Thursday, December 12, 2013
What a card: Greg Harris finished out the 1984 season with the Padres after being traded by the Expos on July 20, 1984. He appeared in 18 games for San Diego.
My observation on the front: I'm struggling to determine whether Harris is airbrushed into a Padres uniform and cap. The Cap looks fairly good, although a little off. The uniform doesn't look right especially since it seems like Harris has a hanger in his back. But I'm not positive about the whole thing.
More opinion from me: It does appear that Topps definitely airbrushed the Marlboro sign behind Harris. You can practically see the white-out streaked through the billboard.
Something you might know: Harris was one of two pitchers named Greg Harris who played during the 1980s and until the mid-1990s (each of them finished his career in 1995). It was particularly confusing because both also played for the Padres, although the elder Harris -- this one -- played for San Diego only one year. Also, this Harris -- known as Greg A. Harris (the other was Greg W. Harris) -- was ambidextrous and eventually did pitch in a game left-handed at the end of his career.
Something you might not know: Harris' son, Greg Jr., was drafted in the 17th round of last June's amateur draft by the Dodgers and signed by L.A., who convinced him to turn down the University of Oregon and sign out of high school.
My observation on the back: Since Willie Wilson batted 705 times in a season, two other players have surpassed 700 at-bats in a year. They are Ichiro Suzuki (704 in 2004) and all-time at-bat leader Jimmy Rollins (716 in 2007).
Also the trivia question isn't quite right. Juan Samuel batted 701 times for the Phillies in 1984. Perhaps the trivia question was printed in advance and they could get it changed in time.
The blog wants to speak now: The Pop Culture tab is updated.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
What a card: This Jim Frey card was issued a mere few months after Frey led the Cubs to their first pennant since 1945.
My observation on the front: Frey has three Topps cards from his managing days with the Cubs. They are all remarkably similar.
More opinion from me: I am so glad I didn't wear glasses in the 1980s. The styles were not good.
Something you might know: Frey led both the Royals and the Cubs to first place in his first year with each team. That is still amazing to me.
Something you might not know: Frey has a distinctive nose, which his lifelong friend Don Zimmer claims got that way after he incited a brawl during a high school basketball game. The two were teammates and, Zimmer claims, when Frey came out on the court to defend him, a player from the opposing team clocked Frey in the nose.
My observation on the back: The card is slightly miscut. The box outlined in white isn't supposed to be at an angle like that.
The blog wants to speak now: The Ballgames and Pop Culture tabs are updated.
Friday, December 6, 2013
What a card: Dave Stieb was on a roll when this card came out in 1985. He had won 50 games in the past three years and was about to sign a well-publicized 11-year contract with the Blue Jays, which was the longest playing contract ever at the time.
My observation on the front: That blurred-out arm motion was pretty commonplace on cards in the '70s and '80s. I didn't like it as a kid. It looked like the pitcher was missing a hand.
More opinion from me: Stieb has one of the best-looking rookie cards there is, in my humble opinion.
Something you might know: One of the most prolific winners of the 1980s, Stieb was known as a hard-luck pitcher when it came to no-hitters until he finally threw one on Sept. 2, 1990 against the Indians. It's still the only no-hitter by a Blue Jay.
Something you might not know: Bob Lamonte, the man who negotiated Stieb's record-breaking contract in 1985, was Stieb's history teacher in high school.
My observation on the back: Stieb played for Southern Illinois, but that's not the college referenced in the blurb. Stieb and Righetti played for San Jose Community College in 1977 before Stieb went to Southern Illinois.
The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
What a card: This is Tim Teufel's first Topps card. He received cards in the 1984 Donruss and Fleer sets, as well as the '84 Topps Traded set. But Topps waited until Teufel finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in '84 to give him a card in its flagship '85 set.
My observation on the front: Teufel was noted for the "Teufel Shuffle" when he was in the batter's box, moving his butt back-and-forth while he waited for the pitch. I wonder if that's what he's doing in this photo?
More opinion from me: That stance is a little like Rod Carew's, from the other side, of course.
Something you might know: Teufel batted .444 in nine at-bats for the Mets against the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series. He's also known for his at-bats against the Blue Jays' Jim Gott because Gott's last name in German means "God" and Teufel's last name in German means "devil." The first home run of Teufel's career came against Gott.
Something you might not know: Teufel was dealt from the Twins to the Mets for former top prospect Billy Beane, who would go on to Moneyball fame as GM for the Oakland A's.
My observation on the back: Other players on Clemson's 1980 team who went on to the majors were pitcher Jimmy Key and infielder Danny Sheaffer, who played for the Rockies and Cardinals.
The blog wants to speak now: First day back at work after vacation. I'm too tired to updated the tabs. Sorry.
Monday, December 2, 2013
What a card: This is Jose Rijo's first Topps base card. He's in the 1984 Topps Traded set, as well as the '84 Fleer Update set. He was also an Oakland A by the time this card arrived, dealt in December of '84 in the big Rickey Henderson trade.
My observation on the front: It's very odd to see Rijo in anything other than an A's or Reds uniform.
More opinion from me: I enjoy it when the Yankees lose players who go on to achieve great things.
Something you might know: Rijo was the MVP of the 1990 World Series, pitching two victories for the Reds, including a two-hitter in the decisive Game 4.
Something you might not know: Rijo was once married to Juan Marichal's daughter, Rosie, but the two divorced the winter after the Reds' World Series win.
My observation on the back: What that sentence is describing is illegal according to MLB rules. They state that prospects must be 16 when they sign with a big-league team.
The blog wants to speak now: A quick update to the Ballgames category, but there's no ball involved.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
What a card: Julio Franco was coming off his sophomore season when this card was released. He played in 160 games in 1984 and led the AL in at-bats with 658.
My observation on the front: My, that's a mouthful of teeth.
More opinion from me: I'm not crazy about that square "C" the Indians have on their caps. I know it's been around for quite awhile and it helps differentiate from the "C" that their state neighbor, the Cincinnati Reds, wears on their caps. But I grew up with the pointy "C" that the Indians wore in the '70s. I like that one.
Something you might know: Franco played until he was 49 and is the oldest position player to play in a major league game, outside of some gimmick at-bat.
Something you might not know: Because Franco lasted 23 years in the majors, he became known for his diet and workout regime. He was pretty dedicated. One of his beverages of choice was a mixture of beets, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, garlic, onions ... and an apple. Bleah.
My observation on the back: Jim Palmer still holds the record for most complete games in LCS history. The best anyone else has been able to do is three (Catfish Hunter and Tommy John).
The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated with the saddest news of all for a baseball fan.
Friday, November 22, 2013
What a card: This is Mark Thurmond's card after the best year of his career. He went 14-8 with a 2.97 ERA for the Padres in 1984 and started the first game of the World Series for San Diego.
My observation on the front: Thurmond's jersey looks too tight. The button area is all wrinkled like it needs ironing.
More opinion from me: I wanted the Padres to lose the World Series so badly in '84 that Thurmond was my hero, losing Game 1 of the Series and then getting battered around in the decisive Game 5.
Something you might know: Thurmond was one member of the so-called "Pep Boys," which consisted of Thurmond and fellow starting pitchers Eric Show and David Dravecky. They would talk religion and, some would say, far right-wing politics.
Something you might not know: Thurmond worked every off-season of his major league career for his father's insurance business.
My observation on the back: I don't know how stains get on cards that I bought as a factory set and barely handled. Also, the trivia question, if asked now, would be 6 major league teams. Add the Rockies and Rays.
The blog wants to speak now: The TV and Pop Culture categories are updated.