Daily Archives: December 19, 2011

Andre Dawson 2011 Topps Update – Blue Diamond #/60

Andre Dawson 2011 Topps Update – Blued Diamond #/60

Just another in what seems like a the never-ending parallel versions of Topps cards issued of Andre Dawson by Topps in 2011.

For me, this one is just a bit too much.  Actually, it is a lot too much.  Way too busy, and way too Blue if you ask me…

But as someone who is fully dedicated to building one of the most complete Andre Dawson collections around, I push onward as I try to get them all!!!


Rickey Henderson 2002 Upper Deck ‘World Series Heroes’

Rickey Henderson 2002 Upper Deck ‘World Series Heroes’

This card is an award winner, at least in my book it is.

First, here is the card:

Now on to why I find it so appealing…

The Gold scattered throughout the card is what does it for this collector.  Obviously Rickey is holding a pair of Gold cleats – celebrating his 11 stolen bases during the 1989 baseball postseason.  The other elements of Gold – the Upper Deck logo, team logo, and frame around Rickey’s picture – are perfect additions to the card.

We have all seen when a card’s design goes a bit overboard.  This one comes close to that line with the amount of Gold used, but it does not cross the line.

Good stuff!

Dennis Eckersley 1981 Fleer

Dennis Eckersley 1981 Fleer

Not too many people recall that ‘Eck’ pitched for the Boston Red Sox during his career.

But, I think that most people would agree that this photo used for Eck’s 1981 Fleer baseball card is more reminiscent of one of those souvenir magazine covers than that of a real, true big league player.


Happy Birthday Al Kaline!!!

Happy Birthday Al Kaline!!!

Al Kaline turns 77 years old today.

Back when the Detroit Tigers were a more meaningful and powerful franchise, they were led by the sensational Al Kaline.

Kaline spent 22 years in the major leagues, and he called Tiger Stadium home for the duration of that time.  A 15-time All-Star with the club, Kaline was on par with the game’s greatest talents from the 1950’s and 1960’s.

The member of the 1980 Baseball Hall of Fame class, Kaline collected 3,007 hits during his career along with 1,622 runs scored, 1,583 RBI, 399 home runs, and 137 stolen bases.  He won 10 Gold Gloves for his excellent play in the outfield as well.  Never an MVP, he did finish in the Top 10 on 9 separate occasions.

Kaline was the offensive leader of the Tigers team that won the 1968 World Series.  In 7 games, he hit .379 while connecting for 11 hits, including 2 doubles and 2 home runs.

Happy Birthday Mr. Kaline!!

“A Tribute To My Grandfather” By Mark Cooper aka ‘PSUGator02’

“A Tribute To My Grandfather” By Mark Cooper aka ‘PSUGator02′

My 88-year-old grandfather, Norman E. Cooper, passed away Friday, December 16, 2011. Today I was looking through some signed baseballs — I needed to find one for a trade — and I came across something that I will forever cherish. On Saturday, March 23, 1996, I dragged my grandfather out of bed, hoping he would join me in a promotion organized by a local radio station. Ever want to hit on the field in a real MLB batting cage? Well, now was my chance. I knew that none of my friends would want to get up early enough so I would have to convince my grandmother to get grandpa to join me. I knew that I’d be able to sweet-talk her (for some reason she always sided with me). It wasn’t long before I was at their door.

Neither of us knew what we were in for. We arrived and were ushered toward the seats behind home plate, where we waited to enter the field through the home dugout. Somewhere there exists a picture of that day. I’ll never forget my grandfather, bald even then because of a bout with malaria during World War II, wearing that batting helmet that was a few sizes too small. He stepped into the batters’ box and watched as a few pitches passed him by. I’m going to guess and say that he probably made contact with four pitches out of 20. Not bad for a man who was 73 at the time. After he was through he looked around to see if he was, in fact, the oldest person there. When he was sure he was, he tried to convince a local sportswriter that a story about “The oldest man to hit a pitch today” might make for a great read in the next day’s paper. The writer got his name and phone number, but never did call him. Nonetheless, grandpa was so proud of his feat that he retold the story whenever he got the chance.

My grandpa is no longer with me. In his place, I have fond memories of attending St. Louis Cardinals’ games with him at the old Busch Stadium, of visiting the Baseball Hall of Fame for the first time in 1986, of him sneaking down to the stage to get a good picture as I was handed my diploma upon graduating from the University of Florida in 1994. I also have a baseball that he gave me that day in 1996 when he and I hit in the batting cages. I took one look at it a few minutes ago and I couldn’t stop crying.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t share a picture of the ball. On the sweetspot, he inscribed, “To Mark, My #1 fan, 3/23/96” and then on the panel he signed his name. The ball was actually used that day and may have even been one he hit. It now becomes my most cherished possession. He touched the lives of many people, especially mine.

Norman Cooper: 1/1 (Game-used ball) in black ink with “To Mark, My #1 fan, 3/23/96” inscribed on the sweetspot and his signature on the side panel