Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm still here... again

Ok... this work thing is really screwing with me, but it's better than the alternative I guess.  I haven't touched a baseball card in about a week and I really want to get back into this box break, but I just can't find the time.

Don't give up on me, we're going to continue looking at every card from every pack of this box until we're finished, and eventually we'll do the same for 1988 Topps.  I've just gotta get this work and sleep and life thing figured out.

Thanks again for your patience.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pack Five

Pack 5 +15

104 Scott Bailes - Atypical for this set is a very nice, crisp photograph. I like that you can see his grip on the ball.

94 Orel Hershiser - A pitcher batting? What is this demonry!

Hershiser knew how to handle himself with a bad and compiled a .201 average with 50 RBIs in 18 seasons. Not too bad.

If I pull a second copy of this card, I'll probably send it off for another autograph from Mr. Hershiser. The '88 Score and Topps he sent back are beautiful, and I found an extra '89 Topps that would look nice with an autograph.

84 Greg Mathews - Ah. Mr. Mathews. The man with a few unexplained votes for 1987 NL Rookie of the Year. Even after hearing from his girlfriend a few months ago, I still don't have an accurate ending to the story. Maybe an email to her could possibly get Greg himself to tell us what was going on.

This is a great looking card, again a nice view of his grip on the ball. And there's two guys out in the bullpen just relaxing before the phone rings.

Dodger stadium?

415 Brian Fisher - I really like the old Pirates logo with the new one on the shoulder of the guy next to Fisher.

He had a pretty good 1987 for a Pirates team that finished near the bottom of the division.

159 Mike Fitzgerald - As much as I love the old Expos jerseys and hats, this picture is too overexposed to like. It's overexposed AND shadowey... good work Donruss.

What do Mike Fitzgerald and Braves prospect Jordan Shafer have in common? They both hit a home run in their first Major League at bat and both did it against the Phillies. Fitzgerald did it three years before Shafer was born though.

4 Alan Trammell – Diamond King - Trammell looks like a King of the Hill character in this painting.

625 The Ripken Baseball Family - This is a horrible scan of a horrible picture. What could be a great card with my favorite player ever, turned into one of those "oh shit here comes Aunt Martha with a camera, pretend to like each other" pictures.

151 Bill Wegman - More typical of Donruss photography. Bad, bad.

626 Pat Perry - Another terrible photo.

502 Angel Salazar - I remember pulling this card years ago and thinking just because of the look on his face that I didn't like Angel Salazar. Twenty years later, I still don't like Angel Salazar.

Based on his numbers, there's not a lot to like. In 2008, Andruw Jones fared marginally better at the plate... that's saying something... something bad.

369 Eric Davis - This would be a pretty good looking picture if the colors weren't so washed out.

237 Marvell Wynne - This picture had to have been taken during spring training 1988 because in 1987, Marvell wore number 7. Keith Moreland wore 7 in 1988 and Wynne wore number 16.

Also the black line on the left side of the reverse is screwed up. I thought it was a scanner defect at first, but it's actually the card.

105 Mike Pagliarulo - Another bad picture.

95 Chros Bando - When you can see the bottom of the batter's front foot, and his back leg is that close to the ground he will never generate any power.

85 Jim Deshaies - I assume he's just delivered the pitch, but it looks strange. I do like the old Astros uniform though.

And there's pack five. No picture of the puzzle tonight because my camera is dead. Hopefully I'll remember to get new batteries tomorrow so we can see more puzzle.

I like the Hershiser card a lot, but the nicest looking photograph in this pack was probaby the Scott Bailes card.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm still here

I haven't gone away, but the box break is on hold until Monday. This new job (Wal-Mart... yeah yeah, it's a job... and after three months I'll get a discount on things like baseball cards) has me working some crazy hours so far. It's 12:48am and I just got home, and I have to work 11am until 8pm tomorrow.

But I'm off on Monday, so the box break will resume them.

Until I get back, I'll leave you with this... it's either going to make you want to play Zelda (which I just started doing on the Wii's Virtual Console a few days ago), or beat me with a stick for making you sit through it.

Thanks for the patience.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pack Four

Pack 4 +12
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)

641 Stan Musial Puzzle - Here's what the puzzle of Stan the Man will eventually look like.

If I can complete the puzzle, I think I'll get it framed. I probably won't hang it on a wall anywhere, but it'll take up just as much space in a frame behind the TV as it would broken into pieces in a box.

It's not a bad looking painting though and may not look bad on a wall. We'll see.

If I had a baseball room like chemgod's hockey room, I'd certainly put it on the wall.

20 Mark Langston – Diamond King - Even though they didn't exist for another ten years, the background of this card would have looked better with an Arizona Diamondback... it's got that whole southwest theme going.

Langston had a pretty good career. But according to Wikipedia, was a voice actor on the atrocity of a cartoon Captain Planet.

508 Robbie Wine - I don't have anything to say about this card. But I'm interested in one of the stats on the back. More specifically, one of the career highlights.

"All Star at Columbus in '85 despite batting just .190 in 109 games..."


Let's expand his stats a bit. He batted .190/.245/.398, 21 home runs and 55 RBIs. He was no where on the league leaders in any offensive category (though his 21 homers led the team). Behind the plate he made eight errors, so he certainly wasn't outstanding defensively.

On the team that year, only outfielder Curtis Burke had a lower batting average (.179), but he played in only 22 games.

Without a way to compare stats for other catchers in the league, I can only assume that the Southern League didn't have a lot of great catchers that year.

In the Majors, Wine played in 23 total games between 1986 and 1987.

In March 1988, he was traded to the Rangers for Mike Loynd (scroll about half way through that post... I can't wait to see what horrible things Donruss did to poor Mike Loynd in 1988). But by that point Wine was finished with Major League ball. He stayed in the minors until 1990 and these days he's a coach at Penn State.

495 Mark Knudson - There's not a lot to say about Knudson's career, and with a name like Knudson I'm sure I could come up with all kinds of fun things to say. But I'm going to take the high road here and point out that we can assume one of only two things from this photograph.

Either A.) He's wearing a hat that's a few sizes too small, or B.) He has a very oddly shaped head.

Knudson was the starter and winner of the Brewer's 1991 season opener against the Texas Rangers, but he soon fell ill and missed much of the season.

These days he's a writer and has worked with the Colorado Rockies in their community relations department.

362 Mike Aldrete - I've written about Mike Aldrete at least once.

This would be a great shot if his arms weren't covered the Giants name on his jersey since the word on his jersey is sitting at just about the same flat angle of the printed logo on the card.

228 Willie Randolph - I'm usually a fan of the full body action shot. But this is a great close cropped shot. I can't tell if it's a pose or not because Willie looks pretty focused on the pitcher. Most posed shots have the guy in a batting pose looking at the camera man.

With this card I have to say, well done Donruss.

93 Dave Righetti - This was a double out of the first pack, and I don't intend to repost doubles. But since the first pack was posted, sans full pack scans, on A Pack to be Named Later, I figured I'd show the card here.

575 Dennis Rasmussen - Here's a guy I don't know much about. But I was suprised to see that he won 18 games in 1986.

The last line of his highlights that includes some guys he had been traded for is interesting but ultimately a bit misleading. He was a player to be named later in the Tommy John deal, and was part of another player to be named later in the Nettles deal (though he wasn't the player to be named later... that turned out to be Darin Cloninger).

Here's the full text of the trades mention on the card:

November 24, 1982: Sent by the California Angels to the New York Yankees to complete an earlier deal made on August 31, 1982. The California Angels sent a player to be named later to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later and Tommy John. The California Angels sent Dennis Rasmussen (November 24, 1982) to the New York Yankees to complete the trade.

September 12, 1983: Sent by the New York Yankees to the San Diego Padres to complete an earlier deal made on August 26, 1983. The New York Yankees sent players to be named later and $200,000 to the San Diego Padres for players to be named later and John Montefusco. The New York Yankees sent Dennis Rasmussen (September 12, 1983) and Edwin Rodriguez (September 12, 1983) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.

March 30, 1984: Traded by the San Diego Padres with a player to be named later to the New York Yankees for a player to be named later and Graig Nettles. The San Diego Padres sent Darin Cloninger (minors) (April 26, 1984) to the New York Yankees to complete the trade.

568 Gene Larkin - If there were captions to these photographs, this one would read: How to sit in the dugout with a goofly look on your face.

Read the last line of his career highlights. That's one hell of a legacy to give yourself.

429 Ray Searage - Here's another guy that looks a little too happy to be in a completely empty stadium.

Does anyone else think that the little guy on the old White Sox logo looks like he's about to get hit in the nose with the baseball?

418 Mark Williamson - I like the old Orioles hat, but I think it looks more like a gorilla than a bird.

Williamson took part in the, to date, last no hitter thrown by the Baltimore Orioles. Williamson pitched a perfect eighth inning of this game on July 13, 1991. Bob Milacki started and lasted six innings, Mike Flanagan pitched the seventh, and Gregg Olson finished it out. Milacki walked three and Flanagan walked one, otherwise the Orioles were perfect. They were still in sixth place, 15.5 out, though.

39 Kirt Manwaring - Rated Rookie(pack 2)

200 Checklist - I've said many times before that I'm a fan of this style checklist. I know a lot of people don't like the checklists numbered as part of the set, and some are against having the checklists inserted through out the set. And I'm on the fence about where to put them. Part of me likes them inserted through out the set to break it into sections, as Donruss has here, every 100 cards. But I also like them at the end of the set, like the Fleer and Bowman sets we've looked at on this site.

BC-25 Alvin Davis - Alvin Davis didn't have a very long career, but he had a very good career. Because of his great 1987 season, Donruss chose him as the Mariners MVP.

If it weren't so shadowy, this would be a great looking card.

631 Tim Laudner - Pretty nice looking shot with old school powder blue away pants.

Best card of the pack... I'm gonna have to go with Willie Randolph on this one.

As to the puzzle, my string of border pieces has continued.

There are 63 pieces to this puzzle. So with luck, I should be able to complete the puzzle.

Just a note to everyone keeping score at home, I'm starting a new job tomorrow, so I'm not sure when tomorrow's pack will be up. If there's not a pack tomorrow, you'll know why, and there will be two on Saturday.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pack Three

Pack 3 +14
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)

615 Scott Lusader - I've never heard of this guy. But after some digging around, Scott is one of eight players to have committed three errors in the same inning in Major League history. It happened in the first inning of this game, on September 9, 1989 against the White Sox.

Poor guy. In his entire five year career he made only six errors. But three in one game never looks good, much less three in one inning. Dan Uggla made three in last year's All Star game, but only two came in the same inning.

486 Rick Manning - The upper half of Rick's bat blends so well with the blurry fans in the background that on first glance it looks like it's not there.

Just because of the badass Brewers logo, this card will get some consideration in the best of the pack running.

476 Dan Petry - What is that white thing behind the outfield fence? Is it a fountain? Any ideas where it could be?

342 Mel Hall - Woo! A second child molester. I'm not going to let doubles bother me in this box because I know at the end enough people will want to get rid of their extra cards that I won't have trouble completing the set.

If I had any Co2 cartridges left, I'd take ol' Mel out back and shoot him. But... alas, there is no air.

207 Von Hays - I don't know a lot about Von Hayes. He was card number 666 in '87 Topps, that's the only thing I remember about him.

I do like the old Phillies logo though.

10 Julio Franco – Diamond King - Another Diamond King that fell just short of looking like who it's supposed to look like.

I know I say this every time Julio Franco comes up, but I think he deserves serious consideration for the Hall of Fame. He is a career .298 hitter over the course of 23 seasons (plus a few in Japan). He racked up nearly 2600 hits and close to 1200 RBIs, and 281 stolen bases on top of that.

On Baseball Reference's similarity scores, there's only one HoF'er in Franco's top 10, but a few of them (Larkin and Jeter) will most likely be in the Hall pretty soon.

I also think Julio will make a fine Major League manager some day.

554 Rocky Childress - "Hey Rocky, come stand in as much shadow as you possibly can, then I'll take your picture."

Is that the Astrodome? That's a home jersey, but it looks a little too sunny to be inside.

543 Jim Morrison - The killer awoke before dawn, he put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and...then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door...and he looked inside
Father, yes son, I want to kill you
Mother...i want to...fuck you

Oh wait... wrong Jim Morrison. This Jim Morrison had a decently productive career and is currently the manager of the Single-A Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Florida State League.

533 Terry Puhl - There's something moderately unsettling about this card. I think it's because he looks so genuinely happy to be in a completely empty stadium.

No errors in 157 games in the outfield in 1979 is pretty impressive.

522 Pat Sheridan - Sheridan looks more like he just got punched in the stomach than hit a baseball.

He homered in his first ML at bat. No matter how your career goes from that point on, that's a great accomplishment and a wonderful story for the grandkids.

That homer came off of Milt Wilcox.

388 Dave Parker - Parker probably had the best career out of this pack, but could have had a much better photograph.

253 Bob Welch - This is probably the best looking card in the pack. There's a lot of movement with the pitching delivery and the nice Dodgers logo in the corner.

Bob Welch's 1990 was one of the great pitching performances of the past 50 years. These days a 20 game winner is getting hard to find. But 27 wins? 27-6, with a 2.95 ERA for an Oakland team that won 103 games... and then got swept in the Series by the Reds. D'oh.

408 Jerry Browne - The look on his face is one of absolute confusion. "You want me to do what now?"

18 Andy Van Slyke – Diamond King - It almost looks like Andy Van Slyke. I think without the name at the bottom most baseball fans would figure out that this was Andy Van Slyke. I don't know, but the lips just don't work on these paintings.

Also, good luck with that baseball prowess there Pittsburgh. You almost reasserted it in the early 90s, but it fell out somewhere along the way and no one noticed and you didn't go back to look for it.

Sorry, I think Cubs may have found it and they're still using it. Maybe they'll give it back if you ask nicely.

624 Greg Myers - Unlike Terry Puhl, Greg Myers seems to realize that he's in a completely vacant stadium and has expressed himself accordingly.

So the winner of best card in the pack here is Bob Welch. But again, I'm open to arguments.

Now the puzzle.

So far, I've gotten only border pieces, which is nice. And I apologize for the ass end of my cat, she was sleeping on the puzzle table and tried to bite me when I tried to push her off.

And there's pack 3.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pack Two

Pack 2 +15

342 Mel Hall - Child molester extraordinaire!

209 Craig Reynolds - Gordon.

75 Mike Moore - There's a typical late 80s, shoulder pad wearing, empowered woman sitting right behind Mike that makes him look like he has two puffs of blue hair coming out the back of his cap.

66 Kevin Mitchell - Alleged cat decapitator.

28 Mackey Sasser – Rated Rookie - I don't know if I've ever written about Mackey Sasser before or not.

Yes, I did. Here, about a year ago in pack 27 of my 1988 Score box.

Mackey stuck around until 1995, but did he really live up to that Rated Rookie name?

We see him here as a Pirate, but he played in only 12 games for Pittsburgh in 1987 before being traded to the Mets for Scott Henion and Randy Milligan in March of 1988.

Mackey never really got a chance to play much, only appearing in 100 games once in 1990. Offensively he was pretty average for a catcher and defensively he was at or just a bit below league average.

His numbers in the minors were pretty good, including a .338 average at High-A Fresno in 1985 and .313 combined between Phoenix and Vancouver of the PCL in '87.

In the minors he got regular playing time and did well. But in the Majors his role was one of backup behind Gary Carter and a young Todd Hundley with the Mets, and Dave Valle in Seattle.

Rated Rookie? Judging by his numbers in the minors alone, I'd say so. But as a Major Leaguer, no.

39 Kirt Manwaring – Rated Rookie - Giants catcher of the future? I don't know about that. He never really got a lot of playing time until 1993. But he did hang around with the Giants until the 1996 season when he was traded to Houston for Rick Wilkins and cash.

Rated Rookie? Not really. His offensive numbers in the minor leagues were poor, but he was an above average defensive catcher, winning the NL Gold Glove in 1993. In the end, any offensive production you get out of the catcher's position is an added bonus but Kirt really didn't produce much aside from his 1993 season (5 home runs, 49RBI).

398 Willie Hernandez - I think that's OJ Simpson on the left side of the card behind Willie.

389 Rick Mahler - There's old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium behind Rick. In all the years I've been a Braves fan, I never saw a Braves game a Fulton County. I did a young Kosuke Fukudome playing in a game against Nicaragua at the '96 Olympics. But all my Braves experience has been a Turner Field.

133 Gene Nelson - Wayland.

15 Jack Clark – Diamond King - The horror!

606 Jim Gott - Mr. Gott was traded from the Giants to the Pirates along with Mackey Sasser. I love it when two cards in a pack are related like this. As poorly made as these cards are, the little bits of information are a nice addition. They're not as in depth as Score, but Fleer didn't give us anything to work with. So it's a nice compromise.

475 Dave Anderson - Here's the Texas Rangers' third base coach. I have absolutely no recollection of this guy playing for the Dodgers in '88. Granted I was only seven years old, but I'm surprised how many of these names ring a bell. This one doesn't.

Anderson got one at bat in the '88 World Series and struck out.

343 Jim Eisenreich - I had planned on poking fun at Jim for having Tourette's, but that would be cruel. Instead I'll just point out Donruss' horrible photograph.

The photographer must have said something to the effect of "Jim, I want you to look as displeased as possible to be having your picture taken... no, a little more... little more... perfect!"

And here we have the end result.

210 Gary Pettis - There's a lot to like about this card... nice reflection in his helmet, you can see the entire front of his jersey, and he's clearly using Bill Buckner's bat.

76 Ron Darling - Darling majored in French and Southeast Asian history at Yale and was one of the top players in the history of the school. These days he's broadcasting for the Mets.

Now it's time to choose the best card from the bunch...

Clearly it comes down to a battle between Mel Hall and Gary Pettis. Despite being a convicted child molestor, I think Hall gets the slight nod here because the photo is a bit sharper and there's a little bit more action than the Gary Pettis. But I'm open to arguments either way, both are great looking cards.

And the puzzle. So far I'm lucky to have gotten border pieces from both packs, so let's see how the progress is going...

At this point I'm just guessing as to location... soooooo.

And there's pack two. I hope you enjoy scans of the full pack.