Daily Archives: November 14, 2011

An Autographed Mike Schmidt Baseball For My Collection!!! YES!!!

An Autographed Mike Schmidt Baseball For My Collection!!!  YES!!!

Mill Creek Sports did it again folks.   This time, it was Mike Schmidt and I took the bait!!!

During part of their ‘Weekly Specials’ they offered up a Mike Schmidt signed baseball, and he just happens to be one of the stars of the 1980’s that was very high on my ‘Need List’.

The ball looks fantastic, and the added ‘HOF’ inscription just adds a little icing to the cake if you know what I mean.

Have a look:

Awesome, huh??  I am really excited about this one.  Schmidt was an unreal talent, and I always respected how he played the game so hard throughout his career – a true legend of the game!!!

Ironically, Schmidt will be making a 1-hour signing appearance at the memorabilia shop near my house next month.  And while I normally jump at these chances to get a piece signed and meet the player in person, the deal I got from Mill Creek was just too good to pass up.  And I saved roughly $40 in the process too!

Thank you Mill Creek Sports!!!

Kimbrel & Hellickson: Your 2011 ROYs

Braves closer Craig Kimbrel and Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson received high honors for their outstanding first full seasons in the Major Leagues on Monday, as they were named the winners of this year’s Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards.

Kimbrel, 23, won the National League’s award in a unanimous decision, receiving all 32 first-place votes cast by two writers in each league city. He was the 10th NL player to win the award unanimously and the 17th overall.

Hellickson joined teammate Evan Longoria to become the second player in Tampa Bay team history to be recognized as the American League’s top rookie. He received 17 of 28 first-place votes for 102 points. Angels first baseman Mark Trumbo received five first-place votes and finished second with 63 points. Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer was third with 38 points and Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova was fourth with 30.

The annual awards were voted on by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Freddie Freeman, a teammate of Kimbrel, finished second in the NL voting, receiving 21 second-place votes and 70 points. He was followed by Phillies pitcher Vance Worley with 40 points. Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos, rescued this past weekend two days after being kidnapped in Venezuela, appeared on four ballots and finished fourth.

Kimbrel, who set a Major League record for saves by a rookie with 46, was the favorite for the award. His saves total led the NL, and he finished with a 2.10 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 77 innings for Atlanta, which narrowly missed out on the playoffs after a late-season slide.

Hellickson, 24, was a workhorse in a young Tampa Bay rotation that helped fuel the Rays to a late-season surge and into the playoffs via the AL Wild Card. He was 13-10 with a 2.95 ERA, ranking eighth in the league in ERA and striking out 117 hitters in 189 innings.

He became the 10th starting pitcher to win the AL award, only the second in the past 30 seasons, and the first since Detroit’s Justin Verlander in 2006.

Kimbrel is the first pitcher to win the NL award since Dontrelle Willis of the Marlins in 2003. It is just the fourth time since each league began honoring a player in 1949 that two pitchers have earned the honor in the same season; the others being Joe Black and Harry Byrd in 1952, Butch Metzger and Pat Zachry (co-winners in the NL) and Mark Fidrych in 1976, and Fernando Valenzuela and Dave Righetti in 1981.

Kimbrel was terrific through the long summer — he did not blow a save in 39 appearances spanning June 11-Sept. 8 and was named to the NL All-Star team by Giants manager Bruce Bochy as a replacement for San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain.

Additionally, Kimbrel was named the Major League Baseball Delivery Man and NL Rookie of the Month in August, before being recognized as the Sporting News’ NL Rookie of the Year at the season’s end.

He notched his 40th save of the season on Aug. 23, tying him with Rangers closer Neftali Feliz, who set the rookie mark last year and was subsequently named the AL Rookie of the Year. Kimbrel set the record for himself with save No. 41 on Aug. 31 against the Nationals. He had three blown saves in the month of September but still led the league in saves, with his last of the season coming on Sept. 23 against the Nationals.

He and Freeman, the Braves first baseman who hit .282 with 21 home runs, were the third set of teammates to finish 1-2 in NL rookie voting. The others were Jack Sanford and Ed Bouchee of the Phillies in 1957 and Jerome Walton and Dwight Smith of the Cubs in 1989.

Hellickson, who was named Rookie of the Year by Baseball America, had his best month in May, when he was 4-1 with a 1.36 ERA and one complete game, earning the AL Rookie and Pitcher of the Month awards. The right-hander went 3-0 in July and 2-0 in September, as the Rays closed a nine-game deficit behind the Red Sox and captured the Wild Card berth.

Dwight Gooden 1993 Topps Stadium Club – Whose Mitt Is Doc Wearing??

Dwight Gooden 1993 Topps Stadium Club – Whose Mitt Is Doc Wearing??

Kind of an odd one here.  But one that I will remember, for sure…

This card is from the 1993 Topps Stadium Club baseball card set.

Now take a look at why it stands out so much for me:

Whose glove is Doc wearing in this photo??  Doesn’t really look like a baseball catcher’s glove does it?  Looks a little too deep and too flat in my eyes…

Maybe it’s Gary Carter’s glove.  Or possibly Ed Hearn’s…

LMAO!!!  🙂

Bob Uecker 2001 Topps Archives – FAIL!!!

Bob Uecker 2001 Topps Archives – FAIL!!!

You all know that I love this set.

But this card is horrible.  It actually looks like a downgrade in this collector’s eyes.

I guess that it was bound to happen, right??  I mean, Topps was so ‘on’ with this set – great design, excellent photo choices, and well though out player choices.

This one must have snuck by the editor during a very late  night…

Sorry, Mr. Uecker.

Happy Anniversary Reginald Martinez Jackson!!

Happy Anniversary Reginald Martinez Jackson!!

On this day in 1973, Reggie Jackson won the American League MVP award in a unanimous vote.

Taking all 24 first-place votes, Reggie easily out-distanced Jim Palmer and Amos Otis who finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

So, how did Jackson convince all of the voters that year??  Well, he let his bat do the talking….

Reggie led the league in five major offensive categories:  99 runs scored, 32 home runs, 117 RBI, .531 slugging percentage, and .914 OPS.

Very valuable indeed!!

Congratulations Mr. Jackson!!!!

Happy Birthday Curt Schilling!!!

Happy Birthday Curt Schilling!!!

Curt Schilling turns 45 years old today.

When you look at Schilling’s career numbers that span over 20 years, they are pretty impressive.  Don’t forget that for the first 12 years of his career he played with the Baltimore Orioles, Houston Astros, and Philadelphia Phillies.  None of these teams were doing much to support their pitchers while Curt was there. 

With 216 career wins, 83 complete games, 3116 strikeouts and 3 20-win seasons under his belt, I wonder where he ranks against some of the other pitchers of his era.  A 3-time runner up for the Cy Young award and a 6-time All-Star, Curt Schilling has accomplished what few pitchers have been able to do.  Curt got better after his 30th birthday; much better!  I know that a lot of this has to do with the fact that he pitched for Arizona and Boston, both of whom he won a World Series with, but his ERA and strikeouts improved as well and those are individual stats.

I am not certain if Schilling is a Hall of Fame worthy player or not, but having 2 World Series rings does not hurt his resume.  Think of all of the 200+ winning pitchers with no championships and all of a sudden Schilling rises to the top.

Happy Birthday Mr. Schilling!!!