Tag Archives: baseball

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:



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:



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.

Bryce Harper 2013 Topps Chrome Update – Home Run Derby Card

Bryce Harper 2013 Topps Chrome Update – Home Run Derby Card

Yes, I am the guy that is still working on hauling in cards from 2013 issues while most other collectors have moved on to the new, 2014 stuff.

I cannot help it, I want to complete a few projects and now that I have ventured into the ‘modern player collector game’ I will readily admit that I am falling behind and a bit overwhelmed by the number of cards to go after that feature the players I am collecting.

It probably does not help that I am going after some of the players that are also the most featured, right?  I mean, Bryce Harper has to be in the ‘Top 10′ of players featured on 2013 baseball cards.  And McCutchen, Stanton, and Pedroia cannot be that far behind either…

Anyway, this card is from the 2013 Topps Chrome Update set.  It is Bryce’s Home Run Derby card from the All-Star game.

Have a look:



And now with this one in my collection, it is time for me to grab his All-Star card from the same set.

And then, this set is done.

Giancarlo Stanton 2014 Topps Heritage – Base

Giancarlo Stanton 2014 Topps Heritage – Base

With the team set out of the way, I will start paying more attention to the singles I want to grab for my player collections from the 2014 Topps Heritage set.

I am not sure how easy it will be to grab some of the tougher cards from this issue, but the grabbing the base card was fairly simple.

So, let’s call this Card #1 in my pursuit of the cards of Giancarlo Stanton from the set.




And now, on to the next…

1975 Topps Set Card 77/660 – #321 – Rudy May, Yankees

1975 Topps Set Card 77/660 – #321 – Rudy May, Yankees

Progress: 77/660

Player Name:  Rudy May

Card Number:  321

Team:  New York Yankees

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues:  16 seasons, 1965, 1969-83

Notes From His 1975 Season:  May started 31 games for the Yankees in 1975.  He went on to win 14 games while losing 12.  May threw 13 complete games in ’75, with 1 shutout.  He had an ERA of 3.06 while striking out 145 batters in 212 innings of work.

Notes From Career:  May finished his career with a record of 152-156.  He started 360 games during his big league career, completing 87 of them.  He also has 24 shutouts to his credit.  In 2,622 innings of work, May struck out 1,760 batters while compiling a 3.46 ERA.  During his career, May made it to the postseason twice, never winning a World Series title.


Come Watch The New Bryce Harper / Gatorade Commercial. It Is SWEET!!

Come Watch The New Bryce Harper / Gatorade Commercial.  It Is SWEET!!

No time for chit-chat.  Watch this!!

Andrew McCutchen 2014 Topps – Base

Andrew McCutchen 2014 Topps – Base

When I was putting away cards the other night, I got to my Andrew McCutchen collection and realized that while I had shown off the 2014 Topps Opening Day card of ‘Cutch’ that I picked up at my local baseball card show, I never showed off the base card from the 2014 issue that I picked up prior.

So, here it is:



The card is the same as the Opening Day card that was issued a few months after.  The lone difference is that the Opening Day card has a very classic ‘Opening Day’ logo on the front as well.

I love that swing!

1975 Topps Set Card 76/660 – #627 – Tom Walker, Expos

1975 Topps Set Card 76/660 – #627 – Tom Walker, Expos

Progress: 76/660

Player Name:  Tom Walker

Card Number:  627

Team:  Montreal Expos

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style:  Posed Pitching

Years In The Major Leagues:  6 seasons, 1972-77

Notes From His 1975 Season:  While pictured as a member of the Montreal Expos on his 1975 Topps baseball card, Tom Walker was a member of the Detroit Tigers during the 1975 season.  For the Tigers, Walker pitched in 36 games.  He went 3-8 and compiled a 4.45 ERA for the club in 115 innings of work.

Notes From Career:  Walker pitched for four different teams during his 6-year major league career.  He pitched in a total of 191 games, with 17 starts.  Walker compiled a win-loss record of 18-23 with 2 complete games.  In 414 innings of work, Walker amassed an ERA of 3.87 with 262 strikeouts and 142 walks allowed.


Did You Know…

In the history of the Detroit Tigers, three pitchers have won both the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards.  They are:  Denny McClain, Guilermo Hernandez, and Justin Verlander.

Tigers logo