Thursday, October 18, 2018

#50T - Steve Henderson

What a card: Steve Henderson signed as a free agent with the A's in March of 1985 after two years with the Mariners.

How'd that go: He produced a decent-if-not-exactly-productive first season for Oakland, batting .301 in part-time duty. But by June of 1986, he had been released by the A's.

Backatya: I might be too tired to decipher this trivia question. I've been up nearly 24 hours. The Mets' first home game was not versus St. Louis but against Pittsburgh and they lost 4-3 in 1962. I looked at the Mets' entire schedule in 1962 and there is not a single 12-0 score. Is the trivia question asking who the opponent was the first time the Mets ever lost 12-0 at home in their history? If that's the question, that's an odd one.

Back-to-back: I like both of these cards and each feature's Henderson's familiar open-mouthed expression. I'm wondering if Henderson is out-of-breath on the bench or just talking to someone.

The flagship card is No. 640 and was originally blogged on March 17, 2017.

The blog wants to speak now: Like I mentioned earlier, I've been up far too long. I'm going to skip this part.

Friday, October 12, 2018

#49T - Rickey Henderson

What a card: Rickey Henderson's first appearance as a Yankee on a baseball card came about after a Dec. 5, 1984 trade in which Oakland sent him to New York for Stan Javier and pitchers Tim Birtsas, Jay Howell, Eric Plunk and Jose Rijo (something tells me the A's needed pitching).

How'd that go: Rickey found his power game in New York, reaching 20-plus home runs for the first time in 1985 (24) and then topping that in 1986 (28).

Backatya: You would think it would be easy to find all the major leaguers who played in 162 games as a rookie but it isn't. After looking at a long list of leaders in games played, I gave up. I do know that Dick Allen played in 162 games as a rookie. 

Back-to-back: I believe Henderson is looking to sign an autograph in the Traded photo. I wish we could see more.

This is also the third straight time that players arriving with the same teams are featured back-to-back in the set. First it was the Braves (Haas and Harper), then the Rangers (Harrah and Harris) and now the Yankees (Hassey and Henderson).

The flagship card was originally blogged on Nov. 16, 2012.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

#48T - Ron Hassey

What a card: Ron Hassey came to the Yankees after a mere 19 games with the Cubs in a trade on Dec. 4, 1984. He was shipped to New York along with pitchers Porfi Altamarino and Rich Bordi and outfielder Henry Cotto and the Cubs got pitcher Ray Fontenot and outfielder Brian Dayett in return.

How'd that go: Hassey spent two years as a backup catcher for the Yankees and did pretty well, hitting in the high .290s each year.

Backatya: There is remarkable consistency on the back of Hassey's card -- seven consecutive years with the Indians -- that would be thrown into disarray later in his career. The most he spent with any other team was three years with Oakland.

Back-to-back: The Hassey Traded card is a classic chilling-by-the-backstop card. And he looks much happier with the Yankees than with the Cubs.

The flagship card is No. 742 and was blogged originally on Jan. 10, 2018.

The blog wants to speak now: Not much new. Just a small addition to the Movies category onto the item that I added the other day.

Monday, October 8, 2018

#47T - Greg Harris

What a card: Greg Harris arrived with Texas when the Rangers purchased him from the Padres in February 1985.

How'd that go: Quite nicely. Harris appeared in 58 games for the Rangers in 1985 and saved a career-high 11 games. The following year he saved 20 games. Those were the only two seasons in his 15-year career in which he saved in double figures.

Backatya: This is interesting. The trivia question on this card is different from the one that was shown on Greg Harris' flagship card (in most cases, the trivia question is duplicated on the Traded card).

Back-to-back: The Traded card turned out a bit better than the flagship card, which I'm still thinking is airbrushed, although the erased Marlboro ad certainly makes the flagship card interesting.

The flagship card was original blogged on Dec. 12, 2013.

The blog wants to speak now: The Movie category is updated.

Friday, October 5, 2018

#46T - Toby Harrah

What a card: Toby Harrah returned to the Rangers -- the franchise with which he began his career (actually the Senators) -- on Feb. 27, 1985 when the Yankees traded him and Billy Sample to Texas for a player to be named.

How'd that go: Much better than his one year with the Yankees, in which he hit .217. Harrah returned to more Harrah-like numbers with a .270 average in 126 games in 1985.

Backatya: How much property do you think Harrah had at one point to store antiques, riding horses and motorcycles?

Back-to-back: There is Harrah again during that very strange Yankee period. I miss the long-hair period from 1976 to 1983.

The flagship card was first blogged on Sept. 17, 2012.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

#45T - Terry Harper

What a card: Here is the second player in the set who was an MLB veteran that Topps didn't deem worth of including in its 1985 flagship set. Terry Harper hit just .157 in 40 games in 1984 for the Braves, but enjoyed his best major league season in 1985, appearing in 138 games and hitting 17 home runs.

My observation on the front: Harper looks a bit more fearsome on this card than he did on his first Topps card.

More opinion from me: I have no memory of Harper and he lasted a good portion of the '80s.

Something you might know: Harper finished third on the Braves in home runs and RBIs in 1985 behind Dale Murphy and Bob Hoerner.

Something you might not know: Harper once separated his shoulder while standing in the on-deck circle, while signaling his teammate home from third base.

My observation on the back: Matt Stairs broke Cliff Johnson's record (which was 20 by the end of his career) with 23 pinch-hit homers.

The blog wants to speak now: The TV category is updated.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

#44T - Eddie Haas

What a card: Another mid-1980s manager hire that disappeared almost as quickly as he arrived, Eddie Haas appears on his first Topps card since showing up in the 1959 set as a Sporting News rookie all-star.

My observation on the front: Haas already has gray hair and he hasn't even managed the 1985 Braves yet.

More opinion from me: My baseball Haas has a Moose in front of it.

Something you might know: Haas was hired after the 1984 offseason to replace Joe Torre who was fired by Ted Turner. Haas didn't last the full 1985 season, getting replaced by Bobby Wine after 121 games.

Something you might not know: Haas' son, Danny, is special assistant to the general manager for the Baltimore Orioles and his daughter-in-law, Katie, was VP of Florida baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox for 20 years until recently taking a job as CEO of the Western and Southern Open, a U.S. Tennis Association Tournament.

My observation on the back: I believe that's a roundabout way of saying Haas is a baseball lifer.

The blog wants to speak now: The Pop Culture tab is updated.