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Fun Cards: 1988 American League All-Star Shortstops

Ripken

Ripken

Alan Trammell was elected by fans to start the 1988 All-Star Game at shortstop, but did not play due to injury. Cal Ripken Jr. was a fine second choice.

Stillwell

Stillwell

Kurt Stillwell returned to Riverfront Stadium for the first time since the Reds traded him to the Royals for Danny Jackson over the off-season. By all appearances, he enjoyed seeing Barry Larkin again. Stillwell was added to the All-Star roster as an injury replacement for Chicago’s Ozzie Guillen.

Trammell

Trammell

Here are the results of the USA Today players poll:

Guillen

Guillen

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Anyone want to do a set break of Topps TBT this week?

Topps TBT

The lineup for this week’s Topps TBT set has been announced, and as usual I only want one card. I checked eBay, and that one card is more expensive than I want to spend. Maybe there are others in the same boat, so I thought I might try to organize a set break. If you’re intersted, read on…

I’m claiming Nick Senzel, you can have any other player pictured above…$3.88 shipped PWE. Luke Voit, Tim Anderson, Fernando Tatis Jr., Willson Contreras, Carter Kieboom are available. The set is $19.99, divided by six and add 55 cents for a stamp, that’s $3.88 each. This way there is no need to order the full set if you only want one card. Claim in the comments, or on Twitter, or via e-mail. First claimed, first served.

UPDATE: All cards claimed!

Random Awesomeness (part 2019.5)

Random Awesomeness

What I’m Reading Right Now: Firefight: The Reckoners, Book Two by Brandon Sanderson. (Yes, still working on it.)


Purchase Feral Roots from Rival Sons!
(Greta Van Fleet is great, no doubt, but Rival Sons rocks harder for my money.)

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Goose Gossage

Goose

Rich “Goose” Gossage was a reliever for the majority of his career, but in 1976 the White Sox used him as a starter. Despite a 5-7 record as the All-Star break, he was still recognized as a great pitcher due to his 2.91 first-half ERA and was named an All-Star. He was traded to the Pirates after the season, returned to the bullpen and never started a game again.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Luis Aparicio

Aparicio

Luis Aparicio was so good…

“How good was he?”

Luis Aparicio was so good he was selected to 13 All-Star teams in just 10 seasons! From 1959-1962, there were two All-Star Games each year. How glorious! Man, I wish they would bring back that tradition.

I love the All-Star Game. The 2019 Midsummer Classic will be held on July 9 in Cleveland, which is a mere four-ish hours from me…

I probably won’t go. I can’t go. It would be fiscally irresponsible. But man, how much fun would it be? We went to Cleveland for a regular season game last year, and despite the weather had a good time.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Tom Seaver

Seaver

The trade of Tom Seaver to Cincinnati in 1977 caused riots in New York. Shea Stadium was nearly destroyed. Marshall Law was in effect in the Big Apple. The persons responsible for the trade were more despised than the Son of Sam.

After a handful of seasons with the Reds, Tom returned to the Mets in 1983, then moved on to the American League to finish out a terrific career.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Carlton Fisk

Fisk

One of my favorite parts of this card is the different White Sox logos. He played in Chicago for 13 seasons but the team went through so many jersey changes during that time. They seem to be stuck on that black and white design now; I personally wish they would go back to the early 80s looks.

I’ve had a blast following Carlton Fisk‘s baseball card career via The List of Fisk. I don’t always agree with his assessment of the cards, but I’m not as well versed in printing processes and the like. He is currently in the late 1980s, with about a post a week, and by his rules he is only collecting cards issued during the catcher’s playing days so he will probably be wrapping up by the end of this year or early next.

Another big Fisk fan is Steve of White Sox Cards, although he has been all about Harold Baines lately thanks to his Hall of Fame selection. I used to send Steve my extra White Sox cards but haven’t sent anything to him in a while. Maybe this summer I will get around to putting some packages together again and send something up his way.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Harold Baines

Baines

To say I was shocked when I clicked on the White Sox Cards blog this morning would be an understatement. It took a moment to register that Steve was talking about the actual National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum located in Cooperstown, and not a team Hall of Fame or perhaps the St. Michael’s High School Hall of Fame. While I have said in the past that I would not be upset by Harold Baines‘ induction, I never expected it to actually happen.

I’m still not mad.

Baines was a solid player for twenty-two seasons. He collected 2866 hits, good for #46 all-time and just 134 short of the “magic number.” As his former manager Tony La Russa said, “If it wasn’t for the strikes, he would have had 3000 hits.” The same argument is made by Fred McGriff apologists, so why shouldn’t it apply to Baines?

Every player ahead of Baines on the all-time hits list is in the Hall of Fame, save the permanently ineligible (Pete Rose), still active or recently retired (Adrian Beltre, Ichiro Suzuki, Albert Pujols), or steroid-implicated players (whose names I would rather not mention).*

I’m not mad that Baines will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019, and I hope that his induction may pave the way for other borderline cases such as Dale Murphy and Dave Parker.

* Update: Omar Vizquel actually has 11 more hits than Harold, and I had overlooked him initially. Vizquel received 37% from BBWAA voters last year, and is eligible for nine more ballots as long as he does not drop below 5% support.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Ken Griffey Jr.

Griffey

The Kid. Need I say more? Ken Griffey came within three votes of being the first unanimous selection for the Hall of Fame. I’m not sure if anyone will ever get every vote.

Of course, Griffey is best known for his time in Seattle. He was an absolute monster in his first eleven years, and everyone knew he was on his way to Cooperstown. The Mariners shocked the world when they traded him to Cincinnati. As a Reds fan, I was stoked, and I’m glad I got to see him play in person on several occasions.

Griffey

After nearly nine years in Cincinnati, Reds fans turned on Griffey (as Reds fans always turn on their heroes, sadly). The Chicago White Sox decided to add the legend to their roster for the remainder of the 2008 season. It’s always strange to see him in a Chicago uniform.

Griffey

Griffey returned to Seattle for one last hurrah, finally retiring in June, 2010.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Frank Thomas

Big Hurt

When Frank Thomas was first called up to the White Sox in 1990, I fired off an autograph request to him. A week or two later, I received my 1990 Score card back with his name scrawled across it. I had no idea how great he would become, but I was happy to add the Big Hurt to my autograph collection. He quite answering fan mail just a few weeks later, so I considered myself fortunate to have scored his signature. Thomas was an intimidating player, always a threat to go deep. He hit 521 home runs in his career for the White Sox, A’s, and Blue Jays, and won back-to-back MVP Awards in 1993 and 1994.

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