Before I get into the final vote-off that leads into the semifinals in Cardboard Appreciation, the Review 3, I'd like to mention a few baseball/hobby-related goings-on that have happened to me in the last 24 hours.
Because everyone's just got to know 'bout little ol' night owl, right?
First of all, if you haven't heard about the untimely passing of George "Boomer" Scott, I hate to be the one to break it to you. He died on Sunday at age 69.
I have written at least a couple of odes to Scott during the life of this blog. He is, after all, a member of the Bad-ass Club and the man who taught me the importance of the home run. He is at the very center of my first real introduction to the powers of baseball.
During that late spring/early summer of 1977, Scott was part of a Red Sox home run bash that was the topic of the sports world. As I mentioned in that earlier post, Sports Illustrated put out a story on Boston's HR binge and it became one of the most popular articles for every 11-year-old baseball-loving boy.
Here is the opening spread:
That is 33 "booms," one for each home run hit during Boston's binge that June. I counted them all, and I was also ticked-off that yachtsman Ted Turner got the cover instead of George Scott.
The '76 Topps George Scott pictured above is the first card of Scott I ever saw. It's a fantastic card, although it's probably not his best one (his 1970 Topps card was voted the best of the '70s during yet another Scott-related post). Let's not forget his 1977 Topps card in which he is displaying the necklace that he once stated was strung "with second basemen's teeth."
I'll miss you, George. RIP.
The second thing involves the crazy, cantankerous, surreal world of Twitter.
If you're not on that wild amusement park ride, then you missed it.
I got into an argument with Greg Swindell.
Yes, THAT Greg Swindell. (Also a member of the All-Greg Team, by the way, which is why he needs to be my friend).
It was all regarding the nonsense over Yasiel Puig sliding into home after his walk-off homer last night. I thought, given the particulars, it wasn't any big deal. Probably shouldn't be doing it, but given the cultural differences and the situation (opponents already off the field, teammates surrounding the plate, HR-hitter probably trying to avoid getting pounded on), let's not make something out of nothing.
Swindell took the "unwritten rules" side, and "playing the game right" and all that. This is fine, but you've got to consider a lot more factors than that. It's not that simple.
But he didn't want to hear it, from me or anyone, and as is often the case when you get into it with an MLBer (remember, I'm a sportswriter, it's not the first time), he's going to play the "did you ever play the game" card.
I've gotten this before -- it's the pro athlete's version of "the check's in the mail," an easy way out -- but what do you say after that? He's not going to listen to you unless you say "I played in the big leagues for five years and hit a home run off of YOU."
So, as I've often been told before, I was then informed that my opinion meant zip. Because nobody ever paid me to play baseball.
No big deal, as I expressed in this tweet:
Perhaps Swindell thought that was amusing because he tweeted this a little bit later:
At any rate, it was very bizarre to be disputing something that I thought was pretty insignificant with a former major leaguer, who I had periodically rooted for during his playing career because he is also named "Greg."
That's Twitter for you, crushing your dreams.
Finally, this afternoon, I received a big box on my porch.
I was warned about this package, but I still marvel over the goodness inside.
I'm saving the post on it for later this week, but here is a little list to give you an idea of what was inside:
1. Night cards
2. Dodgers, from the '70s to present day, including some 2013 parallels that will never make it to my neck of the woods
3. 1975 Topps minis
4. 1970s oddballs
5. 1972 Topps high numbers
6. 1967 Topps
7. 1956 Topps
8. A mess of 2013 Topps
And probably other stuff I am missing.
It's tremendous and I can't wait to show it all -- but I have zero time to scan individual cards right now.
Which is why we are now at Cardboard Appreciation, the Review 3, where all of the cards have been scanned already!
I'm sure you're not surprised that rookie Freddy Lynn won last week's vote-off and we're now 7-for-7 for 1970s cards making the next round.
Here is the vote tally:
1. Fred Lynn, 1976 Topps, 27 votes
2. Graig Nettles, 1978 Topps, 9 votes
3. Randy Ready, 1991 Score, 6 votes
4. Stan Musial, 2006 Topps Walmart, 4 votes
5. Cardinals team, 1978 Topps, 2 votes
6. Eric Karros, 2000 Pacific Invincible, 1 vote
7. Matt Kemp, 2009 UD SPx, 1 vote
8. Austin Kearns, 2013 Topps, 1 vote
(51 total votes)
The only question now is will all eight semifinalists be from the 1970s?
The final eight cards up for vote include a couple of '70s entries, but I don't think they're as strong as past cards featured from that decade.
Here is the group:
1. 1977 Topps A's team checklist: The A's team cards of the '70s always fascinated me as it told a tale of extravagant success to pathetic bottom-feeders.
2. 1979 Topps Don Reynolds: Reynolds is the older brother of Harold Reynolds. But even though I collect in 1979, I never heard of him until I pulled this card out of a package a few months ago. Don Reynolds missed out on a chance to be included in my vast collection of useless knowledge.
3. 1953 Topps Billy Loes: A wonderful gnawed card of one of the characters of Bumdom. This card is a rarity among the '53 set for both its wide view of the subject (only 14 cards in the set show a player's legs) and no writing on the uniform.
4. 1998 Topps Jim Leyritz: For the first 30 years or so, baseball card photos featured pretty standard props. Bats, gloves and caps. Then in the '80s, somebody threw a snake on a card and there's no turning back. This card features the rare bar stool on in baseball card photo.
5. 1994 Upper Deck Heroes Joe Garagiola: Garagiola was the broadcaster of my childhood (along with Tony Kubek). That might explain why I was dreaming about him and baseball cards. At least I hope that was why I was dreaming about him.
6. 1981 Donruss Joe Charboneau: Joe Charboneau, the legend who used to open beer bottles with his eye sockets is featured on a card with a scoreboard that is flashing "This Bud's For You." OUT-STANDING.
7. 1988 Score Casey Candaele: This card is noted because it mentions on the back that Candaele's mother played professionally back in the 1940s. An appropriate Mother's Day card, which is when I featured it.
8. 1975 Topps Ted Sizemore: This well-loved card was selected because I was writing about players that you liked for no reason at all. This happens a lot in childhood. For those who remember their childhood anyway.
So, this your final chance to get a card in the semifinals.
I've made the sidebar pink just for you. So shield your eyes once again and vote for one of the fine cards above.
Meanwhile, I think I'm going to go to work and then lie down for a long time. It's been a pretty active 24 hours.