Monday, October 31, 2011


In the past I've entered a holiday card creation contest or two. This year I didn't. But I did find a nice photo of David 'Boo' Ferris in an issue of LIFE magazine.  I cranked it through the old paint dot net machine and this popped out.

For other Halloween fun, take a peek at my friend Ken Begg's review of the animated classic: It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown…Worship It Before It Destroys You.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Cards from the Night Owl

Sometime back, Greg sent me some cards from my Hershiser wantlist.  Since life gets in the way for me, I finally made some time and scanned a few more in.  You might recognize the first one from the Night Owl's post.  But I go a step beyond and show the back.

1986 Fleer Star Stickers
Orel Hershiser (card # 58)

I guess that Topps Tiffany cards were the refractors before refractors were refractors.  They don't refract so much as they just are really glossy.  You can't really see it in the scan, but it is a high sheen (no, not Charlie) similar to a midnight blue Olds 442 straight off the showroom floor.

1987 Topps Tiffany
Orel Hershiser (card # 385)

The cardstock seems to have been bleached or is a higher grade as well. Look at that white. Not too long.  You'll hurt your eyes.

Thanks, Greg, for letting me keep stringing this blog along.  I might have another few posts by the end of the year.

According to Zistle, I have 402 different Orel Hershiser cards.  I also have about 88 different Orel Hershiser cards that I'm willing to trade.  That means dupes, people.  See my Zistle Tradelist (then sort by player).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

2003 Upper Deck Play Ball Reprints - Charley Gehringer

A year and a half ago I featured some of these cards.  This one was sitting in my draft folder.  So it gets featured today.  Not often do you get to see bunting and a full swing on a card.

2003 Upper Deck Play Ball Reprints
Charley Gehringer - Card # R-11 (originally # 19)

This card of the Hall of Famer evokes a quieter, simpler time.  His stats are impressive and there are many anecdotal stories floating around.  One is that Mickey Cochrane, fellow player (from 1934 to 1937) and his manager (from 1934 to 1938) said: "He says hello on opening day and good-bye on closing day, and in between he hits .350."

Actually, in 1935 Charley's BA was a paltry .330 and in 1938 it dropped to a horrendous .308.  He ended up his 19 seasons with a .320 BA in over 10,200 plate appearances.  Not bad for the six time All-Star and 1937 MVP.

I would have liked to have seen him play.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Canadian Baseball Humour

Wayne and Shuster, a Canadian comedy duo, first performed this now classic bit in 1958. I think that it still holds up.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Scheduling Issues

I've been a bit of a slacker. I haven't been consistent in my blogging. Well, I guess I have. Consistently not blogging.

I'll show some schedules of two local teams.

Knoxville Ice Bears

Tennessee Smokies

So, somewhere along the way, you might have asked yourself, w"Why hasn't Mark been blogging lately?"  I could say that I just haven't felt it, that I've been too busy, that I'm easily distracted by small, shiny objects.  All of these, and more, would be true.

What I have been doing is attending my son's high school football games.  He plays starting Center and starting DL for The King's Academy Lions.  Edison is #51.

TKA at Oakdale HS
October 14, 2011
Lions won, 21-12

The team travels to Chattanooga on Friday to play the Riverside Christian from Fayetteville, TN, at a neutral site.  That neutral site just happens to be Finley Stadium, home of the University of Tennessee - Chattanooga Mocs.  TKA started out the season playing at Neyland Stadium, home of the University of Tennessee Volunteers.  Finley is about one fifth the seating capacity of Neyland.  Both are much larger than the field at TKA.  Here are some screen shots from Google Maps.

TKA Football Field

Finley Stadium - UTC

Neyland Stadium - UTK

In other news, we had a very nice time at the Buddy Walk a week and a half ago.

World's Fair Park

And I've been having fun doing some old timey research.  I'm looking into the 1915-1917 Tri-Copper League in Arizona.  I've also been gathering data and photos of early baseball at Johnson Bible College and some of their opponents.  If you visit my Old Knoxville Baseball blog you'll see that I haven't been blogging on a regular basis over there.

I've been updating a few entries at the SABR Encyclopedia of Baseball, or SABRpedia as it is known.

I'm so far behind on reading card blogs that I haven't commented on a post that Night Owl did last month that specifically mentioned me.  I have cards to scan and post that came in trades.  I've got a few packages assembled to send out, but haven't made it to the post office.  I have emails from fellow bloggers that I need to answer.  I hang my head in shame.

I haven't even made any World Series predictions.  I'll take care of that now.  I'd like to see the Cards win it in 7.  Generally I'm a National League guy.  I like Pujols.  I need to start reading his biography.  It is sitting next to my bed.  Since my wife gave it to me for Father's Day I've read several others.  Sorry dear. See, I've resorted to communicating with her via this blog.   I don't think that she even reads this blog anymore.

I'll try to do better.  Maybe the World Series will get me back in the groove.  Maybe I'll read a time management book and deal with my scheduling issues.  Maybe not.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Since October of 1981, the Down syndrome community has been celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

The National Down Syndrome Society has issued a press release.  I share a part of it here:
This October, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) invites the country to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in recognition of the many achievements and abilities of people with Down syndrome. 
Down syndrome is the most commonly occurring genetic condition, one in every 733 live births is a baby born with Down syndrome, and it is the most commonly occurring chromosomal condition. Advancements in education, research and advocacy have had a tremendous impact on the opportunities that individuals with Down syndrome have to live healthy and fulfilling lives. People with Down syndrome attend school, work, participate in decisions that affect them, and contribute to society in many wonderful ways.
I wrote a post last year about this time.  Similar post this time, with updated photos.

First day of school

Caroline is my daughter. She has Down syndrome. She's seven years old. She's in first grade and loves to read.  Last week she got a 111 on her written spelling test.  She knew all the words.  She got bonus points for using capitalization and punctuation correctly.

She's got a great sense of humor and loves to play pranks.  She's involved in the children's choir at church.  They're getting ready for their Christmas program.

She wants to play in the annual Hoops for Hope fundraiser for DSAG, but she's still too young.  This year, Pat Summit was able to attend part of the festivities, along with the Vols and Lady Vols basketball teams.
2011 Hoops for Hope

Yes, Greg, I included this shot for you.
Caroline as the Night Owl at the Knoxville Zoo

Caroline at a Smokies game
Caroline's best buddy, Grandma.  This was on the Fourth of July holiday.
Grandma and Caroline on Lake Loudon

Caroline at Emily's wedding
She's a normal kid.  Except that she has three copies of the 21st chromosome. On Sunday my family will be walking on her behalf at the Buddy Walk sponsored by the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee.

This is where I go all selfish dad-like. If you'd like to be a part of Caroline's team, please visit her pledge page.

I haven't had to climb up on my respect soapbox lately.  For that, I deeply thank you.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Harold "Red" Grange cards and such

About two and a half years ago I did an interview with Red Grange's caretaker.  This summer the family and I went back to Wheaton for a weekend.  I made arrangements to have David B. Malone to give Edison and I a private tour of the Archives and Special Collections.

The photos mostly concentrate on the Harold "Red" Grange Collection.  Other photos from the Archive can be found here.

Since this is primarily a sports card blog, I'll start with cards.

Misc. cards in the collection

From the collection description:
Sub-Series 13: Sports Cards
Box 37
Item 1: All American. #27, Harold "Red" Grange, Quarterback -- Illinois. no date
Item 2: Hall of Fame, Football Greats. #5 Harold "Red" Grange., 1989
Item 3: U of I, Illinois Football: 100 Years of Distinction. #1-45., 1990
Item 4: NFL Pro Set. Red Grange -- Chicago Bears., 1991
Item 5: Hall of Fame, #1-160. #49, Harold "Red" Grange., 1991
Item 6: Sports Illustrated for Kids. #322, Harold (Red) Grange., 1991
Item 7: The Coca-Cola Collection. Series 4, Red Grange., 1995
Item 8: Hall of Fame Art Series #12, 1989
Item 9: Sport Kings Gum – No. 4, Harold “Red” Grange (reprint), 1986

1926 Shotwell card #3

Cards are just one small part of the collection.

"Red" Grange football jersey

Red Grange Card Checklist (not complete):
1926 Exhibit Red Grange One Minute (green)
1926 Exhibit Red Grange One Minute (in sweater)
1926 Shotwell Ad-backed set (1-12)
1926 Shotwell Blank-backed set (1-24)
1926 Spaulding Champions #15
1928 anonymous candy #10
1930 Rogers Peet #31
1933 Diamond Matchbooks
1933 Goudey Sport Kings #4
1934 Diamond Matchbooks
1935 R31-2 National Chicle Premiums #4
1935 Wheaties Fancy Frames #4
1935 Shotwell Blank backs (1-12)
1937 Mayfair Candies #6
1937 Mayfair Candies #17
1937 Doughnut Corporation of America
1941 Gridior Greats Blotters #1
1955 Topps All-American #27
1974 Fleer Hall of Fame #15
1975 Fleer Hall of Fame #4
1977 Touchdown Club #1
1977 Sportscaster #06-13
1988 Swell Greats #42
1989 Swell Great #5
1990 Illinois Centennial #1
1990 Illinois Centennial #30
1990 Swell Great #5
1991 ENOR Pro Football HOF #49
1991 Pro Set #PSS2
1991 Pro Set #856
1991 Sports Illustrated for Kids #322
1994 Ted Williams Path to Greatness #PG2
1995 Coca Cola Sports Favorites (Series 4) #SF-3
2001 Topps Archive #89
2001 Topps Archives Reserve #89
2002 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads #TT-2 (#d/75)
2003 Donruss Elite Throwback Threads
2003 Donruss Gridiron Kings #173
2003 Donruss Gridiron Kings Silver #173
2003 Donruss Gridiron Kings Gold #173
2003 Donruss Gridiron Kings Heritage Collection #HC23
2003 Donruss Gridiron Kings Silver #173
2003 Gridiron Kings #173
2003 Gridiron Kings Heritage Collection #HC23
2004 Leaf Limited #139 (#d/799)
2005 Leaf Limited #139 (#d/599)
2006 Donruss Classics #259
2006 Donruss Classics Timeless Triples Bronze #8 Thorpe/Clark/Grange (#d/1000)
2006 Donruss Classics Timeless Triples Silver #8 Thorpe/Clark/Grange (#d/250)
2006 Donruss Classics Timeless Triples Gold #8 Thorpe/Clark/Grange (#d/100)
2006 Leaf Limited #148
2006 Leaf Limited Bronze Spotlight #148
2006 Leaf Limited Silver Spotlight #148
2006 Playoff National Treasures #27 (#d/125)
2007 Leaf Limited #178 (#d/249)
2007 Playoff National Treasures All Decade Cuts #1
2007 Playoff National Treasures #88 (#d/100)
2007 Playoff National Treasures Silver Parallel #88
2007 Playoff National Treasures Gold Parallel #88
2007 Playoff National Treasures Platinum Parallel #88
2008 Donruss Classics #114
2008 Donruss Classics Timeless Tributes Bronze #114
2008 Leaf Limited #106 (#d/499)
2008 Leaf Limited Silver Spotlight #106 (#d/99)
2008 Upper Deck Icons Immortal Lettermen Parallel #RG1
2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces #72
2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Framed Black #72
2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Preview #MPP9
2010 Plates and Patches Gridiron Cuts #16
2011 Tristar Obak #3

Not directly related to "Red" Grange but still interesting.  David shared the story on the Archives' blog earlier this year.

Early local scorecard that was later used as a scrapbook
part of the Charles Blanchard papers

David, in his office, having a ball

Thanks, David, for your time and your friendship.