Daily Archives: March 6, 2013

Kirby Puckett 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic

Kirby Puckett 2005 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic

I really, really like this set.

Upper Deck did a fantastic job of photo selection with their 2005 Sweet Spot Classic release.

But don’t let me try to convince you on my own; have a look at the Kirby Puckett card from that issue:

VINTAGE PUCKETT

I told you – simply G-R-E-A-T!!!

And while I normally may not be a huge fan of all of the Bronze accents that are featured in both the header and footer of the card, they work very well with this one.

A great addition to my Kirby Puckett player collection – YES!!!

If they all played the game with the joy and smiles that Puckett brought to the field we would all be so much better off…

Vince Coleman 1990 Fleer

Vince Coleman 1990 Fleer

The 1990 baseball season was Vince Coleman’s final season as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.  He would sign with the New York Mets during the offseason in 1990.

Coleman still played exceptionally well for the Cards in his final season with them.  He collected 145 hits in 124 games, good for a batting average of .292.  Coleman amassed an on-base percentage of .340 in 1990 en route to scoring 73 runs and stealing 77 bases.

COLEMAN 1990 FLEER

1987 HEADLINE: Andre Dawson Signs 1-Year ‘Blank Contract’ With The Chicago Cubs

1987 HEADLINE: Andre Dawson Signs 1-Year ‘Blank Contract’ With The Chicago Cubs

And as they say, the rest was history…

After 11 years as an Expos player, Andre and the Expos were at an impasse while negotiating a contract for future employment.  The Expos wanted to low-ball the superstar, and Dawson wanted to be paid comparably to his peers.  Fed up with their shenanigans, Dawson walked out.

Enter the Chicago Cubs.  Dawson wanted to play for a team that had its home games on real grass as he felt that the artificial turf would end his playing days prematurely.  Wrigley Field obliged him.  Dawson visited the team during Spring practice causing a minor media frenzy as this kind of bold move was not commonplace in that era.  He finally met with the team’s management and offered up a ‘blank contract’  In a ‘Pay me what you think I’m worth’ move, Dawson was offered a 1-year $650,000 contract, and while still relatively low at the time for an established star, he signed.

Then he went out on a mission to prove to the Expos that they made a huge mistake and to the Cubs that they got a bargain!!

The result:  .287 batting average, 49 home runs, 137 RBI, 178 hits, 90 runs scored, 11 stolen bases, a trip to the All-star game, A Gold Glove award, and the grand prize of being named the National League’s MVP!!!

I’d say that the Cubs got a steal with that one, huh…

Happy Birthday Willie Stargell!!!!

Happy Birthday Willie Stargell!!!!

Stargell was and still is the pride and joy of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise.  Having played with the team for 21 major league season, Stargell, the city of Pittsburgh, and all Pirates fans share a special bond.

An exceptional ball player, Willie Stargell was dynamic on offense.  He has a lifetime batting average of .282 with 2,232 hits.  His power numbers are solid as he smashed 475 home runs and 423 doubles.  He also scored 1,195 runs during his career while driving in an additional 1,540.

Stargell was a 6-time All-star and he won the MVP Award in 1979 at the age of 39.  Stargell was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.  He also helped lead the Pirates to two World Series championships in 1971 & 1979.

Happy Birthday ‘Pops’!!!

Happy Birthday Octavio ‘Cookie’ Rojas!!

Happy Birthday Octavio ‘Cookie’ Rojas!!

‘Cookie’ Rojas turns 73 years old today.

Most baseball fans know Cookie Rojas as the former 5-time All-Star that spent most of his career playing for the Kansas City Royals and Philadelphia Phillies.  But if you live in South Florida, like Cookie and I do, then you know him as the radio commentator for the Spanish audience of the Florida Marlins.

Rojas put in a solid 16-year big league career.  A utility player, Rojas played every position on the field at some point during those 16 season, including 7 at catcher and even 1 at pitcher in a relief effort back in 1967.

The 5-time All-Star collected 1,660 hits during his playing days en route to a career batting average of .263.  A very highly skilled hitter, Rojas was far from a slugger(just 54 homers), but his incredible ‘eye’ at the plate led to him striking out just 489 times in 6,871 plate appearances. 

Happy Birthday ‘Cookie’!   See you at the ballpark!!!

‘Million Dollar Question’ – If You Could Bust One Box Of Cards That Reminds You Of Your Youth, What Would You Choose??

‘Million Dollar Question’ – If You Could Bust One Box Of Cards That Reminds You Of Your Youth, What Would You Choose??

I have had enough interactions with the readers of this blog to estimate that their range of ages is twenties – sixties.  So, the answer to tonight’s ‘Million Dollar Question’ will certainly be interesting to read.

Ultimately, my goal with this week’s question is to take you back to your youth; back to a time when collecting may have been easier, and more fun, and certainly more affordable…

When you think back to those times, is there a product release that you enjoyed  ripping through more than others?  Is there a specific brand that always netted you with the greatest hits in the set?  Does a specific year’s brand of cards still make you giddy today?

If so, let me hear it!!

For me, if I could rip open one box of cards from my youth it would undoubtedly be 1985 Topps.  This is the first set that I put together as a kid.  I built it by hand, learning how to organize the cards, build a checklist, and seek out commons with one goal in mind.

The 1985 Topps set boasts some pretty highly regarded rookie cards.  From Puckett, Clemens, Davis, Gooden, and McGwire – each of these cards a took turn as the most sought out card in the set at some point.  The set also features some fantastic base cards – from Mattingly to Schmidt to Ripken to Strawberry to Murphy and many, many more.

The 1985 Topps set will always hold a special place in my card-collecting heart.  And just thinking about the opportunity to rip through 36 wax packs makes me drool. 

1985 topps wax box

I can almost taste the gum!!!