Tag Archives: HOF

Billy Williams Has Been Traded?? – You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!!!

Billy Williams Has Been Traded?? – You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me!!!

Sad but true.  On this day back in 1974 Billy Williams was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Oakland Athletics for Darold Knowles, Bob Locker, and Manny Trillo.

It was a sad day in Chicago as one of the Cub’s all-time greatest players was shipped away during a rebuilding process.  The man that had occupied left field for the Cubs for the last 16 seasons was gone.  Billy Williams’ 16 year career as a Chicago Cubs player was over!!!

Williams played the final 2 years of his career with Oakland and still put up respectable numbers for the A’s.  He batted just .230 but was able to hit 34 home runs and drive in 122 runs.  It wasn’t until this trade to the A’s that Williams was able to make the post-season.  In 1975 the A’s lost to the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS while Billy Williams went 0-for-7 in the series.

Personally for me, it is very hard to see Williams wear anything other than ‘Cubbie Blue’.  Although I never got to see him play live, I have seen plenty of highlights and have read books and articles about his amazing career and it always feels strange to me that his career ended in Oakland and not in Chicago.

But, as we all know, baseball is a business and players are treated as assets and not humans.  So, although I am saddened by how his career ended I am happy that Billy Williams was able to finally make it to the playoffs.

But this does look a little strange to me still…

Rickey Henderson 1988 Topps Mini League Leaders

Rickey Henderson 1988 Topps Mini League Leaders

Gotta love me some Rickey!

And by the looks of his swing and his head positioning, it looks like he really got ‘good wood’ on this hit.

Check it out:

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This card comes from the 1988 Topps ‘Mini League Leaders’ set.

I quickly looked at Rickey’s numbers from the 1988 baseball season.  And yes, he was certainly a league leader.

Can you guess which statistical category Rickey led the AL in?

Come on now, that could be one of the easiest questions ever asked at 30-YOC…

It was stolen bases, of course.  Henderson paced the AL with 93 steals at the conclusion of the 1988 season.

Rickey being Rickey.

Reggie Jackson 2010 Topps Peak Performance

Reggie Jackson 2010 Topps Peak Performance

When I hear the phrase ‘Peak Performance’ my mind tends to get sent into a bit of a whirlwind…

With current players, I go to Aroldis Chapman throwing the ball 106 miles per hour or Adam Jones covering 30 yards in the outfield while making a diving catch.

As for vintage players, I tend to go to Rickey Henderson swiping bases and Wade Boggs pounding another double off of the Green Monster.

As you can see, my mind takes me to very specific moments that I believe are the player’s ‘Peak Performance’ levels.

So, when I hear see that Reggie Jackson has a card in the 2010 Topps ‘Peak Performance’ checklist, I immediately get taken to his performance in the 1977  World Series, or maybe his MVP seasons, or when he connected for home run number 500.

I don’t go here:

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Topps, the style is flawless and the theme is superb.  The execution on this card of #44 is not what it should have been.

Maybe next time…

Reggie Jackson 2001 Upper Deck UD Decades ‘Bellbottomed Bashers’

Reggie Jackson 2001 Upper Deck UD Decades ‘Bellbottomed Bashers’

The 2001 Upper Deck ‘Decades’ set has given us some brilliant baseball cards.  And for as stale and sterile as their base set of cards is from that set, the inserts and subsets take the complete issue to a whole new level.

And it is Groovy!

Among the many subsets issued as a part of that 2001 product, UD gave us ‘Bellbottomed Bashers’.  And as you can expect with a name like that, it has a very 1970’s vibe.

Here is the card of Reggie Jackson from that set:

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The border is great.  The font for the subset name is perfect.  And the image of Reggie is his vintage 2-pc A’s jersey is spot-on for that time period.

Yeah Baby!!

Happy Birthday Ed ‘Whitey’ Ford!!!

Happy Birthday Ed ‘Whitey’ Ford!!!

Hall of Famer Whitey Ford celebrates his 86th birthday today.

One of the most celebrated and valued member of the New York Yankees franchise had a career like no other.  A pitcher on a team full of sluggers, Ford made his presence known with his command on the mound.

Ford spent his entire 16-year career in pinstripes, and he started in 438 contests.  During that time, he compiled a record of 236-106, good for a 69% winning percentage.

Ford won the Cy Young award in 1961 largely in due to his amazing 25-4 record.  He was an 8-time All-star, while also finishing in the Top 20 for the MVP award 6 times.

In his 16 seasons, Ford made it to the World Series 11 times.  He ended winning 6 championships along the way, and he has a 10-8 record in the Fall Classic.

Happy Birthday to a true legend, Mr. Whitey Ford!!!

Lot Of 2 Reggie Jackson 2003 Topps Gallery Cards – Red & Green Backgrounds!!

Lot Of 2 Reggie Jackson 2003 Topps Gallery Cards – Red & Green Backgrounds!!

These are neat.  And they are so nice, that I could see enlarged versions of them hanging in ‘man caves’ all across the US.

Have a look:

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Coming from the 2003 Topps Gallery set, these cards fit the ‘Gallery’ theme perfectly.

I wish Topps would bring these back – even if it was just once every five or ten years.  These cards are certainly worth keeping in the public eye.

I’m hooked!

Happy Birthday Juan Marichal!!!

Happy Birthday Juan Marichal!!!

Juan Marichal turns 77 years old today.

In photographs, I find Juan Marichal to be one of the most polarizing pitchers ever.  An extremely photogenic player, Juan and that incredible wind-up will stop you dead in your tracks whether you are looking at pics on the web, flipping through pages of a magazine, or in my case diving through boxes of baseball cards.

I don’t know that much about Marichal, but from the several books that I have read, he is regarded very highly by some of the greatest hitters and pitchers from his era – and that goes a long way with me.

Happy Birthday Mr. Marichal!!!