Daily Archives: January 22, 2011

Juan Marichal 1970 Topps All-Star

Juan Marichal 1970 Topps All-Star

These All-Star cards from the 1970 Topps set are very possibly my favorite set of All-Star cards ever issued.

Brilliantly designed, and plain fun to look at, I cannot believe that I was able to bring this card of Juan Marichal home for just $0.99.

And you know me.  If I see a bargain, and it is of a guy that I like – I am going to pounce!!!

This card celebrates Marichal’s 1969 baseball season – and it was spectacular!!  During that season, Marichal started 36 games while compiling a 21-11 record.  Amazingly, he threw 27 complete games that year, 8 of which were shut-outs.  He also racked up 205 strikeouts while walking just 54 batters.

The 1969 baseball season marked Juan Marichal’s 8th appearance as an All-Star.  He would go on to make the squad one more time, in 1971. 

And the back of the card is pretty sweet too!!

Ozzie Smith 1995 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice

Ozzie Smith 1995 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice

Now I don’t know about you, but it really looks like Ozzie is about to get ahold of one on this swing!!

With perfect balance, his eyes on the ball, and a level bat, Ozzie is about to crush that 9-inch baseball and send it into orbit!!!

Congratulations to the photographer that captured this perfect swing and what I am thinking was a perfect result!!!

A great addition to my Ozzie Smith collection.

Did You Know…

Only two pitchers have won 240 games without the benefit of a 20-win season.  Dennis Martinez compiled a record of 245-193 from 1976 to 1998, ending his career with exactly 4,000 innings pitched.  Frank Tanana won 240 and lost 236 games from 1973 to 1993.  His best season was 19-10 with the Angels in 1976.

**factoid courtesy of ‘Big League Trivia’

1997 Headline: “Don Mattingly Retires From Baseball”

1997 Headline: “Don Mattingly Retires From Baseball”

On this day in 1997 the above headline, or something very close to it, appeared on every sports page across America.  Don Mattingly, ‘Donnie Baseball’, was retiring from the country’s national past-time.

Don Mattingly gave us 14 years.  14 wonderful years.  14 years of memories that will last and be passed down  from generation to generation.  Never the most talented player on his team, Mattingly was without question the leader of his New York Yankees team.  His incredible vision and skill as a contact hitter were remarkable.  And for a few years in the mid-1980’s he thrilled us at the plate as his batting average hovered close to .350 season after season. 

But Mattingly was not a 1-dimensional player.  When needed, he was able to hit for power and do it well.  Mattingly blasted 222 home runs in his career and hit 30 or more homers 3 times.  And then there was the 8-game streak in 1987 in which Mattingly launched a homer in each game.  A truly amazing feat by this great competitor!!

And to round out his play, Mattingly was a dominant defender at 1st base.  A 9-time Gold Glove winner, ‘Donnie Baseball’ could do no wrong when taking the field.  In 1,634 career games at 1st base, Mattingly committed just 64 errors.  That’s just 1 error per 25 games played and just 6 per year.  INCREDIBLE!!!

The Hall of Fame debate about Mattingly always makes for interesting conversation.  He won the MVP award one time, and finished in the Top 10 for the award 3 more times.  He has been to 6 All-star games, won 3 Silver Slugger awards, and has 9 Gold Gloves to his credit.  Whether he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame is an argument that could go on forever, but he will certainly go down as one of the best, if not the best, 1st baseman to play baseball in the 1980’s.