Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kruk, Henke & Other Stuff

Along with the few Joey Cora cards and cards of guys from West Virginia that I got from Just Commons last week, I picked up a few Padres, including a neat autographed letter patch card I wrote up elsewhere, a handful of '93 Upper Decks for my set I'm building, and some cards for my player collections. The two John Kruk cards pictured above are ones I had in my younger days but haven't had copies of for years. Kruk also qualifies as a guy from West Virginia but he's the of them that I collect in earnest, as opposed to just being satisfied with having one random card of each of the other guys.
I especially like that throwback on the back of Krukky's '94 UD CC card.
These Kruks, like most I acquire these days, are also "new again". I did, however, get some Tom Henke cards that are completely new to me:
I didn't have too many Flair cards when they came out in '93- just the Kruk and the Tony Gwynn, if I recall correctly- but I thought they were the coolest thing in the world. I still think they're pretty great. I just started typing a bunch of adjectives about the cards from that set but I deleted all of them as I imagined someone reading them and saying "That's what she said".

That Pacific issue is my first card of Henke with the Cardinals. He pitched his final season for them in '95 and went out on top. Well, not like John Elway or whatever because the Cardinals didn't win squat that year, but he had a great personal season. His ERA was a blink and you'd miss it 1.82 in 54.1 innings over 52 appearances. Henke was named to his second All-Star game; I was going to get into the details of both of his appearances but I'll save that for its own post.

My Tom Henke collection is still fairly small since I only started collecting his cards last summer when I discovered that he made his MLB debut the day I was born.

Oh, and here are those '93 Upper Decks that I mentioned. Nothing too special; I just knocked a few cheap ones off my needs list.
Here we have some "Star Rookies" who didn't live up to the star part. Manny Alexander did end up letting a clubhouse attendant take the rap for some steroids he had in his car, so he's got that going for him.
Dan Plesac seems like a nice guy. A little overbearing sometimes, sure, but ultimately likable. I really enjoy that Community Heroes subset card of Dave Stewart. When I think of him I think of intimidation and intensity. This is neither of those.

Wow, I'm actually posting here fairly often lately. Good times. For me and hopefully also for each of the seven to twelve people who will read this.

Monday, July 29, 2013

R.I.P. Frank Castillo

I just saw on Deadspin that Frank Castillo died yesterday. The 44-year-old former starting pitcher drowned while on a boating trip with a friend. I knew his name sounded familiar but the picture they showed of him in a Red Sox uniform just didn't register. Then when I read that he had pitched for the Cubs, it clicked. I dug into the Cubs section of my junk box and there were these two cards.

My thoughts go out to his friends and family, especially his friend he was out on the boat with. I can't even begin to imagine how traumatic that has to be.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Common Bond Contest

What is the common bond between the following ten players? First person to respond correctly in the comments wins, uh, some cards, I guess. But not these ones (I can't imagine any of you would want any of these anyway).
Alright, start guessing!

...or actually researching it if you're so inclined.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Just Coras from Just Commons

Earlier today (well, technically yesterday but you know what I mean), I got 43 cards in the mail that I ordered from Just Commons earlier this week. They got here incredibly fast- especially fast considering that it was free shipping. I'll get to some of the others in another post before too long, but first the Coras.

The last time I made an order from Just Commons, I bought all of their Joey Cora cards. Or so I thought I did. There were three copies of his '95 Topps Traded that I missed out on. I'm pretty sure what happened was that they had four copies and I accidentally didn't change the 1 to a 4 when putting them in the cart. The other card I missed was the 1994 Score The Cycle insert #TC12 pictured above. I had only searched "Joey Cora" the first time and this one was listed as "J. Cora/ S. Finley". Good thing I searched just "Cora" this last time. This is one of my favorite Joey Cora cards, due to both its relative scarcity and the inclusion of future Friar Steve Finley. Ordinarily I would take any card of Steve Finley as an Oriole, Astro, or even a Padre, and promptly send it to Marcus of All The Way To The Backstop... because he collects those specifically, but this is the one exception. Sorry, man; hope you understand.
 Here are those '95 Topps Traded cards of Joey I mentioned. Yep, still look the same. I've always like it quite a lot; it's one of his first cards with the Mariners and really seems to encapsulate him.

I'll be back later today with at least a couple of the other (non-Cora) cards I got.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Trade with 'Playing With My Cards'

I recently got an email from Ethan of Playing With My Cards, saying he had some Series 2 cards on my '93 Upper Deck set needs list. We exchanged a few emails, got the other one's mailing address, and you know the rest. In addition to the Series 1 doubles I had, I threw in a few others. He also included some extras. I'll get to those, but first the '93 UDs.
From inspiring to despicable to forgettable. One thing that Dodger lovers and I can agree on is a mutual hatred of Barry Bonds. It's not like we're alone on that but still, it's nice to find common ground wherever you can.
Hey, there's Jim Abbott again. This one is his base card. The front had a good shot of him in his motion but this picture of him batting trumps it. I've said it a million times and I'll say it a million more: '93 Upper Deck has the greatest photography of any set ever.
Next up were some Padres cards. If I'm not mistaken (I'm probably mistaken) all but one of them are ones I didn't have.
That Marty Barrett card probably deserves its own post. Note to self: Dig that one out next time you can't think of anything to write about.
I thought it was kinda neat that I got a Robbie Beckett card in the mail on Robbie Beckett's birthday. He was a first-round flop and never pitched for the Padres. He did get into seven games with Colorado in '96 and '97 but fared very poorly. Hence not getting into eight or more games.
And here are a pair of current managers who have since trashed the 'stache. But I saved the best four cards he sent for last. And I'm sure you know what that means.
Yes! Joeys! Of the four, I have the most of the '93 Topps issue, followed by the '95 Topps. I'm not positive of how many I have of each because that would require getting up and I'm pretty comfortable. I need to start doing posts for each card of his and update them with how many copies I have of each, the way Tim Wallach Cards does.

So, thanks, Ethan! I hope you liked the ones I sent your way as much as I liked these.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The One Player Born On 7/7/77

I noticed yesterday that today was going to be 7/7, so of course I automatically wondered if there were any baseball players who were born on 7/7/77. Sure enough, there was one.

Andy Green got into 136 games with Arizona from '04 through '06, and then four more in 2009 with the Mets. He served mostly as a pinch hitter but saw a bit of time at second and third bases and out in left field.

He didn't have a ton of success with the stick in the bigs, with a career average right on the Mendoza line over 230 at-bats, but even the last man on any team's bench is one of the 750 or so best players in the world at that given time, so I'd say he did pretty daggone well for himself.

Like I always do with any Rockies, Giants, or D****** cards, I edited out the offensive Diamondtrash logos for its inclusion here.

Lastly, this song seemed appropriate for today's post: