Monday, February 18, 2019

#97T - Dave Rozema

What a card: Dave Rozema signed as a free agent with the Rangers in December, 1984.

How'd that go: Rozema was mostly a reliever for the Rangers in 1985 and set a career high in saves with seven. But Texas let him go early in the 1986 season and he was out of the majors for good.

Backatya: The trivia question fit nicely with Rozema's flagship card when he was with the Tigers. Not so much here. Still about the easiest trivia question ever. 

Back-to-back: The Traded card is fine and all but it can't come close to the flagship card.

The flagship card is No. 47 in the set and was originally blogged on May 10, 2012. It also happens to be the second-most viewed card on this blog, after Tom Hume. Yup, Hume and Rozema. Those are the kind of readers of this blog. 

The blog wants to speak now: I'm cramming this post in between a very busy few days. I'll skip this part.

Friday, February 15, 2019

#96T - Jerry Royster

What a card: Jerry Royster signed as a free agent with the Padres on Jan. 3, 1985 after nine seasons with the Braves.

How'd that go: Not bad. He hit better in 1985 than he had since 1979, but he was mostly a role player like he was with the Braves.

Backatya: I've said this before but the "-" line for batting average, such as Royster's 1974 season, fascinated me as a kid. How did he have two runs and no at-bats! Baseball was so strange and wonderful.

Back-to-back: Royster is sporting the memorial "R.A.K." initials in honor of former team owner Ray Kroc. It's the fourth card in the set in which the initials are prominently on display.

The flagship card is No. 776 in the set and was originally blogged on April 9, 2018.

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

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

#95T - Bob Rodgers

What a card: Bob Rodgers was hired to manage the Expos ahead of the 1985 season. He replaced Jim Fanning, who returned to Montreal's front office.

My observation on the front: We essentially have the triple "E.M.B." logo on this card. The middle one is obscured by the design.

More opinion from me: Rodgers is almost universally referred to as "Buck," but never on his baseball cards. It was always "Bob".

Something you might know: Rodgers began his MLB managing career with the Brewers in 1980. (I always considered him the second in the magical Brewers triumvirate that also consisted of George Bamberger and Harvey Kuenn between 1978-83. That was the golden age of the Brewers).

Something you might not know: Rodgers was the most injured person in a bus crash during a team road trip from New York to Baltimore during Rodgers' first season of managing the Angels in 1992. Rodgers suffered a broken left elbow, right rib and left knee in the crash. Here is a list of other injuries on the team:

-- shortstop Gary DiSarcina, bruised and sore back
-- traveling secretary Frank Sims, cracked ribs
-- first baseman Alvin Davis, unspecified but tested for possible kidney damage
-- head trainer Ned Bergert, bruised ribs and kidney
-- bullpen catcher Rick Turner, 26 stitches in left arm
-- infielder Bobby Rose, severely sprained ankle
-- bullpen coach Ken Macha, cuts on forehead
-- hitting instructor Rod Carew, whiplash
-- outfielder Junior Felix, lower back pain

My observation on the back: That has to be the only time that "appellation" has been used on the back of a baseball card. I actually had to look it up.

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

Monday, February 11, 2019

#94T - Bert Roberge

What a card: Bert Roberge arrived with the Expos after a trade on Dec. 7, 1984 in which Montreal sent infielder Bryan Little to the White Sox for Roberge.

How'd that go: Pretty well. Roberge worked more in 1985 than he did any other time in his career, appearing in 42 games as a regular part of the Expos' bullpen.

Backatya: Roberge has a very French name, which makes sense given that he's from Lewiston, Maine, which isn't all that far from Quebec. I'm not far from some far northern border towns like Chateaugay and Chazy and it seems like just about all the residents feature French-Canadian-sounding names.

Back-to-back: I enjoy the Traded card quite a bit because it shows something that ballplayers do all the time but is rarely featured on baseball cards -- carrying their equipment. I'm not talking about just a bat or just a glove. No player has just one bat or just one glove. I'm talking about BAGS with HANDLES to carry all of their STUFF. Players have STUFF. And they lug their stuff a lot. The equipment manager can't do it all.  (P.S.: I need to do a post on this).

Roberge's flagship card is No. 388 in the set and was originally blogged on March 10, 2015.

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

Thursday, February 7, 2019

#93T - Rick Reuschel

What a card: Rick Reuschel signed as a free agent with the Pirates in February, 1985.

How'd that go: Great. The 1985 season was the start of Reuschel's career resurgence. After missing plenty of time in the early '80s due to injury and surgery, Reuschel posted a 14-8 record for the Pirates in '85 with a 2.27 ERA in 26 starts with 138 strikeouts, marking a return to his performance from 1972-80 when he was a regular part of the Cubs' rotation. He also won his first Gold Glove award.

Backatya: There are two completely different thoughts in that paragraph at the bottom and because of that, every time I read "Rick enjoys carpentry," I chuckle inside.


Back-to-back: Those would essentially be the same card if not for Reuschel's pill-box cap.

The flagship card is No. 306 in the set and was originally blogged on July 1, 2014.

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

Monday, February 4, 2019

#92T - Jim Presley

What a card: This is the 23rd rookie card to appear in the 1985 Topps Traded set. Jim Presley appeared in 70 games for Seattle in 1984 and probably should have received a card in the flagship set. But then Presley blasted 28 home runs in 1985 and Topps finally woke up.

My observation on the front: The player in the background is catcher Bob Kearney.

More opinion from me: This isn't the first time in the set that we've seen these particular Mariners uniforms, but I'm sure they're giving some readers a major case of the nostalgies.

Something you might know: Presley began his career as a slugging corner infielder, hitting more than 20 home runs each year between 1985-87.

Something you might not know: When the Mariners traded pitcher Mark Langston to the Expos in 1989, Presley called it "the saddest day in Mariners history." On that sad day, Seattle obtained Randy Johnson.

My observation on the back: Dave Kingman finished with 16 grand slams, which currently ranks 10th in major league history.

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

Friday, February 1, 2019

#91T - Chris Pittaro

What a card: This is the 22nd rookie card to appear in the 1985 Topps Traded set. Chris Pittaro appeared in just 28 games for the Tigers in 1985, which quite frankly was enough to prevent Topps from making a card of a player for the flagship set.

My observation on the front: Standard infield shot that you don't see a lot on cards. Probably because it's not all that exciting.

More opinion from me: I look forward to the Tigers cards in this set because many of them are in old Tiger Stadium, which is just beautiful on cards. However, this appears to be a spring training shot.

Something you might know: Pittaro was an up-and-coming rookie in 1985 that Tigers manager Sparky Anderson championed as a future star second baseman. He very nearly forced Lou Whitaker out of his second base position until Whitaker balked and Pittaro went to third. He started on Opening Day and was batting .300 by the end of April but faded after that.

Something you might not know: Pittaro is a key figure in the book "Moneyball" as Billy Beane's right-hand man in scouting and drafting players. Pittaro and Beane were roommates when they played for the Twins.

My observation on the back: Interesting to see reference to a player continuing in college while he's on a baseball card and in a major league uniform.

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