Tuesday, February 28, 2012

HOF Rookie Project #4 - 1966 Topps Don Sutton #288

I am going to switch it up a bit on these posts and just put my thoughts on the card and just a quick blurb on his career. Most people probably don't care if I list out his stats and can look them up anyway on Baseball-Reference.

Card: 1966 Topps #288 Dodgers Rookie Stars
How I got it: Purchased on Ebay
Cost: $6.52 delivered
Why I Bought it: For my HOF Rookie Card Project
My Thoughts: Damn, Sutton has some monsterous looking ears in that photo. It looks like to me that Topps airbrushed a blue hat on him. Sutton was one of those pitchers that was good but never considered great during his career. Granted he did have a 324-256 record, but he played on some pretty impressive teams as well. Sutton was inducted into the hall of fame in 1998. The other guy on the card Bill Singer played 14 years compiling a career record of 118-127. He did win 20 games in a season on two occasions which was one more time than Sutton did.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

HOF Rookie Project #3 - 1978 Topps Paul Molitor #707

One of these days I will actually get to do a HOF rookie card post on a single player card.
Molitor was initially drafted in the 1974 draft by The Reds as a pitcher in the 28th round. He decided to go to college and play at the University of Minnesota. After 3 standout years as a Gopher, he was drafted as the third overall pick in the 1977 amateur draft.

He started his career as a shortstop, moved to second base, then to third base and then spent the second half of his career playing first base, but mostly dh’ing.

In his rookie campaign, Molitor would hit .273 with 142 hits, while finishing 2nd in the ROY voting to Lou Whitaker. This seems to be a trend as all three HOF’rs I have profiled so far have finished 2nd in the ROY voting.

Molitor would go on to be one of the great hitters of his generation. 4 times in his career he would have over 200 hits in a season, leading the league 3 times (91, 93, 96). Him and Robin Yount electrified Milwaukee for an entire decade, the same way Braun and Fielder would have done had Prince been able to come to an agreement to stay here.

Living in Wisconsin, my greatest memory of Molitor was his 39 game hitting streak that captivated the entire state during the summer of 1987. I was never a Brewer fan, but I had a lot of respect for Molitor and the way he played growing up.

Molitor left Milwaukee after the 1992 season and signing with the Toronto Blue Jays. His first season in Toronto, he as an all star, finished second in the MVP voting to Frank Thomas, and then went on to win the MVP of the World Series while leading Toronto to their second of back to back titles.

After 1995 he joined the Twins because they were his hometown team, and he wanted the chance to play with Kirby Puckett. He never had the chance to play with Puckett due to Kirby’s career ending glaucoma. He joined the 3,000 hit club on September 16, 1996 with a triple off of Jose Rosado.

Molitor would retire after the 1998 season with 3,319 hits, a career average of .306, 504 stolen bases, and 605 doubles. These numbers are even more astonishing when you realize that he missed over 500 career games due to injury and lost time in the strike shortened season.
“The Ignitor” was inducted into the hall of fame in 2004, his first year of eligibility with 85.2% of the vote.

As for the other players on the card, this is one of the few multi player rookie cards that had to superstars on it.

Alan Trammell – Was part of the longest running double play duo of all time as him and Lou Whitaker played 19 seasons together. He was a 6 time all-star, 4 time gold glover, 1984 World Series MVP. He finished his career with an avg of .285, 185 home runs, 2.365 hits and 1.003 runs batted in. He was one of the best players of the 1980’s, but not quite a hall of famer.

U.L. Washington – Was a solid journeyman that played the first 8 years of his 11 year career with the Kansas City Royals. He finished his career with the Pirates after a one year stint in Montreal. He finished with a .251 career batting average, 27 hr’s and 255 rbi’s.

Mickey Klutts – Played 8 total seasons for 3 different teams, mostly as a backup. Finished his career with 14hr’s, 59 rbi’s, and a .241 average.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HOF Rookie Project #2 - 1975 Topps Jim Rice #616

Another hall of fame post and another 1975 Topps multi player rookie card. This time it is Jim Rice.

Rice broke into the league in 1974, with his official rookie season being 1975. Like Gary Carter he was runner up for ROY in 1975, losing out to his teammate Fred Lynn. Rice, Lynn, and Dwight Evans would team up to form one of the most formidable outfields in history in the late 70's.

Rice would go on to lead the AL in homeruns 3 times in his career (77,78,83), lead the league in rbi's 2 times (78,83), go to 8 all star games, and win the AL MVP in 1978.

His entired career was played in Boston like his predecessors in left field Ted Williams and The Yaz.

Rice was finally inducted into the HOF in 2009 in his final year of eligibility.

Sorry I don't have much more to say on Rice. While he played during my childhood, I don't think other than the 86 World Series did I ever see him play and I must admit I hate the Boston Red Sox.

Since this is a multi player rookie card, lets take a look at the other guys on the card and see how they did.

Dave Augustine - Lasted only 2 seasons in the majors playing in 29 games having 29 AB's. So needless to say, he was a scrub.

Pepe Mangual - Played 6 total seasons between the Expos and Mets. Finished his career with 16 HRs 83 RBIs and .242 AVG.

John Scott - Played 3 seasons never playing in more than 79 games in a season.

So unlike the Gary Carter rookie card where everyone had at least a serviceable MLB Career, this card shows you just how uncertain the prospects can be. Everyone outside of Rice on this card was a scrub.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pack Rip #2 - Topps WWE Classic

Product: Topps WWE Classic
Cost: $1.99
Qty: 1 Pack
Cards per pack: 6
Location: Target

In honor of my sons first live WWE Event, which was last nights Elimination Chamber in Milwaukee, WI, today we will check out Topps latest WWE offering. Capitalizing on the popularity of the current WWE Champion, they have put CM Punk on the wrapper.

First card is none other than Jerry "The King" Lawler. The guy was always the heel announcer when I watched wrestling as a kid. Now that I have been watching it for the past 6 months, he has turned into the good guy announcer with the really obnoxious Afflication rip off shirts. I still respect him greatly though for what he did for the business in the late 70's early 80's.

Next up is Katilyn. I am not really sure who the hell she is. I think I have seen her on TV once maybe. Reading the back of the card says she was the Diva winner of NXT, which is a shitty internet show that WWE produces to try and create young talent. Googling her tells me she is a fitness model and will also pull up some soft non nude but NSFW photos.

The third card is non other than Bobby "Weasel", I mean "The Brain" Hennan. The Brain will go down as the best manager of all time. His story lines in the mid 80's to early 90's were gold. And then he was just brilliant as a commentator as well. He's a shell of his former self now since he's been battling throat cancer for the better part of 10 years, but he was always one of my favorite guys to hate when I was a kid.

Undertaker is next. The dead man is a legend in the business. It is sad to see him completely break down and not be able to perform like he used to, as he was one of the great dominant workers. He will get a chance on April 1st, to try and run his Wrestlemania streak to 20-0 against HHH.

JYD is next. I was never a big fan of his growing up as he was more of a comic act than a legit wrestler to me. All of his matches turned into brawls where he would win either by DQ or Countout or he would lose after being hit by a phone or megaphone. Sadly, he passed away on June 2, 1998 when he was in a single car accident after falling asleep at the wheel.

R-Truth is the final card in the pack. This guy is a fuckin' goof and is not that great of a wrestler to watch. He has solid athletiscism, but his matches are nothing fantastic. His mic skills though make up for it as you can never tell what the hell he is talking about. Plus my son loves him, so that makes him okay in my book. Lil Jimmy says, thats the end of the pack and that's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

So I have to say I do like the look of these cards. Minus the stupid fucking barbed wire tattoo looking thing on the bottom these cards are pretty solid. It seems that there are a solid mixture of legends and current wrestlers. I will probably tackle the set since it is rather small and I can pick up most of the singles I need cheaply on eBAY. If anyone actually reads this blog and has some they would like to trade, feel free to send me an emal.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

HOF Rookie Project #1 - 1975 Topps Gary Carter #620

I guess it's fitting that my first post for my hall of fame rookie project would be for Gary Carter, the man we lost two days ago. I already went in depth on how he touched me personally, so this post will be strictly about his career and my thoughts on the card.

First off, I will say, I am not a big fan of the multi player rookie cards that Topps put out, maybe even still puts out I am not sure. It just sucks to me that someone like Gary Carter has to share his rookie card with 3 no names, but then again no one knew Carter was going to be as great as he was either.

Carter was drafted by the Expos in the 3rd round of the 1972 draft. He made is major league debut on September 16th, 1974 an played in 9 games to finish out that season. The next year, Carter hit .268 with 17 hr's and 64 rbi's finishing second in the rookie of the year voting to John "The Count of" Montefusco. Carter was also an all star his rookie season.

1976 saw Carter break his finger so he was limited in playing time. The next season with a new group of young outfielders, Carter quit splitting time between catching and playing the outfield, and became the Expos every day catcher. He blasted 31 hrs and knocked in 84 that season. By 1979 Carter had established himself as one of the best catchers in the game. He would go on to reach 10 consecutive all star games where he had several moments of clutch heroics.

After the 1984 season Carter was traded to the Mets. He continued to shine there with 32 hrs in 1985 and then of course the magical 1986 season where he led the league with 106 rbi's. 1987 saw Carter's numbers start to come down and then in 1988 he had his lowest totals of hrs and rbis since 1976. After a tough year in 1989 The Mets released him and he went on to finish his career with the Giants, Dodgers, and finally back to the Expos.

Carter finished with 324 career homers 1225 runs batted in and a .264 career batting average. He was inducted into the hall of fame in 2003 his sixth time on the ballot. He passed away at the young age of 57 on February 16, 2012 from brain tumors.

Since this is a multi player rookie card, lets take a look and see how the others on this card stacked up.

Marc Hill - Played from 1973 - 1986 for 4 different teams, mostly as a backup catcher. He finished his career with 34 homers 198 rbi's and a .223 lifetime batting average.

Danny Meyer - Was a solid player for the Mariners in the late 70's. He hit 20 hr's or more twice during that time span. He finished his career with 86 homers 459 rbis and a .253 batting average.

Leon Roberts - Joined Meyer on the Mariners in the late 70's and had a couple of decent years. In he hit 22 homers while knocking in 92 and batting .301. He finished his career with 78 homers 328 rbi's and a .267 average.

So this rookie card actually produced a hall of famer, 2 pretty good utility guys, and a back up catcher that stayed employed as a major leaguer for 14 years. This has to be one of the better multi rookie cards that Topps produced.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Going to meet The Best In The World

I will not be doing a Figure Friday today because I don't have the time. Instead, I will be taking my son to meet CM Punk at a local meet and greet in Milwaukee. I think the fan boy in me is more excited than he is.

Thursday, February 16, 2012


The summer of 1986 I was 5 years old and it was the first year I really started following baseball. My team that year was the New York Mets. I am not really sure why they were my team since I have been a Cubs fan since that time, it was probably because they won all the time, but besides Lenny Dykstra, my favorite player was Gary Carter.

That fucking bastard that is known as cancer took Gary today at the way too young age of 57. I just wanted to say, thanks for the memories "KID".

I find it weird that last night I finally won my first ever Gary Carter rookie card on Ebay. I can honestly say years from now when I look through my cards and wonder where and how I got them, I will always know when and where the Carter rookie came from.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

1966-67 Topps Hockey Set Complete

After 6 or 7 years of helping my Grandpa try and finish this set, we finally have received our final card in the mail. Let me tell you, this set was a bitch to track down and it was nice to finally get it done. We picked up the Stan Mikita base card last weekend at a card shop in Waukegan, IL for much higher than "book" price of course and then I went on the hunt for this card, Jacques Laperriere All Star Card.

I didn't find any currently for sale on Ebay, but I did find one that had been listed a couple days prior that didn't sell. I took a long shot and contacted the seller to see if he had it available still. Much to my surprise he got back to me and sold it to me for $1.99 plus $3 shipping.

This set means a lot to me, because it was the one my grandpa always wanted but never thought he would ever be able to put together. We had been sitting on about a 95% finished set for quite some time when we finally came across the elusive Bobby Orr rookie card in person. $600 later we had the last big card of the set and he was in tears he was so happy, which is one of the moments that made me realize how much I loved this hobby.

Monday, February 13, 2012

2011 Topps Allen and Ginter #159 Shawn Michaels

In honor of his return to WWE television last night, we take a look at The Heartbreak Kid's "baseball" card from last years Allen and Ginter set. What I love about Ginter and Goodwin and Champs, etc. are all of the cards of the non main sport personalities. This card has HBK in the classic sleeveless flannel with the cowboy hat on looking like the complete badass he is. While he was never the crossover star of some of his contemporaries, Michaels will go down as one of the great in ring and on mic workers in the history of the wrestling business. I am looking forward to him reffing this years Wrestlemania match between HHH and The Undertaker.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pack Rip #1 - 2012 National Hockey Card Day 2 Packs

Product: 2012 Upper Deck National Hockey Card Day
Cost: Free with purchase
Qty: 2 Packs
Cards per pack: 5
Location: Sports Dome Kenosha, WI

I ran to the local hobby shop on Saturday to pick up a box to ship some cards and ended up picking up a couple packs to rip for the hell of it. Much to my surprise, I also received these two packs for free, since 2-11-2012 was national hockey card day. Now I knew this, but I also didn't have any idea that my local shop was participating. This was a nice little gesture by Upper Deck and it definately will cause me to buy some more of their products.

Pack 1 - There are 5 cards per pack and taking a look at the checklist there are 15 cards in the set. After a little research I found out that there are actually 16 cards in the set as there is a Tim Thomas card that is number 16. Out of the 5 cards in the first pack I have actually heard of 4 of the guys, which is pretty good for me since I haven't bought modern hockey cards in probably 20 years and I only follow the sport enough to know how the Blackhawks are doing and they I get pretty rapid around playoff time as well.

#4 - Pekka Rinne - I only know of this guy because of the great NHL 10 game from EA Sports. I have scored against him multiple times.

#1 - Gabriel Landeskog - No idea who this guy is. Reading the back of his card tells me he was the #2 pick in the draft this year, so he should be a superstar soon right?

#13 - Mike Modano - One of the few old school guys in this set. I remember being excited to pull his rookie card way back in the day.

#7 - Ryan Kesler - Yeah, fuck this guy. He plays for the Canucks, 'nuff said.

#8 - Patrick Kane - Yessss. I pulled the one Blackhawks card in the set. Kane and Toews are the future of the franchise, hopefully they can pull out of this awful funk they are in.

Pack #2 - Well collation isn't going to be strong in these packs since there are only 16 cards. Out of the 5 cards in this pack, 4 of them were duplicates, at least one of them was Patrick Kane again which will go into the Blackhawks collection.

#14 - Brett Hull - This was the only non double I pulled. I'll take it since he is another one of the guys I used to collect 20 something years ago.

All and all this was a fun rip and it was made even more fun by the fact it was free. Maybe more companies should do things like this to try and build the hobby back up.

Mailday #2 - Matt Forte and Brian Urlacher Ebay Finds

I opened the mail yesterday and had this package waiting for me which I had completely forgot about buying. Up first are 5 Matt Forte cards 4 of them are 2011 Topps Platinum Refractors an done of the them is a 2009 Prestige base card. I have never much been a fan of refractors, but these are sweet, especially the green one. To make them even better, Forte is wearing the Monsters of the Midway throwback jersey on the card. Since I haven't been active in the hobby much for the past several years these are my first Forte cards. I picked them up for a total of $0.05 too, so for just over a penny apiece, I can't complain.

I also picked up two Brian Urlacher refractors from 2011 Topps Platinum set. One of them is a normal refractor and the other is a refractor on super thick card stock. I am not sure why they made them different, but they are both nice additions to the Bears collection.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Figure Fridays #2 - Kevin Von Erich Mattel Legends Series 6

Today's installment of Figure Fridays brings us Kevin Von Erich, the only living member of the Von Erich family (note, I know that the children of the Von Erichs are still alive, but I am speaking only about the 5 or 6 that wrestled in the 80's). I will always remember Kevin as the first wrestler I ever watched that competed barefoot and as the smaller yet more athletic of the two Von Erich's I was most fond of.
My best memories of Kevin in the ring are the match where he took an unprotected back of the head chair shot from Chris Adams that busted him up pretty bad and I believe gave him a concussion in real life. Video can be viewed here. I also remember after one of his matches he won a car and the Dynamic Duo (Geno Hernandez and Chris Adams) smashed it pretty good. I wish I could find old video of that, but I can't seem to pull anything up on Youtube.

Anyway, on to the figure. Kevin comes with red trunks and barefoot like we would expect him also wearing his Texas ring jacket that he wore almost all of the time. The detail on the figure is great like you expect from the Legends line, and again Mattel doesn't dissapoint. My only complaint is that I wish he was wearing the yellow trunks. My memories of Kevin from my childhood he was always in the yellow trunks. His right had comes with the claw post and the left hand is a tightly clenched fist. Another great figure and one that I am happy to have in my collection.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Mailday #1 - Couple rookies, couple vintage

I recently picked up a small lot of singles off of the Bay. I got a pretty good deal on these as I picked up the whole lot with shipping for just a tad over Ten bucks.
First up we have a 1985 Fleer Kirby Puckett rookie card. This goes into my 80's rookie collection and is a card I have never owned. Card has sharp corners and edges and the only real flaw is the centering is off both left to right and top to bottom. I love this card too because Kirby looks so much different than the chubby guy everyone fell in love with later in his career.

Next up is a 1978 Topps Walter Payton. Walter looks pissed here. He must have just fumbled. A 1977 Walter Payton second year card. Card is in pretty rough shape with beat up edges and corners, but it's still a great card. I love the little "1,000 Yarder" graphic on the bottom.

1975 Pete Rose. Everyone loves the 75 Set and and Pete's just a bad ass. Is it me or does it look like he's holding a mini bat in this picture. It just looks small to me.

I love the horrible throwing poses they put the quarterbacks in for the 1970 Topps set. Nothing different for good ole' cantankerous Francis...The guy was a great quarterback, now he just seems to be a bitter old man.

And last but not least the punky qb himself, Mr. McMahon...Always wanted this card and finally got it, and it set me back a whole $0.99...This goes into my Bears collection as well as my rookies of the 80's.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blue 22 on the comeback route

So while going through my daily readings of sports news, I cought an article yesterday that said Mark Prior was going to try and make one more comeback. I don't need to go into detail about all of the well documented setbacks that Prior has had since his breakout 18-6 season in 2003. As a die hard Cubs fan, until they win the World Series, that will always go down as the most enjoyable baseball season I have ever had the chance to watch.

Prior will always go down as one of my favorite players to watch. His dominace when he was healthy was a thing of beauty. I know it's an unlikely pipe dream, but it would sure be nice if Theo would invite him to spring training so he could end his career with the Cubs. I mean, you know you would get him on the cheap and the boys in blue are in a so called "rebuilding" year as it is anyway, and we all know he couldn't be any worse that trotting Rodrigo Lopez's dead ass out to the mound

Friday, February 3, 2012

Figure Friday #1 - Kerry Von Erich - WWE Legends Series 6

This is the first installment of Figure Friday, the one segment on this blog that will be devoted to a different figure each week. This is also the first real post on the blog, so if anyone happens to come across this a read it, please take it easy on me.

Our first featured figure is the WWE Legends Series 6 Kerry Von Erich figure. This is the "one" that lit my collecting fire again. When I looked at the back of the Texas Tornado box and seen they were making this figure, it became my obsession to find this beast. While I never actually found it, my wife did, and thats one more reason she is fucking awesome.

Kerry was my idol growing up. Watching classic WCCW wrestling on ESPN at 3:00 PM every day was a staple for me back in 1988 and 1989, and Kerry was the man in that promotion. He was the big muscled Texas version of Hulk Hogan/Jerry Lawler/Ric Flair, etc...When he won the title from Ric Flair at The David Von Erich Memorial, the raw emotion of him winning the belt coupled with the recent death of David was one of those moments that makes professional wrestling great. Sure, it's scripted and fake as hell, but it still tells a great story. Unfortunately, drugs and depression got the best of Kerry and he killed himself on February 18, 1993 by way of gunshot to the chest. The Kerry figure depicts him in all of his glory during the mid to late 80's.

The detail of this figure is awesome. Kerry comes with his Blue Robe on that I believe he wore in his 1982 2 out of 3 Falls match against Ric Flair. It might not be the exact one, but I know for sure he wore a blue robe with the white tights and the white boots with the long athletic socks. Simple and to the point, nothing flashy as that just wasn't the way the business was back then.

I love the detail of the long socks. How fuckin' cool is that.

Kerry comes with his right hand in the claw position as that was his finishing move back in the day. His finisher changed to the discus punch when he came to the WWF, but we will address that when we go over the Texas Tornado figure.

I have to say that I am loving the detail that Mattel puts into these "Legends" figures as well as their "Elite Collection" figures. Next week we will take a look at Kerry's brother Kevin.