Monthly Archives: August 2010

My Tim Raines Player Collection Is Complete!!!

My Tim Raines Player Collection Is Complete!!!

I have finally completed my tribute to Tim Raines – and 1 thing resonated with me throughout this process of putting together a set of all of Raines’ Expos cards.  And that thing is that Tim Raines deserves more recognition and consideration for Hall of Fame enshrinement.

Raines is one of the greatest lead-off hitters of all-time, and his numbers are very comparable, and even better than most of his peers.

Raines was able to combine the skills of a great runner, classic hitter, and brilliant defender into his all-around  game.  His desire to be the best and help elevate his team’s amount of wins was clear in every base he stole, run he scored, and play he made.

Finally, my Tim Raines collection is complete:  

And as I do with all of my newly completed player collections, I will select and rank my ‘Fab 5′ all week next week.  Stay tuned, card #5 will debut next Monday…

Thanks.

Orel Hershiser 1994 Topps Stadium Club

Orel Hershiser 1994 Topps Stadium Club

Can this be the worst non-baseball, baseball card of all-time??

I cannot believe that Topps released something like this for public consumption.  I mean, what in the world is Hershiser, a former CY Young and World Series MVP, doing in this picture???

Did You Know…

Rafael Palmeiro, with 569 home runs through the 2005 season, holds some unique distinctions from the rest of the 500-Home Run Club sluggers.  Palmeiro never led the league in either home runs or RBI and never hit three home runs in 1 game(despite 24 two-homer games).  Palmeiro also led the AL in 1990 with 191 singles, making him the only one of the group to lead the league in that category.

**factoid courtesy of ‘Big League Trivia’

My take – it takes a very rare and unique talent for a player to amass both the 500 homers and 3000 hits.  And when you consider the fact that Palmeiro never led the league in either category; it just shows how consistently good he was!!!

Happy Birthday Frank Robinson!!!

Frank Robinson turns 75 years old today.

Still one of the most underrated players of all-time, Frank Robinson compiled a career of accomplishments that are on par with the game’s greatest offensive players.

2 of the more notable feats are his 2,943 career hits and 586 home runs.

In baseball, the measurement of an excellent hitter is the 3,000s hit plateau.  Robinson fell just 57 hits short of that mark.  And the measure of a supreme power hitter is the 500 HR threshold.  Robinson crushed 586 and fell just 14 dingers short of the rare 600 HR club.

For his birthday, I would like to give Mr. Robinson another half season’s worth of games in his prime to try to amass both of these incredible records.  His numbers are extraordinary now, but if he were to join the 3,000 hits and 600 home run clubs, his numbers would rank him as extra-extraordinary and that is a place I think he belongs!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Robinson!!!

My First 2 Vintage Ernie Banks Cards!!! YES!!!!

My First 2 Vintage Ernie Banks Cards!!!   YES!!!!

1 of my goals for growing my collection in 2010 was to add more vintage cards to my collection.

And as we sit here at the very end of August, I think that I have done pretty well with that specific goal.

But now, I can say that I am 100% confident that I have achieved that goal.

Check out these two beauties:

That’s right.  A 1968 & 1969 Topps Ernie Banks baseball card!!!

I am so shocked that I was able to score both of these.  I am more shocked that they are both in really, really good condition.  And I am even more shocked that I was able to bring both of these home for less than $10, combined.

Let me say that again – I paid less than $10 to bring home 2 vintage, classic baseball cards of one of the most legendary players of all-time!!!

YES!!!!

Three Andre Dawson Classics!!!

Three Andre Dawson Classics!!!

The brand ‘Claasic’ put out baseball cards in a time when there was room to compete for part of the market share in the late 80′s and early 90′s.

The cards were always basic in design, and they usually used quality pictures with bright borders.  I have scooped up several cards of Andre Dawson from the Classic sets that were issued of him.  

And as I look to bulk up on my collection honoring ‘The Hawk”, I found three more Classics for the collection!

Here they are: 

These cards won’t win any awards for originality or design, but they offer up more for the player collectors to go after.

And that is exactly what I needed!!!

Tony Perez 1984 Donruss

Tony Perez 1984 Donruss

When someone in 1984 yells ‘Hey Tony’, this is what you get… 

Just a terrible baseball card…

1987 Topps Record Breakers – Card #7 – Todd Worrell

1987 Topps Record Breakers – Card #7 – Todd Worrell

Headline – “Todd Worrell Destroys The First Year Mark For Saves”

The Story – Chicago, Il.  October 5, 1986:  Cardinals’ Worrell has recorded 36 saves in 1986, a major league record for rookies.  The former standard of 23 saves in initial campaign was set by Twins’ Doug Corbett in 1980.  Todd had save in 1985 World Series.

My take – I remember this record-breaking season vividly.  Had Worrell done this twenty years later he could have earned a nice seven-figure contract…

Marveling At The Greatness Of Craig Biggio…

Marveling At The Greatness Of Craig Biggio…

I don’t know why, but I found myself on the Craig Biggio page of www.BaseballReference.com and I was quickly put in awe of his incredible stats.  I never saw him play that much, and I have no real feelings for the Astros, but I cannot stop thinking about how solid of a big league ballplayer Biggio was.  I wonder how many others missed it along with me…

I am scrapping my original plans for a post tonight, so I can give you some Biggio. 

Ok, starting off with the obvious, Biggio played twenty years for the same team – he gets credit just for doing that as he played in the wildest free agency era in baseball so far.

Now, on to the numbers:  Biggio tallied 3,060 hits, scored 1,844 runs, hit 668 doubles, crushed 201 home runs, stole 414 bases, has a lifetime batting average of .281, drove in 1,175 runs, and amassed an on-base percentage of .363.

Very impressive!  And while Biggio didn’t bring home any MVP trophies, he did win 4 Gold Gloves and 5 Silver Slugger trophies while also making the All-Star team 7 times.

But, here is what impressed me more.  It’s how high he ranks in certain statistical categories.  He is comparable to some of the game’s greatest players, so in a way I guess that confirms that he too should be spoken of when discussing that group.

Check this out:

  • 15th in games played – ahead of Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, and George Brett
  • 12th in at-bats – ahead of Brooks Robinson, Paul Molitor, and Lou Brock
  • 13th in runs scored – ahead of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Mickey Mantle
  • 20th in hits – ahead of Rod Carew, Wade Boggs, and Roberto Clemente
  • 2nd in hit-by-pitch

Biggio has surpassed some of the sport’s most talented offensive players in some major categories. 

I just wish that I paid a little more attention to it while it was happening – he deserved that!!!

Rod Carew 1971 Topps

Rod Carew 1971 Topps

I search for cards from the 1971 Topps set all of the time on Ebay – As you know, I love Black-bordered baseball cards!!!

And of all of the posed, portrait style cards in the set, the one of Rod Carew easily ranks in my Top 10.

Well, I finally pulled the trigger on one and added it to my collection. 

1971 marked Carew’s 5th year in the majors and he was already one of the game’s biggest stars.  A 5-time All-star, Carew’s incredible offense brought him a ton of attention – a tough feat for anyone playing for the Minnesota Twins.  Amazingly, the first five years of Carew’s career could be considered sub-par in comparison to his output over the next seven seasons.  During that time, Carew would go on to collect six batting titles, 200 or more hits in four seasons, seven more All-star appearances, and 5 Top 10 finishes for the MVP award, including a first place finish in 1977.

I am overjoyed to finally add this card to my collection!!!