Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#354 - Andre Robertson

What a card: Andre Robertson was entering his final major league season when this card appeared in packs. He played in just 52 games in 1984, hitting .214.

My observation on the front: Must be a sunny day. Robertson is wearing his flip-downs.

More opinion from me: Robertson was one of several early 1980s Yankees prospects who never panned out. But he had a good excuse.

Something you might know: Touted as the best Yankees shortstop prospect since Phil Rizzuto, Robertson broke his neck in an automobile accident in August 1983 and was never able to play like he did before the accident.

Something you might not know: Robertson's passenger in the accident, a talented ballet student, suffered injuries that made her a paraplegic. She won a lawsuit against the city of New York based on a sign warning of an S-curve on the West Side Highway that didn't give drivers enough time to react.

My observation on the back: Dwight Gooden's 246th strikeout broke Herb Score's rookie record of 245 strikeouts set in 1955.

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

Monday, November 24, 2014

#353 - Julio Solano

What a card: This is Julio Solano's rookie card (and only Topps card). He received one after posting a 1.95 ERA in 31 appearances for the 1984 Astros.

My observation on the front: Some of the photos in '85 Topps are very light. It may be just the printing of the set that I have, but this is one example.

More opinion from me: I'm trying to figure out why Solano didn't get a card in 1986. He appeared in 20 games for the Astros in 1985. Perhaps it's because he kept getting sent down during his career, which lasted until 1989.

Something you might know: If anyone remembers Solano, it's for his time as an Astros reliever between 1984-86.

Something you might not know: Solano's last professional season was in 1994, spent with the St. Paul Saints, the well-known independent league team.

My observation on the back: Steve Garvey is now tied for fifth for the most home runs in the LCS. Ahead of him is leader Manny Ramirez (13), followed by Albert Pujols, Bernie Williams and George Brett.

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

Thursday, November 20, 2014

#352 - Joe Morgan

What a card: This is Joe Morgan's final Topps card (along with the record-breaker card). He retired after the 1984 season, yet was given a card in the set.

My observation on the front: Donut cameo!

More opinion from me: Well other than the fact that Morgan still pisses me off, this is a pretty nice farewell photo for Morgan. He's taking his bat (and donut) and going home. See you in the broadcast booth, losers.

Something you might know: Morgan won back-to-back MVP awards in 1975 and 1976 to become the seventh of the 13 players who have won back-to-back MVP honors.

Something you might not know: Morgan played dominoes during his baseball career because he thought the same attributes needed to succeed in dominoes -- concentration and memory -- were important in baseball, too.

My observation on the back: Complete career stats!

The blog wants to speak now: Been stuck on the Pop Culture tab lately. It's updated again.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

#351 - Juan Agosto

What a card: Juan Agosto was coming off his most efficient major league season when this card was created. He appeared in a career-high 49 games and finished with a 3.09 ERA and seven saves in 1984.

My observation on the front: Agosto seems to be very happy about his very high hat.

More opinion from me: Agosto's 1985 Topps card looks suspiciously like this card.

Something you might know: Agosto was a 13-year relief pitcher for primarily the White Sox, Astros and Cardinals. He was a workhorse for Houston and St. Louis, appearing in at least 70 games each year between 1988-91.

Something you might not know: Agosto was dubbed "Juan Disgusto" by White Sox fans when he wasn't getting hitters out. Agosto was quoted as saying he never heard his last name in Chicago. "Every time the announcer would say 'Juan' ... the fans would boo so loud I couldn't hear anything."

My observation on the back: Perhaps these trivia questions were written for card backs ahead of time, but this one was already out of date in 1985. Relief pitcher Willie Hernandez won the Cy Young and MVP for the 1984 Tigers.

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

#350 - Wade Boggs

What a card: Wade Boggs was entering the 1985 season after a second straight season of reaching 200 hits, although his average dropped from .361 in 1983 to .325 in 1984.

My observation on the front: It looks like Boggs pulled the ball, which was the least likely hit direction for him. Boggs hit up the middle the most often, followed by opposite-field hits.

More opinion from me: I've always thought Boggs is just a little off.

Something you might know: One of the greatest pure hitters of all-time, Boggs burst onto the scene with great praise in 1982 and compiled a Hall of Fame career with three A.L. East teams, the Red Sox, Yankees and Rays.

Something you might not know: Boggs displayed countless superstitions and many had to do with his pregame rituals. One of them was running wind sprints at exactly 7:17 p.m. every day before a game. When Bobby Cox was managing the Blue Jays, he once tried to throw Boggs off by having the clock at Exhibition Stadium skip from 7:16 p.m. to 7:18 p.m.

My observation on the back: Boggs hit .325 and his career average plummeted from .357 to .344.

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

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

#349 - Domingo Ramos

What a card: Domingo Ramos was coming off another sub-.200 season after hitting .185 in 59 games for the Mariners. Ramos hit below .200 in five different seasons in his big league career.

My observation on the front: One of the greatest "choking up" photos in baseball card history. You can see the desperation in that grip.

More opinion from me: Ramos is listed as a "SS-2B" but he actually played the majority of his games in 1984 at third base. Sometimes those position designations seem so random.

Something you might know: Ramos was a utility infielder in the major leagues mostly because of his glove. He didn't get more than 200 at-bats in a season until very late in his career with the Cubs.

Something you might not know: Ramos was working for agent Scott Boras in 2010 when the New York Times published a series of articles that raised the possibility that Boras was providing loans in an unethical manner to young players in the Dominican Republic. Ramos worked for Boras in the D.R.

My observation on the back: It'd be nice if the trivia quiz explained what record McCovey tied. Most triples in first game? Most total bases in first game? Most hits? Most singles and triples?

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

Monday, November 10, 2014

#348 - Bob Boone

What a card: Bob Boone had completed his third season with the Angels, hitting an abysmal .202 in 1984. It was that kind of batting that caused the Phillies to unload him in 1981. But Boone would rebound in 1985.

My observation on the front: Bob Boone played a long time and has a lot of cards. But he's never smiled more broadly for a card than on this one. ... OK, maybe the inset photo on his 1983 Topps card could put up a challenge.

More opinion from me: Boone will always be a Phillie to me. None of this Angel and Royal stuff.

Something you might know: Boone is the middle part to the first three-generation family in baseball. His dad is Ray Boone and his sons are Aaron and Bret Boone.

Something you might not know: Boone endured a dreadful 1981 in which he couldn't hit or field. Normally a fantastic defensive catcher, he was so poor at throwing out runners that year that people started calling him "SBE2".

My observation about the back: OK, I never heard of Matthew Boone, so I had to look him up. It turns out he was drafted by the Tigers and played in the Tigers and Reds organizations between 1997-2003. He never made it above Class A. I'm sure he's done quite well for himself since, but in a less forgiving family of similar success, man I wouldn't want to come home after that.

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

#347 - Rick Langford

What a card: Rick Langford received a card even though he appeared in just three games in 1984 (and just seven in 1983). He was recovering from elbow surgery, which he had in 1983.

My observation on the front: Who knows when this photo was taken since Langford wasn't equipped to pitch in 1984. Possibly an earlier photo.

More opinion from me: If Langford didn't dress up as Snidely Whiplash for Halloween, he missed a hell of an opportunity.

Something you might know: Langford threw 22 consecutive complete games on his way to winning 19 games for the 1980 Oakland A's.

Something you might not know: A's pitching coach Art Fowler was said to have taught all of the team's starters the spitball during his tenure. The Yankees' manager at the time, Gene Michael, said a number of A's pitchers threw spitballs against his team, "but Langford was the worst."

My observation on the back: The first player to 300-300, of course, was Willie Mays. Since Mays and Bonds did it, only six others have joined the club.

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

#346 - Terry Pendleton

What a card: This is Terry Pendleton's rookie card. He played in 67 games for the 1984 Cardinals, finishing in seventh in N.L. Rookie of the Year voting (tied with Jeff Stone).

My observation on the front: I think there might be a Mets fan staring Pendleton down from the stands.

More opinion from me: This is one of the underlooked rookie cards in the '85 set. Clemens, McGwire, Puckett and Hershiser get all the love.

Something you might know: A productive hitter, Pendleton enjoyed his greatest success immediately after signing with the Braves as a free agent. He was the NL MVP in 1991 and finished second in MVP voting in '92.

Something you might not know: Not only was Pendleton 0-for-5 in winning World Series (he played for the '85 and '87 Cardinals and '91, '92 and '96 Braves), but he left two teams just before they won the World Series. He signed as a free agent with the Marlins in 1995, the year his former team, the Braves, would win a World Series. Then in 1996, he was traded from the Marlins back to the Braves, the year before the Marlins would win a World Series.

My observation the back: Take note of Pendleton's birthday. It's also my birthday. Outside of Shoeless Joe Jackson, Pendleton is the best baseball player to share my birthday.

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