Wednesday, June 28, 2017

#675 - Tony Perez


What a card: Tony Perez returned to a Reds uniform in the 1985 set after being out of the uniform in a flagship set since 1977 Topps.

My observation on the front: You see Perez here and it's easy to forget he ever played for the Expos, Red Sox or Phillies.

More opinion from me: Perez was known as an RBI machine during his heyday, so much so that it was drilled into my head. I wonder if Perez was at its peak today what they would say about him, since RBIs are not fashionable.

Something you might know: A key member of The Big Red Machine, Perez was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2000.

Something you might not know: Perez started his professional career as a second baseman. In his first season, with Single A Geneva, N.Y., he played at second until someone named Pete Rose arrived and Perez was moved to third base.


My observation on the back: Topps was being a little charitable by giving Perez a number ending in "5". Perez hadn't posted a strong season since 1980 (although he did bat .328 in 1985, maybe Topps knew something).

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

Monday, June 26, 2017

#674 - Atlee Hammaker


What a card: Atlee Hammaker missed most of the 1984 season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his rotator cuff. He appeared in six games, pitching just 33 innings.

My observation on the front: The fans behind Hammaker are waiting patiently for an autograph.

More opinion from me: Call it holding a grudge, but I will never get over Hammaker's 1983 All-Star Game performance that ended the National League's streak of 11 straight ASG victories and signaled the end of NL dominance.

Something you might know: Hammaker led the National League with a 2.25 ERA in 1983. That was also the year he gave up the only grand slam in All-Star Game history, to the Angels' Fred Lynn.

Something you might not know: The wife of Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes is one of Hammaker's five daughters, Jenna.


My observation on the back: Quite a collection of '70s nicknames there: Mad Dog, Cobra and the Mad Hungarian.

The blog wants to speak now: Not today, it's another day of getting up too early.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

#673 - Buck Martinez


What a card: Buck Martinez appeared in 102 games for the Blue Jays in 1984, the first time in 15 seasons in the majors that he had appeared in 100 games in a season.

My observation on the front: An interesting choice of a photo, showing Martinez leading off. He stole five bases in 1,049 career games.

More opinion from me: Martinez played a long time, I have lots of cards of him, yet I associated him more with being a broadcaster than a player.

Something you might know: Martinez made one very memorable play at the plate in 1985. He was bowled over by the Mariners' Phil Bradley while making the tag out at the plate. He suffered a broken leg on the play, yet tried to throw out Gorman Thomas advancing on the bases. The throw went into left field and Thomas tried to go home, only to be tagged out by Martinez, who had received the throw from George Bell, despite the broken leg, for the double play.

Something you might not know: Martinez posted a lifetime .225 batting average. He said in a 1983 article that a hunting accident contributed to his inability to hit consistently. During the 1976 offseason, Martinez and Royals teammate and pitcher Doug Bird went hunting. Bird took a shot while he was behind Martinez and a pellet struck Martinez in the eye. His vision in his left eye was 20/200 since.


A word about the back: Martinez met Arlene in Puerto Rico when he was playing winter ball in 1971. But the two didn't see each other again for three more years during a party in Florida in spring training. That's when they started dating.

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

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

#672 - Juan Berenguer


What a card: Juan Berenguer was coming off his most successful major league season to date when this card was issued. After roaming from team to team with little success, he started 27 games and won 11 in 1984. But he never made an appearance in the Tigers' postseason.

My observation on the front: There appears to be a gathering of fans in the Tiger Stadium outfield stands, straining to see Berenguer's photo session.

More opinion from me: One of Berenguer's nicknames was "Señor Smoke," which was also Tigers pitching teammate Aurelio Lopez's nickname. I'm assuming Berenguer wasn't called that until after he left the Tigers. You can't have two Señor Smokes on the same team.

Something you might know: Berenguer became an effective relief pitcher for the Twins during the late 1980s, making his biggest impact during the Twins' ALCS victory over the Tigers in 1987.

Something you might not know: If you're a Twins fan, you know this, but as for the rest of you, Juan Berenguer starred in a music video called the "Berenguer Boogie," which riffed off his appearance in a trenchcoat when he arrived back in the Metrodome after the Twins' 1987 World Series win. The video is long (I linked to a shorter version on the making of the video) and very 1987, but 1987 ruled so I don't want to hear anything bad about it.


My observation on the back: Once again, some interesting abbreviations of the hometown in the vital info.

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

Friday, June 16, 2017

#671 - Dane Iorg


What a card: Dane Iorg played in 78 games for the Royals in 1984 after being purchased from the Cardinals in May of that year. Iorg would come back and torment his old team in 1985.

My observation on the front: Iorg looks like he needs to wash his forehead.

More opinion from me: I feel proud that I grew up during a period when everyone knew how to pronounce Iorg's name.

Something you might know: Iorg drove in the winning run during the pivotal Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. After umpire Don Denkinger's controversial "safe" call on Jorge Orta in the ninth inning, the Royals load the bases while down 1-0 to the Cardinals. Iorg then delivered a two-run single to seal the game.

Something you might not know: Iorg and his brother, Garth, were the first brothers to play against each other in a League Championship Series when Dane's Royals faced Garth's Blue Jays in 1985.


My observation on the back: The Tigers' Placido Polanco now holds the record for consecutive chances without an error as a second baseman with a whopping 911 in comparison.

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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

#670 - Tom Seaver


What a card: Tom Seaver enjoyed a revival with the White Sox in 1984. In his first season with Chicago, and in the American League, he won 15 games. He'd do even better in 1985, winning his 300th game in the process.

My observation on the front: This picture just says "old man" to me. I think older players should be shown out on the field. They're still in the game!

More opinion from me: There is almost nothing stranger than Seaver in a White Sox uniform. I was around when Seaver became a Cincinnati Red and that was weird, but I was also a kid then and relatively new to baseball. It wasn't quite the shock to me as it was for veteran fans. But "Seaver to the White Sox"? Whuuuuut?

Something you might know: Seaver was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1992 by a greater percentage than any Hall selection (98.84 percent) until  Ken Griffey Jr. surpassed it in 2016.

Something you might not know: Forty years ago today, Seaver contacted Mets general manager Joe McDonald to tell him to halt trade negotiations with the Reds because he was willing to accept an extension and remain a Met. Later, however, he read a column by the New York Daily News' Dick Young that enraged him so much that he demanded the trade that would become known as the Midnight Massacre, occurring on June 15, 1977.


My observation on the back: Seaver's book was published in 1984 and called "The Art of Pitching".

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

Monday, June 12, 2017

#669 - Lee Lacy


What a card: This is Lee Lacy's final card as a Pittsburgh Pirate. He had signed with the Orioles as a free agent by the time this card appeared in packs.

My observation on the front: Many of the Pirates cards in this set are alike. See if you can spot the similarities. And I'm not talking about them wearing the same uniform.

More opinion from me: I was a Lee Lacy backer when he was with the Dodgers. I wanted him to start, I was quite disappointed when he was traded to the Braves, and I was elated when he was traded back to L.A. and one of the first 1977 Topps Dodgers cards I pulled was Lee Lacy.

Something you might know: A pinch-hitting specialist with the Dodgers, he hit five pinch-hit home runs in 1978, including a record-setting three straight. He played in the World Series three straight years, in 1977 and 1978 with the Dodgers and 1979 with the Pirates.

Something you might not know: Lacy was once tagged out at second base on a walk to the next batter. Lacy was on first base when a 3-1 pitch was made to batter Omar Moreno during a game against the Reds. Lacy took off for second on the pitch, which was ball four. The second base ump called Lacy out on the tag, even though he was safe because of the walk. But Lacy didn't check the home ump's call and started trotting back to the dugout thinking he was out. When he spotted Moreno trotting to first on the walk, he tried to scramble back to second. But shortstop Davey Concepcion tagged him and the second base ump called Lacy out again.


My observation on the back: If that birth date for Lacy's son is correct, it means Lacy was 17 when his son was born. I'm going to say that date is wrong. Also, Lacy's daughter, Jennifer, who played in the WNBA, was born in 1983 but is not mentioned in the writeup.

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

Thursday, June 8, 2017

#668 - Steve Trout


What a card: Steve Trout was coming off his best season when this card was issued. He won 13 games for the NL East champion Cubs in 1984 and pitched the victory in Game 2 of the NLCS, going 8 1/3 innings in a 4-2 win.

My observation on the front: I like the photo, although the shadow across his face kind of kills his expression a little.

More opinion from me: It's just occurring to me now that Trout shares the same name with the Angels' Mike Trout (no, they are not related). For 40-plus years of my life, the only baseball Trouts I knew were Steve and Dizzy.

Something you might know: Trout was a second-generation pitcher, the son of 1930s/40s hurler Dizzy Trout. The two were known for their zaniness and I remember stories about them being told on NBC's Game of the Week (probably by Joe Garagiola).

Something you might not know: When Trout was called up to the majors, he was playing in Double A in the White Sox organization. His manager was Tony La Russa, who drove Trout to the airport in the team bus for his flight to Chicago.


My observation on the back: I think it would have been cooler if Trout was nicknamed "cutthroat" (also a kind of trout).

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

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

#667 - Dave Engle


What a card: Dave Engle was coming off the only All-Star selection of his career when this card was issued. He was the Twins' lone representative for the game but didn't play (the Twins had just one All-Star representative each year from 1978-87).

My observation on the front: I've mentioned this before but the position designation is so awkward in 1985 Topps. If you didn't know Engle's name, you'd think Topps left out the "C" in his name and was trying to squeeze it in.

More opinion from me: I've always liked Engle's 1984 Topps card.

Something you might know: Engle hit the first home run in Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome history, on April 6, 1982. It came off the Mariners' Floyd Bannister in the first inning.

Something you might not know: Engle beat out Wade Boggs for the 1980 International League batting title by a single thousandth of a percentage point, .307 to .306.


My observation on the back: Roy Engle was also the catcher for Ted Williams when the two were in high school in San Diego. They became lifelong friends.

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

Friday, June 2, 2017

#666 - Mike LaCoss


What a card: Mike LaCoss had completed his third season as a starter/reliever with the Astros when this card was issued. He would be off to the Royals as a free agent before many collectors even pulled this card.

My observation on the front: It must be a very, very cold day in Florida. LaCoss looks like he's not going to take off that jacket for nothing.

More opinion from me: LaCoss displayed his split-fingered fastball grip on a baseball card in the 1989 Topps set. It's one of the more memorable cards in a bland set, if you ask me.

Something you might know: LaCoss was an All-Star in his second season with the Reds, proving to be Cincinnati's second-best starter behind Tom Seaver in 1979.

Something you might not know: LaCoss appearing on card No. 666 broke up a string of five straight years of Tigers appearing on card No. 666. I did a post about it.


My observation on the back: LaCoss' wife's name is not Vallecillo. That's her maiden name. Her first name is Theresa. Topps done goofed.

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

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

#665 - Don Mattingly


What a card: Don Mattingly was coming off a breakthrough season when this card was issued. He showed his abbreviated 1983 season was no fluke, pounding pitching for a .343 average, 207 hits and 110 RBIs in 1984.

Can ya dig it: The second-year card is way underappreciated. That is a future post, by the way.

Right on: I don't remember Mattingly being known for his baserunning. An interesting choice.

Something you might know: Say it with me: "The greatest Yankee to never play in a World Series."

Something you might not know: Mattingly, now the manager of the Miami Marlins, is at the bottom of the majors in terms of successfully challenging umpires' calls so far this year. As a fan of the Dodgers, the team that once employed Mattingly as a manager, this does not surprise me.


 My observation on the back: That .167 average amid all those .300s sure is shocking. But not as shocking to me as seeing five years worth of minor league stats. This is Donnie Baseball!

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

Monday, May 29, 2017

#664 - Steve Farr


What a card: After seven years in the minors, Steve Farr appeared in his first major league games in 1984, throwing 116 innings in 31 games. But the Indians cut him in March, 1985.

My observation on the front: I like rookie cards like this because it shows him with a team with which he's not commonly associated.

More opinion from me: Thank goodness there are no visible pit stains.

Something you might know: Farr was a productive relief pitcher for the Royals and the Yankees. He saved at least 20 games four times in his career.

Something you might not know: Farr now runs a trucking company in his name in North Carolina.


My observation on the back: Farr had some control problems early in his career. Check out his walk-innings pitched totals in 1978.

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

#663 - Luis Aguayo


What a card: Luis Aguayo was coming off the most playing time of his career up to this point. He played in 58 games for the Phillies in 1984.

My observation on the front: Aguayo has a Michael Jordan thing going here, sticking out his tongue as he completes his swing.

More opinion from me: Sometimes it takes scanning a card to know that it is off-center. I had no idea beforehand.

Something you might know: Aguayo was a utility infielder for eight years with the Phillies. He didn't hit much, but in 1987 he struck for 12 home runs in 209 at-bats, despite a .206 batting average.

Something you might not know: Aguayo was going to be part of the Phillies trading of Larry Bowa to the Cubs. He and Dick Davis were supposed to head to the Cubs in exchange for Ivan DeJesus and Bill Caudill. But the deal was restructured. Aguayo and Davis were dropped by the Phillies and Ryne Sandberg was added (in exchange for just DeJesus).


My observation on the back: Gooden's 245th strikeout tied the rookie record of strikeouts in a season, set by Herb Score. Gooden would strike out Marvell Wynne later in the same game against the Pirates for the record-breaking 246th strikeout.

The blog wants to speak now: The blog's pretty tired tonight. It doesn't feel like speaking.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

#662 - Mike Heath


What a card: Mike Heath played in a career-high 140 games in 1984. After spending the first six years of his big-league career in a platoon role, he was a regular starter in 1984 and 1985.

My observation on the front: That catcher-third base-outfield position designation isn't one you see often.

More opinion from me: Heath started out with the Yankees but played with the team just one year before being traded (in the big deal that sent Sparky Lyle to the Rangers for Dave Righetti). I always liked it when players "broke free" from The Bronx.

Something you might know: Heath is probably most remembered for his time with the Tigers in the late 1980s. He hit a home run against the Twins in the 1987 ALCS and was known as possessing one of the best catching arms in baseball.

Something you might not know: Heath's financial advisor was former Tigers teammate Dave Bergman, who died in 2015.


My observation on the back: The newest major league stadium at the time of this card doesn't exist anymore. Neither does the Kingdome. And the Astrodome, pardon the expression, is a shell of its former self.

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

Friday, May 19, 2017

#661 - Steve Crawford


What a card: Steve Crawford was coming off his first season as a reliever when this card was issued. Hyped as a promising starter in the Red Sox chain, Crawford struggled until moving into the bullpen for good in 1984.

My observation on the front: This is another card with "snow" on it. Steve seems as distressed by this as I am.

More opinion from me: Early '80s Red Sox pitchers mean a lot to me. That was the period when I really started getting into baseball, knowing upcoming players, etc. After the crushing disappointment of 1978, my brother and I rooted for every new Red Sox player and I focused on the pitchers.

Something you might know: Crawford received the victory in Game 2 of the 1986 World Series. He also won Game 5 of the '86 ALCS, which was the game in which Dave Henderson hit the two-run home run to highlight the Red Sox's comeback against the Angels.

Something you might not know: Crawford was mentioned in the Wade Boggs-Margo Adams scandal when Adams told all in two Penthouse articles. In those articles, it was revealed that married reliever Bob Stanley was photographed in a hotel room with a stripper by Boggs and Crawford. The players said Stanley was set up as part of a joke. Adams, who added that she had the negative, said they did it because they were mad at Stanley for being a blabbermouth.


My observation on the back: Crawford indeed took less money to sign with the Red Sox because Yastrzemski was his idol. It all began when he received a Yaz model bat when he was a kid. He had no idea who Yastrzemski was at the time.

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

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

#660 - Tony Gwynn


What a card: Tony Gwynn was coming off his first full major league season when this card was issued. The '84 season was a good one. Gwynn led the league with a .351 average and the Padres made the World Series for the first time in franchise history.

My observation on the front: This is one of my favorite Gwynn cards. It may not be the most flattering, but it is definitely distinctive. There can't be a lot of up-close candids of players wearing sunglasses.

More opinion from me: If you stare at the photo a long time, Gwynn looks like a creature from outer space. Or maybe that's just me.

Something you might know: Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007, Gwynn has won more batting titles (eight) than everyone except Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner.

Something you might not know: When Gwynn attended San Diego State, he would go to Padres games and thought the team's uniforms were "the ugliest ... I've ever seen in my life."


My observation on the back: The first player to 300-300, of course, was Willie Mays. Bonds' son, Barry, also joined the list, as have Andre Dawson, Alex Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley.

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

Monday, May 15, 2017

#659 - Checklist, Cards 529-660


What a card: This is the fifth of six checklist cards in the set.

My observation on the front: There is a streak of three players who wore Dodger blue listed on this card, 570 Darryl Strawberry, 571, Charlie Hough and 572, Tom Paciorek. I also mentioned that on Paciorek's post, which shows you how little I have to say about these checklists.

More opinion from me: I prefer that these checklist posts come after work nights. I could use the break. But I'm posting this after a day off. Seems like a waste of an easy post.

Something you might know: "C. Washington" at card No. 540 is Claudell Washington.

Something you might not know: There was a major error in the title to the previous checklist post that went uncorrected for more than a year until I just noticed it. I'm stunned no one pointed it out.


My observation on the back: Only one card on this entire checklist has not been featured yet on the blog. But you'll see it in a couple days. It's a very familiar one.

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

Thursday, May 11, 2017

#658 - Mike Stenhouse


What a card: This is Mike Stenhouse's first solo card in a Topps set. He appeared in 80 games for the Expos in 1984.

My observation on the front: I tend to notice rows of Expos in the dugout more than rows of any other team in the dugout.

More opinion from me: This is the second card of Stenhouse in this set. You're living right if you're batting .171 for your career and feature two cards in the same set.

Something you might know: Stenhouse was a highly touted collegiate player from Harvard who ripped up the minor leagues but struggled to hit in the majors with the Expos, Twins and Red Sox.

Something you might not know: Stenhouse founded and is the CEO of the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a think tank focused on public policy in the state.


My observation on the back: It's nice to see a trivia question that focuses on the team that's being featured on the rest of the card. This isn't 1968 Topps in which that happened all the time.

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

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

#657 - Jim Slaton


What a card: Jim Slaton had just completed his first season with the Angels after a long tenure with the Brewers (and one year with the Tigers) when this card was issued.

My observation on the front: There's a lot of snow on that card that I never noticed until scanning it.

More opinion from me: He's pitching in front of nobody isn't he?

Something you might know: Slaton is the Brewers' career leader in victories (117). He won Game 4 of the 1982 World Series against the Cardinals.

Something you might not know: Slaton and former Orioles manager Dave Trembley are good buddies. Slaton attended Antelope Valley College and later would spend MLB offseasons working out there. Trembley coached the baseball team at Antelope in the mid-1980s and he was a stickler for rules. Slaton left his glove on the field after one workout and it was discovered by Trembley. He gathered his team, held up Slaton's glove and said "Slate, that's five." Slaton proceeded to run five laps to the delight of the team.


My observation on the back: Names of colleges and towns out west are so much more fun than what we have in the east.

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

Friday, May 5, 2017

#656 - Chuck Cottier


What a card: This is Chuck Cottier's first card as a manager. He was named as a replacement for Del Crandall with 27 games left in the Seattle Mariners' 1984 season.

My observation on the front: Gee whiz, an up-close shot of an old dude without a cap? If I was 9 when this set came out this would be my least favorite card.

More opinion from me: I had no idea until I started writing this post that the man on this card is the same guy. And I've had both of these cards for decades.

Something you might know: Cottier managed the Mariners for all of the 1985 season, but was replaced early in the 1986 season. After a one-game stint by Marty Martinez, Dick Williams took over.

Something you might not know: Cottier and Crandall played on the same Milwaukee Braves team in 1960. In fact, Crandall tried to get Braves manager Fred Hane, to call up Cottier from the minors in 1959. The Braves were in a pennant race with the Dodgers and the Braves' starting second baseman Red Schoendienst was out with tuberculosis. None of the fill-ins were working, but Haney didn't call up Cottier and the Dodgers wound up going to the World Series. Twenty-five years later, Cottier was replacing Crandall.


My observation on the back: Cottier was Seattle's third base coach when he was hired as manager.

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

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

#655 - Joaquin Andujar


What a card: Joaquin Andujar was coming off a major comeback season when this card was issued. After a post-World Series letdown in 1983 (and 16 losses), Andujar led the league with 20 victories for St. Louis.

My observation on the front: You can see the medallion Andujar is wearing. He used to wear medallions and chains on the mound, which distracted hitters. He was often told by umpires to remove them.

More opinion from me: Andujar is the central figure in the single worst meltdown I've seen on a baseball field. His Game 7 tirade in the 1985 World Series got him suspended for the start of the following season. I thought he was stark-raving loopy.

Something you might know: Andujar was a World Series star for the Cardinals in 1982, winning two Series games to help St. Louis to the championship. But he's probably most known in baseball circles for saying: "there is one word in America that says it all, and that word is 'you never know.'"

Something you might not know: While with the Astros, he once got into a physical fight with teammate and best friend, Cesar Cedeno. "I was only trying to keep my heavyweight championship," Andujar said afterward.



My observation on the back: Some of the abbreviations on card backs are comical. San Pedro de Macoris, Puerto Rico, is abbreviated as S.P. De M., D.R.

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

#654 - Dave Anderson


What a card: Dave Anderson was coming off his first full major league season when this card was issued. In 1984, he was the first Dodger besides Bill Russell to get the majority of starts at shortstop in a decade.

My observation on the front: You can see Anderson displaying the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games patch on his jersey sleeve.

More opinion from me: I remember when Anderson played in his first games with the Dodgers. He was not on my radar as one of the leading prospects for L.A., so I wondered who this guy was with the wonderfully pedestrian name. (He probably should have been on my radar as the Dodgers made him their No. 1 draft pick in 1981).

Something you might know: Anderson might be best known for standing in the on-deck circle before Kirk Gibson came on to pinch-hit in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Anderson was there to hit for the pitcher as Mike Davis batted. But when Davis walked, Gibson came to the plate instead of Anderson and the rest is history.

Something you might not know: Anderson and pitcher Fernando Valenzuela were both injured late in the 1988 season, but were each eligible to be activated for the World Series when the Dodgers got there. Anderson was activated instead of Valenzuela. Pitching coach Ron Perranoski believed Valenzuela's sore shoulder wasn't ready although Valenzuela disagreed.


My observation on the back: A couple of things:

1. That is not a gum stain. My '85 set was purchased complete in a vending box, so I don't know what that is.

2. The Los Angeles Times spelled Anderson's wife's first name as "Jina". I believe the L.A. Times over Topps.

3. The multiple choice answers for the trivia quiz has a "one of these things is not like the other" feel. Gee, do you think it's Don Hahn?

The blog wants to speak now: The Other Cards tab is updated.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

#653 - Mark Brouhard


What a card: Mark Brouhard was entering his sixth and final season as a part-time outfielder and designated hitter for the Brewers when this card was issued.

My observation the front: "Huh," Brouhard seems to be saying, "so this is my final major league season."

More opinion from me: Brouhard's last name rhymes with "blowhard". I'm guessing no one teased him with that when he was growing up. He looks like he was always strong.

Something you might know: Brouhard's career highlight was going 3-for-4 with three RBIs and four runs scored in Game 4 of the 1982 ALCS against the Angels. The Brewers won the game and tied the series at 2-2 before going on to eliminate the Angels in Game 5.

Something you might not know: Brouhard played in Japan in 1986 and 1987 for the Yakult Swallows. Once, during a rain delay in 1986, Brouhard joined teammate and fellow American Leron Lee in putting on the team's mascot bird heads before pretending to hit home runs and belly-flopping on the tarp on the field.


My observation on the back: I totally forgot the Rangers' park used to be called Arlington Stadium.

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

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

#652 - Joe Nolan


What a card: Joe Nolan was entering his final major league season when this card was issued. At this point he was the backup to the backup as both Rick Dempsey and Floyd Rayford received more playing time at catcher than Nolan.

My observation on the front: Nolan seemingly did not go anywhere without those glasses.

More opinion from me: Take it from a young, avid collector between 1978-86: Nolan did not look like a ballplayer on any of his baseball cards. I think I was actually appalled when I pulled his 1979 Topps card.

Something you might know: Nolan took over for Johnny Bench behind the plate during the 1981 season. Bench was getting on in years and the Reds saved his legs by having him play third base. Nolan enjoyed his best hitting season that year, batting .309.

Something you might not know: Nolan, playing for the Braves, placed the finishing touch on ending Pete Rose's 44-game hitting streak when he caught Rose's foul tip for strike three on the Reds legend's final at-bat of the game.


My observation on the back: You can tell Nolan spent a lot of years (seven) in the minors with those sporadic at-bats in 1972 and 1975.

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

Friday, April 21, 2017

#651 - Jeff Russell


What a card: This is Jeff Russell's card after his first full season in the major leagues. The future closer appeared in 33 games in 1984 and started 30 of them, suffering a league-leading 18 losses.

My observation on the front: I'm certain I did not know Russell until he was with the Rangers and featured a mustache and beard. I've got to admit this card here is a bit alarming.

More opinion from me: You can tell this photo was taken the spring training before the 1984 season. No one smiles like that after going 6-18.

Something you might know: Russell was an All-Star closer for the Rangers in 1988 and 1989 and led the American League in saves with 38 in 1989.

Something you might not know: Russell's son, James, a relief pitcher for the Cubs, Braves and Phillies between 2010-16, is married to Nikki Witt, the daughter of former pitcher Bobby Witt. Bobby was a teammate of Jeff Russell's with the Rangers and A's.


My observation on the back: When you start the season 35-5, fans will want to come out to see your games.

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