Tag Archives: baseball cards

Don Mattingly & The 1984 American League Batting Title

Don Mattingly & The 1984 American League Batting Title

It’s not too often that a young player can enter the league and make the kind of impact at the plate that Don Mattingly did. Sure, one may come along and launch a bunch of home runs, but to lead the league in hitting at the age of just 23 and in your first full major league season is simply incredible.

And that is precisely what Don Mattingly did in 1984. Playing in 153 games for the New York Yankees, Mattingly led the American League with a .343 batting average. He topped teammate Dave Winfield, a 10-year veteran, by three points!

Happy Birthday Don Mattingly!!!

Happy Birthday Don Mattingly!!!

Don Mattingly turns 53 years old today.

So, we’re going to continue a ’30-YOC’ tradition by dedicating today’s full day of posts to the fabulous career of Don Mattingly, aka Donnie Baseball!!!

As time passes, my appreciation for Mattingly grows considerably. From an offensive standpoint, there was nothing Mattingly could not do. A blend of contact and power hitting were some of Mattingly’s greatest strengths. And defensively at first base there was no-one better during his playing days. 9 Gold Gloves, 3 Silver Slugger Awards, and an MVP Award later and you have an extremely solid career from one of baseball’s biggest stars during the 80′s.

When you talk about the most well-rounded players from his era, Don Mattingly has to be one of the first names mentioned. Due to his incredible talents, Mattingly was wildly popular. During his time with the Yankees, he was the team leader and captain. And now more than 20 years removed, he remains a favorite of collectors today.

Happy Birthday to Donnie Baseball!!

Million Dollar Question – Is The Discolored 2014 Gypsy Queen Border Bothering You?

Million Dollar Question – Is The Discolored 2014 Gypsy Queen Border Bothering You?

There is no modern baseball card release that I look forward to more than that of Gypsy Queen.  For me, the set offers a great blend of legend and modern players on the checklist and I also find the GQ inserts and subsets to be among the best around.

I also really like the style of the cards and the interesting tweaks that Topps employs to make each version different yet keeping them similar enough so we know that the cards are all from the same brand.

This year however, I noticed that some of the coloring of the card’s borders was off.  Some looked more Yellow while others looked more like a Creme color.  And when I unveiled my recent box break results from this product, it was also mentioned by reader Matt.

And it is really starting to bother me, and I am just building a team set, not the full 350-card set.

Here are two Miami Marlins cards that I pulled that will be part of my team set:

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See how the one on the left is bolder and more Yellow in color while the one on the right is more faded and less vibrant?

Kind of sucks doesn’t it.  And I am not sure what I intend to do about it…  Do I go after both the Yellow team set and the Creme team set?  Or do I just forget about it and be happy with what I can find?

Give me your thoughts.  Are you also irked by the differing border colors from this product?

Jose Fernandez 2014 Donruss – Base

Jose Fernandez 2014 Donruss – Base

I don’t like the set and I don’t care for all of the recycled pieces of ‘other’ cards that Donruss gave us with this release.

But, the card does feature my guy, Jose Fernandez.  So, I had to grab one!!

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And one is where I will stop.

Andrew McCutchen 2013 Bowman Platinum

Andrew McCutchen 2013 Bowman Platinum

I tell you what, Bowman’s product is sharp!

Need proof?

Have a look at the 2013 Bowman Platinum card of Andrew McCutchen:

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I told you!

The card features a great, action-packed image that is brimming with color.  I like how Bowman allows for the image to be the main attraction while still giving us a very nice graphic element.

Welcome to ‘Design 101′ courtesy of Bowman.

1975 Topps Set Card 78/660 – #628 – Ron LeFlore, Tigers

1975 Topps Set Card 78/660 – #628 – Ron LeFlore, Tigers

Progress: 78/660

Player Name:  Ron LeFlore

Card Number:  628

Team:  Detroit Tigers

Position:  Outfield

Image Style:  Posed Batting

Years In The Major Leagues:  9 seasons, 1974-82

Notes From His 1975 Season:  The 1975 baseball season was LeFlore’s first full-time season in the big leagues.  In 136 games played, he hit .258 and had an on-base percentage of .302. He connected for 142 hits in 1975, including 13 doubles, 6 triples, and 8 home runs.  LeFlore stole 28 bases in ’75 en route to scoring 66 runs.

Notes From Career:   LeFlore was an elite base stealing during his major leauge career.  He led the league in steals twice during his 9-year career.  In total, LeFlore stole 455 bases while being caught 142 times.  He had a career on-base percentage of .342 and scored 731 runs, including three seasons of at least 100 or more runs in a single season.  LeFlore was named as an American League All-Star in 1976.

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Did You Know…

The first pitcher in Tampa Bay Rays history to record 200 strikeouts in a single season was Scott Kazmir.  In 2007, Kazmir struck out 239 batters while walking just 89.  He had a K:9 innings ratio of 10.4:9 and a K:Walk ratio of 2.69:1.

Kazmir scott

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Frank Viola turns 54 years old today.

Frank Viola didn’t take baseball by storm the way some other pitchers did during their first season in the majors. Drafted out of college in 1981, Viola debuted with the Minnesota Twins in the middle of the 1982 season and the next year and a half were a learning process for both him and the Twins team.

It was not until the 1984 season when Viola took off and began dominating hitters. After going 11-25 in his first two seasons, Viola sparkled in ’84 when he went 18-12 while pitching 250+ innings. In each season from 1984-1993, Viola had double-digit wins with the most being 24 wins during the 1988 season.

In 1987, Viola helped the Twins win the World Series and he earned the World Series MVP Award for his outstanding pitching performance. Viola started 3 games against the Cardinals and went 2-1. He displayed amazing control in a pressure filled series as he only allowed 3 walks in 19+ innings, while striking out 16.

The ’88 season was very special for Viola. Not only did he go 24-7, but he also had the lowest ERA of his career at 2.64. That year, Viola earned 27 of the 28 first place votes for the Cy Young Award.

After 8 seasons with the Twins, Viola spent the last 7 years of his career playing for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and lastly the Toronto Blue Jays.

With a career record of 176-150, Viola’s record does not stand out as an above average pitcher. But, when you examine the kinds of teams he played for and their success you begin to see how valuable his efforts were as most of these teams had losing records. With 4 Top 6 Cy Young award finishes, and 1 win of the award, Viola should go down as one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1980′s.

Happy Birthday Mr. Viola!!

Andre Dawson 2004 Leaf Certified Materials – GOLD – Numbered To 25!!

Andre Dawson 2004 Leaf Certified Materials – GOLD – Numbered To 25!!

Oh yeah, anytime you can add a card limited to just 25 copies to your collection, you should go for it. And if said card happens to feature your favorite player of all-time, it is worth taking and making the extra effort to bring the card home.

And that is precisely what I did when I landed this card of Andre Dawson from the 2004 Leaf Certified Materials set.  The card featured Dawson in his Red Sox uniform, and as you can see below, this is the Gold version of the card.

The Gold cards were limited to just 25 copies.  Mine is numbered as 18/25.

Have a look:

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This is not the first card of Andre that I have scored from this set.  I have a small stack of cards from the regular issue, including the base cards and a few other serial numbered parallels.  I also have a few of the cards from the jersey and patch relic sets that feature Dawson.  And an autograph too!

Maybe there are some other gems from this issue out there for me to find.  If so, I’m ready to get them!

Florida Marlins 1996 Pinnacle Aficianado Team Set

Florida Marlins 1996 Pinnacle Aficianado Team Set

Taking a slight break from newly released 2014 Marlins team sets, I am happy to be able to show off this one.  This 6-card set is from the 1996 Pinnacle Aficianado set.

I scored this team set for just $1.00 and I am happy that I did.  The set offers a strange design, with some cards being done in full-color and others in Sepia tones.  And As you can see below, there is also a Black & White pixellated cameo of each player on the side of the card.

See for yourself:

1996 PINNACLE AFFICIANADO

 

I have no idea what this style is called or even if there is a name for it.  Does it look great?  I don’t know – I am on the fence with it.  I will say, however, that it is unique and I like Pinnacle’s desire to attempt something different.

I really like the mix of players featured too.  Between the legends of Dawson and Conine to the younger stars of the team like Sheffield and CJ, this one has something for all Marlins fans.