Monthly Archives: January 2010

1987 Fleer Superstar Special Featuring Darryl Strawberry & Don Mattingly

1987 Fleer Superstar Special Featuring Darryl Strawberry & Don Mattingly

This is a nice addition to my Darryl Strawberry player collection.  The card features two of the game’s brightest stars from the 1987 baseball season.

Fleer captivated me with their ‘Superstar Special’ series of cards from the 1980’s.  Unique photos, odd pairings of players, and fun times, Fleer really brought it with this subset.

For this card, it celebrates Darryl and Don Mattingly as two of the sport’s best left-hand hitting sluggers.  And while ‘Straw’ was probably the better home run hitter of the two, Mattingly was able to put on some spectacular displays of power hitting as well.

The picture on this card looks like it was taken during batting practice, probably at an All-star game.  I just wish the photographer had been able to snap a shot with the guys looking at the camera…  I feel like we’re eavesdropping a bit here!!!

Straw 87F SS

Amazing TTM Success: Hall of Fame Manager, Sparky Anderson!!!

In just under two weeks time, Hall of Fame baseball manager, Mr. Sparky Anderson, returned my copy of ‘The Machine’ to me.  And you know what, he instantly added a great treasure to my autograph collection.

Here’s the book:

And here is Sparky’s signature as well as his message to me:

“To Brian:  Thank you for being such a great fan of the Reds,  Sparky Anderson”

Truly a class act – I am not quite sure that it gets any better than this.  A personal note from one of the greatest baseball managers of all-time.

But, I do know one way to make this even more special…

I know that it would be virtually impossible to get the entire ‘Big Red Machine’ to sign this book for me, but I should be able to add a few more autographs.  There are 3 more blank pages at the very beginning of the book – maybe they’re there for a reason.  I am starting to believe so…

Let me see what I can do with this.  I know that guys like Bench, Griffey, Rose, and Morgan may be tough but the team had more than 4 players on its roster!!!

Thank you Mr. Anderson!!  This is very special for me, and I cannot wait to sit down and read this story about one of my favorite teams of all-time.  But first I have a few more autographs to hunt for.  🙂

2000 Fleer – “Club 3,000” – Rod Carew

2000 Fleer – “Club 3,000” – Rod Carew

Date of entry into “Club 3,000” – August 4, 1985

The Story – Playing for the California Angles, Carew was at home in front of 41,000 fans waiting for him to make history.  In his 19th and final season in the big leagues, Carew entered the game just 1 hit shy of the rare milestone of 3,000.  It didn’t take long for Carew to thrill the fans and put himself into elite company.  In the bottom of the third inning, Carew hit a single off of Twins’ pitcher Frank Viola and the crowd went wild.

Baseball History – At the time of his retirement, Rod Carew collected 3,053 hits.  Currently he ranks in 22nd place on the all-time list!!!

1973 Topps Jim Palmer – Boyhood Photos

1973 Topps Jim Palmer – Boyhood Photos

The 1973 Topps base set contained a small subset of cards tagged as ‘Boyhood Photos’.  The premise of this set of cards was to feature some of the game’s biggest stars and show a picture of them during their youth.

And while Topps did a pretty good job of selecting which players would be part of this set, there are some glaring omissions as well as some questionable picks too.

But, Topps did honor Jim Palmer in this set.  And here is the card.

The ‘Boyhood’ photo shows a young Palmer enjoying the day in a swimming pool.  Having grown up in New York, it’s not clear where this picture was taken.  Possibly in New York, possibly during a family vacation…   I estimate that Palmer is between the ages of 5 and 6 in this photo.

This baseball card is a nice, yet odd,  addition to my Jim Palmer collection.

Did You Know…

Reggie Jackson had 4 consecutive home runs spanning Games 5 and 6 of the 1977 World Series.**factoid courtesy of ‘Armchair Reader – Grand Slam Baseball’

My take – We all know about Reggie’s 3 in Game 5, but it’s not mentioned too often that he got another homer in his first at-bat of Game 6 as well.

My Eddie Murray Player Collection Is Complete!!!

With the acqusition of this card, I have completed my Eddie Murray player collection.

For this set, the goal was very clear – Collect every major brand release from Eddie’s first stint with the Orioles.  The years covered are 1978 through 1989 and the set is comprised of 42 different cards.

Here is a look at the full collection:

Am I done collecting Eddie Murray baseball cards?  No, not by a long shot.  But now that my original goal has been accomplished, I can move on.  And by moving on, I will go after some of his modern cards that feature him in his O’s uni!!!

Eddie Murray is one of the game’s greatest offensive players.  And I am thrilled that I was able to honor him, his career, and his baseball cards accordingly.  My player collection may be done, but my love for collecting and paying tribute to Eddie is far from over.

Stay tuned next week as I bring you my ‘Eddie Murray Fab 5’ showcasing my favorite 5 cards from this newly completed set!!!  Thanks.

TTM Success: Tom Brunansky

9 fast days was all it took to get these cards back from Tom Brunansky!  ‘Bruno’ was one of my favorite players on a roster of Twins that captured the hearts of baseball fans in the late 1980’s and into the 90’s.  He also went on to play on some very talented rosters of the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.

I have to say that Bruno’s signature is one the best I have received so far.  The script is perfect and his name can be made out very clearly.  I am thrilled to add these to my growing autograph collection.

Thanks Bruno!!!

Andre Dawson Will Be Enshrined At Cooperstown Wearing A Montreal Expos Hat!!!

Andre Dawson Will Be Enshrined At Cooperstown Wearing A Montreal Expos Hat!!!

It was announced on Wednesday morning that ‘The Hawk’ would wear the hat of his longest tenured team on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter to me.  Just having Andre in the Hall of Fame is enough for me.  He had brilliant years in Montreal and Chicago, so the decision of the Expos hat is not a terrible one.  While I was more of a fan of his days in Chicago, I was introduced to him when he was an Expo and was quickly drawn to him there.

I have two issues with this decision:

1 – Andre won’t get to celebrate this with his fans in Montreal in the stadium at which he planted his Hall of Fame roots.  The Expos franchise is gone and major league baseball has done a good job of wiping them from our memory.   Montreal’s team moved to Washington DC and became the Nationals.  The players were the same(for the most part) but all evidence of the Expos was washed away.  That included their history, their stats, and the 4 jerseys that the Expos retired – Dawson’s was among them.

2 – Andre wanted to go in as a Cub.  He deserves a say in this decision doesn’t he?  Even more than that, he deserves to stand in front of the fans at Wrigley to hear them roar for him again.  He deserves to walk into right field one more time to watch his jersey get raised on the right field pole.  Andre deserves this and the Cubs and city of Chicago need this!

That’s all.

I cannot wait for July 26 to come around – it is going to be a fantastic day!!!

Oh, and another positive of Andre going into the Hall as an Expo is that we’ll be seeing more of that great logo and Powder-Blue that we’ve been missing all these years!!!

Incredible TTM Success: Dave Winfield!!!

My heart is still racing as I write this…

Last night when I got home there was a baseball in my mailbox in my familiar return envelope.  I only had 2 balls in the mail so I knew it was one of just 2 guys.

I tore it open and was extremely surprised and thrilled to see this:

That’s right baby.  A Hall of Fame ball signed by one of my favorite baseball players of all-time – Mr. Dave Winfield!!!  And he also included a pretty cool HOF plaque business card too.

How cool is this??

Anybody who has been with me and ’30-YOC’ for a while now knows that Winfield was one of my favorite players as a kid.  In fact when I decided to get back into the hobby and focus on collecting my favorite players from my youth, Dave Winfield was in the first group of five that I went after. 

This ball is an incredible addition to my signed baseball collection as well as my Dave Winfield collection!!!

Thank you Mr. Winfield, you made this fan’s week!!!!

1992 Score Greg Maddux

1992 Score Greg Maddux

While cards of pitchers tend to get old as they primarily feature the same old photos, Score did a nice job making this one stand out.

The 1992 Score design added an element that turns a boring photo into a very nice baseball card.  By creating a 3-D element to the card, you get the feeling that Maddux’s pitch is going to fly off the cardboard.  It’s a nice design touch.  And although it doesn’t always work, it does for this issue.

The cards coloring also looks good.  The bold and sharp colors look great, and having the Wrigley Field Ivy as a backdrop doesn’t hurt either.

Maddux 92S

On a related note – check out Maddux’s perfect mechanics on this pitch.  **Notice the foot-drag… my Little League coach would be proud!!!  🙂