Daily Archives: February 17, 2012

Heavy-Hearted

Heavy-Hearted

My friends, I sit here tonight with a heavy heart.

First it was Sparky Anderson.

Then it was Ron Santo.

And now, Gary Carter.

I never got to see Sparky play the game or manage the Reds, but I have read and learned a lot about the Hall of Fame manager.  My personal memories of him revolve around the Detroit Tigers.

I never saw Ron Santo play baseball, his career was over before I took my first steps.  Santo was, and still is, cherished by the Chicago Cubs and when I lived there, I learned about him and also watched him on TV and listened to him on the radio.

But Gary Carter is different – I watched him play, I watched him excel, and I watched him become a Hall of Famer.  From his last few years in Montreal to his triumph as a New York Mets player to his days of broadcasting for the Marlins – Gary Carter and I had a 25+ year relationship.

As the news of Carter’s passing hits ‘Day Two’, it has now settled in with me.

Like many, I don’t take the news of death very well.  And in the case of Carter’s, some of the more recent news about his health led me believe that his life was nearing the end.  Still, it is tough when a ‘hero’ passes along.

Gary, I hope that you are pain-free.  I hope that your family begins to find peace during this extremely hard time.

Thank you for all of the memories.  Thank you for representing the glorious sport of baseball in the way that you did.

You will be missed!!

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Johnny Bench 1981 Topps Record Breakers

Johnny Bench 1981 Topps Record Breakers

This card of Johnny Bench comes from the 1981 Topps baseball card set, and more specifically the part of the set that was tagged as ‘Record Breakers’.

The card honors Bench for becoming the all-time leader for home runs hit in a career by a catcher.

From the back of the card – Cincinnati, Ohio, October 5, 1980.  Reds’ catcher Johnny Bench has finished the season as the all-time leading slugger among backstops.  Johnny belted 23 round-trippers while catching in 1980, giving him a lifetime total of 323 4-baggers while wearing the ‘tools of ignorance’.  The former major league record for home runs by a catcher was 313 held by Hall of Famer, Yogi Berra.

Good stuff!

Jim Palmer 2001 Topps Stars

Jim Palmer 2001 Topps Stars

Kind of a funky one here, right??

Have a look:

With tons of ‘extra’ graphic elements, a baseball card like this is sure to catch your eye.

Now, you just have to decide if you like all of that ‘extra’ stuff.  Between the star in the background, silver highlights, and set-specific logo, my vote is in….

YES, I am digging it!!!  Kind of Groovy, if you ask me!!!

Did You Know…

Andre Dawson is the most recent enshrined member of the Baseball Hall of Fame to also have won the Rookie Of The Year.  Dawson won the NL ROY award in 1977, and was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2010.

Prior to Dawson, the most recent player enshrined at Cooperstown that also won the ROY award was Cal Ripken Jr.