Saturday, June 6, 2009

When things aren't always what they seem...

Reader Hiflew just pointed out that this:

Is actually, this:

Probably at the same game.

And this is Keith Moreland:

I wonder if the corrected version will show up before the end of the box.

Thanks Hiflew. Always nice to learn something new.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pack Twenty-Three

Pack 23 +15
360 Jody Reed
142 Roger McDowell
216 Mike Pagliarulo
334 Jose Lind
6 Randy Bush
317 Jeff Stone
618 Pat Tabler
230 Kal Daniels
124 Willie Upshaw
442 Rocky Childress
396 Richard Dotson
425 Keith Moreland
166 Ted Higuera
537 Jeff Dedmon
382 Donnell Nixon

Pack Ripping Music: Bloodbath: Resurrection Through Carnage (2002)

This is an old school death metal supergroup fronted by Mikael Akerfeldt. Akerfeldt, when not covered with fake blood, is best known as the frontman of the prog-metal band Opeth. Opeth is without a doubt my favorite band in the world.

I'm having a lot of trouble finding some cards to post, this was a pretty bland pack. There are no great player, and no great or poor photography.

Soooooo... these four will have to do.

If this weren't so shadowy it would be a much better looking card. But, still, we can see that wonderful old Blue Jays uniform. I was so happy to see them wear the powder blue jersey again last year.

Wow. Look at Willie's 1983 season. I never knew he put up numbers like that.

You don't see a lot of cards of a player bunting.

In his career, Keith Moreland recorded 18 sacrifice bunts and one bunt single. Since this is actually Jody Davis... Jody Davis also had 18 sac bunts, but no bunt hits.

According to reader Hiflew, there is a corrected version of this card.

Richard Dotson has two arms sprouting from his ass, and one of them looks to be wearing a middle-infielder's glove. That couldn't have been comfortable on the way out.

How could I leave you without a posting a guy named Rocky.

That's it. Bland and uninspired. Maybe tomorrow will be more exciting.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pack Twenty-Two

Pack 22 +15
528 Fernando Valenzuela
280 Alfredo Griffin
190 Andy McGaffigan
269 Angel Salazar
650 Major League Prospects (Jack Savage, Todd Simmons)
477 Geno Petralli
141 Dave Magadan
487 DeWayne Buice
314 Juan Samuel
632 Pitching Magic (Mike Scott, Orel Hershiser)
40 Joe Magrane
208 Bill Gullickson
341 Andy Van Slyke
9 George Frazier
246 Dennis Rasmussen

Pack Ripping Music: Stone Temple Pilots: Purple (1994)

I love this record. It still sounds great after fifteen years.

50% completion with this pack. Still no doubles from the box.

I guess we'll start here.

Mike Scott, the starting pitcher at the '87 All Star Game, was coming off a 1986 season where he went 18-10 with a 2.22 ERA. He struck out 306 in 275.1 innings and recorded a 0.923 WHIP. His performance that year won him the Cy Young and a 10th place vote for the MVP.

In the All Star Game he pitched two innings, allowing one hit and struck out one.

Hershiser came in to pitch in the bottom of the fifth, gave up one hit, walked one but didn't allow a run.

A card with Orel Hershiser gives me one more opportunity to show these off:

Moving right along...

Here's a great shot of Juan Samuel chashing down a pop fly. But look at his glasses. They look like welder's goggles. I kinda want a pair.

And two guys I've never heard of.

Jack Savage made his Major League debut on September 14, 1987 and pitched reasonably well for the Dodgers in three games. He gave up four hits and one run in just over three innings of work.

After the 1987 season he was involved in a large trade:

December 11, 1987: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Los Angeles Dodgers to the New York Mets. The Los Angeles Dodgers sent Bob Welch and Matt Young to the Oakland Athletics. The Oakland Athletics sent Alfredo Griffin and Jay Howell to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Oakland Athletics sent Kevin Tapani and Wally Whitehurst to the New York Mets. The New York Mets sent Jesse Orosco to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He spent 1988 at the Triple-A level in the Mets system and was then involved in another large trade:

October 16, 1989: Sent by the New York Mets to the Minnesota Twins to complete an earlier deal made on July 31, 1989. The New York Mets sent a player to be named later, Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Kevin Tapani and David West to the Minnesota Twins for a player to be named later and Frank Viola. The New York Mets sent Jack Savage (October 16, 1989) to the Minnesota Twins to complete the trade.

His 1990 season with the Twins wasn't particularly good. In 17 games he struckout 12 and walked 11 and allowed 26 runs (24 earned) in 26 innings. He pitched at the Double- and Triple-A level in 1991 and that was it for his career.

Todd Simmons pitched in the White Sox, Padres, Brewers and Rangers systems between 1984 and 1989 but never made it to the Major League level.

Welp, looks like the Braves won't be playing tonight... we'll have to wait one more night to see Nate McLouth's Braves debut.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pack Twenty-One

Pack 21 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
172 Earnest Riles
543 Dion James
571 Dave Schmidt
458 Denny Walling
371 Mickey Brantley
37 Lance Johnson
56 Mike Heath
500 Donnie Moore
473 Oddibe McDowell
86 Mike LaCoss
282 Jay Howell
594 Randy Ready
346 Tom Bolton
151 Darryl Strawberry
209 Rickey Henderson

Pack Ripping Music: While Heaven Wept: Of Empires Forlorn (2002) - Epic doom from Virginia.

No video from these guys, they're pretty obscure.

Here's some cards.

This card should explain a lot.

Foul ball off the ankle. I think the photographer got him just the split second before the pain hit him.

So what does this explain?

It explains this. See the guy in the yellow? He's in the far left of Ready's card. So now we know, Jack Murphy Stadium.

Here's a good looking shot of Strawberry at Wrigley. I think Strawberry's just hit something up the middle, but he's not prepared to run, so maybe it was a caught line drive.

New Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson doing something on the basepaths.

Knowing what happened to this guy makes his cards hard to look at. He looks so haunted in every picture I've ever seen.

Y'all come back tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pack Twenty

Pack 20 +15
330 Brett Gideon
5 Tom Brunansky
238 Bill Landrum
106 Jim Clancy
253 Thad Bosley
27 Vince Coleman
349 Roger Clemens
183 Tom Foley
613 Doug Jones
434 Jim Sundberg
398 Ozzie Guillen
526 John Shelby
165 Jim Gantner
531 Jim Acker
554 Jeff Ballard

Pack Ripping Music: Dark Tranquillity: Fiction (2007)

That is without a doubt one of the best music videos ever made, and I'm not a fan of the typical music video. The song is "Terminus (Where Death is Most Alive)."

Anyhoo, here are some cards...

Let's start with a guy I've never heard of. He was originally drafted by the Astros in 1983 but didn't sign. In 1985 he was drafted and signed with the Pirates. After working his way up through the Prates system he made his Major League debut on July 5, 1987. He pitched 36.2 innings in 1987 to a 1-5 record.

On March 28, 1989 he was traded to the Expos for pitcher Neal Heaton. Heaton would eventually become an All Star with the Pirates and Gideon pitched a total of 5.2 innings the rest of his Major League career. His numbers weren't terrible so I don't know why he didn't get more of a chance in the big leagues. He stuck around in the minors until 1992.

Here's a good shot of Vince Coleman at Wrigley. One thing that really stands out about this card is that the fans in the background are very much in focus.

Look at Coleman's stolen base numbers in the minors. 145 at Macon in '83.

Here's current ChiSox manager Ozzie Guillen as a young man.

Here's another one where the fans in the background are very in focus. I wonder if any baseball card collector has ever found himself in the background of a card?

That's second baseman Steve Lombardozzi in the background.

And there's pack 20.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pack Nineteen

Pack 19 +15
93 Jon Perlman
58 Willie Hernandez
596 Benito Santiago
564 Ray Knight
513 Mariano Duncan
287 Dwayne Murphy
187 Vance Law
264 Bill Pecota
229 Dave Concepcion
472 Mike Loynd
149 Rafael Santana
490 Willie Fraser
304 Von Hayes
118 Fred McGriff
164 Mike Felder

New feature for the second half of the box: Pack Ripping Music.

For this pack I've chosen Solitude Aeturnus' 1990 debut album "Into the Depths of Sorrow." This is epic doom metal at its finest.

There has been a running debate in my head for years which album I like better, this one or Candlemass' debut "Epicus Doomicus Metallicus." Both are spectacular, and while later Candlemass is far superior, I have to give the nod to "Into the Depths of Sorrow," it's a truly bleak, beautiful record.

But of course, next week I could be liking "Epicus" better. That's the way it goes.

This song is from their 1994 album "Through The Darkest Hour."

Ok, how 'bout we look at some baseball cards?

The one thing really sticks out about that Braves dynasty of the 1990's is that they made very few big trade deadline deals. The biggest pickup of that era was an off season acquisition of a free agent pitcher named Greg Maddux.

Fred McGriff is the only superstar caliber player I can think of that the Braves picked up near the trade deadline. These days a club picks up a superstar player for the pennant run and then dumps him at the end of the season (cough Mark Teixeira cough), but McGriff is one that stuck around for a while and made an impact.

He hit 25+ home runs and drove in 90+ in each of his three full years in Atlanta and was an All Star.

The Braves got the best end of that deal. Of the three players the Padres got in the deal, only Melvin Nieves played in more than 100 games for his new team. Donnie Elliott pitched to an 0-1 record in 35 innings pitched out of the pen, his 3.09 ERA was pretty good though. And Vince Moore never made it to the majors.

As much as I liked Fred McGriff, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of him is the fire in the Fulton Country Stadium press box the day Crime Dog joined the Braves.

When I was flipping through the pack looking for a good looking card to scan I didn't pay much attention to the name. When I threw the cards on the scanner and sat down to put them together, I noticed who I had scanned and I thought "golly gee, some one was actually able to take a good picture of this guy."

Because let us not forget this beauty that Topps gave us the year before:

It's not the worst from '87 Topps, but it'll do. Let's see what Score did with ol' Mike...

Well... certainly it comes down to a battle between Score and Fleer. I'd estimate that in 95% of cases 1988 Score will win in the photography department, but I think I like the Fleer card better here.

Any idea where this picture was taken? Spring training? My first thought was Oakland because of the green fence, but Mariano shouldn't have played any games in Oakland in 1987. Did Dodger Stadium have green fences back then? It looks like he's wearing an away jersey. The guy to the left of the tubby guy in yellow looks to be wearing a Padres hat, but I can't tell for sure, it could also be a Giants hat. So Jack Murphy Stadium, maybe?

Looks like most Dodger cards that weren't taken in LA were taken in the same place as the Duncan card.

Wherever it was taken it looks like Duncan either hit a foul ball down the third base line or a line drive in that direction that was caught.

Hey hey, at least I can say for sure that this one was taken at old Comisky in Chicago.

I don't like to see batters bend that back leg so far on their swing. You can't generate much power when you knee bends that low. When Andruw Jones was struggling his last year in Atlanta, he'd take a lot of swings like that and either swing and miss or pop up somewhere on the infield.

What we see here is probably a swing and a miss judging by the upright position of the bat on the follow through, a very awkward swing and miss.

There you go. Come back tomorrow for pack 20 and see what kind of pack rippin' music I'm listening to.