Tag Archives: torii hunter

Torii Hunter 2014 Topps Series 1 Subset – ‘Super Veterans’

Torii Hunter 2014 Topps Series 1 Subset – ‘Super Veterans’

When I got back into the hobby of baseball card collecting in the summer of 2008, my goal was to pay homage to the players that helped build my love for the game and the hobby.

The first subset I put together that helped me with that cause was the ‘Super Veterans’ subset from the 1983 Topps baseball card set.  This set is a beauty and it highlights the true legends of the game as their careers were winding down.

For the last few years, I have actively been begging Topps to bring this subset back and pay honor to today’s ‘Super Veterans’.  And while I cannot confirm that they obliged my request, I was very excited to see that a 15-card ‘Super Veterans’ subset was part of the 2014 Topps Series 1 release.

I am building the set now.  Here is the card of Torii Hunter:

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The 2014 baseball season is Hunter’s 18th year in major league baseball.

Upon entering the season, Hunter had 2,170 career hits and a career batting average of .279.  He is a threat both at the plate and on the bases as he has connected for 313 career home runs while also stealing 189 bases and scoring 1,158 runs.

Hunter is also a stellar defender as he has won 9 Gold Glove Awards.

Torii Hunter has appeared in the playoffs seven times during his career but he has yet to make a World Series appearance.  Maybe 2014 will be his year!

Finally, My 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Wall Climbers’ Subset Is Complete!!!

Finally, My 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Wall Climbers’ Subset Is Complete!!!

Yessir, I have completed the 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen Wall Climbers’ subset and it is a sweet looking set of cards.

The action images that Topps captured for this set really is exceptional.  And while I did not know it when I first considered collecting this set, the cards included in the set actually celebrate the ‘Wall Climbing’ that occurred during the 2010 baseball season that gave us these stellar images.  And the card backs, help tell the story as well – depicting the scene and providing the details of the occasion.

The set is ten cards deep – and as I mentioned before, it is action-packed!

Have a look:

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I told you it was sweet.

Among the players included in the set are rookies, all-stars, MVPs, and legends.  And the player mix just goes to show you that at any time, an outfielder can become a ‘Wall Climber’ and put his stamp on any game.

What a fantastic addition to my subset collection – This one is GREAT!!!!

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Wall Climbers’ Subset – Torii Hunter

2011 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Wall Climbers’ Subset – Torii Hunter

The 2011 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Wall Climbers’ set is a piece of art. The cards feature stunning graphics with images that capture some of baseball’s greatest action – the art of leaping into the air and bringing back would be home run balls.

The set offers just 10 cards, but each one is an amazing look at one of baseball’s great highlights.

This is the card of Torii Hunter from the set:

TORII HUNTER

 

Torii Hunter has been making highlight reel plays in the outfield since his rookie season of 1997.

Since that time, Hunter has established his status as one of the most athletic outfield defenders in the game.  With his speed, ability to read the ball, and lack of caution when it comes to making plays, Hunter has saved tons of runs for his teams while cementing wins too.

Hunter has won 11 Gold Gloves for his defensive excellence.

My First Time – Torii Hunter – August 22, 1997

My First Time – Torii Hunter – August 22, 1997

The Setting – Camden Yards.  Baltimore, MD.

From Hunter – “First major league game that I have ever seen live, and I am sitting there in the dugout realizing that I could be playing in it.”

The Box Score – Orioles 3, Twins 1.  Hunter is inserted as a pinch runner replacing the catcher.

‘On The Road With psugator02’ – March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010

White Sox at Rangers
Surprise, Ariz.
8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Had heard great things about the Rangers’ facility. But in retrospect, I spent a lot of hours graphing and really didn’t get much. However, every stud Rangers’ minor leaguer walked right by me, including Font, Boscan, Smoak, and many many more. If I had seen Smoak in time I most definitely would’ve gotten him on a SS.

Ozzie Guillen: 1/1 (B+W 5×7 sketch card)….gave him blue Sharpie but he signed it in black and it came out so well that the graph actually looks like it’s part of the sketch
Ian Kinsler: 1/1 (8×10)….one of the prettiest graphs I’ve gotten in a long time
Josh Hamilton: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)…got the last Hamilton item I own signed. I think I’m gonna read his autobiography and get that signed….every time he signs for me it seems I have a story. This time, he was inscribing Psalm 62. He did it on a lot of items but not mine. I asked him why I didn’t get the inscription. He looked at me and asked, “Do you remember it?” I said that I did and Hamilton smiled. GREAT GREAT dude
Gordon Beckham: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)…I was on the other side of the stadium and saw him signing. I rushed over to where he was and got lucky. Funny thing is that a young girl standing in front of me asked for the SS and he refused. Then when it was my turn I asked for the SS and he did it. It may have had something to do with me telling Beckham that I had flown in from Florida. I wished him luck this season and he thanked me. A real GREAT dude
Ron Washington: 2/2 (cards)…guy was a common in the 1980s so I have a ton of his cards. I didn’t bring all of them with me. Maybe I should have because now I have nothing left for him. A great guy and a great signer
Nelson Cruz: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)…went down the line on the backfields, signing for everyone. a GREAT GREAT dude
Michael Young: 0/1…this guy has proven to be hard. he actually signed for three people standing next to me, including a little boy, but he wouldn’t sign for me
Elvis Andrus: 0/1
Nolan Ryan: 0/1..I finished my pregame graphing and knew that Ryan was probably in attendance so I talked to an unsher who worked the area behind home plate. He pointed to Ryan’s seat (he sits in the same seat every game). He said Ryan hadn’t yet arrived. Oddly enough, five minutes after speaking to this usher I turned around and saw Ryan standing five feet from me. I was the only one to recognize him. I asked him to sign and he wouldn’t do it. I walked with him a few feet, trying to make small talk and butter him up for later. He ended up leaving the game in the bottom of the 8th, but this time went out through the field exit, which was inacessible to me. On a side note, between half innings ushers would guard Ryan on all sides, preventing people from scooting over near him. However, if you happened to be a good-looking woman, Ryan would motion you over and allow you to sit next to him. I saw a hot blonde point at Ryan and he invited her over. She sat next to Ryan for 15-20 minutes and when the two of them were done talking Ryan signed for her.
Alex Rios: 0/1
Paul Konerko: 0/1
Juan Pierre: 0/1

Once I saw Ryan leave I knew that the stadium’s logistics would limit further postgame graphing opportunities so I high-tailed it back to Phoenix.

Indians at Angels
Phoenix, Ariz.
4-4:45 p.m.

Huge crowd of people stood outside the fence waiting for Angels’ graphs. I knew the chances of anyone stopping were slim so I thought of something creative. A 6-foot wall surrounds the player parking lot, which is also where the visitors’ bus parks. I’m 6’5, so it was easy for me to look over the wall at the Angels’ players exiting the clubhouse, in addition to those Indians boarding the bus. The wall is only a few feet from the entrance to the visitors’ bus so the players had to acknowledge me as they boarded. After a few minutes I looked down and saw three boulders, which I piled on top of one another. I stood on the three boulders and was even taller, leaning over the wall with my items in hand.

While standing on the boulders

Tori Hunter: 0/1 …I was only two feet from him as he exited the clubhouse yet he wouldn’t do it
Chris Perez: 4/4 (cards for deejayshane)….I saw him so many times in Jupiter last year that I recognized him immediately, which is the only reason I was able to get him. If I had waited to see the name on his back then I most definitely wouldn’t have gotten him. I gave him the four cards I had and he asked why I needed so many. I told him that they were set cards for a friend whom I trade with. He then said he was just messing with me. We talked about the University of Miami and I wished him luck. One of my favorite players in MLB. GREAT GREAT dude
Sandy Alomar: probably could’ve gotten him but I didn’t realize it was him until he had already passed me

As soon as I got Perez a security guard stationed inside the clubhouse walked over to me and told me that I had to get down off the wall.

Back behind the barricades

Hideki Matsui: 0/1 …wouldn’t stop his car

If you would like to contact Mark, he can be reached at psugator02@yahoo.com.

‘On The Road With psugator02′ – March 24 & 25, 2010

‘On The Road With psugator02′ – March 24 & 25, 2010

Wednesday, March 24

L.A. Dodgers at Oakland A’s
Phoenix, AZ

After some problems with the rental car I was forced to take the city bus from the airport so I didn’t make it to the game until 7:30 p.m. Met up with angelsfan, who has to be the prettiest grapher on this board, and a friend from South Florida. The Dodgers brought the entire starting lineup, which was a shock to me considering that’s not something that usually happens in the Grapefruit League. Most of the Dodgers’ starters were pulled halfway through the game, which is when we decided to leave our seats for the bus. Shocked at how accommodating the players were:

James Loney: 1/2 (Ginter)…said he didn’t have time to sign the second
Casey Blake: 1/1 (Ginter), 1/1 with help (Ginter)..signed but didn’t seem too happy about it
Matt Kemp: 1/1 (Ginter)….wanted to ask him about Rhiana but I didn’t LOL
Hiroki Kuroda: Actually jogged around the fans waiting by the bus so he wouldn’t have to sign
Andre Ethier: 1/1 (Ginter)
Rafael Furcal: 1/1 (Ginter)
Joe Torre: 0/1…said there were too many people even though I only counted six. seemed to be in a bad mood

Other: Mattingly and the entire coaching staff wouldn’t even acknowledge fans

and the surprise of the night:

Tommy Lasorda: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)…he only signed three. was with a handler who kept saying that “Tommy can’t sign anymore. Get him tomorrow at Camelback.” Well once the handler got in the car to pick up Tommy I shouted, “Hey Tommy, would you mind signing?” And he motioned for a friend and I to come over. I”ll just say this: Lasorda looked like death and I mean that in the nicest way. He had trouble walking and appeared to be out of it at least in the 5 minutes I interacted with him. Whatever is wrong, I wish him the best.

Next up on Thursday: Rangers at Angels (day) and A’s at Giants (night)

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Thursday, March 25

Texas Rangers at LA Angels
10:15-4:30

Got there at about 10:15 and Weaver, Wood and Santana were already on the backfields and the Rangers’ team bus had already arrived. Had to graph the stadium before the game started and I’m never a big fan of that. But all in all I did pretty well.

Josh Hamilton: 1/1 (11×14 in blue Sharpie) on the LF berm, 1/1 (8×10 in black Sharpie) on the berm, 2/2 (Ginters) after the game….also took a pic with…this dude is awesome. he actually parked in the public lot if you can believe that…..you can really see that after all he’s been through he really understand what’s important and that’s being cool to the fans
Nelson Cruz: 2/2 (8x10s) in public lot after game, 2/2 (Ginters) in public lot after game
Ron Washington: 1/1 (Senior League Baseball card)….We reminisced about the Senior Baseball League, which had a team only a few minutes from where I live. Wished him luck in 2010 and he said,”Thanks, babe.”
Chris Davis: 2/2 (Ginters) before game, 1/1 (Ginter) after game in public lot
Hideki Matsui: 0/1 just missed him as he signed about 20 in the sixth inning while leaving the field for the clubhouse
Tori Hunter: 1/1 (Ginter) in the boldest black Sharpie I have ever seen, 1/1 (’08 Ginter state card)…this dude is great..always smiling, chatting with fans and taking pictures
David Murphy: 2/2 (Ginters)

and the surprise of the day…………

Vlad Guerrero: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…I purposely left my SI at home because I’ve never seen or heard of him signing. And then when I saw him doing SPs all I had left was the Ginter. But no regrets as I need him to complete the set. I told him that I don’t know anyone who can sport a goatee the way he does, but I’m not sure he understood me. I was finally at the right place at the right time

Oakland A’s at San Francisco Giants
5:30-11 p.m.

Mike Gallego: 2/2 (cards) before the game by the dugout….reminisced about the days the Yankees used to train in Fort Lauderdale. a GREAT dude…didn’t realize how short he is LOL
Travis Buck: 1/1 (Turkey Red) before the game by the dugout…..I don’t even collect Turkey Reds but this card looks great
Kevin Kouzmanoff: 1/1 (Ginter)…..he explained why players aren’t allowed to sign once the National Anthem begins….neat guy
Mark Gardner: 0/1..he would’ve done it but I didn’t recognize him until it was too late
Jonathan Sanchez: 2/2 (8x10s), 1/1 (8×10) with help….refused to inscribe his no-hitter, though he did for someone else…you should’ve seen the woman he was with..WOW
Bruce Bochy: 1/1 (card)…he stopped his car to sign for the dozen or so graphers left
Shawon Dunston: 1/1 (card)…he didn’t want to sign, saying, “It’s no longer my time.”
Mark DeRosa: 1/1 (card)
Roberto Kelly: 1/1 (card)
Bengie Molina: 1/1 (Ginter)…last player to leave the stadium
Buster Posey: 0/1 …didn’t think he was worth a ball so I gave him a whitesheet, which he refused to sign
Pablo Sandoval: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)….asked him for the “Kung Fu Panda” inscription but he refused
Tim Flannery: 0/1 …wouldn’t even stop

and the biggest disappointment of the night ….

Dave Righetti: 0/1 ….last person to leave the stadium and the only reason I even attended the game. Asked him as he exited the clubhouse if he could sign and he said, “No” and then put his head down. Walked over to his car but he just drove past me

Having Fun With Baseball’s 25 Highest Paid Players…

I thought it would be entertaining to take a look at baseball’s top 25 paid players for the 2008 season and link their salaries to one stat of theirs to illustrate how much each of these guys got paid to do just one thing over the course of the whole year…

The results are pretty funny, and a little disturbing too!!! 

Rank Player Salary Team Fun Facts
1 Alex Rodriguez $28,000,000.00 NY Yankees $800,000 per home run
2 Jason Giambi $23,428,571.00 NY Yankees $207,332 per hit
3 Derek Jeter $21,600,000.00 NY Yankees $245,454 per run scored
4 Manny Ramirez $18,929,923.00 Boston Red Sox $156,445 per RBI
5 Carlos Beltran $18,622,809.00 NY Mets $749,912 per stolen base
6 Ichiro Suzuki $17,102,149.00 Seattle Mariners $2,443,164 per triple
7 Johan Santana $16,984,216.00 NY Mets $1,061,513 per win
8 Todd Helton $16,600,000.00 Colorado Rockies $200,000 per game played
9 Torii Hunter $16,500,000.00 LA Angels $445,945 per double
10 Bobby Abreau $16,000,000.00 NY Yankees $219,178 for every walk drawn
11 Carlos Delgado $16,000,000.00 NY Mets $2,000,000 for every sacrifice
12 Andy Pettitte $16,000,000.00 NY Yankees $484,848 for every game started
13 Carlos Zambrano $16,000,000.00 Chicago Cubs $123,076 per strikeout
14 Mike Hampton $15,975,184.00 Atlanta Braves $355,004 for every run allowed
15 Magglio Ordonez $15,768,174.00 Detroit Tigers $315,363 each time he was caught stealing
16 Rafael Furcal $15,730,195.00 LA Angels $191,831 for each base he reached
17 Jim Thome $15,666,666.00 Chicago White Sox $31,146 per at bat
18 Vlad Guerrero $15,500,000.00 Los Angeles Angels $193,750 per outfield assist
19 Tim Hudson $15,500,000.00 Atlanta Braves $5,166,666 per wild pitch
20 Richie Sexson $15,500,000.00 Seattle Mariners $267,241 per double play turned
21 Jason Schmidt $15,217,401.00 LA Dodgers $15,217,401 for doing nothing
22 Randy Johnson $15,100,546.00 Arizona Diamondbacks $7,550,273 per complete game
23 Aramis Ramirez $15,000,000.00 Chicago Cubs $1,363,636 each time hit by a pitch
24 Mariano Rivera $15,000,000.00 NY Yankees $211,267 per inning pitched
25 Miguel Tejada $14,811,414.00 Houston Astros $1,346,492 per error committed

 

Make no mistake about it, nobody deserves to be paid what these guys get paid.  Especially in a time when the country is in a recession and more and more Americans are unemployed.  But, none of us would turn these contracts down either so you cannot really fault the players…

Needless to say, these guys are really making a ton of cash for playing a kid’s game and I applaud them for the hard work(most of the time) and their dedication to their sport!!  Now back up that Wells Fargo truck!!!!

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Searching Today’s Game, Looking For A ‘5-Tool Player’…

I wanted to continue with my posts about the ‘5-Tool Player’.  I thought it would be fun to get the readers involved too and ask for their submissions as to who fits the criteria to make the list.

Trying to find the player that has the perfect blend of all 5 values is going to be harder than I originally thought.  Some of the attributes like hitting for average, hitting for power, and base running should be easier due to the stats that are readily available.  The defensive values of throwing and fielding may be harder to navigate as several of the league’s Gold Glove winners are not the best defensive players at their positions.

I am already positive that if the ‘5-Tool Player’ exists in today’s game he will not have the highest batting average, most steals, and most home runs.  The perfect player does not exist, but there is a nice sized handful of players that meet 2-3-4 of the needed goals to be considered a ‘5-Tool’ guy.

In the National League, you have players like Todd Helton and Hanley Ramirez that are close but they’re lacking in 1 or 2 categories to make the list.  Helton cannot run, and Ramirez makes a good number of errors each year.  Then you have players like Jeff Francoer, Andruw Jones, and Jim Edmonds that excel in the 2 defensive categories but their offensive stats are par or below par.

Over in the American League, players like Ichiro and Derek Jeter get the job done defensively, but lack the power numbers needed to be considered for this group.  On the reverse, you have offensive talents like Joe Mauer and Magglio Ordonez that are great hitters, but their base running abilities are limited at best.

So, here is my list of 4 contenders.  I’m sure that there are many more that are worthy of consideration….

Alex Rodriguez – .310 BA, 33 HR’s, 17 SB’s, .968 fielding %, 10 errors

Torii Hunter – .281 BA, 20 HR’s, 17 SB’s, 1.00 fielding %, 0 errors

Jimmy Rollins – .275 BA, 10 HR’s, 42 SB’s, .988 fielding %, 6 errors

Carlos Beltran – .278 BA, 23 HR’s, 20 SB’s, .992 fielding %, 0 errors

So, in today’s game who offers that perfect blend?  Am I missing anyone?  Let me know who you think is the ultimate ‘5-Tool Player’ in the game today!!!