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Sunday, February 24, 2008


Cecilio is grimacing because he has just thrown off his hand. You can just make out the mangled nub and a haze of shattered hand innards.
Impressively, Guante pitched for another 6 seasons after this horrific injury. He was a slightly above average pitcher for 9 seasons and paved the way for handless pitcher, Jim Abbott.
The Yankees traded Doug Drabek for Guante in 1987. They also traded JT Snow for Abbott in 1992. If Johan Santana was missing a few digits, the Yankees may have pulled the trigger on a deal with the Twins!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Getting Paid with Cards!

When I was a kid, my brother and I would appraise cards for people my dad knew who collected cards. Our reward was getting to see a lot of cool cards and getting all the doubles as payment!!!

No one ever had 2 Mickey Mantles but I have a nice collection of cards from 1969-1974 for my trouble, including this Dave Winfield RC:
There was always one big prize card in each collection we appraised. We alternated who picked first each collection and this card was an obvious first choice. Dave Winfield was a superstar whose rookie season was sooooo old. It may have been my best rookie card until I pulled a Pujols Topps Stars RC a few years ago. I was always impressed that Winfield was drafted by teams in the MLB, NFL, NBA, and ABA. I once missed seeing one of his homeruns at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore because we could not find a parking space. He was rounding the bases when we walked in.

We would log every card for our "clients": year, brand, player name, number, condition, and Beckett value. All on notebook paper. I would gladly do this again if anyone ever asked.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Best and Worst: Kenny Lofton

Kenny Lofton had a pretty good 40-year old season in 2007. He has had a long and impressive career bouncing from team to team, always coiming back to the Indians every few years. Lofton hit .375 during the ALDS versus the Yankees and helped Cleveland reach the American League Championship Series.

Best Card: 1991 Upper Deck Final #24F
Kenny was a stand-out basketball player in college. He made it to the Final Four, as back-up behind Steve Kerr, and to the Sweet Sixteen as a starter the following year. He came to NC State University to play in a charity basketball game with other Major League players. I paid $20 to get autographs from players who were there: Brian Barnes, Tracy Woodsen, Lenny Harris, Lee Smith, Kenny Lofton, and others. All the players were happy to be signing for a good cause and were gracious with the fans.

My only complaint about this card is that it actually looks like Dikembe Mutombo.

Worst Card: 2002 Upper Deck Diamond Connection #592

If Kenny doesn't pay attention, he's going to run into that foil Upper Deck logo. Oops...too late. It looks like he is running from that grey haze on the left. And what position does it say he lays in the upper right. Oh yea, he plays "f". All they needed to do was reverse all the graphics and it would be a perfectly acceptable Kenny Lofton common.

Anybody have a worse Kenny Lofton card? Send me a scan at

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Best and Worst Redux: Piazza

Cliff, who just started Capewood's Collections, sent this scan as his contender for Worst Piazza card.

It isn't as ugly as this one, but there is definitely some ugly stuff going on. This Astro runner may have been safe, but he will be OUT for a while! Ouch!!!

Maybe Piazza just lost his concentration because all of that gold foil!

Got a worse Piazza or a worse Rose? Send me a scan!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bush and Giuliani are Nothing New

There has been an awful lot of trading card buzz around politics these days. Presidents, Presidential candidates, and the Mick seem to be showing up a lot on the fronts of baseball cards where current ballplayers used to be. Topps and Upper Deck are fighting for supremacy and control over our collectible dollars. Inserts and relics just won't do anymore.

But this is nothing new. Topps has been pulling these stunts for 30 years.
Check out this 1971 Topps Jim Fregosi card!
I didn't know Tricky Dick was an Angels fan!
Editor's note: I was going to pluralize Fregosi, but Fregosis seemed like some rare skin disease that I wanted no part of.
Hope you enjoy the card!

Do You Remember Mark Davis?

I remember Mark Davis. He pitched great in 1989. His ERA+ was 192. He was an All-Star, won the Cy Young and finished in the top-10 in MVP voting. (He never received another vote for either award in any other year. ) Despite being a reliever, Davis' Rookie Cards went up to about $5.00. My brother and I both asked for Mark Davis RC's that Christmas. He appears with Ozzie Virgil, and Bob Dernier on a 1982 Topps card. It is hard to say who was the best out of the trio. I suppose Davis gets the nod because of the Cy Young hardware but Ozzie matched his All-Star appearances with 2 and Dernier showed in the MVP voting in 1984. Both Virgil and Dernier appeared in the post-season while Davis did not. Who would you take Mark Davis or Virgil and Dernier?This is one of only about 5 1984 Donruss that I have ever owned. The Mattingly RC from that set was one of the "cards I will never own" along with anything from 1984 Fleer Update. Now any card with the words "refractor" or "sterling" fit that description.

Here's to relief pitcher RCs and to 1984 Donruss!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Best of the Best

I have been posting some rough looking cards so I thought I would go all out and share my best card.

I bought this card when I was 10 years old at Tom's Coins and Antiques in New Bern, NC. I think I paid $35 for it. I wanted an old cigarette card and was happy to get one of the best pitchers ever to play the game. Christy Mathewson was one of the first five inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame.

I will never have the card graded but I assume it would be a 1. No matter, it's my favorite card and probably always will be. I just got the book, The Card, about the famous Honus Wagner card and look forward to reading it this summer.

Now my second favorite card is a 1987 Pat Sheridan, but I'll save that for a later post!