Daily Archives: March 8, 2014

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Bryce Harper

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Bryce Harper

With the new 2013 Topps Archives baseball card set release, the ‘Mini Tallboys’ subset is easily one of the best parts of the issue.

The cards from this subset offer a very basic, but throwback feel that screams vintage. The set is 40 cards deep and offers a nice mixture of current players, stars from the 1980′s, and Hall of Fame legends.

This is the card of Bryce Harper from the set:

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As he prepares to enter just his third major league season, it feels as it we have known the name ‘Bryce Harper’ for the better part of ten years.

I cannot recall a player that got as much national attention as Harper did as a teenager, in baseball, that has actually panned out and become an All-Star and face of the sport.

If I could compare Harper to a player from another sport, it would be LeBron James.  The physical gifts, baseball smarts, instinct, and desire to win seem to mirror what LeBron brought to the sport of basketball as a teenager entering his profession.

Hopefully Bryce can take another step down that path in 2014.  I’d love to see him truly break-out!  And I hope that Matt Williams gives him that chance…

Andrew McCutchen 2012 Panini Prizm USA Baseball

Andrew McCutchen 2012 Panini Prizm USA Baseball

Without the dreads, the 2013 NL MVP is hardly recognizable in this posed portrait from his 2012 Panini Prizm USA Baseball card…

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If the image used was a shot of him at the plate or in the field or on the base paths I could more than likely say that I would have guessed correctly, but when faced with just this portrait, I would have been left scratching my head…

1975 Topps Set Card 35/660 – #467 – Ed Halicki, Giants

1975 Topps Set Card 35/660 – #467 – Ed Halicki, Giants

Progress: 35/660

Player Name:  Ed Halicki

Card Number:  467

Team:  San Francisco Giants

Position:  Pitcher

Image Style: Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues:  7 years, 1974-80

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Halicki started 23 games for the Giants in 1975.  He went 9-13 while compiling a 3.49 ERA.  He threw 7 complete games, including 2 shutouts.  In 159 innings of work, he struck out 153 batters while walking just 59.

Notes From Career:  Halicki appeared in 192 games during his career, with 157 starts.  He has a career record of 55-66 with 1 save.  His lifetime K:Walk ratio is 2.12:1 and he struck out 6 batters per 9 innings pitched.  In seven seasons with both the Giants and Angels, Halicki never appeared in the postseason.

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Did You Know…

The last player to hit over .400 during a complete major league baseball season and not win the batting title was Ty Cobb.  In 1922, Cobb hit .401 but he finished in second place for the batting crown to George Sisler’s mark of .420.

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Happy Birthday Jim Rice!!!

Happy Birthday Jim Rice!!!

Jim Rice turns 61 years old today.

Jim Rice may be one of the best examples of a great hitter that could also hit for power or you can classify him as a power hitter that was a great contact hitter too.  Either way, it works!!  Although we cannot clearly say Rice was a better hitter for average than power or vice-versa, we can surely say that his numbers are mighty impressive.

After 16 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Rice ended his career with a .298 batting average while launching 382 home runs.  Rice’s best season came in 1978 when he won the Most Valuable Player award while hitting .315, belting 46 home runs, and driving in 139 runs.  Rice was a MVP candidate annually and finished in the Top 5 for voting in 6 total seasons.

Jim Rice competed in 1 World Series championship match-up in 1986 against the New York Mets.  Although his team ultimately lost in 7 games, Rice did extremely well as he hit .333 and scored 6 runs.

Jim Rice is a member of the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame class.

Happy Birthday Mr. Rice!!

Sights & Stories From Today’s Spring Training Action Between The Marlins & Cardinals – MUST READ!

Sights & Stories From Today’s Spring Training Action Between The Marlins & Cardinals

Today was a fantastic day for baseball.  It was sunny, but not too hot.  And there was just enough of a breeze out to keep it from feeling too humid.

I got to the stadium early this morning – around 9AM.  With only one day to make the trip to Spring Training, I wanted to take advantage of the full day and spend as much time at the ballpark as I could.

Since the game was not scheduled to start until 1:05, I had plenty of time to walk around and check out what was going on at all of the Marlins fields that makes up half of the Roger Dean Stadium complex.

The minor leaguers were out in full force, with at least 80 of them out and about.  And the big leaguers were present as well – on the main practice field.  After going through a few stretching and running drills, the major league squad split up with the offensive players going to the main stadium for practice and BP and the pitchers going to the side bullpen for their pitching session.

At the pitching session, it was a rotation of four guys throwing at the same time – and Jose Fernandez was in the bunch.  He was closest to the fence, and I literally had a front row seat as he threw 60-80 pitches.  The fence at this area of the field is extremely high, and unfortunately my pictures came out awful.

When he was done, the group that assembled (about 10 of us) asked if he would sign but he said he had to go do some running.  He did, however, open up the gate between the players and the fans and shove five balls he used during his session through to us.  I was lucky enough to grab one!!

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That is a ball that was used by the reigning NL ROY – Pretty cool!!!

Instead of standing around and wait to see if he was going to return and sign for us, I opted to head towards the main stadium to see if I could get anything going there.  The main stadium is not open to the public for practice or BP, but I have learned where to stand as the players have to walk by where I was to get from the stadium to the clubhouse.

I saw almost everyone – Salty, Lucas, Solano, Redmond, Mathis, Hechavarria, Yelich, Ozuna, and then my main man walked through the outfield wall and headed right towards me!!!

Giancarlo Stanton!!!  He was very nice – I asked if he could sign for me as I was the only one around and he waved me over.  He quickly grabbed my pen and signed my ball.  I thanked him for taking the time to do that for me and I wished him well and good luck during the 2014 baseball season.

Here is the signed ball!!!

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I may have missed Fernandez, but I got the guy I was truly seeking – and the auto is crisp and clean!!

After that, it was game time.

Henderson Alvarez was on the hill for the Marlins.

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And Adam Wainwright was on the mound for the Cardinals.  My picture of him came out way too blurry so I will skip posting it here.

But, here is a picture of the new 3B coach for the Marlins – Mr. Brett Butler:

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I was able to walk around to all areas of the park – so I snapped pics throughout the game.

Here are a few more:

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Yadier Molina

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My man Stanton at the plate, with Molina catching:

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The day was fun, lots of fun.  I only get to do this once a year, and I really enjoyed myself today.

I’m a little sun-burned, and a little tired.  But, it was a great day – I got to see my boy Giancarlo Stanton up close.  I got to watch Jose Fernandez pitch.  And the Marlins beat the Cardinals 7-3.

The only thing that would have made this better would have been if my wife and kids could have joined me but it is not Spring Break yet and I don’t think pulling them out of school for the day to go to Spring Training would go over too well…

Oh, I also saw Andre Dawson, but it was just for a minute.  He was moving from field to field during practice and I waved to him.  He waved back, but I am not certain that he recognized me…  Otherwise, I know he would have come over to say ‘Hello’..  LOL

I am so ready for the season to get underway – today was a great kickstart to the 2014 season for me!!!

Thanks for reading.