Friday, July 31, 2009

BEST: 3rd Base

The hot corner stirs some debate. Brooks Robinson is the best defensive 3rd baseman of all time, but does that get him in the top 3? No one mentioned Bill Mazeroski when debating 2nd Base! Here's my list:

3. Chipper JonesIt was either Chipper or Mathews. You can't have 2 braves in the top 3. 1 MVP, 6 Top-Tens, led the Braves to the playoffs from '95 to '05, lifetime .310/.407/.545, 421 HR, 145 OPS+, hit so well in Shea that he named his kid after the stadium. Larry has had a great career.

2. George Brett13 straight All-Star teams, 1 MVP, 3000+ hits, .309 lifetime average, 135 OPS+, hitting .390 in 1980, Only 1 Ring but he hit .337 in the postseason, and he used a healthy amount of pine tar.

1. Mike Schmidt3 MVPs, 9 top tens, 10 Gold Gloves, 548 HR, 1500+ RBI, 1 Ring. He's Brooks Robinson Lite in the field AND Mickey Mantle with the bat. Choosing Schmidt at number 1 was possibly the easiest choice so far.

Others considered:
Wade Boggs: 12 straight All-Star teams, 3000+ hits, lifetime .328 avg and .418 obp, 130 OPS+, batted over .350 five times, 1 Ring (oddly enough, it was as a Yankee)

Eddie Mathews: 143 OPS+, 512 HR

Brooks Robinson: 15 straight All-Star teams, 16 straight Gold Gloves, 1 MVP & 7 top-10 MVPs, 2 Rings. With the bat, he was essentially Rusty Staub (who was better than you might think) You can't hit .267/.322/.401 and be the best ever! Bill James rates Ron Santo ahead of Brooks Robinson.

Current players who could be in the conversation:
David Wright: He's 26, has 4 All-Star games, 3 top-tens in MVP, 2 questionable Gold Gloves. He's the face of the Mets. Too bad Citi Field has sucked all his power away.

Evan Longoria: He's 23, ROY, 2 All-Star teams, the sky is the limit

Alex Rodriguez: When he has played more games at the hot corner than at short, he'll go up in the ranks for sure.

It's on the the outfield next. But not before a little more Tito love!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I need addresses!

Hey blog world. I need some assistance completimg my Giveaway #2. I can't find contact info for the following people:

Need an email and/or address

Zpop (Nationals)
Alex (Reds & Yankees)
Groo the Wanderer (NY Clankees!)
Mr.Derek (a few Football cards)
Travis (Ortiz, Ellsbury, etc)
Jeff Pedersen (Cubs, Sandberg, Grace)
Steve Maitlin
(motivation to collect)

More packages are on their way! Thanks for your help.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

BEST: Shortstop

Shortstop is an interesting position. In little league, its where all the best players play (while they are not pitching or occasionally roaming center field). And for a while, it was where weak bats with outstanding gloves played. And then there was ARod/Jeter/Garciaparra. With a few exceptions, SS has once again become a light hitting position in the big leagues. Here are my picks for the best Shortstops in history:

3. Cal RipkenRipken broke the light-hitting shortstop mold of the 70's. He could hit. And was underrated as a fielder. He threw the ball so effortlessly to first. He went to 19 straight All-Star games, won 2 MVPs, and ROY. He hit 431 HRs and had over 3000 hits. And there was the games played streak. Not bad for a the number three spot.

2. Alex RodriguezYou might call foul on this one for a variety of reasons. He has played more games at SS than at 3rd base. He also won 2 Gold Gloves for the two seasons prior to coming to the Yankees. He should be playing shortsop right now instead of that Jeter guy. He has won 3 MVPs, 9 top 10's in MVP voting, and 12 All-Star selections. He has a career OPS+ of 147 and 570 HR and counting. I hate that he did steroids but I can't leave him off my list because of it. I may have sub-consciously dropped him from the top spot because of them (or it may have been all those games at 3rd base). I figure he will be the most controversial pick.

1. Honus Wagner
To many collectors, Wagner is simply the face on the most famous sports card ever. He was a great player. He batted .327, with a .391 OBP, and an OPS+ of 150 for his career. He did play in the teens, but he ranks in the top 10 in career hits, doubles, triples, and stolen bases. Rodriguez is hot on his heels for the top spot but maybe not as a shortstop. Wagner was too good to be ignored.

Others in the conversation:

Cap'n Jeter
- Jeter is a fantastic player. He will certainly reach 3000 hits, all in pinstripes. His 4 rings and .304 postseason average will take him straight to Cooperstown. But he is not the best shortstop on his own team. Sorry Yankee fans.

Arky Vaughn
- Second best shortstop of his era behind Honus Wagner.

Today:

Hanley Ramirez - He's the only current SS that can even be considered. He is 25 and has won a ROY and followed it with 2 outstanding seasons. He is playing even better this year. His average is up, strikeouts are down, and his power numbers are holding steady. Too bad he is stuck in Florida. Ramirez doesn't get the credit he deserves. I don't think he'll be top-three all-time but you never know. He certainly has the potential.

As usual, what do you think?

Oh yea, SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS FOR THE GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tito Fuentes (1972) x2

Send your address if you requested cards in the giveaway!!!

I know that ALL of you have been anxiously awaiting the next Tito Fuentes post and here it is. This time you are lucky enough to get double the Tito, thanks to the In Action cards featured in 1972 Topps. We'll start with the regular card #427:1972 Topps is as 7o's a design as you can get. GIANTS explodes from the top of the card, along with a few stars. The colored borders are almost psychodelic. Tito is wearing a collared, warm-up jacket under his uniform. Wonder why no one wears these anymore? I think I could probably come up with a few reasons. He is posing as a lefthanded batter. (He is a switch-hitting right-hander. Solid fake posing from Mr.Fuentes.

Tito was featured on card #428 as well:
This card deserves the a Dinged Corners' special rating. Tito is mid-air. He has just jumped over or fell over an opposing runner. There is a whole section of relaxed fans in the stands.

And now: STATS ON THE BACK!!!
Here's what we learn:
1.Fuentes had an excellent 1971 season in San Francisco. 172 hits, a 273 avg, and 28 doubles.
2. Minor league stats back to 1962. He started playing pro ball at age 18. I'm still impresses by his epic 1965 season in Tacoma.
3. A "duster" is a pitch thrown at a batter's head. This fun factoid is accompanied by a cartoon of a ballplayer actually dusting with a feather duster. How clever!

More fun Tito facts on the back of the In Action card?What? This is OUTRAGEOUS! Rick Wise info polluting the sacred card back of hero Tito Fuentes. We do learn that Wise threw a no-no while blasting not one, but two homeruns to help himself. The odd thing is that Wise has his own IA card in 1972 Topps. The IA backs contained season highlights, league leaders, and puzzle pieces. As possibly the only Tito Fuentes collector, the lack of new Titonean knowledge is more than a little disappointing. Kudos to Rick for his impressive 1971 highlight. Boo Topps for the slight to Mr.Fuentes.

Stay tuned for more Tito Fuentes! AND SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS. 19 packages shipped today!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Not Immune to the A & G Frenzy: Retail Edition

My brother has recently agreed to split a box of 09 Topps Allen & Ginter. You may have heard from other bloggers that this set is now available. In fact, you may have heard it from ALL bloggers. My brother and I split a box last year and had loads of fun busting it, laughing about the strange mix of cards, and trading for our favorites. We even made our money back by selling the Serena Williams autographed card we pulled.

I decided to jump the gun a little when I saw retail packs available at Target. I was pleased with the results. Here are the 3-pack highlights:
Pack 1
100 Ichiro (Yea, he's like Prince, Madonna, and McLovin. He only needs 1 name.)112 Millito Navarro - Negro League Star (I love these. I might have to collect 'em.)
312 AJ Burnett SP (He was on my simulation league team for many years.)
Mini 196 Joey Votto A&G Back (Votto deserves the Jay Bruce love)

Pack 2
7 John Smoltz (Shouldn't he be playing at Turnberry this week?)
228 Simpson/Bunker (I like some of the oddities, but this ain't one of the ones I like. I need that Pi card)
310 Old Faithful SP (Good trade bait)
NP7 Larry Jones (He won't be calling his next child Citi. HAH!)

Pack 3
89 Elvis Andrus (RC) (A kid named Elvis. Sweet!)
Mini 75 David Wright Black Border (Don't you love it when you get a special mini of a player you really like. And those black borders look especially cool this year.)

3 packs - 2 SPs, 2 A&G backs, 1 black border, and an Ichiro. Not too bad.

DON'T FORGET TO SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS FOR GIVEAWAY #2.
First packages go out next week.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Don't Call It a Comeback

I been here for days
Readin' the blog page
Still in a Europe haze
Hope this is only a phase

Thanks to LL for that. I am back from Europe, working on putting together packages for the overwhelming number of responses to my giveaway offer. IF YOU REQUESTED CARDS, PLEASE EMAIL ME YOUR ADDRESS. My email address can be found on my profile page. This would help me out tremendously.

Meanwhile, there was a package in my stack of mail when I returned. It was from Ed over at Roll Out the Barrel. I had a Dave Bush Gold card that only he wanted so I sent it to him with a few Brewers from his want list. He sent me these WAY better cards:

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Dave WinfieldThat leaves only 1 card left to complete the set. I still need #101 Cal Ripken SP.

1985 Topps Dwight GoodenDoc was so good in the 80's. He is definitely one of the reasons I am a Mets fan. It certainly isn't because of their stellar play on the field or GM decisions off the field as of late. Here's hoping Frenchy will put a hurtin' on the Braves this week.

2008 Goudey SPs I simply love this 2008 Goudey set. Fellow collectors have been more than generous helping me collect it little by little. These Yankee SPs are much appreciated. You can help me more by checking my 08 Goudey want list. (Note: that white thing on ARod's face is a printing mistake.)

2009 O-Pee-Chee NY, NY Daniel MurphyPretty nice looking view of old Shea Stadium. I would be happy to give any of these a home. Last year was the final seasons in both Shea & Yankee Stadiums. I have heard many radio personalities speak of how the Mets badly needed a new home but the Yankees did not. I went to both stadiums last year and let me tell you, both were dumps. Yankee stadium was simply the site of old Yankee Stadium. In the 1970's, they turned it into just another stadium of the time like Veterans, Three Rivers, and Shea.

Thanks Ed, for these and the other cards you sent my way. I will get all the packages out over the next few weeks as long as I get everyone's address. Thanks and it's good to be home.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Giveaway #2

I'm off to Europe with my better half for 10 days. We will be spending time in London, Paris, and Rome. We have been saving nickels and dimes for quite a few years to make this trip. When I return, I'll be doing a follow-up to my giveaway from late last year. I'm trying to reduce the ol' collection some more so I am ready to send out more cards.

Just leave a comment with what team you are looking for. You can also leave some brief preferences such as:

1. I have all flagship Topps cards since the dawn of man, so don't send me any.
2. The sight of 1988 Donruss makes me hurl.
3. Cap'n Crunch is a cereal, not a card brand.
4. Anything but Canseco and that Miller kid. Who collects those guys?
5. Please burn all Braves cards so as to not pollute collections across the country.
6. I only collect Astros with pinstripes and mustaches.
etc, etc, etc

You get the point. I will be sending out 50-300 cards per request. If you choose a team that was not chosen last time, you might end up with 800 cards (ex. Giants, Angels, A's, etc) This is a great chance for you to start or build upon your team collection. If you would like to send cards in return, there are 3 options:

1. Send as many cards off of my want list as you care to ship.
2. Send one card of your choice.
3. Send nothing and enjoy!

Tell your friends and neighbors. I'll do my best to accommodate.