Daily Archives: June 7, 2011

Signing Results: Hall Of Famer, Mr. Rod Carew!!!

Signing Results: Hall Of Famer, Mr. Rod Carew!!!

There was no way that I was going to pass up this chance.  Not by a long shot…

I have been wanting a signed baseball of Rod Carew for quite some time now.  So, when the chance presented itself, I jumped at it!

And the result is a gorgeous ball, signed to perfection by one of the most talented hitters in the history of our great sport.

Come see:

Nice, huh?  Indeed!

Carew provided me with a sweet signature and a great inscription to top it off!!!

Carew’s numbers are unreal – as was his talents.  Take a peek:  1st ballot Hall of Famer, 3053 hits, .328 lifetime batting average, 7 batting titles, 2 seasons of at least 200 hits, 1967 Rookie of the Year, 1977 Most Valuable Player, 353 stolen bases, All-Star in 18 of 19 seasons.

You better believe that I am thrilled about this one!!!  Time to make some room on the ‘top’ shelf!!!

Andre Dawson 1982 Montreal Expos Hygrade Meats Baseball Card

Andre Dawson 1982 Montreal Expos Hygrade Meats Baseball Card

Man, I just love when I see something new that relates to Andre Dawson and collectibles that honor his career.

So when I found this 1982 Hygrade Meats card on Ebay a few weeks ago, I had to scoop it up!  Hell, I had never seen or heard of one of these cards prior.

A true, and I have to imagine, rare find. 

Go Me!!!

Wade Boggs 1990 Donruss ‘Baseball’s Best’

Wade Boggs 1990 Donruss ‘Baseball’s Best’

Donruss included Wade Boggs in their 1990 subset called ‘Baseball’s Best.

And rightfully so!

My favorite stat of Boggs’ from that 1990 baseball season?  19

Wade Boggs led the American League in walks during the 1990 baseball season with 19.  In a spot usually reserved for power hitters that had a knack for driving in runs, it was Boggs who was the most feared by the opposition.  Not Canseco or Fielder or Bell or McGwire, but Wade Boggs.  With 19 intentional walks given to him in 1990, the teams he was playing said that they would rather face a slugger with him on base than face him.

Just one of the many reasons that Boggs was one of my favorite hitters as a kid – PURE TALENT!!!

Did You Know…

Maury Wills set a major league record in 1962 for competing in 165 games.

Unreal!!!!

Happy Birthday Thurmon Munson!!!

Happy Birthday Thurmon Munson!!!

Today we celebrate the birthday and marvelous career of Mr. Thurmon Munson.

An 11-year veteran, that spent his full career in New York wearing pinstripes, Munson was and still is a beloved Yankee.

Taken from us way to early, Munson passed away at the age of 32 in an airplane accident.

Still, what he was able to accomplish in just over a decade on the baseball field is what to this day holds him in very high regards in New York and in the baseball world.

The stats:  1970 Rookie of the Year, 1976 AL Most Valuable Player, 7-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glove winner, 2 World Series titles, and the hearts of millions.

Happy Birthday Mr. Munson.  You are missed dearly!!!

Albert Pujols Proves Once Again Who The Most Dangerous Hitter In The Game Is…

Albert Pujols Proves Once Again Who The Most Dangerous Hitter In The Game Is…

Baseball has not seen a weekend like the one that Albert Pujols delivered in a very, very long time.

In case you missed it, here are a few notes:

Friday, June 3:  1-for-3 with a home run, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored.

Saturday, June 4:  3-for-4 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, and 4 RBI.

Sunday, June 5:  2-for-4 with a home run, 1 RBI, and 2 runs scored.

Oh yeah, two of his home runs were of the game-winning, walk-off type!!! 

Congratulations Albert, we’ve been waiting to see this from you since April!!  Keep it up!!!

‘On The Road With psuGator02′ – Milwaukee Brewers – June 4&5, 2011

‘On The Road With psuGator02′ – Milwaukee Brewers – June 4, 2011

Marlins vs. Brewers
Sun Life Stadium
Saturday, May 4
Miami Gardens

POSTGAME AT BUS

RICKIE WEEKS: 2/2 help (’09 Ginters) in blue Sharpie
PRINCE FIELDER: 1/1 help (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie
COREY HART: 1/1 help (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie
MICHAEL IRVIN: I had great info on him throwing out the first pitch but missed him arriving by five minutes and missed him departing by 40 minutes.
BOB UECKER: 0/1…Graphers pissed him off so much last year or maybe it was the year before that he doesn’t even acknowledge you

MORAL OF THE DAY: You’d be surprised at the nice arrangements that come to you when you’re nice to people.

Marlins vs. Brewers
Sun Life Stadium
noon-6 p.m.
Sunday, May 5
Miami Gardens

PREGAME BEHIND DUGOUT

CRAIG COUNSELL: 1/2 (’97 Marlins’ program) in blue Sharpie…..not a soul wanted him but he couldn’t do the second?

POSTGAME AT BUS

CARLOS GOMEZ: 1/1 (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie, 1/1 help (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie
YUNIESKY BETANCOURT: 1/1 (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie
SERGIO MITRE: 1/1 (’03 Marlins’ team photo)….Already had Willis, Uggla, Hanley Jacobs, Cabrera, Olivo and JWill, and Mitre was the last one I needed. Piece looks sweet
RYAN BRAUN: 1/1 help (’08 Ginter) in blue Sharpie…he wouldn’t do it outside the gate but he did it inside the gate 🙂
CASEY McGEHEE: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB) in blue ink

Tim Lincecum Set To Join Elite ‘K’ Company

Tim Lincecum Set To Join Elite ‘K’ Company

By Chris Haft / MLB.com 

SAN FRANCISCO — Poised to join an elite contingent of strikeout artists, Tim Lincecum attempted to identify the club’s existing members.

“Roger Clemens,” Lincecum said the other day.

Wrong.

Lincecum tried again.

“Pedro Martinez.”

Uh-uh.

A hint of desperation crept into Lincecum’s voice.

“Randy,” he blurted, referring to ex-teammate Randy Johnson.

No, no and no.

Lincecum was on the right track, given the prodigious strikeout totals of the pitchers he mentioned. But the parameters defining this group exclude most of the game’s enduring strikeout kings while favoring the precocious fast starters.

Lincecum needs five strikeouts Monday night against Washington to become the eighth pitcher in baseball’s modern era (since 1900) to amass 1,000 strikeouts in his first five Major League seasons.

Regardless of the standards, Lincecum’s impending accomplishment is a remarkable one, mainly because it has been reached by so few.

Lincecum’s predecessors are a mix of stars who will forever occupy Cooperstown’s orbit (Grover Cleveland Alexander, Tom Seaver and Bert Blyleven) and supernovas whose flame diminished for one reason or another (Dwight Gooden, Mark Langston, Hideo Nomo and Kerry Wood). Due to injury or lack of innings, each of the greats Lincecum cited — Clemens, Martinez and Johnson — fell just short of earning the distinction.

There’s no way to tell whether Lincecum is destined for Hall of Fame enshrinement or something less. What’s certain is that his upcoming feat, along with his renowned ability, numerous accomplishments and undeniable charisma, further legitimizes him as one of the most singular performers of this era.

“It’s an honor,” Lincecum said of his imminent feat. “Hopefully it doesn’t stop here.”

Likely, it won’t.

Lincecum, who will turn 27 on June 15, is still evolving as a pitcher. He began using his slider effectively only last year, giving him another alternative to the fastball that still approaches 95 mph, a darting curveball and a changeup that dives like a split-finger fastball, making it almost impossible to hit.

“You change with the times,” said Lincecum, the National League’s Cy Young Award winner in 2008 and ’09. “Once guys kind of get a knack for seeing you and know what you’ve got, they’re not going to swing at the same stuff that they used to. You have to work around that. It’s about constantly making adjustments. You’re constantly trying to improve yourself.”

Despite the familiarity Lincecum referred to, he remains capable of confusing hitters with his long-striding delivery, which hides the ball from the hitter until the last possible instant. Nomo, with his twisting windup, also disrupted hitters’ timing regardless of what the ball did.

Colorado Rockies skipper Jim Tracy, who managed Nomo during the Japanese right-hander’s days in Los Angeles, comprehended the trait linking Lincecum and Nomo.

“Is there some deception with that? Maybe,” Tracy said.

Tracy noted other similarities between Nomo and Lincecum, which happen to be qualities common to most elite pitchers.

“Both guys know how to pitch to different parts of the strike zone. They don’t stay in one area,” Tracy said. “They change eye levels. They throw the ball up, they throw the ball down, they throw the ball in, they throw it out. They’re very, very unpredictable.”

Interestingly enough, Lincecum is scaling the 1,000-K peak shortly after a stretch when his strikeout rate decreased. He had 13 in 21 2/3 innings during a three-start stretch spanning May 16-27. But Lincecum (5-4) won twice in that span, which included a three-hit shutout of Oakland. The right-hander struck out “only” six that night.

“He knows we don’t want him going for strikeouts — just get outs,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after that game. “Keep pounding the strike zone. If they put it in play, fine. We don’t want the mindset from any of our pitchers that we’re going to try for strikeouts.”

To a certain extent, Lincecum still equates strikeouts with effectiveness.

“I always feel like I should be a strikeout-per-inning kind of guy,” he said.

And there’s no denying the strikeout’s sheer efficiency.

“It means the batter doesn’t put the ball in play,” said Blyleven, employing unassailable logic.

That makes the strikeout an ultimate goal in particular situations.

“Say a guy’s on third with no outs or one out. You want to get a strikeout or hopefully a well-placed ground ball,” Lincecum said. “When you know you have the ability to get guys out in that fashion, it kind of makes the game easier on yourself.”

In contemporary baseball, with every team slavishly following the gospel of pitch counts, managers and coaches espouse inducing quick outs on harmlessly batted balls. The masters of pitching, regardless of era or ERA, always have realized this.

“I came up at 19 and, of course, you want to strike out the world,” said Blyleven, who exceeded 219 strikeouts in each of his first six full seasons. “But I think as time goes by and you get your innings in, you realize that strikeouts do take up a lot of pitches, and if you can get the guy out on one pitch, you’re OK with it.”

Even Wood — the fastest in Major League history to reach 1,000 strikeouts in games (134) and innings (853)– has distanced himself from the glamour of the strikeout. Now a reliever for the Chicago Cubs, Wood said, “Strikeouts are overrated unless there’s two on and one out and runners at second and third and you need a couple strikeouts — and then they’re not overrated. It’s just part of the game.”

But when the count reaches two strikes, the strikeout suddenly becomes the most pitch-efficient method of retiring the hitter.

“I think you pitch to contact until you get to two strikes, and then you want the strikeout,” said Blyleven, who finished his 22-year career with 3,701 K’s.

Compiling strikeouts, as with virtually everything else in baseball, can be a state of mind.

“Even as I got older — into my late 30s, or even at 40 — if you got two strikes on the guy, yeah, you want to strike him out,” Blyleven said. “That strikeout thing is still there. I think it’s in everybody’s mind.”

It certainly is when Lincecum takes the mound.