Monthly Archives: March 2013

Fergie Jenkins 1982 Topps Originals Certified Autograph Baseball Card

Fergie Jenkins 1982 Topps Originals Certified Autograph Baseball Card

It’s always exciting for me to bring home signed baseball cards of my favorite baseball players.

And for me, I am not really picky as to which kind of autograph it is – sticker, on-card, in-person, through the mail – whatever, just as long as it is nice, clean, and bold!!

I recently ‘stole’ this item off of Ebay.  I paid well under what others had been selling for and it was at a price that worked with my budget.

Have a look:

JENKINS BUYBACK AUTO 1982

The card is from the 1982 Topps set.  And as you can see with the hand-numbering, there were 200 of them pulled for Fergie Jenkins to sign.  The card is serial numbered as 66, and the back features a Topps hologram confirming the legitimacy of the autograph.

YES!!!

Buster Posey Signs 9-Year Extension With Giants

From ESPN.com

The San Francisco Giants have signed Buster Posey to a landmark nine-year, $167 million contract, according to ESPN and multiple other media outlets.

The contract, which is also the longest in Giants history, covers 2013-21, with a team option for 2022. There is also a full no-trade clause for the duration of the contract.

It’s also the most money ever guaranteed to a player with fewer than three years of service time — more than doubling Carlos Gonzalez $80 million contract — and a record guarantee for a player with fewer than four years of service, surpassing Todd Helton’s $151 million deal.

Posey will earn $57 million for his arbitration years — the third-highest ever — and $110 million for his free-agent years, a $22 million average annual value. Before Posey, no catcher had earned more than Mike Napoli’s $20.8 million in his arbitration-eligible years. Posey’s deal nearly triples that.

A source familiar with the negotiations says that Posey will get a $7 million signing bonus and then will receive salaries of $3 million in 2013, $10.5 million in 2014, $16.5 million in 2015, $20 million in 2016 and $21.4 million in each season from 2017-21. The club option in 2022 is for $22 million with a $3 million buyout.

Brooks Robinson 2001 Topps ‘Noteworthy’

Brooks Robinson 2001 Topps ‘Noteworthy’

I am really starting to enjoy this set of cards.

Issued in 2001 during Topps’ ’50 Years of Topps’ celebration, the ‘Noteworthy’ set offers up some really sharp looking baseball cards.

This is the card of Brooks Robinson from the set:

VINTAGE B ROBINSON

Between the fonts being used, the great background design, and a sharp image, this card cannot be beat!!

It is definitely time for me to examine the full checklist – I want to make sure that I don’t miss any others that may look as great as this one.

Justin Verlander Agrees To Record Extension With The Detroit Tigers

From Yahoo Sports

Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has agreed to a multi-year contract extension that could earn him $202 million over the next eight seasons, the richest contract ever for a pitcher.

Due $40 million over the next two seasons on his existing contract, Verlander and the Tigers extended that by $140 million – at an average annual value of $28 million – through the 2019 season. A vesting option for 2020 is worth another $22 million.

The guaranteed portion of the contract – $180 million – surpasses the previous high for a pitcher; Seattle’s Felix Hernandez signed for $175 million over six years in February.

Verlander, who turned 30 in February, is among his generation’s most feared and decorated pitchers. He was the American League’s Cy Young Award winner and Most Valuable Player in 2011. He was second in the Cy Young race last season and was third in 2009. He no-hit the Milwaukee Brewers in 2007, then the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011. He has led the AL in wins (twice), ERA, innings (three times) and strikeouts (three times).

Already having spent big in recent years on Prince Fielder ($214 million) and Miguel Cabrera ($152.3 million), the Tigers – and owner Mike Ilitch – locked up Verlander two seasons before the right-hander could be a free agent. And while long-term deals with pitchers are considered risky, Verlander has made at least 30 starts in each of his seven major-league seasons and at least 33 in every season since 2008.

“Justin is one of the premier pitchers in baseball and we are thrilled to keep him in a Tigers uniform for many years to come,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a Friday morning statement. “Justin has been a Tiger for his entire career and he is on pace to be one of the greatest pitchers in this illustrious franchise’s history.”

Verlander hinted at the contract extension Friday via Twitter, typing, “Today is going to be a great day. Big news coming!”

About 15 minutes later, he added, “I love this city & the fans – couldn’t be more excited to spend my career here! We’re going to bring a World Series to Detroit!!”

George Brett 1987 Donruss Diamond Kings – Ughhhh…

George Brett 1987 Donruss Diamond Kings

Yes, I know that they were immensely popular.  And yes, I know that there are collectors out there that have dedicated their entire collection to this series of cards.

While I appreciate the history of the Diamond Kings subset, I just cannot get behind them the way that other collectors do.

I pick them up for my player collections, and that is it.

I can now scratch the 1987 Donruss Diamond Kings card off of my ‘Want List’ for my new George Brett player collection…

BRETT 11

NEXT!!!

1997 HEADLINE: The Chipper Jones Candy Bar Debuts

1997 HEADLINE: The Chipper Jones Candy Bar Debuts

On this day in 1997, The ‘Chipper Jones Candy Bar’ debuted.

With a recipe very similar to Nestle Crunch, the Chipper Jones candy bar was a combination of Milk Chocolate and crispy rice pieces.

chipper-bar

Now this has me thinking…  How do they decide what kind of candy bar recipe goes for each player’s bar??  Who gets nuggat?  Who gets caramel?  Who gets peanuts???

Happy Birthday Brian Jordan!!!

Happy Birthday Brian Jordan!!!

2-Sport superstar Brian Jordan turns 45 years old today.

Often overlooked because of the attention given to Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders, Brian Jordan was another 2-sport star that excelled at both professional baseball and football.

And while Jackson and Sanders may have left bigger impressions on the football field, Jordan was a much better baseball player.

Blessed with power and speed, Jordan had the tools to be an All-Star on the baseball diamond.  A solid hitter, Jordan sports a career batting average of .282 while also having three .300+ seasons under his belt.  With a flare for both speed and power, Jordan collected 119 stolen bases during his 15-year career and 184 home runs as well.

Jordan was selected as an All-Star in 1999.  He placed in the Top 20 for the MVP on three different occasions with his highest place in 1996 at 8th with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Happy Birthday Mr. Jordan!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Jim Thome!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Jim Thome!!!

As we sit just days before the start of the 2013 baseball season, I like to keep an eye on the list of remaining unsigned free agents to see who might get picked up. 

And while there are some pretty accomplished players on the list, the one player that I am very surprised to see still sitting there is Jim Thome.

Thome is certainly past his prime years, and he has been a part-time player for the last two seasons.  But even at 42, Thome has proved that he still has some pop left in his bat.  In 2011, he competed in 93 games and hit 15 home runs.  And in 2012, he played in 58 games and connected for 8 long-balls. 

To be honest, I am shocked that a team like the Red Sox or Yankees have not reached out to him on a 1-year deal just to add a little more run production and power to their bench.

So, that leads me up to today’s Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Jim Thome!!!

Thome photo

Over the course of his career, Jim Thome has put up some amazing power and run producing numbers.  As of today, he ranks in 7th place on the all-time list for home runs.  He is 24th in all-time RBI.  And he is tied for 50th on the career list for runs scored.

His power and run production is among the greatest in major league baseball history.  And the company that he keeps on those lists is baseball royalty.

But, does Jim Thome’s name deserve to be mentioned among them?  Some of these players are the greatest of all-time – Aaron, Mays, Frank Robinson, and more.  These players possessed all-around skills that Jim Thome did not have.

Thome connected for 40 or more home runs during six seasons.  And he collected between 30-39 home runs six more times.  He also drove in 100 or more RBI in 9 of his 22 major league seasons. 

For all of the production that Thome offered, he fits into the ‘slugger’ theme very well.  Thome led the league in strikeouts during three separate seasons, and with his lifetime strikeouts tally of 2,548, he ranks in second place, just 49 strikeouts behind the leader, Reggie Jackson.

Thome’s career batting average of .276 is solid, but not outstanding.  He reached the .300 mark just three times during his career, while hitting less than .260 during twelve seasons.

Jim Thome has collected 2,328 hits during the course of his major league career.   When looking at the other hitters from his era that have reached similar power numbers, their total hits are much, much higher than what Thome has been able to achieve.  Ken Griffey, Jr had 2,781 hits, Sammy Sosa has 2,408, and Alex Rodriguez has 2,901.  And like Thome, all of these guys spent a lot of their time batting clean-up.

Jim Thome’s teams made it to the post-season ten times.  They appeared in two World Series match-ups losing both.

Thome is a 5-time All-Star.  He won a Silver Slugger Award in 1996 and finished in the ‘Top 7’ for the MVP award four times with his highest placing of 4th coming in 2003.

So, is Jim Thome Hall of Fame worthy???

For me, the answer is ‘No’.  While Thome has apparently put up these power numbers while doing it ‘clean’, his career was basically built off of the fact that he could hit the ball out of the ballpark – and that for me is just not enough.  His career batting average and hits tally are far from impressive for a 22-year player.  And he was never known for being above average at defense or base running.

Jim Thome was a monster slugger – and that is it.  He has a lot of contemporaries that did just what he did for other teams, but some of them did quite a bit more in other parts of the game and those are the ones that deserve consideration for enshrinement.

I may be in the minority with this, but I find Thome to be an extremely good 1-dimensional player.  And that is not Hall of Fame-esque.

Gavel

Now give me your opinion – Is Jim Thome worthy of Hall of Fame enshrinement??

Hank Aaron 2013 Topps ‘Chasing History’

Hank Aaron 2013 Topps ‘Chasing History’

While I am not crazy about the ‘Chasing History’ subset that is part of the 2013 Topps Series 1 release, I have to say that some of the cards in the set look great.

Forget the theme for a minute, and just focus on the style and look of this card of Hank Aaron from the set.

It is magical!!

VINTAGE AARON

I feel like I am in 1974 watching Aaron chase ‘The Babe’.

Jim Palmer 2010 Topps Triple Threads – Green

Jim Palmer 2010 Topps Triple Threads – Green

As we get ready for some of Topps’ more exclusive and expensive issues to make their 2013 debuts, I am still happily picking up a few that I have missed over the last couple of years. 

And thankfully, there are a lot of Palmer cards in modern sets.

This card comes from the 2010 Topps Triple Threads set.  This is the Green parallel version and the card is serial numbered as 125/240.

Enjoy.