Wednesday, April 30, 2008

First Contest!

It is time for Stats on the Back to hold its first contest. Here is a 1995 Score Darryl Strawberry card.

Darryl must be thinking something as he sits on the bench with that pitiful look on his face. If there was a thought bubble (which there will be when the winner is announced), what would it say?

Post your "thought" in the comments section. Funniest "thought", as judged by myself and my brother, wins.

Winner will receive some free cards of their favorite team or player and some 80's Wax!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

What is up with this card?

Just wondering if anyone knew what is going on in this card. I first assumed it was a photoshop job to cheesily say "the new ballpark is coming". Or was there some kind of pick-up game at the new place before the Nats moved in. I don't see any netting up behind the plate but they all seem to be protected by hard hats.

I am sure that there is a Nationals fan out there somewhere who can clear this one up for me. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Curse of the Caps?

David Wells was Ruthian, both in girth and in his love of the Babe's baseball memorabilia. He once wore an actual Babe Ruth baseball cap onto the field and pitched an inning. The game-used cap, from 1934, set Wells back a cool $35 K. When Torre made him take it off for the second inning, he responded by blowing a 3-run lead. The Yankees went on to lose 12-8.
But this post isn't about David Wells. Its about Mitch Williams. He too was a fan of the memorabilia. He collected a different kind of cap. You see, Mitch was a fan of the Smurfs, Papa Smurf to be more specific. Some say that the Smurf leader was instrumental in teaching Williams that awkward, fall-off-the-mound delivery. That cannot be proven, but one thing we do know is that Mitch Williams liked that red cap.

I do not believe he had to pay quite the sum Wells paid for his hero's hat, but like Wells, Williams chose to don his cap in the field of play in 1992. And also like Wells, the manager, Jim Fregosi made him remove his red cap, as it did not conform to uniform standards.
Williams' performance was not not immediately affected by his lose. He saved 29 games for the Phils that year. He went on to save 43 more in 1993. But then fate had its day. The "dead-baseball great/cartoon celebrity" gods intervened in game 6 of the 1993 World Series. Joe Carter blasted one to left field and Phillie fans united in hating Mitch Williams. John Kruk even wanted to kill him, but didn't when he found out that it was illegal to do so.
Was it the cap, or the fact he had to take off?

Since then, Joe Carter was inducted into to Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and has appeared on Pro vs. Joes. It makes me wonder what cap he was forced to take off.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mets Report: 10 Games Played, 152 To Go

The record: 5-5 (2nd - NL East)
2-1 vs Florida (Gotta win all you can while they are rebuilding...AGAIN)
0-2 vs Atlanta (BOO!)
2-1 vs Philly (Monkey off back?)
1-1 vs Milwaukee (These guys enjoy the HRs)

Mets Player of the Year
Angel Pagan - Leads the team in Average (.371), OPS (.928), Runs (9), and RBI (10)
Alou is out with his latest old-man ailment and Pagan has filled in better than expected.

Mets Pitcher of the Year
Oliver Perez - I want to go with Johan (He has pitched well. Not enough run support for the W's) But Perez is 1-0 in 2 starts. He has allowed 0 runs and struckout 10 in just under 12 innings. He will need to get to the 7th inning at some point to help out the bullpen. Perez is streaky. Let's hope he stays on this one for a while.

Surprises - Pagan and Church are filling the outfield voids and their slots in the order just fine. I had my doubts. The Pagan/Church combo still makes me laugh. I'm not sure when Alou gets back, but having 4 players in the OF feels better than the one (Beltran) that I thought we had. Also, Delgado his swinging is much-needed bat well.

Worries - Pedro is on the shelf again. It is definitely not a surprise but does cause us Mets fans to worry about the pitching. Pelfrey pitched well in his first start. He will get his second soon. El Duque is out for a while and it looks like Claudio Vargas will be signed soon.

Outlook - If they stay at .500, they will win 81 games and be left out of the playoffs. Using their runs scored and runs allowed, at this pace, Pythagoras says they'll win 104. (It also says the Braves will win 104. Hey Braves fans, would you take a one-game playoff right now, Johan vs Smoltz?) It's still way too early to know anything.

Its fun to listen to sports radio and actually hear some baseball talk. Too bad the NFL draft is coming soon. How much do I need to know about 40 times and Wonderlic tests.

Save Those Top of the Class Ads!

There is an awful lot of talk about Beckett these days. They say "any press is good press." I wonder if that is true for blogs as well. Rigged box breaks and price guide validity have been the most recent hot topics.

New Topps pricing is out and I wanted to share a current "high" price value that on one hand made me smile and on the other left me scratching my head.

This David Wright "insert" card is currently priced at $0.60-$1.50.

REALLY? I am a Mets fan and I believe that David Wright earned the MVP award despite his team's late season collapse (He hit something like .375 during that stretch). But didn't this card show up in most every pack of Topps. In loose retail packs they came with a secutity tag over his uniform and face. (I think Dayf and Joe might think those would be worth more.

I have always liked Beckett, more so when there were cool articles, a big "Readers Write" section, and glossy, card stock covers. My brother and I actually both had subscriptions, I guess we couldn't share. Now I get an online 1-month subscription about twice a year to keep current on what is out there. Here is my super-cool issue #1.

Anyway, I kept a few of these David Wright cards so if anybody needs one, I can cut you a deal!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Do You Remember Joanie Loves Chachi?

Neither do I but Lee Mazzilli sure does.
Mazzilli appeared in 130 episodes of Happy Days from 1977 to 1984 and 17 episodes of Joanie Loves Chachi from 1982-1983. At first he was able to deal with the dual role of ball-player/actor. He was an All-Star in 1977, his first year on Happy Days. He hit .303 with 15 Home Runs and 32 stolen bases.
Mazzilli went on to star in Charles in charge from 1984-1990 while he baseball career deteriorated to mostly pinch hitting and fill-in work. His career highlights include a 1986 World Championship, several young actor awards, and the honor of being banned from the Playboy mansion. Apparently Hugh didn't like him dating the girls he was also "dating".

Seriously, doesn't Lee Mazzilli look like Scott Baio. Mazzilli actually did take up acting. He performed in the Off Broadway hit, Tony n' Tina's Wedding. He now works as an analyst for the Mets cable network while Baio is on yet another reality show about himself.
My brother thinks maybe Lee took over for Scott, causing his acting career to fade. At the same time, Scott must have taken over for Lee, causing his batting average to plummet. Or are they the same person???

Saturday, April 5, 2008

4 Card Shops in 4 Days

It was on my spring break this past week. I successfully avoided lesson planning, grading, and grad school all week. I got the chance to go to FOUR card shops in Wilmington, NC and Cary, NC. I didn't spend a lot of cash but here is the lowdown on the shops:

The Hobby Box (Wilmington, NC) - All hobby boxes, all the time. Chris sells hobby boxes online and to local collectors. He is known for his many Youtube box breaks and for sewing 500 game-used relics onto a T-shirt. I bought a few game-used cards and some 10-cent cards from a shelf at the front of the shop. Check him out here.
J and S Cards (Wilmington, NC) - More of your traditional hobby shop. A few sets and singles, lots of boxes - new and old, plenty of figures, and some Nascar paraphernalia. You could actually buy single packs here. I asked about Mets from the 60's and 70's. He is going to search his storeroom for me. He doesn't do online stuff - says he is too busy running the shop. I bought a few packs.
Sportzone (Cary, NC) - Big shop, few cards. The shop owner wasn't there so I don't know what is up with that. Lots of gamer stuff. Had a few boxes sorted by team. I picked up a few Mets cards for a quarter each.Cardiacs (Cary, NC) - New guy in town. He bought out another shop and is still sorting stuff. I predict he will have the best shop around. He is willing to talk sports and does it for fun. I bought a couple of boxes of 9-pocket pages. I'll be back to buy some cards later.

WOW. 4 shops in 4 days. None were exactly what I grew up with but change is OK. Cardiacs is working on having cards for set builders past and present. That is one of the things I miss about these shops. I am not a set builder anymore but if I want to own a Lou Merloni card (I need 5 if anybody has some) I want to be able to get one.

Cards are fun but they are expensive. Time to get back to the Mets collection. The lists of needs is close to being ready.