Thursday, June 21, 2018

#10T - Chris Brown

What a card: This is the second rookie card in the '85 Traded set. Chris Brown hit 16 home runs during his rookie season in 1985 and finished fourth in the NL Rookie of the Year voting that season.

My observation on the front: I see a straight-forward "CB" to designate the hat's owner.

More opinion from me: I remember not liking Chris Brown out of the gate. The Giants were terrible at the time and they didn't deserve "hot rookies" in my mind.

Something you might know: Brown was an All-Star for the Giants in 1986 after hitting .336 during the first half of the season. He was expected to become one of the top third baseman in the league but injuries led to him exiting the majors by 1989.

Something you might not know: Brown, who drove fuel trucks for an oil company in Iraq in 2004, struggled through difficulties when he came back to the U.S. in 2006. He lost his job, his wife left him and he then died after a mysterious house fire. Brown had told family members thugs had kidnapped him and set his house on fire, but police weren't sure of that and didn't rule out Brown setting the fire. The truth has never been fully determined as far as I can tell. Brown was 45.

My observation on the back: The trivia question was a popular one at the time because Tigers relief pitcher Willie Hernandez had just won the MVP and Cy Young Award in 1984.

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

Monday, June 18, 2018

#9T - Hubie Brooks

What a card: Hubie Brooks was part of the cavalcade of Mets players that moved to the Expos in the deal for Gary Carter on Dec. 10, 1984. The Expos also received Herm Winningham, Mike Fitzgerald and Floyd Youmans.

How'd that go: Not great, Bob. Brooks did well enough in five seasons with the Expos. But less than two years after this deal, the Mets were World Champions. Brooks could've been on that team (then again, if the Mets didn't have Carter would they have won?)

Backatya: My apologies for the slight smudge on the stats. That's dirt on the scanner, not the card. I have zero time for such niceties as clean appliances these days.



The original card is No. 222, blogged on Oct. 10, 2013.

The Traded card really stands out as the winner in this case. Those red Expos warm-up jerseys rule all. Throw in the rest of the Expos gear, the black bat and the batting cage.

The blog wants to speak now: The TV category is updated with a brand new addition to youtube.

Friday, June 15, 2018

#8T - Daryl Boston

What a card: This is the first rookie card in the 1985 Topps Traded set. Daryl Boston's rookie season was in 1985. He appeared in 95 games for the White Sox, batting .228.

My observation on the front: It looks like Boston is sleeping standing up.

More opinion from me: There is a certain amount of cool attached to having the last name of a major American city.

Something you might know: Boston is the first base coach for the Chicago White Sox. He recently was involved in an on-field incident during a game against the Blue Jays. Boston uses a whistle to catch the attention of the team's outfielders during workouts, but also uses the whistle when a White Sox player makes a good fielding play. Boston found out that the whistle bothered the Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson, so Boston blew the whistle as Donaldson stepped to the plate during a game on April 3rd. Donaldson responded by hitting a home run and mimicking a whistle-blowing motion as he rounded the bases.

Something you might not know: Boston started wearing glasses after batting just .239 in Double A ball in 1983. He had shed the glasses by the 1990s.

My observation on the back: It really bugs me when "home run" is listed as one word.

The blog wants to speak now: Not today. It's been another long day in a long week.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

#7T - Rich Bordi

What a card: Rich Bordi was shipped to from the Cubs to the Yankees on Dec. 4, 1984 as part of a six-player deal in which the "big name" was former Yankees top prospect Brian Dayett, who had hit more than 30 home runs in back-to-back minor league seasons in 1982 and 1983. The Cubs shipped Bordi, Henry Cotto, Porfi Altamirano and Ron Hassey to the Yankees for Dayett and pitcher Ray Fontenot. It was a bummer of a deal for Cubs as Dayett hit 10 home runs total in three seasons with Chicago.

How'd that go: Bordi pitched one season for the Yankees -- his fifth team in six years -- and then was traded to the Orioles.

Backatya: The Tigers led the AL in earned run average twice in three years, posting an AL-best 3.80 in 1982.


This is the second straight Traded card that's a Yankee card. During this period, Topps tried not to feature players from the same team on consecutively numbered cards, but since the Traded set is placed in alphabetical order, team considerations are secondary. Still looks weird in a binder though.

The original card is No. 357, blogged on Dec. 9, 2014.

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

Monday, June 11, 2018

#6T - Dale Berra

What a card: Dale Berra was traded to the Yankees on Dec. 20, 1984 in a deal that also sent prospects Jay Buhner and Alfonso Pulido to New York for shortstop Tim Foli, outfielder Steve Kemp and cash.

How'd that go: Berra got to play for his dad in New York as Dale and Yogi become the second father-and-son/manager-player combination in major league history. But that lasted just 16 games as Yogi Berra was fired early in the '85 season. Dale Berra didn't play much once Billy Martin took over.

Backatya: The white cardboard helps me notice things that I didn't see in the flagship set. For example, I never noticed before the dots leading from the "major league totals" phrase.

Back to back:

Position change!

The original card is No. 305, blogged on June 27, 2014.

Berra joins Bill Almon in having three cards over flagship and the traded set. Berra also appears in the Father-Son subset.

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

Thursday, June 7, 2018

#5T - George Bamberger

What a card: This is George Bamberger's first Topps card since he appeared as the Mets' manager in the 1983 Topps set.

My observation on the front: It looks like Bamberger is wearing a shirt and tie underneath that uniform, like this was from a press conference.

More opinion from me: I too often get Bamberger confused with another 1980s Brewers manager, Harvey Kuenn. Both were leaders of resurgent Brewers teams, although Bamberger's squad was in 1978 and Kuenn's in 1981-82.

Something you might know: Bamberger gained his reputation as a teacher as the Orioles' pitching coach from the late 1960s through the 1970s, a time when the Orioles featured Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, Pat Dobson, Jim Hardin and others.

Something you might not know: Bamberger won 213 games as a minor league pitcher.

My observation on the back: This is the first look at an 85 Traded manager card. Topps replaced the team checklist with a super large font so it didn't have to write much.

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

Monday, June 4, 2018

#4T - Dusty Baker

What a card: Dusty Baker traveled across the bay from San Francisco for his first season in Oakland (and in the American League) after being traded for a couple of minor leaguers in March 1985. Neither minor leaguer made the majors.

How'd that go: Baker rediscovered the power that left him during his one season with the Giants. He played two seasons with the A's before calling it quits.

Backatya: Baker wore No. 12 throughout his entire major league career.


The original card is No. 165, blogged on April 12, 2013.

Baker seems a little happier to be an Oakland Athletic than a San Francisco Giant. Can't say I blame him.

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