The Veterans Committee voted today on the Hall of Fame “Modern Era” ballot. Several worthy candidates were included on the ballot, and ultimately two players were selected to join the elite in Cooperstown next summer.
Alan Trammell manned the shortstop position for the World Champion 1984 Tigers, and was named MVP of the Series that year. Overshadowed throughout his career by Cal Ripken, Trammell was named to six All-Star teams and won four Gold Glove Awards. In 1987, Trammell racked up more offensive WAR than anyone else in the American League, and narrowly lost the MVP race to Toronto’s George Bell. In fifteen years on the BBWAA ballot, Trammell’s best showing came in 2016 with 40.9%. Fortunately, the Veterans Committee recognized his worth and decided he belonged among the legends.
Another star of the 1984 Tigers, Jack Morris had a reputation as a big game pitcher for Detroit and Minnesota. While his career totals are somewhat lacking, his postseason prowess put him over the top. He collected 254 regular season wins and struck out 2478 batters in eighteen seasons.
Trammell and Morris will join those who receive 75% support from the BBWAA ballot, to be announced next month.
Bob Feller arrived in the majors in 1936 at the tender age of 17. In 1938, he made the first of four straight All-Star rosters, and from 1939-1941, the young pitcher finished either second or third in MVP voting. He turned 23 years old in November, 1941; less than a month later he enlisted to serve in the United States Navy after hearing of the attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7.
Stan Musial called him “probably the greatest pitcher of our era,” and Ted Williams said he was “the fastest and best pitcher I ever saw during my career.” High praise from two of the best hitters in history. Despite his baseball prowess, Feller walked away from the diamond temporarily to do his part in protecting this country.
Feller returned to baseball after three years with the military, and continued his Hall of Fame career. In 18 big league seasons, he won 266 games and struck out 2581 batters.
I am so pumped about Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi. I’m doing my best to steer clear of spoilers, and I plan to go “radio silence” mode next Thursday night since I can’t see the movie until Friday morning. But there is so much awesome Star Wars-related merchandise out, from the classic trilogy to the awful prequels to the exciting new releases. Here are a few ideas for those Force-sensitive beings you love…
- Episodes I-VI on DVD or Blu-Ray
- Episode VII: The Force Awakens on DVD or Blu-Ray
- Rogue One (or Episode 3.95, if you prefer) on DVD or Blu-Ray
- Topps “Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi” Trading Cards
- Topps trading card books for Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back, or Return of the Jedi
- Hasbro action figures
- Funko Pop
- William Shakespeare’s Star Wars Trilogy (parody books of Episodes IV-VI in Victorian English)
- William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken: Star Wars Part the Seventh
The Shakespeare books are perhaps the most unique items on this list. I have the books for Episodes I-VI and absolutely love them. The only reason I don’t already have “Part the Seventh” is because I didn’t realize it was out! It has been added to my Christmas list, and if I don’t get it from someone else, I’ll buy it myself!
Congratulations, Big Donkey! The Reds announced yesterday that Adam Dunn would be inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2018. Dunn beat out Aaron Boone, John Franco, Danny Graves, Scott Rolen, and Reggie Sanders for the honor. Dunn was a second round draft pick for the Reds in 1998 and debuted for the club in 2001. From 2001-2008, Dunn slammed 270 home runs for Cincinnati, which ranks fourth in franchise history behind Johnny Bench, Frank Robinson, and Tony Perez, and just ahead of Joey Votto.
Many of you will be gathering around the dinner table tomorrow to devour some turkey and fixings. Chances are, some of your family members that will be eating with you will be fans of the phenomenal Stranger Things Netflix series. Perhaps you weren’t sure what to buy these people. Maybe you were thinking about something like a restaurant gift card, or cold, hard cash. And while those are certainly acceptable gifts for those you don’t know very well, a Stranger Things collectible might be a better option for fans of the Duffer Brothers series. Here are a few ideas:
- Stranger Things, Vol. 1 (A Netflix Original Series Soundtrack)
- Funko Action Figure 3-packs: Eleven, Lucas, and Mike, Will, Dustin, and Demogorgon, or Eleven, Will, and Demogorgan (similar to the old Kenner Star Wars toys)
- Funko POP figures (focus on season 1): Mike, Dustin, Lucas, Will, Eleven, Barb, or Demogorgan
- Funko POP figures (focus on season 2): Eleven, Max, Mike (as a Ghostbuster), Dustin (as a Ghostbuster), Lucas (as a Ghostbuster), or Will (as a Ghostbuster)
- Stranger Things Monopoly
- Stranger Things Eggo Card Game
Personally, I liked the second season much better than the first…and that’s saying something, because I absolutely loved the first season! So whether your friends/family members/neighbors/secret Santa partners are fans of the original cast or enjoy the additions of Bob, Max, Billy, and Dr. Owens, these gift ideas will hit the mark.
One of the most entertaining anthology television series in history is The Twilight Zone, hosted by Rod Serling, which first aired in 1959. The fantastical stories, many written by Serling himself, took the viewer on a suspenseful ride through science fiction and horror. There has never been another anthology series that has reached the same heights, but fans of The Twilight Zone are always hungry for more. With that in mind, I offer some lesser-known series that may appeal to fans of Serling’s finest work:
- Night Gallery (another excellent Serling series)
- The Veil (hosted by Boris Karloff)
- Thriller (hosted by Karloff)
- One Step Beyond
- The Outer Limits
- The Twilight Zone (1980s reboot)
- Tales from the Darkside
- Friday the 13th: The Series (full disclosure: there is no Jason Voorhees in the television series)
If you have a fan of The Twilight Zone in your house and you want to score some big points this Christmas, these titles are sure to help you out. Check your friend’s DVD collection and find out what is missing, and be the one to fill that gap.
Last week we looked at Christmas gift ideas for the DC Comics lover, so this week we’ll look at the competition: Christmas gift ideas for your aspiring Marvel Comics writers/artists. The first on the list is an all-time classic that is now over thirty years old, while the rest are more recent takes on the “Marvel Way” of comics:
- How To Draw Comics The Marvel Way by Stan Lee
- Stan Lee’s How to Write Comics
- Stan Lee’s How to Draw Comics
- Stan Lee’s How to Draw Superheroes
In addition to those volumes by Stan Lee himself, a number of licensed character-specific books are available:
- Learn to Draw Marvel’s Spider-Man
- Learn to Draw Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
- How to Draw Iron Man
- How to Draw X-Men
Not quite as many selections as available for DC Comics, but that’s not too surprising. It seems that Marvel’s bread-and-butter is on the big screen now, while DC has faltered in that medium. But on paper, DC is still far and away the better comic book maker.
(May 14, 1977 – November 7, 2017)
Roy Halladay perished in a plane crash today in the Gulf of Mexico. He was one of the most dominant pitchers of his generation, winning 203 games and striking out 2117 batters in his 16-year career with the Blue Jays and Phillies, 1998-2013. Halladay was an 8-time All-Star, 2-time Cy Young Award winner, and finished in the top 5 for the Cy Young five other times. In 2010, he threw the second no-hitter in postseason history as the Phillies topped the Reds in the NLDS.
We are saddened by the tragic news that Roy Halladay, 2-time Cy Young Award winner & 8-time All-Star, has died in a plane crash. He was 40. pic.twitter.com/SOFv3bOLyt
— MLB (@MLB) November 7, 2017
Phillies statement on the sudden & tragic passing of Roy Halladay: pic.twitter.com/gGhv7JUKv0
— Phillies (@Phillies) November 7, 2017
Statement from the Blue Jays organization on the tragic passing of Roy Halladay: pic.twitter.com/Ih8D0RQE9p
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) November 7, 2017
Roy Halladay's cap and ball from his 2010 perfect game. His legacy lives on in Cooperstown. Rest in peace, Doc. pic.twitter.com/PqASdhK8bf
— Baseball Hall ⚾ (@baseballhall) November 7, 2017
Such a sad day. We lost a great ball player but an even better human being. Many prayers to Brandy, Ryan, & Brayden. We will miss you Roy.
— Ryan Howard (@ryanhoward) November 7, 2017
We lost another member of the Phillies family way to soon! My prayers go out to Doc’s wife and kids and his entire family! RIP Doc!
— John Kruk (@JohnKruk) November 7, 2017
We were together in this journey as Canadian Baseball Hall of Famers, now you are gone. RIP Roy Halladay pic.twitter.com/x5Vv0r8djx
— Vladimir Guerrero (@VladGuerrero27) November 7, 2017
Heart is broken to hear about Roy Halladay .great friend, teammate, father and husband. One of the best teammates ever! You will be missed !
— Roy Oswalt (@royoswalt44net) November 7, 2017
Absolutely stunned & saddened by news of Roy Halladay passing.Amazing guy & toughest pitcher I’ve ever faced. Unreal.Praying for his family.
— Sean Casey (@TheMayorsOffice) November 7, 2017
Rest In Peace Doc Halladay. One of the best to ever do it. You will be missed.
— Dallas Keuchel (@kidkeuchy) November 7, 2017
I wanted to be Roy Halladay. I’m heartbroken, rest easy Doc.
— dan haren (@ithrow88) November 7, 2017
I only own like 5 signed jerseys, and I was so scared to ask him. He wrote that he liked watching ME pitch. What an honor pic.twitter.com/ufj4G8u5DD
— dan haren (@ithrow88) November 7, 2017
Gone too soon my friend!!! Blessed to have shared the field with you as a teammate, competitor, friend and more importantly a brother. Praying for Brandy, Ryan and Brayden🙏🏽
— Shane Victorino (@ShaneVictorino) November 7, 2017
Doc Halladay the Ultimate Warrior the hardest working teammate ever! I'm blessed to have spent time training with you!! #Trueleader
— Frank Thomas (@TheBigHurt_35) November 7, 2017
In shock over the terrible news about Roy Halladay… a pitcher I grew up admiring & rooting for. Praying for his family & friends. #RIPDoc
— Mike Trout (@MikeTrout) November 7, 2017
My pic from Halladay's introductory press conference with the Phillies. pic.twitter.com/jh43gfcloB
— Sooz (@yanxchick) November 7, 2017
“You wouldn’t know what Roy did because Roy would never tell you what he did. And that’s the legacy of a great man.” — Sheriff Chris Nocco
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 7, 2017
Every pitcher tried to imitate him, no hitter wanted to face him, and everybody liked him. RIP Roy Halladay
— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) November 7, 2017
Possibly worth an entire year’s subscription to Netflix (which is now free on certain T-Mobile plans), the second season of Stranger Things was released just over a week ago. Seriously, this is not just the best show on Netflix. This is the best show period. Nothing else holds a candle to it, except maybe The Goldbergs, but that’s a whole different genre.
SOLD OUT – But Series 2 will include a set of Series 1!!!
— Travis Peterson (@PunkRockPaint) November 6, 2017
I love my set of season 1 cards, and can’t wait for the second series…but I’m very impatient.
So I made my own…
I dropped a few on my Twitter last night…
— Jason T. Carter (@REALjtCarter) November 6, 2017
— Jason T. Carter (@REALjtCarter) November 6, 2017
I have a handful more that I plan to post soon, if there is interest to see them. I’ve tried to keep them spoiler-free, but I offer no guarantees.