Daily Archives: November 13, 2012

Ernie Banks 2003 Upper Deck Vintage

Ernie Banks 2003 Upper Deck Vintage

For as much as I love to see a baseball player truly show their love for the game, you will never find me doing a ‘Top Ten Smiles In Baseball’.  That is just not me…

But, if I was forced to do such a thing, I think that Ernie Banks would crack the list…

 

:)

Tony Gwynn 2012 Topps Update – ‘Golden Moments’

Tony Gwynn 2012 Topps Update – ‘Golden Moments’

After bringing enough cards from the ‘Golden Moments’ and ‘Golden Greats’ set into my collection, I am pretty certain that there is no real distinction between the two subsets.  Sure, the graphics are different, but that is about it.

Each set celebrates the player’s performance in a single game.  Personally, the ‘Moments’ set makes sense with that kind of title.  But the ‘Greats’ set tends to make me think of career achievement versus single-game performance…

Either way, I am happy to see that many of the guys that I collect are featured in both of these subsets.

Like this card of Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn!!

This card celebrates Gwynn’s performance on August 6, 1999.  This was the day in which Gwynn captured his 3,000th career hit.  On the day, he was 4-for-4 and he became the first player to reach the 3,000 hits milestone north of the border.

Alan Trammell 1985 Donruss – Long Live The Black-Bordered Baseball Card!!!

Alan Trammell 1985 Donruss

While we all would agree that the photo is the centerpiece of a baseball card, it is often that added elements that help us decide if we like an issue or not.

It could be graphics or colors that make or break a card.  And sometimes, it can the border or frame around the photo.

Black-bordered baseball cards are known to be hard to keep in great shape.  Any slight bend, rub, dimple, etc are very easy to spot on a Black glossy baseball card border.

So, when you find one in mint condition it is a triumph.

And I think that I have one here with Alan Trammell’s 1985 Donruss card:

YIPPEE!!!!

1984 HEADLINE: Ryne Sandberg Is First Cubs’ MVP Since 1959!!!

1984 HEADLINE: Ryne Sandberg Is First Cubs’ MVP Since 1959!!!

On this day in 1984, Chicago Cubs’ second baseman Ryne Sandberg won the National League’s MVP award.  He was the first Cubs player to win the award since Ernie Banks did it in 1959.

Sandberg captured 22 of the 24 first place votes cast.

His incredible numbers included – .314 batting average, 200 hits, 36 doubles, 19 triples, 19 home runs, 32 stolen bases, 84 RBI, and 114 runs scored.  Sandberg also walked away with an All-Star game selection, a Gold Glove Award, and a Silver Slugger Award.

Happy Anniversary Ryno!!!

Bryce Harper Is Named National League Rookie Of The Year!!!

Bryce Harper Is Named National League Rookie Of The Year!!!

From The Washington Times:

Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper capped a historic first season in the major leagues with the ultimate  first-year prize. Harper was named the 2012 Baseball  Writers Association of America Rookie of the Year Tuesday night, joining  American League winner Mike Trout as this  year’s honorees.

Harper, who was 19 during the season, is  the first Nationals player to win to win Rookie of the Year and the franchise’s  first since Andre Dawson won it for the Montreal Expos in 1977. He hit .270 with 22  home runs, 59 RBI and 98 runs, while finishing with a 4.9 Wins Above  Replacement, per FanGraphs.

There were two previous Rookie of the Year awards handed out this offseason  with neither going to Harper. But in a one-hour special on MLBNetwork Tuesday night, Harper beat out Cincinnati’s Todd  Frazier and Diamondbacks left-hander Wade  Miley for the BBWAA honors. Harper had  112 total points, including 16 first-place votes to Miley’s  12. He beat out Miley by just seven points,  but he was the clear winner.

“Just being able to be [mentioned] with the names of Jackie  Robinson and Mike Piazza is an honor,” Harper said on MLBNetwork. “To have such a  great team that I played for the whole year, they really made this year fun.  This was just icing on the cake.”

“He had a terrific season,” Nationals general manager Mike  Rizzo said last week. “The ability level, that was as advertised. But he  really exceeded my expectations in the way he conducted himself in the  clubhouse, the professionalism, the way he interacted with his teammates and  really as a young kid showed the maturity and the leadership to go out there and  play everyday. He was one of the mainstays on a team [that won 98 games and the National League East title]. He was  integral part of that team.”

Harper was called up to the major leagues  April 28 — earlier than expected — out of necessity. With third baseman Ryan  Zimmerman out with an ailing shoulder and the offense struggling to score  runs and support its stellar pitching staff, the Nationals turned to Harper for a spark.

It took him very little time to provide it.

Harper’s debut, under Hollywood’s bright  lights at Dodger Stadium, was a raucous night. His first plate appearance was  greeted with resounding boos, a testament to the immense hype and attention that  had been paid to his every move since before he was tabbed with the No. 1  overall pick in the 2010 draft. His first hit was a rocket double. His first  stolen base was of home plate.

And all of it was done with the fire and passion that came to be synonymous  for the way the Nationals’ phenom plays the game.

The months that followed featured a steady ascension up the historical  leaderboards as Harper put together one of  the greatest teenage seasons of all time, which he finished with a flourish by  hitting .330 in September as arguably the team’s best hitter during a  pressure-packed stretch run. As far as history goes, pick a category and Harper is near the top of it.

His 22 home runs were the second most among teenagers in baseball history,  with Tony Conigliaro’s 24 the only one to ever hit more. His 98 runs scored  second only to Senators third baseman Buddy Lewis in 1936. His 18 stolen bases second only to Ty Cobb. He hit 26  doubles, third behind Robin Yount and Phil Cavarretta, and his nine triples good  for fifth all time.

And with each day, Harper continued to  learn the center field position a little bit more and establish himself as a  significant player there.

Perhaps more impressive than the numbers, though, was the way Harper integrated himself into a clubhouse of players several years his senior without  missing a beat. The way he was able to seemingly live up to the immense hype  that accompanied him. His every move was watched, his every phrase a possible  slogan in the works. Sen. Harry Reid quoted his “clown question, bro,” throwaway  line on Capitol Hill after Harper uttered  the phrase one night in Toronto.

Harper was an All-Star, a replacement for  injured Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, and soaked in the opportunity to  spend time among the game’s greats. But struggle followed as major league  pitchers began to adjust to Harper’s  strengths.

Harper hit just .233 in July and August,  but in the season’s final 44 games, he hit .327 with 12 home runs and 26  extra-base hits. He turned 20 on Oct. 16, four days after the Nationals were  eliminated from the National League Division Series. Harper was just 3-for-23 in the playoffs, but he tripled and homered in their Game 5  loss.

Mike Trout Is Unanimous Selection As American League’s Rookie Of The Year

Mike Trout Is Unanimous Selection As American League’s Rookie Of The Year

From Yahoo.com

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels became the youngest AL Rookie of the Year, a unanimous winner Monday after a season that put him in contention for the MVP award, too.

The 21-year-old center fielder hit .326 with 30 homers and 83 RBIs following his call-up from the minor leagues in late April.

Trout received all 28 first-place votes from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, becoming the eighth unanimous AL pick and the first since Tampa Bay’s Evan Longoria in 2008.

Detroit second baseman Lou Whitaker had been the youngest AL winner in 1978, but he was 2 months, 26 days older than Trout when he took home the award.

Trout received the maximum 140 points. Oakland outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was second with 63, followed by Texas pitcher Yu Darvish (46), who joined Trout as the only players listed on every ballot.

In addition to Trout and Longoria, the only other unanimous AL winners were Nomar Garciaparra, Derek Jeter, Tim Salmon, Sandy Alomar Jr., Mark McGwire and Carlton Fisk.

Trout spent some time in the majors last year but still retained his rookie status. He began this season in the minors and made his first big league appearance this year on April 28. His season put him in contention for the AL MVP award along with Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera of Detroit. That voting is announced Thursday.

For winning the award, Trout earned a $10,000 bonus on top of his $482,500 salary.

 

2012 Topps ‘Career Day’ Subset – Card #3 Al Kaline, Detroit Tigers

2012 Topps ‘Career Day’ Subset – Card #3 Al Kaline, Detroit Tigers

I am working on this set because I find it to be the most appealing of the subsets issued by Topps in 2012.

The cards feature bold colors, great images, and a unique horizontal design.

I especially like the ‘Career Day’ theme as it pays homage to some of the greatest individual performances of baseball’s elite players.

Card #3 – Al Kaline

Career Day – October 7, 1968.  Kaline goes 2-for-4 in Game 5 of the World Series versus the St. Louis Cardinals.  Kaline hit a bases loaded single in to give the Tigers a 3-2 lead and eventual win.  The Tigers took that momentum and went on to win the next three games and capture the 1968 World Series crown.

Progress - 3/25