Blog Home of IDrawBaseballCards on Twitter @mosley_mark

Monday, January 28, 2008

Catastrophe on Cardboard: Hal McRae

I was searching through cards for my next Best and Worst post when I came across this beauty that could have not possibly have a corresponding Best card to be posted with it. I can not say enough bad things about it. Hal McRae was a good ballplayer for the Reds and Royals. He must have been having a bad day!

1. 1982 Fleer: This is a bad looking set, as was 1981 and to a lesser extent 1983. Fleer got it right from 1984 to 1987 before messing it all up again in 1988. I think that the team logo should always be on the front of the card although most cards have now trended away from this practice.

2. Photography: This is not a good photograph. It is of similar picture quality as others in the set but even for a head-shot, this is terrible.

3. Cropping: Was cropping photos not an option in 1982. I am not suggesting that zooming in is a good option but at least show us some action in that space to the right of his head.

4. Helmet: Is it too small? Is it about to come off because he just motored down the line to beat the throw at first? Or does Hal lack the will to push the helmet all the way onto his head?

5. Beard: The beard is a little bit impressive! He may have spent the last year in a cave or he could be participating in the NHL playoffs. His son, Brian, did later sport an updated version of this beard of beards in the 1990's.

6. LaVar Burton: This is not actually Hal McRae. It appears to be LaVar Burton, of Roots, Star Trek:TNG, and my personal favorite, Reading Rainbow.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pete Rose: Best and Worst

Next in the series of Best and Worst is the Hit King, Pete Rose.

Pete Rose always brings up an array of emotions for us Baseball fans. I think his on-field career was remarkable, his managerial career unfortunate. He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame as a player but should not be allowed to work in Baseball.

Best Card: 1976 Topps #240

What a great card! A rare close-up shot of a serious ballplayer. Pete is sporting the chops and the flip-up sunglasses. He is thinking, "Yea, I took out Ray Fosse and I'm coming for Cobb next."

Worst Card: (Tie) 1986 True Value #4 & 1986 Woolworths #29

Same bad photo, two different bad cards. Here Pete is thinking, "Maybe I shouldn't have made that bet." or "Taxes, what taxes?" Check out the awesome graphics! See how the SUPER STAR graphic explodes from behind the peeling photo. To be fair, the TrueValue card outstars the Woolworths by a score of 23 to 2.

Got a worse Pete Rose? Email me a scan or photo at mark_mosley @

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mike Piazza: Best and Worst

I thought I would comb through my cards and share some of my Best (coolest, most valuable, or memorable) and Worst (ugliest, least valuable, or shameful) of select players.

First up is the best hitting catcher of all time, Mike Piazza. He was the best player for a long time for my favorite team, the NewYork Mets. He recently set the record for most career HR by a catcher and now he DH's for the Oakland Athletics.
Best Card: 1992 Bowman #461

It's a RC from the year that Bowman became "the home of the RC", which incidentally, is the year I stopped ever having true RC's of anyone. I really like cards of catchers with their gear on. (so he's missing his chest protector, big deal!)

Piazza was drafted in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft. Scott Erickson and Fernando Vina were selected that same year after the 40th round. The Yankees, who drafted Vina, kept drafting until the 75th round!

Worst Card: 1997 Topps Heritage #192

I understand that most 1958 Topps cards were headshots or posed action but wasn't there a better shot on that role of film. Piazza looks like a Shriner who lost that thing that hangs off the top of their hats. The color scheme would work only if he was a Miami Hurricane in college. (He attended Miami-Dade, which has had quite a baseball tradition.)

I'm sure many of you have better Piazza cards, ones with quad-patches or dual autos, but do you have one that is worse than the 2007 Topps Heritage. If so, email a scan to If I deem it more of a catastrophe on cardboard, I'll post it and give you all the credit.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

89 Topps Battle: Game Simulation

My brother, Chris, had the idea to take the squads from the previous 89 Topps Battle and have them play in an actual game. Luckily, he and I played all kinds of Baseball Board Games when we were kids. He played Sherco Baseball for about 7 years, logging every pitch and at-bat. He still has hand written career stat sheets, league leaders, and MVP voting.
We pulled out the player ratings for the 1988 season, made some lineups, and had ourselves a ballgame. Here's the Scoreheet: (click for larger view)

McMurtry won the pack battle with the flash of draftpicks, Avery and Abbott, but Langston checked his ego and gave John Tudor the start. He pitched 8 strong innings, allowing only 4 baserunners while striking out 6. Will Clark was the only player to collect 2 hits in a true pitchers' duel. McMurtry did his part by pitching 2 innings in relief with 4K's.

The drama came in the bottom of the 9th with Eric Davis at the plate. The dice were cast, needing a 45 to get a hit. One die showed 5 while the other rolled off the table. Rules say the 2nd die must be rolled again. There was a 50-50 chance of Eric Davis getting a hit. I rolled a ONE!!! STRIKEOUT to end the game!

Chris and I will continue to pit our packs against each other in actual (err...simulation) games throughout the year. We'll use a little more updated game called Diamond Mind Baseball. Updates on our current Diamond Mind season can be found here. (I manage the A's. It's gotta be my year!)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ed Brinkman

It seems that all ballplayers are studs, good looking guys who are big and fit. There are exceptions like Bartolo Colon or the ever-increasing Miguel Cabrera, but most fit this stereotype. A quick rummage through cards of the 70's shows that this wasn't always the case. Take into consideration: ED BRINKMAN.
Edwin Albert Brinkam looks like he could be your uncle or a kitchen appliance salesman from Topeka. He played for 15 seasons, was an All-Star in 1973 and won a Gold Glove in 1972 (only 7 errors at SS while playing in 156 games). He actually finished 9th in MVP voting in 1972 despite batting .203 and slugging just .279 (OPS+ of 59). His glove must have been terrific.

His poor stats at the plate can only be attributed to his batting stance, which oddly enough looks like my mother's.
They probably still "make 'em like they used to", they just don't draft them.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Speaking of Names...

The blog positively lit up (2 comments) with my Razor Shines post. I thought I would follow it up with a few other cool, odd, and unfortunate names.

Chico Salmon - 10 Chicos have played in the majors but only 4 Salmons! Tim Salmon won the Rookie-of-the-Year Award, finished in the top 10 in MVP-voting twice but never was an All-Star.

Scipio Spinks - the one and only Scipio and Spinks to play in the bigs. According to his Wikipedia page, he was tagged out at home to end his career.

Boots Day - Forget about Boots Day, read this homage to Boots Poffenberger.

DICK POLE - Richard has an unfortunate name, or does he? When listed in the Baseball Encyclopedia, his name is a little more telling. Anyway, Mr. Pole is currently the pitching caoch for the Cincinnati Reds.

In the Razor Shines post, Cincy Reds Cards Blogger reminded me of Rusty Kuntz. What's odd is, when I was a kid I thought his name was funny because I pronounced it "Rusty Nutz". He couldn't win for losin'!

Any other favorite names you'd like to share?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Razor Shines

The first set I ever collected was 1985 Donruss. I remember buying Rack Packs from the Family Dollar just because I needed one of the three cards on the top. Here is the last card I bought to complete the set:


Razor, the best name in baseball, has managed and coached in the minors for several organizations. This year, he will manage the Clearwater Threshers, Florida State League affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies.

I am 2 cards away from completing my first set since 1991. It's only the 90-card UD Masterpiece set but boy, is it a great looking set. (missing #1 and #8) Anyway, here's to Razor Shines and the satisfaction of getting that last card.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I've Been Pimped!

Big thanks to Cardboard Junkie for pimpin' the new blog.

In the Junkie's honor I will feature one of my favorite Braves Cards. You see, he is a Braves fan and I am not. Go Mets!

1974 Topps Hank Aaron
Hank is grinning from ear to ear because he is the the Home Run champ! At least for a while!

Topps used to always make Card #1 cool: World Series Champ team cards, Record Breakers, Highlights, Pete Rose, or League Leaders. In 2007, they went with John Lackey.

To tell the truth, I was once a Braves fan. Dale Murphy and Bob Horner were awesome. They hit homeruns in the first MLB game I attended. (So did Mike Schmidt) I got older and wiser and the lure of Captain Bob Horner's Restaurant Chain faded away. I still have the set of miniature team helmets I bought at the gift shop!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Goose in the Hall!

The Hall of Fame will be getting it's second Goose later this year.

This is my best card of Gossage: nice red White Sox uni, classic pitching pose (behind the batting cage).

In 1975, Gossage pitched 142 innings of relief. Rivera has topped 100 just once and Hoffman has never gone above 90. I just found out that Goose actually started in 1976, going 9-17 (15 complete games) for a bad Sox team that only won 64 games.

Rickey is a lock next year and Rice needs about 16 more votes. I love the Hall of Fame and all the debates this time of year. Bill Simmons wrote a cool article on the Hall of Fame in 2002 and Rob Neyer is great if you are an espn insider or just a stathead.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Pack Battle: 89 Topps v. 89 Topps

My brother and I each received one of those 4 packs + 100 cards boxes from our Mother for Christmas. I will let these 2 packs duke it out card for card in a pack battle for the ages. 39 cards per pack, retail price: $1:29. Pack #1 is led by Mark Langston while Pack #2 has Craig McMurtry at the helm. Here are the highlights.
Card 1: Mark Langston v. Craig McMurtry - I asked my wife who she thought was a better pitcher. She chose Langston. She was right. If only I asked her who was the better accountant. 1-0

Card 4: Scott Fletcher v. Eric Davis - Eric Davis is my all-time favorite player. He had it all: speed, power, defense, and Don Mattingly's back. Almost the first 40-40 man. 2-2

Card 9: BJ Surhoff v. Barry Larkin - Two stars of the 90's! I think Larkin is a Hall-of-Famer and Surhoff went to UNC. Barry wins. 5-4

Card 10: Cecil Fielder v. Mike Maddux - Big Cecil made a big splash when he hit 57 and has a son who can rake. Mike has a brother who is the best (clean???) pitcher of his generation. Mike wins because Cecil and Prince ain't talking. 5-5

Card 12: Tom Henke v. Ken Gerhart - Tom Henke was the man in my 1987 APBA strategy baseball game. Dan Plesac was also a nice choice! Me and my buddies always spent more time drafting teams than we did playing the games. 6-5

Card 14: Greg Briley v. Candy Sierra - Despite the sweet name Candy, Greg Briley wins in a land slide. He's an NC State guy and apparently is a major playa! 8-6

Card 17: Damon Berryhill v. Tracy Woodson - Berryhill has one of those Rookie Cups on his card. Despite the fact that this never signifies an actual rookie card, I still love 'em. The golden chalice of Topps beats out my second NCSU Wolfpacker. 9-8

Card 23: Jack Lazorko v. Spike Owen - In 1985, one of my best cards was a 1984 Fleer RC of Spike Owen. It's now worth $0.50 according to Mr.Beckett and nothing to everyone but me. 12-11

Card 25: Larry Anderson v. Kevin Bass - You might should look for Larry at a comedy club near you! 14-11

Card 28: Larry Parrish v. Bill Bene Draft Pick - I always liked RCs. Now sets like Bowman give you cards of countless players who never get the chance to play at the Major League level. Bene pitched 5 seasons in the minors, striking out over 1 an inning and walking almost as many. Who knew he would foreshadow such a change in the hobby? 15-13

Card 30: Brady Anderson v. Dodgers Leaders - The leaders card features Mike Scioscia, Steve Sax, Orel Hershiser, and a hint of Lasorda's belly. But how can you beat Topps' version of the Diamond King. I love seeing the painted on hats and the pink Cardinals unis that Topps airbrushed onto some cards. I always wondered what the photos looked like originally. 16-14

Card 34: Joe Hesketh v. Steve Avery Draft Pick - Steve Avery pitched in Durham where I now live. Despite my disdain for the Braves, I always favor guys who I saw play before they made it big. And boy did he make it big and then drop off the face of the earth. Three Hall of Fame pitchers is enough for any one team. 16-18

Card 35: Scott Bailes v. Jim Abbott Draft Pick- Another draft pick! I saw him pitch in Durham as well for Team USA. That team had Ventura, Benes, and Ty Griffen. These last two cards for McMurtry 's pack sure were sweet back in 1989. The Abbott tops the value chart at $1.00. 16-19

Card 36: John Tudor v. Ozzie Smith AS: Tudor had a good run with St.Louis but on this card he is a Dodger plus Ozzie can do this! 16-20Last Card 39: Sparky Anderson v. Ricky Jordan - Ricky Jordan rounds out a nice RC turnout:Abbott, B.Anderson, Dibble, MacFarlane, K.Miller, D.Hamilton, and Avery. Sparky still takes the final matchup. 18-21

McMurtry and his Draft Picks come through with a close 3 card win.

I sent out an advanced copy of this post and got back this response from Mel Hall.

Baseball Cards 2007

I have always enjoyed baseball cards. I spent hours of my youth pouring over my cards, organizing them, checking on their value in Beckett Magazine, collecting complete sets, and reading the STATS ON THE BACK.

In 2007 I came across the website A Pack a Day. Its a bunch of guys who enjoy baseball cards. I'm sure they love finding the super-valuable card in a pack bought at Target but I think they just enjoy them because they are cool pictures of baseball players on cardboard.

I have traded cards with Thorzul, twice with dayf, and David gave me 78 cards because he thought it would be fun. Thanks for helping me to remember how much fun baseball cards can be.

I may not be as prolific with my posts or buy as many cards as these guys but I aim to have more fun with my collection in 2008.