Wednesday, September 30, 2009


No, Tom Paciorek isn't particularly uninspiring, the way the Rangers ended their season in contention was. The 5-2 loss last night allowed Boston to clinch a playoff spot while losing. Not real exciting. Much like the 1988 Score set. Just not much there. Even on card number 531, Tom Paciorek. Leaves me searching for a meaningful post and coming up empty.

In last night's loss Marlon Byrd left the game early with a hip injury. He is listed as day-to-day right now but with only five games left he is likely to join Josh Hamilton on the bench. At least it's September and the expanded rosters make it easier to cover something like that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


So the Rangers are eliminated in the AL West as of last night. Their 11-0 loss sent them out of the race with a resounding thump. Ouch! Maybe next year. At least this season has been a fun ride and the team stayed in official contention until the last week or so of the season. That is something that is nice to see.

Josh Hamilton is also out. This afternoon the Rangers made the official decision to shut him down for the last few games of the season. Hamilton, seen here on card UH202 in the 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights set, has been down since the 2nd with a pinched nerve in his back. Hopefully that is something that can be ironed out before next spring. The question now becomes, will Josh's injury trouble this season have any impact on his long-term contract hopes?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Byrd is flying high at end of season.

So the Rangers are down to two on their elimination number and are six games out in both races. Ain't gonna happen boys.

Don't tell that to Marlon Byrd though. Marlon, pictured here on card number 181 of the 2008 Upper Deck First Edition set, was named AL player of the week for last week. During that time Marlon pushed in 11 RBI and had three home runs. Ron Washington has already said that he would like to have Byrd in the outfield next season and Marlon seems intent on proving to everyone the wisdom of the choice.

In other news, Ian Kinsler cranked his 30th home run over the weekend to get into the 30-30 club. Nice to see a good mix of speed and power in a player.

The 2009 Benchie awards have started over on The Bench. I have entered my Jon Matlack and Texas Rangers collections. In the first round Matlack has a comfortable lead but my Rangers collection is getting hammered by a pretty impressive Red Sox collection. Make sure to head over and lend your support. First round voting ends October 4th

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Word from the management.

I will be unable to post tomorrow and Saturday. Should be back on Monday to resume regular posting. Sadly, I have run out of time to pre-write and schedule posts.

To tide you over until then I will leave you with the Rangers team card from the 1979 Topps set, number 499 in the set. Pat Corrales graciously assented to affix his moniker to the card for me. Since Topps didn't feature the managers on their own cards in 1979 that was the best I could do for a Pat Corrales card from that year.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How 'bout them A's?

Nolan Ryan looks unimpressed on card number 659 of the 1990 Donruss set. Why? He's probably trying to figure out how the A's can be such a problem for the Rangers in the last couple of weeks of the season. A 72-79 team that is 17.5 games out shouldn't be much of a problem. At least not enough of one to cost a team a potential post-season spot.

Nolan's incredulous that such a team could be a problem when he had no problem with a much better team. He's likely recalling his sixth no-hitter, tossed against Oakland in 1990. Of course he has in mind the reason for the card, his 5,000th strikeout. That came against Rickey Henderson in 1989. Rickey's cap said "A's" but the scorecard said "K". The poor A's couldn't even show Nolan up when they weren't playing against him. When Rickey passed Lou Brock as the all-time stolen base leader, Nolan tossed his seventh no-hitter the same night. Possibly some overshadowing going on there.

Nolan knows the A's. At least how to beat them. Well, the early 1990's A's. The good teams. This cellar-dwelling team is a tougher nut to crack apparently.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rangers find bats in Oakland.

Texas scored a big 10-3 win over the A's last night in Oakland. There were a lot of high points for the Rangers in the win as their offense put on a much delayed appearance.

First, Kevin Millwood went seven innings and only gave up one run to pick up the win. That gives him an 11-10 record on the season. To be fair, he suffered from a serious lack of run support on a couple of those loses that should have been wins. As he walked off the mound Millwood had reached 182.2 innings pitched. That is enough to lock him into a contract next year. Unfortunately I have posted all of the Topps cards of Kevin Millwood I have.

The second big night belonged to David Murphy. Murph went 3-for-4 at the plate with two walks. His hits included his 21st double and he had two RBI while scoring twice himself. A strong showing by David as the end of the season looms. Sadly, I have no more Topps cards of David Murphy either.

Julio Borbon also had a big night as he went 3-for-5 at the plate with a walk. Julio stole his 16th base of the season, scored two runs, and had a pair of RBI. As may be foreseen, I have no Topps cards of Julio Borbon either.

I do have a Topps card of Hank Blalock, number 85 in the 2006 set. The Hammer had a pretty good night at the plate as well as he went 3-for-5 with his 19th double of the year. Hank also scored a run and picked up his allotted two RBI as well.

All in all it is good to see the bats back. Even if the post-season is all but out of the picture it would be good to see the team finish strong.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Early endings.

The Cubs have suspended Milton Bradley for the rest of the 2009 season and are apparently not planning on him being back. The suspension follows an interview where Milton refused to answer questions and then a follow-up interview where he went out of his way to bash the Cubs. Following the second interview the Cubbies GM suspended Bradley. A bad situation to be sure. When Bradley played for the Rangers, as shown here on card 484 of the 2008 Upper Deck First Edition set, there were concerns that he would act out this way. Texas dodged the bullet but it seems that Milton just couldn't hold it together for more than a season at a time.

Michael Young's season might also be over. He is now saying that he tried to come back too soon from his injured hamstring and re-injured it. There is no timetable for his return. Next season perhaps?

It is also looking more and more likely that Josh Hamilton will not put on an appearance again until next season as well. Real bummer.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

On "E".

I have to admit that I just don't think they can do it. Sure I'm a true fan and would love to see post-season ball in Arlington. There's a time to be honest though.

The season has been a great one and I feel a success. The Rangers have played over .500 ball and well over everyone's expectations. The pitching has been great. The defense improved. The offense has even been known to show up from time to time.

I think the guys are out of gas though. This card is from the 2000 MLB Showdown Strategy set but it might as well feature Kevin Millwood. He tossed some great ball to start off the season and is still battling but he's got nothing left. The rest of the team is not far behind him.

If the club sticks to its strategy and Jon Daniels can keep the core players, then I think the Angels had better be prepared to fight for the division the next few years. Things could be exciting to watch in the next few seasons.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Lone (RBI) Ranger.

Coming into tonight's game the Rangers had scored one run in their last 37 innings. Add the first five innings of tonight's game and they are up to one run in the last 42 innings. Things haven't been that bad offensively since the team was in Washington.

The lone run came courtesy of a solo home run by David Murphy. Murphy, show here on his 2008 Dr. Pepper card, is 1-for-3 tonight. Maybe he'll be able to unload another dinger and get the Rangers in the game against the Angels.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Today is an off day in the Rangers' schedule. The team isn't traveling though so perhaps they can get rested and recharged. At any rate it is a break from the bloodletting that the season has become as of late.

With no action I decided to post this card 2000 Topps Golden Anniversary Prospect card of Mike Lamb. The card is number GAA-ML in the set and features Mike's certified autograph.

Nice looking card of a player the Rangers just didn't have room for. Mike was a third baseman for Texas from 2000-2003. That was about the time that Hank Blalock was breaking onto the scene. Lamb ended up being dealt to the Yankess to free up the hot corner. Guess there are times that you just gotta make a decision on who goes and who stays.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1986 ProCards - Glen Cook.

So the Rangers get swept by the A's and squander an awesome chance to move up in one of their races. Jarrod Saltalamacchia is done for the rest of the year as he is scheduled for surgery on Monday to correct his Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. Josh Hamilton and Michael Young will be out a few more days. When it rains, it pours.

At least Scott Feldman and Glen Cook managed to brighten up the past week a little. Both of them signed and returned cards that I had sent to them with requests to sign. Feldman signed one of two while Cook signed both.

Interestingly enough, the cards I sent Glen Cook were from the 1986 Topps set. Today's card is also of Glen and is from the 1986 ProCards Eighty Niners team set. Glen appeared in nine games for Texas in 1985. That was enough to get him a Topps card in a Major League uniform. He appeared in 18 games for OKC. That was enough to get him this card. Kind of a parallel universe thing going there.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


I feel like Lenny Randle on card number 259 of the 1975 Topps set. It looks like Lenny just popped up in a key situation and is yelling in frustration as he watches the ball start to fall.

After last night's game and the first six innings of tonight's game I feel like yelling in frustration as I watch the Rangers start to fall. Losing to the A's two nights in a row? Argh!

Monday, September 14, 2009


So Texas won the first game of last night's double-header on a strong performance by Tommy Hunter and lost the second on a not so strong performance by Derek Holland. Net result, loss of ground in both post-season chases.

For some reason I am feeling unmotivated and uncreative today. About as much as this 1988 Score card of Jeff Kunkel, number 407 in the set. Can't really get much more routine than an infielder throwing the ball. Can't get less creative than a green border on a Rangers' card. The whole combination seems to sum up "Bleh." Oh well, maybe the green border will give the team some good luck against the A's tonight.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

1972 Topps - Don Mincher.

No game news out of Texas with the rainout last night. That will require a double-header tomorrow to make up. So far this year the Rangers have been doing pretty well in double-headers. Hopefully they can keep it up.

With the break in the late season action, I decided to take a quick visit back to the 1972 Topps set. Today we have card number 242, Don Mincher. Here we see the by now familiar airbrushed cap and red trim from the Senators uniforms. The back of the card informs us that Don was a first baseman and had a career batting average of .251 going into the 1972 season.

When this card photo was taken Don was about to embark on what would be the final campaign of his career. After playing 61 games for Texas that year he would be traded to the A's along with Ted Kubiak. 47 games for Oakland and that was it for Don.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Rain rain, go away.

On the verge of starting what is possibly the biggest home-stand of the season the Rangers are experiencing a rain delay. So far the game has been delayed for about an hour and forty-five minutes.

Somewhat frustrating but not nearly so as Alfonso Soriano's year has been. After landing a huge contract with the Cubbies the former Rangers' second baseman has struggled. Today the Cubs announced more bad news. Soriano, seen here on card number 3 of the 2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics set, is most likely out for the season. Apparently his left knee will need surgery. Soriano will be getting a second opinion but a return to the field this year is not foreseen.

At least Chicago is already eleven games behind St. Louis and eight out in the wildcard so the news won't sink the season.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Slow day.

The Rangers and Red Sox both have an off day today. Anaheim plays Seattle later this evening but that is the only action in either race Texas is involved in.

Everyone seems to be taking the rare off day to rest. There is no news from Arlington. Some reporters were wondering if the Rangers would bench Kevin Millwood in order to be able to void his contract next year. Apparently there are no such intentions.

With the slow day I will leave you with this 2000 Fleer Tradition Fresh Ink autograph of Cesar King. Nice looking on card autograph, even if Cesar never made it big.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Feldman flabbergasts Tribe.

Texas won a matinee game today in Cleveland 10-0 as they scored big in the first and ninth innings. Esteban German, Ivan Rodriguez, and Elvis Andrus were all key contributors to the Texas barrage.

Scott Feldman was undoubtedly the day's star though. Feldman, seen here on card number 292 of the 2006 Fleer set, went seven scoreless innings to get the win. It is Scooter's 12th road win this season and takes his season record to 16-4. The outing also lowers his ERA to 3.46 on the season. Not bad for the guy who was supposed to be the third or fourth starter in the rotation coming out of Spring Training. I don't like to presume but if the team is still playing after October 4th I would like Feldman as the opening starter.

After an off day tomorrow the guys will be back in Arlington to host the Mariners. Three games against Seattle and then three each against the A's and Angels will be the homestand. Got to win a lot of those games, especially against the Angels.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Random Rangers auto #6.

I remember my Grandfather saying that the Rangers found Geno Petralli on a Dr. Pepper loading dock. Not sure if that story is true or not. Cool if it is. I got this card signed through the mail by Geno during his playing days back in the early 1990's.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Random Rangers auto #5.

Hideki Irabu is another Ranger I have no memory of. I guess he played a couple of years for the team. He took much less time than that to autograph this 2002 Topps card. I sent it to him on January 27, 2009 and got it back on August 10th.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Random Rangers auto #4.

I was hoping to get my favorite player in here. Jon Matlack is always an awesome signer. He has come through for me several times. This particular 1984 Topps card was an Ebay purchase though.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Random Rangers auto #3.

Louis Alicea played for the Rangers during the time period I wasn't following the game much. As a result I don't remember Louis in a Rangers' uniform. He's in one here though and that was enough for me to send this card to him on October 23, 2008. Mr. Alicea was good enough to sign it and get it back to me on December 9, 2008.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Random Rangers auto #2.

Second in line is this 1994 Upper Deck Steve Dreyer, number 9 in the set. The card is shiny so it doesn't scan well and the autograph is hard to see. It looks much nicer in person I sent this card to Steve on November 25, 2008 and he got it back to me on December 31, 2008.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Random Rangers auto #1.

We start off with this Steve Buechele auto on card number 176 of the 1987 Topps set. Boo was one of my favorite players as a kid and I was glad to find out that he still signs through the mail. I sent this card to Steve on December 24, 2008 and got it back on January 14, 2009.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teetering on the brink.

With their loss last night the Rangers came in to play today 5.5 games out in the AL West and 4.0 games out in the Wildcard hunt. That puts them on the verge of being out of the race for all practical purposes. They need to start winning and keep it up.

Apparently that spurred the guys on in game one of today's doubleheader against the Blue Jays in Arlington. Dustin Nippert was solid and Neftali Feliz was his usual dominating self as the offense came through. Ian Kinsler, shown here on card number GN439 of the 2007 Topps Generation Now set, led off and led the charge. Ian was 2-for-4 in the game with a homer. Nelson Cruz posted a 2-for-3 record at the plate while Chris Davis went 3-for-4. Pudge kept pace with the younsters as he managed a 2-for-4 game. All those hits helped the team to a 5-2 victory over the Jays. Now to take game two.

I think I learned my lesson about posting polls. Two votes in three plus days and one of them was mine. Think I'll let opinions be heard in the comments section from now on.

Starting tomorrow I will be unable to post for a week or so. I will attempt to preload a selection of in person and through the mail autographs. Hopefully I can figure out the automated posting and you find the cards enjoyable, even if not taylored to the latest Rangers' news.