Tag Archives: 1983 topps super veterans

The Evolution Of My Collection – Part 15

The Evolution Of My Collection – Part 15

I figured that today would be the perfect day to look back at how my collection of baseball cards has evolved in the five years that I have been back actively collecting.

For those of you that have been with me since the start (THANK YOU), you may remember seeing this box:

Evolution BOx

This is the box that I condensed my very large collection into when I decided to downsize my stuff.  From more than 100 complete sets, tons of albums, boxes and boxes of traded sets, and more common cards than I ever wanted to see – all of it was downsized into this very small box.

And now, fast forward to August 8, 2013 and this in my collection:


Still as organized as always, the collection has continued to grow and grow.  I’ve been able to add new player collections to my collection so a little re-organization had to take place to accommodate the new cards and empty space that will be needed to hold them, but I was able to get it done.

My Marlins team set collection has also grown very steadily and my second album is starting to reach its maximum allowable size – album #3 is coming in the very near future.

I think that one of my next moves would be to merge my Fergie Jenkins and Jim Palmer collections into one box (currently they’re in two).  I also want to put all of the guys I collect from ‘The Big Red Machine’ and Chicago Cubs into their own boxes.  And from there, I will probably alphabetize the rest of the guys.  Not a tremendous amount of work – just something to be taken care of that I think would be helpful.

And I think that I am going to have to add another ‘Andre Dawson Box’ to my collection in the future too – maybe as soon as 2014.  Right now, we are at three boxes of Dawson cards and I am starting to have less and less space to maneuver as new cards are being brought into the collection.  And trust me when I tell you, that is not a complaint!!!

And there you have it – 5 years of ‘Evolution’ for you.


Johnny Bench 2003 Topps Gallery

Johnny Bench 2003 Topps Gallery

I have a small stack of baseball cards from the Topps Gallery brand. 

Most of them are OK.

This one?

Not so much…

Sorry, Mr. Bench.


2013 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Collisions At The Plate’ Subset – Johnny Bench

2013 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Collisions At The Plate’ Subset – Johnny Bench

The theme of ‘Collision At The Plate’ is one that I think all baseball fans could get excited about.  The play in which two players collide with completely opposite goals: 1 putting their body on the line in an effort to score a run for their team. 1 putting every ounce of energy, strength, and will into defending their plate.

Oh yes, the ‘Collision At The Plate’ is the perfect place for baseball drama to be born.  And as soon as I saw that the 2013 Topps Gypsy Queen set was going to include a subset of cards with the title of ‘Collisions At The Plate’, I knew I would be going after it.

This is the Johnny Bench card from the set:


Bench was a supreme defender – one that will go down as one of the best in the sport’s history.  He won ten consecutive Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence between the 1968-1977 baseball seasons. 

Bench retired from the sport after 17 seasons with a .990 fielding percentage at catcher.

Johnny Bench 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads – ‘Throwback Collection’

Johnny Bench 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads – ‘Throwback Collection’

I love baseball cards of Johnny Bench sporting all of his vintage catcher’s gear.

And this card from the 2005 Donruss Throwback Threads set offers up a great shot of the Hall of Famer.

Check it out:


But I cannot forgive Donruss for basically giving us 50% of empty, wasted space on this card.  I mean it – half of the card is blank, empty, missing, caput…

Love the small picture of Bench, but this card is awful.

Shame on you, Donruss!!!

1981 Donruss ‘Best Hitters’ Starring George Brett & Rod Carew

1981 Donruss ‘Best Hitters’ Starring George Brett & Rod Carew

I already owned a copy of this baseball card and it rests in my Rod Carew collection.  The card comes from the 1981 Donruss set, and it features the headline – ‘Best Hitters’.

And you know what?  It would be very, very hard to argue that fact.  These two guys were the best of the best – racking in batting titles and 200-hit seasons with regularity.

I was excited to check this card out again – and this new addition will make it into my George Brett player collection!!!

Have a look:


1980 HEADLINE: Johnny Bench Becomes All-Time Home Run Leader For Catchers!!

1980 HEADLINE: Johnny Bench Becomes All-Time Home Run Leader For Catchers!!

On this day in 1980, Johnny Bench became the all-time leader in home runs hit by a catcher.

At home, and in front of a relatively small crowd of just over 21,000 fans, Bench’s Reds team was taking on the Montreal Expos. Batting in the 6th spot in the lineup, Bench launched his historic home run in the bottom of the 5th inning off Expos’ hurler David Palmer. A solo-shot, Bench’s home run helped the Reds win the ballgame 11-7.

Johnny Bench connected for 389 home runs during his career. Currently he sits in second place on the all-time list for catchers, behind Mike Piazza.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Bench!!!

Did You Know…

The pitcher that led all American League hurlers in wins during the 1960’s was Jim Kaat.  Kaat captured 142 wins during the decade easily outdistancing Camilo Pascaul who finished in second place with 127.


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

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

There is a pretty decent sized handful of pitchers from the 1960s and 1970s that were all tagged as their team’s ‘Ace’.  And many of them are not in the Hall of Fame.

In time, we will cover all of them here at the ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’.

Tonight, we will discuss the career of Jim Kaat.

Jim Kaat’s major league resume is pretty outstanding.  Not stellar, or elite, but certainly worth discussing when talking about the best pitchers from his era and possible Hall of Fame induction.

Here is a look at the numbers:

  • 25 seasons
  • 625 starts
  • 283-237 record
  • 54.4 win percentage
  • 3 20-win seasons
  • 5 15-19 win seasons
  • 180 complete games
  • 31 shutouts
  • 18 saves
  • 3.45 ERA
  • 4,530 innings pitched
  • 2,461 strikeouts
  • 1,083 walks
  • 2.27 K:Walk
  • 4.9 K per 9 innings
  • 3x All-Star
  • 16x Gold Glove winner
  • 4 Playoff appearances
  • 1 World Series title

Jim Kaat

With Kaat, the numbers are solid.  He was not very far from the magical 300-win milestone that normally guarantees Hall of Fame induction.  His strikeout tally is impressive, but when judging his ability to dominate games with just 4.9 strikeouts per game, his number is below average compared to the Hall of Fame talent from the same era.

Where Kaat stands alone is on defense.  He revolutionized, and put a major emphasis on, defensive play from the pitching mound.  Kaat won a total of 16 Gold Glove Awards due to his incredible defense.  The sixteen awards were consecutive, from 1962-1977, showing his dominance at the position from a defensive standpoint for a decade and a half.

Jim Kaat did not get into the playoffs very often during his 25-season major league career.  He made it to the postseason just four times, advancing to the World Series twice.  Kaat won a World Series title in 1982 with the St. Louis Cardinals.  The championship came in Kaat’s final season in the majors, but he had little to do with the win pitching just 2.2 innings in 4 games.

So, does Jim Kaat deserve more consideration for Hall of Fame entry?  Should he be enshrined at Cooperstown??

My answer is ‘No’.  For me, there is just not enough dominance to be called a Hall of Famer.  Most starting pitchers with 25 seasons in the majors can average 12 wins a year, and that is what Kaat did.  For me, I would need to see an average win total of at least 16+ wins per year.  And the strikeout tally would need to be much higher as well – Kaat’s average is well under 100 per season.  Kaat absolutely stands out as the best defensive pitcher from his era, and could possibly be the sport’s greatest defensive pitcher of all-time.  But, that is not enough in my book.  The World Series title helps, but he did not put too much into that title.

So, what do you think?   Is Jim Kaat worthy of Hall of Fame induction?  Let me hear your opinion.



The Evolution Of My Collection – Part 14

The Evolution Of My Collection – Part 14

It has been a little more than five months since my last ‘Evolution’ post.

I still remain extremely organized with my collecting, and even as the size of my collection grows, I make sure that I take my time to keep things as neat and tidy as possible.

If you have read any of my prior ‘Evolution’ posts, you will notice albums have been recently introduced into the fold.  While my preference is to keep cards in boxes as they are easier to organize and move around, I have introduced albums for a few parts of my collection that do not change all that much.

First, let me show you what my full collection looks like today.  Then, I will offer a breakdown of what you’re seeing…

The picture:


And now for the breakdown…

Top row, box #1 – Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Jim Abbott, Gary Carter, Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, Rod Carew, Dennis Eckersley, Orel Hershiser

Top row, box #2 – Dave Winfield, Tony Gwynn, Tim Raines, Kirby Puckett, Bo Jackson, Dale Murphy, Paul Molitor, Ken Griffey, Jr., Pete Rose

Top row, box #3 – Rickey Henderson, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken, Jr., Bob Gibson, Lou Brock, Ozzie Smith, Mike Schmidt, Wade Boggs

Top row, box #4 – Autographs, Subsets, Derek Jeter, Miscellaneous cards

Top row, box #5 – Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Ron Santo, Lee Smith, Greg Maddux, Mark Grace, Cubs subsets, Red Subsets, Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Johnny Bench, George Foster, Ken Griffey Sr., Sparky Anderson

Bottom row, box #1 – Fergie Jenkins, Jim Palmer

Bottom row, box #2 – Dave Parker, Alan Trammell, Rollie Fingers, Eric Davis, Frank Thomas, Dave Stewart, Mark McGwire, Reggie Jackson

Bottom row, box #3 – Andre Dawson: 1977-1990

Bottom row, box #4 – Andre Dawson: 1990-2009

Bottom row, box #5 – Andre Dawson: 2010-2012, autographs, relic cards, cello and rack packs

Grey album – Florida/Miami Marlins team sets

Black album – Pete Rose 1985 Topps limited edition set

WHEW!!!  That was a lot of work!!!!

My Marlins team set album is bulging.  I am going to have to pick up another album and split them up soon.  Also, I am considering moving some more subsets into the one that holds my Pete Rose limited edition set.  This will free up some much needed space in my boxes, and also provide me with a lot more penny sleeves and top loaders to use for future player collections…  We’ll see.

That is it – my full baseball card collection.  With the exception of a few cards that are on my desk that are either to be traded or are going to be written about for the blog in the coming days, you are seeing the whole collection.

Thanks for reading.  I promise to try to do this a little more often.

Have a great night!!!

1976 Topps ’75 NL RBI League Leaders Starring Luzinski, Bench, and Perez

1976 Topps ’75 NL RBI League Leaders Starring Luzinski, Bench, and Perez

What is a player collector to do when a card that features two or more of the players that he collects is brought into the collection??? 

Cut it in half?

Make a photo copy?

Buy another one?

How about flip a coin??

Well, for this one, I flipped a coin.  Heads was for Johnny Bench and Tails was for Tony Perez.

It landed on ‘Heads’ so now I can add this card into my Johnny Bench player collection.

Have a look: