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Fun Cards: 1989 O-Pee-Chee World Series Nancy Reagan

1988 World Series

The 1988 World Series was an epic upset: the hobbled Kirk Gibson blasting a game-winning home run off future Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley to win Game 1 set the tone for the Series in which the Los Angeles Dodgers upset the highly-favored Oakland A’s. First Lady Nancy Reagan threw out the first pitch before Game One to Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia.

In 1989, O-Pee-Chee produced a set of highlights for the World Series. This would have been a spectacular subset to have included in the 1989 Topps base set; why Canada was graced with these cards I will never know. I was not even aware of their existence until Night Owl posted one on his blog several years ago. I have yet to acquire any as they fall outside of my collecting focus, but at some point when I become more organized I would like to add them to my collection.

In light of the First Lady’s passing yesterday, I thought a “fun card” commemorating her first pitch was appropriate. It was difficult finding a photo that worked well, but finally settled on this one featuring her hugging the Dodgers backstop after the ceremonial pitch.

The final nine

TWJ 2014

Barring unforeseen circumstances, the final nine 2014 TWJ baseball cards are in the books (the last two were uploaded this morning). The virtual set consists of 260 base cards, twenty-eight highlights, and an eighteen-card All-Star subset. The final nine were highlights, featuring each league’s Most Valuable Player (Mike Trout and Clayton Kershaw), Cy Young (Corey Kluber and Kershaw), Manager of the Year (Matt Williams and Buck Showalter), and Rookie of the Year (Jacob deGrom and Jose Abreu) Award winners, and a special World Champions card for the San Francisco Giants featuring Series MVP Madison Bumgarner and his catcher Buster Posey.

I liked the 2014 TWJ set, and enjoyed producing these cards. I’m still tinkering with a design for 2015 and some possible subsets for the off-season. I hope you enjoyed it as well.

The full set (as well as previous years’ sets and subsets) can be viewed at TWJ cards on tumblr.

Congratulations, San Francisco Giants

San Francisco Giants

Madison Bumgarner dominated, but the Royals never gave up. A hard-fought Series. Congratulations to the Giants.

No Hall of Famers on World Series winners

I thought it would be interesting to go back through the years and see how many teams have won the World Series without a Hall of Fame player (managers are not under consideration). The most recent team to win with a HOFer was the 1996 Yankees with Wade Boggs, but that will change very soon with Pedro Martinez (2004 Red Sox) likely going in next year. Prior to the 1997 Marlins, you have to go back to 1988 to find a Famerless team (though Don Sutton did play part of the year in LA). Two other teams in the 80s accomplished the feat (1984 Tigers and 1981 Dodgers); as far as I can determine no older team won without at least one Hall of Famer on the roster.

Below are the Famerless World Series winners. Player names in italics are potential future Famers in my opinion. While the Giants and Red Sox and even the ’08 Phillies have a few that could one day be considered Cooperstown worthy, it is doubtful anyone from the 2002 Angels squad will be enshrined.

Of course, the Dodgers had Tom Lasorda and the Tigers had Sparky Anderson leading them to the promised land, so even without any future Famers in the field, the teams had brilliant minds in the dugout.

Are the MVPs in the World Series?

Posey

Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Buster Posey of the Giants are both in the conversation for their respective league’s Most Valuable Player awards, and they are playing against each other in the World Series. Surely it’s not a rare occurrence for the MVP winners to both appear in the World Series, is it?

Cabrera

Actually, yes. It hasn’t happened since 1988, when Kirk Gibson and his Los Angeles Dodgers faced off against Jose Canseco and the Oakland A’s.

The above “fun cards” originally appeared on the TWJ cards tumblr; new cards are being posted every day.

Zombiefied World Series

Congratulations are in order to the Texas Rangers for making the World Series this year. I suppose the same should be said for the St. Louis Cardinals, even though they shouldn’t have been in the playoffs to begin with.

Has the Wild Card team ever had homefield advantage in the World Series? Bud Selig, you’re such a misunderstood genius.

A couple of years ago, I made a post of zombiefied players from the Phillies and Yankees, who would be facing off in the World Series. I thought I would bring back that theme after watching the killer season 2 premiere of “The Walking Dead” on AMC. What a fantastic show. If you haven’t seen it, check out season 1 (only six episodes, streaming on Netflix now) and find a find a friend who DVR’d the season 2 premiere before next Sunday night.

Here is Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols, representing the Texas Braingers and the St. Louis Cannibals…

Want to play around with your own zombifications? Zombieland is your one-stop site for all things reanimated.

What gets me more excited than the Giants/Rangers World Series?

1. The fact that it’s not another Yankees/Phillies World Series. I’m sorry, I can’t really get excited about the Giants or the Rangers, even though those were the teams I was rooting for in the LCS. I’m glad Josh Hamilton is going, and I expect Mickey Mantle-ish things from him. Mantle hit 18 home runs in 65 World Series games.

2. The Dark Knight Rises. That’s the title of the new Batman film. No Riddler, though. The director did provide this bit of insight: “We’ll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we’ll be introducing some new ones.” Wow. How intriguing.

3. Star Wars in 3D. To be honest, I think this is a terrible idea, but Lucas is a genius so I’m sure he will change my mind about it.

4. This Reggie Jackson baseball card. I was always a Reggie fan. He was on his way out when I started following baseball. Plus I love art cards. The 30-Year Old Cardboard blog just posted scans of the whole subset of Reggie Baseball Heroes cards today. Check ’em out.

5. Halloween. ‘Tis the season, y’know.

6. Speaking of October 31, that’s the launch date for FearNET HD. We just dropped our cable, but one of my favorite On-Demand channels was FearNET, and if it’s being made available as a regular channel, that’s just awesome. If you have HD, then contact your provider and find out when they are planning to add FearNET to their channel lineup.

7. Halloween at the Reds Hall O’ Fame.

8. Moving. If all goes well, I’ll be in a new house in a few weeks. We should be closing Friday (still waiting for final word from the bank) and then move a couple of weeks after that. Which means I’ll be able to finally get my baseball cards organized and start some new projects that I have jumping around in my brain.

9. Neil Gaiman’s awesome idea to give scary books to other people on Halloween. Seriously, are you ever going to read “Cujo” again? Let someone else read it.

10. New Star Wars movies. Sorry, let me try that again…

NEW STAR WARS MOVIES!!!!!

Yeah, baby. I don’t even think the Reds in the World Series could top that one.

Cincinnati Reds videos

As promised, here are the introductions from last night’s Redsfest.

First up was the Reds alumni, excluding the 1990 team…

Then it was time for the 1990 wire-to-wire World Series champs…

And finally, the current team…

Will they play baseball in Zombieland?

First, if you haven’t seen Zombieland yet, DO IT. I had very low expectations because of all the hype, but it is a riot. Possibly my favorite horror comedy movie ever. Shaun of the Dead doesn’t even come close.

I wonder if baseball will survive when the zombie apocalypse comes? Stadiums will have to start serving brainburgers and intestines on hot dog buns, and new meaning will be given to the phrase “threw his arm out” when a pitcher throws a little too hard…his arm traveling to the plate with the baseball.

Using zombify-yourself.net, you can see what some of your favorite ballplayers might look like in Zombieland. Here is one of my all-time favorites, Chris Sabo…

And with the World Series gearing up, how about a couple of the best players on the field? Phillies’ second baseman Chase Utley…

And Yankees’ shortstop Derek Jeter…

So who is going to win the Series? And would the answer change if they were all zombies?

While you’re mulling that over, check out the Zombie Bobbleheads over at OMGreds.com!

So many reasons to love YouTube

It’s no secret that I’m not a huge fan of modern-day baseball. With all the cheats in the game, and so few class acts left, it’s just difficult to retain my interest. But because of the internet, I can relive the days of baseball that I fell in love with.

I started collecting baseball cards in 1985. I got my first complete set in 1986 for Christmas (Topps, of course). And I started learning about the game’s history because of a man named Peter Edward Rose.

You see, when I started following baseball, Rose was chasing Ty Cobb’s career record for hits. That immediately created a strong desire to learn about Ty Cobb, and eventually other old-timers like Babe Ruth, Cy Young, Jackie Robinson, and so on.

And now, when I want to relive the glory days of the 1980s, all I have to do is fire up YouTube. Here’s a clip of Reggie Jackson and Howard Cosell running down the starting lineups, position-by-position, for the 1983 World Series teams, the Phillies (featuring Rose, Morgan, and Schmidt) and the Orioles (featuring Murray and a youngster named Cal Ripken Jr).

I don’t remember the ’83 Series (’86 was the first one I really paid attention to). But it’s cool to look back on it now. Five Hall of Famers in the infield alone…has that happened since?

Oh, that we could see the game played like it was back then…when it was still (for the most part) a game.

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