Monday, September 30, 2013

1983 Topps Super Veterans: Rangers Vs. Rays

Because 162 Games Are Not Enough.

Ever wonder why A.J. Pierzynski seems to have a chip on his shoulder?  Maybe it is because in his first Major League game he was beaned by Angels pitcher, Trevor Wilson. A.J. made the most of it by scoring on an Alex Ochoa triple but the Twins came up short losing 10-8.

Jose Molina is the middle brother of the 3 baseball Molinas. Bengie is the oldest and retired in 2010. Yadier is the youngest and still playing for the Cardinals. Jose went 2 for 3 with a double and a run scored in his first game, September 6, 1999. The Cubs lost despite his efforts, 6-3 to the Reds. The Reds tested the rookie catcher, stealing 3 bases.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

1963 Topps AL Stolen Base Leaders: Aparicio, Hinton, Wood, Charles, Howser

 In the spirit of full-disclosure, this card shows the top 4 SB leaders and 1 of the 3 players tied for 5th place. There were a couple leader cards in the 1963 set that had a 3rd player on the bottom row but none with 4 players. I just thought it wouldn't look right so I kept to a 5 player limit.

The average number of stolen bases for an American League team in 1962 was 56. The only 4 teams with more than 56 stolen bases are represented on this card.

The Chicago White Sox had 76 stolen bases led by Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio with 31. Jim Landis (who is not pictured on this card) was tied for 5th in the AL with 19 stolen bases.

The "new" Washington Senators led AL teams with 99 stolen bases. They were led by outfielder Chuck Hinton and had a total of 16 players with at least 1 stolen base.

The Detroit Tigers had a total of 69 stolen bases. 24 of them belonged to second baseman, Jake Wood.

The Kansas City Athletics stole 76 bases and had 3 players in the top 5 list. Third baseman, Ed Charles was #4 in the AL with 20. Shortstop, Dick Howser and rookie outfielder Jose Tartabull (not pictured) were in a three-way tie for 5th with Jim Landis

Friday, September 27, 2013

1963 Topps NL RBI Leaders: Davis, Mays, Robinson, Aaron, Howard

Here is another league leader card that never was that is full of Hall of Famers. In 1964 Topps would add the RBI leader card to their set, but in 1963 it was still conspicuously missing.

The NL RBI leader was Tommy Davis of the Dodgers with 153. Davis also led the league in batting average and total hits. He made the All Star team for the 1st time in 1962. He was the starting left fielder in both games but was 0 for five overall.

Willie Mays had a career high of 141 RBIs but that was only good enough for second in the NL. Over his career, Mays had 1903 RBIs which puts him at #11 on the All-Time list.

Frank Robinson was 3rd with 136 which was also a personal best. Robinson led the league in extra-base hits in 1962.

The All-Time RBI leader, Hank Aaron drove in 128 runs in 1962 for the Braves.

Frank "Hondo" Howard was the only one of these five not selected to the 1962 All Star squad. This despite his 31 Homers, 119 RBIs and a .296 batting average.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

1963 Topps AL RBI Leaders: Killebrew, Siebern, Colavito, Robinson, Wagner

Once again in 1963 Topps did not include RBI leaders in their League Leaders sub-set. Of all the "Cards That Never Were", this is one that I can't figure out why? It seems like a no-brainer to include a major stat like RBIs. It is, after all, one third of the triple crown.

Harmon Killebrew led the A.L. in both HRs and RBIs with 48 and 126 respectively.  He was 3rd in MVP voting and a big part of the reason the Twins were 2nd in the AL in their 2nd year in Minnesota.

Norm Siebern had a career year in 1962. He played in every game that season and had career highs in nearly every stat across the board including 118 RBIs. He also earned his first All Star appearance.

Rocky Colavito drove in 112 runs for the 4th place Tigers. He was the starting  right fielder for the AL All Stars in the 2nd  game in 1962.  Mickey Mantle was the starting right fielder in the 1st game.

Floyd Robinson had 109 RBIs for the White Sox in 1962 and led the AL in doubles with 45.

Leon Wagner had 104 RBIs in 1962 and was the MVP of the 2nd All Star Game.

Monday, September 23, 2013

1969 Topps Willie McCovey All Star MVP

Going Horizontal

1969 was a whole new era in baseball and the All Star game reflected that change. 1968 was known as the year of the pitcher. Both Cy Young award winners also won their respective league MVP awards. The All Star game was a 1-0 affair with no earned runs and no RBIs. (link) In 1969 the NL won 9-3 in a game with 5 homers including 2 from the MVP Willie McCovey.

McCovey would also win the NL MVP in 1969. For the second straight year "Stretch" led the league in Homers and RBI's. For the Horizontal version of the 1969 set, I went with a vertical team name. I had the name on the bottom on my first attempt but I think this one flows better.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

1976 Topps Butch Wynegar

Butch Wynegar played a season of rookie league and a season of A level ball in the Minnesota farm system before he leap-frogged over AA and AAA to become the opening day starting catcher for the Twins in 1976. 

In 1976 only 5 players received votes for Rookie of the year. In the NL Butch Metzger and Pat Zachry were co-ROYs with 11 votes each. Hector Cruz received 2 votes. All 3 were included in the 1976 Topps set.

 In the AL, Mark "The Bird" Fidrych was the run-away ROY winner with 22 votes. Butch Wynegar received 2. Both AL candidates were selected to the 1976 All Star team. Fidrych was the starting pitcher. Wynegar made a brief appearance as a pinch hitter. Yet Neither were included in the 1976 Topps set. In one of my earlier posts I created a rookie card for Fidrych. Now all of the 1976 ROY candidates have cards.

Friday, September 13, 2013

1963 Fleer Ken Hubbs

Waste not, want not. Since I place an actual photo of Dick Ellsworth on his 1966 card, I needed to find a new home for the Ken Hubbs photo that Topps had mistakenly used. So here is a 1963 Fleer version of Ken Hubbs. Instead of the baseball player in the yellow diamond, I opted to mimic the 1963 Fleer Maury Wills NL MVP card.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

1966 Topps Dick Ellsworth - Error Card Corrected

In 1966 Topps used a photo of Ken Hubbs on Dick Ellsworth's card. Here is the corrected version that never was.  Using Ken Hubbs' photo was particularly haunting because Hubbs had been killed in an airplane crash two years earlier.

Ellsworth had 22 wins for the 7th place Cubs in 1963. In 1964 he was selected to the All Star team. But in 1966 he led the league with 22 losses. At the end of the season he was traded to the Phillies.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My 2013 Fantasy Football Team

Here's another one of those posts that is just for me. I wanted to make a few cards of the players I ended up with in our fantasy football draft. I want to point out that I was the last one to pick and really didn't prepare very well for the draft. Even so, I'm winning going into the games tonight. 

Tom Brady is pictured on a 1958 Topps style card, Jamaal Charles on a 1975 Topps and Demaryus Thomas is on a 1974 Topps card.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Video Checklist - Series 17

My 17th series of cards. Not much variety here. The first group were the last of the Ron Santo Football card theme. Then I made a 2013 Mantle card followed by the 1967 Topps All Star cards that never were. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

1961 Topps Checklist - Cards That Never Were - 17th Series

I went back to the 1961 design. I had been going in order since my 1st series checklist. My last one was from 1975. I just could not bring myself to use the 1976 design. It is just plain ugly. And the ones coning up in the order are pretty plain looking. I haven't decided if I am going to start rotating through all the checklists again or just use this one with different photos. But I am not going to use the 80s and 90s checklists, just too boring.

This checklist really has basically 2 running themes separated by yet another Mantle card. So not much variety.  The photo on top is one that most fans will recognize. Robin Ventura was foolish enough to charge the mound on Nolan Ryan and paid the price. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

1967 Topps All Star Cards : Managers

1967 Topps Walt Alston All Star

In 1966 Walter Alston Managed the N.L. All Stars for the 7th time. He was 7-2 in 9 All Star games from 1954-1975.

1967 Topps Sam Mele All Star

As a player, Sam Mele never played more than 2 full seasons in a row with any one team. As a manager he achieved some stability. He led the Twins from 1961-1967 including their pennant winning season in 1965. Although he managed the 1966 A.L. All Stars, the Twins would replace him 50 games into the 1967 season.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

1967 Topps All Star Cards : American League Battery

1967 Topps Denny McLain All Star

Denny McLain pitched 3 perfect innings to start the 1966 All Star game. He struck out Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Joe Torre. On offense he had the only strike out recorded by N.L. starter, Sandy Koufax.

1967 Topps Bill Freehan All Star

The American league only scored one run in the 1966 All Star game but nobody was awarded the RBI.  Brooks Robinson had tripled with 1 out in the 2nd inning, then scored on a wild pitch with Bill Freehan at bat.