Friday, May 29, 2009

Pack Eighteen

Pack 18 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
115 Rick Leach
251 Steve Balboni
50 Todd Worrell
365 Calvin Schiraldi
196 Bryn Smith
607 Brian Dorsett
432 Scott Sanderson
402 Dave Lapoint
523 Steve Sax
156 Chris Bosio
548 Charlie Puleo
569 Billy Ripken
447 Bill Doran
390 Bill Wilkinson
48 John Tudor

This is gonna be a short one because I just got home from an evening out, and there's really not much here to talk about.

I do want to say first that if any of you are ever in Waynesville, North Carolina, and if you like good pizza (ie. not Pizza Hut or Dominoes) and good beer, make it a point to stop by Nick & Nate's on main street. The pizza is all hand made and it's all incredible.

Anyhoo, I only have two cards to show tonight. The first is proof that Billy Ripken is an obscene, filth peddler:

Look at the knob of his bat. What do you see? Boobs. It's not a big leap to think that the next year he'd write Fuck Face on his bat.

And look what we have here... a gen-you-wiiiine error card.

Can you see it?

Ok folks, this is my last post for a few days. I'm going out of town for the weekend, I think I'll be back Monday or Tuesday. I intend to drive by a Target on my way home, so hopefully I'll come back with some 2009 Topps Series 2 to open.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pack Seventeen

Pack 17 +12
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
327 Doug Drabek
387 Jerry Reed
100 Mark Wasinger
54 Darrell Evans
597 Eric Show
7 Steve Carlton
306 Mike Jackson
600 Scorr Bailes
243 Dave Parker
104 Juan Beniquez
448 Ty Gainey
404 Bill Long

424 Dave Martinez
158 Greg Brock
534 Joe Boever

So yesterday I mentioned how I hadn't run across a lot of dead players, well, here's Eric Show.

This isn't a bad looking card and I really like the shadow under Show. It also gets some points for showing the grip on the ball.

Lefty looks confused. 1988 was his last year. He only pitched in 4 games, three of them out of the pen with a 16.76 ERA. But we can over look that last season, Carlton was a first ballot Hall of Famer, getting over 95% of the votes.

Look at the stats on the back. For most players Fleer included their entire Major League stats, but without using a smaller font, they weren't able to include all of Steve's stats.

And finally we have this. I'm not really sure what to think about this card. I can't really figure out what's happened here. Based on the position of his back hand, how soon the top hand came off the bat, and the look on his face, it looks like he's hurt himself on the swing. The top hand should never come off the bat that early in the swing.

I just have to question why pictures like this get through. Film is cheap, photo processing is cheap especially when your company owns the equipment. There is no reason to let poor photography slip through. When you send a photographer to a game, they've got a good three hours to get one usable shot. From some of these cards it looks like Fleer gave the photog a checklist and enough film for one picture of each player on that list.

In the end though, at least they're not airbrushing everything.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pack Sixteen

Pack 16 +13
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
139 Terry Leach
224 Gary Ward
127 Rick Aguilera
23 Mike Smithson
303 Kevin Gross
612 Brook Jacoby
231 Eric Davis
629 Rookie Record Setter
441 Ken Caminiti
407 Jack McDowell
414 Jody Davis
178 Robin Yount
336 Vicente Palacios
378 Edgar Martinez
78 Chili Davis

Two more of the original twenty are replaced out of this pack.

This box of Fleer doesn't seem to be as obsessed with death as the box of '89 Bowman, but we do see the late Ken Caminiti here, and we've seen both Chris Brown and Frank Williams. There may be a few more players who are no longer with us, but I can't think of any right off the top of my head that have come out of this box.

We got an interesting mixture of some good photos and bad ones in this pack. Another Hall of Famer and the third card thus far featuring a fallen hero.

Bad photography:

It's a shame that such a great player got such a boring photo.

Hall of Fame? Admittedly, I'm not a fan of the DH rule, but Martinez put up some pretty impressive numbers. He's eligable next year and will probably get some votes, but I just don't think he's Hall of Fame material. If he had played at third base for fifteen years and then spent the last several years as a DH and still put up the numbers he did, then I think he would deserve consideration.

But of course, the same argument can be made against electing a closer to the Hall. I don't know the answer.

According to Baseball Reference, of those most similar to Edgar, only Orlando Cepeda is in the Hall of Fame. The list includes some of the great hitters of that generation though, and many of them are not yet eligable for Hall voting. So you can't read too much into it.

Here's a good shot of Eric Davis. Based on all the cameras in the background, I'll assume that this picture was taken during the 1987 All Star game in Oakland. Davis went 0-3 in the game with two groundouts and a strikeout.

I think, up to this point, this is the best looking card I've pulled. Davis is about to tag out a Reds baserunner at the plate.

Here's our Hall of Famer which also falls into the category of horrible picture. The Edgar Martinez picture is just boring, this one is downright horrible.

Look at the back of the card. Through 1987 Yount had 2,217 hits. He collected another 925 hits during the final six years of his career when players are supposed to start slowing down.

I'd have to look to make sure, but I think Yount was also the last player to retire who had been a teammate of Hank Aaron.

Here's that fallen hero...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pack Fifteen

Pack 15 +15
256 Steve Farr
26 Jack Clark
345 Wade Boggs
188 Dennis Martinez
621 Rich Yett
422 Ed Lynch
410 Bobby Thigpen
524 Mike Scioscia
624 Oakland’s Power Team
538 Ron Gant
561 Mike Griffin
460 Gerald Young
370 Scott Bradley
642 Major League Prospects (Damon Berryhill, Jeff Montgomery)
59 Larry Herndon

Let's hope I can get this one in before it starts storming again, and judging by the humidity and how fast my beer just got warm should be any second.

This wasn't a bad pack... several rookies, a Hall of Famer, two childhood heroes for many kids in the '80s and a foot note in the history books.

We'll start with the Hall of Famer:

I've always thought Wade Boggs resembled Roy Underhill of "The Woodright's Shop" fame.

At some point since my re-entry into the hobby, I mentioned that Wade Boggs pitched in two games, and I thought I talked about it over at '88 Score, but for the life of me I can't find it. Maybe it was in a comment on another blog, or maybe it was a draft post and I killed it.


When I pulled this card, other than the Roy Underhill comment, I thought I'd talk a little bit about his pitching performances (and I was going to use that old post as a lead in, but this'll have to do as a lead in).

It's pretty uncommon to see such a big name player take the mound, even in a blowout. I think it's just flirting with injury. We all remember what happened when Jose Canseco tried to pitch so I don't think it's worth the risk.

But twice in his career, for two different teams, Wade Boggs pitched.

The first time was August 19, 1997 against the Angels.

With the Yankees on the losing end of a 12-4 score in Anaheim, Joe Torre, instead of using his bullpen, called on 39 year old Wade Boggs to pitch the bottom of the 8th (David Wells had started and lasted only three innings, replaced by Graeme Lloyd who threw four innings).

Boggs started the inning by walking Luis Alicea. He then got Tim Salmon to hit a ground ball to the shortstop who forced Alicea out at second. Garret Anderson then grounded out moving Salmon to second. The inning ended when catcher Todd Greene struck out swinging.

Boggs' line for his first attempt at pitching: no runs, no hits, one walk. His second try at pitching didn't end as well.

On August 10, 1999, Boggs was brought in to pitch with two outs in the top of the 8th with the Orioles leading the Devil Rays 16-1. As an interesting aside, Boggs was inserted into the DH spot in the line up (he batted once) and had the game progressed past the 9th -which was very unlikely- the Devil Rays forfeited their right to use a DH.

Charles Johnson was the first to face Boggs, and he flew out to right ending the inning. First up in the ninth against Boggs was Delino DeShields who struckout looking. Not too surprising, Boggs won a few Gold Gloves in his career so he had a pretty accurate arm.

Up next was Ryan Minor who grounded out to short. Rich Amaral then doubled to center but advanced to third on an error. Mike Bordick singled driving Amaral in, making the score 17-1. Jeff Conine then singled and with two on and two out Albert Belle flew out to center.

Tampa Bay got one hit in the bottom half, but failed to score.

The line for his one and a third innings of work: one run on three hits, one strikeout. 6.75 ERA.

For his pitching career: 3.86, 2.1 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts. 123 ERA+, 1.714 WHIP.

And here's that footnote in the history books:

Until last season, Bobby Thigpen was the saves in a season leader. In 1990 Thigpen saved 57 games for the White Sox with a 1.83 ERA. But with Francisco Rodriguez saving 62 last season Thigpen's career will be soon forgotten.

We do get a nice full frontal look at the old numbers-on-the-pants ChiSox uniform.

Two rookies:

Damon Berryhill was a light hitting catcher who spent most of his career as a backup. He played most notably for the Cubs, who won the division in '89, and then for the Braves in the early years of their 1990's dynasty.

Before seeing this card, I never realized that Jeff Montgomery began his career as a Red. In 1987 he pitched in 14 games (2-2, 6.52 ERA) for Cincinnati. In February 1988, the Reds traded him to Kansas City for Van Snider (oops). In KC, Montgomery went on to have a pretty good career, saving 304 games (19th all time) with a 3.27 ERA.

I'll let this card speak for itself. Try to think of yourself as a young baseball fan in 1988 and read the back of the card. Then take off the rose colored glasses and read the back of the card.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pack Fourteen

Pack 16 +15
52 Dave Bergman
498 Darrell Miller
461 Bob Brower
92 Kevin Mitchell
296 Curt Young
579 Keith Comstock
644 Todd Benzinger
140 Barry Lyons
214 Don Mattingly
325 John Cangelosi
1 Keith Atherton
308 Steve Jeltz
617 Greg Swindell
233 Nick Esasky
116 Manny Lee

Here I am after about a week away from baseball cards. I kept up with the blog world, reading posts and commenting here and there, but it was a nice break. I got some yard work done, put in (at last count) ten job applications, washed my car, made another trip to Atlanta. Now back to baseball cards.

I'm nearing the halfway point on this box, and so far it's only given me three cards that I already had and no doubles yet out of the box. If anyone else is looking to complete '88 Fleer, let me know and I'll add you to my checklist. It's first come first serve, so Jeff from Card Junkie will be the first to get any doubles that he needs. But if you're out there, send your wantlists my way and I'll help if I can.

This pack pushed me up over one third completion. So is it too early for a prediction? Nah. I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict 75% completion.

Now, let's look at some cards...

Keith Atherton's career was nothing remarkable. He pitched well enough out of the pen for seven seasons mostly in middle relief. Walks were a concern and he walked 3.4 per nine which is a little more than you'd like to see from a reliever.

But here he is as card number one. Thankfully for him, his mother to be married a guy named Atherton, and his team won the World Series in 1987. See, two things had to go right for Keith to end up as number one. If the Twins had traded him to the Indians two years earlier in 1987, he'd have been card number 600 and no one would have paid any attention to him at all.

Steve Jeltz is just one of eight Major League players born in France. Current Giants manager Bruce Bochy is another.

Jeltz is probably best remember for this game where he hit home runs from both sides of the plate after entering in the top of the second to replace Tom Herr. The game is remembered for a comment made by Pirates broadcaster Jim Rooker. After the Pirates scored ten runs in the top of the first, Rooker said, "If we lose this game, I'll walk home."

Jeltz's first home run, a two run shot, in the bottom of the fourth made the score 10-6. The Pirates scored again in the 5th making it 11-6. Jeltz's second homer, a three run affair, set the score at 11-9. Later in the inning, John Kruk scored on a Ricky Jordan single to center.

The score stood at 11-10 in favor of the Pirates until the bottom of the 8th when, unfortunately for Mr. Rooker, the Phillies scored five more runs to win the game 15-11.

True to his word, after the season was over, Rooker made the 300 mile walk from Philly back to Pitsburgh, and raised money for charity along the way.

The moral of the story? Don't consider a career in broadcasting if you don't like to walk.

Barry Lyons was obviously never a boy scout, otherwise he would have been prepared that fateful day in 1987:

Davey Johnson: "Barry, you're starting at short today."
Barry Lyons: "But skipper, I don't have the right glove."
Davey Johnson: "Well then, find one."
Barry Lyons: What do I do? What do I do? Hey, wait a minute. If'n I'm starting at short, that must mean Rafael doesn't need his glove today.
Barry Lyons: "Hey Raf... skip says I'm starting for you today, can uh... can I borrow your glove?"
Rafael Santana: "What! No, I don't want catcher cooties on my glove. Go away."
Barry Lyons: Aww gee, skipper's gonna be mad.
Barry Lyons: "Hey skipper, that meanie Rafael Santana said I'd get catcher cooties all over his glove and that I can't use it. What am I supposed to do?"
Davey Johnson: "Well, you'll just have to make do, now get out there."


Mets Announcer Guy #1: "And the Mets fall nineteen to three. Had it not been for the twelve errors committed by shortstop for the day Barry Lyons this would have been a much closer game.
Mets Announcer Guy #2: "But you have to wonder how many of those errors could have been avoided if he'd gone to the field wearing the proper glove."

Now the question must be asked, why did Fleer choose this particular day to take baseball card photographs? At least he looks determined to make the skipper proud.

I've never been one to shy away from expressing my dislike of the Yakees (or the Mets for that matter), but there are certain Yankees players that I admire. Most notably Ruth, DiMaggio and Gherig. But Don Mattingly is one that I feel bad for not liking more than I did during his playing days. I always respected his ability, but he was a Yankee. I guess I felt the same about Bernie Williams and Paul O'Neil, too. But that's ok, all is forgiven now that he's working for my other favorite team, the Dodgers (though I'm indifferent and leaning towards dislike of Joe Torre).

And there you have it, Pack Fourteen.

Friday, May 22, 2009

A few days off...

I'm taking a few days away from baseball cards and writing here. I'll be back on Monday, hopefully well rested, with pack 14.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pack Thirteen

Pack 13 +13
(bold blue indicates upgraded card)
560 Rene Gonzales
512 Mike Devereaux
292 Luis Polonia
185 Neal Heaton
254 George Brett
240 Terry McGriff
483 Bobby Witt
145 John Mitchell
31 Doug DeCinces
319 Milt Thompson
107 Rob Ducey
162 Chuck Crim
205 Henry Cotto

329 Brian Fisher
10 Gary Gaetti

I upgraded two cards with this pack, making it thus far the least productive pack out of the box. But still, thirteen out of fifteen added is pretty good in my book.

If this card looks familiar:

It's becuase I scanned it and used the top of it as the banner for the site.

Here's our Hall of Famer, with more than enough pine tar on his bat.

I wonder why he looks so pissed off. Maybe Tim McClelland is calling balls and strikes and just made a remark about the pine tar on Brett's bat... again.

There's a lot going on in this card. First, he has the field cap under the batting helmet look going on which I always like to see. It also looks like he's just hit a bullet down the third base line.

But what I'm most curious about, is who is that other player in the background. The skin tone isn't correct for either Tony Bernazard or Mike Davis, both commonly batted after Polonia in the lineup. It almost looks like a young Tony LaRussa, which would explain why he's wearing a field cap.

Any ideas?

If tomorrow's pack goes well, I'll be one third of the way through the set.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pack Twelve

Pack 12 +15
75 Mike Aldrete
288 Gene Nelson
578 Chris Brown
362 Ed Romero
133 Len Dykstra
226 Dave Winfield
321 Rafael Belliard
24 Les Straker
312 Wally Ritchie
619 Ed Vande Berk
234 John Franco
122 Jose Nunez
452 Rob Mallicoat
392 Floyd Bannister
427 Jerry Mumphrey

This should get us caught up.

I've replaced one card so far out of the box, but there have been no actual doubles, which makes this box the winner. Of the three online box breaks I've done, 1988 Score started giving doubles in pack 4 and 1989 Bowman in pack 11. Way back in May of 2008, doubles started showing up in pack four of my first box of '87 Topps.

By far the worst for doubles was '87 Topps, but '88 Score wasn't far behind. I learned my lesson though, never buy two boxes of the same set. It's nothing but a frustration to open 36 packs and come out with less than 150 needed cards.

But anyway...

This pack wasn't a whole lot better than the last one, but I did pull a Hall of Famer and an all around nice guy:

This is another good photograph. Is that old Comisky in the background?

I just noticed that in the "At Their Best" section, Fleer used the term batting average, but otherwise used .pct. Any idea why? I know that a batting average is a percentage, but it's a strange choice. Trying to be different I guess.

Next up, another of my all time favorite players, a true underdog:

As you can see, the stats on the back document Raffy's first big league home run. It came on May 5, 1987 at Jack Murphy Stadium off Padres picture Eric Show. In the top of the second inning, another future Braves hero, Sid Bream doubled to right. He scored on a Jim Morrison double to left. Show then walked R.J. Reynolds. Morrison then scored on a Mike LaValliere single up the middle which set the scene for Belliard to hit his first home run, driving in both Spanky and Reynolds.

The Pirates scored five runs in the inning and went on to win the game 10-8. The loss sent the Padres record to 7-21, and put them 12 games back in the young season.

Ten years and four months later, on September 26, 1997, this time at Shea Stadium, Raffy did it again. With the Braves down 4-6 after six innings of play, Brian Bohanon started the 7th facing Tony Graffanino who singled down the third base line. Jovy Lopez was brought into pinch hit for pitcher Chris Brock and struck out. Danny Bautista followed with a flyout to left.

Belliard was next and took Bohanon deep to left to tie the game at six. The Braves eventually won on a Danny Bautista RBI single in the top of the 11th. That win was their 101st and final win of the season as they dropped the last two heading into the playoffs.

I've still got my fingers crossed for a successful TTM return from Raffy.

And finally, what kind of host would I be if I didn't end this post with a terrible picture?

Looks like Mr. Mallicoat ate something very sour just before the picture was taken and tried his absolute best not to show it on his face. He failed miserably.

Pack Eleven

Pack 11 +15
484 Tony Armas
466 Scott Fletcher
98 Robby Thompson
281 Rick Honeycutt
593 Eric Nolte
354 Mike Greenwell
143 Kevin McReynolds
203 Rick Cerone
146 Randy Myers
18 Joe Neikro
301 Todd Frohwirth
615 Cory Snyder
227 Buddy Bell
637 Crunch Time (Darryl Strawberry, Eric Davis)
457 Dave Smith

I know I'm a day late with this one, but I just decided yesterday that I wasn't going to do any writing, I don't even know if I turned the computer on or not. It's good to get away for a day.

There's going to be two packs today. Pack 12 will come later this afternoon or evening.

Here we go with number 11.

This is not a spectacular pack. I can't think of a single card in this pack that would have excited me had I opened it 20 years ago. Maybe, maybe, I'd have been pleased with the Strawberry/Davis card and maybe the Mike Greenwell, but I doubt it.

Today, the only card that really does much for me is the Joe Niekro (and I'd still rather it have been his brother, but I'll take either one of them).

This is a great picture that really lets you see the grip for the knuckleball. I wonder if there's a nail file in his back pocket.

Look at the "At Their Best" stat breakdowns. Joe really didn't fare well in day games in 1987. 2-4 with an 8.40 ERA.

And here's the afore mentioned Strawberry/Davis card. Unlike the other '87 All Star game cards we've seen, this one was taken right off the first base side of home plate.

"It is a tribute to their ... strength as men that they both have been able to thrive under such pressure." I guess cocaine helps with pressure (at least in Strawberry's case).

And now I present two cards that could have been better...

Pop up, foul down the first base line? Has to be a fouled out of play because he doesn't really look prepard to run. But it looks like the picture was taken during the day, and if you look at his stat breakdowns, you'll see that he hit poorly during the day.

There are two very small children just behind the wall. You can see most of one's face, but just the top of the other's head (who's wearing a hood for some reason).

Finally, this isn't really a terrible photo, but he looks very uninterested in being there. I'm sure baseball card picture day is just a hassle and annoyance for some players, but it's not hard to smile or at least look like you car for five seconds.

Or is it?

Check back later for pack 12.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pack Ten

Pack 10 +15
75 Lou Whitaker
97 Harry Spilman
173 Bill Schroeder
198 Tim Wallach
250 Frank Williams
260 Bo Jackson
295 Dave Stewart
384 Ken Phelps
405 Steve Lyons
435 Rick Sutcliffe
451 Bob Knepper
519 Brad Havens
535 Marty Clary
565 Lee Lacy
595 Luis Salazar

First I need to point out that this isn't the order the cards came out of the pack. Power went out before I saved my Word document and for some reason auto-save didn't catch it. So I have no idea what the original order was.

Swing and a miss. This card falls into the realms nice old Expos uniform and couldn't they have come up with a better photo.

Bo knows how to make a good card.

Here's Dave Stewart after his breakout year in 1987 when he won 20 games.

Steward reminds me of Mike Tyson (the boxer) because he's a very intimidating looking man with a squeaky little voice.

I'm posting this more for my own curiosity than anything else. What's that little baseball field next to the stadium?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pack Nine

Pack 9 +14
656 Checklist
123 Dave Stieb
261 Danny Jackson
35 Tom Herr
356 Bruce Hurst
200 Herm Winningham
AS5 George Bell
620 Eddie Williams
419 Shawon Dunston
397 Carlton Fisk
519 Shawn Hillegas
633 Big Bats at First (Mark McGwire, Pat Tabler)
550 Zane Smith
574 Mark Williamson
439 Alan Ashby

This is my third attempt at writing this post. I actually started it at 11:45am, but was interrupted by a power outage. Then around 1:30pm a violent thunderstorm scared me away from the computer. It's starting to storm again, so hopefully I can get this finished this time

Looks like my assumed rate of insertion for the All Star cards is holding true. Here's pack nine, and I've pulled three of them. I've read every word written on the box and on the pack and there's no given rate. The pack says:

So randomly could mean one in three packs, or it could just be coincidence that I'm pulling one in three packs. I assume that the 3-Pack they're talking about are the three section rack packs, but why mention it here? How many of us read what was printed on the packs when we were kids?

The only thing the display box says is to look at the bottom for the box bottom cards. But you'll have to stick around until pack number 36 to see those, nudge nudge wink wink.

Anyhoo, I've strayed off topic... back to the All Stars.

Like the Topps All Stars, not every member of the 1988 Fleer All Star Team was an All Star in 1987. Three of the twelve weren't. Here's one that was, though:

Like I said a few days ago, I do intend to complete this sebset, but I don't really like it. A lot of what I think is wrong with this subset is what I think is wrong with a lot of modern high end cards. FOr the most part I don't particularly like a card where the player is cut out and pasted onto some generic background. A lot of Upper Deck's inserts seem to follow this pattern. There are exceptions and I've run across a few background-less cards that I like, but those examples are pretty few and far between.

Since that Kent Tekulve left a bad taste in my mouth and my eyes burning from sheer badness, I give you a very nice looking shot of Carlton Fisk. It could be better. A play at the plate would have been nice, but this one will do. Something has just happened though because you can see some dust in the air in the bottom right corner.

I wonder what's going on. There's a Red Sox player right behind Fisk who is bent over like he's trying to motion for a runner to slide, but his arms are down by his side. Strange. Who is that in the on deck circle?

Fisk is also the Hall of Famer out of this pack.

Best uniform ever.

Pat Tabler looks like he's about 14 years old in that picture. And you can also see what Mark McGwire looked like before he ate a professional wrestler (where else would the steroids have come from? Free range wrestlers are so much more healthy and free of potentially harmful or performance enhancing chemicals).

So far it looks like all of these All Star cards were taken in pretty much the same place. Somewhere along the first base side of homeplate. Probably in the first row or two of seats or on top of the dugout.

I haven't posted stickers lately because you can see them all over at the Fleer Sticker Project, but I chose to show this one becuase 1988 was the final full season for the Blue Jays at the Mistake by the Lake Exhibition Stadium. Has a more unsuitable location for baseball ever been built? The Blue Jays moved into the Skydome early in the 1989 season.

And there you have it. Thanks to the weather, only nine hours after I started it.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Pack Eight

Pack 8 +15
176 Dale Sveum
544 Dale Murphy
375 Dave Hengel
96 Chris Speier
61 Chet Lemon
599 Ed Whitson
559 Ken Gerhart
510 Ralph Bryant
290 Tony Phillips
179 Hubie Brooks
270 Kevin Seitzer
228 Tom Browning
467 Jose Guzman
154 Mookie Wilson
493 Wally Joyner

This is a lot later than I intended. I got back from Atlanta around 11am (took a lot longer than I intended... Atlanta's only 150 miles away and it took five hours round trip) and managed to stay awake until 2pm or so, then I crashed.

I've been taking melatonin for help sleeping and it's been working. Of course, I've only taken it twice so far. But I decided against taking it last night since I needed to be alert for driving, and of course I didn't sleep.

Well, here I am after an uneventful trip with an uneventful pack. This is gonna be a short one tonight with no pictures just because I'm too tired to scan anything.

Nothing great here. No Hall of Famers. One old Expo, but he's wearing a red batting practice jersey. And I think Tom Brown was the answer to a trivia question I saw recently on one of the blogs or on TV, can't remember which.

That's all. Come back tomorrow after I've had a full night's sleep for more excitement.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pack Seven

Pack 7 +15
131 David Cone
499 Greg Minton
318 Kent Tekulve
628 Masters of the Double Play
44 Jose Oquendo
221 Jerry Royster
324 Sid Bream
19 Kirby Puckett
235 Guy Hoffman
125 Duane Ward
258 Jerry Gleaton
47 Ozzie Smith
364 Joe Sambito
192 Pascual Perez
608 John Farrell

We've got a lot to talk about today so let's get right into it.

Lots of Hall of Famers here, but first:

Jerry Don Gleaton is, right off the top of my head, the only Major Leaguer I can think of that uses both his first and middle name. Why then did Fleer decide to call him Jerry Gleaton? Every other card of his that I've ever seen has listed him as "Jerry Don."

When I saw this card I thought "ok, maybe there was a second Jerry Gleaton." There isn't. So I guess Topps isn't the only company to shorten names. Bob Clemente and Benny Santiago would be proud.

Can anyone come up with other ML players who use both their first and middle names? Or how about any other Jerry Don Gleaton cards that drop the Don?

Oh, and one more before we get to the Hall of Famers.

This has to be a front runner for the worst non-airbrused picture on a baseball card ever. Is this really the best picture they could get? "dur... lukit, there's a gluv on mah han'." Bad Fleer. Bad. No! The photographer deserves to get beaten with a rolled up newspaper for that.

Scroll down a few days and look at that great Carney Lansford shot, and then the good Greg Maddux. They could, and did, do a lot better than poor Kent.

Ok, now that that's over with, here's those Hall of Famers.

Ozzie looks very unhappy. Somewhat akin to his 1989 Bowman card, where he looks very uncomfortable, bordering on confused.

Again, is this the best they could come up with?

But wait, here's a better picture.

Here we get a two for one deal. Two Hall of Famers for the price of one card. And this time, Ozzie looks happy. However, neither Ozzie or Ryne appear to be looking at the correct camera. Which reminds me of the All Star Righties card we saw back in pack two. I guess there's so much going on at an All Star game it's hard to look in the right direction all the time.

ANd finally, the late Kirby Puckett.

Pretty good pack.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pack SIx

Pack 6 +15
462 Jerry Browne
137 Gregg Jefferies
506 Devon White
307 Chris James
117 Nelson Liriano
174 Steve Stanicek
210 Charles Hudson
333 Mike LaValliere
25 Frank Viola
AS8 Wade Boggs
657 Checklist
121 Jeff Musselman
252 Bud Black
42 Willie McGee
355 Sam Horn

This post is later than I wanted it to be. But I had to fight with my scanner to get the scans to come out straight, and by that time it was dinner time. Then I just plain forgot about this post and said I'd do it after the game. As good as things have been going, it didn't end up so well tonight. Walks hurt. Bad. Yes, there was a horrible call in the 9th, Beltran was out. But still, walks hurt... and the Braves are back under .500.

Whatever. Here's the post.

Without checking, I would imagine that the Gregg Jefferies card pictures above was, in the late 80s, one of the more valuable cards in the set. I wrote a bit about Jefferies over at 1988 Score about a year ago, so I won't repeat mtself.

A lot of people expected a lot of things out of Gregg Jefferies, and he had a few good years. A lot of people will say he never lived up to their expectations, but he was a two time All Star, and finished his career at .289/.344/.421 with 126 home runs and 663 RBIs. He didn't strike out a lot either. Pretty good numbers over all, and a good career.

Curiosity got the better of me, so I went to my trusty and never, ever incorrect Beckett, only to discover that the section containing 1988 Fleer is missing. I knew the section with 1988 Score fell out, but I didn't know Fleer was in that section to. It's gotta be around here somewhere... But my 1995 Confident Collector price guide lists the Jefferies card at $4. So I'm sure it booked higher than that in my Beckett from 1990.

If I can unearth that section, it may be a interesting addition to this site. As far as I'm concerned those price guides are only good for their checklists (especially when online checklists are rarely correct), but it would be fun to see who was considered a hot prospect back in the day.

The only other card I need to talk about tonight is this one:

The Hall of Famer in the pack. I haven't decided if I want to go out of my way to put together this insert set or not. I know it's only 12 cards, but to be perfectly honest, I'd rather those cards be tweleve base cards to add to the set instead. But since I'm more than likely going to pull a few of them, I might as well try to finish it.

I've pulled two of out six packs, so if they were inserted at a rate of one every three packs, I should get 12 of them in this box. Assuming there are no doubles and that there even was a set rate of insertion (that sounds... dirty).

And so now I'm going to end this before the sleeping pills take effect. Come back tomorrow for pack seven.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Pack Five

Pack 5 +15
385 Jim Presley
645 Major League Prospects (Jim Eppard, Joey Meyer)
60 Eric King
501 Gus Polidor
476 Larry Parrish
87 Craig Lefferts
285 Carney Lansford
582 Tim Flannery
367 Bob Stanley
138 Howard Johnson
207 Ron Guidry
342 Bob Walk
8 Mark Davidson
299 Jeff Calhoun
603 Brett Butler

For some reason that I don't know or remember, I always liked Carney Lansford. Back in the late 80s, aside from being a Braves fan, I was both a Dodgers and A's fan. I always like Carney Lansford better than Jose Canseco or Mark McGwire. I can't explain it... I was a strange child.

Regardless of my childhood idiosyncrasies, you have to admit, this is a pretty nice looking card. I'm kinda surprised the card lists his position as first and third base. Yes, he played a few games at first, but only a very few. Of 1850 games played, 1720 of those were at third. He played 124 games at first, as well as a few at the DH position and a handful at second and short.

Moving on to a card that could really stand to have some flavor text on the back.

Thanks to the power of the internet, I learned that Tim Flannery does (or did at least in 1988) surf. Even without the internet, my powers of reasoning and deduction would probably have come to the same conclusion, but isn't it just a bit... strange to have a surfboard on a baseball card with absolutely no explination?

What if, in 100,000,000 years the human race is long dead and all traces of our existence are gone, except a single remaining factory set of 1988 Fleer? What if an alien race finds that factory set and builds a rudimentary understanding of this game? From flipping through the cards they could easily conclude that it was a game that involved hitting a spheroid object with a club. But then what happens to their fragile understanding of baseball when they come to card number 582 and here's a guy with what looks like an oval shaped shield?

The only possible conclusion they could draw from that card would be that that thing he's holding is a defensive tool. And now instead of hitting that spheroid object with a club, they think the object is to hit the other players with the ball AND the club.

Do we not owe it to future inhabitants of earth to explain that that's a surfboard and that Tim Flannery likes to surf? That that shield like object is not part of the game of baseball?

I think we do. Or at least if a time capsule is ever buried containing a factory set of '88 Fleer, we should at least include a note and explanation of surfing.

One good thing that I will say about this card is that they picked a good location on the field to take the picture. You can see the Padres logo on the wall behind Tim. It seems like a lot of times in the late 80s they'd take a picture wherever the guy was standing and you'd have a Cubs player with a Pirates logo in the background.

Now that we have a plan in place to keep from confusing the aliens, let's look at two guys that I've never heard of...

Jim Eppard played in 82 games over four seasons. He was used primarily off the bench and started only 20 games.

In two seasons, Joey Meyer played in 156 games, hit 18 homers and drove in 74 runs. Strike outs were his main problem at every level of play, though he hit for good power in the minor leagues (.289/.354/.527, 135 HR, 487 RBI in six seasons).

He does have a place in history though. On August 9, 1988 against the Red Sox, with the game tied at two, he hit the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth out of the park. It was the only walk off home run Roger Clemens ever gave up.

You learn something new everyday.