Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Another Unlicensed Product

You can see why Upper Deck said "no go" without an MLB license.

Further proof...

My thanks to Kevin, the Core Contrarian, for providing the Garret Anderson card and for providing the artwork for his card. He just doesn't know it. Yet.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

More Boys (and a Girl) of Summer

Last summer I posted about Bisbee's Boys of Summer baseball cards. For Christmas this last year I received another installation of them. This is the second set of three sets total. The 3" x 4" cards can be purchased at the Friends of Warren Ballpark's online store.

I don't know that I've every had a proxy signature before. Bob Henry pitched in the Minor Leagues from 1946 to 1951, never making it to the Major Leagues. He went 39-59 with a 5.63 ERA. Bob was born in either 1923 (ball card info) or 1925 ( info). He passed away in 1991.

As far as I know, Anne is still with us.

Jim "Boom-Boom" Bynon never made it out of the minors. He played for eight seasons, bouncing back and forth between class B and C clubs. He ended up with a .295 Batting Average and punched out 188 Home Runs. He passed away in 1991 at the age of 69.

Clarence Maddern was the only native of Bisbee, Arizona to make it to the Majors. He played for the Cubs and the Indians a few times. In 1948 he played 80 games with the Cubs. His baseball career ran from 1940 until 1957, with a few years off during the war. He served in Europe. He passed away in 1986 at the age of 64.

"Tuck" Stainback had a successful career in the Majors from 1934 to 1946, occasionally dropping back into the minors. He was with Bisbee in 1931 as an outfielder. He hit .315 and 7 Home Runs with the Bees that season. He passed away in 1992 at the age of 81.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

When They Were Young - Ryan Zimmerman

My inspiration...

Inspiration image lifted from the Night Owl Cards blog.

Contest Winnings - bigD Custom Card

bigD hosted a contest some time back. For some reason or another I was chosen. Karma, fate, payola, whatever. I had seen his work on other sites and was jealous. I wanted one.

Now I've got one. I asked for an Orel Hershiser. If I had won all four slots (it was possible, but improbable) I asked for four OH's, one for each of the Major League teams that he played for.

I'm not sure when this photo was taken. It was a standard shot of one of the dominant pitchers of the late 1980s. Big stretch and zing. Good placement. Try to score off of that one. Hah.

I am a Winner!

In eighth grade art class, Mr. Moran told us that we shouldn't mix fonts. Forget him. This works. Wonderfully.

Thanks a lot, bigD. This will fit in nicely with my collection.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Milestone Contest Winners announced

So, after eight entries and a weekend full of fun, I've decided to select the winner and toss the others into the randomizer to see who wins.

The rules were rather simple. Comment on one of my posts that made you smile. I would choose which one I liked the best.

Let's review...
After reviewing the choices submitted, I decided to toss out Greg's entry. You don't get to be honored and have a chance to win. Besides, I've already got a small stack of cards waiting to go out to him.

That leaves seven entries. Out of these seven, I'll have to go with the Core Contrarian for picking the post that I liked the best. The Soapbox post, to me, stands up even though it was a year ago that I posted it. I like that one a lot.

When I made the rules, I said that the winner would get a Strat-O-Matic computer game for Windows. I have no clue what type of computer Mr. Contrarian uses. If he'd like a board game version of that, I can accommodate him. Being the winner, if he'd like to opt for the books or the cards, I will also allow that.

Now, on to the remaining six entries...
  1. FanOfReds
  2. thesewingmachineguy
  3. Baseball Dad
  4. BA Benny
  5. Play at the Plate
  6. McCann Can Triple
I'll pop the numbers into the's Research Randomizer and tell it to shuffle them three times. The second and third place winners will be the first two numbers in the third set (p13 and p14).

And our consolation winners are:

McCann Can Triple and FanOfReds. I'll be emailing the winners to verify their addresses and prize selection.

Thanks all for playing. Next up will be my five favorite blog entries.

No, I don't think that I get to win anything.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dale Alexander - As a Buff

A few months ago I wrote about some players that attended Milligan College. One of them was Dale Alexander. I purchased a 1933 Goudey Dale Alexander card on ebay, then had some doubts about the authenticity of the card.

Thanks to the help that I got I have decided that the card that I purchased is authentic.

I finally got around to making a card for Dale from his playing days at Milligan. Milligan College's mascot is the Buffalo. They are affectionately called "The Buffs."

Dale Alexander Photo: Milligan College Buffalo, 1924. Archives and Special Collections, P. H. Welshimer Memorial Library, Milligan College. (Thanks to Meredith Sommers - Information Resources Librarian/College Archivist for the scanned images.)

Buffalo Clipart:

Contest Ends Today

Yep, the contest ends today. Don't forget to enter.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I Play With Dolls - Part Deux

Several months ago I sought guidance from the blogosphere. I finally got around to freeing my Orel Hershiser Starting Lineup figure. And the cards that were encased.

There aren't really any numbers for these cards. The stock is thin and flimsy. 20 years of being trapped in plastic didn't protect them well. They are curled and a bit worn.

Just for kicks, here's the back of the packaging. Big old checklist.

My work here is done.

Monday, June 14, 2010

1993 Upper Deck Virtual cards

Every so often you hear people say, "My mom threw out my cards." Topps even has an insert set devoted to the topic this year. I'm different. My mom saved my cards. I didn't have that many, but she didn't toss them. In fact, she's been known to add to my collection. She knows that I, like my father, will try and hold on to every scrap of everything that we can. Newspapers. Books. Articles clipped from newspapers. Postcards. Programs. Photos. I think that it is genetic.

A few years back she gave to me a CD that came from a box of cereal. Post brand. I finally got around to opening it. It was a 1993 Upper Deck virtual set of trading cards. I got the NL Central disc.

Pop it in the laptop and it wants to install the RealOne player. I don't think so.

I also had the option to install AOL and get over a thousand hours for free. Again, I'll pass.

Hovering the mouse over a section of the screen opened it up.

Voila. It is disc 5. With the NL Central having 6 teams, I got a bonus card. If I got all 31 virtual trading cards I could receive the actual card set from Upper Deck. I would have had to fork over $4.99 though.

I selected Prince Albert to view.

He is larger. For clarity, I've snapped and snipped just the card images for all six players. Enjoy.

You can still find these on ebay. For now, I think that I'll just stick to the FIFA Panini virtual sticker album.

Thanks, Mom.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ed McCaffrey

Ed McCaffrey was a wide receiver in the NFL, spending most of his playing years with the Denver Broncos. He was a Pro Bowler in 1998 and played in three Super Bowls.

I don't have his card. I lifted this one from an ebay auction. I'm blogging about him this morning because he's now an entrepreneur. He is a speaker, runs football camps and sells mustard. Yes, mustard.

He's sold a lot of this stuff. If you want some, go to They'll hook you up.

Back to the football camps. A lot of players lend their name to a camp. They'll show up, pass a few balls, pal around with the kids and head home. I hope that Ed does a bit more than that. Towards the end of June his camp is having a mini camp. It is the Dare to Play Football Camp for children and young adults with Down syndrome. Two days. He's also hosting a cheer leading camp for children and young adults with Down syndrome

I wish that Caroline was older and I wish that we were closer to Colorado. She'd enjoy participating in that. Either the football camp or the cheer leading camp. I'm not sure which one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Milestone Contest

I'm going to have a contest in honor of a blogging milestone. Mr. Night Owl himself recently crested the thousandth entry mark for his wonderful blog, Night Owl Cards.

I've been blogging about cards for about 17 months or so. I've got about 40 % of the posts that Greg does. But this isn't about numbers. Well, okay, it is. When I say I've got about 40 %, that means I have 401 entries. I took a moment and looked back to from where I started. January 10, 2009. By the end of that month, I posted 26 times. I received just six comments. One was from my dad and one was from someone trying offer me something in exchange for some advertising space.

But I carried on, slugging my way through what I thought was a meaningless pathway of drivel, ready to toss in the towel. Along the way there were some blogs that spoke to me. Greg was one of them. Perhaps because we used to live a few hours from each other. Perhaps because we're about the same age. Perhaps because he's just a good writer. We'll go with that last one. Greg's writing makes me smile. Oh, other bloggers elicit a similar response. You know who you are. This is Greg's post. Get a life.

So, in honor of Greg wasting hours of his life behind the keyboard and hovering over the scanner, I present a contest. But since this is my blog and I hit a much smaller milestone and I'm feeling rather vain this evening, I would like you to let me know which post of mine made you smile. If you want to let Greg know which post of his you enjoyed, you can as well.

Yes, that means you actually have to go back through some of my posts and do a bit of homework. Really, it won't be so terribly awful.

What? You want to know about the prizes? Like this isn't about me? Hah!

Well, before the prizes comes the rules.
  • Comment below with a post or a phrase from my 400 or so entries that made you smile like Willie is smiling in the above photo.
  • The contest will end on Friday, June 18th. Saturday, June 19th is right out.
  • I will select the answer that I like the best. The rest I'll toss into the randomizer for other prizes.
  • I'll ship the prizes out after July 1st. Yeah, I'm slow like that.

Now, the prizes...
  • A computer (Windows) version of Strat-O-Matic's Baseball game.
  • A few baseball books. Semi-decent ones, too.
  • A mess of cards of my choosing. Not your favorite player, not your favorite team. Unless you're lucky.
There. No bonus entries for spreading the word. No guessing the players in a photo. No trying to bribe me. Save that for Gint-A-Cuffs II.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Smokies Game Tonight

Tonight I took the kids to Smokies Park. The Smokies were playing the Huntsville Stars. We were guests of Knoxville Pediatric Cardiology's Heart to Heart support group.

In the first, outfielder Tony Campana made it to third. Manager Bill Dancy coaches. Campana went 2 for 3 tonight.

Outfielder Ty Wright takes a big cut. Ty went 1 for 4. The Smokies got two runs in the first inning.

Tennessee's Craig Muschko drills one in. Muschko pitched 6 innings, gave up 1 earned run, 6 hits, 1 walk, and got 8 Ks. After six innings the score stood 3-2 in favor of the Smokies.

It was late and loud so we left at the bottom of the fifth.

In 1957 and 1958 the Smokies were part of the Oriole's farm system. This one's for Beardy.

From 1959 to 1964 they switched allegiance to the Tigers. This one's for Kevin and sons (Louis and Alex (who doesn't blog so much anymore)).

At many minor league games they have a player signing before the games. Not near the dugout, but right up near the Dippin' Dots stand. Tonight was Luke Sommer.

Quoting from tonight's Smokies' game notes insert sheet:
Luke Sommer hasn't allowed a run in his first three Tennessee appearances. Sommer, who joined the Smokies from Daytona last week, has pitched in three and two-thirds innings, allowing only three hits while walking one batter and striking out two. Yesterday, Sommer pitched a scoreless ninth against the 2-3-4 hitters for the Stars, inducing three groundouts.

He was kind enough, after signing two tickets, to take a photo with Caroline.

Bonus image... Luke Sommer's 2009 Choice Single A card.

Other people that are important in tonight's game. Dr. Jennings and his lovely wife, Marianne.

Dr. Jennings, Caroline, Jackson, Bryan Cox, and Smokies' General Manager, Brian Cox.

The Smokies fell to the Stars, 6-4. The Smokies are just a half game ahead of the West Tennessee DiamondJaxx. I have faith in them. They'll do well.

Thanks, Dr. Jennings (and yes, I know that I can call him Jeff, but this is a public forum and I'd like to show some public respect) and Marianne for hosting this fun event.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Heatin' Up The Summer

1992 was the last year for the Knoxville team to be called the Knoxville Blue Jays. Before becoming the Blue Jays in 1980 they were the Knoxville Sox, starting in 1972, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. They later became the Knoxville Smokies and are now the Tennessee Smokies.

I found this year book and ticket for a whopping 25¢. Yearbooks are always nice, because they give stats, photos and sometimes a bit of history. I hit the bonus on this one, for it had three signatures.

On page 37 they stand out against the scorecard and a Paramount U-li-ka cleaner ad.

First up is Garth Iorg. Garth was the manager in 1992. He spent nine seasons in the majors, all with Toronto.

Nigel Wilson. #30. Nigel was the #2 pick in the 1992 Expansion Draft. The Marlins kept him for a few years, then off to Cincy and then off to Cleveland.

Mike McAlpin was a scout and then a coach. Don't know what happened to him.

Maybe I should make my own cut auto cards.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Where Jim Joyce erred

You've all seen it. It has been the talk around the water cooler. First base umpire Jim Joyce made a call in the ninth inning of the Detroit-Cleveland game Wednesday night. He called the batter, Jason Donald, safe on what seemed to be a simple put-out. The fans booed, the players screamed, Twitter was ablaze.

So, what did Jim Joyce do that was so wrong?

When in doubt, look to the rules.

Official Rules of Major League Baseball

9.02 (b)
If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire’s decision may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made. Such appeal shall be made only to the umpire who made the protested decision.

The Tigers' manager, Jim Leyland, made such an appeal to Joyce. The way that I read the rules, the manager and the players have no more recourse. The call stands. The game continues.

Joyce did the right thing. He called it as he saw (or heard) it. At that moment. Without the help of video replay.

Let's review the timeline.

Two outs in the ninth inning. A perfect game is on the line. It has only been about an hour and forty minutes. A quick game. Things are moving along at a good clip. Joyce knows that there are two outs. Donald pokes the ball up between first and second. Cabrera shifts, handles the ball. Armando Galarraga moves toward first. Donald is running at full speed towards first. Joyce turns his attention from Cabrera to first base. The throw comes in to Galarraga. Donald's foot hits the bag. Did Galarraga's foot hit it as well? Did the pitcher have the ball securely in his glove? Which came first, Donald touching the bag, or the ball in to the glove? Joyce wondered for a split second and declared the runner safe. He made the call that he thought was correct.

But he had to have seen the look on Galarraga's face. He must have heard the crowd's reaction. Miguel Cabrera had to have started his tirade just after adjusting himself. And he listened to Leyland talk for a few seconds.

Then, from what I understand, the game continued.

Here's where Jim Joyce erred. He made another decision. He ignored rule 9.02 (c)...

9.02 (c)
If a decision is appealed, the umpire making the decision may ask another umpire for information before making a final decision. No umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire’s decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it.

He could have taken a few minutes to confer with the rest of the officiating crew.
Hey, Marvin. Jim. Derryl. Come over here. I got a question. Can we mill around a bit? The call I just made, the bang-bang one? I kicked the [beep] out of it. I take pride in this job, and I kicked the [beep] out of that and I took a perfect game away from that kid over there who worked his [beep] off all night. What do you say, guys? I made the wrong call, didn't I? I thought so. Thanks.
He walks back towards first, puts his thumb up and shouts, "Out!"

Game over. Joyce only loses face for a few moments. Players and fans forget it in the midst of celebration. There's a beer shower in the clubhouse. The ball is tagged and sent to Cooperstown.

But that's not the way it happened. You saw it. You talked about it. It didn't happen that way.

Postscript: Joyce and Galarraga hugged. Things are good between them. Galarraga got a Vette. In the grand scheme of things the call really doesn't matter.

Photo credit: Paul Sancya at