Thursday, January 19, 2012

Three More From the Box

So, the restaurant has slowed down a bit, here in Chicago. Opening a restaurant that has been blessed with its success has been amazing. I have never managed an operation this large, had this many staff to look after, or done this many covers (I am from fine-dining after all). It has been amazing! However, it is nice that mother nature comes, freezes River North, and allows us to catch a breather after a hectic holiday season.

All that being said, it basically translates into more time to post. Man, so much time, and new cards don't release until next month. Looks like the 1.99 I spent is going to have to do. Worry not, 31 faithful readers, I have pulled some gems for today.

Do you think this guy likes a knuckle-sandwich?

I do wonder though, having watched this guy pitch for the majority of my life, who teaches this. When you have a young kid that just loves to throw with his knuckles, or just can't help but pitch side-arm, who trains these kids? I would think that most coaches would force them to throw over-hand. Anyone with experience in this?

Manny is next. Auto Manny. Even if it is a stamp.

I fully expect to see this guy Vinny Testeverde me. I have no doubt, that four years from now I will look up from the couch and see Manny DH for some team. I also expect Vinny to come back and QB for some team mid-season almost every year. Where oh where has my Vinny gone? (Sorry, I swear this is about a Manny card).

Last but not least . . . Who names their kid Junior?

Okay, his real name is Adalberto. Perhaps Score didn't know that? Weird stance, long career, and one ring. Not bad Junior, not bad.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Sweet Plasticine Pulls

If you can't tell, I'm gonna keep pluggin' away at this plasticine time capsule that I have purchased for 3.99 retail. Hard plastic pocket of treasure.

I continue to be amazed at the travesty of design. I kind of thought it was confined to the 80's and early 90's. This poor card, looking like its rolling lonely during couples skate, is from 1997. They should have known better by then.

I remember this guy pitching in the early 90's, and the hype of the Rookie Pitcher of the Year. He did admirably, he just unfortunately did it in Kansas City. And, I like the Royals. One of my teams. It happens when you grow up on I-70.

The next guy is almost off the radar. Only showing up on the more esoteric baseball stat sites, certainly no wiki page. It's cool though. I kind of like the card. The back has a nice full photo as well.

Poor kid with the pencil 'stache never made it to the bigs. My first non big-leaguer from the value box.

This next pitcher has a beautiful story told on wiki-pedia.

"Lucas is possibly best remembered for his role in the Angels' crucial Game 5 loss in the 1986 American League Championship Series. The Angels held a three games to one lead in the best-of-seven series and found themselves with a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning of Game 5. Needing only one more out to clinch the team's first-ever pennant, the Angels turned to Lucas to provide that out.
Angels starting pitcher Mike Witt was the team's clear pitching star and had pitched a very strong game overall. However, with the game on the line, the batter coming to the plate was the Boston Red Sox' Rich Gedman, who was 3 for 3 in the game against Witt, including a double and a home run. Angels manager Gene Mauch elected to remove Witt from the game and replace him with Lucas to nail down the final out. The wisdom of the move was questioned — then and now — but it was at least consistent with Mauch's long-held managerial tendencies: managing according to the historically demonstrated strengths/weaknesses of individual players.
In this case, Gedman had historically been very successful batting against Witt, including having hit a home run earlier in the game. Meanwhile, Gedman had faced Lucas a total of three previous times and had struck out all three times. Also factoring in Mauch's decision to remove Witt may have been the fact that although aside from Gedman's home run, Witt had almost completely shut down the Red Sox offense entering the ninth inning, earlier in that ninth inning Witt had given up a second home run, this time to Boston's Don Baylor.
With the Angels' lead standing at only one run, and with a relief pitcher in his bullpen who had had only success against Gedman, Mauch did not want to risk having Witt face Gedman again. Mauch made the decision to put the ball in Lucas' hands.
With Lucas' first pitch, he hit Gedman, allowing Gedman to take first base and bringing the go-ahead run up to the plate in the person of Dave Henderson. Lucas was replaced with Angels closer Donnie Moore, but Moore surrendered a home run to give Boston the lead. The Red Sox went on to win the game in extra innings, and after that, the shellshocked Angels were never again close to winning the series. They were crushed in each of the series' final two games and forced to watch the Red Sox celebrate a berth in the 1986 World Series."

That's also a lot of elastic!

Gotta love the plasticine.