Tag Archives: the hawk

The Top 10 Baseball Memories From My Youth

The Top 10 Baseball Memories From My Youth

Last week I issued a challenge to all baseball and baseball card bloggers on ’30-YOC’.  The task was simple, tell us your Top 10 greatest baseball memories.  And while that sounds easy, once you start thinking about them, the numbers pile up quick and if you stick to the rule of ’10’, several miss the cut. 

So no offense to Doc Gooden or Wade Boggs or Mark Grace or Kirby Puckett or Dale Murphy or Greg Maddux or Jose Canseco or Orel Hershiser.  But you guys didn’t make the cut.  Did you impress me during my youth?  Absolutely!  But there were other moments and other players that impacted me greater.

And here is my submission.  It should be noted that the numbers used below are strictly a counter.  It would be very hard for me to rank these moments/players – each impacted me and my love for the game when I was younger.

1 – Kirk Gibson’s home run during Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.  The play still gets aired each fall, and rightfully so.  This moment is what baseball is all about.  Gibson was able to create one of the most dramatic scenes in baseball history and I remember staying up very late at night and watching this game with my cousin.  Ironically, we were both pulling for Oakland.

2 – Cal Ripken breaking Lou Gehrig’s record of consecutive games played.  Cal was the king of baseball.  Not only was he the ‘Iron-Man’ he was a class act and his lap around the ballpark shaking hands and thanking the fans for their support still gives me chills several years later.

3 – The Wizard of Oz.  I remember being in awe of Ozzie Smith and his audience-thrilling acrobatic entrance onto the baseball diamond during the 1985 World Series.  He may have done the flip a million times before, but on this stage and in front of the world, I too watched in amazement.

4 – Bo Jackson.  A truly 1-of-a-kind talent, Bo Jackson captivated 2 sports at the same time.  He is the first player that I can recall that became a pop-culture icon.  Everybody knew Bo!!!

5 – The ball that went through Buckner’s legs…  Man this was a rough one.  This moment during the 6th game of the World Series was the turning point that eventually led to the Mets beating the Red Sox to win the championship.  I was pulling for Boston and their loss in 1986 was my first taste of sport-related heartbreak.

6 – Rickey Henderson’s steal to become the all-time stolen base king.  Rickey was great.  Rickey knew he was great.  Rickey had no problem telling you that he was great.  But he was right.  The greatest lead-off hitter and base runner of all-time was an absolute joy to watch.  He earned the confidence that he had – nobody will ever come close to breaking his record.

7 – Andre Dawson.  In 1982, and at the age of 7, I had a coach in Little League say ‘Nice throw Hawk’ to me after I rifled one in from the outfield.  A bit puzzled, I asked my dad what he meant.  And from there I did everything I could to learn about Andre Dawson.  His career has impacted my love for the sport and collecting baseball cards more than any other single player.  I love ‘The Hawk’!!!

8 – 1997 Florida Marlins World Series championship team.  We all know what happened to that roster after 1997, but during that season and through the playoffs, the Marlins were thrilling to watch.  Boasting a roster full of All-stars, the team took the sport by storm and won a championship during just their 5th season as a major league baseball team.  This victory marked the first time in my life that a team I cheered for the team that actually won the title.  What can I say, I love the losers….

9 – Pete Rose and hit #4,192.  I have vivid memories of watching this game on television with my dad.  And when Pete finally connected for hit #4,192, we both stood up and gave Pete Rose the same standing ovation that he received from 40,000+ fans in that stadium.  A moment I will never forget!!!

10 – Joe Carter’s walk-off home run.  Joe Carter realized every kid’s dream with that homer.  The walk off home run to win a championship title is what we all talked about and role-played with our friends in the neighborhood when we were young.  To watch someone accomplish that feat, and to see the joy on his face, was priceless.

And there you have it.  It took quite a bit of shuffling around but these are 10 moments/players that I will never forget.  These, along with many others, are the memories that I cherish from the sport that hooked me more than 20 years ago.

Baseball is a fabulous sport, and I find that even with the radical changes that have occurred in regards to training and technology, there is still a very strong link to the tradition and basics of the game that make it so enjoyable.

I hope you enjoyed reading through this post as much I enjoyed writing it for you!


Fingers Are Crossed!!!

Today is a very big day.

In just a few short hours, the National Baseball Hall of Fame will announce their class of 2010.

And if everything goes well, Andre Dawson will finally be tagged as a Hall of Fame player and get his spot alongside the greatest players to have ever played the sport of baseball.

How am I going to get any work done today???

Andre Dawson 1994 Donruss

 Andre Dawson 1994 Donruss

 Seeing Andre Dawsos in a Boston Red Sox uniform reminds me that ‘Hawk’s’ career was coming to a close.  And although he had 2 productive seasons in Boston before coming to the Florida Marlins, I prefer to let my memory linger back to Andre’s glory days from the Expos and Cubs.

Yet, I find this 1994 Donruss base card to be almost perfect.  Seriously.  An absolutely clear picture of Andre taking a mighty cut at a pitch.  A low-key design that allows for the player’s image to be the feature of the card.  A small company logo and a nice, stylish font used for the player’s name add a touch of class.  And the perfect amount of Red seen on the card to highlight the Red Sox logo as well as Andre’s uniform.

Donruss did a great job on this one!!!

dawson card 5

Card #300 Of My Andre Dawson Player Collection!!!

It took a little over 1 year to get to this point, but I have now added the 300th different card of Andre Dawson to my player collection.  In 13 months I have gone from 0 to 300 and the collection looks fantastic.

My original goal of collection all of ‘Hawk’s’ cards from his rookie year to 1989 was quickly ruined by my excitement over the more modern-era stuff.  I have picked up some amazing cards of Andre’s and luckily for me there is still quite a bit out there for me to go after.  While I know that I will never be able to be considered the ‘Dawson Completist’ I can proudly boast that this collection is my way of honoring Dawson’s incredible career.

Of the 5 player collections(Williams, Jenkins, Dawson, Winfield, and Henderson)  that I started when this blog began, this one is the only one that has gone off-course.  But somehow, of them, this is the one that I knew would go that route.  To be honest, there was really no way I could stop going after Andre’s cards…

So, here it is.  My 300th different Andre Dawson baseball card:

Dawson 300

A 2004 SP Legendary Cuts card of Andre in his home-field Cubs’ uniform.  I like the accent colors used in the design of this card as they really make the picture of Andre leap from the card.  It also doesn’t hurt that the background shows the wonderful brick backstop from good old Wrigley Field too!!!

Stay tuned, I think that #400 is just around the corner….

Andre Dawson With A Little Silver & Gold!!!

These two cards come courtesy of 1995 Upper Deck.  And what looks like 2 of the exact same cards, they are just slightly different.

The card on the left features Andre’s name in Silver as well as Upper Deck’s Electric Diamond logo in the top, left corner.

The card on the right features Andre’s name in Gold along with the UD logo too.

2 more great additions to my Andre Dawson player collection!!!  SWEET!!!

Dawson SilverGold

Alfredo Sent Over Three ‘Wicked’ Andre Dawson Cards!!!

 As many of you have experienced first hand, Alfredo from the blog ‘My Past Time, I Love It’  is a very generous collector.  When shopping for new additions to his personal collection, if he finds something that reminds him of a fellow blogger he usually scoops it up without hesitation.

So when I got an envelope in the mail from Alfredo it was not an uncommon thing for me.  But when I saw what was inside I was thrilled as he sent over 4 incredible cards.  Of the 4, 3 of them were of Andre Dawson.

Here they are:

Dawson Wicked 1

2005 Upper Deck SP Legendary Cuts highlighting Dawson’s playing days for the Chicago Cubs from 1987-92.

Dawson Wicked 2

2005 Leaf Century Collection which compliments this card perfectly!!!

Dawson Wicked 3

2005 Donruss Diamond Kings Heritage Collection

Thanks again Alfredo – for your generosity and for always keeping us in your thoughts while looking for cards!!!  If you thought this was impressive, wait until I unveil card #4 tomorrow….  Stay tuned.

Baseball Card Show Purchase #4 – Andre Dawson And Those Florida Marlins

1 guy had his boxes labeled by team and I jumped at the chance to grab a few cards of my favorite local guys.  I thought it would be a great chance to find some new stuff for TTM and I still had my hopes up that a few Cody Ross cards would cross my path.

Unfortunately that did not happen as most of the stuff this guy had was at least 10 years old.

And the only good thing about that???  Andre Dawson of course!!!

I picked up 13 new cards for my Andre Dawson collection and all of them feature ‘The Hawk’ in the Black and Teal of the Florida Marlins.

Dawson Marlins 1

Dawson Marlins 2

I have to admit, Andre looks damn good in a Marlins’ uniform!!!

Andre Dawson : Powered By Duracell!!!

Yep, you’ve guessed it.  I have another classic ‘oddball’ card of ‘The Hawk’ to share with you.  And this time the famous battery maker, Duracell, got in the action with this 1993 release.

The card looks great and has a nice, bright feel to it’s overall design.  I like the way that they incorporated the Duracell logo into the picture without making it the centerpiece of the card.  It’s the headline, and they need to advertise their brand, but they did a good job of giving the baseball card collector a card that they would want to add to their collections.

And now I am proud to say that this one is mine!!!

dawson duracell

1993 Topps Black Gold – Andre Dawson

This has quickly become one of my favorite Andre Dawson cards.  The 1993 Topps Black Gold design is not too spectacular, but their choice for bold color leaves a lasting impression on this collector!!

The idea of using a solid Black background which covers 70% of the card’s design is not something many card companies would be tempted to try.  But with the Stark-White outline around Andre’s image on the card, it really allows for his picture to leap off of the cardboard.  The Gold accents on both the top and bottom of the card really seal the deal on this one as they add just enough sparkle to draw your eye, but not too much as to take away from the centerpiece of the action photo of Andre.

Topps did a great job on this one!!  Way to go!!!

Dawson Black Gold

Would You Like Fries With Your Andre Dawson Baseball Card???

Below is a card issued in 1992 by Topps for McDonald’s.  Like many other national retailers, McD’s tried to jump on the bandwagon of baseball card collecting and use this set as a tool to keep kids coming to their restaurants.  Did it work?  I have no clue.  But the cards look great…

Topps really did a nice job with the design of this card.  We have seen many times when cards with Black borders do not hold up, like the 1971 Topps set.  But that is not the case with this 1992 issue.  The dark border allows for the other colors used in the design to really pop.  And the Yellow which I assume was used to represent the same color as McDonald’s famous arches creates a nice border around a large picture.

With this Andre Dawson card, the full body action shot of Andre as he prepares to take a mighty swing looks great.  The Gold accents add a little brightness to the card but also make the text hard to read.

Another great, new addition to my Andre Dawson player collection!!! 

Dawson McD