Daily Archives: March 30, 2011

Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame Unveils Johnny Bench Exhibit

Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame Unveils Johnny Bench Exhibit

CINCINNATI – The Cincinnati Reds honored one of their own by opening an exhibit this weekend that highlights the career of the arguably the greatest catcher in the history of Major League Baseball.

The new Johnny Bench exhibit debuts Saturday at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

Bench cut the ribbon at the official opening of the feature exhibit of 2011, Johnny Bench: A Celebration of Baseball’s Greatest Catcher presented by Dinsmore and Shohl LLP.

The year-long exhibit follows Bench from the sandlots of Oklahoma to the stadiums around the major leagues. It includes never-before-seen artifacts, many of which originate from Bench’s personal collection. In addition, video and audio elements will take visitors back in time to see how Bench and his Big Red Machine teammates unleashed their formidable talents on the opposition.

“We are thrilled to honor Johnny through this year-long celebration,” said Rick Walls, Executive Director of the Reds Hall of Fame & Museum. “As the greatest catcher of all time, Bench’s extraordinary career and influence on the game will now be showcased like never before.”

Bench was born in Binger, Oklahoma in 1947. In 1968, his first full season in a Reds uniform, he won the Rookie of the Year award.

Bench went on to play 17 seasons during which he revolutionized the position and served as one of the key components in the dominant Big Red Machine teams of the 1970s.

Bench possessed a rare combination of offense and defense. He’s still regarded today as the best catcher to ever play the game.

During his Hall of Fame career Bench was elected to 14 All Star teams, won 10 Gold Gloves, two National League MVP Awards and helped the Reds win two World Series Championships.

Bench was inducted in to the Reds Hall of Fame in 1986 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1989.

Bench remains a fixture in the Cincinnati community and had his number 5 retired by the team in 1984.

For more information on the Johnny Bench exhibit and other things offered at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, go to http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/cin/hof/ or call (513) 765-7923.

The exhibit runs through Jan. 31, 2012.

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Fergie Jenkins 2001 Donruss Signature Series Certified Autograph!!!

Fergie Jenkins 2001 Donruss Signature Series Certified Autograph!!!

Hell Yeah!!!

Another great addition to my growing collection that pays tribute to the baseball career of Fergie Jenkins – and this time it’s an autograph!!!

The card, issued in 2001 by Donruss, is from a set tagged as ‘Milestone Marks’.  The card is serial numbered as 77/149 and celebrates the 3,000th strikeout of Fergie’s career.

From the back – “A consistent pitcher with remarkable control, Jenkins is Canada’s first member of the Hall of Fame.  A hard-throwing right-hander, he strung together six years with at least 20 wins and finished with 3,192 strikeouts, resting 11th on the all-time strikeout list.”

‘On The Road With psuGator02′ – Jose OR Ozzie Canseco – March 25, 2011

‘On The Road With psuGator02′ – Jose OR Ozzie Canseco – March 25, 2011

Friday, March 25
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Hollywood, Fla.
8:30-9:30 p.m.

My friend told me a few weeks ago that Jose Canseco would be in town for a boxing match. I had planned on attending the fight but thought it might be easier to graph the weigh-in. I arrived at 8:30 p.m. sharp but wasn’t sure of the venue’s location. I walked around for a few minutes when I saw Canseco with a gorgeous blonde. I was in the process of taking out the four items I had brought for him — I had gotten him before and recall him being a good signer so I was hoping to get everything done — when a friend asked me what I was doing. I told him what I thought was obvious. “I’m going to get Jose to sign my photo, magazine and two baseballs. What do you think I’m doing?” In his typical sarcastic tone, he replied, “Well, jackass, that’s not Jose.” Said me: “What do you mean, it’s not Jose?” Said him: “Well, that’s his twin brother Ozzie. I guess he’s in town to support his brother.” Made sense to me. I knew how difficult it was to tell them apart because I had graphed them back in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

I waited 45 minutes for the weigh-in to begin. The person my friend said was Ozzie was actually Jose. My friend whispered to me, “Sorry dude, I guess I was wrong.” I waited until the end of the weigh-in and had Jose sign an 8×10 and a classic Beckett magazine. He also took a picture with me.

Jose Canseco: 2/2 (Beckett, 8×10) in blue Sharpie with picwith

Here’s where things get odd. A minute or two before Jose signed my items I watched as he signed baseballs for a couple. The woman, followed by her man, approached Jose and asked if he would sign their ROMLBs. They were obvious professionals, as both asked if Jose would mind adding the inscription to his graph. Said Jose: “What do you mean ‘inscription’?” Said the man, “You know, write ‘MVP’ and then the year you won it.” Jose proceeded to write “MVP.” Said the man: “Would you mind writing the year you won it?” Said Jose to the man: “What year did I win it?”

In 1988, Canseco was named the American League MVP yet this night he didn’t remember the year he won it? He had to have been drunk or high for that to have been true, and he appeared sober from everything I could tell. I got my items done but soon forgot about the night’s events. It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon (March 27), when I got a phone call from the same friend who gave me the first tip that the events of Friday night were again brought to my attention.

“It really was Ozzie,” my friend told me. Seems the fight that was scheduled for Saturday never took place. Ozzie, standing in as Jose, demanded from the promoter $5,000 in cash as opposed to a $5,000 check, which had already been made out to Jose. The promoter refused, saying that for business purposes he would have to give him a check. An agreement must have been reached because a shirtless Ozzie finally did enter the ring. It took minutes for the crowd to figure out the ruse. It couldn’t have been difficult: Jose’s back is adorned with tatoos while Ozzie’s is not. Police were called, with Ozzie receiving a police escort out of the Hard Rock.

I may have gotten some of the details wrong so I’ll refer you to The Miami Herald’s version of events. Here’s the link:

Former slugger Jose Canseco skips boxing match, sends twin brother to Hard Rock event – People – MiamiHerald.com

Here are some of the pictures I took during Friday’s weigh-in:

Ron Santo 1969 Topps All-Star

Ron Santo 1969 Topps All-Star

While I don’t like the 1969 Topps All-Star cards as much as the similarly inspired ones from the 1970 set, I do enjoy the newspaper-esque design that both offered.

And it’s nice to see Santo celebrated by Topps for his All-Star selection – especially when there are so many Hall of Famers amongst his peers.

So, what did Santo do to earn an All-Star berth in 1969?  Let’s take a look at the numbers: 166 hits, .289 batting average, .384 on-base percentage, 18 doubles, 29 home runs, 123 RBI, 97 runs scored, and 1 stolen base.

All-Star worthy?  Indeed.

Dave Winfield 2006 Fleer “Greats Of The Game”

Dave Winfield 2006 Fleer “Greats Of The Game”

WHOA!!!  Not too many players from the 1980’s can pull of a pose like this?  It takes a real slugger to be able to haul three Black bats on his shoulder and offer up a scowl like Winfield is in this shot.

Think about it.  What other sluggers from that era would strike fear into a pitcher like ‘Big Dave’ is here?  Canseco?  Dawson?  Eric Davis?  Not too many more guys than that…

*SCAN

As for the card, I love this set!  And while I do love seeing Winfield in his old San Diego Padres uniform, I enjoy him in his Yankees uniform too.  Fleer made the right choice with this one!!!

Opening Day Contest Players & Their Picks!!!

Opening Day Contest Players & Their Picks!!!

Alrighty Boys, Everyone has made their picks and we’re all ready for the games to begin!!

I would like to thank everyone that participated in my first contest of the 2011 baseball season.  And due to the great response I got to this one, I will work to run contests on a more frequent basis throughout the season – stay tuned.

Don’t forget that for this contest, we are tracking the total number of strikeouts thrown during Friday’s 11 contests.  The player that guesses the closest to the actual number of K’s thrown, without going over, takes the cake.

Here are the players and their picks:

Player # Of K’s
Rod Davis 86
Samuel Pair 94
unclemoe 101
Gregory Zakwin 105
Tom  110
Jeff 112
twang 114
Play At The Plate 127
cubsfan731 132
C.L. 133
jeff p 142
SingleDaddyof2 144
chuckneo 147
Doctor Kas 149
Dan 151
unlikelymoose 157
One Out Away 160
Duane D 163
Ron Churchwell 167
Tai 172
Tim H 175
Charley 177
Nathan 181
Eric L 187
McGee-Fan51 189
The Lost Collector 198

Oh, and a little reminder of the prize that is up for grabs!

Good Luck everyone – enjoy the start of what should be a remarkable year!!!