Friday, July 29, 2011

Cardboard appreciation, the review 2 (part 4)

Greetings from the '70s!

A heartfelt thank you for voting for my childhood, Buick Skylarks, and strange photography. The Luis Alvarado card has advanced out of the first round in the Cardboard Appreciation, the Review 2 contest.

It even beat out the '74 Steve Garvey card, which is very impressive. To be honest, I probably would have picked Alvarado over Garvey as well. That's how much I enjoy the awkward '70s.

Here are the final votes:

1. 1973 Topps Luis Alvarado - 18 votes
2. 1974 Topps Steve Garvey - 14 votes
3. 1954 Topps Jim Gilliam - 4 votes
4. 1991 Topps Oscar Azocar - 4 votes
5. 1995 Upper Deck Wonderful Terrific Monds - 3 votes
6. 2010 Bowman Chrome Bo Bowman - 3 votes
7. 1975 Topps Bobby Murcer - 2 votes
8. 1982 Topps Traded Cal Ripken Jr. - 1 vote

That's right. The Topps Traded Ripken received just one vote. I like my readership.

The next group of first-rounders isn't nearly as strong as last week, unfortunately. I expect a certain card to run away with the voting. But the poll has proven me wrong multiple times.

So here is what you're looking at this time:

1. 1991 Line Drive Jerry Manuel: I have a card of Manuel as a player, a minor league manager, and a major league manager. I think it's funny that it declares Manuel as a "pre-rookie" when his major league career was 15 years before this card was made.

2. 1974 Topps Don Hood: Hood looks like Burt Reynolds on virtually all of his cards. Look it up.

1999 Flair Showcase Gary Sheffield: I really want to do a countdown of the most over-the-top cards ever made, but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be able to afford the cards that made the countdown.

4. 1955 Topps Jackie Robinson: OK, show's over. Should I even reveal the rest of the cards? Who would vote against a '55 Jackie? Only people who punch kittens on the way to work.

5. 1979 Burger King Tommy John: Burger King was the traded set that wasn't a traded set. The BK cards were probably the most coveted cards when I was a kid.

6. 2006 Topps Opening Day Justin Huber: Huber is in the Opening Day set, but not the Topps base set, and I blamed Alex Gordon. Well, actually I blamed Topps.

7. 1978 Topps Rookie Shortstops: This card is more than Molitor and Trammell to me. But I admit, it signaled the start of rookie card mania in my home. Before Rickey. Before Ripken. Before Mattingly.

8. 1988 Score Game Breakers, Mattingly and Clark: A fellow Dodger fan asked me the other day: "Do you think they'll keep Mattingly?" Geez, is it really his fault?

OK, the poll is up on the sidebar. Vote for Robinson, or, uh, someone else, you kitten punchers.


  1. At the time of this comment, nine kittens have been punched.

    (don't blame me, I only kick puppies)

  2. This was a tough one for me. My finalists from this bunch are the Hood (that would be a cool nickname, "The Hood"), Jackie (obviously), the Tommy John Burger King (is it lunch yet?), the Molitor/Trammel and honorable mention for my favorite player, Donnie Baseball.

    I'm going with the Hood, though. Here's why.............

    This '74 card captures what must have been some great days for Ron. First off, he was probably still recovering from 'cleaning up' with the ladies at St. Petersburg Junior College in '69. As a Burt Reynolds doppelganger, you can easily imagine him quipping "Yeah girls, I'll be pitching in the majors next year" in between swigs of beer.

    Let's look at the picture in this card, though. It appears to be a spring training shot, we'll assume we're looking at early '74? Hood was coming off of a VERY positive ending for his 1973 Rookie season. AT 3-2 with a 3.93 ERA, he wasn't going to get many Cy Young votes, but it was a good start. He had appeared in only 3games but saved his best for last in a 2-Hit, complete game victory over Al Kaline and the Tigers. Kaline went 0-4 and Ron struck out 5, further solidifying the 10 game lead Baltimore held over the second place Red Sox. The O's would take the eventual World Series Champion A's to a 5th game in the ALCS.

    SO, the spring in 1974 must have had that "sky is the limit" feeling for Mr. Hood and is responsible for that cheshire grin in this card. Can't blame him!

    How did he fare in '74? Well, he only appeared in 12 more games (20) and 'eeked' a 1-1 record with a 3.47 ERA. BUT he did record a save in the season's final game, against the Tigers again, that held the Orioles' divisional lead over the Yankees at 2 games. The O's would again lose to the World Champion A's in the ALCS.

    The Hood went on to play for the Indians, Yankees, Cardinals and Royals finishing at 34-35, 3.79, 6 CGs, 1 Shutout, 6 saves and 374 Ks (364 BBs) in 848.1 innings.

    You 'da man, Hood, keep on smiling!

    Does anybody know the name of the spring training ballpark for the O's in '74?

    Have a great weekend, everybody.

  3. Whoops....."Ron" and "Don" are interchangeable for me, I guess? HA....perhaps a freudian slip by this Mattingly fan!

  4. Ryan, the O's used Miami Stadium for their ST during that era.

  5. Forgot to mention... I'm voting for the Sheffield because 1) It's just a ridiculously typical Flair card and 2) it perfectly reflects Shef's split personality.

  6. Ok, why did even have a poll if you're going to add in somethin like a Jackie Robinson card that trumps everything else? LOL