Daily Archives: March 6, 2014

Giancarlo Stanton 2010 Topps Turkey Red

Giancarlo Stanton 2010 Topps Turkey Red

As he prepares to start the fifth major league season of his professional career, Giancarlo Stanton is prepping to take the lead role for the Miami Marlins offense.

Entering the season, Stanton will be just 24-years old.  And now, more than ever, the team’s offense is built for him to be the leader – the run producer.

Stanton has already amassed 117 home runs and 294 RBI in the 489 games in which he has played.  And when healthy, he has proven to be a solid contact hitter as well.

As we enter the start of the 2014 season, I am eager to see him put it all together.  And with some of the pieces that will be surrounding him in the lineup, I would love to see a .280/40/110 season out of him.

Can he do it?  Absolutely.  Will some things need to fall in place to help make it happen?  You bet.  The Marlins will need a lot out of the player batting before and immediately after him to make this work.   And they also need to decide if he should be batting 3rd or 4th as he was juggled between both spots in the lineup last year.

Get on board – I think 2014 is going to be the year that this young guy breaks out!!!

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1975 Topps Set Card 33/660 – #70 – Mike Schmidt, Phillies

1975 Topps Set Card 33/660 – #70 – Mike Schmidt, Phillies

Progress: 33/660

Player Name:  Mike Schmidt

Card Number:  70

Team:  Philadelphia Phillies

Position:  Third Base

Image Style: Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues:  18 years, 1972-89

Notes From His 1975 Season:  By the time that the 1975 baseball season rolled around, the 25-year old Schmidt was playing like a veteran.  And at the conclusion of the season, his home run numbers led the league with 38 round-trippers.  He would also be the league leader in strikeouts with 180 in 158 games played.

Notes From Career:  Schmidt is one of the greatest legends from his era.  A slugger that launched mammoth home runs, Schmidt also played incredible defense at third base.  He is a 12-time All-Star, 10-time Gold Glove winner, 6-time Silver Slugger winner, 3-time league MVP, member of the 500-HR Club, World Series champion, and Hall of Famer.

70

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 Miami 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!!!

‘Wednesday’s Word Association’ – When I Hear The Name “Topps Heritage”, I Think Of…

‘Wednesday’s Word Association’ – When I Hear The Name “Topps Heritage”, 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 Name “Topps Heritage”, I Think Of…

Today is release day.  And on this day, the new 2014 Topps Heritage issue becomes available to collectors for the first time.

Many collectors are excited about this.  I am not one of them…  I’ll grab my Marlins team set, a few cards for my player collections and then I am done.  No packs, no box breaks, nada.

When I got back into the hobby of baseball card collecting 5 ½ years ago, I was immediately drawn to the Heritage theme as I always had a strong liking for vintage card design, especially the ones from my youth.  And I thought it would be neat to see modern players featured in modern sets with those old-school looks.  Topps’ Heritage, Archives, and Fan-Favorites give us precisely that.

But now, I am bored by most of it.  Sure, I like the idea.  But I think it has morphed into way more than it should be.  And it has invaded more and more products as the years have passed.

So, when I hear ‘Topps Heritage’, the first thing that I think of is ‘PLAYED OUT’.

Topps Heritage

If Topps kept this special, I think it would be so much better.  As much as I like insert sets and seeing modern players featured on classic baseball card designs, it is just too much right now.  And in my eyes, it has made the Heritage brand not as special as it should be.  Sure, the Heritage set is the one that truly pays homage to the full set from that collecting year, as is stays true to the card style, the variations, and errors, but as we get closer and closer to the Heritage sets that will honor the great sets of the 1970’s and 1980’s, we will have already seen modern Topps products that features the 1971, 1972, 1975, 1980, 1983, 1987, and many more card designs.

And it is at that point that I think that Topps Heritage will sink.

This is just my opinion, but if you are a Topps Heritage fan, I would suggest that you enjoy the next few years because once we get into the designs of the 1970’s, you’re going to feel like you’ve seen all of this before…

What do you think?  What Is The First Things When You Think Of When You Hear ‘Topps Heritage’?

Let me hear it!!