Tag Archives: home run

Did You Know…

The first New York Mets third baseman to be selected to represent the team during the MLB All-Star game was Howard Johnson.   Johnson’s first selection came in 1989.

Howard Johnson

“The Shot Heard ‘Round The World”

“The Shot Heard ‘Round The World”

On this day in 1951, a baseball moment transpired that would be considered one of the greatest game-changing home runs of all-time.  And now, more than 50 years later, the replays and stories told about this historic moment in baseball’s history resonate even more with the recent passing of Bobby Thomson.

From Wikipedia:

In baseball, the “Shot Heard ’round the World” is the term given to the game-ending home run hit by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds to win the National League pennant at 3:58 p.m. EST on October 3, 1951. As a result of the “shot” (baseball slang for “home run” or any hard-hit ball), the Giants won the game 5–4, defeating the Dodgers in their pennant playoff series, two games to one. It is one of the most famous moments in Major League Baseball history.

A huge ‘Thank You’ goes out to Bobby Thomson, and Ralph Branca for that matter, for building a historic scene in this wonderful sport that will live beyond all of us!!

1959 HEADLINE: Willie McCovey Launches 1st Major League Home Run!!

1959 HEADLINE:  Willie McCovey Launches 1st Major League Home Run!!

On this day in 1959 Willie McCovey hit the first home run of his major league career.

Just 3 days after making his big league debut, McCovey made his first mark with the Giants. And nobody knew that 520 more bombs would follow over the next 22 seasons.

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary Mr. McCovey!!!

Willie McCovey 2014 Topps Archives – Base

Willie McCovey 2014 Topps Archives – Base

Today marks the anniversary of Willie McCovey’s debut in the major leagues.  That event occurred in 1959, 55 years ago!

So, why not feature another sweet card of ‘Stretch’ on this special day?

The card below is from this year’s Topps Archives set.  The card design that McCovey is featured in is from the 1989 Topps flagship set.

Have a look:

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Thus far, this is my favorite card from the 1989 Topps portion of the Archives release.  Many feature non-action, close-up images.  While this one does not offer action, it does give us a sense of the size and strength of McCovey as not too many skinny shortstops or second baseman can walk around the field with three pieces of fresh lumber on their shoulders…

I like it!

1959 HEADLINE: Willie McCovey Makes His Debut With The Giants

1959 HEADLINE: Willie McCovey Makes His Debut With The Giants

On this day in 1959, Willie McCovey made his major league debut with the San Francisco Giants in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

And I have to say that McCovey did pretty well in his debut – he went 4-for-4 while collecting 2 triples and 2 singles. Most importantly, the Giants beat the Pirates by a score of 7-2.

Back in ’59, who would have thought that ‘Stretch’ would go on to be a Hall of Famer with more than 500 home runs and 1,500 RBI on his resume.

Congratulations on a fantastic debut – and Happy Anniversary, Mr. McCovey!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #2 – Willie McCovey 2001 Fleer Greats

Baseball Card Show Purchase #2 – Willie McCovey 2001 Fleer Greats

I’ve always been a sucker for the ‘Fleer Greats’ set.  If I run into one that I don’t already have, I am pretty much guaranteed that I will be buying it.

Especially when the card is in a ‘Dime Bin’.

This time around, while sifting through modern cards, I found a card of Willie McCovey from the 2001 Fleer Greats set.

Have a look:

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Lovin’ It!!  I really like how the player’s image really stands out on these cards.  And the bat and ball logo in the lower-left corner has always been a favorite of mine.

Give me a few hours – I nabbed another card from this set of one of my favorite hitters.  It’s a doozie!

1980 HEADLINE: Willie McCovey Homers For The Last Time Of His Major League Career

1980 HEADLINE: Willie McCovey Homers For The Last Time Of His Major League Career

On this day in 1980, slugger Willie McCovey hit the final home run of his amazing career. Spanning 22 years, McCovey blasted 521 round-trippers during his playing days. His 521 ranks on the all-time list at 18th place in major league history.

The shot, a blast off of Expos’ hurler Scott Sanderson, came in the 4th inning of the ballgame and was the difference in the Giant’s 3-2 win that day.

Happy Anniversary Mr. McCovey!!

Million Dollar Question – What Would The Reaction To Some Of Baseball’s Greatest Home Runs be Like Today??

Million Dollar Question – What Would The Reaction To Some Of Baseball’s Greatest Home Runs be Like Today??

With all of the drama surrounding Carlos Gomez and the brawl that ensued after his near-home run against the Pirates a week ago, it made me wonder how some of the greatest home runs in baseball history, and the celebration that followed them, would be tolerated in today’s more sensitive baseball climate.

Taking out the walk-off, game-winning home run that brings a complete team to home plate to celebrate at the conclusion of a game, there are a ton of players from the past and present that celebrate the 2-run home run in the third inning of a ballgame with nothing on the line.

And I sit here and wonder how the baseball climate would react to former home run hitters if they played today – during a time in which pitchers take things more personal and coaches scream at their foes from the opposing dugout.

How would the opponent react If Matt Kemp pumped his arms like Kirk Gibson?

How would the opponent react if Coco Crisp popped his jersey and skipped a few steps out of the batter’s box a la Rickey Henderson?

How would the opponent react if Carlos Beltran stood at home plate and watched his home run sail over the outfield wall like Reggie Jackson?

For me, I think a lot of it has to do with the player and not really the moment.  If a player is hurting the team he is facing, that is when things get testy.  If he has hurt the team in the past or if there is bad blood from prior incidents, the first unnecessary action could be the thing that takes things to the next level.

Where do you stand on this?  Would the heroes of yesterday be treated differently today or would they to be on the opposite end of a brawl for their actions?

I’m interested to get your take on this one.  Let’s Go!!

Brewers Braves Baseball

2014 Topps Series 1 “Topps All Rookie Cup Team” – Willie McCovey

2014 Topps Series 1 “Topps All Rookie Cup Team” – Willie McCovey

Topps’ All-Rookie Team means a lot of different things to a lot of different collectors.  But, one thing is for certain – If your card is tagged with the All-Rookie Team logo, you did something during your first season in the big leagues to make yourself stand out from the rest.

And for that reason alone, I can totally support a set of cards that picks ‘The Best Of The Best’ from these teams.

In 2014, Topps issued a subset in their Series 1 release that took one player at each position, naming them to the ‘Topps All Rookie Cup Team’.

Representing the catcher is Willie McCovey:

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Willie McCovey’s major league debut in 1959 was fantastic.  His numbers in 54 games played was enough to draw the attention of major league baseball as he was awarded with the Rookie Of The Year Award.

His numbers in 1959:  .354 batting average, .429 on-base percentage, 68 hits in 192 at-bats, 9 doubles, 5 triples, 13 home runs, 32 runs scored, 38 RBI, and just 35 strikeouts.

Not bad for a 21-year old kid.

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Yoenis Cespedes

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Yoenis Cespedes

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 Yoenis Cespedes from the set:

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While Yoenis Cespedes may not have been a household name in the Bay Area prior to the 2013 Home Run Derby, the show he put on certainly elevated his status.

And now, as he enters his third big league season, it is time for him to take his game to the next level.  He needs to become an All-Star, chosen by the coaches.  He needs to launch 30+ home runs, and drive in 110+ RBI.  He needs to steal 25 bases and score 100 runs.  And he needs to see that the Oakland A’s surpasses the Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners and LA Angels yet again.

It is time for Yoenis Cespedes to become more than just a 1-night star.  It is time for him to break out!