Category Archives: ’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Eddie Murphy Movies!!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Eddie Murphy Movies!!!

For some reason, Eddie Murphy has been featured on TV a lot over the last few weeks.  I am not complaining about that, I am just not sure why he is getting all of this sudden attention, especially for roles he played decades ago.

I am actually glad that this new wave of attention has come Eddie’s way as it reminds me of how much I have enjoyed his work over the years, especially his older stuff.

I thought it would be fun to rank his ‘Top Ten Movies’, so here we go…

For this week’s list, there is no honorable mention.  Also, let me preface this by saying that  I have NOT seen every single film that Mr. Murphy has starred in, but I do believe that I have seen enough of them to be able to make a list like this with some level of confidence.

10 – The Shrek Films – just enough adult humor provided by Eddie to keep us laughing and our kids wondering what we’re laughing at…

9 – Harlem Nights – Truly underrated film. Murphy and Prior are worth watching!

8 – The Nutty Professor – the scenes around the dinner table are unreal.  The sequels could not duplicate what the original brought us – HERCULES!!!

7 – Daddy Day Care – Every comic has to be mixed in with a bunch of kids at some point during his/her career.  Murphy was a lot of fun in this one.

6 – Delirious – So funny, fro start to finish!

5 – Trading Places – A great comedic duo, these two played very well with each other.

4 – 48 Hours – Such an unusual combination, but it worked very well.  So well in fact, that it called for ‘Another’ follow up.

3 – Beverly Hills Cop trilogy – This trilogy really put Murphy on the map with mainstream America.  He played the role of Axel Foley perfectly, and he had all of us imitating his laugh!

2 – RAW – The funnies stand-up act that I have ever seen.  Period.

1 – Coming To America – My favorite comedic film of all-time.  I can recite scenes of this film with no mistakes.  If I am flipping channels and I find this movie on, I am not longer flipping channels.

And there you have it.  Eddie Murphy provided some incredible laughs and memorable moments in many of the above mentioned films.  He is a comedic genius, and I am happy to say that I have had a chance to see one of the greatest comedic actors of all-time perform during his prime.

Did I miss any films that you would have had on the list?  Are my rankings out of whac?

Let me hear it!

And as always, ‘Thank You’ for reading.  Have a nice night!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Active Pitchers Most Likely To Reach The 3,000 Strikeouts Milestone

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Active Pitchers Most Likely To Reach The 3,000 Strikeouts Milestone

I’ve always considered the 3,000 strikeout milestone to be one of the best ways to display a pitcher’s dominance over time.  While wins are certainly more important to team success, they also require a team to have an offense that is better than their opponent’s.

The strikeout is about the 1-on-1 match-up.  And whether your skill is power or finesse, joining the ‘3,000 Strikeouts Club’ means that you dominated batters for a very, very long time.

For this week’s ‘Top Ten List’, I thought it would be fun to analyze today’s crop of pitchers to see which ones are most on track to reach this milestone.  And while I do not expect that all 10 of these players will reach that mark, I think that based on their track records, they have the inside track.

And away we go!!!

HM – Gio Gonzalez, Yovanni Gallardo, Barry Zito, Josh Beckett, Jake Peavy, Cliff Lee, Mark Buehrle, Zach Grienke, Jered Weaver, and Ben Sheets.

10 – Dan Haren.  In 10 seasons, Haren has 1,585 K’s.  He is only 31 years old and has started 30 or more games in 8 of his 10 seasons.

9 – Tim Lincecum.  In six seasons, Lincecum has 1,317 K’s. He has reached 200 or more strikeouts in 4 of those 6 seasons and has started 30 or more games in a season since becoming a full-time starter for the Giants.  If his role remains in the starting line-up, he has a solid shot as he is just 28 years old.

8 – Matt Cain.  In 8 big league seasons, Cain has amassed 1,278 K’s.  He has started 30 or more games in seven straight seasons and he is just 27 years old.  Cain has never had a 200-strikeout season, but has had at least 170+ in six of the last seven. 

7 – Cole Hamels.  Amazingly, Cole Hamels is just 28 years old.  And with 7 seasons under his belt, Hamels has 1,307 K’s to his credit.  He has started 30 or more games in the last five straight seasons and has eclipsed the 200-K mark in two of the last three.

6 – Roy Halladay.  He just completed his 15th season in the major leagues and has 2,066 K’s for his career.  Prior to the 2012 season, Halladay had collected 200 or more K’s in four straight years.  If he can return to form, 3,000 is in his sights.  Halladay will be 35 when the 2013 season starts.

5 – Stephen Strasburg.  He only has 250 innings of major league experience under his belt, but Stephen Strasburg has already struck out 313 batters.  If the Nationals unleash him in 2013, he should continue to dominate.  And at the young age of 23, the sky is his limit!!

4 – Justin Verlander.  Verlander is in the midst of one of the most dominant pitching stretches of recent history. He is just 29 years old and with 8 seasons under his belt has recorded 1,454 K’s. Verlander has been the American League leader in strikeouts in three of the last four seasons and has a career ratio of 8.4 K’s per inning.

3 – Felix Hernandez.  King Felix has been quietly mowing down batters for the last eight seasons.  At the age of just 26, Hernandez has amassed 1,487 strikeouts with at least 200 or more in the last four straight seasons.  He has made 30 or more starts in 7 of his 8 big league seasons.

2 – CC Sabathia.  Sabathia has 2,214 K’s through his first 12 big league seasons.  He is the closest active pitcher to 2,214 that has a solid shot at the goal.  CC has a K:9 innings ratio of 7.8.  He has started 30 or more games in 10 of his 12 big league seasons, and has compiled at least 150 or more K’s in 9 of his 12 seasons.

1 – Clayton Kershaw.  Kershaw has been on a tear since entering the league just five seasons ago.  At the age of just 24, Kershaw already has 974 K’s on his resume, with 200 or more in three straight seasons.  He has started 30 or more games in four consecutive seasons and has a K:9 innings ratio of 9.3! 

And there you have it.  If I were a betting man, I would say that 6 of these guys are going to reach the mark if health is on their side.  We often see a dramatic decline in the number of K’s an ‘old’ pitcher amasses during the latter stages of their careers, but these guys are off to amazing starts.

Did I miss anyone?  Would you change my rankings?  Let me hear it!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Most Wanted Baseball Cards For The 30-YOC Collection

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Most Wanted Baseball Cards For The 30-YOC Collection

This blog post is long overdue.  And trust me when I say that it took me some time to cut the list down to ten as there are surely more than ten pieces of cardboard that I would really like to add to my collection.

This specific question has been presented to me a lot lately, so I finally got to work in building this list.

I gave myself just one rule to follow when I started – the cards had to be somewhat ‘obtainable’.  Yes, we’d all like to have a real Honus Wagner or Ty Cobb or 1951 Mickey Mantle to call our own, but I wanted to keep this list realistic.

And after finally crafting the list and narrowing it down to just ten cards, I do believe that in time I will own all ten.

There is no ‘Honorable Mention’ on this list – Straight to the ten!!!

10 – 1984 Topps Don Mattingly rookie card

9 – 1990 Topps Glossy TV Andre Dawson

8 – 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken ‘F&CK FACE’ card

7 – 1960 Topps George ‘Sparky’ Anderson

6 – 2001 Topps Fergie Jenkins Certified Autograph Issue – 1966 Design

5 – 1992 Bowman Mariano Rivera rookie card

4 – 1989 Upper Deck Ken Griffey Jr. rookie card

3 – 1991 Donruss Elite Andre Dawson, serial numbered to 10,000

2 – 2008 Upper Deck Heroes Ernie Banks Purple, serial numbered to 25.  I have never seen this card, hence the image of Banks’ base card from the set

1 – 1968 Topps ‘Bird Bashers’ with Frank Robinson & Brooks Robinson

And there you have it, the ten cards that I would love to add, and will someday add, to my collection.

You probably did not expect to see some of these cards land on my list.  But that is the fun about collecting.

As for that ’68 Topps card of Frank and Brooks, I remember loving that card as a kid.  To me, it was majestic.  And I have not seen one in person in over twenty years.  It is amazing how this sport and hobby can so quickly take us back in time.  Baseball cards are just like time capsules!!

What about you?  I’m sure that you have some kind of list going – whether written or mental.  What’s on it?  I’d love to know!!!

Have a great night!!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Offensive World Series Heroes From The Last 25 Years

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Offensive World Series Heroes From The Last 25 Years

With the lasting images of the 2012 World Series firmly engrained in my brain, it got me to thinking about some of the other  amazing World Series memories that remain somewhat fresh in my mind as well.  Some are due to the attention that they get every post-season, and some are due to the fact that they were performed by a player or team that I cheer for.

I thought it would be fun to try to reach back and review the greatest offensive World Series performances that I can recall.  And it took some work….

First, I wanted to limit it to offense only, so there are no pitchers on the list – sorry Curt, Stew, Carp, Smotltzy, etc.

Then, I wanted to make the time period more relevant to my personal memories.  I came up with the 25 year mark as that is about how far back I can recall really getting into baseball.  It puts us right around the 1986/1987 mark.  So, you won’t find Reggie or Tony or Alan on the list.

But, you will find some incredibly awesome memories.  Some are fresh and some are old – but they have all left an impact on my baseball memory.  Some are memories of a dominant series performance and some are of a dominant game performance.

And now, it is time to dig in!!!

Here we go:

Honorable Mention – Jermaine Dye, Jose Canseco, David Eckstein, Derek Jeter, and Scott Brosious.

10 – Mike Lowell, 2007.  Lowell hits .400 in 4 games going 6-for-15 with 3 doubles, 1 home run, 3 RBI, and 6 runs scored. 

9 – Manny Ramirez, 2004.  Ramirez hit .412 in the 4-game series with 7 hits in 17 at-bats.  He was responsible for driving in 4 of the 21 Boston runs.

8 – Paul Molitor, 1993.  Molitor hit .500 in the 6-game set going 12 for 24.  He has 2 doubles, 2 triples, 2 home runs in the 6 games while driving in 8 runs and scoring 10 times.

7 – Albert Pujols, 2011 – Game 3. Pujols goes 5-for-6 while hitting three home runs.  He drove in six en route to a 16-7 victory.

6 – David Freese, 2011. Freese stole the show in Games 6 & 7 by going 3-for-7 and being responsible for series-extending and series-clinching RBI.

5 – Edgar Renteria, 1997 – Game 7.  Renteria plated the winning run in a tie game in the bottom of the 11th inning as the Marlins beat the Cleveland Indians 4 games to 3.

4 – Kirby Puckett, 1987 – Games 6 & 7. Puckett goes 6-for-8 when the Twins return to Minnesota.  He scores 4 runs and drives in an additional 2.

3 – Pablo Sandoval, 2012 – Game 1.  Sandoval was solid in the 4-game sweep, but it was Game 1 that moved him into ‘Hero’ status. Sandoval went 4-for-4, connecting for three home runs while driving in 4. Two of the home runs came off of the best pitcher in baseball.

2 – Kirk Gibson, 1988 – Game 1.  Gibson hit a walk-off home run against the dominant Oakland A’s and the best closer in the game, Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley.  The come from behind victory changed the dynamics of the entire series as the Dodgers took control and swept the A’s.

1 – Joe Carter, 1993 – Game 6. Carter lived out every child’s baseball dream.  He connected for a series clinching home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give his team the victory. Carter’s joy was amazing to watch, and as he rounded the bases we were all there with him!

Man, that was a lot of fun.  Baseball has been a big part of my life for more than 25 years and I really hope that in time it gives to my kids what it has given to me – joy, laughter, sorrow, and triumph!!!

What are some of your greatest offensive memories from the World Series?  How do you find my rankings?  Would you change anything?

Thanks for reading.

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Active Hitters Most Likely To Reach The 500 Home Run Landmark

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Active Hitters Most Likely To Reach The 500 Home Run Landmark

I had such a good time predicting the players that I thought would come closest to collecting 3,000 hits that I figured I will extend it to other baseball statistical milestones.

This time around, we will look at the ‘500 Home Run Club’ – another club  that means longevity and supreme power.

Let’s get to it!!!

HM – Alfonso Soriano (372), Lance Berkman (360), Carlos Lee (358), Aramis Ramirez (342), Carlos Beltran (334), Ryan Howard (300), Vernon Wells (259), Matt Holiday (229), Mark Reynolds (181), Robinson Cano (177), and Jay Bruce (134).

10 – Paul Konerko. 422 through 16 seasons. Has not hit less than 22 homers in a single season since 2008.

9 – Mark Teixeira. Tex has 338 blasts and is just 32 years old.  His numbers in 2012 dropped, but prior to that he had three straight season of at least 33 home runs.

8 – Ryan Braun.  Braun has 202 home runs through six seasons.  His numbers have increased steadily and he is just 28 years old.

7 – David Ortiz.  Papi has 401 home runs through 16 seasons in the big leagues.  For his career, 1 out of every 4.5 hits leaves the ballpark. 

6 – Adrian Beltre.  Beltre is just 33 years old but has been in the majors for 15 seasons. He has 346 career dingers and has hit 25 or more in 6 of the last 7 seasons.

5 – Giancarlo Stanton. At just 22 years of age, Stanton has 93 home runs to his credit.  Even when not 100% healthy, Stanton is one of the game’s greatest long-ball threats.

4 – Prince Fielder.  At just 28 years old, Prince has already hit 260 round-trippers.  He has reached the 30-home run mark (or more) in the last six seasons.

3 – Miguel Cabrera.  Cabrera just completed his tenth big league season.  He has 321 career home runs, including five straight seasons of at least 30.

2 – Adam Dunn.  Dunn is a slugger, and he rebounded in 2012 in a big way.  He now has 406 home runs to his credit and is still just 32 years old.  He hit 41 in 2012!

1 – Albert Pujols.  Pujols is just 25 home runs away from the 500-mark.  It is just a matter of time, and it will more than likely occur in 2013.  Now, we just have to predict the month.  My guess is August! 

And there you have it – my opinion on which players have the best chance to reach the ‘500 Home Runs Club’.

Did I leave anyone out?  Should my rankings be different?

Let me hear it.

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten ‘In-Set’ Subsets From The 1980s

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten ‘In-Set’ Subsets From The 1980s

You know me.  I’m a player collector.

But I also have an affinity for baseball card subsets – the smallish multi-card sets that are part of a larger set that tend to share a common theme.

I’ve put together more than a dozen subsets over the last few years, and I have plans to continue down that path.

And when deciding which sets are good candidates for collecting, I tend to go with ones that commemorate baseball history and player achievements.

What I find great about these subsets, is that just like other aspects of baseball card collecting – some collectors agree with my likes, and some do not.  And I am ok with that.

I thought it would be fun to showcase my favorite in-set subsets from the 1980’s.  If you collected during that time, or collect those cards now, I am fairly certain that you either have or want cards from these sets.

Are you ready?

Let’s go!!

Honorable Mention – Donruss MVP’s, Team USA, Father And Son, Glossy All-Stars, Turn Back The Clock

10 – Diamond Kings.  I am not a huge fan of the Diamond King, but I definitely respect its place in our hobby’s history.

9 – Future Stars.  A short-lived subset, this one offered us some classic cards!

8 – All-Star Rookie Team.  These have been issued since the 1960’s by Topps.  I am happy to see that this annual tradition continues today.

7 – Highlights.  Always nice to go back and re-capture the prior year’s greatest moments.

6 – In Action.  A player collector’s dream – the ‘In Action’ set gave you one more card of usually the best players in the sport.

 

5 – Team Leaders.  Always nice to see who the most productive players were on an annual basis.

4 – Record Breakers.  Truly underrated, the ‘Record Breakers’ subset told the story of the greatest headlines from the prior season.

3 – Superstar Special.  Oh man, the pairing of players that Fleer set up for these cards was fantastic.  I wish that this tradition lasted longer…

2 – Rated Rookie.  If you were a stud rookie, you landed in this subset.  And if you excelled, it was your ‘Rated Rookie’ card that collector’s craved!

1 – Super Veteran.  Just a fantastic way to celebrate the history of the sport, one player at a time.  I would love to see Topps bring this back in some fashion or another.  I could think of 20 players pretty easily that would make for an outstanding 2013 Super Veterans subset.

And there you have it – my favorite subsets that were issued as part of 1980’s baseball card sets.

Did I miss any that you really liked?  Are you not pleased with my rankings?  Let me hear it!!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Hitters That Would Have Benefited The Most By Reaching The 3,000 Hits Plateau

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Hitters That Would Have Benefited The Most By Reaching The 3,000 Hits Plateau

Last week I brought you my list of the ‘Top Ten’ active players that were most likely to reach the 3,000 hits milestone.

At the end of that discussion, I told you that next Sunday (today) I was going to showcase the ‘Top Ten Hitters That Would Have Benefited The Most By Reaching The 3,000 Hits Plateau’.

A few quick notes:

Before I begin, let me tell you how I whittled this list down.  First off, the player has to be retired so guys like Chipper Jones and Omar Vizquel do not qualify.  Secondly, there are a few (very few) legends of the game that I do not feel their reputation is tarnished by not reaching the 3,000 hits mark.  Those players are Mantle, DiMaggio, Berra, Williams, Ruth, and Gehrig.  Everyone else is fair game!!!

As you read through my selections, keep in mind that these are the players that I feel would have benefitted most by reaching the 3,000 hits mark.

Here we go!!!

Honorable Mention – Rogers Hornsby, Mel Ott, Edgar Martinez, Harold Baines, Billy Williams, Roberto Alomar, Don Mattingly.

10 – Frank Thomas, 2468 hits.  As the primary cog in the White Sox offense for more than 15 years, Thomas had a great career average (.301) for a slugger.  3,000 hits would look great next to his 521 home runs and 2 MVP awards.

9 – Andre Dawson, 2774 hits.  There is no telling how many games Dawson missed due to injury.  But it is not far-fecthed to think that he had 200 more hits in him if healthy.  In an era that bred 3,000 hit outfielders, the 3,000 hits mark seperates the elite from the second-tier guys.

8 – Tony Perez, 2732 hits.  More often than not, Tony Perez is mentioned as the 4th member of ‘The Big Red Machine’.  He was a key run producer for the team, but he did not have the calling card that his other Hall of Fame teammates had.  3,000 hits would help his claim.

7 – Brooks Robinson, 2848 hits.  The conversation about the greatest third baseman of all-time is narrowed down to 4-5 guys.  And among them, only one player has reached the 3,000 hits mark (George Brett).  If Brooks had captured 152 more hits during his career, he could claim the best ‘3B’ on both offense and defense.

6 – Tim Raines, 2605 hits.  One of the most dynamic, and forgotten, players from the 1980’s, Tim Raines had one of the toughest players to compete against for the tag of ‘best leadoff player in baseball’ in Rickey Henderson.  In most cases, Raines was a step behind Henderson, but had he reached the 3,000 hits mark, the conversation would be a lot more interesting…

5 – Joe Morgan, 2517 hits.  Joe Morgan was probably the most well rounded player on ‘The Big Red Machine’ that dominated baseball in the mid 1970’s.  He could do it all, and very well at that.  When looking at the best second baseman in the history of the sport, Morgan’s numbers compare very well to all of them.  3,000 hits would have put him over the top!!!

4 – Ivan Rodriguez, 2844 hits.  Similar to 2B and 3B, the greatest catchers in the game is a conversation the focuses around 3-5 players.  I believe that Ivan Rodriguez belongs on the outside of that discussion, probably between 5-6.  No catcher has 3,000 hits – Pudge is the closest.  If he hit that mark, he would be in the discussion for one of the top four spots.

3 – Ken Griffey, Jr, 2781 hits.  When talking about the greatest players of his era, Ken Griffey Jr ranks very high on the list.  As for the history of the game, he is high on the list, but is still on the outside looking in at the elite players of all-time.  He has all of the numbers except for a World Series ring and 3,000 hits.

2 – Frank Robinson, 2943 hits.  I consider Frank Robinson to be one of the most dynamic offensive players of all-time.  But when discussing the best of the best, his name rarely comes up.  He is as decorated as they get, and he measures up to all of the elite guys very well – with the exception of the 57 hits that he did not get.

1 – Barry Bonds, 2935 hits.  We all know how driven Barry Bonds was as it relates to status in the game.  Sure, he had some very big shoes to fill – and he filled them in every single possible aspect except for one – 3,000 hits.  Had Bonds reached the 3,000 hits mark, he could very easily be called ‘The Best Offensive Player In Major League History’.

WHEW!!!  That was a lot of fun!!!

What did you think of my list?  Are the rankings in line with what you think?  Did I leave anyone off that you would place higher than any of these guys?

I’d love to get your input.

Have a nice night!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Active Hitters Most Likely To Reach The 3,000 Hits Plateau

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Active Hitters Most Likely To Reach The 3,000 Hits Plateau

I think about this often, so it is time to put pen to paper, actually fingers to keyboard, and hammer this one out.

No dramatic build-up needed for this week’s list; we all know just how dynamic this baseball milestone is.

Here we go:

Honorable mention: Carlos Beltran, Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes, and Joey Votto.

10 -Ryan Braun – Braun eclipsed the 1,000 hits mark at age 28.  He is as consistent as they come and averages more than 175 per season.  If he has protection around him, he can still get better.

9 – David Wright – With 1,400 hits in nine season, Wright is in a very good spot at age 29.  However playing third base may take a few years off of his career.  Don’t be surprised if he starts spending time at 1B once he hits his mid-30’s.

8 – Robinson Cano – Cano is only 29 and has more than 1,400 hits.  He has never collected less than 155 hits in a season so far.  It may come down to where he is positioned in the Yankees’ batting order that determines if he gets enough at-bats to get a shot at 3,000.

7 – Mark Teixeira – Similar to Cano, where Tex bats in the Yankees’ line-up could dictate how close he gets to this landmark number.  In ten seasons, he is closing in on 1,600 hits.  And he is only 32 years old.

6 – Michael Young – Young has more than 2,200 hits as he prepares to close out his 13th big league season.  He has shown no signs of wearing down, and in some instances, he has gotten better.  If he plays another 5 full season, he may be joining the club…

5 – Adrian Beltre – Amazingly, Beltre is in his 15th major league season.  He is just 33 years old and has more than 2,200 hits so far.  Consistency is the key to Beltre’s game – and he has a very realistic shot of collecting number 3,000 well before his 40th birthday.

4 – Ichiro – Ichiro is 38 years old and in his 12th major league season.  He has slowed quite a bit over the last 2 years, but with almost 2,575 hits to his credit, he could reach the plateau is 3-4 years.  Staying healthy, and sharp, while also keeping a starting job are the keys to Ichiro’s future successes.

3 – Miguel Cabrera – Cabrera has averaged close to 180 more than 180 hits over the first ten seasons of his major league career.  He is still under 30 (29, to be exact) and as long as his passion for the game remains, it is just a question of how soon.

2 – Albert Pujols – Albert has averaged more than 185 hits a year in each of his first 12 big league seasons.  As long as he remains protected in the Angels’ line-up, he should be on pace to reach 3,000 hits in 2016.

1 – Alex Rodriguez – Barring any major trips on the disabled list, Alex Rodriguez will become a member of the ‘3,000 Hits Club’ in 2013.  He needs just more than 120 to accomplish the feat, and if he plays in at least 100 games next year, he should be celebrating by September.

And there you have it.

Are my picks crazy?  Am I missing someone you would rank above these guys?  Let me hear it.

And here is a sneak peak into next week’s list since it is related – ‘Top Ten Retired Players That Should Have Reached The 3,000 Hits Milestone’.

Have a nice night!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Oddball Brands From My Youth

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Oddball Brands From My Youth

As a player collector, I am always on the prowl to add new cards of my favorite players into the collections that I am building for them.

Sometimes that goal is easy, and sometimes it is very difficult.  With modern sets, and the number of parallel versions of cards issued in nearly all sets, the goal is easy.  But with vintage issues, it is a bit tougher – so I turn to the oddball sets.

So, before I show off my ‘Top Ten Oddball Sets’, let me explain my definition of an oddball set.  For me, the set must truly be odd – like, why on earth would company X be issuing baseball cards. And the more that the pairing of said company and baseball cards is, the more oddball, and the more that I likey.

With all of that being said, I have provided my ‘Top Ten’ list below.  And I took it a step further by researching how these cards were obtainable (I was able to find the facts on 9/10).

And now it is time – sit back and relax and enjoy ‘Top Ten Oddball Brands From My Youth’:

Honorable Mention – MooTown Snackers, K-Mart, McDonald’s, Ralston Purina, Nestle, Starting Line-Up, Denny’s, King-B, and Post Cereal.

10 – True Value – 30 card set that could be bought at True Value hardware stores with any $5 purchase

9 – KayBee Toys – box set sold exclusively through Kay-Bee toy stores

8 – Jimmy Dean – could not find any info on how these were distributed

7 – Duracell – 48 card set was available through a mail-in process that required Duracell proof of purchase UPC codes

6 – M&M’s – 24 card set that was inserted into large M&M packages

5 – Jumbo Sunflower Seeds – 3 cards were randomly inserted into special packages of Jumbo Sunflower Seeds

4 – Cap’n Crunch Cereal – 24 card set in which two cards and a stick of gum were inserted into specially marked boxes of Cap’n Crunch cereal

3 – Hostess – 32 card set that was inserted into boxes of Twinkies and Hostess cupcakes

2 – Drakes – 33 card sets inserted into Drake’s bakery treats

1 – Kellogg’s – single cards were inserted into Kellogg’s cereal boxes and the entire set was available through a mail-in order process

Wow, that really took me back to my youth.  I have a decent amount of these kinds of cards in my collection today.  They cards are such a nice extension to the collections that I have put together that would normally only feature the major brands.

Did I miss any sets that you like?  Which oddball brands do you  have memories of as a kid?  Which one is your favorite?

Let me hear it.

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Candidates For A Statue At Marlins Park

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Candidates For A Statue At Marlins Park

Probably due to my love of their history, I keep looking at images of the new statues being unveiled at Camden Park in Baltimore.  The Orioles franchise appears to treat their legends in a first-class manner, while also keeping them relevant with todays fans.

Recently, the Orioles unveild a statue of Eddie Murray.  And before Murray, it was Jim Palmer.  And before Palmer, it was Earl Weaver.  And before Weaver, it was Frank Robinson.  The O’s have two more statues to unveil prior to the end of the 2012 baseball season.  Cal Ripken Jr. will be honored on 9/6 and Brooks Robinson will be the final statue to be featured on 9/29.

The Orioles have some legendary players, and I love that their history can be seen at their ballpark on a nightly basis.

Of course, this got me to thinking about my team.  My team debuted in 1993.  And while we have had our share of great moments as it relates to both team and individual success, I don’t believe that there is one or two, or even three or four, universally celebrated former Marlins players.

Now living in South Florida and paying as much attention to the team as I do would make me biased.  But go ask someone in Omaha or San Jose or New Orleans to name the greatest player in Marlins history and you will likely get a lot of different answers and probably some blank stares too.

Being that I am a die-hard fan of the team., I thought it would be fun to go through the history of my young ballclub and try to identify who the team could erect statues of if they desired.

Ultimately, I don’t believe that a single player on the Marlins, both the Florida or Miami, versions has done enough in the sport while with the team to earn this honor, but this should still be fun.

Here we go…

No current Marlins can be considered.  Sorry to Josh Johnson, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Reyes, and Ricky Nolasco.

HM – Andre Dawson, Tim Raines, Jim Leyland, Charlie Hough, Benito Santiago, Jack McKeon, Dan Uggla, Anibal Sanchez, AJ Burnett, Kevin Brown, Al Leiter, Miguel Cabrera, and Craig Counsell.

10 – Gary Sheffield.  Top 5 in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, walks earned.

9 – Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez.  Owner of possibly the greatest play in Marlins playoff history – holding onto the ball when JT Snow colided with him at home plate.

8 – Edgar Renteria.  Game-Winning RBI to capture 1997 World Series in bottom on 11th inning.

7 – Josh Beckett.  2003 World Series MVP, single-handidly beat New York Yankees in World Series clinching game.

6 – Mike Lowell.  Miami native, Top 5 in hits, doubles, total bases, home runs, and 1st in RBI.

5 –  Dontrelle Willis.  2003 ROY, 2nd in team wins, 5th in strikeouts, 2x All-Star, franchise leader in shutouts and complete games.

4 – Luis Castillo.  Franchise leader in games played, at-bats, singles, hits, stolen bases, triples, and runs scored.

3 – Jeff Conine.  Top 5 in games played, hits, total bases, doubles, RBI, walks, singles, and runs created.

2 – Hanley Ramirez.  Teams lone batting champion, 2006 ROY, teams lone 30/30 member, Top 5 in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging, runs hits, total bases, doubles, triples, home runs, singles, RBI, stolen bases, and runs created.

1 – Livan Hernandez.  Perfect Miami story – Cuban defector finds home in the USA and lives the ‘American Dream’.  Livan is the main reason that the Marlins won the 1997 World Series.  He offered Miami and it’s very large Cuban audience the same thing that Fernando Valenzuela gave to the Dodgers in the early 1980’s.

How was that for a list?  Did I miss anyone that you feel is deserving?  Let me know.

And for ‘your team’ what former players would you like to see honored in this manner?

Let me hear it!!!!