Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Sorting of 5000: 1992 Topps

Man oh Man,

As I continue to look at these players from my sophomore year of high school I recall those days with nostalgia, and wistfulness. Both of those vices reside in the realm of age, never visiting the young man. But boy, our first player is one of the big ones from my youth. He wasn't really on my radar until he played for the dreaded Yanks.


It wasn't for a couple of more years and alot more Big Mac's that Wells really reached his dominance. For some reason his perfect game stands out in my head as significant. Perhaps I had just started watching Sports Center seriously, not sure. Did love watching his dominance of the era, and this is my first card of his. Somewhere in this box of 5000 I bet there's more ;)


Woo Hoo another great player! All I remember about Palms here was his amazing mustache at different points along his career. It wasn't until I was looking at the back of this card that I remembered he started life as a Cubbie. This year he led the league in doubles, and the year before that he led the league in hits. This year on 7/2/91 He belted his second homer in one game for the second time that week!


Another sweet catcher in action pose card from Topps. I am a fan. Charlie here played for eight teams, won the World Series in 1995, and caught for 11 Cy Young Pitchers. He invented the newfangled hockey masks that catchers wear because he got tired of gettin' dinged by foul tips. On a personal note, his son players for the Wichita State Shockers, a very good team located near my grandparents in Hutchinson, Ks.


Donn "the Pope" Pall pitched around the league for 10 years. He is currently a community rep for the White Sox. Once a shout-sider, always a shout-sider.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Sorting of 5000: 1992 Topps

This round has some good ones. Just sitting here typing in the cold of Chicago waiting for my wife to get off work so we can meet at the local watering hole. As I wait I shall educate myself on some of these players.


This is the year that Aguilera's career really hit overdrive. It was in 1991 that he got his first invite to the all-star game on the back of 42 saves that season. He would go on to the next two all-star games as well. Having taken a few years to adjust to the role of a closer, he found career resurgence this year and continued to dominate the league with his veteran arm coming out of the bullpen.


Woohoo a Cardinal. This journeyman player was making a two year stop playing for the redbirds. In Rex's 14 year career he played every position but pitcher and catcher. He even went on to play in Japan for two years and won their series one of them. He is now a color commentator for the Royals. That would be a sweet job.


So many catchers already in this set. Currently the manager of the Ogden Raptors, a minor league team in Utah under the Dodger umbrella. I can't help but wonder what Ogden, Utah is like.



Tom replaced the previously posted Buck Rogers as captain of the cellar dog Expos. He only lasted a year after some questionable moves were made by him, and an eerie episode where he came to spring training in marine fatigues, reportedly channeling Norman Schwarzkopf. He is currently a bench coach for the Rockies.


The Sorting of 5000: 1992 Topps



Currently a home mortgage specialist in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Chris had a short 6 years playing in the big leagues. The back of the card says he is 5-0 in games attended by his Mother. Here's betting he's a wicked little league coach for his kids.


At 6'8" and 275 pounds Jeff was one of the top high-school prospects of all time to come out of Massachusetts. He never quite found his groove in the Big Leagues. However, on August 25, 1995 he holds the record as being the only pitcher to be the third pitcher to hit a grand slam in a season. Lot of heavy swingin' pitchers that season!


This card is Epic! Man, what a great Senior Photo. The back of the card lists Scott's freshman through junior year stats at Baylor. He was drafted by the White Sox but had a mediocre 5 years. He is now a High School baseball coach in Austin, Texas.


Look at the form of that wacky knuckle-baller. Considered a strikeout artist during his career, he now announces for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In what is a testament to the ergonomics of the knuckle ball he led the league in 1986 with 17 complete games. 17! Perhaps the coolest think about Tom is that he is in the International Bowlers Hall of Fame, unfortunately the only Hall he will find himself in.



Craig here is from Munich, and if I know anything, I know that that is one sweet Pilsner sippin' mustache. A solid 11 years left him with the record for most games by a Padre at 86. He is also currently the last pitcher to hit a walk-off home run. On April 25, 1986 in the bottom of the 12th inning this lanky pitcher swung the big lumber. I tell you, this post has pitchers that can hit!


I watched old Mac here play during my youth growing up in Missouri. He was an above average catcher and held the record for most games as a catcher for the royals in 1994, surpassing the record held by John Wathan. He now owns a baseball training facility with Kevin Seitzer. Mac-N-Seitz.


It looks like Chico is thinking to himself "What the hell did they put the camera up here for?"

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Sorting of 5000: 1992 Topps

Continuing along. A couple of nice ones collated.


This is the last year for the veteran catcher. In what was a rather lackluster 18 year big league care he still managed to win the big one with the Royals in 1985.  Now he is a bench coach for the Chicago Cubs and promises to help pull that team out of the doldrums. I like this action photo Topps has chosen for his card this year. Catcher's always seem to have the best photos in my opinion.


Besides a couple of interesting book ends to his career recounted on Wikipedia I always felt that this guy below was the better of the two.


Gotta love Twicki.


Bill was drafted by the Brewers in 1981 and played all of his eleven years with that team. His career year happened in 1991 where he won 15 games and had a 2.84 ERA. Something about that old uniform I think is sharp.


This is my second card posted with Mickey here. In the earlier post I attached a video of his fruit loop commercial, a short fad. Somehow I don't think that lump in his cheek is fruit loops?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The sorting of 5000: 1992 Topps


#14 Wes Chamberlain, not alot to say about him. I grew up around the corner from one of his teammates, Phil Bradley. For some reason he had a home in Columbia, Mo. None the less Wes had six mediocre seasons in the Big Leagues.


#15 El Presidente. 23 big league seasons, won 100 games in both leagues, first Nicaraguan player in the big leagues. Awesome. The year this photo was snapped he pitched the 13th perfect game in baseball history. He also lead the league this year in CG and SHO, 9 and five respectively. 5 shutouts, solid.


#16 Jeff Montgomery. I grew up in central Missouri loving this guy. He was the Royals go to closer for a large part of my youth. He distinguished himself by having four go to pitches, double what most relievers have. He is now broadcasting for the Royals on the station he sits as Vice-President. This guy is a mid-western ball player through and through. I am glad there are still gigs inside the game for guys like this.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Sorting of 5000

I am back!!! I'm not going to buy any new cards  . . . alright maybe a few, but no seriously. I'm going to catalog this giant, semi-cool ebay purchase. I got 5000 cards. That's alot to sort, and file in my OCD way. That is actually part of this hobby I like, the sorting and organizing. I imagine Dewey, of Dewey Decimal fame, enjoyed the hobby of sport card collecting as well.

So I'm gonna sort, catalogue and record. Here goes, with the first of a ton of posts regarding 1992 Topps. I was in 10th grade, loved soccer, Primus, and driving.

The first is #5 Dave Winfield:


Nearing the end of a Hall of Fame career, Winfield had a descent year, becoming the oldest person in history to hit for the cycle on June 24th against the Royals. Breaking Honus Wagners record. When you're breaking a Honus Wagner record that is saying something! The very next year Dave hits a double to win the world series for his new team the Blue Jays. Well done sir, well done.


#7 Jim Olander fought for a spot 12 years in the minor leagues. In this card from 1991 Jim finally played 12 games in the big league. With 12 games, 9 at bats, and 2 Runs he had a good showing. A broken leg the next year spelled doom for the old goat, and he never played another major league game. He is a scout now for the Detroit Tigers, and considered a quality baseball guy.



#8 Bryan Hickerson pitched from '91-'95 in the Major leagues to an even record of 21-21. He recorded 279 strikeouts and traveled from the Giants to the Cubs to the Rockies. He stays involved with baseball via UPI, a christian outreach group using baseball to reach youth.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My First 3rd

I have never really understood the Jr. or III convention of naming children. How confusing must it have been at the Smalley house when "Roy" was called, and three generations of Smalley men turn around. By god, it's like shouting "Mom" at the grocery store.

Was the Smalley family of so little imagination that they had to use the same name time and time again.

Here and now I vow to never sire a Tim Graham Jr. Although, a wicked side of me could see skipping the Jr. and going straight to the third for my son. In some kind of manufactured nobility play, I would propel my son up the WASP ranks.

We'll see what the wife thinks of my plan. Could have some issues with it.


III here had quite a year during this cards release. The Twins win the Series, his second trip back to Minnesota finally yielded a ring in his second to last year in the Bigs.

III was an All-Star shortstop in 1979, having lit up the first half of the season with a .341 batting average.

Jr., III's father, was a shortstop in the Bigs as well.

Well you know how the saying goes:

Like Jr. like III.