Monday, May 20, 2019

#132T - Checklist, Cards 1T-132T

What a card: Welcome to the final card in the 1985 Topps Traded set, the final card of this blog.

My observation on the front: For the Traded sets of this time, Topps dispensed with its tradition of awarding stars and semi-stars card numbers ending in "0" or "5" because the Traded sets were alphabetized by card number. You see that illustrated here. No way in the world Tim Hulett should be getting a card number ending in zero.

More opinion from me: Confession time: I am glad I've reached the last card in the set.

Something you might know: Don Aase is listed fourth alphabetically among all major leaguers behind only pitcher David Aardsma and Hank and Tommie Aaron.

Something you might not know: The player listed on the front with a birthday closest to this date is Rick Cerone, whose birthday was yesterday. Ed Whitson, shown on the back, was also born on May 19.

My observation on the back: The last card listed says "Checklist: 1-132" but it's actually "1T-132T" as it says on the front.

The blog wants to speak now: The blog would like to say, this blog has concluded! Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 17, 2019

#131T - Herm Winningham

What a card: This is the 32nd-and-final rookie card in the 1985 Topps Traded set. Herm Winningham played in 125 games for the Expos in his rookie year of '85 after being traded from the Mets in the Gary Carter deal.

My observation on the front: This is the 10th and final card in the Traded set featuring a player without a cap.

More opinion from me: A dugout photo is always acceptable for a player's rookie card.

Something you might know: Winningham scored the decisive run in the final game of the 1990 World Series. With the Reds trailing the A's 1-0 in the eighth inning, Winningham followed Barry Larkin's inning-opening single with a single of his own. Paul O'Neill then loaded the bases as Dave Stewart made an error on O'Neill's bunt. Glenn Braggs followed with a groundout that scored Larkin with the tying run and then Hal Morris hit a sacrifice fly that scored Winningham and put the Reds up 2-1.

Something you might not know: Winningham coached baseball at his alma mater, Orangeburg-Wilkinson, until 2018. He is the second Orangeburg, S.C., native in the Traded set. Nate Snell is the other.

My observation on the back: Take a good look at the trivia question, it's the last one in the set.

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

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

#130T - Eddie Whitson

What a card: Eddie "Ed" Whitson signed a five-year, $4.4 million free agent contract with the Yankees on Dec. 27, 1984 after enjoying the best season of his career with the Padres.

How'd that go: A nightmare. Whitson did win 10 games for the Yankees in 1985 but he struggled from the beginning with his new team and ended up feuding with fans and his own manager. By mid-1986, the Yankees dealt him back to the Padres. He's now the poster-child for bad Yankees free agent signings.

Backatya: The 1984 season produced several career highs for Whitson, but he would bounce back from his Yankee experiment to exceed those career bests during his second tour with the Padres in the late 1980s.

Back-to-back: I cannot think of two bigger opposites in terms of MLB uniforms than the Yankee pinstripes and the Padres uniforms of the late 70s to mid 80s.

The flagship card is No. 762 in the set and was originally blogged on March 5, 2018.

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

Friday, May 10, 2019

#129T - Earl Weaver

What a card: Earl Weaver returned to managing on June 14, 1985 as Orioles owner Edward Bennett Williams coaxed him out of retirement.

My observation on the front: I never saw this card in '85, but I'm sure I would have been thrilled to see Weaver back in packs.

More opinion from me: I can't say there were many times when I rooted for Weaver's O's. I always seemed to be rooting against him. But the more time passes, the more I am a fan.

Something you might know: Weaver lasted a season-and-half with the Orioles in his second term. The 1986 season would be the only full season under Weaver in which the Orioles had a losing record, and take it from me, that was bizarre. Weaver never managed losers.

Something you might not know: Weaver joked that the reason he returned to managing was to fund his cigarette habit:  "I came back because, quite frankly, Raleighs have gone from $6.50 a carton to $8.00 in the time I've been away and I've been on a fixed income."

My observation on the back: Weaver would end up finishing a mere 20 victories short of 1,500 for his managerial career.

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

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

#128T - U.L. Washington

What a card: U.L. Washington arrived with Montreal after a Jan. 7, 1985 trade in which Kansas City sent him to the Expos for pitcher Mike Kinnunen and a minor leaguer.

How'd that go: Washington's starting days were behind him at this point. He appeared in 68 games with the Expos in 1985 in his only year with the team. Meanwhile, his old team won the World Series.

Backatya: Kind of a shame that U.L. didn't spend his entire career with the Royals. I identify him so much with Kansas City that I have no memory of him with the Expos or the Pirates, where he played in '86 and '87.

Back-to-back: Two marvelous cards of a guy who just naturally made for great cards.

The flagship card is No. 431 and was originally blogged on July 10, 2015.

The blog wants to speak now: The blog may want to speak now, but the blogger has been up for 17 straight hours and isn't equipped to update any of the tabs. Sorry.

Monday, May 6, 2019

#127T - Dave Von Ohlen

What a card: Dave Von Ohlen was signed as a free agent by the Indians on Jan. 3, 1985 after being released by the Cardinals in November, 1984.

How'd that go: Von Ohlen delivered his last solid season in 1985 with his one year with Cleveland. He appeared in 26 games and 43 innings as a middle-innings reliever but was limited by forearm and knee injuries. The Indians released him during spring training of 1986. He was picked up by Oakland but played only sparingly for the A's in '86 and '87.

Backatya: A little sad looking at this knowing that Von Ohlen was a Flushing, N.Y., native, drafted by the Mets, yet never played for his hometown team. Look at all those attempts to get there: Marion, Wausau, Lynchburg, Jackson, Tidewater.

Back-to-back: The flagship card is action-oriented, which was always welcome in the 1980s, but the Traded card presents some chest-hair scruff, so it breaks out even, right?

Anyway, the flagship card is No. 177 in the set and was originally blogged on May 17, 2013.

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

Friday, May 3, 2019

#126T - Bobby Valentine

What a card: This card marks the beginning of Bobby Valentine's managerial career. He took over for the dismissed Doug Rader after the Rangers started the 1985 season 9-23.

My observation on the front: Valentine is one of the guys who I've seen age on cardboard through the 1970s, '80s, '90s and '00s. He looks relatively young here.

More opinion from me: I remember when Valentine received his first managerial opportunity. It was a big deal, probably because he was coaching for the Mets and everything is a big deal in New York.

Something you might know: Valentine made his first World Series (and postseason) in his 13th year as a manager when he led the Mets to the 2000 Series against the Yankees.

Something you might not know: Valentine managed more games (1,186) with one team (the Rangers) without winning a title in major league history.

My observation on the back: Valentine lost his first game as Rangers manager, 4-2, to the White Sox. Carlton Fisk hit the big blow, a two-run home run in the fourth inning that gave Chicago a 3-1 lead.

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