course, he didn't.

John Samuel VanDer Meer broke into the big leagues with the Cincinnati Reds on April 22, 1937 against the Cardinals, was part of the Reds 1939 & 1940 National League Championship teams ('40 WS Champ), was a 4 time N.L. All-Star, and won 119 games, however, he's always gonna be known as "Double No-Hit."

For me, VanDer Meer should be more celebrated about something that is certain (99.9%) to never happen again.

🐯⚾ Being a Detroit Tigers fan, In gonna go out on a limb and say that Casey Mize will throw a no-hitter one day, and, although he's not up in the big leagues, look for Matt Manning to toss a no-no in his Tigers career. 

πŸ€” Who's a pitcher from your favorite team that you think will throw a no-hitter?

Thanks for taking time to check out this post, I'm much appreciative.

Have a great after hump day week. 

Play BALL! ⭕⭕⭕⭕⭕⭕

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Tigers Card Tuesday (Late Night Edition) 5l04/21

It's a very, very, late night edition of 
Tigers Card Tuesday! this week, mostly because I've been busy watching Star Wars movies, and being engaged on the Topps Star Wars app today.

🐯⚾ Jordan from Mint Condition delivered up this week's Tigers card from a story tonight on the team, UnaBOYDable, leading off the post with this custom 1991 Fleer card of Matthew Boyd! 

πŸ‘‰  I LOVE This Baseball Card, Yeah BOYD! 

➡️ 1981 Fleer cards were as basic as you'll ever see, as the company was in their first year making cards since the early 1960s.

🎯 The Dan Schatzader card looks like it's as close to a match as possible from the Tigers team set that year.

Thanks, Jordan, for showcasing my favorite Tigers pitcher on your blog post, is a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐effort, for sure! 

Until next time, Play BALL! 🐯⚾

Monday, May 3, 2021

Monday Mopup, 5/3/2021

Happy Monday everyone, hope y'all had a terrific weekend of hanging out with the family, collecting cards, watching sports, or just kicking back in relaxation.

There certainly was plenty of stuff going on in the sports world, including the running of my favorite horse race, the Kentucky Derby.

I'm not very knowledgeable about horse racing, but I pay attention to racings Triple Crown of The Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and The Belmont.

🐴 Medina Spirit was the winning horse in the 147th Run for the Roses, now we wait and see if it will make a run at Pimlico and The Preakness Stakes. 

🎩 The real winner, of course, was the great Tom Brady, who had social media with his fashionable attire.

🏈 Question... how're you feeling about your favorite NFL teams draft?

🦁 My Lions drafted well, apparently, but my favorite pick by Detroit came after the draft when the signed a free agent running back named Rakeeem BOYD! 

The young man played football at the University of Arkansas, and, of course, is automatically my favorite new player for the upcoming camp.

➡️ Yes, of course I looked up his football cards.

He'll be a welcome addition to the BOYD Binder.

πŸ’₯ Speaking of cards, the best card I saw this past week cane yesterday, when @WTHB gave us this beautiful "Then and Now" card of my hero. 

πŸ€” Maybe he'll make a copy for me. 

Hey, Kyle Busch won at Kansas Motor Speedway...just a few hours after I posted a Happy Birthday blog post! 


How awesome was that! 

As I said in yesterday's post, if Kyle Busch wasn't racing, I'd pay little, or no, attention to NASCAR after the Daytona 500.

🐯⚾ Yes, this is a baseball blog, and yes, my Tigers are the worst team in baseball.

At 8-21, the first month of the baseball season hasn't been good in the Motor City, and it's not looking like it's gonna get better any time soon.

Honestly, I suspected that 2021 was gonna be rough, but it's far worse.

The big thing for me is that the Tigers, albeit injuries, have NO FIRST BASEMAN to backup Miguel Cabrera.

Jonathon Schoop, Niko Goodrum, Harold/Willie Castro, they aren't first baseman, and as fans have let their frustrations out on Twitter the past week, it's quite apparent the Tigers are willing to lose a ton of games until the hitting prospects are ready.

That may be 2022, we hope, but it might be 2023, because the Tigers have bad ballplayers that are, at best, bench the far end of the bench.

That said, I'll be watching again tomorrow night when the Tigers play the Red Sox at Fenway Park...just as I've done for 54+ years.

🐯 And, of course, collecting Tigers baseball cards will also continue.

The next card I'm looking forward to arriving is this Topps Living Set Jemier Candelario card.

πŸ‘‰ Candelario is the 12th Detroit Tigers player to be featured in the Living Set. 

πŸ€” Not sure why Topps choose Jemier as the next Detroit player in the never ending set, but he'll be a welcome addition, nonetheless.

πŸ€” Did you watch The Derby? What about yesterday's race? How do you feel your football team did in this years draft? 

Have a great week, and here's to everyone of you staying safe, having fun, and cheering on your favorite teams.

Play BALL! ⚾ 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Happy Birthday... Kyle Busch

As he prepares for race day at the Kansas Motor Speedway this afternoon, I'm sending out a Happy Birthday! to my favorite NASCAR driver, Kyle Busch, who's turning 36 today! 

If not for Kyle, I wouldn't even be remotely interested in anything outside of the annual Daytona 500, he simply makes watching guys turn left for a living interesting to follow, and watch.

It also happens that Kyle drives the Peanut M& Ms car... YUUUUUM, I love it! 

I'd like to start adding more of Kyle's cards, starting with finding some cool 2021 cards like this one.

Hopefully, Kyle will find some good Birthday karma and find his way into the winners circle.

Start your engines! 🏁

Saturday, May 1, 2021

April Sours...Please Bring on May Flowers

One month of the big league season has been played, and as tough a start as my Tigers have had, the month of May brings sunshine and the hope of better things ahead.

Detroit has just 8 wins... the big league leader in doubles has 10 two baggers. 

πŸ’“⚾πŸ’“ Doubles have always been one of my favorite things about baseball, going back to learning about the great Tris Speaker, the All-Time leader in doubles.... 792! 

πŸ’₯πŸ’₯ The active leader in doubles, Albert Pujols (669), is still, at age 41, 113 behind Speaker.

🐯🐯 Miguel Cabrera, second behind Pujols, with 582 doubles, is, at age 38, still  210 behind the mighty "Grey Eagle."

πŸ‘‰ My Tigers have Ty Cobb (665) , Charlie Gehringer (574),  and Al Kaline (574),  at the top of the franchise lead in doubles. 

➡️ My favorite Tigers ballplayer, Bill Freehan, collected 241 two base hits, including 26 in 1971.

⭕⭕ Over the past several years we've all been paying more attention to doubles through our friend Collecting Cutch, and his annual Save Second Base contest for Breast 
Cancer Awareness.

We're only 5 months away from October 1st, so, make sure to check in on those big league stats every few weeks, you never know, you might end up guessing correctly on who'll be leading the National League in reaching second base the most at the end of the 2021 baseball season.

I was fortunate enough a few years ago to pick Anthony Rendon, and I received this cool Tyler Glasnow card.

πŸ‘‰ Get those πŸ’— PINK πŸ’— baseball cards ready to post...its NEVER to early to prepare for the BEST month in blogging! 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...PLAY BALL! ⚾️⚾️