Monthly Archives: January 2012

Tony Gwynn 1984 Topps

Tony Gwynn 1984 Topps

I was able to scoop up this second-year card of Tony Gwynn for a bargain price of just $0.50.

As a young collector, I had a nice stack of these as my philosophy was that second-year stuff was almost as good as having rookie-year stuff.  Boy, was I wrong!!

Still, the card looks great – and I am happy to have it for my Tony Gwynn collection.

In 1984, Gwynn settled into his role as full-time major leaguer.  At the same time, he also established himself as one of the sport’s great, young talents.  Gwynn led the NL in hits with 213 and was the batting champion.  He also became an All-star, won the Silver Slugger Award, and finished in third place foe the league’s MVP Award.

Not a bad sophomore effort, huh?

Bo Jackson ‘Fab Five’ – Card #4 – 1990 Score ‘Young Superstars’

Bo Jackson ‘Fab Five’ – Card #4 – 1990 Score ‘Young Superstars’

Now that my Bo Jackson collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #4 – 1990 Score ‘Young Superstars’

Wow, just look at the burst of speed that Bo Jackson injected into each attempt at a stolen base!!

He was pretty successful too.

For his career, Bo stole 82 bases.  In 114 attempts, that equates to a 72% success rate.  Not too bad for a football player….

Happy Birthday Josh Johnson!!!

Happy Birthday Josh Johnson!!!

Josh Johnson turns 28 years old today.

My favorite Marlins pitcher is set to have the best season of his short career this year.  Fully healthy, and ready for the start of the 2012 baseball season, Johnson is at the cusp of becoming one of the NL’s best pitchers.

As someone that has gotten to see JJ pitch countless times, both live and on television, I have thought that he has had ‘ace’ stuff for some time.  His ability to dominate games from the onset, while allowing very few runs in the process, is rare.

All we need to do is keep JJ healthy.  As you may recall, each of the last two seasons have been shut down early due to injury.  You may also recall, that he was an early Cy Young Award candidate in each of those years due to his great starts.

I am hoping for another strong start, and an equally strong finish.

Happy Birthday Josh!!!

Happy Birthday Nolan Ryan!!!

Happy Birthday Nolan Ryan!!!

Nolan Ryan turns 65 years old today.

One of the most dominant and competitive pitchers that the game has even seen, Nolan Ryan was a player admired by many.  His hard work and dedication to his craft made him a very well respected player with his teammates, peers, and fans.

It’s hard to believe that we will soon be entering the 18th season since ‘The Ryan Express’ derailed his baseball career.  For any collector and baseball fan in general that was active in the 1980’s, we all have a Nolan Ryan moment ingrained in our heads.  For me, it was the speech I did in 10th grade about Ryan’s incredible feat of 5,000 K’s.  I actually had the game taped and used the strikeout of Rickey Henderson as the ‘ice breaker’.  It was pretty cool and I believe I got an A for the speech.  I remember saying something along the lines of ‘Nolan Ryan has done this 5,000 times.  Nolan Ryan did this 1,500 times before any of us were born.’

Anyways, ‘Happy Birthday’ to one of the game’s ultimate competitors!!!  Nolan Ryan is and will always be remembered as the guy that was unbelievably dominant yet was never rewarded with an individual honor for his pitching performances. 

Happy Birthday Ernie Banks!!!

Happy Birthday Ernie Banks!!!

Amazingly, Ernie Banks is turning 81 years old today.  I have seen recent pictures of Ernie at various Cubs and baseball related events and he looks great!!  Still has the famous smile of his!!!

‘Mr. Cub’ will always be the most popular and respected player from the Chicago Cubs organization.  His 19-seasons of perfection in a Cubs uniform still remain as fond and vibrant memories for the ‘North Siders’.  Banks’ 512 career home runs and season after season of MVP caliber baseball earned him a Hall of Fame induction in 1977 on the first ballot.

Unfortunately Banks never played 1 single inning, never batted 1 time, never took the field 1 time in the playoffs.  For someone that means so much the sport of baseball and specifically to the city of Chicago, it would have been great to see Ernie Banks play when the games counted the most! 

banks

Rickey Henderson 2011 Topps – ’60 Years’

Rickey Henderson 2011 Topps – ’60 Years’

Now this card right here takes me way back.  Back to a time when Rickey Henderson was the most exciting baseball player on the planet!!!

Rickey could do it all – and some of it very well – and some of it better than anyone else!!!

The ‘better than anyone else’ reference is about his skills on the base paths.  In that case, Rickey was unreal – a true pace setter!!

Here is the card:

 

The headline of the card reads, ‘Athletics Single Season Stolen Base Leader’.  And while it could say so much more as Rickey’s base stealing history has made some major headlines during and after his playing days, I understand the theme of the card.  And I am more than OK with it!!!

Enjoy.

1968 Topps Game – Steve Hargan

1968 Topps Game – Steve Hargan

Steve Hargan played in the big leagues for 12 seasons.  A pitcher, used in both starting and relief roles during that time, Hargan compiled an 87-107 record.  His lifetime ERA is 3.92 and he amassed 891 career strikeouts.

Hargan was an All-Star during the 1967 baseball season, and that is why is was probably added into this set of baseball cards.  In ’67, he went 14-13 while tossing 15 complete games which included a league-leading six shutouts.

Progress: 5/33

Fergie Jenkins 2005 Upper Deck Legendary Reflections

Fergie Jenkins 2005 Upper Deck Legendary Reflections

I see this photo of Fergie used quite often.  It has graced countless baseball cards, and I even see 8×10 versions of it on Ebay all of the time.

The photo works well with this card’s design.  But, it does kind of look like Fergie is rising out of that thing with the stars on it…

Dwight Gooden 1986 Fleer Superstar Special ‘In Action’

Dwight Gooden 1986 Fleer Superstar Special ‘In Action’

Man, I remember loving these cards back when they were released.  I always wished that Fleer issued more of these in their sets to the limited amount that they gave us.  I always wanted one of these of Andre Dawson (you probably guessed that, huh).

This card, from the 1986 Fleer base set, features the ’84 ROY and ’85 Cy Young winner.  And is gives us a nice glimpse of what a batter might see as ‘Doc’ prepares to fire another 99 mile-per-hour pitch at them.

Here is the card:

An awesome addition to my Dwight Gooden collection – NICE!!!

Bo Jackson ‘Fab Five’ – Card #5 – 1991 Score ‘Bo Breaker’

Bo Jackson ‘Fab Five’ – Card #5 – 1991 Score ‘Bo Breaker’

Now that my Bo Jackson collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #5 – 1991 Score ‘Bo Breaker’

While certainly not a typical card that makes my criteria for a ‘Fab Five’ post, this card of Bo Jackson sure does bring back some memories of watching Bo play, and fail, the game of baseball.

Bo became famous for several on-the-field reasons: his power, his speed, his thrilling style of play, and for breaking bats over his knees!!

This card takes me back to the late 1980s and early 1990s.  All of a sudden, I feel like listening to Def Leppard…  :)