Daily Archives: March 23, 2009

Gifts From Mario & Dave…

The generosity of bloggers and their readers is a unique trait.  It’s one that I am still surprised by each time it occurs, so you could imagine my shock as Mario hands a stack of baseball cards to me as we’re hovering under the canopy of the concession stand as it rains heavily around us.

As always, Mario went above and beyond as he provided me with a nice assortment of my 2 favorite Florida Marlins players: Cameron Maybin & Dan Uggla.

First the Maybin cards… 

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 And then the Ugglas…

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 And then Dave turns to me and hands me a top-loader that was loaded with brilliance!!! 

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These guys are both really good guys.  It’s times like this when you really are appreciative for the people you’ve connected with.  When stuff like this happens to me, I always think back to how 10 years ago stuff like this just didn’t happen.  Some random guy living in North Carolina makes vacation plans with his wife and wants to include me in them?  Wow!!  And then both of these 2 ‘super-collectors’ are standing there handing me cards because they thought of me when they came across the cards? 

The internet is a wonderful thing and I cannot wait to see what awaits us all in the next 10 years…

Thanks again to both Mario and Dave!!!!

The Three Amigos Go To Spring Training!!!

The plan fell in place about a month ago.  Dave of Fielder’s Choice fame and his wife, Rebecca, were headed to Florida for a week long vacation.  His goal was to catch a little Spring Training action and her goal was to enjoy the Walt Disney World experience.

Dave emailed both Mario from the #1 sportscard blog Wax Heaven and I about possibly meeting up to see the Rays take on our local Orioles in Ft. Lauderdale.  The game was on Saturday, the 21st, and we agreed to all meet at the stadium.  Prior to his trip, I provided Dave with a few tips about my successes with meeting players and getting autographs during games at the stadium and we all agreed that General Admission tickets were the best bet.

When I tell you that it rained from the time I left my house at 11:15 in the morning until the 15 minutes before the game was to start(1:05) I would not be exaggerating.  The 4 of us patiently stood by the concession stand as we tried to do our best to stay dry.  As soon as it let up a little bit, one of would say something like, ‘Finally’ and then it would just open up again.  Right around 12:45 the rain stopped so we headed for the field in hopes of seeing the players warm up and maybe get a few autographs.  Then we heard the message being passed around, “The game has been canceled’.  What?  didn’t they know that Dave and Rebecca drove from NC all the way to FL just to see this game?  Didn’t they know that Mario and I both left our wives and kids at home so we could enjoy a day at the ballpark??  Canceled??  Yes, canceled.  The worst part of it was that as soon as it was indeed game-time, the skies opened up and it bacame a nice day.

Dave still has some good stories to share and I will let him do that when he returns from his trip.  For me, my memories of the day are: 1. great conversation with 2 of the guys that have inspired this blog.  2. a voucher I can send to the Orioles organization requesting a refund.  3. a picture of the ‘Three Amigos’. 

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Tony LaRussa Autogrpah TTM Request Success!!

I’d wait 42 days for a 2-time World Series manager to sign my cards through the mail.  So you have to imagine how happy I was to unveil 2 Tony LaRussa signed cards when I ripped open the envelope that was waiting for me in my mailbox.

 I’ve followed LaRussa’s career since his coaching days with the Oakland A’s.  I watched as he took one of the most talented teams during the 1980’s to 3 straight World Series contests.  And then a little more than 15 years later he took the St. Louis Cardinals to the pinnacle as well.

Thanks for the great autographs Mr. LaRussa!!!

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‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #9

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #9

Tom Glavine – 1988 Score

Tom Glavine could be classified as the most consistent pitcher to debut during the 1980’s.  From 1988-2007, Glavine started at least 29 games per season.  With the remarkable ability to stay healthy and remain in shape through each season, Glavine put up exceptional numbers.

Going into the 2009 baseball season Tom Glavine has 305 career wins.  In his 22-year career in the major leagues Glavine has won 20 or more games 5 times and 13 or more games 16 times.  His consistent play has provided his teams with 11 seasons of pitching 200 innings or more.  With 2,607 strikeouts and an ERA of 3.54 for his career, Glavine is primed for Hall of Fame entry after his playing days come to an end.

Tom Glavine has won 2 Cy Young awards.  He has also placed in the Top 3 for the award 4 more times during his career.  Glavine’s first Cy Young award came in 1991 when he went 20-11 with a 2.55 ERA.  Glavine pitched 9 complete games in 1991 and struck out 192 batters while walking just 69.  His second Cy Young award was won in 1998 where he went 20-6 with a 2.47 ERA. 

Tom Glavine is a 10-time All-star.  He has also won 4 Silver Slugger award and was often considered to be the best hitting pitcher in the game.  Oftentimes, he and his pitching peers on the Atlanta Braves would compete to see who could turn in the best hitting performances and Glavine finished on top quite a bit.

Glavine has made it to post-season play 12 times in his career while earning 4 trips to the World Series.  In 4 attempts, Glavine won 1 World Series title in 1995 as a member of the Atlanta Braves.  He was tremendous in that championship series as he won 2 games and had an ERA of just 1.29.  In 14 innings of play, Glavine allowed just 2 runs while striking out 11 batters and giving up only 4 hits.  Glavine’s performance was so dominant in that series that he was named the World Series MVP. 

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