Daily Archives: April 15, 2010

Charley Gives My Mark Grace Collection A Jump-Start!!!

Charley Gives My Mark Grace Collection A Jump-Start!!!

A few weeks ago I posted about my strong desire to collect Mark Grace’s baseball cards.  Easily one of my favorite Cubs’ players and a supremely talented guy, it was hard not to cheer for ‘Gracey’.

The main reason that I had yet to commit to a collection honoring him was the vast number of cards issued during his playing days.  The numerous brands, sets, subsets, and variations issued during the 1990’s are a far cry from the Topps, Fleer, and Donruss cards that I am familiar with.  Call it fear or call it discomfort.  Whatever you want to call it, my lack of knowledge of the incredible amount of cards issued during Grace’s career has left me with just collecting his rookie cards(which I have all of now).

In this post, I got some great feedback.  And after taking it all in, I was still at a standstill.  Not ready to make a commitment and not yet ready to drop Grace of my list either.

Enter Charley.  Charley and I have been frequent commenters on each other’s blogs for more than a year now.  A dedicated Andre Dawson fan and collector, we have traded stories and baseball cards several times over the last year.  If you want to visit an awesome blog dedicated to our favorite player, check this out.

Charlie emailed me quickly after my Grace post and said he would send some cards over.  And just a little over a week later, this arrived:

Great stuff, huh?  Yeah, I was very impressed and happy myself.  In total, Charley sent over 27 cards of Mark Grace.  And now my un-official player collection honoring him has begun.  While I am still not ready to draft up a checklist, I am definitely ready to add more cards of ‘Amazing Grace’ to my collection.

Thanks again Charlie!!!  Next time I hit a card show, I am shopping for you!!!

‘Same Card, Different Paths’ – Card #57

‘Same Card, Different Paths’ – Card #57

1963 Topps – Card #537 – AKA – ‘The Pete Rose Rookie Card’

Pedro Gonzalez – Gonzalez played in the big leagues for 5 seasons.  A utility player, he played all defensive positions with the exception of catcher.  Gonzalez amassed 264 hits during his playing days and he sports a .244 batting average.  He also scored 99 runs, hit 8 homers, stole 22 bases and drove in 70.

Ken McMullen – McMullen enjoyed a 16-year major league career in which he suited up for 5 teams.  A third baseman, McMullen displayed quite a bit of pop in his bat during his prime.  Collecting 156 home runs in his career, he hit double-digit homers during 8 different seasons. 

Pete Rose – The game’s all-time leader with 4,256 hits, Pete Rose was as well-rounded of a player as there was during his era.  Rose was able to hit for a high average while also dominating the base paths.  The 17-time All-star has a .303 lifetime batting average along with 198 stolen bases and 2,165 runs scored.  Rose won the Rookie of the Year award in 1963, the MVP in 1973, and he owns 1 Silver Slugger trophy and 2 Gold Glove awards.  Rose is a 3-time World Series champion.

Al Weis – Weis split time between the New York Mets and Chicago White Sox during his 10-year career.  A talented fielder, Weis spent a majority of his time playing second base and shortstop based on his team’s needs.  He has a lifetime batting average of .219.  In 10 years, collected 346 hits, 7 home runs, and 55 stolen bases.  Weis was part of the 1969 World Series winning ‘Amazin Mets’.

Darryl Strawberry 1989 Donruss MVP

Darryl Strawberry 1989 Donruss MVP

In 1988, Donruss added a subset to their base issue and tagged the set as ‘MVP’.  They chose one player from each team and designated them as the team’s MVP.  While some choices were obvious, they always seemed to add a few players that would raise an eyebrow or two or three.

Unquestionably the star of the team, and it’s most popular player, Darryl Strawberry was tagged with the MVP crown by Donruss for their 1989 set.  Was Darryl worthy of that prestigious tag during the 1989 season?  While his power numbers of 29 home runs and 77 RBI were ok, his batting average was a dismal .225…  Hardly MVP-caliber.

Decent design.  Fair graphics.  Terrible photo.  But nonetheless, a great addition to my Darryl Strawberry collection!!

1993 Headline: Andre Dawson Joins The ‘400 Home Run Club’

1993 Headline: Andre Dawson Joins The ‘400 Home Run Club’

On a new team, and playing in front of his home crowd for the first time, Andre Dawson crushed home run #400 of his career in front of 22,000+ fans at Fenway Park.

The former Expos and Cubs All-star player was signed by Boston as a free agent following the 1992 baseball season.  And it did not take long for ‘The Hawk’ to earn the respect and admiration of the ‘Fewnway Faithful’ when he launched a solo home run over the ‘Green Monster’ in the second inning of the contest off of Indians’ pitcher Jose Mesa.

#400 was the first of what would be 13 home runs that Dawson would hit during his 1993 campaign in Boston.

Happy Anniversary Andre!!!