Thursday, February 29, 2024

Shall we Dance?... Again

        My favorite post that I've written thus far on Don Cardwell was Shall we Dance? It was on said post that I featured my cards of players in the odd poses. Not only is that one of my most popular posts, but it was also really fun to make. I looked through a box of cards that I recently bought, and hired ten more dancers.

And since we have dancing, we should play music again (though not the same music).

Rather than floating like a butterfly, he floats like a Skeeter

This dance is exclusive to catchers

Why is Greg Gagne on this again?! He probably went straight to Broadway after retirement
(If you look closely, you'll see that Rickey Henderson is the runner)

He looks more sassy to me...

He's shouting, 'Hey!'

Pat Kelly's a Gagne wanna-be

McWilliams's dances have a lot of kicking

This may be a card of Brandon Inge, but look at the baserunner

This may not be as good a dance, but Otis Nixon is smooth

The runner must shield his eyes lest he be blinded by awesomeness

    Well, there you go. I really like these dancing cards, and hopefully will come out with more of these posts. Not only are they amusing to the reader (I think), but they are also fun to make. The photographers who can capture clearly these poses should be getting raises. Happy blogging and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Totally Not Stalling

    Well, that's not entirely true. I'm working on a few posts, but the computer is working painfully badly with loading images. Anyway, I'm using this post to buy myself some more time. I know I can just not publish, but I like to publish at least once a week (wonder how long that's gonna last). 
    So, since I'm not stalling, what am I doing?

    Nope. I'm totally Stalling(s).This should buy me a few days. 
     I'm hoping to get the computer working by Friday, because that's when I'll try to come out with the next post. I think I'll try again tomorrow because this is getting way too annoying right now.
    Okay, stalling is starting to get a little bit boring. I'll hopefully be publishing my next real post in a few days. Happy blogging.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

The Results of my First Trade by Mail and Some Other Stuff

    I just finished my first trade-by-mail on February 24th (today). This trade occurred with my friend over at Johnny's Trading Spot. I traded him a Braves triple card from 2022 (not sure what it's actually called), and got this guy:

    Evan Carter is one of my favorite players, so it was nice to cross him off my Want List. And an autograph too!  You may have seen this exact card on his post for Texas Rangers trade night.

    In addition to the trade, John also sent me a welcome package to welcome me to the card-blogging universe. It was very generous gift that also came today.

    I really like these 2023 Topps Heritage cards. I especially like the photo taken for the Nathan Eovaldi card.

    John also gave me this 2022 Topps Heritage Kole Calhoun card.

    These Chrome 2023 cards are so cool.

    Ah yes, the wonderful Rangers middle infield captured in the glory of Topps Stadium Club. I really like the picture they got for the Seager card.

    And we see another Stadium Club Marcus Semien.

    Again, two more really good snapshots for the Topps Stadium Club.

    A good way to finish with a card of Jacob deGrom, my favorite pitcher. I think it's evident that my favorite team is the Rangers.

    So, thank you John for all the neat cards. And thanks for the trade and the Evan Carter auto. It was quite the gift, and like I said in my second post, Don Cardwell is here to stay.

Musical Cards: Nolan Ryan

     Well, I'm working on a really long three-part post, so I'll break my own rule and publish now to buy myself some time. Looks like I'll fail the post schedule multiple times this coming week, and I should probably just kill the idea of post schedule. Anyway, here you go:

Ain't he a hero to us all? Probably not to the teams that had to face him that day. But it is pretty cool to find this card of him hitting a home run. 

    Player Fact: Nolan Ryan used to put his hands in pickle brine to help with blisters. Jerry Koosman used pickle brine also. Ryan was nicknamed Pickle Brine Ryan for his use of it with the Mets.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

A Brief Word on the 2024 Topps Design

     None of my cards today. Today I'm giving my personal opinion on the 2024 Topps design. I am intrigued with the new design, and originally saw an analysis of it on Diamond Jesters. I liked the way he did it, and wanted to give my personal opinion. This set of cards just recently became available for the common man to purchase. 

    I really like the neon outline of the card with the neon team name. Also, the dual-colored border of the card gives it a nice touch. Overall, I think Topps did a REALLY good job with this one. To be honest, I think it's my favorite design that they've come up with over there. 
    I also like that the sample card is Evan Carter. I guess it's wise to make the sample a player from the championship-winning team, but Evan Carter is one of my favorites anyway.
    In conclusion, this is a set well done, and I can't wait to get my hands on some of these goodies. I think I may order some soon. Please tell me in the comments what you think of the design and what your favorite set is. I'm out.

Sunday, February 18, 2024

Leaders and Cheaters

     Well, the name sounded catchy, so why not? Today on Leaders and Cheaters, cards will be shown of three players who led their teams, either as a captain to something special or to a championship. It will also feature three cheaters, specifically steroid users (because I have the most cards of them). You may also learn a history lesson in the doing.

Let's start with the admirable, the Leaders.

    Buster Posey played an excellent career from 2009 through 2021, all with San Francisco's Giants. In that span, the catcher won an MVP, a Gold Glove, 5 Silver Sluggers, and was an All-Star seven times. But how was he a leader? Posey led the Giants to their first World Series Championship since 1954. In fact, Buster and Bochy led the team to three World Series Championships (2010, 2012, 2014). He holds a .302 career batting average and 1500 hits, and is probably heading to the Hall of Fame.

    Corey Seager is the leader of the Texas Rangers, who rode to their first World Series Championship in franchise history last season. Seager and Bochy defeated the Diamondbacks in five games to bring the trophy to Texas. Corey also won a World Series with the Dodgers. He owns two World Series rings and two WS MVP awards, so he's a pretty qualified leader.

    Rocco Baldelli played from 2003 through 2010 for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Boston Red Sox. He wasn't bad, hitting to a career .278 batting average and .766 OPS, and was third in Rookie of the Year voting in '03. But now Baldelli holds the title of manager for the Minnesota Twins. In his five years of managing, Baldelli has won 53% of his games, including 101 in his first-ever season as a manager, for which he won the Manager of the Year award. He's obviously done a pretty good job, because he's been keeping the sketchy team over .500 since he's been managing them.

    And now for the cheaters. The criteria for these players are as follows: all they have to do in order to land a starting spot on the Cheaters list is break an MLB rule like using PEDs or something, and there must be good evidence that they did it.

    Sammy Sosa was a rightfielder who played from 1989-2007. Through the first four seasons of his career, Sosa had a .234/.282/.380 slash line. He never hit more than 15 home runs in that time. In the next three seasons, Sosa averaged about 31 home runs and a .274 batting average. In his next eight seasons, Sosa hit 40, 36, 66, 63, 50, 64, 49 and 40, which seems extremely suspicious. He won the MVP in '98, when he hit 66 homers, drove in 158, and scored 134. Though he always denied using PEDs, he allegedly tested positive for them in 2003, and the stats would suggest he was using them. 

    Mark McGwire was the player to beat the 1961 record set by Roger Maris for home runs in a season (61). The record was broken in 1998 when he mashed 70 homers. While it's insane to be hitting so many home runs, McGwire had been doing it his whole career, hitting 49 in just his second season (his first official one). He retired with 583 home runs, averaging 50 per 162 games throughout his career. However, McGwire did admit to using steroids, and never received more than 23.7% of the vote on the Hall of Fame ballot. 

    Jose Canseco played with Mark McGwire on the A's, and the pair was known as the 'Bash Brothers'. It seems that from the start of his career he was hitting bombs, and has a career home run average of 40 in 162 games (not as many as McGwire, but still impressive). He retired with 466 homers and a career .266/.353/.515 slash line. However, he admitted using steroids, telling his mother before she died, 'For you I'm gonna become the best player in the world.' He also wrote a book, Juiced, chock-full of steroid accusations on players, some of whom he didn't have evidence for. Rather than the 'Bash Brothers,' maybe they should be known as the 'Trouble Twins.' (Courtesy one of my brothers)

    This has been the first edition of Leaders and Cheaters. I will be coming out with more in time. 


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Musical Cards: Dale Murphy


While I'm not sure I agree with all the principles of the song, it's still catchy. 

    Player Fact: Dale Murphy was the first base coach for team USA in the World Baseball Classic in 2013. 

Monday, February 12, 2024

My Temp's 104!

     'Cause I've got Spring Fever!

For some reason or other, I actually really like these Spring Fever cards. Topps introduced them in 2015, and they're pretty unique. On the back of the cards are some nice cacti and palm trees, and also some fun facts.


    I probably got all these cards in trades with my friend John. I hold these in high regard because I don't have many, and I don't ever see them anymore.

    Bautista was on the Hall of Fame Ballot for the first time this year, but was kicked quickly, receiving an itty-bitty 1.6% of the vote. But I'm not mad, because I personally wouldn't agree with a .247 hitter in Cooperstown unless he has 500 homers. A very good player, nonetheless.

Oh yeah. And David Wright cloned himself. 

If you want to see the back...

Thursday, February 8, 2024

The Big Pitcher Post, Part 2

     Okay now. Time to finish my week-long post about my favorite pitcher cards. I realize that it's probably boring to just take pictures of my cards and make you look at them with no good and interesting commentary, so we'll give this a shot. Let's start with my favorite pitcher of all time. 

    Guess who this is? Jacob deGrom is my favorite pitcher ever. He has a high-octane fastball that touches 100 MPH, with filthy off-speed, and he doesn't walk people. But he's hurt all the time, which means I almost never get to see him pitch. When he is healthy though, deGrom pitches to a 84-57 record and 2.53 ERA. Hopefully he'll be able to pitch the last half of the 2024 season for my favorite team, the Rangers.        
    It's funny, I got this card and some others (Bob Locker and John Morris included) when I went to Cooperstown to see the Hall of Fame. The owner of a batting cage saw me and my four brothers and gave us a fat stack of baseball cards. And lo and behold, I was able to get this one and many others not mentioned here.

    This card is very interesting because Corey Kluber pitched one game and one inning for the Rangers his entire career, and I have the card of him on the team. It's interesting, and I thought it was worth sharing. Besides that characteristic, it's just a boring old 2020 Topps card.

    And this is just a regular boring old 2020 Topps card. But I have practically the whole 2023 Rangers starting staff. 

    This 2010 Topps 206 Zack Greinke card came taped to the top of one of those card boxes at the card store. But it's neat. He looks so youthful, unlike the Greinke that we see pitching now. Well, he should hit 3000 K's this coming season.

    Again, I really like these 2007 Topps cards. And the card on the right; apparently Weaver isn't scared to shake off his catcher, so that's nice I guess. Until he shakes him off and gives up a 450 foot home run...

    Again with these glorious 2007 Topps cards, and this one features should-be Hall-of-Famer Curt Schilling. I wonder who I could trick into thinking that's a real autograph... 
And the Fleer is okay too, although I don't like the Fleer cards as much.

    This is a nice 2007 Topps Chrome card of Pedro Martinez. The Hall-of-Famer is often considered the best pitcher of all time. Sporting 3154 strikeouts and a 2.93 ERA while pitching in Fenway, it's possible. Not sure, but possible.

    You may be wondering what the deal with this card is. He's in the middle of his follow-through, but his face is zoomed in. That's because this Topps Decade Greats Best of the '40s Hal Newhouser is a lenticular card; the images change when you tilt them a certain way. I had no idea what the name for the imaging was until I looked it up. I tried to get the other two images as best as possible, so here they are:

    And finally, my Sidelines cards:

    If you want to know who these are, the top left is Randy Johnson (Photographer), the top right is Tom Glavine (Hockey Player), the mid left is Orel Hershiser (Golfer), the mid right is John Wetteland (Musician), and the bottom we have seen before on Shall we Dance? He is Jim Gott, the Karate black belt.

    That will finish the Big Pitcher Post. I'm sorry if this whole thing was slightly boring. I'll try to make my posts more interesting, but I wanted to show my favorite cards of pitchers. Thank you for reading.

Saturday, February 3, 2024

The Big Pitcher Post, Part 1

     I have a ton of pitchers' baseball cards. Most of the ones that I've gotten, I acquired from a Comic and Card shop about half an hour away from my house. They would have these boxes of around 650 cards selling for four or five dollars, so I've hit a bunch of those. While picking through the thousands of cards, I've found a lot of really neat pitchers. Most of the ones shown today are from those value boxes.


    Denny Neagle was a part of the amazing Braves rotation of the late '90s. He played two full seasons with Atlanta and a chunk of the '96 season, which you can see on the card. He was 38-19 with a 3.43 ERA with the Braves, including a league-leading 20 wins in 1997. Interestingly, it doesn't say that he led the league on the card. If someone can explain it, please do. Anyway, Neagle finished his career with a respectable 124-92 record and a 4.24 ERA.

    This John Franco card is part of the ever-creepy 1995 Fleer set. I have to say, Fleer didn't often make many impressive designs for their cards, and this one is... odd. Franco had an impressive 21 year career in which he saved 424 regular season games and had an ERA of 2.89. He makes an interesting case for the Hall of Fame, but fell short in 2011.

    This is the final card of the 26-card Nolan Ryan Career Series. I have many of the cards in the set, and a ton of Ryan's cards, but I found this one interesting because he's not pitching in the card, but dressed like a cowboy and hanging out with his dog.

    Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield passed away in October of last year at only 57 years of age. Rest in Peace Tim.
    This card is cool because you can see him throwing his signature pitch on the card. Wakefield won 200 games over his 19 year career. The Back of the card has some interesting Wakefield facts. 

    It's crazy that at the time of the card, Wakefield had a  perfect record in games when he walked 9 batters or more, and 1-11 when he walked 5 or less. Certainly an unpredictable pitcher.

    This is probably my favorite Fleer design. It's cool that I was able to find this Cole Hamels rookie card just in one of those boxes at the card store. He'll have an interesting run for the Hall of Fame, sporting 163 career wins and a 3.43 ERA to go along with 2560 K's. I doubt he'll make it, but we shall see.

    2007 Topps is one of my favorite sets, and C.C. Sabathia is a nice pickup. With 251 wins and 3093 strikeouts, Sabathia will be making the Hall soon. His first year on the ballot is next year, and while I'm unsure if he'll make it the first time around, he'll probably get inducted later on the ballot.

    Here are some more '07 Topps cards, this time of Johan Santana and Mark Buehrle. Santana was kicked off the HOF ballot in 2018, receiving a sad 2.4% of the vote. I personally would put him in, seeing as how he was one of the best pitchers of his time and won 2 Cy Young Awards.
    Mark Buehrle is on the ballot right now, though he won't make the Hall. He had a nice 16 year career in which he won 214 games. He had a span of 14 straight seasons in which he pitched 200 or more innings, which means he was reliable and rarely injured.

    These 2005 Topps Common Base cards look pretty nice, and it's always great to find Randy Johnson, the pitcher with the second-most strikeouts ever (4875). The name in the background of the photo gives the card an interesting touch.

    And I have one of Josh Beckett too. Though not quite the pitcher that Randy Johnson was, Beckett had himself a nice little 14 year career that experienced a 138-106 record and 3.88 ERA. At least the picture is cooler than Randy Johnson's.

    These 1975 Topps Cards are nice, due in part to them being some of the oldest cards I own (I have two from '68 and one from '72). They're very colorful, and I actually like the design of them. Bob Locker had a career 2.75 ERA and 95 saves, as well as a really good mustache, and John Morris didn't really do much in his career. He had a career 11-7 record and 3.95 ERA. 

    These Tim Hudson cards are 2004 Fleer Platinum (left) and 2014 Donruss Hall Worthy (right). Tim Hudson was a very good pitcher whose career lasted from 1999-2015. He collected 222 wins and 2080 strikeouts during that time to go along with a solid 3.49 ERA. I could go either way on him in terms of the Hall of Fame, but the Hall Worthy card is pretty cool (it says on the back that his middle name is Adam, if you wanted to know).

    That will do it for part one of The Big Pitcher Post. I still have 14 or 15 more cards to post about, but figured that doing them all at once would be too much. I hope you all have a great rest of your day. I'm out.