Friday, May 31, 2013

Food-issue Friday: 1992-93 Franz Bread Trail Blazers & a 7UP

So we're currently on vacation, along the Oregon coast. And while we are enjoying the time away, I've got to admit that the weather has been less than ideal. Low 50s. Rain. But, hey, at least I'm away from work and am getting a lot of time with the family.

Yesterday, we drove from Seaside to Astoria. While in Astoria, we came across an antique store. Actually, we parked right next to it, so it was kind of hard to miss. Anyway, while in there, I saw a number of Portland Trail Blazer items- one of which really grabbed my attention.

My first exposure to the NBA came during the 1976-77 season. I discovered that I could tune in to Blazer games on the radio, so I gained an interest in the 'local' team. My interest really took off when they made it to the finals and defeated Philadelphia. Because of that childhood memory, I decided that I had to have this 7-Up bottle.

The back of the bottle, which you can't see, includes the team's record, as well as the results from all four playoff series during their championship run.

While paying for the bottle, the gentleman who was helping me mentioned something about some odd basketball team set. When I showed interest, he went to the back of the store and brought out a set of 1992-93 Franz Bread/Skybox Blazers team set. This 20 card set includes all the players, as well as Coach Adelman and cards looking back at their playoff run the previous season. For $5 (which is probably too much), I couldn't pass it up.

Not having my scanner with me, I was forced to take pictures with my iPad- which didn't turn out very good. Sorry for the poor images.

Monday, May 27, 2013

In Memoriam: 'Ducky' and Hersh

Reading through a recent Baseball America, I saw where two former Braves died in March of this year.

Custom Robert "Ducky" Detweiler
'Ducky' Detweiler, a former third baseman for the Boston Braves, died on March 17th, 2013 at the age of 94.

Detweiler made his major  league debut in 1942 as a late season call up after hitting .341 for Evansville. Playing in 12 games for Boston, Ducky hit .318 (14-44) with 2 doubles, 1 triple, and 5 RBI. He then entered the military the following season and returned to baseball in 1946. Upon his return, Detweiler would play in only one more major league game- going 0-1 against the Cubs on June 1st. He did play six more seasons in the minors, however, with three of them spent as a player/manager. 

Custom Earl Hersh

Earl Hersh, who played in only 7 games in the majors for the Milwaukee Braves, died on March 8, 2013 at the age of 80. 

Hersh, who slugged 25 or more homers three times in the minors, made his major league debut after starting third baseman Eddie Mathews sprained his ankle on Labor Day, 1956. Earl would be one of only a few players to bat clean-up in his major league debut. Hitting between Henry Aaron and Joe Adcock, the left handed hitter doubled in his first at bat, and would hit three doubles over his first two games. Those two games would be the only starts during his brief time in the bigs; his other five games and at-bats came as a pinch-hitter. During his September call-up, Hersh went 3-13 over seven games. In nineteen innings in the field, Hersh only had one chance on a ball in play, which resulted in an error- leaving him with a career fielding percentage of .000


Friday, May 24, 2013

Food-Issue Friday: Steve Bedrosian 7-11 Slurpee

It's strange that a pitcher with 14 years of major league experience and appeared in 732 games (of which only 46 were starts) would appear in a game on July 11th only twice during his career. But that's exactly the number of times that Steve Bedrosian took the mound on 7-11.

1985 7-11 Slurpee Coin #VI

How'd he fare?

1983-with Atlanta: 2 innings, 4 strikeouts and he picked up the save against Montreal
1986- with Philadelphia: 2 innings, 3 strikeouts with the save against Houston

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bowman Value Packs #2

Yet more 2013 Bowman Value Packs...

Purple Parallels-
Tyler Gonzales~ nice collation
Jesse Hahn
Micah Johnson

 Pack #1
200 Buster Posey
180 Josh Willingham
BP66 Travis Witherspoon
BP57 Wade Hinkle
166 Alcides Escobar-Gold
69 Kevin Youkilis- Silver Ice
BCP24 Bruce Rondon
BCP14 Max White
67 Alfonso Soriano
157 Jason Kipnis

Pack #2
91 Clayton Kershaw- Awesome card w/ the B on the cap!
46 Wei-Yin Chen
1 Adam Jones
BP93 Ericson Leonora
BP73 Pedro Guerra
208 Hisashi Iwakuma- Gold
CC-TBR4 Hak-Ju Lee- Chrome Mini!
BCP31 Hansel Robels~ As a child, I'm sure he heard: "Hey Hansel, where's Gretel?"
114 Homer Bailey
69 Kevin Youkilis

Pack #3
10 Johnny Cueto
52 Jacoby Ellsbury
BP51 Ronnie Freeman
BP104 Victor Sanchez
125 Adam Wainwright- Gold
23 Justin Morneau
BCP71 Pedro Ruiz
BCP41 Matt Stites
32 Craig Kimbrel
74 Derek Holland

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Booya! Some Bowman Value Pack Braves

I had a few minutes Friday night between dinner and meeting my wife and kids at their school for the middle school/ high school program that my son was participating in. Needing to pick up some new windshield wipers for my car, I decided to stop by my least favorite place on earth, Walmart. Normally I would just stop by Autozone to pick up such a need, but Walmart is about a minute's drive from the pizza joint we dined at and about a minute from their school. Plus, Autozone doesn't carry cardboard- and I have been having an itch to open some packs. My backscratcher: 2013 Bowman Value Packs.

The Value Packs I picked up each contained 3 regular packs plus one cello pack, and the first of the two that I opened provided an immediate sense of euphoria. Without having opened up any of the actual packs, I knew immediately that I would be adding at least one Brave to my collection. The top card in the cello pack of purple parallel's was of Jose Peraza- a shortstop for low-A Rome. Peraza is a soon-to-be feature on this blog, so I'll delay saying anything about him other than I'm very excited about his future. The other two purple parallel's in this pack were Kansas City's Corey Hall and Toronto's Tyler Gonzales.

Pack #1
#65 Chris Davis
#11 Justin Upton!
#BP51 Ronnie Freeman
#BP104 Victor Sanchez
#187 Matt Moore- GOLD
#47 Brian McCann!- Blue (#346/500)
#BCP55 Todd Kibby
#BCP36 Jose Peraza- Yet again-this is the regular card
#42 A.J. Ramos
#87 Rob Brantly

Pack #2
#105 Cody Ross- much grittier than Justin Upton
#20 Yonder Alonso
#BP10 Tony Renda
#BP3 Mark Montgomergy
#176 Adrian Gonzalez- GOLD

#BCP103 Adalberto Mondesi- STUD! El Canon's son is going to be a star
#BCP110 Sam Selman
#127 Jake Odorizzi
#169 Josh Reddick

Pack #3
#54 Jon Jay
#93 Felix Hernandez
#BP93 Ericson Leonora
#BP73 Pedro Guerra
#102 Roy Halladay- GOLD
#CC-STL4 Trevor Rosenthal- MINI Chrome Blue Sparkle
  I wasn't thrilled when I heard they would include minis in Bowman-it just didn't seem right; but I've got to tell you, after pulling one I really like them!
#BCP50 Rafael Montero
#33 Brandon Morrow
#76 Tim Hudson- Huddy!
#116 B.J. Upton

Friday, May 17, 2013

Food-Issue Friday: 1982 Red Lobster Cubs Ryne Sandberg

1982 Red Lobster Cubs #23 Ryne Sandberg

No, it's not a part of my collection- but it sure would be a nice addition. Rookie Cards are good and all, but oddball stuff from a player's rookie year is twice as nice.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Takes a Little Patience

I recently won an auction for a 2013 Topps Tribute Terry Pendleton autograph. At $12.50 (free shipping), I paid more than I wanted to for a Pendleton- but since I've set a goal of picking up an autograph of every member of the Braves 1995 World Championship team, I couldn't pass it up.

Well, when the package arrived I opened it up- only to be disappointed in what I pulled out.

Yep, wrong card.

Nothing against Gwynn- he was a great hitter. And it is a nice looking card. I just don't collect Gwynn; don't desire to, either.

So, I contacted the seller-who was very apologetic. He said he would contact the winner of this card & see if he received my card by mistake.

Sure enough, he did.

No worries, the seller told me. He would refund my $12.50 plus the costs to ship the Gwynn to the rightful owner of it. Later that day, I received my full refund.

Today, I received the card I was supposed to originally get.

I've got to say- TP has a very nice signature, and there's nothing better than a nice signature in blue sharpie. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

What a Cheese Ball

Our Sunday paper's coupon section once again had an advertisement featuring a prominent Los Angeles Angel. Recently, it was Mike Trout pimping SuperPretzel; yesterday's paper featured C.J. Wilson in this cheesy ad.

I don't know what's more pathetic: the Angels' sluggish start, or that their star pitcher would do such an embarrassing ad.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's (Day) Cookies- Don Sutton

Although it's only been a few days since I've posted anything- it seems like it's been months. Between work, yard work, painting the inside of our house, school programs, an upcoming high school graduation and accompanying party, and then vacation- life has been one big blur. Anyway, with today being Mother's Day, I thought I'd post a belated Food-Issue Friday by featuring a couple from the Mother's Cookies sets from the mid and late 80's.

He may never have pitched for Atlanta, but that doesn't mean that I don't think of Don Sutton as a member of the Brave family. Together with broadcast partner Jim Powell, Sutton makes baseball season enjoyable for me as I listen to the radio broadcasts while working around the house.

1985 Oakland A's Mother's Cookies #3-Don Sutton
  Seeing Sutton in an Oakland uniform just doesn't look right. And as a forty-year old, one wouldn't have expected him to enjoy the success he had during his only season in green and gold. Prior to being traded to the Angels on September 10, 1985, Don started 29 games for the A's- logging 194.1 innings and going 13-8, with a 3.89 ERA.

1988 Los Angeles Dodgers Mother's Cookies #9- Don Sutton
Ask most baseball fans, and they would identify probably Sutton as a Dodger- the team who drafted him and for who he spent the first fifteen years of his major league career. So it was nice to see him return to familiar digs for the final season  of his career. 
Los Angeles signed the forty-three year old vet to a free-agent contract in January, 1988 and Don started 16 games before being released on August 10th. In 87.1 innings, Sutton went 3-6 with a 3.92 ERA and a WHIP of 1.385.
The final win of Don's Hall of Fame career came on May 14th against the Phillies. 
His final appearance: August 9th, at Cincinnati- where he took a 6-0 loss. What would a Sutton performance be without a homer or two? Yes, he gave up two that day. The final hitter he faced was Eric Davis, who would strikeout to end the Reds' 7th inning. 

  And finally, I certainly can't pass up this opportunity to say how grateful I am for my wife- a loving mother to our three children. She may not share my love for baseball, or my passion for cards, but she is nevertheless a blessing and tremendous partner on this tilt-a-whirl. Happy Mother's Day, mi amor.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Players Ink: Andrelton Simmons

2012 Panini Signature Series Rated Rookie #152 (Auto 44/99)
I might be a team set collector, but if I were to begin a player collection of a current Brave, Andrelton would be the man. I have picked up some of Simmons' cards, but do not consider myself as an Andrelton collector. 

Signature Defensive Play: Everything you can imagine.

Monday night against the Reds, he applied a tag between the legs on a pick-off play to nab Shin-Soo Choo at second.

Signature Tools:  Unbelievable range, canon for an arm, out of this world instincts. 

Twenty-Three years old, and only in his forth professional season, Andrelton Simmons is already the top shortstop in the major leagues. As a rookie appearing in only 49 games last year, he was second in the majors in Defensive Runs Scored. In twenty-seven games this season, he currently leads the majors with 11 DRS. With his offensive game improving- he is a good contact guy, but  walks little- Simmons is bound to be an impact superstar. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Custom 2013 Heritage: Baseball Lexicon

Custom 2013 Heritage #LEX-CK

2012 Season: 

  • Craig averaged 16.5 K/9 (record)
  • 231 Batters Faced, 116 Strikeouts
  • Average fastball velocity: 96.8 mph
  • Recorded at least three strikeouts in 27.4% (17 of 62) of the one-inning stints he completed.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

'64/'13 Counterparts: 2B or Not 2B

That is the question...

2013 Heritage #115 Dan Uggla
After suffering through a career-worse season a year ago, Dan Uggla is even worse so far this young season. Fans have had to endure a sea of troublesome at-bats, throws, and fielding gaffes. And at this point, I'd just like the Daniel Cooley experiment to die a quick death. Enough with defending him by saying, 'but he gives it all he's got.'

Hamlet feared death and what lies beyond the grave. Well, I have come to the conclusion that management fears cutting ties with the guy because of what lies beyond the death of a horrible contract. Perhaps they fear that, should they cut him (because let's face it, NO mlb team would trade for the guy),  he would magically turn it around and become the player they thought they were acquiring two-plus years ago. Aye, there's the rub.

2014 thus far: 95 AB, 17 hits, 1 2B, 5 HR, 9 RBI, 15 BB, 39 K .179/.291/.341    4 errors in 125 chances

1964 Topps #115 Frank Bolling
Prior to the 1964 season, Frank Bolling had been a solid major league second-baseman. A gold-glove winner in 1958 while with Detroit, Bolling wasn't bad offensively, either. He was the type of hitter who would put up a batting average of around .257, give you about twenty doubles, a few triples, 9 homers, and almost as many walks than strikeouts. An All-Star in 1961 & 1962, Bolling saw his production slip in '63. Then along came 1964, and Frank had a very 'Uggly' season, offensively.

With nearly 220 fewer plate appearances than in '63, Bolling just seemed to have lost his ability to hit- seeing his average drop 45 points to a career-worse .199 (in 352 at-bats, so it wasn't just some small sample size). He also saw a large increase of strikeout/walk ratio-having more than twice as many strikeouts than walks. One positive from '64: Bolling led all National League second basemen in fielding percentage.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Alumni Food-Issue Friday: 1985 Burger King/Huntsville A's Luis Polonia

Ten years before joining the Braves, Luis Polonia was tearing up the Southern League in only his second season of professional baseball. Fleet of foot, little Luis would finish the 1985 season with 18 triples and 39 stolen bases for the Stars (A's AA team), while hitting a very respectable .289. 

Arriving in the Majors in 1987, Polonia would continue to hit well during his twelve year big league career. And while he did retire with 321 stolen bases in his career, he was also caught stealing 145 times- thrice leading the league in that category. 

The Atlanta Years: Take One 
Atlanta acquired Polonia from the Yankees for minor league outfielder Troy Hughes on August 11, 1995. He wouldn't make much of an impact over the final month of the regular season ( 53 at-bats in 28 games), but  he would be a valuable bat off the bench during the post-season as Atlanta made a successful push for the city's first professional championship. During the NLDS, NLCS, and World Series, Polonia would go 6-19 with a double, homer, 7 RBI, and 2 steals. Getting the start in left-field during game 5 of the World Series, Luis took Orel Hershisher deep for the only post-season home run of his career.

The Atlanta Years: Redux 
Having been granted free agency following the '95 World Series, Polonia signed with Seattle, who would release him towards the end of spring training. Baltimore would then sign the thirty-two year old veteran three weeks later, but would release him on August 12th. Atlanta signed Luis five days later and worked  him into 22 games at the end of the regular season- getting him 33 plate appearances (13-31, 2 RBI, 1 SB). Making the post-season roster once again, the second time around wasn't the success that the previous season had been. Playing in all three of the Braves post-season series, Polonia would go a combined 0-10 with 4 strikeouts and 1 caught stealing. In his final at-bat as a Brave, Luis pitch-hit for Jeff Blauser and  struck out for the second out in the bottom of the ninth of game 6 of the 1996 World Series. Two batters later, Mark Lemke popped out to third baseman Charlie Hayes to seal the Braves collapse after leading the Series two games to none.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

This Is How You Huddy!

Congratulations to Tim Hudson on picking up career win #200! And let's not forget that home run he hit that bounced out of Bryce Harper's glove.

Custom 2013 Heritage Memorable Moments #TH200
Career Win #1: June 13, 1999 vs. Dodgers
Career Win #100: August 6, 2005 vs. Cardinals
Wins as a Brave: 108
Wins as an A: 92

3 Career Homers: 2009 (off Kyle Lohse, Cardinals), 2011 (off Ricky Romero, Toronto), 2013 (off Zach Duke, Washington)