Tag Archives: MLB

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!

Ichiro turns 41 years old today!!

Easily one of the best hitters of the last 15 years, Ichiro Suzuki has proven to be an extremely talented contact hitter, maybe one of the best ever.

In 14 professional seasons in major league baseball, Ichiro has collected 2,844 hits.  In ten of fourteen years, he has accumulated 200 or more hits in those seasons.

For his birthday, I wish Ichiro perfect health.  And I want that health to hold until he gets into the 3,000 hits club.  Based on his average he will need just 2 more years to accomplish that task.  And while that means he will be 43 years old when that time comes, I do believe that he is conditioned to reach that mark with relative ease if he wants it.  He just needs to find a team that will use his talents and let him get the at-bats required to connect for another 156 hits.

I eagerly await the chase!

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!

Happy Birthday Deion Sanders!!!

Happy Birthday Deion Sanders!!!

Deion Sanders turns 47 years old today.

The guy that they called ‘Prime Time’ was a joy to watch.  And while he was ultimately a better professional football player than baseball player, Deion was still entertaining nonetheless.

With a major league career that lasted 9 seasons, Deion’s career was based on his greatest attribute – Speed!

Sanders collected 159 stolen bases during his playing days.  Usually hitting at the top of the line-up, his skills allowed for him to score 308 runs in 641 games.

A member of the Braves, Reds, Yankees, and Giants, Deion had the charisma and flare to excite crowds and bring people to the ballpark.  And if memory serves me properly, he was also a great baseball postseason player too.

Happy Birthday ‘Prime Time’!!!

1988 HEADLINE: Chicago Cubs To Host First Night Game In Wrigley Field History

1988 HEADLINE: Chicago Cubs To Host First Night Game In Wrigley Field History

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the first night game at Wrigley Field.  On 8/8/88, the Cubs hosted the Mets in this historical game.

And although this contest didn’t last 3 innings due to rain, it was the first time in franchise history that the Cubs turned on the lights and hosted a night game.  If you want to be picky, the first official complete game at Wrigley Field was the next night on 8/9/88, but the 8/8/88 sounds so much cooler…

I am a native Floridian, but I lived in Chicago for 5 years.  I moved there in 1988 when I was 13, and moved back to sunny Florida after graduating high school.  Over the first 4 months of the 1988 season I became a Chicago Cubs fan.  It was sweet to come home from school and get to watch baseball.  While other kids were glued to Charles In Charge or Full House, I was enjoying the Cubs.

I thought it would be cool to reflect on what their line-up looked like 24 years ago today.

For the Cubs: Catcher – Damon Berryhill; 1st Base – Mark Grace; 2nd Base – Ryne Sandberg; SS – Shawon Dunston; 3rd Base – Vance Law; OF – Rafael Palmerio, Dave Martinez, and Andre Dawson; SP – Greg Maddux, Rick Sutcliffe,Jamie Moyer, and Calvin Schiraldi.

That’s not too bad of a line-up.  2 current HOF players in Dawson and Sandberg and an obvious 1st ballot player with Maddux.  And 1 of the best hitters of the 90’s in Grace.

For the Mets: Catcher – Gary Carter; 1st Base – Keith Hernandez; 2nd Base – Wally Backman; SS – Kevin Elster; 3rd Base – Howard Johnson; OF – Darryl Strawberry; Lenny Dykstra, and Kevin McReynold; SP – Dwight Gooden, David Cone, Ron Darling, and Sid Fernandz.

This group is a little more rag-tag with the exception of HOF’er Gary Carter.  There must be something in the water in NY because none of these guys did extremely well after leaving the Mets(possibly excluding Dykstra and Cone) and several of them went down the tubes quickly.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY WRIGLEY FIELD!!!!

The 2014 Major League Baseball Season Is Here. Let’s Play Ball!!!

The 2014 Major League Baseball Season Is Here.  Let’s Play Ball!!!

Finally we get to hear those two words we’ve been wanting to hear since November – ‘PLAY BALL’!!!

I am very excited that the 2014 baseball season is here. The Marlins are hosting the Colorado Rockies tonight in a rare night game and I am going to make every effort possible to it from start to finish.  Hopefully my two boys will want to watch a bit of it as well.  And with Jose Fernandez on the mound, it is even more exciting as the Marlins have a true ‘Ace’ on the mound!

As a kid, I always wanted to go to an Opening Day game, but there was no team in Florida during my youth. And as an adult, I guess that work and other priorities have gotten in my way as I have still not been able to conquer that dream.

I promise that one day I will!!!

Until then, ‘PLAY BALL’!!!!

MLB Increases For Positive Drug Test Results & I LOVE IT!!!

MLB Increases For Positive Drug Test Results & I LOVE IT!!!

From MLB.com

Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced today significant improvements to virtually every component of their Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. In making the most extensive modifications to the Program since 2006, MLB and the MLBPA continue to take steps to ensure that Baseball has the most comprehensive drug program of any professional sports organization in the world.

Some of the significant elements of the revised Program include the following:

  • The number of in-season random urine collections will more than double beginning in the 2014 season (from 1,400 to 3,200), which are in addition to the mandatory urine collections that every player is subjected to both during Spring Training and the Championship Season. This represents the largest increase in testing frequency in the Program’s history.
  •  Blood collections for hGH detection — which remains the most significant hGH blood testing program of its kind in American professional sports — will increase to 400 random collections per year, in addition to the 1,200 mandatory collections conducted during Spring Training.
  •  A first-time performance-enhancing substance violation of the Joint Drug Program will now result in an unpaid 80-game suspension, increased from 50 games. A player’s second violation will result in an unpaid 162-game suspension (and a loss of 183 days of pay), increased from 100 games. A third violation will result in a permanent suspension from Baseball.
  •  A Player who is suspended for a violation involving a performance-enhancing substance will be ineligible to participate in the Postseason, and will not be eligible for an automatic share of the Player’s Pool provided to players on Clubs who participate in the Postseason. (Such Players are already ineligible to participate in the All-Star Game.)
  •  Every Player whose suspension for a performance-enhancing substance is upheld will be subject to six additional unannounced urine collections, and three additional unannounced blood collections, during every subsequent year of his entire career.
  • Carbon Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) will be randomly performed on at least one specimen from every player in addition to any IRMS test that the laboratory conducts as a result of the parties’ longitudinal profiling program (which was implemented prior to the 2013 season) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) guidelines for conducting IRMS.
  •  The parties established a program in which Players will have year-round access to supplements that will not cause a positive test result and which will improve home and visiting weight rooms.
  •  The parties provided the Arbitration Panel with the ability to reduce a Player’s discipline (subject to certain limitations) for the use of certain types of performance-enhancing substances if the Player proves at a hearing that the use was not intended to enhance performance;
  •  The parties added DHEA to the list of banned substances and enhanced the confidentiality provisions of the Program.

Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said: “Major League Baseball is proud to announce some of the most significant improvements that we have made to our Program in recent years. Although we had the strongest Program in professional sports before these changes, I am committed to constantly finding ways to improve the Program in order to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from the game and for MLB to serve as a model for other drug programs. I want to express my appreciation to the Players for being proactive and showing remarkable leadership in producing the new agreement. I commend them for both their foresight and their creativity throughout this process, and for strongly sharing our desire to improve what is already the toughest drug program in sports.”

MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark said: “Experience proves that increased penalties alone are not sufficient; that’s why the Players pushed for a dramatic increase in the frequency and sophistication of our tests, as well as comprehensive changes in a number of other areas of the program that will serve as a deterrent. Make no mistake, this agreement underscores the undisputed reality that the Players put forward many of the most significant changes reached in these negotiations because they want a fair and clean game.”

Did You Know…

The record for the most singles hit in a single major league baseball season is held by Ichiro Suzuki.  In 2004, Ichiro connected for 225 singles.

Ichiro

My 2011 Topps ‘Prime 9 Players Of The Week’ Redemption Set Is COMPLETE!!! Come See!!!

My 2011 Topps ‘Prime 9 Players Of The Week’ Redemption Set Is COMPLETE!!!  Come See!!!

Well friends, another subset has been completed at ’30-Year Old Cardboard’.

And this one is superb!

Just like the ‘Prime 9 Home Run Legends’ set I built last year, this one boasts great color, sharp graphics, and a supremely high-gloss finish.

The 2011 Topps Prime 9 ‘Players Of The Week’ set features 9 players – 1 for each defensive position.  And the roster is loaded with major, major talent.

Here is a look at the whole set:

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By completing this set, I have now finished both of the Topps ‘Prime 9’ redemption sets.  And I have to say that I wish that this was a series that never stopped.  The ‘Prime 9’ theme is one that could easily continue with new themes – and with solid production that matches the 2011 and 2012 sets that they already issued, the quality was definitely there!

Cheers to another completed subset!  Hip-Hip-Hooray!!

2013 Topps Update ‘Postseason Heroes’ Subset – Deion Sanders

2013 Topps Update ‘Postseason Heroes’ Subset – Deion Sanders

The 2013 Topps Update baseball card set includes a subset tagged as ‘Postseason Heroes.  And with that theme, you would expect to find cards of modern players like Albert Pujols, Edgar Renteria, and Pablo Sandoval but none of these guys made the checklist.

That does leave room for some nice surprises…

This is the card of Deion Sanders from the set:

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It was kind of odd to find Deion in this set – especially since he never won a World Series.

But, if you look at the performance he put on in the 1992 Fall Classic as a member of the Atlanta Braves, you will quickly see why he was included.

Facing the Blue Jays, Deion went off – In 4 games he went 8-for-165 with two doubles and six singles.  He stole five bases and scored four runs while amassing a batting average of .533 and an on-base percentage of .588.

SUPERB!!!

2011 Topps ‘Prime 9 Players Of The Week’ Redemption Set – Ichiro

2011 Topps ‘Prime 9 Players Of The Week’ Redemption Set – Ichiro

I had such a good time building the ‘Prime 9 – Home Run Legends’ set that as soon as it was completed, I jumped right into the ‘Prime 9 – Players Of The Week’ set.

The set was issued in the same manner – through exclusive redemption cards that could only be processed through hobby shops.

The set is ten cards deep, and features a great graphic display as well as a super-glossy finish.

This is the Ichiro card from the set:

Prime Ichiro

The back of the card features ‘9 Prime’ facts about Ichiro.

A few of my favorites are:

  • Was hitting 500 balls a day at age 7
  • won seven Pacific League batting titles in a row
  • second player to be ROY and MVP in same season
  • only player in MLB history with 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons
  • holds single-season record of 262 hits

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!

Ichiro turns 40 years old today!!

Easily one of the best hitters of the last 15 years, Ichiro Suzuki has proven to be an extremely talented contact hitter, maybe one of the best ever.

In 13 professional seasons in major league baseball, Ichiro has collected 2,742 hits.  In ten of thirteen years, he has accumulated 200 or more hits in those seasons.

For his birthday, I wish Ichiro perfect health.  And I want that health to hold until he gets into the 3,000 hits club.  Based on his average he will need just 2 more years to accomplish that task.  And while that means he will be 42 years old when that time comes, I do believe that he is conditioned to reach that mark with relative ease if he wants it.

Happy Birthday Ichiro!!!