Tag Archives: all-star

Happy Birthday Vida Blue!!!

Happy Birthday Vida Blue!!!

Pitching legend Vida Blue turns 65 years old today.

Not only did Vida Blue win the Cy Young in his first full-time season as a starter, he also was the league’s MVP. Beat that!!!

Blue had a monster year in 1971 for the Oakland A’s. He went 24-8 with 24 complete games and 8 shutouts. Add that impressive record to his 1.82 ERA with 301 strikeout and you have one of the most impressive seasons by a pitcher during the decade of the 1970′s.

Vida Blue finished his career with a 209-161 record and 1,185 strikeouts. He finished in the Top 7 for the Cy Young award 5 times and was a 6-time All-star. Blue was part of the legendary Oakland A’s teams that won 3 consecutive World Series titles in 1972, 1973, and 1974. Blue pitched in 8 games in the Fall Classic and went 3-0, a perfect record on baseball’s biggest stage!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Blue!!!

Let The Battle Rage On: 1983 Topps Super Veterans VS 2014 Topps Super Veterans. Who Will Win???

Let The Battle Rage On:  1983 Topps Super Veterans VS 2014 Topps Super Veterans.  Who Will Win???

As a kid collecting baseball cards, I used the 1983 Topps Super Veterans subset as a tool to learn about the ‘older’ players in the game.  The set was large and it featured images from the beginning of each player’s career and then images that were current (1982-83).

When I got back into collecting in 2008, this same subset was the first one I went after.  I had built it 20+ years prior, but I wanted to re-live my youth by doing it again.  So, I did.  And it re-kindled my enjoyment for vintage baseball cards and the players that helped shape the history of the game.

Upon completion of that subset, and learning that Topps had begun recycling older designs in their modern releases, I kept my fingers crossed that ‘Super Veterans’ would eventually be re-done.

And when 2014 Topps, Series 1 hit the shelves, a 15-card subset of ‘Super Veterans’ was included.  I was ecstatic.  And I quickly made this a target for my collection.  And after a few days of shopping around, I scored the complete 15-card set and began showing it off on this blog as I did with the 1983 set back in 2009.

So, here they are.  First the 1983 version:


And now, the 2014 set:

SUP VET 2014 A SUP VET 2014 B SUP VET 2014 C SUP VET 2014 D SUP VET 2014 E

And now for my review and comparison.

  • The edge goes to ’83 as it relates to size – 35 to 15
  • The edge goes to ’14 as it relates to % of future Hall of Fame inclusions:  14/35 players versus a likely 7/15 ( I did not count Peter Rose, though I want to)
  • There is a tie in regards to how the images of yore are shown – Sepia tones in both ’83 and ’14
  • The edge goes to ’83 as it relates to ‘Star Power’

Overall, I of course like both sets. I wish that the 2014 version included more players on the checklist or at least was continued into the Series 2 release.  I don’t find that the 2014 version has the same star power that the set from ’83 offers even though it features Jeter, Rivera, and Cabrera – I just don’t think that Topps truly dug in deep enough to really get behind this set.  It feels like it was put together as a way to add Pettitte and Rivera cards into yet another subset.  If they had truly shown us the longest tenured players in the majors, we would have had a more apples-to-apples comparison.  The set is called ‘Super Veterans’ for a reason; it is not called ‘Best Older Players In The Game’.  At the very least, and to be more consistent with the original subset, this one should have included Jason Giambi, Ichiro, Paul Konerko, Raul Ibanez, LaTroy Hawkins, and Bartolo Colon.  If Topps had taken this step, it would definitely be more true to what ‘Super Veterans’ offered in 1983.

Still, no complaints from my side.  I’m thrilled to have both sets in my collection.  I’m just thirsty for more!

Brooks Robinson 2013 Topps Triple Threads – Base

Brooks Robinson 2013 Topps Triple Threads – Base

Now this is one sweet-looking baseball card!!!



We’ve all seen brilliant images of Brooks Robinson playing masterful defense at third base for the Baltimore Orioles.  Not only was Brooks the best, but photographers knew that if they focused on him, they would get something beautiful – it was just a matter of time.

Many pictures of Mr. Robinson deserve to be framed – after all, they are art.  And what he did on the field was art.

Well, Topps helped us with that.  Their 2013 Triple Threads brand offers great images in a design that is reminiscent of a frame.

Take a look again above.  That’s how it is done!

1975 Topps Set Card 204/660 – #94 – Jim Lonborg, Phillies

1975 Topps Set Card 204/660 – #94 – Jim Lonborg, Phillies

Progress: 204/660

Player Name:  Jim Lonborg

Team:  Philadelphia Phillies

Position:   Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Pitching

Years In The Major Leagues:  15 seasons, 1965-79

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Jim Lonborg started 26 games for the Phillies during the 1975 baseball season.  He compiled a record of 8-6 with 6 complete games and 2 shutouts over that time.  In 159 innings of work, Lonborg allowed 161 hits and 84 runs en route to an ERA of 4.12 ERA.  Lonborg averaged 4.1 strikeouts per nine innings while also striking out 1.75 batters per one walk given up.

Notes From Career:  Jim Lonborg pitched for the Red Sox and Phillies during his 15-season career.  He has a career record of 157-137, which includes a personal best 22 wins during the ’67 season.  Lonborg’s career ERA is 3.86.  In 2,464 innings of work, Lonborg struck out 1,475 batters while allowing 2,400 hits and 1,170 runs.  He was named as an All-Star in 1967, while also winning the AL Cy Young Award.


Giancarlo Stanton 2011 Topps Heritage All-Star Rookie

Giancarlo Stanton 2011 Topps Heritage All-Star Rookie

As the second half of the 2014 baseball season starts to unfold, I wanted to grab a nice, older card of my favorite Marlin.

And after just a little bit of shopping, I think I secured myself this doozie:



The card comes from the 2011 Topps Heritage set which is patterned after the 1962 Topps release.

As you can see, the card features a very young Mike Stanton who is sporting a standard ‘High Number’ jersey often seen on young players during Spring Training.

Oh, and let’s not forget about that incredibly sweet-looking Topps All-Rookie Team trophy – It is N-I-C-E!!!

Ernie Banks 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes – Chicago

Ernie Banks 2013 Panini Hometown Heroes – Chicago

Normally, the lack of team names and logos on baseball cards does not bother me.  Certainly not as much as I know it does others.

But, this card definitely stands out – way too much blank space!!

Between the blank cap on Banks’ head, the blank jersey he is wearing, and the empty space in the upper-right corner of the card, this one is pretty bad…




Andrew McCutchen 2014 Topps Series 2 – 2013 NL MVP

Andrew McCutchen 2014 Topps Series 2 – 2013 NL MVP

Of all of the young, talented guys in the big leagues, it is Andrew McCutchen that sits near the top of the list for me as far as pure entertainment is concerned.

There is nothing that this guy cannot do – and he is doing it all better in 2014 than he was in his MVP season of 2013.

My youngest son’s t-ball team this year was the Pirates.  Naturally, he drifted towards them as being ‘his team’.  When watching baseball games and especially morning highlight shows, he is always seeking out the Pirates.

This has caused me to watch #22 a bit more this year than in season’s past.  And it is also a big reason as to why I have started collecting cards of ‘Cutch’.

My latest pick-up is a sweet one – his card from the 2014 Topps Series 2 release.

The card honors his selection as the NL MVP in 2013 – and it is superb!!



Something tells me that another card of his magnitude may be in the 2015 Series 2 release.  Crystal ball???

1975 Topps Set Card 203/660 – #453 – Claude Osteen, Cardinals

1975 Topps Set Card 203/660 – #453 – Claude Osteen, Cardinals

Progress: 203/660

Player Name:  Claude Osteen

Team:  St. Louis Cardinals

Position:   Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues:  18 seasons, 1957, 1959-75

Notes From His 1975 Season:  The 1975 baseball season was Claude Osteen’s final one in the major leagues.  He started 37 games for the Chicago White Sox in ’75, finishing the campaign with a 7-16 record.  Osteen worked 204 innings during the season, allowing 237 hits and 110 runs en route to an ERA of 4.36 and a WHIP of 1.61.

Notes From Career:  Claude Osteen pitched for six different teams during his 18-year career.  He had a lifetime record of 196-195 with 140 complete games and 40 shutouts to his credit.  Osteen pitched a total of 3,460 innings; in  that time he struck out 1,612 batters while walking 940.  Osteen was selected as an All-Star three times.  He was a member of the 1965 World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers.


1975 Topps Set Card 202/660 – #109 – George Hendrick, Indians

1975 Topps Set Card 202/660 – #109 – George Hendrick, Indians

Progress: 202/660

Player Name:  George Hendrick

Team:  Cleveland Indians

Position:   Outfield

Image Style:  Posed Batting

Years In The Major Leagues:  18 seasons, 1971-88

Notes From His 1975 Season:  George Hendrick played in 145 games for the Indians during the 1975 baseball season.  He connected for 145 hits during the season including 21 doubles and 24 home runs.  Hendrick drove in 86 runs for ‘The Tribe’ while also scoring 81 times.  He was chosen as an All-Star for the second straight season in 1975.

Notes From Career:  George Hendrick is a 4-time All-Star and 2-Time Silver Slugger Award winner.  In 18 big league seasons, he was an MVP candidate during a stretch between 1980 and 1983 while playing for the Cardinals.  Hendrick is a career .278 hitter with 1,980 career hits.  He scored 941 runs during his playing days while also driving in 1,111.  Hendrick is a member of the 1972 and 1982 World Series Championship winning teams – Oakland & St. Louis.


Rickey Henderson 2014 Panini Prizm – Excellent Photo Choice By Panini!!!

Rickey Henderson 2014 Panini Prizm – Excellent Photo Choice By Panini!!!

Jeez, talk about a mighty swing – Rickey sure could swing with power!

For a minute there, you almost forget that Panini is not allowed to use team names and logos in any of their products…



This image is perfect for a brand like this.  If they stuck to finding more just like this, they would certainly attract a few more buyers to their brand.

This card here is a great addition to my Rickey Henderson collection.  And the image used beats some of the modern Topps cards I have of Rickey – and those have team names and logos spilled all over them…