Saturday, February 28, 2009

Cleveland Baseball History , Part III

1882 The start of what is sometimes called the "Golden Age" of baseball. During the mid to late 1800's baseball was a very big part of life and almost everyone wanted to be a part of it in one way or another.Many merchants and factories organized teams to play against each other. Many new teams were being formed and banding together to form rebel or independent leagues wanting to compete with the professional National League. On November 2,1881 the American Association was founded in Cincinnati. The National League owners scoffed at the idea of another baseball league competing against them , but in 1882 when the season started , the new league proved to be formidable opponent.
The Cleveland Blues had a decent team that year and moved up to 5th place with a 42-40 record , 12 games back but only 3 games out of the 3rd spot.The Chicago White Stockings won the league again with the Providence Grays only 3 games behind them. Jim McCormick was a power house again after his poor showing last season , leading the league in games at 68 , IP with 595.2 , CG AT 65 and wins with 36. But again leading with 103 BB. The offense , or lack there of , was their downfall ( sound familiar ?) . Although they led the league with 20 HR their .238 team BA couldn't compete with Chicago who hit .277 and led the league in 6 other offensive catagories.In contrast , The Cincinnati Red Stockings won the American Association with a higher wining percentage than Chicago , scored more runs , had more hits in less at bats and fewer games. So they showed the world they could compete. There were some differences in the rules between the two leagues , which they began to iron out in 1883 , but no "World Series " would be played for for several years.


Friday, February 27, 2009


It's been an up and down week for me. As an auto tech , business has not been real good for the last few months , although it does seem to be picking up.I really felt lousy early in the week but am much better now and also my wife got called for a job interview on Monday. She also has a birthday on Tuesday , over 49 and under 51 ! So , anyway , I stopped at "Wally World" on the way home tonight to look for a Topps black blaster (this was before I heard about the code #s on the black parallel boxes) and sure enough the base cards were all black-bordered.Looking around I also saw some Upper Deck packs ! Finally. I picked up 3 packs , one for each son and one for me. While waiting at a stoplight I couldn't resist and picked one pack to open.

Grady ! My first '09 UD base Tribe card.
I really liked this Lastings Milledge card also.With all the color in the background it just stuck out !

The gold/rare SQ Matt Holiday was nice too. But there was one really fat card in the middle !

Hey Sooz , got any Tribe relics to trade ?!

The Topps box rewarded me with a couple Tribers also.

Plus a couple Astro sticks , or as the cards says " BASH-STROS " Doesn't that term sound familiar ?

A lot of Braun and Mr. (W)right

An opposing battery that should be around for awhile.

Cole and Dice , another pair to remember.

Two gold cards ! Jon Lester and a very hefty looking Andruw Jones.

Lou Gehrig representing "Legends of the Game"
Chase Utley representing "Turkey Red"

These were the "power" of the ToppsTown cards.
The gold Ryan is nice.
And of course there was a patch card.
In case you're wondering what the patch card depicted on the side of the box look like ......

Wow , this was great ! I've always been an Indian fan and not real fond of the Yankees but
"The Oklahoma Kid"was always one of heroes growing up.
All of this did brighten up my week !

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cleveland Baseball History , Part II

1879 .....professional baseball finally comes back to Cleveland ! The National Association was now known as the National League , a change which took place in 1876. Al Spalding got the new league to start using the "The Spalding League Ball" , produced by his sporting goods company , replacing the "Mahn" ball ( which had been used for the last several years.The new Cleveland team was known as the "Blues". Cleveland pitcher , Bobby Mitchell was the the first southpaw to win a came in the new league but the team only managed to win a total of 27 games against 55 losses for a 6th place finish out of 8 teams.Pitcher Jim McCormick was credited with starting 60 games , leading the league with 40 losses and 74 BB. His total of 546.1 innings was only good for 5th place , 133.2 , behind the leader's 680 !

1880 saw the Blues surge to a 3rd place finish with a record of 47-37 ! McCormick had a huge turnaround leading the league in games with 74 , IP with 657.2 , complete games with 72 and wins with 45. His ERA of 1.85 was only good for for another 5th place finish.They were still lacking offensively , however , with a team batting average of only .242 and scoring 387 runs ( league leaders : .279 and 538 ). 1880 also saw the beginning of the reserve clause. Each team could "reserve" the services of 5 players for the following year.Initially , some players looked at it as a form of status or value to the team , but with only 11 or so regular players on each team nearly half received the "status". Owners quickly saw it as a way lock players in at a lower salary. National League president , William Hulbert , removed the Cincinnati club from the league for selling liquor in their park and trying to play games on Sunday !

1881 Well , you knew it wouldn't last. The Blues tumbled to 7th place out of 8 with a 36-48 record. McCormick was still among the league leaders in several pitching categories , unfortunately , losses was one of them with 57.Catcher , John Clapp led the league in walks with 35 and 2nd baseman Fred Dunlap hit .325 but league leading Chicago hit .295 as a team.

1882 brought some major changes so that will be the next post. Also , still working on Cleveland baseballcards. The oldest I've found so far is 1897 Old Judge.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


but I had to trade to get it ! I still can't find 2009 UD here in north central Ohio !

Cliff , over at Capewood , was kind enough to trade me this Jhonny P. jersey for a Thome Phillies bat card.That made a nice first UD Tribe card for '09.
I have found some '09 Topps cards.

Jay Bruce and Dustin Pedroia MVP

Andrew Miller and Joey Votto Turkey Red

Two gold cards.
Nolan Ryan Legends and Lance Berkman Toppstown.


Monday, February 16, 2009


TOPPS (cards I have are in blue)

3 Andy Marte
3 Andy Marte Black/58
3 Andy Marte Gold
3 Andy Marte Target Retro
3 Andy Marte Wal-Mart Black

3 Andy Marte Platinum/1
38 Eric Wedge
38 Eric Wedge Black/58
38 Eric Wedge Gold
38 Eric Wedge Target Retro
38 Eric Wedge Wal-Mart Black

38 Eric Wedge Platinum/1
72 David Dellucci
72 David Dellucci Black/58
72 David Dellucci Gold
72 David Dellucci Target Retro
72 David Dellucci Wal-Mart Black

72 David Dellucci Platinum/1
83 Ryan Garko
83 Ryan Garko Black/58
83 Ryan Garko Gold
83 Ryan Garko Target Retro
83 Ryan Garko Wal-Mart Black
83 Ryan Garko Platinum/1
RG Ryan Garko Career Best Autograph
RG Ryan Garko Career Best Jersey

180 Cliff Lee
180 Cliff Lee Black/58
180 Cliff Lee Gold
180 Cliff Lee Target Retro
180 Cliff Lee Wal-Mart Black

180 Cliff Lee Platinum/1
221 Cliff Lee/ Roy Halladay/ Daisuke Matsuzaka LL
221 Cliff Lee/ Roy Halladay/ Daisuke Matsuzaka LL Black/58
221 Cliff Lee/ Roy Halladay/ Daisuke Matsuzaka LL Gold
221 Cliff Lee/ Roy Halladay/ Daisuke Matsuzaka LL Target Retro
221 Cliff Lee/ Roy Halladay/ Daisuke Matsuzaka LL Wal-Mart Black

221 Cliff Lee/ Roy Halladay/ Daisuke Matsuzaka LL Platinum/1
271 Cliff Lee AW
271 Cliff Lee AW Black/58
271 Cliff Lee AW Gold
271 Cliff Lee AW Target Retro
271 Cliff Lee AW Wal-Mart Black
271 Cliff Lee AW Platinum/1
CL Cliff Lee In the Name Letter Relics #L
CL Cliff Lee In the Name Letter Relics #E
CL Cliff Lee In the Name Letter Relics #E
S69 Cliff Lee Silk Collection /50
TR22 Cliff Lee Turkey Red
213 Jeremy Sowers
213 Jeremy Sowers Black/58
213 Jeremy Sowers Gold
213 Jeremy Sowers Target Retro
213 Jeremy Sowers Wal-Mart Black
213 Jeremy Sowers Platinum/

219 Shin-Soo Choo
219 Shin-Soo Choo Black/58
219 Shin-Soo Choo Gold
219 Shin-Soo Choo Target Retro
219 Shin-Soo Choo Wal-Mart Black
219 Shin-Soo ChooPlatinum
248 Scott Lewis (RC)
248 Scott Lewis (RC) Black/58
248 Scott Lewis (RC) Gold
248 Scott Lewis (RC) Target Retro
248 Scott Lewis (RC) Wal-Mart Black
248 Scott Lewis (RC) Platinum/1
270a Grady Sizemore
270a Grady Sizemore Black/58
270a Grady Sizemore Gold
270a Grady Sizemore Target Retro
270a Grady Sizemore Wal-Mart Black
270a Grady Sizemore Platinum/1
TTT3 Grady Sizemore Topps Town
TTT3 Grady Sizemore Topps Town Gold
GS Grady Sizemore In the Name Letter Relics #S
GS Grady Sizemore In the Name Letter Relics #I
GS Grady Sizemore In the Name Letter Relics #Z
GS Grady Sizemore In the Name Letter Relics #E
GS Grady Sizemore In the Name Letter Relics #M
GS Grady Sizemore In the Name Letter Relics #O
GS Grady Sizemore In the Name Letter Relics #R
GS Grady Sizemore In the Name Letter Relics #E

277 Asdrubal Cabrera
277 Asdrubal Cabrera Black/58
277 Asdrubal Cabrera Gold
277 Asdrubal Cabrera Target Retro
277 Asdrubal Cabrera Wal-Mart Black
277 Asdrubal Cabrera Platinum
311 Kelly Shoppach
311 Kelly Shoppach Black/58
311 Kelly Shoppach Gold
311 Kelly Shoppach Target Retro
311 Kelly Shoppach Wal-Mart Black
311 Kelly Shoppach Platinum/1
S72 Kelly Shoppach Silk Collection /50
311 Kelly Shoppach
311 Kelly Shoppach Black/58
311 Kelly Shoppach Gold
311 Kelly Shoppach Target Retro
311 Kelly Shoppach Wal-Mart Black
311 Kelly Shoppach Platinum/1
S72 Kelly Shoppach Silk Collection /50
313 Jamey Carroll
313 Jamey Carroll Black/58
313 Jamey Carroll Gold
313 Jamey Carroll Target Retro
313 Jamey Carroll Wal-Mart Black
313 Jamey Carroll Plarinum/1
Victor Martinez
Victor Martinez Black/58
Victor Martinez Gold
Victor Martinez Target Retro
Victor Martinez Wal-Mart Black
Victor Martinez Platinum/1
3VM Victor Martinez Career Best Relics Bat
VM Victor Martinez Career Best Relics Jumbo
Travis Hafner
Travis Hafner Black/58
Travis Hafner Gold
Travis Hafner Target Retro
Travis Hafner Wal-Mart Black
Travis Hafner Platinum/1
TH Travis Hafner Career Best Relics Jumbo
270b Tris Speaker SP
TR50 Tris Speaker Turkey Red
LG6 Tris Speaker Legends of the Game
LG6 Tris Speaker Legends of the Game Gold /99
LG6 Tris Speaker Legends of the Game Platinum /25
TS Tris Speaker/ Legends of the Game Nickname Letter Patch Letters spell GREY EAGLE (each letter serial #'d/ 50)
TS Tris Speaker Legends of the Game Relic Bat /20
TS Tris Speaker Legends of the Game Cut Signatures /1

TOPPS ATTAX (cards I have are in blue)

9 Cy Young Starter Pack Gold Foil
13 Cliff Lee Attax Code
13 Cliff Lee Gold Foil
27 Fausto Carmona
29 Victor Martinez Silver Foil
49 Grady Sizemore Silver Foil
71 Travis Hafner
124 Victor Martinez
150 Jhonny Peralta
182 Grady Sizemore

UPPER DECK (cards I have are in blue)

105 Travis Hafner
105 Travis Hafner Gold 25
OPC-49 Travis Hafner
OPC-49 Travis Hafner 1975 O-Pee-Chee Mini Insert //
R5 Travis Hafner Rivals
GJ-TR Travis Hafner UD Game Jersey
GJ-TR Travis Hafner UD Game Jersey Patch 25
GJ-TR Travis Hafner UD Game Jersey Autographs 99
GJ-TR Travis Hafner UD Game Jersey Double Swatch 149
GJ-TR Travis Hafner UD Game Jersey Triple Swatch 99
GJ-TR Travis Hafner UD Game Jersey QUAD Swatch 15

106 Victor Martinez
106 Victor Martinez Gold 25
GJ-VM Victor Martinez UD Game Jersey
GJ-VM Victor Martinez UD Game Jersey Patch 25
GJ-VM Victor Martinez UD Game Jersey Autographs 35
GJ-VM Victor Martinez UD Game Jersey Double Swatch 149
GJ-VM Victor Martinez UD Game Jersey Triple Swatch 99
GJ-VM Victor Martinez UD Game Jersey QUAD Swatch 15

107 Grady Sizemore
107 Grady Sizemore Gold 25
492 Grady Sizemore Team Checklists
440 Grady Sizemore Team Leaders
OPC-21 Grady Sizemore
OPC-21 Grady Sizemore 1975 O-Pee-Chee Mini Insert //
R25 Grady Sizemore Rivals
GG-GS Grady Sizemore Stars of the Game
SQ-10 Grady Sizemore StarQuest PURPLE COMMON
SQ-10 Grady Sizemore StarQuest Silver Common
SQ-10 Grady Sizemore StarQuest BLUE UNCOMMON
SQ-10 Grady Sizemore StarQuest GOLD RARE
SQ-10 Grady Sizemore StarQuest EMERALD SUPER RARE
SQ-10 Grady Sizemore StarQuest BLACK ULTRA RARE
GJ-GS Grady Sizemore UD Game Jersey
GJ-GS Grady Sizemore UD Game Jersey Autographs 15
GJ-GS Grady Sizemore UD Game Jersey Patch 25
GJ-GS Grady Sizemore UD Game Jersey Double Swatch 149
GJ-GS Grady Sizemore UD Game Jersey Triple Swatch 99
GJ-GS Grady Sizemore UD Game Jersey QUAD Swatch 15

108 Cliff Lee
108 Cliff Lee Gold 25
440 Cliff Lee Team Leaders

109 Ryan Garko
109 Ryan Garko Gold 25
RG Ryan Garko INKredible

110 Jhonny Peralta
110 Jhonny Peralta Gold 25
440 Jhonny Peralta Team Leaders
GJ-PE Jhonny Peralta UD Game Jersey Patch 25
GJ-PE Jhonny Peralta UD Game Jersey Double Swatch 125
GJ-PE Jhonny Peralta UD Game Jersey Triple Swatch 53
GJ-PE Jhonny Peralta UD Game Jersey QUAD Swatch 15

111 Franklin Gutierrez
111 Franklin Gutierrez Gold 25

112 Fausto Carmona
112 Fausto Carmona Gold 25
FC Fausto Carmona INKredible

AL Aaron Laffey INKredible

USA-12 Matt LaPorta USA Retrospective

UPPER DECK 1st Edition (cards in blue I have)

86 Travis Hafner
87 Victor Martinez
88 Grady Sizemore
SQ-10 Grady Sizemore Star Quest
89 Cliff Lee
90 Ryan Garko
91 Jhonny Peralta
92 Fausto Carmona

UPPER DECK SPECTRUM (cards in blue I have)

29 Victor Martinez
29 Victor Martinez Blue
29 Victor Martinez Turquoise Parallel / 25
29 Victor Martinez Black / 50
29 Victor Martinez Green Parallel / 99
29 Victor Martinez Red Parallel / 299
29 Victor Martinez Gold Jersey Parallel / 99
30 Grady Sizemore
30 Grady Sizemore Blue
30 Grady Sizemore Turquoise Parallel / 25
30 Grady Sizemore Black / 50
30 Grady Sizemore Green Parallel / 99
30 Grady Sizemore Red Parallel / 299
30 Grady Sizemore Gold Jersey Parallel / 99
SS-GS Grady Sizemore Spectrum Swatches Blue Parallel
SS-GS Grady Sizemore Spectrum Patches Maroon Parallel / 25
SS-GS Grady Sizemore Spectrum Swatches Light Blue / 99
SS-GS Grady Sizemore Spectrum Swatches Dark Gray Auto Parallel / 25
31 Travis Hafner
31 Travis Hafner Blue
31 Travis Hafner Turquoise Parallel / 25
31 Travis Hafner Black / 50
31 Travis Hafner Green Parallel / 99
31 Travis Hafner Red Parallel / 299
31 Travis Hafner Base Set Gold Jersey Parallel / 99

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cleveland Baseball History , Part I

"The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time." I have always loved that quote from the "The Field of Dreams". And no one could have presented it better then James Earl Jones.
There are many stories and ideas as where baseball actually originated but in this series of posts I'm only concerned about major league baseball in Cleveland , Ohio. Cincinnati can claim the first professional team , professional meaning the players got paid strictly for playing ball , in 1896. But there was no league . They just barnstormed , easily defeating every team they came up against. Well , this opened the eyes of many people and two years later in 1871 , on St. Patrick's Day , the first professional major league was born , The National Association of Base Ball Players. The Boston Red Stockings and the Washington Olympics were thought to be two of the potentially best teams so were scheduled for the first game. However , rain caused that game to be canceled so on May 4 , 1871 , in Ft.Wayne , In. the Ft. Wayne Kekiongas played the Cleveland Forest Citys. I guess , being in Ft. Wayne , it was only fitting that they won 2-0 , but it was a very good game. White , the first batter for Cleveland doubled but was caught too far off 2b when Kimball lined out.Ft. Wayne scored one run in the 2nd on a base hit and one more in the 5th after two passed balls (which were not considered errors ).While rain threatened the game all afternoon , it held off until moments after the 3rd out in the bottom of the 9th. ( the home team took their last at bat even if they were ahead ) Cleveland finished 7th out of 9 teams that first year , 1 win ahead of Ft. Wayne. One notable name was Al Spalding , later to be associated with sporting goods, who pitched for Boston and led the league with 19 victories. Al Pratt of Cleveland was the league leader with 17....... losses ! The first was a tough year for the league as it hadn't really caught on yet and Boston proved to be very dominate for the first few years which caused some lack of interest. ( except for Red Stocking fans , of course ).Most teams lost money. The second year was worse for Cleveland as they went bankrupt by August 19 and only played 22 games compared to Boston's 48. Cleveland had 13 players on their roster in 1871 and 12 in 1872 with only 6 of the same returning .Then the baseball drought hit. There was not another professional team in Cleveland until 1879.


Friday, February 13, 2009

History of Cleveland Baseball Coming !

Tomorrow I will start a series of posts on the History of Major League Baseball in Cleveland. I will also include baseball cards as they began to appear. Does anyone know what two teams played the very first professional Major League Baseball game ? Could be a "trick" question !! Free surprise card(s) to first correct answer.

Until then , The Cartoon of the Day !!!

You "Dirty Rat" !!

Is this why you always hear about Gator football , but not baseball ?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Tradin' Box

A couple weeks ago I sent an email over to Ike's Cards. I had a proposition for him. I get these nice little boxes at work , heater blower resistors come in them. Unfortunately those are a problem for some Chrysler products , and others as well , as I've heard from some of my technician friends. Well , they are a perfect size for sending a small quantity of cards , about 75 or so. I told Cuyahogabend I would send him a box of Cardinals and he could refill the box and send it back.He agreed and said to address it to his son Issac. I can never turn down sending cards to a youngster so I filled the box with a good mix of Redbird cards , old ,new and shiny too , and sent it to Illinois. They seemed to be pretty happy with what they got and today I received the box back ! Upon opening the box I was greeted by a big green , prehistoric dinosaur !
And a short and to the point message from Isaac. Things like this get to me a little as they remind me of our boys when they were young.It's nice to know that there are some parents out there who are still trying to "teach , your children well " as the song goes.

Well , the box was refilled with a terrific supply of Tribe cards !!
These are all some that I know I need and there are many more I will have to check on.

Need these ! I love the cards with emblems and logos.

Wow ! Fausto refractor , Victor X-2 and white border Turkey Red.

And oldies but goodies ! I have at least one Swell Greats Indian ,but not all of these.

This is the rest. The pile is a lot thicker than it looks. Everything from '90 Donruss to an '08 Topps Asdrubal Cabrera triple play highlight card. THANK YOU , ISAAC !!!

And this is the infamous "box" . If anyone else is interested in trading boxes of cards , let me know. It could be teams , players , certain brands or years. Whatever you're looking for ! I think I have a little of almost everything.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

VERY SMALL CARD SHOW with a hidden quiz !

Friday ,at lunch time, I went Sandusky Mall to get in my exercise. 3 brisk laps around the mall in about 30 min. ( daily ritual for type II diabetic ). They are having a sportscard/coin show this week-end. One coin dealer and two card dealers !! And one card dealer wasn't even there yet.The wonderful lady who runs the show, God bless her, is the widow of the gentleman who used to run it. I always stop and talk to her and she still has a few baseball and football cards. She also sells beanies and and few other items. In her box of packs @ 5/$1.00 I found 6 packs of 1993 Upper Deck Fun Packs.These really are fun packs . I already had a few of the cards at home and thought , since I still can't find '09 cards around here , I'll get these. I also picked out 3 1991 Upper Deck hologram team stickers marked $ .50 each. This set consists of 225 base cards including several subsets.The base player cards are grouped by team in alphabetical order.

Each team section starts with a "Glow Star" . It's actually a sticker that partially glows in the dark.

I turned out the light and took another photo. If you look reeeeal close , you can see the outline of Tom Glavine and some faint white areas on the left side.

This would be a regular base card. The bold color and designs make them stand out.

Cards 1-9 are "Stars of Tomorrow" . They were definitely right with this one !

#'s 10-21 were called "Hot Shots" . These cards are really cool ! (pun intended) I already had this card , which is actually from the 1994 set , but had to include it. It works on the same principle as the 1993 set. If anyone has any of these , I would be interested in trading.

For those not familiar with this card set , they are heat sensitive. This is the same card above , after holding it near a light bulb or heat source for 5-10 seconds. You can also hold your thumb on any of the black area in the background and that part of the card will change to the scene behind Smoltz. Just like the color-change hot wheels. In few minutes the background returns to black as it cools down. I love these things! I'm just a kid at heart. My wife always tells people she has 3 boys , 2 she gave birth to and 1 she married.

Speaking of kids , the next subset is " Kid Stars" #'s 22-27 . 25 cards of your favorite team or player to the first person who correctly identifies this player !

Cards 210-215 are " All-Star Advice " . What better star to give hitting advice but Tony Gwynn

This was a nice pull from these packs ! Cal Ripken Jr. "Foldout". Cards 216-220

There is one more subset , "Upper Deck Heroes " , cards 28-37 but I don't have any . The cards are in a comic art design and apparently are not titled on the cards themselves.

Finally , the "Checklists " #'s 221-225

There are also two inserts.

1-5 " Mascot Madness" which are color photos/holograms of 5 baseball mascots.

Last , but not least , is the final insert "All-Star Scratch-Off " .

These 9 cards unfold to a scratch-off baseball game with a line-up from each league.

All the cards show above came from the six packs I bought except for the "Hot Shot" which was a mail-in redemption in 1993.

These are the 3 hologram I purchased with the 6 packs. She only charged me $2.00 for all .