Daily Archives: November 15, 2012

Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera Takes The AL Most Valuable Player Award!!!

Triple Crown Winner Miguel Cabrera Takes The AL Most Valuable Player Award!!!

From ESPN.com

Miguel Cabrera was named the American League’s MVP on Thursday, beating rookie phenom Mike Trout by a much wider margin than most anticipated.

Cabrera, baseball’s first Triple Crown winner since 1967, received 22 out of 28 possible first-place votes for the award. The Detroit Tigers slugger batted .330 with 44 home runs and 149 RBIs.

Trout received the other six first-place votes three days after being named the AL Rookie of the Year.

Buster Posey Captures The National League MVP Crown!!!

Buster Posey Captures The National League MVP Crown!!!

From Yahoo Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants was voted the NL Most Valuable Player on Thursday after returning from a devastating leg injury and becoming the first catcher in 70 years to win the league’s batting title.

Posey received 27 of 32 first-place votes and 422 points from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, outdistancing 2011 winner Ryan Braun of Milwaukee, who was second with 285 points.

Pittsburgh outfielder Andrew McCutchen (245) was third, followed by St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina (241).

The AL MVP was to be announced later Thursday.

The 2010 NL Rookie of the Year, Posey set career highs with a .336 average, 24 homers and 103 RBIs for the World Series champion Giants. His 2011 season was cut short by a collision with the Marlins’ Scott Cousins on May 25 that resulted in a fractured bone in Posey’s lower left leg and three torn ankle ligaments.

Posey, the fifth overall pick in the 2008 amateur draft, won the NL batting title after teammate Melky Cabrera requested a rules change that disqualified him. Cabrera, who hit .346, missed the final 45 games of the regular-season while serving a suspension for a positive testosterone test and would have won the batting crown if the rule hadn’t been changed.

Ernie Lombardi had been the previous catcher to capture the NL batting championship, in 1942.

Catchers have won the NL MVP just eight times, with Posey joining Gabby Hartnett (1935), Lombardi (1938), Roy Campanella (1951, 1953, 1955) and Johnny Bench (1970, 1972). The other winning catchers were Lombardi in 1938 and Gabby Hartnett in 1935.

Posey is the first Giants player to win since Barry Bonds was voted his record seventh MVP award in 2004.

2011 Bowman Florida Marlins Team Set – Base & 1st Bowman Cards

2011 Bowman Florida Marlins Team Set – Base & 1st Bowman Cards

I had already scooped up the 2011 Bowman Platinum Marlins team set, so I thought that adding the Bowman base set to my collection of Marlins team sets was simply the right thing to do.

I paid just $1.50 for the entire set, and it included the famous ’1st Bowman Card’ for the Marlins as well.

First, here is the full base set:

And now the base versions of the ’1st Bowman Card’:

And now there Chrome counterparts:

The set is pretty cool.  These are my first ’1st Bowman Cards’ for my collection.  I need to do a little research about these players to see what their story is, but hopefully they will offer a little aide to the team in 2013.  We sure can use it…

Fergie Jenkins 2005 Donruss Classics – ‘Legend’

Fergie Jenkins 2005 Donruss Classics – ‘Legend’

I tell you what, I am starting to think that I am running out of Cubs cards to collect of Fergie.  With the exception of high-end relic and autographed cards, I am finding it harder and harder to locate cards of Fergie that are missing from my player collection.

Thankfully, he has handful of cards of him in modern releases that feature him in his Rangers uniform.

I recently bought this from from the 2005 Donruss Classics ‘Legend’ set.  And it is serial numbered as 867/1000.

Have a look:

The card is nice, just a way too much Gold for my liking.  If they had done more with Fergie’s image to make it stand out from the card that would have been great.  But with the image that they used, this one is just ho-hum….

:(

Pete Rose 1985 Topps Manager Card

Pete Rose 1985 Topps Manager Card

I will never get tired of adding cards of Pete Rose to my collection.  I wish that he was honored by Topps today in the same manner that other baseball greats have been – with oodles and oodles of new/modern cards every year.

Thankfully, Pete was featured on a lot of baseball cards during his playing days.  And his managing days as well.

This card is from the 1985 Topps set.  It was a season in which he both played for and managed the Cincinnati Reds.

The Reds went 89-72 under Rose in his first full season as the Reds skipper.  As for his play, Rose hit .264 in 119 games for the team.

They don’t make them like Pete Rose anymore…

Rollie Fingers 1982 Donruss Diamond Kings

Rollie Fingers 1982 Donruss Diamond Kings

As you all should know by now, I am not a huge fan of the Diamond King brand of baseball cards.  Sure, there are some good ones.  But there are plenty of bad ones too…

This card of Rollie Fingers from the 1982 Donruss set is somewhere in between – not great, not terrible.

Still, as an overall subset, I don’t find these to be attractive baseball cards.

I apologize if I ruined your breakfast on this fine Thursday morning…

New York Mets’ R.A. Dickey Captures NL Cy Young Award

From MLB.com

NEW YORK — Quiet time was difficult to find this season for R.A. Dickey, whose incredible season spawned untold amounts of daily attention. But in a relatively quiet corner of Marlins Ballpark’s visiting dugout during the final week of the season, Dickey spoke about what the National League Cy Young Award would mean not only to him, but to baseball’s century-old fraternity of knuckleballers.
“To say that a knuckleballer won the Cy Young,” Dickey said, “maybe it brings some real validity to what the pitch can do.”
That validity has arrived. The Baseball Writers’ Association of America on Wednesday named Dickey the 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner, lifting him over finalists Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers and Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals.
Dickey, who was named first on 27 of the 32 ballots and was in the top two on every ballot, became the first knuckleballer to win the award. He tallied 209 points to pull away from Kershaw (96) and Gonzalez (93).
“I’m kind of speechless, believe it or not, in the moment,” Dickey said on MLB Network. “It’s a real honor, obviously being mentioned in the same breath as some of the best pitchers not only in history, but this year. Clayton and Gio were both just supernatural in the way that they performed.”
Dickey may not have been a completely unassailable choice, but he was statistically the strongest candidate. Becoming the Mets’ first 20-game winner in more than two decades, Dickey led the Senior Circuit in strikeouts, innings, complete games and shutouts, and ranked second in wins and ERA.
Through it all, he expended the legend that began when he joined the Mets early in 2010 as an apparent Minor League burnout. Dickey became a best-selling author in 2012, writing an autobiography that chronicled his slog through the Minors and his history as a sexual abuse victim. He climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for charity. He starred in a documentary.
And Dickey pitched, arguably better than any knuckleballer in history. Often throwing his signature pitch at speeds in excess of 80 mph, Dickey flummoxed hitters with multiple variations of it, visibly improving at the age of 37.
Firing consecutive one-hitters during his best stretch of the summer in June, Dickey set a franchise record with 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings, later extending that to 44 2/3 innings without an earned run. Seven times he struck out at least 10 batters in a game, including a career-high 13 in his 20th victory on Sept. 27 — a game that appeared to lock up the NL Cy Young Award for him.
Any thoughts of Dickey fading down the stretch evaporated when he went 5-2 with a 2.34 ERA over his final nine starts. After the last of them, Dickey revealed that he had been pitching since April with a torn abdominal muscle, which he had surgically repaired last month.
As if this story needed another chapter.
In winning the game’s most prestigious pitching award, Dickey became the Mets’ third Cy Young Award winner and their first since Dwight Gooden in 1985. Tom Seaver won three times for the Mets, in 1969, ’73 and ’75.
“I saw R.A. pitch at least 10 times this year,” Gooden said. “I’m really amazed how he was able to remake his career. I never even thought about throwing a knuckleball. To win the Cy Young Award at his age is more incredible than when I won at age 20.”
Said Seaver: “I was always looking for new ammunition to bring to the mound so I attempted the knuckleball. It’s a very difficult pitch to throw and needless to say, I never mastered it. I congratulate him on his tenacity, not only to succeed against all odds but to excel and achieve this very high honor. I look forward to congratulating him personally.”
And if New Yorkers have their way, Dickey will be back for an encore in 2013. The Mets recently exercised the $5 million team option on his contract for next season and are in the process of negotiating a long-term extension with the knuckleballer. But Dickey’s name has also swirled in trade rumors as the Mets look to improve upon other aspects of their rebuilding club.

Tampa’s David Price Takes Home The American League Cy Young Award

From MLB.com

ST. PETERSBURG — David Price had often displayed his incredible ability on the mound, racking up wins and strikeouts throughout his young career and even finishing as the runner-up for the 2010 American League Cy Young Award. But he put it all together last season, harnessing his talents and transforming into one of the game’s most consistently dominant starters.
The Rays’ 27-year-old left-hander was a far more steady and complete pitcher in 2012 than he was two years ago, and with that improvement came due recognition. Price was honored Wednesday night with the 2012 AL Cy Young Award, as voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The other finalists included Tigers ace Justin Verlander and Angels star Jered Weaver. Price is the first Tampa Bay player to earn either the AL MVP Award or the AL Cy Young Award, joining former AL Rookie of the Year Award winners Evan Longoria and Jeremy Hellickson as the only Rays to bring home the BBWAA hardware.
As good as Price was in 2010, when he finished behind Mariners ace Felix Hernandez in the voting, he was even better in his age-26 season. Price posted a 2.56 ERA, the lowest in the AL and second lowest in the Majors. He continued a trend he began in 2011 by cutting down his walks to just 2.5 per nine innings while striking out 205 batters (8.7 per nine innings, tying a career high). Price threw 211 innings over 31 starts, posting a 1.10 WHIP and an adjusted ERA of 1.49.
Price set a career high with 20 wins, becoming the first Tampa Bay pitcher to reach that mark and tying with Weaver for the AL lead. Ten of those victories came against AL East opponents.
Numbers have never been Price’s greatest concern, however, and he meant even more to his team than those spectacular figures suggest. Price proved to be a reliable presence in the Rays’ rotation, a much-needed presence throughout an injury-plagued, offensively meager season in Tampa Bay.
But Price became the sure thing the Rays needed. He pitched seven innings or more in 23 of his 31 starts and allowed two earned runs or fewer in 23 as well. Had Tampa Bay fielded an average offense, Price’s league-leading win total would have been even higher; he exited two games in August with a no-decision after eight shutout innings. He tied Verlander for the league lead in quality starts with 25, and he pitched more games of seven innings and three or fewer earned runs than anyone in the AL.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said throughout the 2012 season that Price had truly come into his own as a pitcher, not just a thrower who relied on his velocity and raw stuff to overwhelm hitters. Price is every bit the fun-loving jokester he’s always been off the field and every bit the talented, focused pitcher he’s always been every fifth day. But the Price who took the mound this season was just a bit different — more mature, more complete.
And if 2012 was only the beginning of this stage in Price’s career, suffice it to say, he’ll be in the AL Cy Young Award conversation for years to come.

Mike Stanton 2012 Topps Museum Collection – Base

Mike Stanton 2012 Topps Museum Collection – Base

I called him Mike for this post because the baseball card is calling him Mike.  Today, we all know him as Giancarlo.  I am happy to know that there is not a super short print version of a version with ‘Giancarlo’ on it…

These Museum Collection cards are fantastic.  I recently hauled in a few of them, and they are all looking sharp!

The cards have a bit of an Allen & Ginter feel with their borders and stark-White background, but I find these so much more appealing than the A&G brand.

Here is the Stanton card:

I’ll show off the others that I picked up in the coming weeks…  Stay tuned, they are G-R-E-A-T!!!!