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.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Where's The Wood?

Putting away some of my 2012 Topps base cards I came across another card that made me beg the question: "Where's the wood?"

The card below is from 1987 Topps, a 25th anniversary reprise of the 1962 design. There was some speculation before this years Topps base design was spoiled, where it was thought that this year may have wood borders as well. Alas, nothing for the 50th anniversary.

This card is from one of the sets released during my first brief stint collecting baseball cards as a kid. Not only is it a sharp design (perhaps my favorite use of a team logo), it carries so much nostalgia I can't help but like it.

Dickie Ray Noles may best be known for brushing George Brett off of the plate in Game 4 of the 1980 World Series. This moment is identified as the turning point for the Phillies who had struggled against the Royals up 'til then.

The year this card was issued Dickie gained the dubious distinction of being traded for himself. He was dealt from the Cubs to the Detroit Tigers for a player to be named later. After four games as a Tiger, when the teams were unable to agree on the "player to be named later" Dickie was sent back to the cubs on October 24th, 1987. I'd call that an even trade!!!

Having returned to baseball cards only recently, I don't have that large of a collection of cards older than 2 years. I have bought some 30 dollar random boxes on ebay, and enjoy being exposed to different sets through that. I'm pretty sure that's where Dickie came from.

Here's where the design came from, the 25th anniversary homage:

Through the Topps online redemption last year, I managed to score two cards from the 1962 set. They are both in this glorious condition, however, I don't really care. To me they are still cool, and the oldest cards I have.

Does Jim's hat look strange to you? I think it is airbrushed, as he began the 1962 season playing for the Mets then was traded to the Pirates for the last 55 games of his major league career. Who knows which teams logo was to be on that hat? An M, or a P? The world may never know.

Jim's cool tale doesn't end there though. For after the 1962 season he played two years in the Japanese baseball league. That had to be crazy in the 60's?!? He is currently the Arizona Diamondbacks director of Pacific Rim operations. He probably has pretty good insight into the baseball culture in Asia, after being involved with it for 48 years. Perhaps he brought Takashi Saito, a little used reliever, to the team.

There it is. I look forward to sprinkling more of the '62's into my collection, and learning about players from quite a bit before my time.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cards of Randomness #3

This guys name was the "Cobra", given to him during his rookie year for the way his bat struck. Wish I had a nickname like that.

Coolest fact about him is that he was the first ever National League DH used in a World Series in 1976. Other than that he played 18 years, starting as a member of the "Big Red Machine" with the last three being a "cup-of-coffee" with very limited playing time for the Expos. He is honored with being a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. The card is also cool because of the number at the end of the bat. His Jersey number until the last year of his career.

Cards of Randomness #2

This guy had a career spanning 18 years (although admittedly his last year in 1988 he only had one at bat for the Yankee's and struck out). Not too shabby. Elected to the All-Star game one time in 1976, arguably his finest year. That same year he hit a homerun in the ALCS series to send the Yankees to the Championships.

Never mind the blurry photo Fleer chose to use, apparently they were afraid of his 'stashe.

And now, like all great 80's cards he is a hitting coach. Although, Lee has found himself back in the Big's.

Some things change. The 'stache stays the same.