Wednesday, June 27, 2012

2012 Rookie Stars- N.L. Edition

  While Harper gets the Hype, Miley might just take home Rookie of the Year honors.

Run a search on eBay for Miley, and you might be surprised at how few pieces of cardboard are listed. One item that might be worth picking up, if you're a gambler: a 2008 Razor Autographed Letterman Patch ("M")-numbered to 20 for only $20.08 / free shipping. Should he win ROY, that would be a nice pickup, imo. Might be able to flip it for a decent profit.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

June 2012 Card Show Purchases #1

  If there's one constant at the quarterly card shows here locally, it's this: no matter which dealers are there, or what cards they're hawking, there's always one particular dealer who has a fresh inventory of vintage stuff. He also always ends up with some, if not most, of my money.

  Yesterday was no exception, as I picked up the following cards from him.

  A '57 Ed Mathews for $10? Why, yes please! Forget that it has a small pinhole in it; she's still a great card.

  An Ex-NM '64 Spahn for $15? You betcha!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Doing the Happy Dance

  There's nothing like a card show to serve as an escape from whatever responsibilities we have in our lives-even if it is for only an hour or three. I missed the last show back in March, unfortunately, so that's why I'm particularly happy about today's show. I'm so glad, I think I'll do the "Happy Dance."

 I've been so busy this week that I haven't even given any thought to any kind of 'game plan' for today's show. I guess I'll just look for some of the vintage Braves that I'm missing and wing it when it comes to some of the 90s/early 2000s inserts I'm searching for (I don't have a list of wants, or inventory, of those years). Wish me success!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Food-Issue Friday: Custom 1963 Post Cereal Amado Samuel

  If not for winter, summer would be my least favorite time of year. My work schedule is at its climax during the summer months, resulting in longer hours and far more mental and physical stress. Vacation? Fugetaboutit- no summer vacations for this family; better take them before late June.

 After work? Come home and there's always the time spent mowing, trimming, and irrigating the yard (we flood irrigate, which requires hours each week). It's bad enough having to put up with the heat at times at work, but then to come home and have to endure the high temperatures outdoors- sigh. Is fall almost here? 

 At least baseball is in full stride during these months.

 Sadly, on evenings when I don't have yard work to do, I'm often too burnt out and don't want to think about much of anything-including blogging about baseball and/or cards. 

  So it's on days like these that I need to keep my energy levels up by consuming some nice sugary snacks. Something like Post Cereal...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Custom Cards: 1979 Joe Maddon Rays

I read tonight where the Rays have a Turn Back the Clock Night (circa 1979) scheduled for June 30th. Some things should just never be. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

He's Got A Tweeter!

And in this corner...

  Surely you've heard about Tar Wars- the feud taking place between the National's Davey Johnson and the Rays' Joe Maddon. 

My favorite part of the feud is as follows:

Maddon, according to Johnson, is "a weird wuss," who "has a tweeter." This tweeter, according to Johnson, helps Maddon to "get more people than I can. I'm not going to get into a shouting match with him." Okay.

Maddon's response: "Most men have Tweeters. And I would never use my Tweeter to an unfair advantage." 

Scoreboard: Maddon 1, Johnson 0

Clearly, the nearly dead-looking Johnson isn't very savvy when it comes to social media.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Custom Cards: 1963 Bob Sadowski

  Not to be confused with OF/INF Robert Frank Sadowski, who appeared on a 1963 Topps card as a member of the the L.A. Angels, Bob Sadowski the pitcher had no card in the 1963 set. Signed by the Cardinals as an amateur in 1958, Sadowski was traded along with C Gene Oliver for Lew Burdette on June 15, 1963. Prior to the trade, Sadowski had pitched extremely well for the the Cardinals AAA team (the Atlanta Crackers), going 9-2 in 12 starts with a 1.80 ERA.
  Four days after being traded to Milwaukee Bob made his Major League Debut, starting against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He took the loss that game, pitching only 4 innings while allowing 3 earned runs. Sadowski would lose his first four starts before picking up his first victory-a 7-2 win against the Dodgers on July 21st.

  I don't know when the photo used in the card above was taken; but I do know that Sadowski pitched in Chicago twice during his rookie season. His first game at the "Friendly Confines" came on July 16th, where the rookie took a 1-0 loss in which he pitched a complete game. His second appearance in Chicago that year came on September 22nd, but wasn't nearly as well pitched: he lasted only one inning, giving up 3 runs on three hits and one walk.

  One other interesting connection between Sadowski and the Cubs: he has the distinction of being the guy who started the Milwaukee Braves final home opener: a 5-1 win against the Cubs on April 15, 1965. That day, Bob pitched a complete game four-hitter and even contributed one hit in three at-bats. The man he was traded for, Burdette, also pitched that day-only as a member of the Cubs. Sweet Lew threw three innings in relief of Cubs starter Larry Jackson.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

90 Score Tribute: Geddy Lee

  Remember all the hullabaloo back in 1990 with the Score Eric Lindros card? I guess the next time we're tempted to complain about Topps and their 'gimmick' cards, all we need to do is revisit the Lindros card. The then seventeen-year old hockey phenom was given the opportunity to take BP sporting the Blue Jays unis (Lindros was from Ontario). Score saw it as an opportunity to capitalize on the event, which they captured for collectors.

  Anyway, this week saw the release of the latest album from Canadian power trio Rush. When asked what I want for father's day, my answer was "the new Rush CD"-which my wife so lovingly purchased for me. Thanks dear!

  You may or may not know that singer/bassist Geddy Lee is a big baseball fan, who has an impressive collection. Last season, Lee took batting practice with the Angels. I was hoping to use a photo of Geddy during that session-figuring it (Angels) would be fitting since Rush's latest is titled, "Clockwork Angels." Unfortunately, the only photos I could find were in black and white. The photo I chose for the card fits well with the colors on the card; at least I thought it does. The feature on Geddy has him discussing his love for the game and collecting, and begins around 2:53. Enjoy!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Custom Cards: 1963 Rico Carty

   Carty made his major league debut on September 15, 1963. The twenty-three year old rookie struck out in his only plate appearance (pinch-hitting for P Dan Schneider in the fifth inning) during the second game of a double header against the Cardinals. The only other game Rico appeared in that first season came ten days later against the Reds. Once again, Carty struck out in his only at bat, ending his first campaign 0-2.


Friday, June 8, 2012


"Well I got me a good job; alright, some nights. Take me to another time, back when I was twenty-nine... I don't follow rainbows; big dreams, brass rings. I've already captured mine. Back when I was twenty-nine."~ Steve Earle, Number 29

  Tonight Atlanta honors pitching great John Smoltz by retiring his uniform no. 29 prior to the Blue Jays and Braves game. Earlier in the day Smoltz will be inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame as the team kicks off their alumni weekend. Congrats to a class act and pitching great! Next stop: Cooperstown.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Draft Disappointments

  With the 2012 Major League Draft concluding today, I started thinking of who would I pick as the biggest disappointment/bust in Braves history (I'll just stick to those drafted by the team-no free agents or traded players qualify). There's certainly been a handful: Tyler Houston, Jo-Jo Reyes, Andy Marte, Joey Devine, A.J. Zapp, and Troy Cameron come to mind. I am tempted to pick Houston, although he did have a mediocre career once he got out of the organization. So, that leaves my pick to (drum roll, please)....

Mike Kelly
  The last time the Braves picked in the top 5 of the draft was 1991, when they held the second overall selection (you probably remember that being the draft when the Yankees took lefty phenom Brien Taylor first overall). Kelly was an outfielder out of Arizona State University with prodigious power, good speed, and was often compared to Barry Bonds-another ASU alum. Kelly had been a three time All-American in college, as well as the 1991 Golden Spikes Award winner (baseball's Heisman Trophy). He was going to be a superstar.

 When 1992 Upper Deck baseball was released, I remember buying gobs of it-determined to hoard all the Kelly rookie cards that I could find. While his first year in pro ball (1991) wasn't anything special (.250 with 6 homers in 124 ABs), I still had reason to believe my Kelly collection would one day put my future children through college. I'm surprised I didn't buy brick lots of the things. Had eBay existed then, I probably would have.

  Kelly's next two seasons in the minors saw him with stops at AA Greenville in 1992, and AAA Richmond in 1993. While he did show power, there wasn't much else worth getting excited about. Oh, oh. Did I really snag all those Upper Decks hoping to cash in?

  Kelly finally made the Braves big league club in 1994, making the team out of spring training. He struggled early, however, and was back in the minors by early May. After a call-up in mid July, Kelly's struggles continued, and ended up hitting .273 for the Braves. Don't let the average fool you (and I'm sure stat heads won't): his average stood at .239 on August 10th. The next day, Mike went 4-6 against the Rockies to lift his average to the .273 mark. The next day, the players went on strike, effectively ending Kelly's rookie season (as well as everyone else's 1994 season). 

  The 1995 season would be Kelly's last year in Atlanta: he would spend most of the year with the big league club, where his struggles continued: hitting only .190 with 3 homers in 137 at-bats. The numbers that tell the whole story, however, are the strikeouts/base on balls. In 127 games with Atlanta, Mike had 233 plate appearances (214 at-bats), where he had 66 strikeouts, compared to only 13 walks. In six major league seasons (Braves, Reds, Devil Rays, and Rockies), Mike struck out 184 times in 684 at-bats, while walking only 54 times. Yes, that's a problem.

  Despite his lack of success for the Braves, I recently picked up the autographed Kelly card for less than a buck. Yes, I'll take it-thank you very much. I thought it was funny that it's numbered out of 8650. Wow-that's a lot of signatures. I wonder how long it took him to number them? 

What about you? Do you have a biggest bust/disappointment for your team?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Custom Card: 1963 Topps Lou Klimchock

  Klimchock appeared in the 1963 Topps set-only as a member of the Washington Senators. He played for the Braves organization during the 1962 season (recording only 8 at-bats in Milwaukee; the rest of the year was spent at AA Louisville) but was traded to the Senators prior to the '63 season in a conditional deal. The condition: he would be returned back to Milwaukee, which happened on May 6, 1963. During his time in the majors that 1963 season, Lou appeared in 33 combined games while recording only 61 plate appearances.

  The light-hitting infielder did manage to play in part of twelve major league seasons and today serves as president of the Arizona Major League Alumni, seeking to reach youth for the game as well as helping those in the game who have fallen on tough times.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gotta Get It! 2010 Topps USA Baseball Lucas Sims

   Congrats to Lucas Sims, Atlanta's first round pick (21st overall) in this year's draft. Sims is shown above in the 2010 Topps USA Baseball set (card #63). I guess I should have given the post the title "Got It!" because shortly after the draft pick was announced, I found one on eBay for $1.75. It's probably more than I would typically spend on such a card (when factoring in the shipping costs)-it was a compulsive buy (aren't most of 'em?!)- but I would much rather get something like this than, say, a Bowman Rookies and Prospects card.

  Sims, a high school senior from Brookwood High in Snellville, Ga, grew up a Braves fan and counts John Smoltz as his favorite pitcher. Mark Bowman tweeted that Sims expects to sign soon-passing on his commitment to Clemson, so Braves Country is excited to see where he will end up for his professional debut.

   Prior to his senior season, Sims pitched a scoreless inning against the Collegiate National Team as a member of the 18U team in the Prospect Classic. The righty went 8-1 his senior season with his lone loss coming in the 5A State Championship game against rival Parkview. He also finished with a 1.19 ERA along with 98 strikeouts in only 76 innings.

  Baseball America reports that Lucas consistently  threw three plus pitches this spring, with clean arm action and little to no mechanical issues of any significance. With a fastball that sits 90-93, and touches 97, Sims also throws a powerful slider and solid curveball. The Braves  Director of Scouting, Tony DeMacio believes Sims will eventually be a top-of-the-rotation starter.