Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pack Thirty-One

Pack 30 +0
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
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
115 Rick Leach
251 Steve Balboni
50 Todd Worrell
365 Calvin Schiraldi
196 Bryn Smith
607 Brian Dorsett

Well, it had to happen sooner or later. I guess I can make a for trade section for '88 Fleer now.

Hopefully this is the only bad pack of the box.

Pack Thirty

Pack 29 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
547 Gerald Perry
558 Jim Dwyer
445 Glenn Davis
380 Mike Morgan
647 Major League Prospects (Chris Gwynn/Peter Smith)
51 Doyle Alexander
492 Ruppert Jones
468 Greg Harris
88 Jeff Leonard
278 Storm Davis
590 Shane Mack
363 Kevin Romine
128 Wally Backman
223 Wayne Tolleson
150 Doug Sisk

This is yesterday's pack. I didn't get a post up yesterday because I was cooking all day. Not to brag, but I make amazing barbequed grilled chicken.

Anyhoo... this wasn't a great pack, but it'll do.

I'm hoping a Red Sox fan can help me make some sense out of this. I'm thinking this is a spring training shot because it doesn't look like Fenway and there's what looks like an old Angels hat on a fan on the right side of the picture.

Any ideas?

Chris Gwynn wasn't quite the hitter his older brother was, but he did provide the game winning hit in a 1996 game against the Dodgers that clinched the division for the Padres. Chris was a much better defensive player than offensive though, and made only four errors in 383 total chances for his career.

Pete Smith is best known for his time in Atlanta, where he pitched mostly as a fifth starter. Though he only pitched for the Braves during the later half of 1992, he went 7-0 with a 2.05 ERA with two complete games, but that was his only winning season.

Pete Smith last pitched in 1999 with Memphis of the Pacific Coast League.

Do not stare directly into the Dwyer.

Come back later for pack 30...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Pack Twenty-Nine

Pack 28 +13
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
539 Tom Glavine
389 Dave Valle
90 Eddie Milner
55 Kirk Gibson
591 Carmelo Martinez
567 Eddie Murray
509 Tim Belcher
283 Reggie Jackson
195 Bob Sebra
267 Dan Quisenberry
651 Major League Prospects (Kirt Manwaring, John Burkett)
465 Cecil Espy
153 Gene Walter
491 Jack Howell
310 Lance Parrish

Pack Ripping Music: Bush: Sixteen Stone (1994)

At some point it stopped being cool to like Bush, but this is a remarkable album. I gave up on them after Razorblade Suitcase sucked. But Sixteen Stone is a record I still listen to from time to time. There was a lot of crap in the early 90s, but there were a few gems to be found. This is one of them.

Now, to the task at hand. This was a very good pack, and could be considered for best pack of the box (though my nod still goes to pack three that had both Ripken and Gwynn). Several Hall of Famers, one that will be a Hall of Famer, and a few rookies.

Since this has been a year of... controversy in Atlanta, this is a good card to start with.

Tom Glavine got the shaft on his rookie cards. Only the Score card is nice. Poor guy:

I'm still not exactly sure what to think about the Glavine situation. In the end, the Braves did what they felt was best for the team. The outfield is in trouble, that's no secret and needed attention, now. The Braves have an important stretch of games coming up and they're just not scoring runs. Picking up Nate McLouth was a good move.

As far as Tom Glavine is concerned, the McLouth move was poorly timed. The money that Glavine was guaranteed if and when he joined the 25-man roster would have been better spent somewhere else. But it does look bad to release a 22 year veteran, and a pretty popular player, and turn right around and spend that money somewhere else.

So I completely understand where Glavine's frustration comes from. But I still have to wonder if he would have been successful at the Major League level this year. Maybe so. We'll never know.

I do think that Tom Glavine could be a valuable addition somewhere. Especially for a struggling team with a young pitching staff. Glavine would be an excellent teacher for a young staff. So I wouldn't be surprised if he's picked up by a team like Baltimore or Oakland.

It's a pretty safe bet that Glavine will be the Hall of Fame, probably on his first ballot.

Speaking of first ballot Hall of Famers:

Eddie looks positively distressed by something that's happening off camera. I think he's about to throw that ball at whatever it is.

Another HoF'er. The back includes Reggie's full career statistics as 1987 was his final year.

A pitcher holding a bat on his baseball card!? What is this demonry!?

Tim Belcher did well enough for himself with a bat. Over all he hit .124 with two home runs and 25 RBIs.

I talked about Kirt Manwaring here, so we're going to talk about John Burkett today.

I know John Burkett had a pretty successful career, but I didn't realize just how good he really was.

He came up for a while in 1987, but went back to the minors until 1990. In 1993 he tied for the NL lead in wins, with the afore mentioned Tom Glavine, at 22. He placed fourth in Cy Young voting that year (behind Glavine, Bill Swift, and Greg Maddux). Burkett was also a two time All Star and finished fourth for the 1990 NL Rookie of the Year.

Over all he was 166-136 with a 4.31 and 1766 strikeouts in fifteen seasons.

Jack Howell is running for his life... from what?

Uh oh, it's back.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pack Twenty-Eight

Pack 28 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
604 Tom Candiotti
247 Ron Robinson
103 George Bell
459 Robbie Wine
395 Jose DeLeon
426 Jamie Moyer
160 Mark Clear
552 Ozzie Virgil
376 Mike Kingery
83 Atlee Hammaker
57 Mike Henneman
592 Lance McCullers
557 Ken Dixon
511 Tim Crews
289 Steve Ontiveros

No music again today, I've got the Braves and Pirates on.

I've for three pitchers for you today.

With the Braves sudden release of Tom Glavine last week, and Maddux retiring at the end of last season, Jamie Moyer is right off the top of my head the last active player in this set.

Jamie Moyer reminds me a bit of John Smoltz. No matter how old they get, they always look the same. Take a rookie card of either player and compare it to one from 2008 or 2009 and they haven't changed a bit. It's unsettling.

Moyer's having a rough season so far. He's a Phillie, but I'd still like to see him have a good year.

I'm not sure if I like this card or not. It's nice that you can almost see his grip on the ball. But I just can't tell if this is a practice shot or an in game shot. At the angle that the picture is taken, you'd expect to see a middle infielder, umpire or at least an outfielder back there, but it's oddly vacant. But there's a very, very black wall back there, so maybe everyone else was airbrushed out?

It's got a lot going for it, but a few strikes against it.

This card I do like. Not much is going on, but I never could figure out pitching, and seeing the grip on a ball is nice. I can throw an acceptable curve ball, but fancy pants stuff like change ups and sliders and all that jazz don't work.

We're in the home stretch, eight packs left. My goal is still 75%, I should be able to do it, maybe a bit more.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pack Twenty Seven

Pack 27 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
417 Bob Dernier
401 Bob James
416 Mickey Hatcher
159 Juan Castillo
549 Ted Simmons
553 Don Aase
455 Nolan Ryan
369 Phil Bradley
39 Jim Lindeman
53 Tom Brookens
497 Mark McLemore
480 Mike Stanley
78 Will Clark
286 Mark McGwire
577 Greg Booker

No music tonight, it's too hot. And it's also going to be a short one, again, it's too hot to sit at the computer.

I just realized that I haven't seen any of the All Star inserts for a while. My one in three pack assumption didn't pan out. Oh well.

Here's three 1980s superstars.

This looks a lot like a cardboard cutout of Nolan Ryan advertising Nike Air shoes.

He really looks like constipated. There's some great photography in this set, but they made some bizarre choices for some of these cards... surfboard, gloves on both hands, shoes under the arm.

And this card I really like. It's not very exciting, but it's something you don't see too often on a baseball card. He's not posed (or at least no obviously), he's not in action, but he's intently working on a piece of baseball equipment.

I also really like those old Giants uniforms, very simple and classic.

Another card I really like. And at my count, it's the fourth card with McGwire that I've pulled. That should be all of them, well, at least all of them that directly depict McGwire - I'm sure he shows up in the background of some others.

Maybe if it's not blisteringly hot tomorrow, I'll have more to say.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Pack Twenty-Six

Pack 26 +14
(upgraded cards are indicated by bold blue text)
21 Dan Schatzader
302 Greg Gross
610 Mel Hall
237 Tracy Jones
638 AL All Stars
446 Jim Deshaies
403 Bill Lindsey
433 Lee Smith
175 B.J. Surhoff
545 Ken Oberkfell
368 Scott Bankhead
77 Bob Brenly
64 Jack Morris
583 Goose Gossage
562 John Hayban

Pack Ripping Music: Braves vs. Pirates

After not scoring a single run for two and a half games, they've been scoring runs the last two days, but giving any leads they get right back. They came back to win last night, so let's hope they can do it again tonight.

I've only got two cards to show you tonight, this was another bland pack. But I am almost 400 cards into the set. I'd just like to say one more time, I am very pleased with how this box is going. After this box I think I'm gonna take a break frm box breaking for a month or so. I've seen so much late 80s baseball in the past year I need a break.

When I finish this box I'm going to concentrate on Topps Series 2, and when it's finished, I'll be back with 1988 Donruss. Yup, I'm going to do it... I'm going to devote a website to everyone's favorite set ever! The most wonderful beautiful set ever made.

Don't worry though, 1988 Topps'll be along sometime before too long to make it all better.

So here's tonight's cards.

I think Bob wants to fence with the opposing catcher. There's not really a lot to say about Bob Brenly. He wasn't an outstanding player, but he was an ok manager and an ok broadcaster.

Matt Nokes is terrifying. Don't look into his eyes too long.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pack Twenty-Five

Pack 25 +15
625 Classic Relief
41 Greg Mathews
202 Brad Arnsberg
336 Junior Ortiz
4 Bert Blyleven
643 Major League Prospects (Felix Fermin, Jessie Reid)
120 Rance Mulliniks
272 Gary Thurman
30 Ken Dayley
343 Marty Barrett
182 Mike Fitzgerald
601 Chris Bando
428 Paul Noce
412 Kenny Williams
508 Dave Anderson

Pack Ripping Music: Opeth: Watershed (2008)

This is without a doubt my favorite band in the world. Opeth transcends heavy metal and creates something very unique. It was written in one of the guitar magazines a few years back that if Opeth didn't exist "it would necessary to create them." This video is from some Sweedish (I assume) TV morning show. I've been a fan of these guys since the late 90s, but the first time I heard this album and, in particular, this song was like a religious experience.

Give it a listen, you'll like it.

Now, baseball cards.

Felix Fermin was a light hitting, but good defensive shortstop. Despite not hitting for much power, Fermin rarely struck out. In 480 at bats in 1993, he struck out on 14 times. In 2767 career at bats, he struck out a grand total of 147 times.

But, in the end he will probably be best remembered as being included in a package that sent Omar Vizquel to the Cleveland Indians.

Jessie Reid was drafted in 1980 by the Giants and made his Major League debut on September 9, 1987. In a career that lasted until April 11, 1988, Reid played in eight games and recorded 10 at bats with one hit. That one hit, however, was a home run.

Leading off the top of the second inning on September 27, 1987 against Padres pitcher Jimmy Jones, Reid went deep. It was the first run in an eventual Giants 5-3 victory over the last place Padres.

Reid played at Triple-A Tacoma in 1989 but was finished after that season.

Ok. I can accept Dave Righetti as Classic Relief, even if he had only been in the pen for four years at the time. I can't accept Dan Plesac as Classic Relief even if he was an All Star in '87 and saved 23 games. 1986 was his first season in the Major Leagues... you can't be a classic after two years. Sorry Dan. Come back in 1995 and then maybe you can be a classic reliever.

What? This isn't how it's supposed to work. At least it's not a surfboard. Silly Fleer.

Was Ken Dayley ambidexterous? Could he or did he pitch with both hands?

Pack Twenty Four

Pack 24 +15
74 Alan Trammell
584 Mark Grant
573 Pete Stanicek
525 Mike Sharperson
284 Dennis Lamp
180 Tim Burke
274 Willie Wilson
649 Major League Prospects (Mario Diaz, Clay Parker)
482 Mitch Williams
129 Mark Carreon
505 Don Sutton
315 Mike Schmidt
623 Dominican Dynamite
34 David Green
211 Tommy John

This is yesterday's pack that I never got around to posting even though I opened it and entered them into the database. Pack 25 will come later tonight.

If you remember, pack 23 was pretty bland and didn't offer too much in the way of star players. This pack is different with a few rookies, a few stars and several great players nearing the ends of their Hall of Fame careers.

I think we'll start with the rookies.

Mario Diaz was signed by the Mariners as an amateur free agent in December 1978 and spent parts of nine seasons in the minors before making his Major League debut on September 12, 1987.

He seems to have been used as a defensive replacement and a backup infielder to give the primary starters a day off. He did start 195 of his 337 career games played, mostly at short. With a glove he was right around league average and his batting average, when given a chance to play, wasn't too bad: .264 in 182 at bats in 1991, and .273 in 205 at bats in '93. His low OBP and slugging kept his run production at a minimum which limited his playing time.

Diaz played his last professional games in 1999 for the Nashua Pride of the independant Atlantic League.

He seems to be wearing a mesh trucker style hat in the picture. Granted he only played 91 games for Seattle, but you think they'd have been nice enough to give him a real hat.

Clay Parker made his Major League debut on September 14, 1987 and pitched two and a third innings. He gave up five hits, four runs (three earned), struck out four and walked one. One of the hits was a home run to Indians shortstop Jay Bell.

He was traded to the Yankees after the 1987 season and spent 1988 in the minors. In 1989 he was used primarily as a starter by the Yankees and posted a 4-5 record. He was later traded to the Tigers in a deal for Matt Nokes, and finished his career back in Seattle in 1992.

Overall, he was 7-10 with a 4.42 ERA in 62 games.

Here's a pretty terrible picture of two big name sluggers of the late 80s. Fleer was going for the candid shot of all the players hanging out during the All Star workout, but it looks too posed and fake.

We'll have to wait for the Veteran's Committee to see this guy in the Hall of Fame, but I think he should be there. He lost a year in his prime to have surgery that just happened to have the same name he did and came pack and pitched another fifteen seasons. He probably would have pushed closer to 300 wins had he not had elbow surgery.

His willingness to have an experimental surgery and make such a comeback has helped a lot of pitchers, and more commonly position players, lengthen and in some cases save their careers.

Here's poofy haired Hall of Famer, Don Sutton. Even though I don't get to hear him very often (I get horrible radio reception), I'm really glad Sutton is back calling Braves games. Jon Sciambi has really grown on me, but I'd still love to hear Joe Simpson and Don Sutton call a game together.

The look on his face says "I just swung at a horrible pitch and I know it." Once again, great player with a horrible picture.

Check back later this evening for pack 25.