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My goodness what a game last night. It actually changed my plans for the evening. After a late night for game three, I knew I couldn’t do two late nights in a row. So, last night made sense to call it early. If the Sox lost game four, I ...
My goodness what a game last night. It actually changed my plans for the evening. After a late night for game three, I knew I couldn’t do two late nights in a row. So, last night made sense to call it early. If the Sox lost game four, I certainly didn’t want to watch them do it. And, I could catch game five and get to see them play again. If the Sox won, I could get the result on the news in the morning, and get ready for Saturday. But, either way I could get some sleep.I figured I’d just watch a few innings first. Oops.I couldn’t stop. The pitchers kept tossing zeroes. The teams kept squandering chances. By the time the Rays took the lead, I was vested. I knew I wasn’t going anywhere. I’m certainly glad I decided to stick it out. While I was watching the game, I realized who Joe Maddon reminded me of. No, not Carl Fredricksen (although he does). It’s Jimy Williams. Remember Jimy? Used to make move after move just for the sake of making moves, and he got credit for great managing when it worked out? But, if you looked into it deeper, it wasn’t usually his move that worked out. He’d pinch hit for a guy in a one run game, and he would reach base on an error. Then, he’d pinch run for him. Then Manny would hit a two run homer. Williams would be credited for making all the right moves to lead to the big inning. But, if you really looked at it, the guy he pinch hit should have been out, and the pinch runner didn’t matter because of the home run trot. I get the same feeling with Maddon. He’ll pinch hit for guys. He’ll lose his DH. He’ll have his starters go one inning. And, if the Rays don’t blow it, he gets credit for making all these great moves. But, the guy he pinch hit for made an out. He didn’t need to lose the DH first if he wanted to pinch hit the back-up catcher. And, if he wanted to get his starter out after an inning, just have the other guy start in the first place. But, he made all the moves. He managed all over the place. So, he must be a genius.Thankfully that doesn’t matter anymore. The Sox got past the Rays, and now are in the familiar position of waiting to see who they get to host in the playoffs. Once again they will be rested and in order while the other team will need to play an extra game. Once again the Sox can sit and wait as the other teams burn through pitchers just for the chance to come to Boston. In this case, it looks like both Justin Verlander and Bartolo Colon will be rendered unusable for the weekend because they have to pitch tomorrow. That’s a pretty nice advantage for the AL East Champs. Once again, the Sox hope the game goes about 19 innings.Another nice thing that happened last night was pinch hitting Xander Bogaerts. I’m not one of those people who have been screaming for him to replace Drew in every game against a lefty. But, chances are at some point the kid will need to be in a tight spot. Being able to get him in a couple of those last night was a wonderful luxury. Hard to imagine a situation will get much more intense than late in a close potential close-out game. The fact that he stayed patient and was rewarded will be a great example for him should the situation present itself later.As a team, this game was very important. We already knew this group could win a playoff game when they scored a bunch of runs. The fact that they also won this game was a big test passed. They can win a game when it comes down to manufacturing a run. They can stay confident when they squander opportunities. They can come through. Which is great. I’m guessing they’ll need that skill in the games to come.Go Pirates!
about 2 hours ago
Recently on his Olbermann program (god, I wish ESPN2 would quit dicking around with its programming so that I could know when to set my DVR), Keith Olbermann interviewed Roberto Clemente, eldest son of the Pirates legend.Clemente fils wa...
Recently on his Olbermann program (god, I wish ESPN2 would quit dicking around with its programming so that I could know when to set my DVR), Keith Olbermann interviewed Roberto Clemente, eldest son of the Pirates legend.Clemente fils was on the show to plug the new book Clemente: The True Legacy of an Undying Hero. The book is a collaboration by Roberto Clemete's widow and three sons. I haven't read it yet, but you can find reviews all over the internet.The interview prompted me to move a Roberto Clemente (Jr.) custom/fantasy card to the top of my to-do list.For many years I've had in my files a black-and-white photo of the younger Clemente in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform. The picture was taken by Bob Bartosz during spring training circa 1984-85. Bob was a sports photographer for one of the Philadelphia papers and occasionally contributed photos for Sports Collectors Digest. Clemente played two undistinguished seasons in the Phils' organization and one as Padres property before a bad back forced him to give up pro ball. For my card I chose the format of 1986 Topps Traded. In creating the card, I took some liberties with both the concept and the execution of the card. If Topps had actually produced a Clemente card in 1986, it would have been in a Padres uniformI colorized the player photo and dropped it into the background of Charlie Kerfeld's card in the Traded set. In working up the back, I discovered that Topps had utilized a number of type fonts that I do not have at my disposal. I settled for "close" and unless my card is compared side-by-side with a real '86TT, few are likely to notice.not many collectors are likely to know that this is not Roberto Clemente's first baseball card. As a member of the Class A Charleston Rainbows of the South Atlantic League, he appears in a 1986 ProCards minor league team set.Roberto's younger brother, Luis, also played a season of low-level pro ball, in 1985 with the Pirates' Gulf Coast League team. I've never seen a contemporary photo of him in uniform.
about 2 hours ago
Topps Finest Baseball is one of the modern hobby's oldest brands. Look back on 20 years of history, including a look at how it has evolved and a detailed visual history.
Topps Finest Baseball is one of the modern hobby's oldest brands. Look back on 20 years of history, including a look at how it has evolved and a detailed visual history.
about 2 hours ago
Terrelle Pryor cards and memorabilia guide. Includes a detailed Terrelle Pryor rookie card checklist, autograph guide, shopping guide and more.
Terrelle Pryor cards and memorabilia guide. Includes a detailed Terrelle Pryor rookie card checklist, autograph guide, shopping guide and more.
about 2 hours ago
Thanks to a super understanding employer and an amazing spouse I have practically lived at Tropicana Field over the last 6 weeks... During that time span I was lucky enough to see them win 18 games while losing just 2. Last night was the...
Thanks to a super understanding employer and an amazing spouse I have practically lived at Tropicana Field over the last 6 weeks... During that time span I was lucky enough to see them win 18 games while losing just 2. Last night was the second loss and unfortunately it was the loss that ended their season... This photo was snapped yesterday while the game was still knotted up at 1 and we were all full of hope. I think everyone knows how it all ended. The game, the season and my delightful distraction from real life. I know its just a game and when its all said and done there is one winner and a whole bunch of losers, but I can't help but feel sad, melancholy and a little empty... Congrats to the Red Sox. They played a super tight series. Jacoby Ellsbury was an amazing catalyst, as was Shane Victorino. There is no shame in getting beat by those two. It does however sting that it was Xander Jan Bogaerts drawing 2 key walks and scoring the game winning and insurance runs last night. Yeah, that stung, but either way the Rays are done, the Red Sox are rolling and now I will be shifting all of my rooting and attention to the Pittsburgh Pirates tonight. I would LOVE to see them face off (and beat) the Red Sox in the Series. So that is all. My cowbell is gonna sit on the shelf for the next few months, my Rays jerseys are hung up in the closet and Stub Hub will no longer be my most frequently visited website. It was a great run and I loved be a part of it as a fan. Things worked out so magically for me. I paid my bills before I bought tickets and so many times they just fell into my lap. That happened last night when our friend Lora (pictured above on the end, wife in middle, Troll on other end) offered us 2 of her season tickets and joined us in the last row in right field under the Jumbotron scoreboard. Out of 20 games in 6 weeks we only paid for about half of the games we saw - we relied and benefited from the kindness of strangers (and friends) and to all of them I saw thank you! To the Rays I say the same thing - THANK YOU! For an exciting season full of hope with a little despair thrown in for good measure... Of course I will be watching the rest of the playoffs and I will be talking over the theoretical hot stove all (Florida) winter long. I will be hoping that David Price returns in 2014 and signs a nice long term deal. I will be hoping that James Loney, Yunel Escobar (3 for 3 last night!), David DeJesus, Jose Lobaton and Jamey Wright all elect to remain Rays in 2014 and beyond and I will be hoping that Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Alex Cobb, Matt Moore, Desmond Jennings, Alex Torres, Jake McGee, Wil Myers, Chris Archer, Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Niemann and company all get plenty of rest, maintain their health and continue to improve on their games through the off season. I will also be hoping that my awesome online friends and fellow bloggers continue to share their unwanted Rays cards with me,too! Yes, this was a magical year for the Rays and their fans, but its over. I am bummed, I am gonna have a whole bunch of free time and I have less chances to scream my head off and give strangers high fives, but spring training is right around the corner and I eagerly await seeing my team on the field again. Thank you, thank you, thank you! To the Rays, their fans, my friends and game day buddies and all of the generous ticket gifters out there. THANK YOU!!! Go Pirates! Troll out. P.S. A HUGE thank you to my lovely (and tired) wife who cheered for every pitch till the end and didn't get home till 3:00 AM and turned around and went to work at 6 this morning. What a trooper! P.S.S. This does mean I will be posting more often. I have completed many trades and received several surprise gifts in the mail and those awesome folks need thanks too! P.S.S.S. I still have many Allen and Ginter dupes and minis available for the taking and for trading... I need only 2 more base cards to finish the set, 1-350
about 2 hours ago
Johnathan Franklin is UCLA's single-season and all-time rushing leader on top of being one of the best Bruins to ever lace 'em up. After his excellent debut with the Packers a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to add his John Hancock...
Johnathan Franklin is UCLA's single-season and all-time rushing leader on top of being one of the best Bruins to ever lace 'em up. After his excellent debut with the Packers a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to add his John Hancock to my PC.For less than half a blaster I landed my first Franklin auto, and it's on-card to boot. He inscribed his number 23, which helps to make up for the lackluster signature. Though Leaf removed any and all UCLA logos, The Mayor is obviously donning his Bruins uniform, which was a major pull in nabbing this card.
about 2 hours ago
At the end of September, I had the pleasure of visiting the Collectors Club in New York. It was a beautiful autumn day as I approached the Club’s five-story brownstone in midtown Manhattan. The building was beautifully redesigned b...
At the end of September, I had the pleasure of visiting the Collectors Club in New York. It was a beautiful autumn day as I approached the Club’s five-story brownstone in midtown Manhattan. The building was beautifully redesigned by architect Stanford White in 1902 and has been the Club’s home since the 1930s. It was […]
about 3 hours ago
Reggie Jackson 2013 Topps – 1972 Mini I desperately want a 1972 Topps Reggie Jackson baseball card for my collection.  But, until I find one in my price range that is in the condition I am seeking, I will wait to strike. You can im...
Reggie Jackson 2013 Topps – 1972 Mini I desperately want a 1972 Topps Reggie Jackson baseball card for my collection.  But, until I find one in my price range that is in the condition I am seeking, I will wait to strike. You can imagine my happiness when I saw Reggie’s name on the 2013 ’72 Mini’ checklist that debuted earlier in the collecting year.  As soon as I saw that, I knew that I would want one for my collection. And now, I have it!!! Have a look: I love the card, and I like the shot of Reggie that was used.  But, Topps should have used an image of Reggie in his Oakland Athletics uniform as he was starring for that team in 1972. Other than that, I am more than pleased with this card – I LOVE IT!!! And hopefully soon I can get my hands on an original from the 1972 Topps set. Wish me luck!!!
about 3 hours ago
Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, October 9, 2013: Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps #366. Player Name, position, team: Jeff Weaver, pitcher, Seat...
Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, October 9, 2013: Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2008 Topps #366. Player Name, position, team: Jeff Weaver, pitcher, Seattle Mariners. Major League Debut: April 14, 1999. Last Line of Statistics: 2007 stats (Mariners): 27 G, 146.2 IP, 7-13, 105 R, 101 ER, 80 SO, 35 BB, 27 GS, 3 CG, 2 SHO, 0 SV, 1.53 WHIP, 6.20 ERA. Any special information about player: Drafted by the Tigers #1st, June 1998. Signed with the Mariners as a Free Agent 01/26/2007. Bats: right. Throws: right. Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 10. This is his ninthTopps card. Blurb on the back: "Jeff was one of the hottest pitchers in the League in midsummer 2007, compiling a 3.38 ERA in 14 starts between June 9 and August 23. That stretch included shutouts of the Pirates and White Sox." Commentary: Jeffrey Charles Weaver's time in the Seattle lasted only one season. In 2008, he signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, and was assigned to the Crew's AAA affiliate in Nashville. But after 9 games, a 2-4 record, and an ERA of 6.22, Weaver was released. A month later, he signed another minor league contract, this time with the Cleveland Indians, who sent him to their Triple-A team in Buffalo. In 13 games, he earned a record of 2-2 with a 6.07 ERA. He finished the season with a combined 4-6 record, a 6.07 ERA, 59 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.559. He signed with the Dodgers in 2009 and after a five game stint in Albuquerque, made his return to the majors. He would pitch for two seasons with LA, his final season coming in 2010. Lately, much attention has been lavished onto Jeff's younger brother, Jered, the ace of the LA Angels of Anaheim. On June 20, 2009, the Dodgers took on the Angels, with Jeff and Jered named the starters for that day, the first time since 2002 that siblings were tasked to start against each other in a MLB game. The outcome? Big brother and the Dodgers took the victory 6-4, with Jered suffering the loss. Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.12-$0.30. How many cards of this player do I own?: 16 cards. Tomorrow's card will be: 2004 Topps #66. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 2004 here on the blog tomorrow. Sincerely, JayBee Anama
about 3 hours ago
Previously on the Cardinalpalooza: Mark McGwire | J.D. Drew | Colby Rasmus | Yadier Molina | Allen Craig | Stan Musial | Rick Ankiel | David Freese | Keith Hernandez | Steve Carlton | Lance Berkman | Lou Brock | Dennis EckersleyIt's no s...
Previously on the Cardinalpalooza: Mark McGwire | J.D. Drew | Colby Rasmus | Yadier Molina | Allen Craig | Stan Musial | Rick Ankiel | David Freese | Keith Hernandez | Steve Carlton | Lance Berkman | Lou Brock | Dennis EckersleyIt's no secret that Chris Carpenter is my favorite pitcher in the game right now, and possibly of all-time. Being that he's on my list of so-called top players that I collect, it's also no surprise that I have accumulated a lot of his doubles. The list of those doubles follows at the end of the post.Carpenter has probably thrown his last pitch in the big leagues, but he was still working to get back to the mound as recently as this summer. The man had one of his own ribs (!) removed after suffering through pain and numbness in his shoulder and various other locations in his pitching arm just to try to prolong his career.A lot of people seem to dislike him, and I get that. Most baseball players, especially Cardinals players it seems, are rather boring, non-personality having non-entities. Carp isn't one of those guys. When you take his fiery on-field mound intensity (totally genuine unlike, say, Kevin Garnett) and add it to the status of perennial contenders that the Cardinals seem to enjoy, and you get a mix that probably doesn't sit well with your average fan. People don't often like the angry yelling guy unless he's on their team.Carp was a well regarded young pitcher who came up alongside Roy Halladay in the Blue Jays organization, but before he ever reached the Halladay level of success, he suffered a major injury that would sideline him for the entire 2003 season. The Cardinals snatched him up anyway, knowing that he wouldn't take the field in the season that came to be the "3 Nights in August" year. It wasn't until 2009 that he experienced something that's almost a rite of passage for big time young pitchers these days: Tommy John surgery. So at 36 years old, when he single-handedly led the Cards through a series-deciding playoff duel for the ages with his old boy Roy, I was beginning to feel that Carp's time was just about up. By the time the Cardinals pulled off the improbably World Series win, Chris Carpenter had logged more innings than anyone in professional baseball that year. It's no great wonder that he's only pitched 25 innings since (and none in 2013.)The list:2004 Topps Total #6262005 Donruss Diamond Kings #2172005 Topps #207 [3 available]2005 Topps (Sporting News All-Stars) #727 [3 available]2005 Topps Update (All-Star) #UH1942006 Bowman Gold #442006 Fleer Tradition #51 [2 available]2006 Fleer Tradition Black and White #512006 Fleer Ultra #39 [5 available]2006 Fleer Ultra Strikeout Kings #SOK6 [3 available]2006 Topps #488 [7 available]2006 Topps (Cy Young Award) #2612006 Topps Update (Postseason Highlights) #UH199 [3 available]2006 Topps Update (All-Stars) #UH260 [2 available]2006 Topps Own the Game #OG292006 Upper Deck Future Stars #652007 Bowman #1242007 Fleer #42 [6 available]2007 Fleer Ultra Retail #150 [7 available]2007 Topps #240 [6 available]2007 Topps Own the Game #OTG222007 Topps Opening Day #41 [4 available]2007 Upper Deck #4512007 Upper Deck #964 [4 available]2007 Upper Deck (Team Checklist) #965 [4 available]2007 Upper Deck Goudey Red Back #133 [2 available]2007 Upper Deck MLB Artifacts #68 [3 available]2007 Upper Deck SP Authentic #47 [2 available]2007 Upper Deck SP Rookie Edition #472008 Bowman Chrome #602008 Topps #630 [2 available]2008 Topps Gold Foil #6302008 Topps Chrome #165 [2 available]2008 Topps Chrome Refractor #1652008 Topps Opening Day #151 [7 available]2008 Upper Deck #651 [5 available]2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #158 [5 available]2008 Upper Deck Documentary #23522008 Upper Deck First Edition # 470 [2 available]2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces #85 [2 available]2008 Upper Deck Spectrum #89 [2 available]2008 Upper Deck Sweet Spot #272009 Topps #484 [3 available]2009 Topps Ticket to ToppsTown #TTT66 [4 available]2009 Topps First Class Ticket to ToppsTown #FCTTT66
about 3 hours ago