Saturday, February 27, 2010

Who's on first?

No, this is not going to be an Abbot and Costello post. More like an Acta and Shapiro post.

They say Russell Branyan will be our starting 1st baseman. I don't really have a major problem with that, but I don't see how they can be so sure at this point. You have to go into spring training with a plan in mind,but not knowing for sure how anyone is going to perform, it seems hard to make a done deal announcement like that. Maybe that was just part of an act to get Branyan. He did want to be assured a spot in the starting line-up, so tell him what he wants to hear. There are so many people who can play so many positions, which is good for giving a regular player a rest once in a while or in case of an injury there's someone to take over, but I would think you need to look at everyone in spring training to get a feel for who is going to be able to do the best job at each position. They get La Porta all set to play first and now it's like they pulled the rug right out from under his spikes. I realize he is still recovering from surgery but give the guy a chance! I made it clear several months ago I was not thrilled with the choice of our new manager. I also said that, in spite of that, I would stand behind him and the team and not condemn anyone for any changes. I will still do that. I truly hope their plans work because I want to see a winning team in Cleveland again. Besides the Cavaliers. Go Cavs !! (I'll root for them too,I'm just not into b-ball too much). I'm just waiting to see how things pan out toward the end of spring training and who's playing the best at that time. And then see what the projected starting line-up looks like.

Matt LaPorta.

If he is fully recovered and capable of playing at the big league level on opening day I think he should be in Cleveland. We won't know for a few weeks so why not have an open mind about it? From what I've read it sounds like they already have him in Columbus!

Travis Hafner
This guy has got to get healthy again ! We need him to get back to the menacing figure at the plate that he was a couple years ago. Any line-up needs a hitter that makes the opposing pitcher get weak kneed when they see him approach the plate. If he can't be that hitter, they need to reconsider all the possibilities available.

Trevor Crowe and Michael Brantley
They just need to concentrate on their game, watch, listen and learn. They both show a great potential for the future of this team.We need to see what they can do this spring and hopefully work them into the line-up.

So, I will be watching spring training like everyone else and hoping that Mark and Manny will make the right decisions based on the performances of each player. Manny, please surprise me and don't don't be a wishy-washy manager. Stand firm with the players and don't be afraid to play small ball. Let's get back to some real baseball !!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wanted : Jim Thome !

Jim Thome. What a player he was for the Tribe.Well liked, friendly and wanted to stay in Cleveland or Chicago or Philadelphia or Los Angeles or Minnesota for the rest of his career.He was the last "favorite" player I ever collected. Don't get me wrong, I'm not condemning Mr. Thome for leaving. I understand that's the way the system works when you become a superstar.If I was a sports superstar, would I stay with one team for my entire career? I'd like to say yes, but who really knows. There are always behind the scene circumstances we fans don't know about.

We met Jim once in 1993 when he purchased a new Jeep from the dealership where I worked at the time. We had just been to a game a couple weeks earlier and watched him hit one of his signature home runs to left field in old Municipal Stadium. He autographed cards for my sons and I. From then on, he was our favorite player and my goal was to collect every card there was of Jim Thome. However, when he left Cleveland I stopped collecting his newer cards from other teams. I do still collect his Indian cards and have around 900.I am forever grateful to Jim for giving us that opportunity.

Below you will find a list of the cards I am still looking for. Please contact me if you have any of these cards that you would like to part with !

1992 Pinnacle Rookie Idols #13

1992 Score Rookies #4

1992 Topps Debut #171

1992 Topps Gold Winners #768

1992 UD Gold Hologram #1

1992 UD Gold Hologram #5

1992 Stadium Club #81

1993 Fleer/Pro Cards Triple A All-Stars #38

1993 UD Gold Hologram #45

1994 Collector's Choice Gold Signature #624

1994 Pinnacle Artist's Proof #73

1994 Stadium Club First Day Issue #257

1994 Stadium Club Golden Rainbow #257

1994 Stadium Club Member's Only #257

1005 Collector's Choice SE Gold Signature # 114

1995 Collector's Choice Silver Sinature #268

1005 Donruss Press Proof #200

1995 Donruss Top of the Order #68

1995 Finest Refractor #37

1995 Select Artist's Proof #32

1995 Sportflics Artist's Proof #85

1995 Stadium Club First Day Issue #147

1995 Stadium Club Member's Only #147

1995 Stadium Club Super Tweam Master Photos #19

to be continued....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Topps Million Card Give-a-way

Can you believe this !!??? If you can I have some land in Manhattan I want to sell you.
This was actually my first card. At least I knew who he was.

#2 was a little more exciting. Not much,but at least a little older.

#3 Was the "Hit". I think I already have several of these but it was better than I expected.

# 4 My last one for today. This was more of a vintage card.

Not bad overall. For free.
I haven't looked into shipping costs yet!

I'll be checking out the trade possibilities

Sunday, February 14, 2010

1887 Old Judge Cleveland Blues Baseball Cards

1887 Old Judge Cigarette Cards

There were at least 9 Old Judge cards of Cleveland players on the 1887 roster.Below I have images of 8 different players, two of which have multiple poses.Obviously, some of the images are not very clear and I am searching for better ones.

Jimmy Williams, Mgr.
Billy Crowell, P 14-31 4.88 45 complete games!

Bob Gilks, P 7-5 3.08 12 Complete games

Second pose of Gilks

John McGlone, sub. 21 games 79 AB .253 12 RBI
Second pose for McGlone

Ed McKean, SS 132 games 539 AB .286 54 RBI

T.C. Nicholson
There is conflicting information on this player. I found the card here . The card says Cleveland and is filed under minor league. The 2009 SCD Standard Catalog doesn't list his name in the Old Judge set. There is a Parson Nicholson (sometimes listed as Micholson) listed on a Cleveland card with a note that he never played for Cleveland. The information for these old cards is sometimes very sketchy.

Cub Stricker, 2B 131 games 534 AB .264 53 RBI

Chief Zimmer, sub. 14 games 52 AB .231 4 RBI
Pete Hotaling, CF 126 games 505 AB .299 94 RBI
I still need an image of this card.
Much of my information comes from a terrific book by David Nemec. It's titled " The Great Encyclopedia of 19th Century Major League Baseball". It's a tough read, but it's filled with over 800 pages of history including teams, leagues,rosters and player information.

Be My Valentine !!

This is an honest -to- goodness, genuine 1950's valentine !

When I was in grade school we would always pass out valentines to our fellow (and fellowette) classmates.The guys were always careful about the ones you gave to another guy.They couldn't be too mushy or have the word "love" on them ! Well, some of mine got saved.Old baseball cards,no.Valentines, yes. Go figure!! Actually my Mother kept these in a box with my baby book along with other memories.This particular one came from a young man whom I've known,and been good friends with, for over 55 years! We even played on the same team in little league. We still live here in the same town we grew up in. I'm sending this to you John, Happy Valentines Day !!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some Indian cards that don't fit in my collection....

Well, that's what the note said, that was inside one of the packages I found in my mailbox !

I know I said I wasn't going to post trades too much on this blog anymore,but this is an exception.

The package came from Todd over at Wax Pack Relapse. Todd always seems to have some really incredible cards highlighted on his blog.We actually met at the Nationals in Cleveland last year. He sent a nice stack of about 25-30 cards.Below are the highlights.

I'm just going to let these cards speak for themselves !!

Thank you very ,very much for the GREAT cards !

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

History of Cleveland Professional Baseball Part VI, again !!

This is an updated remake of a previous post.Some of you who have been around a while may remember it.I kind of got side tracked by holidays and trades and this series fell into the vast crevasses of the blogosphere. That's partly why I created my Trading Post. To keep this blog more on track. I have created a side bar so anyone can easily access the first five parts of this story if they so desire. I hope you enjoy it!!


The first Cleveland baseball cards ?

Cleveland makes it's way back to the Major Leagues.

After a two year hiatus Cleveland was able to move back into major league baseball as a replacement for the Pittsburgh team which defected to the National League. Of course, that made Cleveland a member of the American Association.

Cleveland did not fare well in their first year in the Association, finishing last in an eight team league, with a 39-92 record. Pete Hotaling,who played center field, finished with a .299 BA, 136 pts. behind the league leader Tip O'Neill at .435. Their team ERA of 4.99 barely beat out the New York club at 5.28 for last place in the league.Things are sure to better next year.

Jimmy Williams, the manager for the 1887 Blues is featured on the 1887-90 Old Judge (N-172) series card pictured above. Many Cleveland players were awarded cards in this very large and confusing set.Being issued over a four year period created cards with the same player on various teams and also,in some cases, many different poses.These are the oldest Cleveland cards I have been able to identify. I am now working on a list of all the Cleveland cards in this set. That will be my next post, along with photos of some of the Tribe cards.

If anyone knows of any older Cleveland cards, please let me know !
year !

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Toronto Tribe Trade

This may be the last trade post you see on this blog. OK, I hear the cheering,you can stop now!

I'm not not going to stop trading, and I won't stop posting the trades but they will be posted on my Trading Post blog. Earlier this year I said I wanted to make some changes and get back to more informative and, hopefully, more interesting posts. Well ,I'm snowed in today, so this seems like a good time to start. It all begins at the top with a new header, that Night Owl should love!!

Now, on to Toronto.

Dennis, over at Pictures of Men, needed some Bowman Heritage cards and I had some to get rid of. In return ,he sent me this huge stack of Tribe cards !

Here are some of the highlights.

2006 Bowman Chrome Cliff Lee
2009 Upper Deck OPC Travis Hafner insert

1993 Carlos Baerga Stadiun Club Member's Choice
2001 Topps Stars Travis Fryman
1992 Ultra Junior Ortiz
Very cool shot of Ortiz, and I love that uniform.

2004 Donruss Team Heroes C.C. Sabathia Showdown parallel
2009 Topps Tris Speaker Turkey Red insert
2009 Finest Cliff Lee
1983 Fleer team checklist
I had never seen these before.
I now know my set is complete!!

2009 Upper Deck O-Pee-Chee checklist.
I now know my set is not complete.
I need :
61 V-Mart
86 Carmona
128 Perez
130 Wood
450 Lee
491 Garko
Sizemore is the only black-border I have

2009 Topps 206 Masterson mini Piedmont back

Now this is a card I can relate to very well !!
1963 Topps Pedro Ramos
This was from my boyhood era.I was 12 years old when this card was issued. Right in the thick of my baseball card collecting days. No computers. No cable or satellite TV. Every nice day in the summer we were outside playing ball, hiking through the woods or getting onto some sort of trouble!

Dennis, thank you very much for the great pictures of men !!