#PackADailyCircus – 078 – Back to the Future

Good evening, everyone! Tonight, we are going back to the future. Well, sorta. We’re stepping back a couple days to the Bowman Box break. That is finished now, so you can jump over there after you read through this post. The link to the Bowman post is at the bottom of this one.

Tonight, let’s open a pack of 1991 Donruss with Willie Stargell Puzzle. This is a very small pack of cards. Wow!

Stargell puzzle 55, 56, 57 – Pirates – The Balking Dead (Wahoo!!)
Diamond Kings Set Checklist #27 (1-26) – CaptKirk42s (Wahoo!!)
Barry Bonds Diamond Kings – Pirates – Arpsmith (Wahoo!!)
Storm Davis – Royals – Free Agent

Nearly a perfect pack! Well, we did pull two Pirates out of the pack, so that’s cool in my book. Congratulations, managers!

Link to Bowman Box Break: http://www.tribecards.net/2015/06/packadailycircus-069-76-hanging-ten.html

Jim Bowie, Swing The Bat – 3

Originally published July 25, 2010

Oakland’s Geronimo Berroa went down in early August and Jim Bowie got his chance, this would be his major league debut. Called up by the Athletics, Bowie stayed up for the rest of the season.

Unfortunately for Bowie, the rest of the season meant appearances in six games, including the season finale, Aug. 11.

The 1994 strike came, ending the season for Bowie and the rest of the major league players. Those six games – he got to swing the bat in five of them – would be the extent of Bowie’s major league career.

Bowie made the majors in his ninth season of professional ball. He began, taken in the 12th round out of Louisiana State by the Mariners in the 1986 draft.

He began at short-season Bellingham, where he hit .277 with five home runs. A reporter for the Eugene Register-Guard played on Bowie’s name while reporting on one July game. Bowie, the reporter wrote, “provided the most unkind cuts of all – three hits, two RBI and two runs scored.”

The Register-Guard also noted a Bowie relative, not the knife’s namesake, but Sam Bowie, the basketball draft pick known for being the guy taken ahead of Michael Jordan. Sam Bowie was Jim Bowie’s cousin.

Jim Bowie went on to make AA Williamsport in 1989, playing most of the year at AAA Calgary. He returned to Williamsport for 1990. He didn’t return to AAA full time until 1994, with the Oakland system. He’d joined the Athletics as a free agent the previous year.

After his brief stint with Oakland that August, Bowie returned to AAA in 1995, his last year as a full-time player. In 1997, he served as a coach and player for AA Mobile, his last year in the field.

Bowie went on to a career as a hitting coach and a minor league coordinator. From 2005 to 2008, Bowie served as hitting coach for AAA Fresno, coaching Eugenio Velez in 2008.

Velez had gotten into a slump earlier that year, but came out of it. He credited Bowie, according to MLB.com.

“The hitting coach (Jim Bowie) told me, ‘If you keep swinging the bat, everything’s going to be fine,” Velez told MLB.com. “When you go to the plate, don’t think. If you see something white, just swing (at) it.”

A Reorg Update, Live and In Color!

Exciting right?  Right?  I thought so.

I had a few diversions during my 9 days off.  My wife’s post op recovery being the number one diversion and the reason I took last week off.  I was thinking she’d sleep a lot and I’d have lots of “Reorg” time.  Well, she didn’t sleep that much and I didn’t organize as much as I thought I would.  I did a lot of work, but I’m not sure it really shows.

My other diversion was going to see Cat Osterman pitch on Saturday night, but I’ll save that for another post.

Over the weekend, I’ll post up to date pictures of the piles of boxes so you can see what a difference I made.

One thing I did that I have been wanting to do for a long time is put my Rangers and Senators cards in binders.  Not all of them mind you, but I got Senators from 1961-1971 and Rangers from 1972-1990.

My Senators team sets are not complete and I sincerely hope that I left the correct number of blank slots for the missing cards.  I know I have a decent amount of other Senators cards in my vintage box, I just need to dig them out.  If you’ve checked my wantlists recently, and I don’t know why you would, it hasn’t been updated in a long time.  That’s going to change in the next few weeks and this time I’m going to keep up with it.  *He says for the 1000th time.*

This is just another look at some of the Sens and the multitude of open spots among them.

This is my first Rangers binder.  I’m working on base Topps cards only right now.  Gotta start somewhere.

We start with the ’72s and lord have mercy am I missing all the high numbers or what?  Figures.

This binder goes all the way to 1989 and has room for a few more.  I don’t want to overstuff it, but I would like to limit the Topps base binders to 2 or maybe 3.  I haven’t fully decided how I’m going to handle parallels and the like, but I think they’ll get their own binder.  It really starts with the 1975 Rangers because I have a handful of the minis, but I don’t want to stick them in with the regular ’75s so I’ll handle that when I get through the base.  
It’s been a fun process so far, but a little irritating for the wife.  When we are watching television, I’ve been sorting through cards, so she feels like I’m not paying attention.  Well, I am.  To the cards.  The shows I could do without for the most part.  
More updates to come. 

2014-15 Panini Threads Basketball

Tipoff for Game 4 of the NBA Finals should be an hour away by my calculations, so here’s a pack from the current year. Is it just me, or did Panini drastically cut down the number of NBA releases available at the retail level this season? I could just be uninformed. This pack also cost me $3.99, which is way too much to pay for any pack if you ask me.

158 – Rajon Rondo – This set definitely had a late production deadline as Panini was able to catch the midseason Rondo trade and show him in his new Mavericks uniform. It’s probably not Photoshopped, as Panini tends to use their Photoshop wizardry for obscuring logos, not changing them entirely. Rondo basically quit on his team during the playoffs, which is pretty lousy of him and probably won’t improve his prospects for future employment.

149 – Omer Asik – That is some kind of face there.

140 – Monta Ellis – Here’s what the backs look like. The back photos are the same as the front, only smaller and less colorful. This pack is lousy with Mavericks!

132 – Maurice Harkless – The Blazers’ Dorell Wright looks on helplessly.

125 – Marc Gasol – This was a breakout season for the guy formerly known as Pau’s brother.

17 – James Harden High Flyers – I wouldn’t say Harden is best known for his dunks, but whatever. This insert card has a 1:5 pack ratio.

75 – Isaiah Thomas – Not to be confused with the former player who sexually harassed one of the team’s executives when he worked for the Knicks.

 68 – Gorgui Dieng

 60 – Ersan Ilyasova

51 – Dirk Nowitzki – More Mavericks. Lousy!

This won’t turn out well

This year’s Topps’ Archives set has started showing up on store shelves here and there (well, not here) and there have been a few posts about it.

Overall, those who have posted seem to have good feelings about the product, which is great for them. I’m glad someone is enjoying it. But I’m even more irritated over Archives than I usually am, which I’ll get to in a moment.

As I’ve said numerous times (I think if I ever shut down this blog it will be because all I’m doing is repeating myself every post), Archives is a disappointment because of what it could have been. Archives is a descendent of the Archives sets from 2001-02 but more resemble the Fan Favorites sets from 2003-05.

The problem there is I can’t help but compare present-day Archives and Fan Favorites from a decade ago.

Fan Favorites comes out on top every time. Fan Favorites featured multiple designs (not just three) appeared on sturdy cardboard stock (not the flimsy stuff Archives shows up on every year) and wasn’t filled with inserts and shortprints (rant on the way).

Archives has selected three past designs for its base set this year, and I’ll say that they did a lot better job with the design selection that they have from 2012-14.

These are the designs being used this time:

1957

1976

and 1983.

All three of those designs I have yet to cover in the Night Owl All-Time Topps Countdown, which says something about these Archives choices: Night Owl approves.

But that’s as far as it goes.

I’m not going to go on a diatribe about how the Archives designs won’t match exactly the designs to which they’re paying tribute. I’ve covered all that, too, and obviously Topps has to make them different for whatever reason.

Fan Favorites ran into the same issues. I’ve written about that before, too.

Fan Favorites came pretty close with the ’83 design.

And they matched the ’57 design pretty well, too.

But it had a few hiccups with the 1976 design. Note that the original ’76 set didn’t use red frame borders for the Reds cards.

Then they cleaned things up the following year for the 2004 Fan Favorites set.

No doubt there will be even greater differences between the original sets and the look of the 2015 Archives cards. Different fonts, wrong colors, etc.

But, again, it’s annoying, but not what annoys me most about Archives anymore.

It’s not even the flimsy card stock that annoys me most about Archives.

Here is what annoys me most:

Last year I was not happy about the amount of shortprints in Archives. There were 50 of them. A set that wasn’t that good in the first place, shouldn’t be that difficult to complete. But it took me nearly a year to track down all the Dodgers in this set, because at least four of them were SPs.

This year, Archives was figured to be a 300-card set, with — get this — no shortprints. I didn’t buy that for a second. No shortprints? You have to go back to 2011 Lineage for a set like that.

Sure enough, when the card checklist was released, it became a 330-card set.

Archives is 330 cards with the last 30 cards being shortprinted. That’s not 50 cards like last year, but I’m getting to the special part.

Here’s the special part.

According to this and one of the most prominent box breakers around, those 30 cards appear at a rate of 1 in 70 packs.

1 in Seventy. 1 in 7-Oh.

Buy 70 packs, get 1 short-printed BASE card.

Here is the checklist of the SP base cards just so you can get yourself as worked up as I am:

301 – Nolan Ryan
302 – Rick Ferrell
303 – John Smoltz
304 – John Olerud
305 – Andre Dawson
306 – Ryne Sandberg
307 – Jorge Soler
308 – Gary Sheffield
309 – Rob Dibble
310 – Adam Jones
311 – Honus Wagner
312 – Rusny Castillo
313 – Devon White
314 – Kris Bryant
315 – Anthony Rizzo
316 –  Larry Doby
317 – Jose Cruz
318 – Vinny Castilla
319 – Sparky Lyle
320 – Satchel Paige
321 – Jose Vidro
322 – Monte Irvin
323 – Hal Newhouser
324 – Red Schoendienst
325 – Enos Slaughter
326 – George Kell
327 – Early Wynn
328 – Hoyt Wilhelm
329 – Bobby Doerr
330 – Jackie Robinson

Dammit, I almost made it through the list without a single Dodger.

I don’t know about you, but as a team collector and a set collector, this pisses me off and it should any other team collector and set collector. How much am I going to have to pay for a 1:70 Jackie Robinson card — a BASE card (don’t give me that crap about how the base set is 1-300 cards, my brain sees 301-330 and everything I’ve learned up til now says “continuation of the base set.”)

It’s a good thing for me that this set has done enough goofy things that it doesn’t stir my collecting genes because if I liked it, I’d be a bitter old collector (yes, I know, I already am) by the time I hunted down the final Sparky Lyle card in 10 years, which, by the way, would then be taken out of my hand by a mild breeze and disappear forever because the card stock is so thin!

I hope they find that those odds aren’t accurate and it’s actually easier to find those cards, because this might kill the last modern day set collector. In 20 years, he’ll spot that 2015 Archives Bobby Doerr at a show and keel over from sheer surprise.

My view on Archives before the last couple of weeks has been that Topps makes this set because it’s hoping that people don’t remember the old Fan Favorites cards, or are hoping that collectors are terribly desperate to see modern players on old designs, or that they’re just buying the packs for the inserts.

But now, I don’t know what Topps is hoping. That we’re idiots who will chase 30 flimsy cards and spend whatever it takes to see a picture of Honus Wagner, which everyone has seen before, on a 1976 Topps design?

“Collect what you want,” yeah, I know.

And you can. If this kind of stuff doesn’t bother you.

But if you want to complete it?

Consider this a warning.

2015 Topps Archives Baseball Hobby Pack

Today is the release date for 2015 Topps Archives Baseball.

I’ve been anticipating this set. I love the Fan-Favorites autographs… and this year features Will Ferrell cards and Autographs from his 10-teams-in-one-day Spring Training run.

So, here is a pack!

First we have Lonnie Chisenhall in the 1976 Topps Design. I don’t know much about him other than the fact he got hit in the face with a pitch once.

Doug Fister was an AL Pitcher of the Month in 2011, and is regarded as one of the better fielding pitchers in the game today. This is also the 1976 Topps Design.

Dee Gordon is our third player in the 1976 Topps Design. He is the son of All-Star reliever Tom Gordon.

Curtis Granderson is shown here in the 1957 Topps Design.

Dustin Pedroia, the definition of “Scrappy”, is shown here in the 1983 Topps Design. The 83 Topps Design was chose as a tribute to Tony Gwynn, who was a rookie in 1983.

 Julio Teheran is shown here in the 1957 Topps Design.

 Troy Tulowitzki completes our base cards in this pack in the 1983 Topps Design.

Woohoo! I got a Ferrell. Not an autograph but cool nonetheless. This is from his “stint” on the Padres in the 1983 topps design.

The back of the card highlights Ferrell’s “Career Statistics”.

Cool pack! You can check out the rest of my box break at Flapless Helmet.

1990 Year of the No-Hitter June 11th – Nolan Ryan pt 4

Thanks for indulging us with Four postings on the Ryan Express today. During a season in which we are producing a series dedicated to the Year of the No-Hitter I felt that honoring the man who authored Seven of them was warranted.

1991 Donruss Bonus Card #BC-3 Nolan Ryan No-Hits A’s 

Our final card is one from a 1991 Donruss “Insert” set. The Photo here looks pretty similar to the one on the Topps Card in our previous post. Both cards have Nolan Ryan in a Rangers road grey as he would have been for the June 11 1990 game at Oakland, However I am not so sure that looks like the Colosseum. I am thinking that we are seeing Yankees stadium.

1991 Donruss Bonus Card #BC-3 Nolan Ryan No-Hits A’s (b-side)

For sheer volume this is probably the strongest of the b-sides. The card name drops Fellow No-Hit artist Sandy Koufax and goes on to mention Ryan’s previous No-Hit victims. Props to Donruss for running down the outs recorded in Ryan’s final inning

This concludes are look at cards specific to Nolan Ryan’s 6th caree no-hitter. I like the Pacific Texas Exrpess card the best, Topps the least. I am sure there are other cards specific to this game, but for purposes of today’s articles I wanted to stick to those issued contemporary to the event.  I have at least one other Nolan Ryan card for the coming days but by the end of the month we will need to move on to some other events in Year of the No-Hitter. 

Sources and Links
1990 Year of the No-Hitter Index
Nolan Ryan No-Hitter #6 1990 06 11
Baseball CardPedia

The Free SuperVIP Autographs At The National Have Been Announced

The good folks at the National Sports Collectors Convention announced the list of all the free autographs that Super VIP level packagse and higher will receive at the show. Highlights for me are Brewers great Cecil Cooper [who I got to meet in-person at a card show before], John “The Candy Man” Candelaria, and Tom “Flash” Gordon [one of my favorite Royals ever]. But the absolute king of this list is Packers and Chiefs great Jan Stenerud! Jan’s from Norway and so he was a fan favorite for all those Wisconsinite Scandinavians [including myself] during those rough Packer years. It was also why when my late Grandmother would ask about “Juan” Stenerud there was always an explosion of laughter.

Here’s the complete list of all the free signers:

Baseball
Dontrelle Willis
Ben Grieve
Cecil Cooper
Eric Hinske
Manny Sanguillen
Jon Matlack
Maury Wills
John Candelaria
Derek Bell
Todd Hollandsworth
Tom Gordon

Football
Jan Stenerud
Dexter Jackson
Jim Langer
Randy Gradishar
Vince Ferragamo
Lem Barney

Basketball
Nate Archibald

Another Big COMC Buy Part 2 – The WR QB, the Backup QB, and the Out of the League QB

Man, I sure can pick ’em.  I mean I knew that Jarrett Payton was out of the league, and that Seneca Wallace was out of a job, and that Thaddeus Lewis is a backup.  But I at least had B.J. Daniels backing up Russell Wilson in Seattle.
Well, until now.  He switched positions, to WR.  So now he’s like 5th or 6th on the depth chart while R.J. Archer gets to hold the clipboard for Russell Wilson.  Oh I’m sure Daniels will still be an emergency QB, and might even do some scout team stuff in practice…but this definitely lowers the chances of future B.J. Daniels cards in the world.  So I’ll have to really appreciate the ones that were already made, like these two Crown Royale parallels:

Awesome colors on those, especially the /25 Gold.  I wish Daniels the best of luck at WR, as the Hawks definitely need all the help they can get (playoffs notwithstanding) so he’s got as good a shot as any as emerging with playing time at the season’s beginning.

I mentioned Thad Lewis and Jarrett Payton too, so obviously I grabbed a few cards of theirs.  Thad I actually only got one, his base Hit auto.  I used to own like five of these back in the day, for flipping purposes on COMC.  I grabbed one back for the collection and I think it looks great:

His auto is definitely third place of the QBs on this list – but I still love its loopiness!

Last but not least, the Jarrett Paytons.  Starting with another buyback, /25:

So obviously I’m an idiot, but I traded for this a few years ago at my LCS.  I liked Brown’s style, saw it was /25, and figured it was worth picking up.  There were none on COMC, so I sent it in and charged like $4.50.  Someone bought it (probably at half off) and it has been on COMC at some random price since then.

Well whoever ended up with this card in the latest game of Jarrett Brown Hot Potato had it priced really low – like less than a dollar.  Considering I sold it for like $2.50 (factoring in the processing fee) I still made money on the card even with repurchasing it.  But I could have just, ya know, kept it. Anyways, I’m glad it made its way back to Cincy.

This /999 Elite card looks similar to the Longevity parallel above, but it’s just the Elite base:

Donruss Elite is one of the best sets of all time.  No debate there, it just is.  Awesome set, especially when you get into all the die cuts and golds and stuff.

Last card of the post is the best (IMHO).  It’s a nifty little Plates and Patches auto /25:

Yeah it’s a sticker, but Brown’s autograph, as usual, is gorgeous…so I don’t mind.  Great addition to the collection!

And so ends another COMC post – there’s still some other awesome cards to come, so stay tuned!

Book Review: "The Journey Home" by Jorge Posada

Hey everyone, Drew back here! I have been excited to write this post since I first received my hard copy of Jorge Posada’s new autobiography “The Journey Home” last month. I’m not exactly a swift or aggressive reader by any means, so after a few weeks I finally was able to complete the 344 page story of the most unknown member of the “Core Four”. I think I’ve said on several occasions that Posada’s status in the “Core Four” tends to rival Ringo Starr’s status in the “Fab Four”. Even down to the enlarged facial features. Silly jokes aside, I’ve been excited to check out what Jorge had in store for baseball fans since the moment it was revealed to be released. I didn’t know much about Posada’s life, and really was interested in learning about the man who was the Bronx’s primary backstop throughout all of my early childhood.

Posada begins with an important chronicle of his early years in Puerto Rico, recalling a summer in which his father moved an enormous pile of dirt into his backyard that he requested young Jorge spread across the yard. His father had a noticeable impact in all of Jorge’s decisions and his progression into a big league ballplayer and one day All Star. He embarrassed him at games, making him bat left handed until he became fluent at both sides of the plate, and certainly did not go easy on him. “Tough love”, as Jorge called it, would become the staple of his childhood, but eventually he learned there was a method to his father’s madness.

His dad’s goal was to make a ballplayer out of his son, and we all know how that went in the long run. But as the title recognizes, it was the journey that we all wished to know more about. We wanted to know how Jorge came to be best friends with Derek Jeter, how he felt about performance enhancing drug users keeping him from achieving great milestones (such as the 2003 AL MVP, which he succumbed to Alex Rodriguez), and of course, how he felt about his compadre, Pedro Martinez. We got all of that and more as Posada made his march through the Yankees organization and into the big leagues.

One interesting, and quite hilarious tidbit I gathered from Jorge’s story, was how he met his now wife, Laura. Apparently, he was too nervous to approach her although he knew he would marry her if he could, and it was Jeter who pushed him to do so. Jeter seemed to have his back throughout all of Jorge’s hardships, and it was pleasant hearing that their relationship is far beyond superficial. Also, Joe Torre’s supposed position as a mentor and father figure were put to the test when Jorge discussed his challenges with his son Jorge Jr., who battled with cryniosynostosis (a birth defect where joints of the skull close prematurely). Torre lived up to what has been said of him, and was there for support whenever it was needed on their battle to keep Jorge Jr. alive and healthy. It was touching to hear that Jorge Jr. is now a young adult and doing better, and nothing beats the story of Jorge sending him out on the field during the 2003 All Star Game lineup announcements.

The final chapter was particularly controversial among recent headlines, where Posada spoke about his relationship with current Yankee manager Joe Girardi. It was clear from the time he first introduced Girardi in the story during his time backing him up that their relationship was strictly professional. Posada hoped Don Mattingly would have taken the reins after Joe Torre left following the 2007 season, but was not upset when Girardi was first hired. In fact, from Posada’s perspective, it sounds like their relationship grew much stronger during Girardi’s first few seasons managing. However, things eventually took a tumble when Posada was texted rather than being told first hand what he would be asked to do with the team. I can see where Jorge was coming from, as this was his job after all and I would have even taken a phone call over being texted important news. They grew apart as years passed, and Jorge was no longer asked to join the catcher meetings because he was told not to. He became a semi-permanent DH, and wasn’t happy with his demotion considering the blood, sweat, and tears he put into being a Yankee for as long as he had. He did mention his final big moment with the team, when on September 21st, 2011, he pinch hit and knocked in the go ahead run that would win the division for the Yankees. I was at that game, and can easily say it was my favorite moment I shared with #20 in my time as a fan.

My goal in reading this book was to gain a new outlook on our fiery, hard-nosed catcher. Jorge turns out to have just as much of a temper as we saw on the field, and left an almost overwhelming amount of emotion in his words. The only flaw I came across in reading this was how he approached some of the Yankees big moments, but I will give him a pass considering just how many there were in his tenure with the team. If you don’t know about what went on during the Yankees dynasty run in the 1990’s and some of the crucial moments, the second half of “The Journey Home” may confuse you. But, Jorge was clearly writing to an audience that already somewhat knew him, the Yankee fanbase. Luckily now, we know even more.

Rating: 8/10 – An absolute recommendation for any Yankee fan who hope to gain more insight on Posada’s career. The emotion was real from Jorge, and after reading this I now feel satisfied with his career and story.

But wait, there’s more. My pre-ordered copy from Barnes and Noble was signed by Jorge himself, which was an added bonus! For $20, they sold signed copies of the book for a short period of time, and I was able to pounce on the deal while it was available. Jorge’s autograph generally sells for $30+ alone, so I felt like I bought an autograph and his entire life story for an incredible bargain! This now makes my second autograph of his in my collection of hopefully more to come!
Did any of you get a chance to read Jorge’s new book? If so, what did you think of it? I can say that I’m now very excited for Jorge Posada Day on August 23rd of this season, and really hope I can get tickets to see his number retired by the Yankee organization.
See Ya!

1990 Year of the No-Hitter June 11th – Nolan Ryan pt 3

This is the third of four postings on cards dedicated to Nolan Ryan’s 6th No-Hitter.

1991 Topps #6 Record Breaker – Nolan Ryan 
Topps chose to honor the fact that Ryan became the oldest pitcher to throw a No-Hitter, rather than to honor that fact that he had pitched a record 6th no-hitter – which was breaking his own record of five no-hitters. 
Of course less than a year later Ryan broke both of these records once again when he tossed his 7th No-Hitter at age 44. 

1991 Topps #6 Record Breaker – Nolan Ryan (b-side)

The flip side contains the an Oakland CA dateline and notes the record was previously held by Cy Young who pitched one at 41+ on June 30 1908

Cy Young No-Hitter #3
Boxes don’t go back to 1908 in Baseball-ref but we were able to find this line score for the game

Salt Lake Tribune July 1 1908

Interesting that a No-Htter in a Red Sox vs Yankees (Highlanders) game warranted a grand total of 1 line in the article.

According to the B-R Bullpen the future Hall of Famer almost pitched a perfect game. The first batter Harry Niles walked but was subsequently erased on a caught stealing. Cy Young then retired the last 26 batters to complete the No-Hitter .

Sources and Links
1991 0611 Nolan Ryan 6th No-Hitter Index
Baseball-ref
Salt Lake Tribune (1908 07 01)

Johnny Calzado, His Part – 2081

Johnny Calzado‘s Savannah Cardinals were looking to come back in this April 1990 game and Johnny Calzado did his part.

With the bases loaded, Calzado knocked a three-run double to left. Those runs tied the game, according to The Greensboro News & Record. It wasn’t enough. It was a game Savannah went on to lose.

Calzado was starting his second professional season that year. He went on to play professionally in a total of six seasons. He never made AA.

Calzado’s career began in 1987, signed by the Cardinals as a free agent out of his native Dominican Republic. Calzado was also known by his given name Lorenzo Calzado.

Calzado’s time with the Cardinals started at rookie Johnson City. He got into 12 games and hit .296. Calzado played the next two seasons at Johnson City, the infielder hitting .213 in 1988 and .287 in 1989.

He also got into 23 games at single-A Savannah in 1989, hitting just .133 there. He did pick up two hits in an early April game, scoring twice and knocking in one.

Calzado returned to Savannah for 1990. He singled to extend a April lead and tied a June game with another single. Calzado hit one of his six home runs on the year in a late-April contest.

He returned to the field in 1991 at single-A Springfield. In 111 games, he hit .236. Calzado’s final pro time came in 1992 at Savannah. He got into just six games, ending his career.

1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,062
Made the Majors: 906-43.9%
Never Made Majors:1,156-56.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 386
10+ Seasons in the Minors:222

Some better street-box minis

Got another street box last week which had some much better “bonus minis”. Here are some highlights from this particular box:

There was about half the set of 2003 Fleer Double Headers. Most of the cards are standard minis:

 
However some cards at the end of the set are pretty unusual and are I guess the source of the set name. This card appears to be a regular card of Miguel Asencio:

 
But flip it open, and it turns out those aren’t Asencio’s legs, they belong to Runelvys Hernandez!
  
The back of the card actually treats it as two separate cards with two numbers:
 
 Actually got two of this particular card so one is up for trade, as well as several of the non-flip variety.

Some regular sized card highlights:
This Tino card was stuck behind a Phil Nevin card, which is pretty much the only way to get a star Yankee out of one of these boxes.

 But I was glad to see a card of unsung Yankee hero Ramiro Mendoza, and on a fairly unusual set (at least here on the East Coast).

 I had never seen this particular set before, an insert from 1994 Score.

 There was a little junk wax, so I used them for #RandomActsOfCardness. Last week a lady posted a 1990 Fleer Jeff Musselman card she found on Seventh Avenue, maybe someone will post one of these?


2015 Topps Archives Group Break: Sign-Ups are OVER – 2nd Team Assignments are Here!

That’s right, I’ve decided to close down the sign-ups to the 2015 Topps Archives group break.  I ended up having to pick up two of the extra slots myself – so I chose the Athletics and the Angels with the hopes of landing one of those elusive Will Ferrell autographs!

With that said, here are the 15 group break participants.  Note that I simply took the names in the order they appeared from how teams were claimed alphabetically.  The number next to your name will get matched up with the Random.org assignment of the unclaimed team.

  1. metallattorney 
  2. Brett B. 
  3. P-Town Tom
  4. Nachos Grande
  5. Julie O.
  6. Nachos Grande 
  7. Brett B. 
  8. jaybarkerfan 
  9. buckstorecards 
  10. jaybarkerfan 
  11. Nachos Grande 
  12. The Underdog Card Collector
  13. Junior Junkie
  14. BMan
  15. buckstorecards

By the way, I will allow trading of teams – both parties have to comment on THIS post saying that they agree to the swap though.  And all trading needs to be completed before Friday 6/12/15 at NOON EST.  I am hoping to begin opening the case of Archives around that time!

Now, here are the unclaimed teams – these are about to go into the Random.org list randomizer!

Arizona Diamondbacks
Atlanta Braves
Baltimore Orioles / St. Louis Browns
Cleveland Indians
Colorado Rockies
Florida Marlins
Houston Astros
Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates
San Francisco Giants
Tampa Bay Rays
Texas Rangers
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos

I will hit randomize this list three times and then copy and paste the results below.  All you’ll need to do is line up your number from above with the number below.  I’m writing this post in “real time” so hopefully my process is making sense!

Now, here are the final team assignments!  Like I said, trading of teams can occur but both parties must agree (in writing as a comment on this post) AND all trades must be completed by NOON tomorrow (Friday, 6/12/15) EST.

Arizona Diamondbacks – metallattorney
Atlanta Braves – Nachos Grande
Baltimore Orioles / St. Louis Browns – jaybarkerfan
Boston Red Sox  – metallattorney (payment on Friday)
Chicago White Sox – Brett B. (PAID)
Chicago Cubs – P-Town Tom (PAID)
Cincinnati Reds – Nachos Grande (PAID)
Cleveland Indians – Nachos Grande
Colorado Rockies – Junior Junkie
Detroit Tigers – Julie O.  (PAID)
Florida Marlins – Nachos Grande
Houston Astros – Brett B.
Kansas City Royals – Julie O.
Los Angeles Angels – Nachos Grande (PAID)
Los Angeles Dodgers – Brett B. (PAID)
Milwaukee Brewers – jaybarkerfan (PAID)
Minnesota Twins – The Underdog Card Collector
New York Mets – buckstorecards (PAID)
New York Yankees – jaybarkerfan (PAID)
Oakland Athletics – Nachos Grande (PAID)
Philadelphia Phillies – buckstorecards
Pittsburgh Pirates – buckstorecards
San Diego Padres – The Underdog Card Collector (PAID)
San Francisco Giants – P-Town Tom
Seattle Mariners – Junior Junkie (PAID)
St. Louis Cardinals – BMan (PAID)
Tampa Bay Rays – Brett B.
Texas Rangers – BMan
Toronto Blue Jays – buckstorecards (PAID)
Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos – jaybarkerfan

There you have it!  For what it’s worth, I (Nachos Grande) would be willing to trade the Braves or Indians for either the Diamondbacks, Rangers, or Giants.

Ted Williams, Steal Bases – 22

Originally published Jan. 18, 2012

Not that they could really be confused, this Ted Williams explained to The Beaver County Times in spring 1995 the differences between him and the other Ted Williams.

“I’m a different kind of Ted Williams,” Williams told The Times that March, “Ted Williams was probably the greatest hitter of all time. Had the greatest vision of any hitter and his record speaks for itself. I’ll never be close to being in his class as a hitter. But I do one thing he didn’t, and that’s steal bases.”

In a career that spanned a decade, the base stealer Williams stole a total of 368 bases, including topping 70 in a season twice.

But, while the other Williams focused more on hitting than stealing, the other Williams still stole more in the majors. This Ted Williams never stole a base in the bigs.

Williams’ minor league career began in 1986, taken by the Mariners in the 8th round, out of the University of Alabama.

Williams played that first year at short-season Bellingham, hitting .246 and stealing 51 bases. He stole one of those bases in an August game, knocking in one.

Williams moved to single-A Wausau in 1987 then single-A San Bernardino for 1988. He stole 74 bases at Wausau, then followed that with 71 at San Bernardino. In the California League All-Star game that year, though, Williams showed some power, hitting a three-run home run.

Williams made AA Williamsport in 1989, his stolen bases dropping to 37. He got his first look at AAA the next season, with 43 games at Calgary. He didn’t get a full year at AAA until 1992, his last in the Mariners system.

After a year with the Tigers at AA and AAA, Williams moved to independent Duluth and Winnipeg for 1994.

For 1995, Williams returned for replacement ball with the Pirates, traded toward the end to the Royals.

“This could be a good opportunity for me,” Williams told The Associated Press after the trade. “I appreciate the Pirates giving me a chance.”

Williams’ career, though, ended that year. He played one game with the Royals at AA Wichita and played out the year at independent Moose Jaw.

Zipped Again

Trade post from Zippy
Here’s a nice selection.
1961 Topps #457
Vintage Johnny James in a blasted Yankees uniform, windbreaker sleeves showing.
I can’t imagine that was very comfortable.
I always hated wearing a windbreaker.
2014, 2015 Bowman
All needed cards here.  
I’ve slacked off tremendously in buying packs the last couple years.
Consequently my Angels needs are increasing and my trade boxes are slowly dwindling.

2011 Playoff Contenders Cracked Ice 295/299
2012 Topps Pro Debut Gold 31/50
Scan didn’t pick up the cracked ice, but man is it COOL!
Baker is now in the Rockies organization, and Frazier Hall is now in an independent league.

Chrome and Chrome Refractors
That Jordan Walden is a nice low number 023/150.

Trout Perspectives: head-first sliding, laughing, dirty, serious, on fire, feet-first sliding. 
What is that behind Trout anyhow?
Wall of fire?
Blanket?
Dead Sea Scroll?

And the always present in a Zippy package, the Sega Card-Gen cards.
Zippy is my sole provider for these.
Vladdy is a 2008 Upper Deck Kelloggs Japanese.
Cereal box pull?

2015 Midland Rockhounds Player Photo Set

I went visit my parents yesterday and decide go to my stomping grounds of Midland Rockhounds baseball. On Wednesday they used to have player photo night which first 250 fans get set of 3 player photos and players sign autographs. They stop doing after 2008 but they brought it back this year. My player photo set consist of:

Jaycob Brugman
Bobby Wahl
Carson Blair

Back of player photo cards is where you can find Rockhounds on social media with radio station ad. I used listen to that station growing up in my teen years before they got bought out and turned to top 40 station. I wonder what’s their format now.

After years being away I miss this stadium and going games there.

before i get to archives…

i understand that 2015 topps archives is live. i also understand that they are using the 1957 topps design for one of the four subsets in the base set.  that’s nice, although i do wish that 1978 would get some love sometime before heritage catches up in 2027.  speaking of heritage, the last time we saw the 1957 topps design was in 2006 with the topps heritage set.  this is the dodger team card from that set
it features a photo taken inside dodger stadium – a stadium that didn’t exist in 1957.  here are a few more dodgers from that set – cesar izturis
hong-chih kuo
derek lowe
and bill mueller
i rather like the mueller card. it seems like an old-timey pose.  i understand that don sutton is featured in the 1957 topps design grouping in the archives set this year, and i hope that his card is also old-timey in flavor. 
here are some other random cards from my scanned folder.
2006 fleer andre ethier
2006 upper deck jayson werth
2006 topps jim tracy (through the mail autograph success!)
pretty sure tracy is standing in the same spot izturis was for the heritage card up above – notice the palm tree…
2004 topps jim tracy (through the mail autograph success!)

2005 upper deck roy campanella wingfield collection
and 2005 upper deck pee wee reese wingfield collection 
those last two are nice looking cards.  i don’t think either campy or pee wee are in archives this year – it’s koufax, duke, and jackie as far as brooklyn-era dodgers go.  i’ll try to find some of them in a blaster sometime this weekend – stay tuned…

1990 Year of the No-Hitter: June 11th – Nolan Ryan Pt 2

There are at least Four Cards in the Phungo Collection dedicated to Nolan Ryan’s 1990 No-Hitter against the Oakland A’s. 

This 1993 Pacific Card is my favorite of the lot.


1993 Pacific Texas Express #63 Last Pitch No-Hitter #6

This is a great baseball card. I would have elected to crop out the Jack in the Box/Michelin ads at the top, but otherwise this is pure beauty.

We can see Ryan on the follow through and Willie Randolph mid swing for the final out.

In an MLB Network interview Randolph mentioned hitting into the last out of the No-Hitter as one of his biggest career disappointments. Go to the 3:20 mark in the interview here.

Flip

1993 Pacific Texas Express #63 Last Pitch No-Hitter #6 (b-side)

The fireball is part of the design on the flip side of the Texas Express series – A set dedicated exclusively to Nolan Ryan.

Good synopsis of the game including nods to former Phils Julio Franco and John Russell.

To Look at our master posting on Nolan Ryan’s sixth no-hitter click here

Sources and Links
1990: Year of the No-Hitter Index
1990 0611 Nolan Ryan 6th No-Hitter Index 
MLB Network Willie Randolf Discusses WBC 
Baseball-ref
Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards

More For the Billy PC

Mr. Mailman brought me two more Billy Williams items yesterday.

I use the word items because they aren’t baseball cards.  In fact, while I’m at 61% complete on the Billy Williams PSA master list, many of the items I’ve got left aren’t true baseball cards.  There are pins, stamps, stickers, tatoos, and items from packages.

And of the baseball cards that I’m still hunting, most of those are parallels, from O Pee Chee or the Venezuelan sets.

Up first is this oversized card from Exhibit Supply Company.  Billy has two versions, the blank back and the stats on back card.  This is the blank back, since I already had the stats card.  The fronts of both are the same, but duh, the backs kinda let you know if you’ve got the stats back or plain.

Up next is this…

….postcard.  In 1966 H.F. Gardner put our a postcard set that featured six famous athletes born in Alabama.  Whistler native Billy Williams was one of the six.

The back includes a short bio.

The picture on the front is new to me.  It’s never been on any Topps card, past or present, as far as I know.  I’d love for Topps to get the rights to it and use it on a Billy card.

1984 Donruss #427 Ivan DeJesus

Reds 5, Phillies 2
Game 61 – Wednesday Afternoon, June 10th in Cincinnati
Record – 22-39, 5th Place, 10 games behind the Nationals

One Sentence Summary:  Jerome Williams dug the Phillies an early hole by allowing four runs in the first inning, and the Reds went on to win the ballgame, 5-2.

What It Means:  The Reds completed the three-game sweep of the Phillies.  After an off day Thursday, they’ll head to Pittsburgh to open a weekend series with the Pirates.

What Happened:  Ivan DeJesus, Jr. hit a three-run home run off Williams in the first.  Cameron Rupp drove in both Phillies runs.  Chase Utley’s average dippped down to .185 after his 0 for 3 day.

Featured Card:  Smile Phillies fans!  Just wait until next year!  (Or maybe the year after that . . . but definitely 2017 . . . maybe.)

Some Cards Show Finds Found for Me

“Are you sure card collecting is your thing?” he asks.

I just have a quick post for you tonight as I’m in the middle of another sorting project as well as pulling cards from all of the darkest corners of my home for a Mets collector and an Astros collector. Dennis of the always excellent Too Many Verlanders / Too Many Manninghams sent me an all killer/no filler package back in April that I’ve been hoarding for too long.

Much consternation was made among the Cardinal faithful over the Mark Mulder trade which almost seems like a lifetime ago. The Cards gave up a pitcher who would prove to have a lengthy and serviceable career in Dan Haren for a productive season of Mulder before he started crumbling to dust. I always liked Mulder, however, and he kept running back out there no matter how much the odds were stacked against him, so I was never personally that upset about the trade. Daric Barton was also included in the trade and stuck around with the A’s as a converted first baseman for years. Aside from one season where he held down the job full time and led the league in bases on balls, he didn’t really measure up. His early autographed-on-foil-tape 2003 Upper Deck card shows a confident looking young player, though.

Bo Hart was a late round draft pick who wasn’t expected to amount to much. He was a midseason callup during the desperate Three Night in August year after Fernando Vina went down with an injury and became an overnight sensation (well, in St. Louis, at least.) One month into the 2004 season, however, he would be demoted and relegated to a footnote in team history.

This Sweet Spot signature card is actually really nice looking, unlike some later years’ cards that suffered from ink fading. However, my scanner can’t really do it justice as it’s extremely thick. It might even be thicker than my Pujols 1/1, which would make it the chunkiest in my collection.

Finally, here’s a nifty little Mike Tyson buyback from the recent Topps 75th Anniversary bonanza. Beckett has done such a lousy job (i.e. no job) documenting these buybacks, so I actually have no idea what set they come from as I’ve seen examples of the same cards with different 75th anniversary stamps in different locations. This card comes complete with wax residue on the front for additional authenticity. Waxtastic!

I would be remiss to not mention that Dennis also sent some amazing Ducks stuff my way, but I am going to hold these back for the upcoming football season. This is going to be a season of amazing cards to show off for my Good Luck Ducks posts, even if the season itself isn’t so stellar. We’ll see.

Celebrating Father’s Day in the 1970’s with Avon NFL Decanters

With Father’s Day coming up, I thought it would be a good time to take a look at something that would have been a great gift idea for Dad back in the late 1970’s – Avon NFL Decanters:

I was not aware of these until a reader (Gary) brought these to my attention.  I’d like to say thanks to Gary for letting me know about these as I had never come across these before.

The decanter holds Wild Country After Shave

and comes with an embossed metal label of one of the then 28 NFL teams in the league which is applied to the front of the decanter.

Inside the box was the decanter, a top shaped like a football, and an envelope with the team helmet which contained the metal label to be applied to the bottle:

Here is a picture of the envelope with instructions for applying the label
As well as a shot of the back of label:

The decanter comes in a black box which contains team names

(which remind me of the classic NFL bed sheets from around the same time)
and information about the NFL and the decanter on the back:
Since the back of the box mentions the 1975 Super Bowl, these were likely produced starting in 1976.  I’m not sure how many years these were available, but given that I have not come across the Jets helmet that changed in 1978, I’m guessing these were available between 1976 and 1977.

The box indicates the team label is packaged separately, so I’m guessing when you placed your order, you could request which team decal you wanted, and it would be included with the box of aftershave.

Here is a look at all 28 teams:

  

  

  

 

  
  

 
 
 
  
  
  

If you don’t have an interest in collecting the decanters, the embossed decals themselves still make a nice collectible:
 To wrap up, here is a look at a full set that someone has for sale:

Avon also did a set of decanters for the NBA, which I will cover next time.

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Football Metallic /50 Set…….Complete

It’s finally done.  I’ve said that a lot over the years but perhaps this was the most frustrated I had been about completing one of these sets.  You see, the final card was the Jack Lambert.  Why is this frustrating?  Because I have seen this card twice before.  Once on ebay and once on check out my cards.  The seller that sold it on COMC had been in contact with me before.  He had said he thought he had some pf these but not to worry he would track them down.  Then he emailed me and said he had sent all of them to Comc and they’d be posted shortly and I shouldn’t have too much trouble getting them.  I still remember where I was when they posted.  I had just got done playing a round of golf and had made it to a brew pub in Salem, OR call The Ram.  I saw the listings and there were quite a few I needed at the time along with some patches /50.

As I was putting them into my card, all of the ones I needed were bought by someone else.  Why does this tick me off?  As if you have to ask.  yes they are his cards and he can sell them how he chooses, still a dick move.

I figured it wouldn’t be a big deal, plus I had many others to track down to complete the /75 set, let alone the /50 sets.  These football parallels have never really been that popular and it’s not uncommon for me to be the only bidder on a lot of these cards…..that was October 2011…….

I have been looking for the Lambert in earnest for a three years now as I have been down to just the last few of the Metallic set.  Finally, last Wednesday it was posted on Ebay.

Tonight I won the auction for like $6 and the set is complete.  Now I just have 3 left for the Burgundy /25 set.  Barry Sanders, Desmond Howard, Paul Hornung.  Ironically, or not, I have the Hornung auto from the set, seems like that would be harder.  What I do know is that Barry Sanders Masterpieces parallels are a little tough to come by and I’m sure there are some hot cases out there with a bunch of his cards in it.  Second, I’ve seen a Hornung hot case so I’m sure the Burgundy versions are all nestled together.  To give you an idea of how this can affect the collation, I bought out a collection where a guy had busted about 6-8 cases and he had 6 Eddie Royal and 6 Kevin Dyson burgundy.  That’s 25% of the production! He also had 11 Ladainian Tomlimson Green /75!  So collecting these sets can be a real shit show.  He had many other cards in quantity and of course, so do I.

On another note there are approximately 500-750 missing cases of this product…….sure wish I could find them.  Where do I come up with that number?  Well I have 5 complete patch sets, that’s 300 patches and 10% of the production.  I have about 600 overall and I have bought just about every patch I can find with few exceptions.  Also, I’ve heard of no other collectors out there and the patches are mentioned so rarely…Where are the other 2400 patches.  Assuming 900 are in private collections somewhere and these people have no access to the internet and don’t use ebay, that leaves 1500 unaccounted for at 2 per case leaving 750 unaccounted for cases….If you know of any, let me know.

#PackADailyCircus – 077 – Skip two my Bowman?

Hello, everyone!

I managed to leave the box of 2015 Bowman at work – AGAIN! In my defense, I spent the day out of my office, broadcasting live online for a new program that a colleague and I have launched called EduTechGuys. We ran a live show from 8a-4p in the lobby of the venue hosting the Corwin Student Voice and Student Engagement Institute hosted by Southwest Arkansas Education Cooperative where I work. It was a LOT of fun! In fact, we will be doing it again for Day 2 on Thursday, June 11 from 8a-4pm CST. Feel free to listen in at radio.edutechguys.com.

For tonight, I am opening a pack of cards and on Thursday night, I will finish the box! In fact, when I get to the office tomorrow, I will go straight to my office, grab the box and put it in my car.

So, let’s bust some wax!

1987 Sportflics:

Jesse Barfield, Harold Baines, Dave Winfield AL Best RF – Blue Jays, White Sox, Yankees – Idaho Astros (Wahoo!!), Saitama Sushi (Wahoo!!), Arpsmith (Wahoo!!)

Buddy Bell – Reds – Free Agent
St Louis Cardinals Team Logo – Cardinals – Free Agent
Houston Astros Team Logo – Astros – Free Agent

Jesse Barfield – Blue Jays – Idaho Astros (Wahoo!! x2 – Same Player!)

Wow! Idaho Astros manage to pull the same player from two different cards. That’s pretty cool! Now, remember, multi-player cards will be randomly handed to one of the owning managers. But, for the sake of scoring hits, it counts! Congrats to each manager scoring a hit here!

Man, Sportflics sure do make for weird scans…

Dennis Fletcher, Come-Backer – 2064

Dennis Fletcher got himself into some trouble late in this April 1990 game. His quick glove got him out of it.

With one run already in, Fletcher had the tying run on second, according to The Greensboro News & Record. That’s when he induced a come-backer and ended the game and inning.

“He just hit the ball hard, right at the guy,” Greensboro manager Brian Butterfield told The News & Record of the last out. “An inch here or there and he may have had a chance to tie it.”

Fletcher snagged that come-backer in his second season as a pro. He went on to get into two more. He never made AA.

Fletcher started his pro career in 1989, taken by the Cardinals in the 28th round of the draft out of the University of Arkansas.

At Arkansas, Fletcher pitched into the seventh inning of a May 1987 regional win, giving up one run. He threw a February 1988 complete game, giving up two runs.

Fletcher played his first season with the Cardinals between the rookie Arizona League and rookie Johnson City. He got into 29 games, starting one. He went 10-0, with a 2.48 ERA and five saves.

He moved to single-A Savannah for 1990. He got into 66 games in relief and saved 15. He ended with a 3.49 ERA.

Fletcher played 1991 at single-A Springfield. He had a 3.95 ERA that year and saved two games. For 1992, he was at high-A St. Petersburg. He threw a scoreless inning of relief in an August game. Overall, he had a 2.45 ERA in 57 games. It was his final season as a pro.

1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,061
Made the Majors: 906-44.0%
Never Made Majors:1,155-56.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 386
10+ Seasons in the Minors:222

Bryan Bass, 2007 Bowman Chrome Prospects #BC116

Hey, it’s a Bowman prospect card from eight years ago, so the question is: who in the blue hell is Bryan Bass? The Internet tells me that he was the Orioles’ first-round compensatory draft pick (31st overall) in 2001, a consolation prize for losing Mike Mussina in free agency. It took Bass, who was selected out of Seminole High School in Florida, six years to make it to AA Bowie. In 170 games over two seasons with the Baysox, Bryan batted .221/.317/.359 with 14 home runs and 60 RBI. The O’s cut bait on him after the 2007 season, and that was all she wrote for his baseball career, save for a one-game stint with the Tucson Toros of the independent Golden Baseball League in 2009. So why did Topps/Bowman put him on a “prospect” card when he was on his way out of affiliated baseball? I guess you’d have to ask them.

So long, Alex

If blogging was around when I was a teenager, I don’t think I could have done it.

As I’ve mentioned before, when I was a kid — before the teenage years hit — I’d set out to write my own fictional novel. One time, I got up to about 70 or 80 loose leaf pages full of pencil-scrawled writing before I gave up. Then the teenaged years hit and writing became work — essays and outlines and literary analysis. Who wanted to write during their free time?

Plus there is having the guts to put myself out in the public like one must do when blogging. I couldn’t have handled that as a teenager. I had a difficult enough time raising my hand in class.

But I’ve come across several teens and pre-college card bloggers over the years. Sometimes I don’t even know they’re that young. Sure, I know they’re younger than me because of some of their references, but often times I’m surprised when I find it’s an 18- or 19-year-old who wants to be involved this hobby that’s supposedly dying out because every collector is 63.

Such was the case when Alex said goodbye. He is/was the operator of Chavez Ravining, a blog focused primarily on the Dodgers. A couple of weeks ago he announced that he was probably ending or at least taking a very long break from his blog and collecting in general. He’s heading to college, and he knows what I knew all too well — it’s damn difficult to collect cards in college.

Up until that post I had no idea he was that young. It’s part of the charm of this network of collectors that age really has no meaning.

I was disappointed to see him go, but I understand. Then, not long after he made his final post, a package from Alex arrived in the mail. I couldn’t help but look at it as a farewell gesture. It was kind of bittersweet opening it, really.

The cards were from my want lists and others that I never said I wanted. But Alex is a Dodger fan. He knows what I want.

As I opened the package, and observed how many players make but brief appearances in Dodger blue, leaving behind a few stray cards to collect, I couldn’t help but make comparisons to card blogging. Bloggers come in and out of your life, much like friends do in real life. Hopefully, they leave a mark, an impression. That’s their gift.

2015 Topps Finest is out. I’m still trying to complete the Dodgers set from 2014 Finest — and I love 2014 Finest. But that’s the pace of collecting these days. Nothing stays around for very long and we’re on to the next thing.

Another fine example of moving in and moving on. Alex’s final gift to me was completing the 2014 Topps Archives Dodger team set with this short-print and former Nebulous 9 need Fernando Valenzuela. So I have that done just in time for 2015 Archives to hit shelves. Oh, except inserts. Weeee.

I’m going to have to pick it up on 2014 A&G, too. Because the 2015 set is probably only a month away.

Some things stay the same. Like using this Jackie Robinson pose over and over again. Can’t get too mad at a framed card, though.

Can’t get mad at shiny Chrome or colored borders either. May that remain forever and ever.

Thanks for the parting gift, Alex. Good luck in college. Maybe you’ll be able to grab a few packs here and there like I did.

Hope to see you on the other side.

Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes Team Issued Cards

The last installment (for now) on team issued cards is for the Osaka Kintetsu Buffaloes.  Jason has a lot of information on these due to his Tuffy Rhodes collection so I don’t have a whole lot to add to the lists he’s put up.  I also don’t have a whole lot of cards.  I only have six cards total representing five different sets.  So here goes:

1999:

2000:

2001 – Jason doesn’t list this set:

2002 – not sure if Jason lists this set or not.  This could be the “Fan Appreciation Day” set he has a litsing for.  I have two cards from this set.  The other one is Iori Sekiguchi (#40):

2002 – Jason lists this set as “2002 Set 2″:

1990 Year of the No-Hitter: June 11 – NOLAN RYAN

As noted earlier in this series there are some great names and stories among the pitchers who were involved in the year of the No-Hitter, none of those pitchers was bigger than Nolan Ryan.

1991 Score No-Hit Club #701 Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan only had 7 spring training innings in prior to his Opening Day start which he had to leave despite having not given up a hit over 5 innings.

By June 11th he had nine starts under his belt including a 1-hitter versus the White Sox on April 26th.  Ryan now had built up plenty of arm strength to finish his record setting sixth career no-hitter.

Box Notes

1991 Score No-Hit Club (b-side)

First off that is a scuff on the card, that is not bird droppings on Nolan’s cap!

For the second time in the series we have the Oakland A’s making a guest appearance. Back in mid-April we discussed Brian Holman’s near perfect game which was spoiled by a Ken Phelps Home Run.  

Ken Phelps made a 9th inning pinch hit appearance in this game as well. Nolan Ryan won this battle as he did something he did 5713 other times in his career. He Struck Out Phelps. That was the first out of the 9th which left Future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson and Willie Randolph as the last two outs Ryan needed to complete his record extending 6th no-hitter. Henderson Grounded  Out and Randolph Fouled out to right.

More Cards
There are three other Cards in the Phungo Collection dedicated to this game. We will be taking a closer look at each of the other cards tomorrow. For now we will just post the cards. 

1993 Pacific Texas Express #63 Last Pitch No-Hitter #6

1991 Donruss #BC-3 Nolan Ryan 6th No-Hitter

1991 Topps #6 Record Break Nolan Ryan

You cannot tell from the front but this card honors Nolan Ryan breaking his own record of five no-hitters.

Nolan Ryan
The name most associated with No-Hitter is likely Nolan Ryan, to recognize this we will be dedicating several postings to this no-hitter and the Ryan Express over the next few days.

Sources and Links
1990 Year of the No-Hitter Index
Nolan Ryan HoF Index 
baseball-ref
MLB Network Willie Randolph Discusses WBC

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