Tag Archives: gold medal

1989 HEADLINE: Jim Abbott Makes Major League Debut!!!

1989 HEADLINE: Jim Abbott Makes Major League Debut!!!

On this day in 1989 Jim Abbott made his major league debut with the California Angels.

Prior to this day, Abbott had already conquered Little League, High School baseball, Collegiate Baseball, and even The Olympics.  Yet this day stands alone.  On this day he stood toe to toe with the best baseball players in the world and was their peer.  Disability or not, he made it to the major leagues defying odds and hurdling obstacle after obstacle that was thrown his way.

On the day, and in front of more than 46,000 fans in attendance, Abbott got hit pretty hard by the Mariners.  Going just 4 2/3 innings, he allowed 6 hits and 6 runs.  He took a loss and the team lost the game 7-0.

Mr. Jim Abbott – A true baseball hero and icon!!!!

Happy Birthday Jim Abbott!!!

Happy Birthday Jim Abbott!!!

Jim Abbott turns 46 years old today.

One of the most inspirational athletes of my generation, Jim Abbott and his amazing story remain as a precious baseball memory for me.

I knew little about Abbott prior to his rookie card debut in the 1988 Topps baseball card set.  Back then it meant quite a bit to be part of the Team USA set so I always tried to spend a little time learning about the players featured.  And with no Internet, this was quite a challenge.  But when Abbott’s second card came out in the 1989 Topps set, he had a reputation and stories about him and his abilities became more available to collectors.

Abbott was a fan favorite in each city he called ‘home’.  And on the road he was quite an attraction.

Happy Birthday Mr. Abbott!!!

1995 HEADLINE: Robin Ventura Hits 2 Grand Slams In The Same Game!!!

1995 HEADLINE: Robin Ventura Hits 2 Grand Slams In The Same Game!!!

On this day in 1995, Robin Ventura hit two Grand Slams in the same game, becoming just the 8th player in major league history to accomplish the feat.

Here is a closer look at Ventura’s stat line from that very memorable ballgame:

3-for-5 with a walk, 3 runs scored, 8 RBI, and most importantly – A Chicago White Sox victory!!!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Ventura!!

1993 HEADLINE – Jim Abbott Hurls No-Hitter For Yankees!!

1993 HEADLINE – Jim Abbott Hurls No-Hitter For Yankees!!

On this day in 1993, Jim Abbott pitched a no-hitter for the New York Yankees.

All major league starting pitchers have the talent to throw a no-hitter.  Yet of all of the guys that I have seen, watched, or read about tossing a ‘No-No’, Jim Abbott’s performance back in 1993 was astonishing to me and remains a bold memory for me 17 years later.

In that game, Abbott was awesome.  In front of 27,000 fans at Yankee Stadium, Abbott’s Yankees team took on the Cleveland Indians.  The Indians roster was stacked with talented hitters like Kenny Lofton, Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome.  Having to battle and overcoming these incredibly talented hitters makes Abbott’s no-hitter more remarkable…

While putting in 9 innings of work, Abbott threw 119 pitches.  And while walking 5 batters and striking out just 3 men through the game, it was Abbott’s competitive nature that helped him through the game which led his team to victory and him into baseball’s record books!!!

Congratulations Jim Abbott!!!

Happy Birthday Robin Ventura!!!

Robin Ventura turns 46 years old today!!

Ah, one of my favorite White Sox players of all-time is celebrating his birthday today. As a Cubs loyalist, it’s hard to even admit, verbally or written, that I like some of the players on the ‘pale hose’. But, truth be told, when I first moved to Chi-town in 1988, it was much easier to get tickets to see the Sox so I enjoyed several games at Comiskey Park. And of the players I got to see regularly, Robin Ventura became one of my favorites. You see, I was a third baseman too and I was also a much better contact hitter than power hitter. The similarities between myself and Robin Ventura in regards to our baseball successes stops there…

What I enjoyed most about Ventura was watching him get better. He was not a rookie that came into the league and took baseball by storm. He was a worker and over the first few seasons we got to watch him get better. He got better at hitting, driving in runs, and defense and Sox fans took him in as their own because of his dedication to the team and the game. It was nice to see him blossom and he churned out a very solid 16-year career.

By the end of his playing days, Ventura was a 2-time All-star and 6-time Gold Glove award winner. He tallied 1,885 career hits and slammed 294 home runs.

Currently, Robin Ventura is back in Chicago serving as manager of the team he debuted with – the White Sox. He is doing a solid job, and I wish him the best.

Happy Birthday Mr. Ventura!!!

ventura

1989 HEADLINE: Jim Abbott Makes Major League Debut!!!

1989 HEADLINE: Jim Abbott Makes Major League Debut!!!

On this day in 1989 Jim Abbott made his major league debut with the California Angels.

Prior to this day, Abbott had already conquered Little League, High School baseball, Collegiate Baseball, and even The Olympics.  Yet this day stands alone.  On this day he stood toe to toe with the best baseball players in the world and was their peer.  Disability or not, he made it to the major leagues defying odds and hurdling obstacle after obstacle that was thrown his way.

On the day, and in front of more than 46,000 fans in attendance, Abbott got hit pretty hard by the Mariners.  Going just 4 2/3 innings, he allowed 6 hits and 6 runs.  He took a loss and the team lost the game 7-0. 

Mr. Jim Abbott – A true baseball hero and icon!!!!

Jim Abbott ‘Fab Five’ – Card #1 – 1991 Upper Deck

Jim Abbott ‘Fab Five’ – Card #1 – 1991 Upper Deck

Now that my Jim Abbott player collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #1 – 1991 Upper Deck

Sure, there may be better looking card designs (even though UD reigned supreme in the early 1990′s).  But the image captured on this card is what makes it earn the top spot in my ‘Fab Five’ list.

As a kid when I pulled this card from a pack of cards, I was mesmerized.  Yes, I knew Abbott’s story, but I never fathomed that he could hit the ball.  I would put this card up against any card issued in the 1990′s as the most memorable card from the decade – here I stand (sitting) in 2012 and I still vividly recall the awe I had as a 16-year old kid when I first saw this card.

As a major leaguer, Abbott had 24 official at-bats.  He collected two hits and 3 RBI.  His professional batting average is .095.

Jim Abbott ‘Fab Five’ – Card #2 – 1989 Upper Deck Rookie Card

Jim Abbott ‘Fab Five’ – Card #2 – 1989 Upper Deck Rookie Card

Now that my Jim Abbott player collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #2 – 1989 Upper Deck

In Upper Deck’s debut set they featured a few of these multi-image baseball cards.  The ones that I am certain of are Nolan Ryan, Wade Boggs, and this one of Jim Abbott.

The Ryan and Boggs cards make a lot of sense – these guys were established talents in the game.

The Abbott card is a bit more mysterious as it is his rookie season and he had not real MLB following at the time of the release.  But, as we all know, Upper Deck wanted to make revolutionary changes in the hobby (ie Ken Griffey Jr getting the #1 card in their first set).

I think that UD hit is out of the park with this card!!  And I love that old Angels logo too…

Jim Abbott ‘Fab Five’ – Card #3 – 1992 Topps Stadium Club

Jim Abbott ‘Fab Five’ – Card #3 – 1992 Topps Stadium Club

Now that my Jim Abbott player collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #3 – 1992 Topps Stadium Club

Abbott’s 1991 Topps Stadium Club card was number four on my list.  And now his card from the 1992 set finds a home on the list too.

The sam can be said about the 1992 that I stated about the 1991 card.  I just like this image a little bit better!!

Jim Abbott ‘Fab Five’ – Card #4 – 1991 Topps Stadium Club

Jim Abbott ‘Fab Five’ – Card #4 – 1991 Topps Stadium Club

Now that my Jim Abbott player collection is complete, it is time to show of my favorite five cards from the set.

Card #4 – 1991 Topps Stadium Club

The Stadium Club set was created to do direct competition with Upper Deck.  Topps did a fantastic job of upgrading their photo quality, cardstock, and glossy finish with their Stadium Club brand.

And if you peeled off the logo and lettering on these cards, you would have a perfect picture!!

Enjoy.