Daily Archives: November 1, 2012

Ernie Banks 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’

Ernie Banks 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’

It is not very rare that I own a re-print baseball card after I own the original.  For financial reasons, I typically go for the re-prints while bargain hunting for the originals.

When I saw that I could grab this 2011 Topps ’60 Years Of Topps’ baseball card of Ernie Banks on sportlots.com for just $0.18, I jumped at the chance.

Here is the card:

And it perfectly compliments my original from all the way back in 1968!!

Let’s Play Two!

Ken Griffey Jr. 2012 Topps Archives – 1989 Topps Design

Ken Griffey Jr. 2012 Topps Archives – 1989 Topps Design

The most notable omission from the 1989 Topps baseball card set is a Ken Griffey Jr. rookie baseball card.  Fleer got him.  As did Donruss.  And Upper Deck honored him with the first card in their first-ever set.

But Topps missed out.  Missed out, BIG!!

Thankfully, withe their Archives brand, Topps takes us back in baseball card history.  And now we get to see what a 1989 Topps Ken Griffey, Jr. rookie card would have looked like some 24 years ago…

Thank you Topps!

Miami Marlins Tab Former Marlin Mike Redmond As Next Manager

Redmond is Marlins’ choice to be manager

Former catcher, part of 2003 World Series winner, agrees to three-year deal

By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
11/1/2012 12:12 PM ET

MIAMI — The Marlins’ search for a new manager ended where it started, with the hiring of Mike Redmond.

Redmond, who agreed to a three-year contract, will be introduced at a news conference on Friday at Marlins Park, the team said in its announcement Thursday.

The 41-year-old former big league catcher was the first to interview for the position that was vacated when Ozzie Guillen was dismissed on Oct. 23.

Redmond sat down with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria and members of the front office on Oct. 24 in New York.

A catcher with the Marlins from 1998-2004, Redmond was Ivan Rodriguez’s backup on the 2003 World Series championship team.

Redmond also played from 2005-09 with the Twins, and his playing career ended in 2010 after he appeared in 22 games with the Indians.

Along with Redmond, the Marlins also interviewed Reds pitching coach Bryan Price, Larry Bowa and Lloyd McClendon, the Tigers hitting coach.

From the beginning, Redmond was considered a strong frontrunner. Team officials were discussing him as a possibility in September.

Redmond will make the leap from managing Toronto’s Class A Dunedin squad to the big leagues. He compiled a 155-115 record (.574) in two seasons as a Minor League manager. He was the Midwest League Manager of the Year in 2011. This year, he managed Dunedin to a 78-55 record and a berth in the Florida State League playoffs, where the Blue Jays lost in the first round to eventual-champion Lakeland.

Although he doesn’t have any prior big league coaching experience, Redmond has been considered managerial material since his playing days.

The Marlins are looking for a fresh start, and Redmond offers a new perspective. They are coming off a disappointing 69-93 last-place finish in their first season as the Miami Marlins.

The team entered 2012 with plenty of fanfare, as they opened their new retractable-roof ballpark with high expectations.

But in Guillen’s lone season, the Marlins never were able to get any traction and become a serious contender. With a losing record and the season slipping away in July, the team traded away Hanley Ramirez, Omar Infante, Anibal Sanchez, Randy Choate, Edward Mujica and Gaby Sanchez.

Guillen offered his congratulations via Twitter: “Congrats Mike Redmond. Good luck, buddy. You have great guys going to play for you.”

In 2013, the Marlins are expected to be younger. They will be looking for Redmond to assist in the development of a revamped roster.

The Marlins are certainly looking for stability at the manager position. Redmond will be the fourth different Opening Day manager over the past four years.

Dave Parker 1981 Fleer

Dave Parker 1981 Fleer

While not a horrible display for their inaugural issue, this card is far from the bottom of the barrel within the 1981 Fleer baseball card set.

It does have me wondering, did the photographer of this shot sneak up on Parker while another shoot was happening?  It is very clear that Parker’s body and attention are aimed somewhere else.  And based on his pose, one has to guess that he is being photographed from a different angle when this shot was taken.

Have a look:

Fleer, you came a long way since then…  And you’re missed today!

Happy Birthday Fernando Valenzuela!!!

Happy Birthday Fernando Valenzuela!!!

Today is Fernando Valenzuela’s 52nd Birthday!!!

So here is a ‘Happy Birthday’ cheer for a man who captivated the sport of baseball and the city of Los Angeles when he debuted as a major league player in 1981.  I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for Fernando and the ‘Fernando-Mania’ that followed as he became a baseball star, there would be fewer Latin players in the sport today.  Of all of the Latin players that have been in the league since 1980, Valenzuela’s impact on the sport and in the Latin sports culture should be recognized as the greatest.

Amazingly enough, Valenzuela still gets out there and competes.  Although not at a major league level anymore, Fernando can still be seen in Mexico and other Latin countries playing the sport he loves.

Happy Birthday Fernando!!!  You are a true inspiration!!!