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.