Tuesday, January 16, 2018

I know, I know.

I’ve been absent for four years.

My cards survived the purchase of a house, and the creation of a down-stairs, “man room”. The room for all of my stuff. The kind of stuff that only I’m interested in. The kind of stuff that has pictures on cardboard. So there’s that.

I also have some time now before my wife and I open our first restaurant to have some fun sorting cards. I’m clearly still tip toeing my way through the random box of 5000 cards I bought. As a re-entry into the blog, I’m gonna tell the storie of some of these players.

Let’s start with Steve. 

Steve Howard.

Steve went to the same high school in California (Castlemont Highschool, Oakland, Ca.) that Hall of Famer Joe Morgan did. Over 30 years later, but that’s sweet.

1990 was the only year Steve was called up to the show. He was trying like heck during spring training though. As this story in the Sonoran Union Democrat, on March 27th 1990 recounts it. Steve Howard was put in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the ninth inning, down one run with two outs and bases loaded, and played the hero! Hitting a two run single up the middle for the game winning runs. Steve says, “I was just sitting there with Tony (manager Tony La Russa) told me on the spur of the moment that I was hitting”. He goes on, “I know what the situation is with the team. My chances of making it are slim and none. I just try and go out there and have fun . . . I want to make myself look good. Anything can happen and I want my work habits to look good.”

Continuing that streak of making his own luck with his work habits, his first at bat in the majors he struck out, but managed to get to first on a wild pitch. What an entrance to the Bigs!

This guy, this guy is legend in Chicago. The back of the card describes him as “an affable man, with a wide grin and a shaggy mustache, well liked by his teammates, he is slightly inclined toward weight and could almost be called rolly-polly.”

Harry Caray in his legendarily drunk-uncle fashion could never pronounce Hector’s name correctly, often with comic error. While I could not find a sample online, I did find this – which attests to his cult status in the windy city and Caray's lubricated tongue. (https://hectorvillanuevasociety.wordpress.com/)

His second MLB at bat was a home-run against the good guys, the Cardinals. Villanueva is quoted as saying “I got home, I was out of breath, I ran so fast.” In the off season, the catcher was checked into a clinic for eating disorders, as he described it a “fat farm”.

The man could hit, and eat.

These are two UER, hmm. Sampen suffers from the shame of having "long" on his card back spelled "along". There are worse sins.

Like Craig "Little hurt" Grebeck. Score maliciously states that he was born in Cerritos, while everyone knows he was born in Johnstown.

Johnstown Tough.

We're looking at you Score.


  1. Chef! Still have you on my blogroll, glad to see you back!

  2. I got to see Steve Howard for a couple of years in Huntsville. He was always popular there. I collected his cards in later years and think I have them all (all 21 of them). Even have a game used bat!

    1. Nice! What a complete player collection. Well done sir.