Thursday, October 31, 2013

1965 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 6

Shane Victorino slammed the ball off the Green Monster with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 3rd to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead. The Cardinals never recovered and the Sox won the World Series at home for the first time in 95 years.

Monday, October 28, 2013

1964 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 5

In game 5 Jon Lester pitched another gem, going 7 2/3 innings giving up a single run on 4 hits and no walks. With his scoreless outing in game 1, he has a Series ERA of 0.59, 2 wins and 15 strikeouts. If the Red Sox go on to win the Series he is a serious contender for the World Series MVP.

Another contender is David Ortiz. He went 3 for 4 in game 5, and 11 for 15 in the series. He is 2 hits shy of the World Series record for hits. His .733 series batting average is even more impressive when you consider that the rest of the Red Sox have a combined batting average of .151.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

1963 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 4

In a World Series first, Game 4 ended on a pick-off play at first. Allen Craig, who scored the winning run on the obstruction call to end game 3, singled with 1 ouit in the 9th. Still nursing his injured foot, Kolten Wong came in to pinch run. After Matt Carpenter popped up for out 2, Red Sox closer, Koji Uehara threw to Mike Napoli to pick Wong off and end the game.  The Red Sox tie up the series at 2 games each.

1962 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 3

To quote Stephen Colbert "That's the craziest f#?king thing I've ever heard"

Cards and Red Sox were tied 4-4 with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th. Yadier Molina was on 3rd, and Allen Craig was on 2nd. Jon Jay grounds to 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia who fires home and nails Molina. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (whose error in game 2 contributed to the Cards' first win) throws past 3rd baseman Will Middlebrooks. After stumbling over Middlebrooks' legs Craig runs home and is tagged out. But umpire Jim Joyce (whose missed call infamously ruined Armando Galarraga's perfect game) ruled correctly "obstruction" and Craig was awarded home plate to end the game.

Now that's...

Friday, October 25, 2013

1961 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 2

In game 1 the Red Sox built their lead on the fielding miscues of the Cardinals. In Game 2 the Cards took the game on the Sox miscues. A double steal set the stage for a sac fly to score the tying run. Rather than field the throw to the plate, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, missed on the reach. This allowed the runners to advance. To make matters worse, pitcher Craig Breslow threw the ball over the 3rd baseman's head. This allowed Jon Jay to score what proved to be the winning run.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

1960 Topps Style 2013 World Series Game 1

World Series cards began appearing in Topps sets in 1960. They continued to run into the '80s skipping over only a few years, 1966-67 and 1979-80. This card was made in the style of the 1960 Topps World Series cards.

There were a few options on who could have appeared on the Game 1 card. Beltran robbing Ortiz's grand slam, the reversed call at second or the many fielding miscues of the Cardinals to start the game. But I had to give the nod to Jon Lester. He pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out 8 to get the win in Game 1.

Monday, October 21, 2013

1963 Topps NL Leading Firemen: Face, Perranoski, Miller, McDaniel, Baldschun

Elroy Face was the 1962 Sporting News Fireman of the Year Award winner. He had 28 saves and 8 relief wins. This card also feature the 2 previous Firemen of the Year. 1960 winner, Lindy McDaniel, who came in 4th  and the 1961 winner, Stu Miller, who came in 3rd.  In 2nd was Ron Perranoski who pitched in a league leading 70 games. In 5th was Jack Baldschun who had 12 relief wins to compliment his 13 saves.

Friday, October 18, 2013

1963 Topps AL Leading Firemen: Radatz, Bridges, Fox, Wilhelm, Bell

Although the save would not become an official stat until 1969, The Sporting News began awarding the Fireman of the Year to relievers based on a combined total of saves and relief wins.

In 1962 the winner was  Red Sox rookie, Dick Radatz. Radatz had 9 wins and 24 saves in 1962 and was tied for 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting.

In 1962 Marshall Bridges had 8 wins and 18 save for the Bronx Bombers. Despite playing 7 years of Major League ball on 4 different teams, Marshall never appeared on a Topps baseball card.

Rounding out the top 5 relievers for 1962 were Terry Fox, Hoyt Wilhelm and Gary Bell.

Monday, October 14, 2013

1963 Topps NL Stolen Base Leaders: Wills, Davis, Javier, Pinson, Taylor

This is a card that I'm sure Topps wished they could have made. In 1962 Maury Wills (who was famously not under contract with Topps) broke Ty Cobbs long-standing stolen base record and ushered in a new era of base running.

Stolen bases were more common in the dead ball era. But when Babe Ruth changed the way games were played stolen bases lost their popularity. In 1955 the Al and the NL leaders both had a paltry 25 SB each. In 1950 Dom DiMaggio led the AL with only 15 stolen bases.

 But you don't even need to go back that far. In the same season that Wills set the modern record for stolen bases at 104, the average stolen base total for an American League team was 56.

Rounding out the top 5 are Tommy Davis with 32, Julian Javier and Vada Pinson with 26, and Tony Taylor with 20.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

1983 Topps Super Veterans: Red Sox Vs. Rays

A.L. Divisional Series Edition

Big Papi made is debut on September 2, 1997 versus the Cubs. This was the 1st year of interleague play and the Cubs beat the Twins at Wrigley 9-3. Ortiz was a pinch hitter for the pitcher Travis Miller in the 7th. He flied out deep to left-center.

This is the 3rd time I've used this card, I first posted it here for the tie-breaker versus the Rangers. Next I re-posted it here for the Wildcard game versus the Indians. Jose has a .235 batting average overall in postseason play. He has not had a hit yet in the 2013 postseason.

Monday, October 7, 2013

1983 Topps Super Veterans: Cardinals Vs. Pirates

N.L. Divisional Series Edition

Carlos Beltran made his debut on September 14, 1998. In 2 plate appearances he had an infield single and a walk. He scored both times as the Royals beat the A's 16-6.

This cards was previously posted here for the Wildcard game vs. the Reds. Burnett got the loss in Game 1 vs. the Cardinals. He held the Cards scoreless in the 1st 2 innings but in the 3rd inning, he gave up 7 runs on 4 hits (including a HR to Carlos Beltran), 3 walks and a hit-by-pitch. All before recording a single out. His overall postseason record is 2-3 with a 6.37 ERA.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

1983 Topps Super Veterans: Braves Vs. Dodgers

N.L. Divisional Series Edition

Another inauspicious beginning. Reed Johnson made his MLB debut on April 17, 2003 as a pinch runner. In the bottom of the 9th, losing 4-0, the 26 year old Blue Jay rookie took over on the base-path for Josh Phelps. Reed was forced out at 2nd.

Down 11-3 in the bottom of the 9th, Juan Uribe got his first at bat versus the Padres on April 8, 2001.  He grounded out to 2nd as the Rockies went down in order.

Friday, October 4, 2013

1983 Topps Super Veterans: A's Vs. Tigers

A.L. Divisional Series Edition

Bartolo Colon pitched 5 innings in his April 4, 1997 debut. Left the game tied at 4-4 versus the Angels. The Indians eventually lost the game in spectacular fashion. Tim Salmon hit a walk-off Grand Slam off Paul Shuey in the 12th inning.

On August 22, 1997 Torii Hunter made his MLB debut was as a pinch runner for the Twins' 35 year old catcher Terry Steinbach. The strategy did not pay off. Matt Lawton hit into a double play. Hunter would not play in the bigs again until the following year.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

1983 Topps Super Veterans: Indians Vs. Rays

A.L. Wildcard Edition

I cheated a little on this one. I went back to the 1992 Olympic baseball team. USA came in 4th when baseball was introduced to the Olympics for the 1st time. Giambi hit .296 and played 1st base for Team USA in Barcelona. He would make his MLB debut 3 years later for the Oakland A's.

This cards was already posted here for the tie-breaker versus the Rangers. Molina didn't have much impact on the 5-2 victory over the Rangers. He went 0-4.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

1983 Topps Super Veterans: Pirates Vs. Reds

N.L. Wildcard Edition

A.J. Burnett made his debut August 17, 1999. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, surrendering a single run and earning his first win as the Marlins beat the Dodgers 6-1.

Bronson Arroyo's debut came not as a pitcher but as a pinch hitter. On June 12, 2000, Arroyo came in to bat for Scott Sauerbeck with the Pirates behind the Brave 6-8 in the bottom of the 6th. He grounded to the pitcher. He would get his pitching debut the next day. He gave up 5 runs in 5 innings but got a no-decision as the Pirates beat the Braves 7-6 in 10 innings.