Daily Archives: November 17, 2011

My First Johnny Bench Game-Used Jersey Card Is A Beauty!!!

My First Johnny Bench Game-Used Jersey Card Is A Beauty!!!

Simply put, I have wanted one of these for a very long time, and now I finally own one.

And that is all I have to say – Time to let the card speak for itself.

Enjoy!!!

1973 Topps Chicago Cubs Team Cards

1973 Topps Chicago Cubs Team Cards

I scored this 1973 Topps Chicago Cubs team card for a very solid price – just $099.

And since I am collecting all of the team cards that Billy Williams appeared on for my collection of cards that honors his career, it was a no-brainer to nab this one as it was still on my ‘Needs List’.

And just like the base cards from the 1973 Topps set, this card does not offer much in the way of style and design.  In fact, it appears that there was hardly any thought put into that at all…

Have a peek:

Your 2011 NL Cy Young Award Winner – Clayton Kershaw

The first time Joe Torre saw Clayton Kershaw pitch, he compared him to Sandy Koufax. On Thursday, the talented young left-hander took his biggest step yet toward proving that comparison apt by winning the 2011 National League Cy Young Award.

The 23-year-old Texan received 27 of a possible 32 first-place votes and a points total of 207 in balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. Phillies teammates Roy Halladay (133) and Cliff Lee (90) were second and third, with Halladay picking up four first-place votes. The D-backs’ Ian Kennedy, who appeared first on one ballot, placed fourth in the voting.

Kershaw’s Cy Young is the 10th won by a Dodgers pitcher, the first since reliever Eric Gagne in 2003, the first by a Dodgers starter since Orel Hershiser in 1988 and first by a Dodgers lefty since Fernando Valenzuela in his 1981 rookie season.

The Cy Young caps a remarkable breakout season for Kershaw. A 2011 All-Star, Kershaw won the NL’s Triple Crown for pitchers, leading the league with 21 wins (tied), a 2.28 ERA and 248 strikeouts. Koufax (1963, 1965 and 1966) and Dazzy Vance (1924) are the only other Dodgers pitchers to win a Triple Crown. Kershaw also was among the league leaders in opponents’ batting average, innings pitched, complete games, shutouts and WHIP.

Kershaw, 21-5 overall, was earlier this month named winner of a Gold Glove (he led the league with nine pickoffs), the first Dodger to win a Cy Young and Gold Glove in the same year since Hershiser. Kershaw won the Warren Spahn Award as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, won a Players Choice Award for outstanding pitcher in the NL, was named to The Sporting News NL All-Star team, was a finalist for the Roberto Clemente Award and was named Dodgers Pitcher of the Year by MLB.com.

His victory total and ERA were the best by a Dodgers starting pitcher since Hershiser in 1988 and his strikeout total was the highest by a Dodger since Koufax’s 317 in 1966. He was the Dodgers’ first 20-game winner since Ramon Martinez in 1990. Kershaw went 13-1 over the second half, was 12-1 at Dodger Stadium and finished the season with eight consecutive wins.

Kershaw began his third full season in the Major Leagues as the Opening Day starter and ended it by becoming the youngest 20-game winner in the Major Leagues since 20-year-old Dwight Gooden of the Mets in 1985 and the youngest Dodgers 20-game winner since 21-game winner Ralph Branca in 1947. He went 12-2 against the NL West, 5-0 against the Giants and 4-0 against their ace, two-time Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum.

Kershaw’s charitable work, which led to the Clemente nomination, includes an organization called Arise Africa, which raises money to help build orphanages in Zambia. Kershaw plans to make a second visit to the African nation this winter with his wife, Ellen, and donated $100 per strikeout to the organization this season as a part of his “Kershaw’s Challenge” program in hopes of building another orphanage.

Kershaw, who earned $500,000 in 2011, is eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. The Dodgers are not likely to lock him up long-term because they control him for another three years and it would make financial sense to the club only if it were to buy up several years of his free agency. But with that would come the risk of making a long-term deal for a pitcher.

Ozzie Smith 1997 Fleer

Ozzie Smith 1997 Fleer

Ozzie’s final season in the big leagues was 1996, but Fleer decided to cash in one extra time by putting the highly-collected Smith in their 1997 base set.

During that final season in 1996, Ozzie played in 82 games and collected 64 hits.  Of the 64 hits, he connected for 10 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 home runs!  Ozzie scored 36 runs in those contests while driving in 18.  He also made his final All-Star game appearance in 1996 – the 15th of his grand career!!!

Happy Anniversary Willie McCovey!!!

Happy Anniversary Willie McCovey!!!

On this day in 1959, Willie McCovey won the National League’s Rookie of the Year award.

The Giants’ player had a stellar debut – and he played in just 52 games!!!

But that was all that ‘Stretch’ needed to stake his claim as the league’s best rookie.  In those 52 contests, he posted a .354 batting average as he collected 68 hits in 192 at-bats.  And of those 68 hits, 9 were doubles, 5 were triples, and 13 were home runs.  McCovey also drove in 38 runs while scoring another 32.

McCovey’s debut was so impressive that he took all 24 first place votes for the ROY.

Happy Anniversary Mr. McCovey!!!

Happy Birthday Tom Seaver!!!

Happy Birthday Tom Seaver!!!

Tom Seaver turns 67 years old today.

‘Tom Terrific’ really put up some amazing numbers over the course of his career.  He was so good and so consistently at the top of his game that he took quite a bit of the spotlight from the game’s other great pitchers from that era.

Deserving every accolade thrown his way, Seaver was a 3-time Cy Young award winner, a Rookie of the Year winner, a 12-time All-star, and a 1st ballot Hall of Famer.  His impressive resume includes 311 career wins, a 2.86 ERA, 3,640 strikeouts, and a 6.8 strikeout per 9 innings pitched ratio.

Happy Birthday Mr. Seaver!!!