Daily Archives: February 13, 2014

Reggie Jackson 1984 Donruss

Reggie Jackson 1984 Donruss

Yep, we’re going to be taking you back for this card.

Back to 1984!  And it is very hard for me to believe that this baseball card set is now 30 years old.  I guess that means that I have been collecting for 29 years – WHOA!!!

Back in 1984, players were OK with wearing eyeglasses on the field.

Back in 1984, the Angels resided in California.

Back in 1984, Reggie Jackson’s mustache was one of the most popular and longest-running crops of facial hair in the game.

Back in 1984, Donruss’ baseball card design was tagged as ‘unique’.

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Giancarlo Stanton 2013 Bowman Platinum

Giancarlo Stanton 2013 Bowman Platinum

Man, I really, really hope that we get to see a lot of this backswing in 2014.  I would love to see Stanton lead the National League in home runs this year while playing in 150+ games.

If he does play in that many games, he will get at least 100 more at-bats than he had in 2013.  And if that math works out, we could be looking at another 7-10 home runs.

The image featured on Stanton’s 2013 Bowman Platinum baseball card is something all Marlins fans want to see in 2014!

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G0 Get ‘Em Kid!!!

1975 Topps Set Card 15/660 – #26 – Dave McNally, Orioles

1975 Topps Set Card 15/660 – #26 – Dave McNally, Orioles

Progress: 15/660

Player Name:  Dave McNally

Card Number: 26

Team:  Baltimore Orioles

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style: Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues:  14, 1962-75

Notes From His 1975 Season:  1975 was McNally’s final season in the major leagues.  He started 12 games for the Orioles compiling a 3-6 record with a 5.24 ERA.  In 77 innings of work, McNally allowed 88 hits and 50 runs while both striking out and walking 36 batters.

Notes From Career:  McNally won 20 or more games in each season from 1968-71.  He has a career win percentage of 60.7% and a record of 184-119.  He was an American League All-Star three times and finished in the ‘Top 4’ for the Cy Young Award  three times – 1969, 1970, 1971.  McNally made it to the postseason six times and has a record of 7-4 with 2 World Series titles won.

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Derek Jeter 2014 Topps – Base Card

Derek Jeter 2014 Topps – Base Card

In the wake of Derek Jeter announcing that the 2014 baseball season would be his final year as a major league player, I thought that it was only fitting to feature his card from the 2014 Topps Series 1 base set as the first single that I show off from this set.

I was not at all surprised to find Derek Jeter on the 2014 Topps Series 1 checklist.  He has earned the right to be included in each and every baseball card set produced until he retires.  And Topps will more than likely give that to us.

I do, however, think that inserting Jeter into Series 2 would have been a better idea.  Series 1 tends to be a bit more about the young player and possible rookies that will impact the game.  And Series 2 is more about the current position of the league and its stars.  Since Jeter suited up and played in just 17 games in 2013 due to injury, I think his spot in the Series 1 release could have been given to a more deserving young prospect allowing for DJ to make his debut in Series 2, which comes out when he will be back on the field.

Still, I will NEVER complain about adding another card of the Yankees captain to my collection.

Here is his base card from the 2014 Topps Series 1 release:

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Johnny Bench 2013 Topps – 1972 mini

Johnny Bench 2013 Topps  – 1972 mini

WHAT AN IMAGE!!!

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Topps hit it out of the park on this one.  Not only is the image used on this card of Johnny Bench from the 1972 mini subset that was part of the 2013 Topps flagship brand a perfect blast back to Bench’s MVP days, but the way that it shows off his vintage catcher’s gear is outstanding.

Just look at what he is wearing – and compare it to today’s catching gear.

Between the chest protector, the mask, the helmet, and the glove, baseball equipment has come a very long way.  And while I will always choose old-school over modern, I am happy to see that our players today are better protected and cared for – very few of today’s catchers would wear what Bench was wearing in the early 1970’s.

Derek Jeter To Retire At The Conclusion Of The 2014 Baseball Season

Derek Jeter To Retire At The Conclusion Of The 2014 Baseball Season

From MLB.com

TAMPA, Fla. – Derek Jeter started his career as a fresh-faced rookie shortstop hoisting the World Series trophy in his first full season. He would go on to collect five championship rings, more than 3,000 hits and the celebrated title of Yankees captain.

As Jeter prepares to enter what will be his 20th season in the big leagues, he has acknowledged that the ride is coming to an end. Jeter announced Wednesday that the 2014 season will be his final one, doing so via a lengthy Facebook post.

Jeter will turn 40 in June and said that the numerous injuries that he has recently battled — beginning with a left ankle fracture sustained in the 2012 American League Championship Series — have taken their toll, making the game more of a struggle and less enjoyable for the 13-time All-Star.

“The one thing I always said to myself was that when baseball started to feel more like a job, it would be time to move forward,” Jeter said. “So really, it was months ago when I realized that this season would likely be my last.”

Commissioner Bud Selig issued the following statement on Wednesday: “In the 21-plus years in which I have served as Commissioner, Major League Baseball has had no finer ambassador than Derek Jeter. Since his championship rookie season of 1996, Derek has represented all the best of the National Pastime on and off the field. He is one of the most accomplished and memorable players of his — or any — era.

“Derek is the kind of person that generations have emulated proudly, and he remains an exemplary face of our sport. Major League Baseball looks forward to celebrating his remarkable career throughout the 2014 season.”

Jeter’s announcement comes months after longtime teammates Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera took off their uniforms for the final time. The fourth member of the “Core Four,” Jorge Posada, walked away after the 2011 season.

“Derek called me this morning to tell me that he planned to retire following the season,” Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner said. “In our conversation, I told him that I respected his decision because I know he put a lot of thought into it. I also let him know that I thought it was great that he was letting fans know now so they will have a chance to say goodbye to him.”

“He is unquestionably one of the greatest Yankees ever. He has meant so much to fans, the organization, my father and our family. I’m glad we have this year to celebrate everything he has meant to us and all the great things he still stands to accomplish.”

A five-time Silver Slugger Award winner and five-time Gold Glove Award winner, Jeter has spent his entire career in Yankees pinstripes and thanked the Steinbrenner family for giving him the opportunity to play for their team.

“Derek Jeter has been a great representative of what the Yankees have stood for over the years,” manager Joe Girardi said. “He has been a team player who has only cared about winning. He has also been a fine example both on and off the field over his long tenure as a Yankee. It has been a real pleasure to manage him and play alongside him.”

“It has been an incredible honor having a front row seat for one of the great players of all time,” general manager Brian Cashman said. “Derek has been a winner every step of the way. I am already looking forward to an exciting final chapter of his storied career.”

Jeter has been working out for several weeks at the Yanks’ complex in Tampa, Fla., taking ground balls and batting practice to prepare for what he has repeatedly called “a normal spring.” He left the Himes Avenue complex before Wednesday’s announcement was published, but agent Casey Close confirmed that it was legitimate.

In his note, Jeter suggested that he has been wrestling with the decision and the best way to announce it for some time.

“As I came to this conclusion and shared it with my friends and family, they all told me to hold off saying anything until I was absolutely 100 percent sure,” Jeter said. “And the thing is, I could not be more sure. I know it in my heart.”

Jeter’s career has long carried something of a storybook aura. He grew up in Kalamazoo, Mich. fantasizing about playing for the Yankees, having been introduced to the team by summer visits to his grandmother’s New Jersey home.

He was selected by the Yankees in the first round of the 1992 First-Year Player Draft and made it to the big leagues by the end of 1995, taking hold of a starting job to begin the ’96 campaign. Jeter said that he has been “living my dream every single day” since.

That dream included reaching the 3,000-hit milestone, which he did in style. His third-inning home run on July 9, 2011 was good for No. 3,000 and came in the middle of a game in which he went 5-for-5 and drove in the game-winning run.

“I’ve experienced so many defining moments in my career: winning the World Series as a rookie shortstop, being named the Yankees captain, closing the old and opening the new Yankee Stadium. Through it all, I’ve never stopped chasing the next one. I want to finally stop the chase and take in the world.

“For the last 20 years I’ve been completely focused on two goals: playing my best and helping the Yankees win,” he continued. “That means that for 365 days a year, my every thought and action were geared toward that goal. It’s now time for something new.”

Coming off a season in which he was limited to just 17 games and served four stints on the disabled list, Jeter’s actions have suggested that he was uncertain how much longer he would play.

Jeter negotiated a one-year deal at $12 million after the season, which in hindsight may serve as a window into his thinking. Jeter announced that he was launching a book publishing imprint in partnership with Simon & Schuster last November, and also joined an Atlanta-based food company, Luvo Inc., in January.

“I have achieved almost every personal and professional goal I have set,” Jeter said. “I have gotten the very most out of my life playing baseball, and I have absolutely no regrets. Now it is time for the next chapter. I have new dreams and aspirations, and I want new challenges.

“There are many things that I want to do in business and philanthropic work, in addition to focusing more on my personal life and starting a family of my own. And I want the ability to move at my own pace, see the world and finally have a summer vacation.”

By making his announcement so early, Jeter has ensured that 2014 will likely serve as a sendoff celebration of his career — similar to the tour that Rivera enjoyed last season, with ceremonies held in each city that the Yankees visited. His final games would be played in Boston, against the rival Red Sox on Sept. 26-28 at Fenway Park.

He will have milestones to chase: Jeter enters the season as the Yankees’ all-time leader with 3,316 hits, three behind Paul Molitor for eighth place on the all-time list. Carl Yastrzemski (3,419) and Honus Wagner (3,420) are also within reach. By retiring at the end of the season, Jeter would be eligible for Hall of Fame consideration in 2020.

Jeter’s past actions and career-long mantra suggest that he will not find the increased attention to be distractions from his ultimate goal. Rather, Jeter seems to be welcoming it.

“I want to soak in every moment of every day this year, so I can remember it for the rest of my life,” Jeter said. “And most importantly, I want to help the Yankees reach our goal of winning another championship.”

‘Wednesday’s Word Association’ – When I Hear The Term “Phenom”, I Think Of…

‘Wednesday’s Word Association’ – When I Hear The Term “Phenom”, I Think Of…

From dictionary.com:

Word Association, Noun.  

Definition – the connection and production of other words in response to a given word, done spontaneously as a game, creative technique, or in a psychiatric evaluation.

Ex: Dog –> Bark

‘Wednesday’s Word Association’ – When I Hear The Term “Phenom”, I Think Of…

The last post about the Giancarlo Stanton & Jose Fernandez card got me thinking about the great young stars in the league.  And these guys have been called every name/term in the book.

One word that always sticks is ‘Phenom’.

So, tonight’s ‘Word Association Wednesday’ is When I Hear The Term “Phenom”, I Think Of…

And my answer is not the most obvious, but he certainly deserves the attention that the work ‘Phenom’ receives.  I go with Stephen Strasburgh.

From a young age, Stras has been compared to all of the right-handed greats.  Leading up to his drafting as the #1 MLB pick, he had all eyes on him.  And as he dominated the college ranks, the number of fans grew immensely.  And now, as one of the bright, young stars of the game, Stephen Strasburg is poised to elevate his game to the next level – to put himself on par with the best in the game.  He is ready to transform into that ‘Phenom’.

Strasburg

So, When You Hear The Term “Release Date”,  What Is The First Thing That You Think Of??