Monthly Archives: August 2010

Andre Dawson 2002 Topps American Pie – GOLD

Andre Dawson 2002 Topps American Pie – GOLD

Had I known all this time that the ‘American Pie’ series from the 2002 Topps set were available in colored versions of the base card, I would have added an Ebay search to my account to catch them as they came up for auctions.

I stumbled across this one, the Gold Version, by accident a week or so ago and now it is safely home with me.

While not stunning to look at, the card is insanely busy with all of its graphic elements, and is far from spectacular.  But I have to admit, I really enjoy chasing around these limited release cards.  Heck if it wasn’t for series’ of cards like this one, I would have very little left to collect of ‘The Hawk’.

And for that reason, and that reason alone I march onward!!! 

Ozzie Smith 1987 Topps

Ozzie Smith 1987 Topps

When Ozzie Smith shouts, ‘I’ve Gor It’ you get out of the way!!!

And it was simply a showing of respect for the greatest middle infielder of all-time.  Heck, Ozzie Smith made playing defense cool.  As kids, we all took turns impersonating our favorite players while at bat.  But when handling grounders, we ALL drifted to Ozzie.  He was the man, and is a big reason that you didn’t change the channel were the Cardinals were on TV.

This 1987 issue from the Topps bas set is a nice one.  And the reminder it offers of the 1962 set is evident each time I come across one.  Something tells me that Ozzie would have been just as big of a star during that era as he was during the 1980’s! 

A great addition to my Ozzie Smith collection!!!

Does Dan Uggla Have What It Takes To Be ‘Elite’???

Does Dan Uggla Have What It Takes To Be ‘Elite’???

For me, answer is a resounding ‘Yes’.  But I am biased.  The Florida Marlins are my team, and I get to watch Uggla play in 140+ games a year.  For the average to above average baseball fan, the first thing that they recall when thinking of Dan Uggla is his error filled All-Star game appearance from a few years back.  Sadly that may be all that they know of him…

But let me tell you something – There is nobody, and I mean NOBODY, that plays second base in the National League that can do what Uggla is and has been doing for the last few seasons.  And if it weren’t for the magnificent season that Robinson Cano is having with the Yankees, I would argue the fact that Uggla is having the best season of any second baseman in the league.

Riding a career high batting average this year, Uggla has been steadily around the .280 mark for most of the season.  And even with his usual slow start, he was ripping the ball early and often and is still doing so today more than 120 games through the 2010 season. 

To date, Uggla has spent most of his time in the 4 and 5 spot in the Marlins’ lineup.  He currently ranks in the Top 10 in home runs, runs scored, and RBI.  He is on pace for another 30+ home run season(his fourth in a row) and he has already amassed more homers than any other 2B has in the first 5 years of their career.

We all know what is holding back Uggla from gaining more respect and fan admiration league-wide.  He plays for an average team in a terrible baseball market.  He lacks the on-field charisma that most of the game’s superstars have and he is not a physically imposing player.  In fact, he looks more like a MMA athlete than a baseball player.

But the fact remains, he continues to get the job done year in and year out for the Marlins.  By the end of this season, Uggla will have averaged 30 homers and 90 RBI over the first five years of his career.  No other second baseman in the history of the sport can make that claim.

It’s time that the Marlins acknowledge his value to the team.  Get this guy signed to a multi-year deal now, please!!  The only pinstripes I want to see him wearing are Teal & Black!!!

Fergie Jenkins 2003 Fleer ‘Cut Of History’ Game-Used Jersey Card

Fergie Jenkins 2003 Fleer ‘Cut Of History’ Game-Used Jersey Card

Hey, another Fergie Jenkins memorabilia card for the collection – YES!!!

This one comes from the 2003 Fleer ‘Cut Of History’ set.  Featuring a large, White piece of jersey worn during his days with the Cubs, this card is very basic in design.  With four very bland Grey squares that cover 75% of the card’s surface, the design reminds me of a kindergarten project.  I am very surprised that the creative people who it employed let this set go out to the public.

Take a peek:

While I am still thrilled to add another Game-Used jersey card of Fergie Jenkins to my collection, I have to say that a Cubs’ pinstripe couldn’t even rescue this one….

Tim Raines 1981 Donruss – Rookie Card

Tim Raines 1981 Donruss – Rookie Card

Man I have some great memories of this card!!!

A fun story – Back when I was probably between 8-10 years old, the first ever Sports Authority opened up within 15 minutes of where we lived in Ft. Lauderdale.  For those of you not familiar with that store, think Home Depot for sporting goods…  A part of their week-long ‘Grand Opening’ celebration the store had autograph line-ups each night to bring people by and get people excited.  My dad showed me the roster of events, and who did I pick?  Yep, Tim Raines!!  You see, even back as a youngster I valued him and what he did for the Montreal Expos team.  So that night, we stood patiently in line and ended up getting 2 cards signed by ‘Rock’ himself.  I still have that 1987 signed Fleer card in my collection today and I have to think that this may have been what hooked me on autograph collecting!!!

The other card that I got signed was a 1981 Donruss rookie card.  I don’t have it any longer, but I have now added that card(not signed) to my Tim Raines collection that honors one of my favorite players from my youth!!!

Josh Johnson 2009 Topps Heritage

Josh Johnson 2009 Topps Heritage

I like these old school designs featuring today’s players.  And while I would rather have the originals in my collection, if I can scoop up a few of these cards today that feature the guys I enjoy watching today, then that is what I will do.

Actually, that is what I did!!

I picked up this card of JJ recently and it got me to thinking…  Thinking about how JJ would have fared against the competition back then.  Would he be near the top of the pitching ranks?  Would his stuff dominate hitters like it does today?  Would he contend for the Cy Young award?  How would JJ do on a mound that was higher off of the ground??

Yep, I got all of that from this little piece of cardboard:

Having Fun With Dave Winfield’s Rookie Card!!!

Having Fun With Dave Winfield’s Rookie Card!!!

I left the hobby of collecting baseball cards during my teens.  And after purging more than 99% of the stuff I owned, I kept 1 small box that held roughly 60 cards.  I moved that box from house to house and from state to state.

So, a little more than two years ago when I decided to re-connect with the hobby that I loved as a kid, the first place that I went was to that familiar box.  Still in tact, and still holding roughly 60 cards, my 1974 Topps Dave Winfield rookie card was waiting for me.

I probably picked up this card at a baseball card show in either South Florida or Chicago.  Either way, I remember being thrilled to have a card ‘that old’ in my collection as s kid.  And now, close to twenty years later, those feelings still hold up.

Here is my Dave Winfield rookie card:

And just the other week, I got a package in the mail from Alfredo that contained a very generous stack of cards featuring the players that I loved as a kid and collect today as an adult.  And wouldn’t you know it, there were two modern versions of that same Dave Winfield rookie card included.

The first one comes from the 2010 Topps subset tagged as ‘Cards Your Mom Threw Out’.  A greatly named set, I have a feeling that the creative name of this set hits home with quite a few collectors in my age bracket.

Here is that card:

Very similar in look and feel, the only noticeable differences between this one and the original version from 1974 is the quality of the cardboard, shine of the glossy finish, and stark whiteness of the border color.

The other card that Alfredo offered up to me comes from the Topps Archives set issued in 2001.  Again it features the same design of the original rookie card, but with a major change.  I guess that this is what the modern collector calls a ‘Refractor’ or something close to it.  I have a few Dawson cards like these, but this is my first one of any other player.

Check it out:

I think what I like most about card companies putting cards like this out way after the original release is that it allows us a moment to travel back to our youth and recall memories of watching these guys play while we collected their cards. 

For me, when I go to a card show and am sifting through a box of modern-issue cards, I can get bored pretty quickly.  But then cards like the above Winfields show up to brighten my day!

Thanks again Alfredo – you have taken me back to my youth again!!!

Gary Carter 1985 Fleer

Gary Carter 1985 Fleer

Oh yeah, it is one of my favorite color-coordinated sets from the 1980’s – 1985 Fleer!!!

And just look at how many Expos logos Fleer managed to squeeze into the shot – not one, not two, but three!!  If I had to guess, I would think that the photo editor at Fleer in 1985 may have had Canadian heritage.  What do you think, eh??

While pictured in an Expos uniform on this card, Carter didn’t play for the Expos in 1985; it was actually his first year in New York with the Mets.  And he handled that transition without skipping a beat.  During his debut season in ‘The Big Apple’, Carter hit .281 while connecting for 32 home runs and 100 RBI. 

I would have to think that Mets fans agreed that he was a huge upgrade over their catcher from the ’84 season, Mike Fitzgerald.

Did You Know…

Gaylord Perry is the only pitcher since in 1918 to post an ERA under 2.00 and lose at least 16 games.  Perry won the American League Cy Young Award for the Cleveland Indians in 1972 with a 24-16 record, which included a 1.92 ERA, 234 strikeouts, and 29 complete games.

**factoid courtesy of ‘Big League Trivia’

My take – This goes to show you that no matter how solid of a pitcher you are, your team’s ability to score runs is a huge dictator as to how successful you become.  Florida Marlins, are you listening????

Happy Anniversary Joe Morgan!!!

On this day in 1978, Joe Morgan of the Cincinnati Reds hit the 200th home run of his incredible baseball career.

And while the 200-HR plateau had been accomplished by hundreds of players prior to Morgan, he was the first to accomplish that feat with 500 stolen bases to his credit as well. 

Displaying an all-around offensive arsenal, Morgan was a rare player that could beat his opposition with his speed and ability to hit for power and average.

Only three players have accomplished the same feat since – Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor, and Barry Bonds.  But Morgan was the first, and he set the trend!!

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Joe Morgan!!!