Tuesday, November 30, 2010

1974 Topps - Jackie Brown.

Jackie Brown shows up today on what is the worst-looking card I have posted to date from the 1974 Topps set, number 89. I have to wonder what happened. I mean, the Rangers had been in existence since 1972 and Jackie had been with the franchise since 1970. Why the odd angle and airbrush job?

Jackie split his time between the rotation and the bullpen in 1974. He got 26 starts in 35 games. He would complete nine of those starts, two of them were shutouts. In total he would toss 216.2 innings. That was a career high and put him third on the team in innings pitched. His 13-12 record was also third best in the starting rotation.

Jackie's 3.57 ERA was second best in the rotation and was a career low for him to that point. His 1.352 WHIP was also the lowest he had posted to that point. His 134 strikeouts were also the most he had compiled in a season in his Major League career.

All in all Jackie had what appeared to be a breakout year. It seemed that his surge came just in time as the Rangers were looking to finally be a force. Things were looking up for Brown it seemed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Minor League Monday - Mike Jeffcoat, 1987 ProCards.

By the time Mike Jeffcoat appeared on card number 142 of the 1987 ProCards set he had already been in the Major Leagues for three seasons. Between 1983 and 1985 Mike pitched for the Cleveland Indians and San Francisco Giants. In December of 1986 he signed with the Rangers as a free agent after spending the 1986 season in the Giants' system.

Jeffcoat would start two games for the Rangers in 1987 but would spend the rest of the season with Triple A Oklahoma City.

Mike would get 24 starts in 26 appearances with the Eighty-Niners and would toss 159.2 innings. He would post a 4.79 ERA and a 1.466 WHIP. Neither number was pretty. Of course neither were the 14 home runs he allowed. Those totals are probably why he spent the majority of the season in OKC.

Mike did strike out 101 batters while walking less than half that number - 41. That showed some promise. As a result, Texas would hold on to him. Mike looked to still have a couple of chances left to get back to the Majors.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Senators Saturday - Bennie Daniels, 1961.

Today we have the Senator's first ever wins leader on card number 368 of the 1961 Topps set. Bennie Daniels was 12-11 for the 1961 season. Not real good but good enough to lead the team in wins. Washington picked Daniels up from the Pirates in a December 1960 trade.

In addition to leading the team in wins in 1961, Bennie tied for the most innings pitching with 212. He also led the team in complete games (12) and strikeouts (110). His 3.44 ERA was the lowest of any season to date (excepting a seven inning stint in 1957). His 1.245 WHIP was also a personal best to that point in his career (again excepting 1957).

Bennie didn't stop at pitching though. His .197 batting average included 15 hits, two of which were home runs.

Overall Daniels had responded well to the transition to the American League. He appeared to be poised to make a new start along with the franchise.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wantlist - 2002 Absolute Memorabilia.

So with the Upper Deck wantlists all posted, I had to ponder a bit to decide where to go next. Thought I would give the only Absolute Memorabilia set I don't have done a shot. As you can see from Chan Ho Park on card number 141, the 2002 Absolute Memorabilia set doesn't scan all that well. Here's what I need to complete the team set:

2002 Absolute Memorabilia
153 Hank Blalock RP
163 Colby Lewis RP
164 Mark Teixeira RP
187 Travis Hughes RP
188 Kevin Mench RP

Let me know if you have any of these and are willing to part with them. On to the tradelist installment:

Mike Piazza
2002 Donruss #11
2002 Sweet Spot #75 (x2)
2002 Victory #538
2003 Fleer Patchworks #31
2005 Bazooka Comics #23
2005 Fleer Patchworks #59
2005 Fleer Platinum #65
2005 Upper Deck #131

Albert Pujols
2004 Fleer Inscribed #65
2005 Fleer Patchworks #49
2005 Fleer Platinum #66
2007 Turkey Red #25
2007 Turkey Red #48
2008 Topps Opening Day #50
2009 Goudey #178
2009 Topps #UH48
2009 Upper Deck #436
2010 Topps #100
2010 Topps #206
2010 Topps #327

Anybody remember when Mike Piazza was as big as Pujols? Seemed like there was a time when Mike was larger than life. Speakiing of life, it calls. I spent an extra four hours at work today and we have family coming in at any moment so I had better run.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Josh Hamilton won the American League MVP. Congratulations Josh!

I ended up getting called back into work just as I sat down to post this so I am running way behind. As such I will leave this short and sweet.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Minor League Monday - Paul Kilgus, 1987 ProCards.

Paul Kilgus, shown here on card number 133 of the 1987 ProCards set, was drafted by the Rangers in 1984. 1987 would be his year to get the call. In fact, Paul would appear in four more games for Texas than he would for Triple A Oklahoma City.

For the Eighty-Niners Kilgus took the hill 21 times in 1987. All of his appearances were in relief. In all he would toss 24.2 innings and post a not very impressive 4.01 ERA. Paul would fan 14 batters while walking 13. Three of those walks were intentional. Paul's WHIP was 1.338.

All told, Paul Kilgus didn't have a very impressive season at Triple A in 1987. However, the Rangers were short on good pitching in 1987 and Paul was a left-hander. Those factors combined to send him to the Major Leagues. Kilgus looked to be on his way.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Senators Saturday - Jim King, 1961.

Jim King shows up today on card number 351 of the 1961 Topps set. Jim's sporting the first posed shot of the team set. Gotta like to look of the on-deck circle behind Jim. Doesn't look much like the ones in the MLB ballparks today. Of course, this picture might be from a minor league park, Jim's last appearance in the Major Leagues before showing up with Washington was in 1958.

The Senators picked King up from the Cleveland Indians in the expansion draft. He would appear in 110 games in 1961, mostly as a back-up outfielder.

In his 306 plate appearances King would post a .270 batting average and a .363 on-base percentage. He would walk 38 times while striking out 45. His 12 doubles and 11 home runs contributed to his .449 slugging percentage. It was Jim's best offensive season in the Majors to that point.

His defensive numbers weren't bad either. His .980 fielding percentage was three points higher than the league average.

All in all Jim King didn't have too bad a year in 1961. The back of this card says that "Jim is determined to win a permanent major league home for himself..." From all appearances he was well on his way to doing just that.

***Late addition to the post. I just realized that this post marks the one year anniversary of Senators Saturday. Hope everyone has enjoyed the run so far.***

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Random Ranger Game-used.

Out of time and ideas today so I'll leave you with this random Ranger uniform bit. Hank Blalock and a piece of his jersey appear on 2008 Topps card number TR-HB. I must say that I like the blue bits better than the white or gray ones.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wantlist - 2010 Upper Deck.

So at last we come to the end of the line for Upper Deck. At least it seems like the end of the line. The 2010 Upper Deck set was unlicensed by Major League Baseball and that resulted in a lawsuit. That will probably result in Upper Deck's permanent absence from the baseball card market. Jason Jennings is shown here on card number 506 as an example of what the set looks like. Here is what I need to complete the team set:

2010 Upper Deck
494 Nelson Cruz
495 Michael Young
496 Ian Kinsler
498 Elvis Andrus
508 Frank Francisco
568 Texas Rangers

Let me know if you can help me knock out this team set. I would really like to complete the Upper Deck base set run at some point. Ok, here is the next installment in the tradelist:

Greg Maddux
1989 Donruss #373
1990 Topps Mini #50
1996 Upper Deck V. J. Lovero Showcase #VJ5
1998 SPx #250 (82/9000)
2001 Fleer Genuine #95
2001 Upper Deck #156
2003 Topps #105
2005 Fleer Patchworks #53
2007 Topps #275
2007 Topps #311
2007 Topps Trading Places #TP24
2008 Topps #625 (x2)

Mickey Mantle
2007 Topps #7
2007 Topps Mantle Story #MMS2
2007 Topps Mantle Story #MMS4
2007 Topps Mantle Story #MMS12
2007 Topps Unlock the Mick #1
2007 Topps Unlock the Mick #2 (x2)
2007 Topps Unlock the Mick #3
2007 Topps Wal-Mart #WM7
2008 Topps #7
2008 Topps Wal-Mart Dick Perez #WMDP7
2008 Topps Mickey Mantle #MM59
2008 Topps Mickey Mantle Story #MMS55
Topps Mantle HR History #MHR1 (x10)
Topps Mantle HR History #MHR520

Don Mattingly
1992 Bowman #340

Haven't had any luck yet with the tradelist. Let me know if you see something that might change that.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

1974 Topps - Pete Broberg.

Today we see Pete Broberg on card number 425 of the 1974 set. The world's looking a bit off-kilter behind Pete but he seems to be taking all in stride.

Pete split the 1974 season almost evenly between the Majors and Triple A. He appeared in 12 games for the Rangers and 14 for Triple A Spokane. His roles flipped between the two clubs. In the minors he started 12 of the 14 games he appeared in. For Texas he started just two of 12 games.

With the Rangers Pete was mainly middle relief. He started just two games and finished just two. All in all he would log 29 innings in his 12 games. They were a rough 29 innings. He posted an astronomical 8.07 ERA - the worst of his career and the worst on the the regular pitching staff for Texas in 1974. In addition Pete lost four games while winning none.

Not real sparkling numbers for the pitcher that had been a wonder-kid just a few short seasons before. Apparently the Rangers had seen enough to decide that Pete just couldn't live up to his billing. On December 5, 1974 they sent him to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for Clyde Wright

Monday, November 15, 2010

A.L. Rookie of the Year.

Yes, I know it's supposed to be Minor League Monday but I only have one minor league card of Naftali Feliz and I have already posted it. That means you'll have to settle for this 2009 Bowman card number BDP17.

Thought that today's announcement of Feliz winning the American League Rookie of the Year was worth the deviation from the normal posting schedule.

Awesome to see Neftali win the award, he deserves it. His rookie record 40 saves and 2.73 ERA were the big numbers. He also struck out 71 batters in 69.1 innings. Neftali is just lights out when he's on and he was most of the season. Nice to see Texas with a young pitcher like this.

This is the first time a Ranger has won the ROY award since Mike Hargrove did it in 1974. Feliz is also only the third reliever to win the award in the American League. How about that? A Word Series and ROY drought ended the same year. Very cool.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Senators Saturday - Gene Green, 1961.

Gene Green, shown here on card number 206 of the 1961 Topps set, was the first primary catcher in Senators' history. The team picked him up from the Baltimore Orioles in the December, 1960 expansion draft.

In 1960 Gene had a cup of coffee with the Orioles. Prior to that he had spent three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals. Two of those seasons were in a backup role and one was as the Redbirds starting right-fielder. That would change with Washington in 1960. Gene would be first-string and most of his games would be behind the plate.

Green responded well to the change of scenery. His defense was pedestrian with a .986 fielding percentage - three points below the league average. He also allowed 13 passed balls and 68% of would be base thieves got away with it.

On offense though Gene really took off. He posted career highs in on base percentage (.341), home runs (18), RBI (62), and runs (52). His totals in average (.280), walks (35), doubles (16), hits (102), slugging percentage (.489), and sacrifice flies (5) were good for second best of his career. In typical catcher fashion he also grounded into a league-leading 26 double-plays.

Green's numbers were good enough to lead the Senators in home runs and slugging percentage. They were also good enough to catch some attention outside to organization. On October 5, 1961 Washington sent Gene, Dick Donovan, and Jim Mahoney to the Cleveland Indians for Jim Piersall.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Silver Slugger awards out.

Well, the MLB awards season is in full swing. Today the Silver Slugger awards were announced. Unlike the Gold Glove awards, the Rangers were not shut out of this category.

Vladimir Guerrero won the award for the Designated Hitter position. That's great even if I still cringe at the DH being called a position. This was Vlad's 8th award.

The other Ranger who won was Josh Hamilton. Josh, shown here on his 2009 Sweet Spot Sweet Swatch card, picked up his second silver bat. Not really any surprise there as he won the batting title for the American League and is in consideration for MVP.

Good to see Texas picking up some hardware. Hopefully the trend continues in the Rookie of the Year, MVP, and Manager of the Year categories as well.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wantlist - 2009 Upper Deck.

Moving on from 2007 Upper Deck last week we are able to skip 2008. I have that team set completed. On to 2009. Frank Catalanotto appears today on card number 904 of the set as an example of what the cards look like. Gotta say that Cat doesn't look all that certain about the incoming throw. Anyway, on to the wantlist. It's a long one today and here is what I need:

2009 Upper Deck
372 Chris Davis
376 Josh Hamilton
378 Milton Bradley
379 Kevin Millwood
380 Vicente Padilla
381 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
441 Josh Hamilton - Ian Kinsler - Vicente Padilla TL
467 Josh Hamilton HL
500 Josh Hamilton CL
903 Frank Francisco
905 German Duran
906 Brandon Boggs
907 Matt Harrison
908 David Murphy
912 Joaquin Arias
913 Kevin Millwood
914 Ian Kinsler
955 Michael Young AW
1000 Michael Young CL

Shoot me an email or leave a comment if you have any of these and are looking to trade them. This is definitely a team set I need to make some progress on. Speaking of progress, time to make some more progress through the tradelist. Here is this week's installment:

Andruw Jones
1997 Score #310
1999 UD Choice #53 (x2)
2001 Bowman #72 (x2)
2005 Donruss Team Heroes #30
2005 Fleer Patchworks #17
2006 Topps #345
2007 Topps #490
2007 Topps Allen and Ginter mini #260
2007 Topps Own the Game #OTG16
2008 Allen and Ginter #38
2008 Topps Opening Day #55
2008 Upper Deck #50
2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Grey #87

Chipper Jones
1994 Bowman #353
2001 Bowman #50
2001 Fleer Futures #35
2001 Fleer Game Time #71
2005 Fleer Patchworks #27
2005 Fleer Platinum #59
2006 Topps #328
2007 Topps #90 (x2)
2008 Topps Update #UH5
2008 Upper Deck #355
2008 Upper Deck First Edition Update #305
2008 Upper Deck Goudey #11
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #8
2009 Topps ToppsTown #TTT21
2009 Upper Deck Generation Now #GN14
2010 Allen and Ginter #TDH5

Let me know if you need any of these cards of the Jones boys. Looking at dropping Andruw off the list at some point so if you need any of these give me a shout.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

1974 Topps - Dick Billings.

I must say, I like this picture of Richard Billings on card number 466 of the 1974 Topps set. Kind of makes Dick look old-school.

Billings was somewhat old-school by 1974. He had been with the franchise since 1965 and had been playing in the Big Leagues since 1968. During that time he had been the first-string catcher for just one season, 1972. In 1974 he would experience what would become a common occurrence for catchers in the Rangers organization for the next ten years. He would be blocked by Jim Sundberg.

With the rookie Sunny taking the lion's share of the playing time Dick would only see 35 plate appearances by August 12, 1974. At that point the Rangers sold Billings and his .226 batting average to the St. Louis Cardinals.

The move didn't agree with Dick Billings though. Two seasons and just four games later his Major League career would be over.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Minor League Monday - Tom O'Malley, 1987 ProCards.

Tom O'Malley was a seasoned baseball veteran by the time he appeared on card number 152 of the 1987 ProCards set. He had been playing pro ball since 1979 and had first seen Major League action in 1982.

On December 3, 1986 the Rangers signed Tom as a free agent. He was primarily a third baseman. That ended up working against him as he was blocked by Steve Buechele. As a result O'Malley would split the 1987 season between Triple A and Arlington.

Tom would appear in 109 games for the Eighty-Niners in 1987. He would post a pretty decent .311 batting average and a .408 on base percentage in 431 at bats. His fielding percentage was .972.

Those numbers earned him some playing time in the Bigs but he didn't stick for Texas.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Senators Saturday - John Schaive, 1961.

Getting back to Senators Saturdays we have Johnny Schaive today on card number 259 of the 1961 Topps set. John, like Rudy Hernandez, stayed behind when the original Senators moved to Minnesota. The new franchise took him from the Twins in the December 1960 expansion draft.

Perhaps it is fitting that John's hat has no logo on this card. He would spend the entire 1961 season at Triple A. His time there was with the Columbus Jets of the International League. Interestingly, that team was affiliated with the Pittsburg Pirates at the time. What makes this more interesting is that John would be back with the Senators organization in 1962 and there is no record that I can find of any type of transaction between the Pirates and Washington. Kind of makes me wonder if there was some sort of deal worked out between the two teams while Washington got its farm system up and running. Anyone have any insights?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Rangers release three.

So the off-season is in full swing and the Rangers continue to make moves. The latest ones clear up three more roster spots on the 40-man.

Today Texas out-righted Doug Mathis, Esteban German, and Brandon McCarthy off the 40-man roster. This makes each of the players free agents. Can't help but say that these were pretty much forgone moves and are the right thing to do.

Doug Mathis, shown here on a 2008 Dr. Pepper card, has been with the Rangers his entire pro career after signing with them in 2005. He hasn't ever been able to get established at the Major League level though. His high ERA and WHIP are the big culprits. Doesn't seem to matter if he is starting or relieving.

Esteban German served for part of the past season as a utility player. He was overshadowed though by Andres Blanco. German may well end up sticking with another team but his use was limited with Texas.

Brandon McCarthy is finally gone. I am sure that Jon Daniels is breathing a sigh of relief as it seemed that folks loved to throw the McCarthy/Danks trade up in his face. McCarthy missed his chance at a rotation spot this season and spent the entire year at Triple A. Although he seems like a nice enough guy, he is extremely frustrating. Brandon can sometimes display pitching brilliance but is so injury-prone that he never makes an impact. Perhaps it is fitting that he ends his career with Texas on the Disabled List.

So there you have it, three guys who may be moving on to other organizations or retiring. With the thin starting pitching in the free agent market this year, I am guessing that the chances of all three landing somewhere are good. Utility players are always in demand. Best of luck guys.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Two more years.

Ron Washington signed this 2008 Topps card through the mail for me last year. Today he signed a two year contract extension. Well deserved if you ask me. In fact, if Ron doesn't get some serious consideration for A.L. Manager of the year I will be wondering what happened.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Wantlist - 2007 Upper Deck.

So here we are in the off-season. Time for players to start moving. As such it seemed only appropriate to post a card of one of the more mobile players in recent history. Here is Kenny Lofton on card number 986 of the 2007 Upper Deck set.

As promised, we are back the regular posting schedule. Here are the last few cards I need to complete the 2007 Upper Deck set:

2007 Upper Deck
47 Joaquin Arias (RC)
231 Kevin Millwood
989 Sammy Sosa

Only three left. Let me know if you have any of them and are willing to try and work a trade. Perhaps you might be interested in something off the next installment from my tradelist:

Derek Jeter
2008 Upper Deck X #70
2008 Upper Deck X Xponential #X-DJ
2009 Topps Heritage #83
2010 Topps Heritage #215

Randy Johnson
1991 Fleer #455
1991 Studio #116
1992 Fleer Smoke ‘n Heat #11
1993 Upper Deck #824
1996 Topps #224
1998 Pinnacle Mint Bronze #10
1998 Pinnacle Mine Die-Cut #10
1999 UD Choice #32 (x3)
1999 UD Choice Starquest #SQ12
1999 Upper Deck MVP #8
2001 Topps #75
2002 Leaf Rookies and Stars #113
2002 Sweet Spot #58
2002 Victory #541
2003 Fleer Patchworks #26
2004 Skybox Autographics #49
2005 Bazooka #47
2005 Bazooka Comics #1
2005 Bazooka Comics #24 (x2)
2005 Fleer Authentix #84
2005 Fleer Patchworks #12
2005 Fleer Tradition #6
2005 Upper Deck #12
2007 Topps #560
2008 Upper Deck Goudey #2

Let me know if you are interested in any of these or any cards I previously posted from my tradelist. I would love to work a trade.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The off-season is here.

Sorry about the lack of a post yesterday. I got busy and then decided to wait until after the game to post. After the game I was simply deflated and out of ideas. Guess that's what comes of breaking up the Pudge collection while watching the boys lose the World Series. Not that last night was a poor effort, they simply got out-pitched.

Ok, so the 2010 season is over and the San Francisco Giants are the World Champions. Texas reigns as the American League champs. In four days free agents will be able to talk to any team they want and the annual bidding frenzy will begin. With the season over I would like to look back once before closing the book.

This will sound strange, but I am thrilled with the results from this season for the Rangers. I would have liked to see a World Series title but never expected to see an A.L. Championship. From hoping for a competitor to praying for an ALDS win to screaming with joy at a trip to the World Series it was a great season. Thanks to all the players, coaches, and front-office personnel.

Josh Hamilton was awesome this year, even with his trip to the Disabled List. He was back to his 2008 form and maybe better. In spite of getting shut down in The Series he deserves the American League MVP.

Ron Washington didn't start the season off well with his personal problems. That past though, he took this team to previously unknown heights. Ron has handled his players and staff well. He should get a contract extension and should be a serious candidate for A.L. Manager of the Year. Awesome to think that, for the first time, in 2011 a Rangers manager will be calling the shots in the All-Star Game.

Neftali Feliz was lights out most of the year, including in the World Series. With a rookie record 40 saves he should be a contender for A.L. Rookie of the Year.

Meanwhile Michael Young, Elvis Andrus, Nelson Cruz, David Murphy, Ian Kinsler, C.J. Wilson, Colby Lewis, Darren O'Day, Darren Oliver, and many others rocked as well. This was a fun team to follow.

They should be fun to follow next season as well. The core players will be back. In fact, Vladimir Guerrero and Cliff Lee are the only major pistons in the engine to be free agents. Vlad should be back. He and the team have a mutual option and both have talked positively about exercising it. As for Lee, it would be great to have him back. The Evil Empire is going to come hard though and he may be lured away. If he goes he will be missed but it likely won't be a fatal injury. This team was going to clinch the A.L. West without Cliff. He was critical in the ALDS (2 wins), nice in the ALCS (1 win), and one of the guys in The Series (0 wins). Guess time till tell if he comes back and takes another shot with the Rangers.

So here we go into free agency. The off-season should be interesting. Time to start getting ready for the 2011 season.

Ok, there are my jumbled thoughts about 2010. Tomorrow I will get back to the regular posting schedule.