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.


Jeffrey Wolfe said...

One thing I've noticed is that '88 Fleer collation was pretty darn good. I got a near complete set out of my box as well.