Tag Archives: phenom

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Dylan Bundy

2013 Topps Archives ‘Tallboys’ Subset – Dylan Bundy

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 Dylan Bundy from the set:



Dylan Bundy was one of the most talked about phenom pitchers of recent years.  Sadly, the start of his major league career has been derailed by injury.  Thus far, he has pitched just 1.2 innings in the majors, but once he is fully recovered from his ligament reconstructive surgery from last summer, the Orioles will give him a chance to earn a major league roster spot with the team.

Kind of odd that he was placed in the Tallboys set with many other worthy Orioles available.  But, at the same time, very cool for Bundy!

Marlins Fans, The Mike Stanton Era Begins Tonight!!!

Marlins Fans, The Mike Stanton Era Begins Tonight!!!

We’ve been hearing this name for quite some time and now the wait is finally over.

The kid that has been tearing up the minor leagues for the last 2 months is set to make his big league debut tonight when the Marlins battle the Phillies on the road.

Stanton is the most hyped rookie in the Marlins’ organization since Miguel Cabrera.  An outfielder that can hit for a good average and launch home runs with the best of them, I cannot wait to see if he can make an immediate impact with the club.

We’ll find out soon, the game is about to start.  Go FISH!!!

TTM Failure – Mark Prior

TTM Failure – Mark Prior

I know that Prior spent a ton of time with the Padres during and after Spring Training last year.  So when camp opened up this year I figured I would send a few cards his way in hopes of obtaining an autograph or two.  While I had not seen his name on their ‘active roster’ I do know that many big leaguers and former players still make the trip to get work in.

Unfortunately, my mail was never claimed and I got this back:

My letter to Mark Prior.  Just sitting there alone in Arizona.  Wanting to be loved and taken in.  But it was just left there unclaimed.  Sad, huh??  😦

If anyone knows of Prior’s whereabouts, I would love to re-send this out to him.  I haven’t seen his name pop up on any of the Spring Training reports that I read or any of the autograph sites that I visit.

If you know where Mark Prior is, please help!  Thanks!

Happy Birthday “Dr. K”

Today Dwight Gooden turns 44 years old. 

Dwight Gooden was the phenomenon in baseball card collecting when I first got involved in the hobby.  I remember being at one of my first baseball card shows at Joe Robbie Stadium, now called Dolphin Stadium, and all everyone was talking about was this young kid that was tearing up the league.  At 9 years old I didn’t understand how outstanding Doc’s rookie season was, but the hype around his name at this show left an impact on me.  It was then that I decided I would do what was needed to get the 1984 Topps Traded Rookie card that everyone was talking about.  That is, until I saw the price tag…  I couldn’t believe that people were paying $10 for 1 card when I could get 20 packs for that same amount.  Needless to say, I did not leave that show with my Gooden rookie.  Instead I left with over 300 cards from packs of random brands and years.

Of course, like many other collectors, I eventually was able to pick up that card, and pretty cheap too!!!

Happy Birthday ‘Doc’!!!


“Now Batting, Center Fielder, Cameron Maybin”

Well, it looks like Cameron Maybin’s impressive end of season play has earned him the starting Center Fielder position on next year’s Florida Marlins team.


This is great news!!!  Although nobody should expect Maybin to duplicate what he did in the last few weeks of the 2008 season, it is great to see that he will be with the team on Opening Day 2009!!!  I have never been to a game on Opening Day, but I might not be able to say that for too much longer as I would love to be there to watch him play on one of baseball’s best days of the year.

This just goes to show that hard work truely does pay off.  Congratulations Cameron!!!


“That Guy” #2

I cannot answer the question of ‘Why’…  But I definitely had a thing for Los Angeles Dodger pitching prospects in the late 1980’s and into the early 1990’s.

Ramon Martinez was another guy that I sunk an unthinkable amount of money and attention into when his rookie card became available.  Martinez had some pretty steady success during his 14-year career playing professional baseball, but he never lived up to the hype I created for him as I gathered up as many rookie cards of his that I could find.

Unlike my “That Guy #1”, Keith Kiki Jones, Martinez did make it to the major leagues and blossomed into an all-star pitcher.  In his first complete season with the Dodgers in 1990, Ramon went 20-6 while pitching 12 complete games and striking out 223 batters.  Martinez finished second in the Cy Young Award voting that year to Doug Drabek and earned his only trip to the All-Star game. 

I firmly believed that Ramon was quickly on his way to being one of the best pitchers of the decade and I was thrilled to be able to watch his success unfold right out of the gates.  Ramon didn’t do poorly afterwards, but he was never able to recapture the success he had during that 1990 season.  Although he did have 7 more years of double-digit wins under his belt, none were nearly as impressive as his first full season with the Dodgers.

From a collection standpoint, I gobbled up as many Ramon Martinez rookies as I was able to.  Having 2 new companies, Upper Deck and Score, only added to the excitement and my collection of Ramon Martinez rookie cards eclipsed the 200 card count by the All-star break of 1990.  Unfortunately, or fortunately for me some 18 years later, by then he was having an incredible year and the cards were getting harder and harder to find.

So now I have introduced you to 2 of my ‘That Guys’.  #1 was a rookie phenom destined for greatness that never made it to the ‘Big Show’.  And now #2 is a player that achieved the success in his rookie year that I anticipated and was never able to live up to the hype again.

Now I want stories from you guys and gals.  Who is your #2 “That Guy”???  Chris Sabo, Jerome Walton, come on I want to know who you fell in love with during their rookie year that never lived up to the attention you gave them.

KiKi Jones Delivers In Just 8 Days…

Wow, 3 straight days of great mail!!!  I can hardly wait to get home tonight to see what awaits me in my mailbox.  I hope it’s not the Visa bill….

As I mentioned last week in this post, I found ‘Kiki Jones’ through some searching on the Internet.  After a few rounds of email between one another I asked if I could send him a baseball card to get an autograph and he obliged.

Well, just 8 days later I found this in my mailbox!!!

I’ve blown up the size of the image to display the signature better.  I am not sure what type of pen was used to sign this, but it is not very clear.

Either way, I am really happy that Kiki agreed to sign this for me.  Kiki Jones was the first rookie that I ever obsessed over, way back in 1990, and although he did not make the type of impact in the sport that either he or I had wished for this autograph means quite a bit to me.

Thanks Kiki!!!

‘That Guy’ Turns Out To Be A Pretty Good Guy Too…

With the help of the wonderful Internet, I was able to track down my ‘That Guy’.  Keith ‘Kiki’ Jones currently lives in Tampa and is still very much in love with baseball.

After exchanging emails back and forth over the last week or so, I asked ‘Kiki’ if I could send him a card for his autograph.

He has graciously obliged and this letter will be going out in the mail tomorrow.

What Ever Happened To Gregg Jeffries???

Not too many rookies get the attention that Gregg Jeffries received prior to and during his rookie year.  Jeffries was noted as being one of the top players of his draft class, and playing for the New York Mets certainly added quite a bit more attention and pressure.

Jeffries was drafted by the Mets in 1985 and quickly became a star as he won the Minor League Player of the Year awards in both 1986 and 1987.  His ability to hit for average, power, and his speed stood out amongst his teammates and opponents and Gregg rapidly advanced through the Mets farm system.

Although Jeffries played in only a handful of games during the 1988 season with the Mets, the team and fans were thrilled with his talents.  He became a full time player in 1989 and quickly wiped those great feelings away as he was never able to meet the expectations put on him.  After 3 full seasons with the Mets, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals in 1991.  Things didn’t work out too well for Jeffries in Kansas City either and he soon found himself playing for the St. Louis Cardinals.  He enjoyed the 2 most productive seasons of his career with the Cardinals earning 2 All-Star appearances with the team.  Soon after, injuries and decline took over as Gregg played for 3 more teams in 5 seasons and finally retired with the Detroit Tigers in 2000.

Gregg Jeffries ended his career with a respectable batting average of .289 while hitting 126 home runs.  Unfortunately for him, he never lived up to the hype he had as a phenom with the New York Mets.

Today Gregg lives with his wife and is not involved with baseball.

Cameron Maybin Did Exactly What He Needed To Do…

That’s right.  Maybin has the best chance of being the Marlin’s Opening Day center fielder in 2009.  Maybin offered us a glimpse of what we can expect from him next season by putting up some pretty amazing offensive stats over the last 2 weeks:

In 8 games, Maybin went 16 for 32 compiling a .500 batting average.  He was also able to steal 4 bases and score 9 runs.  With 8 strikeouts in 8 games, Maybin shows that he needs to continue working on pitch selection.  If he is going to be the lead-off hitter for the Marlins next year, he needs to reduce his strikeouts and maintain an On-Base Average of .400 or more.

Next season should be very interesting as all 3 Marlins outfield slots should be open competition for 7-8 players that want the job.  Maybin is talented enought to take 1 of these spots, now he just has to convince the management of the Florida Marlins that he is up to the task.  So far, he is off to a great start…