Wednesday, May 25, 2016

14 Years Ago Shawn Green had a Heckuva Week

Aloha, everybody, 

This week marks the 14th anniversary of perhaps the greatest week that a ballplayer ever had. 

On May 23, 2002, Shawn Green was a one-man-gang. He tore through the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting four home runs in the game, tying and setting various ML records in the process. 

Here's the sports page from the LA Times. Yes, I saved it. 

Green tied the ML record for most home runs in a game (4).

Tied the ML record for most runs scored (6).

 Tied the ML record for most extra-base hits (5) in a game. He hit a double in addition to the four homers.

He also broke Joe Adcock's record for most total bases in one game (19). 

The next day he hit another homer and tied the ML record for most homers in two games (5). 

The next day, May 25, fourteen years ago today, he set more marks in the record books.

 He hit two more home runs to break the ML record for most homers in three games (7).

He finished off that incredible run by tying the NL record for home runs in one calendar week (9). 

Numbered 33/100
 This same week last year, I went to the Dodgers' Old Timers Game, and Shawn Green played. 

He's still got that beautiful southpaw swing, and just missed hitting one out against Chan Ho Park that day, banging one off the right-center field wall. 

Congratulations and happy baseball anniversary, Mr. Green. Thanks for the memories. 


Monday, May 23, 2016

Plenty of Dodgers Pitching in a PWE to Me - All the Way from Chicago!

Aloha, everybody, 

A couple of weeks ago it was Cubs in the Mail Day. It seems Dodgers in the Mail Day has now come to pass. Good ol' Tony B from Wrigley Roster Jenga sent a PWE  to me that was packed with Dodgers goodness.

Let's take a peek at the highlights. First up is some cool Dodgers vintage...

 I remember Rau from my youth. I liked him because I'm always partial to southpaws (bein' one myself). 

BONUS: Here's a great piece of audio/video from the 1977 World Series. The video is some very nice Dodgers Yankees cards from the time. The audio is the best part.

Tommie Lasorda goes out to the mound to remove Rau, who has given up four consecutive hits. Rau doesn't wanna go. What follows is pure profanity-laced Lasorda goodness. 

(Extra bonus' for me are hearing the Dodgers P.A. announcer of my youth, and Helen Dell on the Dodgers' organ as Tommy curses to high heaven) 

Rautzhan pitched in two World Series for the Dodgers, '77 and '78 against the Yankees. 

Unfortunately, Lance passed away this past January. He's now pitching against those Yanks in the big blue sky. 

Up next is Zach Lee, a young pitcher who's had a couple of chances to break into the bigs, but hasn't been able to stay. 

With Dodger pitching being the mess it is, I'm advocating for Lee to get one last shot at making the big club...

Up next are two great new additions for my Ramon Martinez PC...

The back of this card gives us one more Dodgers pitching great.

That's Don Drysdale interviewing Ramon. Drysdale worked as a Dodgers broadcaster until his untimely death in 1993. 

Here's one of Bulldog Hershiser that I've never seen before. What the heck is going on here? Is Bulldog laying sod? At another ballpark? No help from the back of the card.

98% of my Strawberry cards have come to me from my fellow collectors. Thanks, because I cannot get enough Strawberry cardboard. 

This one has cool 3-D of the Straw sliding into home. Don't forget to check out the stirrups with high tops. 

Thanks to Tony, I now have my first card of the Dodgers' new Japanese import, Kenta Maeda. 

He pitched well in yesterday's 17-inning marathon. He held the Padres scoreless for the first four innings, but never got his groove back after sitting for a half hour waiting for a replacement ump, because the home plate ump took a foul to the groin and had to leave the game.

You can't say Dodgers' pitchers without saying Brooklyn! Tony B took care of that angle too. Here's an oddball with a wonderful photo...

 Here's Dodgers youth that I just can't seem to ever pull from packs.  So once again - thanks, Tony - for helping me to get my hands on some Corey Seager cardboard. 

 We'll close with two of the best starters to ever wear the home whites for my team. 

You can't go wrong with Kershaw or Fernando, and you certainly have a heckuva card when it features both...

The back of the card tells us that Fernando and Kersh - both southpaws - are the youngest Dodger pitchers to reach 1,000 strike outs. They also both started four All-Star games in a row. Not bad company. 

Thanks for the pitching-packed PWE, Tony. Those were a lot of great additions to my collection. 


Friday, May 20, 2016

Part 3 - The Final Repack!

Aloha, everybody,

Here comes the last of the sweet little cardboard that came out of some Dollar Tree repacks that landed atop my laptop.  Let's begin with an oddity...

It was odd enough that I got a dealer's handful of these "Peter Gammons Inside the Numbers" inserts, but the real oddness came from Jose O-fer-man actually being considered a good enough player to be featured in the set. 

How about some genuine battle scarred, well loved cardboard...

That's another odd thing about these repack cards. A lot of them seem to be straight from somebody's collection. Topps aint the only guys with pre-owned cards.

Here's some old time Mariners pitchfork goodness...

And a pretty nice shot of Jason Kendall...

I always enjoy cards of Neon Deion...

Tatooine made an appearance...

A cheesy and forgettable card design cannot take away from this magnificent photo. Barfield and a shirt sleeve, sunny day dominate the card...

A little more well-loved cardboard featuring a well-loved California Angel...
Finally, you know it's a good haul when you pull Doc Gooden, repack or no repack.

Next time: A PWE Jenga 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cards Come in the Strangest Ways - Part 2

Aloha, everybody,

A few weeks ago I found a few cello packs of cards sitting atop my laptop, waiting for me to discover what was inside. 

They came as a surprise gift from the roommate. They were of a type I had never seen before, and were obviously of the repack strain. 

The fun that ordinarily comes from ripping packs slowly abated as each pack contained junkier junk wax and scrubbier scrubs than the last. After saying thanks, I let him know he'd be better off keeping his money rather than buying that brand of repacks. 

A few days ago a new brand of repacks were waiting for me atop my laptop. 

 That's right - Three packs of Ultimate Super Jumbo Pack - Baseball Edition!

I gotta say, USJP actually had a few humble surprises inside. No big time autos, no serial-numbers, but a little fun in every pack. 

There were a few cards from football, basketball and hockey. I've got no idea if Jose Theodore is any good as as far as goalies go, but he's got a boss Upper Deck card here...

Andre Reed's card features a great photograph here...

 But I'm not interested in cards from those sports. Cut to baseball...

 I love these early junk cards because they give us the funky hair and not cool mustaches, and the vintage uniform variations. Preston Hanna here is proof that the 'Lanta Braves invented the trucker cap. 

How about these old-timey Padre unis...


I can't ever think of Keith Hernandez without also thinking of his appearance on Seinfeld...

 One nice thing about these packs is they spanned a fair amount of years and brands, and they occasionally coughed up a player you and I have heard of.

Sure it's 1991 Upper Deck and who cares about that? 
But it's the Big Unit hurlin' one at you, in magnificent Mariners blue... 

Finally today, one of the best cards to come out of the packs. 

Billy Martin, manager of the New York Yankees...

How about that photo. Whatever is going on behind those eyes is not the game before them. 

No, Billy is thinking about the impending firing from Steinbrennar that he can literally feel upon his back, or he's wondering which bar he left his wallet in the night before. 

Either way, that Martin card is a gem. 

More on the repack junk coming soon in Part Three - The Final Repack



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Cards Come in the Strangest Ways - Part One

Aloha, everybody, 

It was one of those days...You know, waaaaay too much life drama, and then you remember you're in charge of dinner, it's the last minute, and what to do?

Yesterday I found myself in this very situation, standing in Walmart, and although Walmart pre-cooked food wasn't my first choice, I also didn't have a lot of time and energy for someplace else. What to do? 

I checked out the pizza aisle, and what did I spy? Pizzas with baseball cards included! Sold! I told myself that my boys would survive the Walmart pizza, and entertained visions of what cardboard goodness might be found in a pizza box. 

Wrapped in cello, were these...

No mozzarella on Miggy. 

 No sauce on Sale.

And finally, no anchovies on this guy...

 Anybody need an oddball Met? 


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

When a Swing and a Pop Up Gets You Closer to Home

Aloha, everybody, 

First of all, my hat's off to all you bloggers out there who blog it day in and day out. You know who you are. I don't know how you do it. 

There was a time in my blogging life when ATBATT was putting out fairly regular posts, at least twice a week. I was able to carry that flag for a couple of years, but as much as I want to, I just cannot squeeze in as much time for the ol' blog as I used to. 

2013 Bowman Prospects

Oh, I plan posts in my head. I know you blogomaniacs do that in your walking life, the same as me. I'll be walking along - or more often because I live in LA - driving along, and something will stir an idea for a post. 

So my heart's in the right place, but I just can't find the keyboard time to keep up with the rest of you on the blogroll treadmill. So congrats and thanks to all of you who regularly bring it to the blogosphere.

2010 Bowman Platinum

All that said, let's get to the point of this precious post. A few days ago I received a surprise PWE from Bert over at Swing and a Pop Up

2012 Bowman Chrome Prospects
Good ol' Bert remembered I'm chasing some sets and sent me some awesome cardboard to get me closer to the goal - because he's cool like that. 

These cards are awesome for a few reasons:

A week ago I was nine cards away from completing the 1987 Hygrade Baseball's All-Time Greats set.  Bert's PWE took me from nine to a magic seven to go. 

They also rock because of their amazing condition. The Hygrade set was printed on fairly thin stock, so while many of the commons are common, they often show wear and tear. 

They also had the bad luck of being made with below average materials and processes, which led to plenty of cards with lackluster finishes. These babies have neither of those limitations. 

Sharp base colors, sharp corners, and bright inks on the photos make these primo cards. 

You know what else is primo? Getting cards of these guys. Any day Mr. Robinson and Mr. Spahn show up in my mailbox is primo! 

Thanks for checking my wantlists Bert and getting me to just seven to go on the Hygrades! I'll be putting together a little sumthin' for you too.