Monday, November 30, 2015

#478 - Kurt Bevacqua

What a card: Kurt Bevacqua had completed his third season for the Padres when this card was issued. He hit .200 in 59 games in 1984.

My observation on the front: I honestly have no idea why the Padres keep trying to put the color orange in their uniforms.

More opinion from me: Bevacqua was the topic of my all-time favorite Tom Lasorda putdown. Upon being informed that Bevacqua said "that fat little Italian" should be fined after Bevacqua's Padres teammate Joe Lefebvre was intentionally hit by the Dodgers' Tom Niedenfuer the night before, Lasorda said he wouldn't waste his time ordering a knockdown of Lefebvre or a player like Bevacqua who "couldn't hit water if he fell out of a fucking boat."

Something you might know: A lifetime utility player, Bevacqua made an impact in the 1984 World Series by hitting a three-run home run in Game 2 against the Tigers. It was the only game the Padres won.

Something you might not know: Bevacqua and his wife Carrie are the parents of Tawney Bevacqua, who dated singer Jason Mraz in 2009.

My observation on the back: The balls that Bevacqua caught were thrown from 24 stories up by teammate Terry Kennedy. The stunt was for charity. Kennedy offered to donate $1,000 if Bevacqua could catch a sixth ball behind his back. But Bevacqua missed.

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

#477 - Bob Ojeda

What a card: Bob Ojeda had just completed the busiest season of his career to date when this card came out. He appeared in 33 games in 1984, pitching 218 2/3 innings for the Red Sox, and tossed five shutouts.

My observation on the front: Ojeda's cap appears to be crooked.

More opinion from me: Ojeda looks like he's pitching in a dream. There's nobody around.

Something you might know: Ojeda went 18-5 and finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting the year after he was traded from the Red Sox to the Mets. He ended up facing his ex-teammates the very next year in the 1986 World Series.

Something you might not know: When Ojeda left Sports New York last offseason after six years as a pre- and postgame analyst for Mets games because the sides couldn't agree on a contract, comedian Jerry Seinfeld, a well-known Mets fan, took to Twitter and booed the decision.

My observation on the back: Other major leaguers who went to College of the Sequoias include former Royal and Brewer Jim Wohlford, former Braves catcher Johnny Estrada, and former Astros manager Brad Mills.

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

#476 - Jeff Stone

What a card: This is Jeff Stone's first Topps card. He batted .362 in 185 at-bats and stole 27 bases for the Phillies in 1984.

My observation on the back: Those industry-green dugouts are the backdrop to plenty of cards in this set.

More opinion from me: I had big hopes for Stone and apparently had a lot of company in Phillies fans.

Something you might know: Stone was a highly touted Phillies prospect who set a minor league record when he stole 123 bases for Class A Spartanburg in 1981.

Something you might not know: In 2002, Stone got in a fight with his wife, Linda, who stabbed him several times. Jeff and Linda apparently are still married.

My observation on the back: Ruth still holds the record for the most innings pitched in a World Series game. He threw all 14 in the Red Sox's 2-1 victory over the Brooklyn Robins on Oct. 9, 1916.

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#475 - Andre Thornton

What a card: Andre Thornton was coming off what would be his last great season. He tied his career high for home runs by hitting 33 in 1984 and was named to the All-Star team.

My observation on the front: Man, glasses were huge in the '80s. Thornton suddenly started wearing those large frames in the early '80s.

More opinion from me: Thornton was a big bopper but you never hear about him anymore outside of Cleveland. It's a shame.

Something you might know: Thornton came back from adversity several times to be a consistent power threat in the Indians' lineup. He knocked in over 100 runs twice and hit more than 30 homers three times.

Something you might not know: Thornton once owned a chain of Applebee's restaurants.

My observation on the back: Thornton's book was "Triumph Born of Tragedy," a story of his religious faith that came about after a 1977 accident on the Pennsylvania turnpike that killed his wife and young daughter.

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

Monday, November 16, 2015

#474 - Kurt Kepshire

What a card: This is Kurt Kepshire's first Topps card. He'd have only two. 1986 Topps was his last one.

My observation on the front: I can tell this is a spring training shot even with everything blurred out in the background.

More opinion from me: There are some '80s players that I knew very well back then who disappeared quickly and were instantly forgotten. Kepshire is one of them. And this is why I'm doing this blog.

Something you might know: After six years in the minors, Kepshire pitched his way into the Cardinals rotation with his 1984 showing the last three months of the season. He was a regular part of the NL champion Cardinals' rotation in 1985 but faded near the end of the season and was left off the postseason roster.

Something you might not know: Before the 2011 World Series, Kepshire predicted that the Cardinals would beat the Rangers in seven games. They did. But he also said the Cardinals would win the first two games. The Rangers won Game 2.

My observation on the back: The University of New Haven's most famous baseball alumnus is probably Steve Bedrosian.

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

Thursday, November 12, 2015

#473 - Tim Wallach

What a card: Tim Wallach was coming off his first All-Star season, even though his batting average dipped below .250 in 1984 and most of his numbers were off from the previous season.

My observation on the front: I'm not used to seeing belts on most '80s uniforms. It looks odd.

More opinion from me: I'm hoping that Wallach remains on the Dodgers coaching staff. He probably won't unless he's named the Dodgers' manager, which appears unlikely.

Something you might know: Wallach was one of the unsung All-Star members of the 1980s Expos teams. He built himself into a Gold Glove-winning third baseman and has one very avid card-collecting fan.

Something you might not know: Wallach still holds the Cal State-Fullerton single-season record for runs batted in (102) and totals bases (208), both established in 1979.

My observation on the back: Lifting weights was still a novelty in 1985.

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

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

#472 - Jim Essian

What a card: This is the final card of Jim Essian issued during his playing career. He was released in late March 1985.

My observation on the front: Another fine final card photo.

More opinion from me: I remember Essian's late 1970s cards well. We didn't think much of his light-weight batting stats. We had no concept of what a good defensive catcher was.

Something you might know: Essian managed the Cubs in 1991, finishing out the season after Don Zimmer was fired 37 games in. Jim Lefebvre was hired for the 1992 season, but at least Essian got a manager card in the 1991 Topps Traded set. It was just six years after Essian had his last card as a player.

Something you might not know: Essian hit an inside-the-park grand slam while playing for the A's in 1979. Blue Jays outfielder Otto Velez stepped on the ball while trying to field it, twisting his ankle, then limped after the ball as Essian traveled around the bases.

My observation on the back: That is a lot of people to fight off for the bathroom in the morning.

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