Daily Archives: April 8, 2010

7th Spring Training TTM Return – Brandon Phillips!!

7th Spring Training TTM Return – Brandon Phillips!!

41 days after I put these two cards in the mail, they are both home again!!

Brandon Phillips and the Reds changed Spring Training facilities this year so I was a little worried about how the mail at a new place would be handled.  But leave it up to the very fan-friendly Phillips to handle his mail quickly while always taking out time for his fans.  Phillips has one of the best TTM reputations in the majors, and he didn’t disappoint, by delivering two signed cards back to me.

I have always liked his game – in fact he was on my fantasy team for 3 years in a row until I discovered a guy named Aaron Hill a few years back.  At 29 years of age, and already in his 9th big league season, Phillips excelled once he joined the Reds.  After joining the team in 2006, he instantly became a full-time starter and his numbers flourished.  Phillips became a run-scoring, home run hitting, base-stealing threat.  In 2007 he joined the 30/30 club due to his all-around skills. 

I look forward to seeing what he does for the Reds in 2010.

Thank you for the great autographs Brandon!!

Tim Raines 1989 Fleer

Tim Raines 1989 Fleer

Yep, that design from 1989 is back.  This time it is the base card of Tim Raines.  As I have stated several times when posting other cards from this set, the design is a tough one, and it only works well with certain team colors and logos.  Does it go well with the Montreal Expos and their Red, White, and Blue theme??  I don’t know, the jury is still out on this one…

1989 was a good year for Raines.  An established veteran, and past his All-star days, he was still contributing at a very high level by doing what he always excelled at – running.  In ’89 Raines scored 76 runs in 145 games.  Still a big threat to steal bases, he also stole 41 bases successfully in 50 attempts.  Raines was very sharp at the plate in that season too; he hit .286 as he collected 148 hits.  And he struck out just 48 times in 517 at-bats.

1974 Headline: Hank Aaron Is New Home Run King!!!

1974 Headline: Hank Aaron Is New Home Run King!!!

On this day in 1974, and less than a week into the new baseball season, Hank Aaron became ball’s new home run king.  What a long offseason it must have been…

At home, and in front of 53,775 Braves fans, Hank Aaron crushed the 715th home run of his career passing Babe Ruth.  Coming to the plate in the bottom of the fourth inning, Arron faced Al Downing and sent his offering into the left field bleachers!!

And as they say, ‘The Crowd Went Wild’!!

Congratulations on this magnificent achievement Mr. Aaron!!!

1989 Headline: Abbott Makes Major League Debut!!!

1989 Headline:  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 Gary Carter!!!!

‘The Kid’ turns 56 years old today!

Had it not been for a player named Johnny Bench, Gary Carter may be considered the best catcher in baseball history.  In this case, 2nd place is not too bad of a spot to be in when you’re behind one the greatest players in major league history.

Gary Carter brought a level of offensive and defensive consistency to the catching position for 19 seasons.  An 11-time All-star, Carter was the team leader during his days with the Montreal Expos and New York Mets.  His solid offensive play, highlighted by winning 5 Silver Slugger awards, and his dominant defense in which he won 3 Gold Gloves established him as one of the most complete players during the 1970’s and into the 1980’s.  With a career batting average of .262, Carter captured 2,092 hits during his playing days.  And with 324 homers, 1,225 RBI, and 1,025 runs scored, Carter provided punch to the offense that was rare from the catcher’s position during those times.  Due to the rarity of this kind of production by a catcher, Gary Carter finished in the Top 17 for the MVP award 7 times during his career.

Gary Carter played in 1 World Series match-up in 1986 and his New York Mets won the title in 7 games.  During that series, Carter batted .276 while hitting 2 home runs and knocking in an amazing 9 runs.

And oh yeah, he is quickly becoming a strong candidate for one of ’30-YOC’s next player collections too.

Happy Birthday Mr. Carter!!