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Showing posts from March, 2009

Predictions you can't count on

When I saw yesterday that the Dodgers had signed lefty reliever Will Ohman to a minor league deal, my first thought was "who?"

I felt guilty about that, so I read some more, and saw that he had pitched for the Braves and Cubs. My next thought was "um, yeah, I think I kind of, sort of remember him with the Braves."

Then I figured I'd mention the acquistion on the blog. Which prompted this thought: "Where am I going to find a card of Will Ohman?"

It turns out I had one -- the 2006 Upper Deck card up top here. I forgot that when you want a card of just about anyone, you turn to Topps Total ... uh, er, Upper Deck.

So, not only did I forget who Ohman was, but I forgot who he was even though I had a card of the poor guy. I tell ya, situational lefty relievers who are 31 years old get no respect.

A few snippets about Ohman: he appeared in 83 games for the Braves last year. He missed two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery while with the Cubs. He was born…

From the land of Isotopes

First, I'd like to direct your attention to the card that matches my blog layout the best (EDIT: that is before I changed my blog layout). I need to feature this card permanently on the blog somewhere. It's perfect. It's even better than the 1984 Topps Dodgers, which also had the yellow/blue theme going.

This is one of the cards that came from Patricia and Lucy at Dinged Corners. They sent a great collection of Dodgers all the way from the land of Isotopes. I'm a bit jealous that folks like Patricia and Lucy, as well as Kris of Cards in the Attic, can see the Dodgers' Triple A farm team on a regular basis this season. I know if I lived there, I'd be in the stands all the time.

The team's nickname needs some work, though. I much prefer the old Albuquerque Dukes. I know why they picked "Isotopes," but when I looked up the definition of the word, it just gave me a dull pain above my left eye. "Isotopes are any of the different types of atoms of…

Cardboard appreciation: 1975 Topps Bernie Carbo

(From author, teacher, speaker William Arthur Ward: "Flatter me, and I may not believe you. Criticize me, and I may not like you. Ignore me, and I may not forgive you. Encourage me, and I may not forget you." That, my friends, is an ode to appreciation. Time for Cardboard Appreciation. This is the 24th in a series):

This card is here for no other reason than that it was front-and-center in my mind as a kid when I played baseball in the backyard. Even though Carbo is obviously taking a warm-up cut, I envisioned myself as Carbo in the photo. I thought he was admiring a titan blast.

I grew up playing baseball behind my house, which had yellow siding and sat on a hill, at the corner of two streets. The dimensions of the improvised baseball diamond we played on weren't exactly drawn to scale.

Home plate was the walkway from the back patio to the street. First base was the near pole on the swing set. The trip from first base to second base was about half the distance from home t…

Yup, more Dodgers

On Saturday, while most sports fans were watching NCAA basketball, I tuned in to WGN and watched some of the White Sox-Dodgers spring training affair before I headed to work.

I'm more baseball-centric these day than I've ever been since I was a kid. I can block out any other sporting event, no matter how hyped or huge, for the sake of baseball. Plus, this wasn't any old baseball game. It was my first chance to see the Dodgers in 2009! Living 2,500 miles from Camelback Ranch, I don't have many opportunities.

To get into the spirit of the game, I decided to record my baseball firsts for 2009. But after three innings I got distracted, so it's only a partial list. Here is the official, unfinished tally:

First batter: Rafael Furcal, Dodgers
First pitch: Gavin Floyd, White Sox
First out: Rafael Furcal, grounder to short
First strikeout: Orlando Hudson by Gavin Floyd
First base hit: Manny Ramirez, Dodgers
First walk: Carlos Quentin, White Sox by Randy Wolf, Dodgers
First…

One dollar gets you two dozen

"Two dozen what?" you're asking.

Ah, sit tight for the story, dear readers.

While I was at work last night, my wife went out shopping. During her search for party favors for my daughter's long-delayed birthday party/sleepover, she stopped at that dollar store with the dollar bags of '80s baseball cards. And because she is an angel, she grabbed a bag for me and left it by the computer when I came home from work.

Now my wife knows very little about baseball, but she knows I like these particular bags, and she understands a bargain when she sees one. Forty or fifty cards for a dollar? What's not to understand?

She actually did quite well with the first card, which was showing on the top of the stack.

It was a 1986 Topps Rod Carew card. My wife doesn't know who Rod Carew is or that I have this card already. But really, for blindly grabbing at the first card you see, you can't do better than Rod Carew.

Sadly, after Carew, the bag went south. Way, way, way, sout…

One for the thumb

All the talk this week about "The Big Lebowski" and the creation of virtual cards of missing toes, etc., made me think about a certain childhood obsession of mine concerning former player Carlos May.

White Sox fans will remember May as a promising outfielder who had some decent seasons for Chicago back in the early-to-mid '70s. They also probably remember what happened to May's right thumb early in his career.

May was on duty for the Marine reserves in the summer of 1969 when a mortar unit that he was cleaning misfired and blew off part of his right thumb. The accident could have killed his career, but after several operations, he was back playing for the White Sox the next season.

Years later, when I was a kid, I heard about May's accident and I started searching his baseball cards to see if I could spot his right thumb (I was a weird kid). May was playing in Japan at the time, so it wasn't like I could watch him on TV. Cards were all I had to go on.

But I coul…

The unexpected

Here's a little insight into the thought process behind my want lists, for those who care. Most of my want lists are based on what other collectors have available or are willing to trade. That means the cards are relatively current, and I try to put as many modern card lists up as possible.

I also try to put up mostly lists of sets that I'm somewhat close to finishing. At least halfway anyway -- mostly because it gets tedious typing all those numbers. That explains why I say at the top of my want list that I am collecting the 1972 Topps set, but there is no '72 want list. I need lots and lots of cards for that set, so I don't feel comfortable putting it up there. Same goes for last year's Upper Deck Timeline set. I'm half-heartedly collecting it. But I probably only have a fifth of the set. Maybe I'll get to putting those two up there someday.

There is one exception to my want list "rules," and that is 1971 Topps. Although I have just over half o…