Category Archives: baseball
I was excited about the “Modern Era” ballot. So many fantastic players, and I was looking forward to seeing some of these larger-than-life personalities get their just due in Cooperstown.
Then Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller were selected.
Both are solid choices, sure, but neither is particularly exciting. I’m still against the practice of putting non-players on the same ballot anyway, so I was opposed to Miller’s very inclusion on the ballot. Why should he (or any other non-playing person) take votes away from the guys on the field?
In the meantime, here are a couple of “Baseball Immortals” cards for the newest Hall of Famers…
Redfest is quickly approaching. I won’t be going this year (for the third or fourth year in a row). I’m more interested in getting alumni autographs than current players, and while there are a couple of names on the list that have not been at the past 20 events, there aren’t enough to make me want to go. Besides that, I’ll be out of town that weekend.
Back in 2008, I attended one of my first Redsfests. And I experienced one of my biggest baseball card-related regrets. I even documented it on the blog…
That Joey Votto card that I didn’t buy for $3 is difficult to come by these days. Last time I searched for it, I couldn’t even find it on eBay. There are a couple listed right now; the cheapest is $23.99 plus shipping, and that’s more than I generally pay for single cards.
I could have had the Votto for $3.
The Johnny Cueto? A couple bucks plus shipping on COMC.
Insert sad face emoji.
It’s that time of year. Get your shopping done early and don’t wait until the last minute to wrap them. Here’s the first installment of TWJ’s “Christmas gift ideas” 2019.
I love baseball history more than I like modern baseball. The Houston Astros will always be a National League team to me. Hank Aaron will always be the all-time home run king. And baseball card sets should have either 660 or 792 cards, released in one series, with an update set at the end of the year. I miss subsets and despise insert sets, just like Night Owl. I’m living in the past and I know it. And I’m perfectly fine with that.
Here are some ideas for baseball fans in your life that are older than forty, that long for the purity of the pre-steroid era.
Books. Some of these books are old and some are new, so check your friend’s bookshelf before placing an order.
- Baseball Revolutionaries: How the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Rocked the Country and Made Baseball Famous by Greg Rhodes, John Erardi, and Greg Gajus
- Game Faces: Early Baseball Cards from the Library of Congress by Peter Devereaux
- The Cooperstown Casebook by Jay Jaffe
- Electric October by Kevin Cook
- The Year of the Pitcher by Sridhar Pappu
Apparel. You can’t go wrong with a good baseball cap or jersey.
- New Era Replica Core Classic Twill 9TWENTY Adjustable Hat (use the drop-down box to change teams)
- Amazon has several different jerseys available
- T-shirts are less expensive than jerseys
Baseball Cards. Did you know Amazon sells baseball cards?
During a Twitter discussion earlier tonight, the topic of year-end highlights baseball sets came up. I immediately thought of the Donruss Highlights sets which were issued from 1985-1987. I’m disappointed this set did not continue beyond 1987, and wondered what a 1988 edition might look like. I tried to go with a gold border with silver in place of the red gradient. It is similar to the “Baseball’s Best” set, but not quite as orange. Since I don’t have the font Donruss used in 1988, I simply copied-and-pasted the nameplate from an actual 1988 release.
I’m no Yankees fan, but I loved Billy Martin‘s fiery attitude as a manager. He was the skipper for the Yankees five different times: 1975-1978, 1979, 1983, 1985, and 1988. He took over for Lou Piniella after the 1987 season, but was fired after 68 games and Piniella was re-hired to finish out 1988. There is speculation Martin would be hired for another round of abuse from George Steinbrenner in 1990, but he died in an auto accident on Christmas day in 1989.
Fun Cards: 1989 Fleer Marty Brennaman, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, and Joe Nuxhall (SuperStar Specials)
Randy Poffo was once a farmhand in the Cincinnati Reds system, but by the time he showed up at Riverfront Stadium in 1989 he had transformed himself into a wrestling superstar. “Macho Man” Randy Savage visited with Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall in the broadcast booth near the end of the season. Players, fans, and umpires noticed and seemed amused at his presence. One person was not amused, though: Reds owner Marge Schott. She ordered Brennaman to remove Savage from the booth, even threatening his employment.
Brennaman obeyed but did not remain silent about her tactics. Never one to mince his words, Marty later told Schott, “Don’t you ever try to intimidate me again. And if you have something to say to me, say it yourself.”
By the way, I really miss Fleer.
The greatest pitcher in Cubs history is none other than Doug Dascenzo, the scrappy 5’7 centerfielder who made four relief appearances over two seasons and never gave up an earned run. He stared down eighteen batters, and only three got a hit. He struck out two (Willie Fraser and Joe Redfield) and walked two in five innings.
Sadly, Dascenzo declined to pitch any more at the major league level after the 1991 season. “Any time I go out and touch the mound, we’re getting beat by 10 or 15 runs and we’re losing a game in the standings,” he told the Chicago Tribune in 1992. “I don’t want any part of that. I want us to be beating someone else’s brains in.”
For the record, the Cubs were outscored 59-23 in the four games Dascenzo took the mound, but he was not responsible for any of those runs.
He did toe the rubber two more times—in the minor leagues. In 1995 for the Marlins’ AAA Charlotte Knights and in 1997 for the Padres’ AAA Las Vegas Stars. It was in his last appearance that the opponent finally crossed the plate on him, but I have been unable to locate the name of the hitters he faced in that game.
Tip of the hat to @onemillioncubs who dug up that awesome photo and posted it on Twitter a few days ago. The picture is actually from 1991, so it is a bit anachronistic, but I like the 1990 Topps design. (I’m not being facetious.)
And that’s all of the “fun cards” I have from the 2019 Reds season. If I’m missing any that you are desparate to see, let me know and I’ll throw it together!
I absolutely love David Bell‘s fire, and I hope that he is able to turn around the team’s won/loss record next year. This group features one of my favorite “fun cards,” the last one of the bunch, showing a Father’s Day embrace between first base coach Delino DeShields and his Texas Ranger son, Delino DeShields.