Thursday, December 30, 2010

Random Ranger bat bit.

Writing this post ahead of time and am out of ideas. Randomly picked out this 2002 Fleer Genuine Bats Incredible card of Ivan Rodriguez. Included in the card is a chip from one of Pudge's bats.

Can't say I really like the design on this card. I have previously posted the Juan Gonzalez card from this set. Both cards look like a regular card that the bat chip was put in as an afterthought. The blocking out of part of the team name seems like something a design mock-up team would do when throwing around ideas, not the final product.

Anyone else have a card that should look nicer than it actually does?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wantlist - 1994 Pacific.

1994 was before Pacific had completely gone off the deep end with inserts, strange designs, and a multitude of sets. In fact the design, as shown here by Butch Davis on card number 613, was rather simple. The backs of the cards were in both English and Spanish. The set was pretty large though, as is my wantlist to complete this team set. Here is what I need:

1994 Pacific
609 Jeff Bronkey
610 Kevin Brown
615 Julio Franco
616 Benji Gil
620 David Hulse
622 Rafael Palmeiro
623 Dean Palmer
624 Bob Patterson
625 Roger Pavlik
626 Gary Redus
628 Kenny Rogers
629 Jon Shave
630 Doug Strange
631 Matt Whiteside

I know, lots of cards to go before I can put this one to bed. Let me know if you can get me any closer. I am sure we can work out a trade. Maybe even include some cards from this week's installment of the tradelist:

Sammy Sosa
1991 Studio #38 (2)
1992 Upper Deck #438
1998 Score #65
1999 Upper Deck Challengers for 70 #C2
1999 Upper Deck Power Elite #2
2000 Opening Day 2K #OD18
2003 Post #6 (corner slightly dinged)
2004 Upper Deck Power Up #61 (x2)
2005 Bazooka #49
2005 Fleer Patchworks #63 (x2)
2005 Fleer Platinum #91
2005 Upper Deck #42

Mark Teixeira
2008 Topps #350 (x2)
2008 Topps Heritage Flashbacks #FB1
2009 Topps Town #TTT48
2010 Topps Heritage #92
Frank Thomas
1991 Fleer #138
1991 Leaf #281
1991 Upper Deck #246
1992 Stadium Club #301
1993 Upper Deck Reggie Jackson #R20
1993 Ultra #181
1994 Fleer Lumber Company #9
1994 Stadium Club #267
1995 Ultra #34
1997 Collector’s Choice #300
1999 UD Choice Starquest #SQ17
1999 Ultra #214
2000 Fleer Focus #168
2000 Upper Deck Ovation #55
2001 Donruss Classics #7
2002 Sweet Spot #33
2003 Topps #109
2003 Victory #26
2004 Flair #56
2004 Upper Deck Super Sluggers #SL-9
2005 Fleer Classic Clippings #1
2005 Fleer Patchworks #8 (x2)
2005 Ultra #135
2007 Topps #305

Let me know if you see anything you like. Always willing to trade.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

1974 Topps - Steve Foucault.

1974 was a stellar year for Steve Foucault. He is shown here on card number 294 of the 1974 Topps set. In 1974 he served out of the Texas bullpen as the team's closer.

In just his second year of Major League service Foucault hit his stride. He appeared in 69 games (most of any Rangers' pitcher) and finished 53 of them. His 12 saves were the sum total of the team that year. His 2.24 ERA was also a team-leading number. His 1.129 WHIP was second best on the team. He led the bullpen in innings pitched with 144.1 and in strikeouts with 106.

Steve had indeed shown bright in 1974 and was one of the key reasons for Texas success as they finally got into a pennant race. It looked like a bright future beckoned in 1975.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Minor League Monday - Keith Creel, 1987 ProCards.

Texas signed Keith Creel as a free agent in December of 1986. He was assigned to Triple A Oklahoma City as shown on card number 139 of the 1987 ProCards set. Prior to signing with the Rangers, Keith had 49 games of Major League experience spanning three seasons and two clubs.

In 1987 Creel would start 21 games for the Eighty-Niners. He would go 146.1 innings and would post a 10-10 record. His 4.92 ERA wasn't particularly impressive but neither was his 1.483 WHIP. He did manage 99 strikeouts to 41 walks though.

While not outstanding, the numbers got him another shot at the Majors. Keith would appear in six games in relief for Texas in 1987. In those 9.2 innings he would be actually lower his ERA to 4.66. Not what the Rangers were looking for though, in October they would let him go back to free agency. He wouldn't sign with another team.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Isaiah 7:14 ...Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
1:22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
1:23 'Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emanuel,' which being interpreted is, God with us.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Luke 2:11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

While we all hope that others enjoy the gifts we give them this day it is important to remember that the One who fulfilled the words of the prophet is the only gift that truly fulfills us today.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Christmas card!

So I was having a hard time trying to come up with a card to post on this Christmas Eve. Then I remembered this one. What you see today is Ivan Rodriguez on card number 20 in the 2000 Pacific Ornaments set. These cards were designed to be hung on the tree if so desired. They even came with a red string for the hanging. In the scan I have the string behind the card but you can see a little of it at the top center of the card.

Special thanks to Mariner1 and Night Owl for their recent Christmas packages. Mariner1 even sent the cards inside a Christmas card, very seasonal.

Here's to wishing everyone a merry Christmas. Hope you and yours have an enjoyable and safe evening tonight and a great day tomorrow.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Playing games.

Sent this 1984 Donruss card to Frank Tanana on October 13, 2008. Mr. Tanana signed it and got it back to me on the double quick. I received it on October 30, 2008. Very cool to have a ballplayer respond that fast.

The reason I decided to post this card today is because Frank Tanana was my starting pitcher last night. Finally got a friend of mine over to try out the Strat-O-Matic game. Since he is a Royals fan (I think maybe the only one) I had set aside the 1984 Royals for him. To counter I played the 1984 Rangers.

The game was a 18-1 blowout. Frank did not have a good night. He went just one inning and gave up seven runs while committing two errors. George Brett hit a three run homer off him which delighted my friend. Obviously the bullpen wasn't much better than Tanana was. Just brutal.

In spite of losing I had a good time. Spent the game conversing about baseball and life and enjoyed ourselves. Might have even hooked another Strat fan. Going to have to ask for a rematch though.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wantlist - 1999 Aurora.

Pacific just never did anything for me. It always seemed that they were a fly-by-night company that had to try and lure collectors with outrageous designs and lots of absurd inserts.

Having said that, I do kind of like the 1999 Aurora base design. Roberto Kelly shows off the design on card number 192. I still need two cards to finish up this team set:

1999 Aurora
191 Rusty Greer
193 Rafael Palmeiro

Let me know if you have them laying around and want to get them cleared out. Ok, here's the next installment in the tradelist:

Mike Schmidt
1986 Sportflics #148
1987 Donruss Highlights #2
1987 Fleer Award Winner #36
1987 Fleer Baseball’s Best #37
1988 Fleer #636
1989 Topps #100
1989 Upper Deck #684
1989 Upper Deck #406
1989 Donruss #193
1990 Donruss #643
1990 Upper Deck #20
1992 Classic Best #100
2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #195
2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out #CMT-25

Ozzie Smith
1988 Donruss #263
1990 Topps #400
1990 Topps #590
1990 Upper Deck #225 (x2)
1991 Donruss #240
1991 Upper Deck #162
1991 Studio #238
1992 Fleer #592
1992 Upper Deck #177
1992 Upper Deck #716
1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier #84
1993 Leaf #328
1993 Topps #40
1993 Upper Deck #146
1993 Donruss #520
1996 Denny’s #20
2004 Fleer Greats #143
2005 Upper Deck All-Star Classics #94
2005 Zenith #236

Couple of more retired players this week that it seems nobody really chases anymore. Let me know though if you see something you would like to have. I am sure we can work out a deal.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

1974 Topps - Bill Fahey.

1974 was a disappointing year for Bill Fahey, pictured here on card number 558 of the 1974 Topps set. It came on the heels of an equally hard season in 1973. In August of 1973 Bill had been playing with Triple A Spokane. He was having a decent year when a collision at home plate gave him five broken ribs and a punctured lung. That would end his 1973 season.

He was back from that though and ready for Spring Training. Camp hadn't hardly begun though when he was hit in the face by a wild pitch the first day. Back to the hospital he went again, this time for reconstructive surgery.

The injuries resulted in Fahey spending most of what was left of the 1974 season in the minors. He did see some limited action for the Rangers though.

In the six games Bill Played for Texas he came to the plate 17 times. His batting average and on-base percentage were an identical .250. He had no extra base hits and no RBI. In 40 innings on defense Bill never made and error and caught the only runner who tried to steal on him.

Frustrating as the last two seasons were they seemed to have demonstrated Fahey's ability to get back into the game after an injury. Now all he had to do was hope his luck held for 1975.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Minor League Monday - Kirk Killingsworth, 1987 ProCards.

Baseball-reference contains precious little information about Kirk Killingsworth. Kirk appears today on card number 141 of the 1987 ProCards set.

I could find no record of how Texas obtained Killingsworth. His first year on record as a pro ball-player is 1983 where he started with Double A Tulsa. In 1984 he took a step back to Single A. 1985 and 1986 saw him back in Double A with Tulsa. In 1987 he would reach Triple A with Oklahoma City.

Killingsworth pitched in 28 games for the Eighty-Niners in 1987, all were starts. In those starts he went 161 innings pitched - a career high. He would post a rather high ERA of 5.81 and end the season with a record of 6-14. Kirk apparently had some control issues as he walked 78 batters while striking out just 74. His WHIP was a hefty 1.752.

Evidently Texas did not like what they saw with Kirk in 1987. It would be his last season in the Rangers organization. In 1988 he would play minor league ball for the Oakland A's at both the Double and Triple A levels. There is no record of how he changed organizations. 1988 would be his last professional season.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Senators Saturday - Dutch Dotterer, 1961.

Ok, so today's Senators card is something of a mystery. Card number 332 in the 1961 Topps set is Dutch Dotterer's card. However, the site that I got my checklist for this team set from has a note beside this card that the photo is not Dutch but Tommy Dotterer. I can't find any record of Tommy though. Having said that, I am not sure the player pictured here matches the picture of Dutch that is on Baseball-Reference. Anyone care to shed any light on this?

Regardless of who is on the card, it was Henry John "Dutch" Dotterer who was drafted from the Kansas City A's in December of 1960 by Washington. Dotterer would spend most of the 1961 season in the minors. He would get a short seven game stint with the Senators though.

In those seven games Dutch would come to the plate 22 times. He would post a .364 on-base percentage and a .263 batting average. His only extra-base hits would be two doubles and he would have just one RBI.

In 55 innings behind the plate Dotterer would commit no errors. He would also catch two of the five base thieves that ran on him. He allowed no passed balls.

Those seven games would be Dutch's last in the Big Leagues. He would spend 1962 back in the minors and then would hang it up. A shame indeed if his last card didn't have his picture on it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Newest arrival.

Going to take a minute here and brag on a recent addition to my collection. This 2004 Flair Cuts and Glory card of Hank Blalock arrived today. I know Hank's no longer with the Rangers and that you can pick up his game-used and autographed cards pretty easily. What makes this one cool (at least in my opinion) is that it is numbered 2/3.

Gotta say that being a Rangers card and limited to less than ten cards makes it pretty special in my collection. Not being a very high-powered collector, these kind of things impress me. I am very glad that I was able to land it for a very decent price. If the price hadn't been really good I wouldn't be showing it off right now. That's just how the economic cookie crumbles.

Thanks for allowing me a little bragging time.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wantlist - 2009 Allen and Ginter.

Ok, so I have the complete 2008 Allen and Ginter Rangers team set. At least in the regular-size cards. Can still use the minis. Anyway, going to skip directly from 2007 to 2009. Still need a lot from this set. In fact, Hank Blalock on card number 240 from the set is one of only two cards I have. Here are the rest I need to complete the set:

2009 Allen & Ginter
67 Ian Kinsler
89 Elvis Andrus RC
172 Jarrod Saltalamacchia
188 Chris Davis
208 Michael Young
211 Kevin Millwood
227 Nelson Cruz
231 David Murphy
274 Josh Hamilton

Of course, I would like to pick up the minis from this set as well. Here's the next installment of the tradelist:

Nolan Ryan
1988 Score #575
1989 Fleer #368
1990 Topps #4
1991 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #11
1992 Donruss Coke #2 (x2)
1992 Donruss Coke #5
1992 Donruss Coke #6
1992 Donruss Coke #7
1992 Donruss Coke #8
1992 Donruss Coke #9
1992 Donruss Coke #10
1992 Donruss Coke #18

Ryne Sandberg
1988 Donruss #242
1988 Topps All-Star Game #14
1988 Topps All-Star Set #14
1990 Topps #398 (x3)
1990 Upper Deck #324
1991 Upper Deck #132
1991 Score #3 (x2)
1991 Studio #158
1992 Bowman #300 (x2)
1992 Upper Deck #145
1993 Upper Deck #175
2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out #CMT-32

Couple of old-school players here. In fact, I'm not even sure anyone collects Nolan Ryan or Ryne Sandberg anymore. If you happen to and can use any of these cards please give me a shout.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1974 Topps - Terry Crowley.

Terry Crowley, shown here on card number 648T of the 1974 Topps Traded set, was not traded to the Rangers. On December 6, 1973 the Rangers purchased the "seldom used outfielder" from the Orioles.

On March 19, 1974 they sold him to the Cincinnati Reds. Terry was in and out of Texas without ever appearing in an official Major League game. This in spite of the back of his 1974 Topps Traded card proclaiming that "the indications are that Crowley will be given every opportunity to win a starting outfield berth with the Rangers."

Monday, December 13, 2010

Minor League Monday - Mike Stanley, 1987 ProCards.

Mike Stanley, shown here on card number 140 of the 1987 ProCards set, split the 1987 season between the Majors and Triple A. He would play in 78 games with Texas and 46 with Oklahoma City.

While with the Eighty-Niners Mike would get 216 plate appearances and post a .431 on-base percentage with 29 walks. His .335 batting average included 13 home runs and 54 RBI. He also scored 43 runs himself.

In the field Stanley played mostly behind the plate although he did play a small amount at first base. He had a .993 fielding percentage when receiving and only two errors in 41 games.

Mike's numbers at Triple A were pretty good. Good enough to earn him a call-up to Arlington and half a season there. 1987 would be his last appearance in the minors. After only three season as a pro he was on his way in The Show.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Senators Saturday - Danny O'Connell, 1961.

The Senators rescued eight-season veteran Danny O'Connell. After spending the entire 1960 season in the minors he was released by the Giants. Washington signed him on January 7, 1961. He would spend the 1961 season back in the Majors trying to resurrect his career.

Danny, shown here on card number 318 of the 1961 Topps set, played in 138 games for the Senators in 1961. 74 of those games were at third base and 61 were at second base. He would post a .939 fielding percentage at third base - eleven points below the league average. At second he was much better with a .978 fielding percentage - exactly the same as the league average.

On offense O'Connell would come to the plate 591 times. He would walk 77 times to easily lead the team in that category. His on-base percentage was .361, over a hundred points higher than his .260 batting average. Danny would steal 15 bases (second on the team) and would lead the league in sacrifice hits with 15. His real specialty though was doubles. His 30 two-sackers led the team and placed him 7th in the American League.

All things considered, Danny O'Connell had a successful comeback season in 1961. What remained to be seen was if he could translate that success into a long-term resurgence or if he had simply caught lightening in a bottle.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Random Ranger auto.

Fighting a head cold today and don't seem to be making any headway. As such I will leave you with this 1987 Topps card of Oddibe McDowell which I sent to Mr. McDowell on November 5, 2008. Oddibe signed it and got it back to me on January 6, 2009. He also inscribed it with Romans 8:28 which reads,

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

I do appreciate Oddibe taking his time and signing the card.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wantlist - 2007 Allen and Ginter.

Well, the week has been busy and I have been lazy so the wantlist is not yet posted to the website. As such we are moving on to 2007 Allen and Ginter. Today Frank Catalanotto appears on card number 198 in the set. Here's what I am still looking for to complete this team set:

2007 Allen and Ginter
110 Michael Young SP
248 Ron Washington
345 Sammy Sosa SP

I really like these A&G sets and would like to finish this one up. Like the 2006 set, I need any minis I can lay my hands on as well. Let me know if you have any you are willing to part with. Ok, here's the next segment of the tradelist:

Alex Rodriguez
2004 Fleer Inscribed #47
2007 Topps #650
2009 Allen and Ginter Highlight Sketches #AGHS16
2010 Topps Heritage #19
2010 Topps Legendary Lineage #LL3

Ivan Rodriguez
2003 Bazooka #101
2003 Bowman Heritage Signature #55
2003 Donruss Champions #258 (x2)
2003 Donruss Classics #99
2003 Finest #18
2003 Flair #16
2003 Fleer Authentix #100
2003 Fleer Avant #36
2003 Fleer Focus JE #133 (x2)
2003 Fleer Patchworks #6
2003 Studio #125
2003 Upper Deck #455
2003 Upper Deck MVP #82 (x3)
2004 Absolute Memorabilia #76
2004 Donruss #268
2004 Donruss Classics #97
2004 Donruss Leather and Lumber #51 (x2)
2004 Donruss Throwback Threads #71
2004 Fleer Classic Clippings #68 (x2)
2004 Fleer Genuine Insider #61
2004 Fleer MLB Hot Prospects #22 (x2)
2004 Fleer National Pastime #14
2004 Fleer Patchworks #20
2004 Fleer Platinum #7
2004 Fleer Showcase #98
2004 Fleer Tradition #3 (x3)
2004 Leaf #133
2004 Playoff Prestige #76
2004 Skybox Autographics #40 (x2)
2004 Studio #75
2004 SPx #93 (x2)
2004 Topps Opening Day #122
2004 Ultra #37
2004 Ultra #229
2004 Upper Deck Awesome Honors #H-7 (x2)
2004 Upper Deck Diamond Pro Sigs #36
2005 Bazooka #40 (x2)
2005 Bowman Heritage Topps Heritage Red Backs #42
2005 Donruss #185 (x2)
2005 Donruss Diamond Kings #90
2005 Donruss Leather and Lumber #50
2005 Finest Refractors 48 (numbered 331/399)
2005 Fleer Authentix #26
2005 Fleer Classic Clippings #27 (x5)
2005 Fleer Patchworks #6
2005 Fleer Platinum #29 (x3)
2005 Fleer Showcase #18
2005 Leaf Passing Through Time #PTT-265
2005 Leaf Road #R-7
2005 Topps #363 (x3)
2005 Topps #696
2005 Topps Chrome #30
2005 Topps Heritage New Age Performers #NAP9
2005 Topps Opening Day #30 (x3)
2005 Topps Total Award Winner #AW25
2005 Ultra #12
2005 Upper Deck #271
2005 Upper Deck ESPN #31 (x6)
2005 Upper Deck MVP #34
2005 Upper Deck Reflections #8
2006 Bazooka Stamps #22
2006 Fleer #350 (x6)
2006 SPx #34
2006 Topps #175
2006 Topps #658 (x3)
2006 Topps Opening Day #9 (x3)
2006 Topps Turkey Red #371
2006 Topps Updates #UH223
2006 Upper Deck First Pitch Diamond Stars #DS-13 (x2)
2007 Allen and Ginter #85
2007 Topps #70
2007 Topps #318 (x2)
2007 Topps Turkey Red #14
2007 Topps Wal-Mart #WM3 (x2)
2008 Topps #76 (x2)
2008 Upper Deck #495
2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes #185

Kind of a long list. The Ivan Rodriguez list is not yet complete with the recent break-up of the Pudge collection. Let me know if you are looking for anything listed here or in previous tradelist posts.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

1974 Topps - Jeff Burroughs.

Another poor picture today on card number 223 of the 1974 Topps set. Jeff Burroughs' face is so obscured by shadow that it's hard to make out his features. Not that getting a good shot should have been hard, by the looks of things this was a day game.

Despite his poor cardboard showing, Jeff had an awesome year in 1974. The Rangers' first-string right fielder played in 152 games that year. And what a 152 games they were.

Burroughs destroyed American League pitching. In 662 plate appearances he posted a .301 batting average (8th in the league) and a .397 on-base percentage (3rd in the league). His slugging percentage was .504 (3rd in the league). Jeff drew 91 walks (3rd in the league) and hit 25 home runs (4th in the league) and 33 doubles (5th in the league). His 118 RBI led the American League. Perhaps the 12 intentional walks he drew that season were an indicator of what opposing managers thought of his offensive skills. Only four players were intentionally walked more.

As a result of this performance Burroughs won the American League MVP award by an overwhelming majority. He was the only player mentioned on every ballot and beat second place Joe Rudi by 86.5 points in the voting. Other top vote getters included Sal Bando, Reggie Jackson, Catfish Hunter, and Fergie Jenkins. Pretty impressive company and stiff competition for the MVP award. This award was historic stuff. No other player from an expansion team had ever won the MVP award. In just his second full season in the majors Jeff Burroughs appeared to have broken out in a big way.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Minor League Monday - Cecil Espy, 1987 ProCards.

The Rangers picked Cecil Espy up from the Dodgers in the 1986 Rule 5 Draft. By that point he had appeared in 20 games for the Dodgers at the Major League level. In 1987 he appeared on card number 148 of the 1987 ProCards set as a member of the Oklahoma City Eighty-Niners.

Cecil spent most of the 1987 season in Triple A. He would play in just 14 games for the Rangers as compared to 118 for OKC. In those 118 games Espy would come to the plate 482 times. In those plate appearances Cecil would draw 31 walks and would post a .302 batting average. That would result in a .347 on base percentage.

I remember Espy as a speed merchant and his 1987 numbers bear that out. He stole 46 bases and was caught 14 times. He wasn't a power hitter though with just one home run and six triples all season.

Espy played mostly outfield during his career. Interestingly though, he played 51 games at shortstop with OKC in 1987. Not sure if this was an attempt to convert his position or the result of injuries to other players. It didn't seem to stick though and his fielding percentage dropped by six points with the move. Defensively he was better in the outfield.

Based perhaps mostly on his speed, Texas decided to hang on to Cecil Espy. He'd had a good year at Triple A and his brief stint with the parent club was inconclusive. Perhaps he might get a better look the next season. If he could convert his batting average to the Bigs he could well be a danger on the base paths.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Senators Saturday - Tom Sturdivant, 1961.

The Senators grabbed Tom Sturdivant from the Boston Red Sox in the 1960 expansion draft. Today he is appearing on card number 293 of the 1961 Topps set.

in 1961 Tom appeared in 15 games and started 10 of them. In 80 innings he would post a 4.61 ERA while facing 339 batters. He would surrender 43 walks (3 of those being intentional) while striking out 39. His WHIP was 1.338.

None of Sturdivant's numbers were career bests, they really weren't even standout numbers. That might have been why Washington didn't hold on to him. On June 29, 1961 the Senators traded Tom to the Pittsburg Pirates straight across for pitcher Tom Cheney. That would end his brief tenure as a Senator.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Hanging with Nolan.

Well, the day after Thanksgiving is when Mrs. Spiff unpacks the decorations and spruces up the house for Christmas. I haven't pulled out the Texas Rangers Santa hat yet but I did hang this Nolan Ryan ornament on the tree.

Got this ornament a couple of years ago as a gift from Mrs. Spiff. She picked it up on Ebay. Released by Hallmark under the name Keepsake Ornaments I think it came out in 1995. Along with the ornament came a card also featuring Nolan. The card was issued by Classic.

So, got your baseball Christmas decorations out yet?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

On the ballot.

Juan Gonzalez and a piece of his jersey appear on today's card, a 2002 SP Authentic Game Jersey #J-JGo. SP chose a rather embarrassing picture as it looks like Juan has just swung and missed.

So, Juan Gonzalez and Rafael Palmeiro are both on this year's Hall of Fame ballot. Both spent considerable time with the Rangers. Raffy was in Texas for ten seasons out of 20. Gonzo was there for 13 of his 17 seasons.

Gonzalez ended his career with a .295 batting average and a .343 on base percentage. He hit 434 home runs, 388 doubles, and had 1,404 RBI. He also won six Silver Slugger awards and two American League MVP awards. He was selected to three All-Star games. He led the American League in slugging percentage once, doubles once, home runs twice, and RBI once.

Palmeiro compiled a career .288 batting average and a .371 on base percentage. He hit 569 home runs, 585 doubles, and had 1,835 RBI. He also won two Silver Slugger awards and three Gold Gloves. He was selected to four All-Star games. He led the league in hits once, doubles once, and singles once.

Raffy also lied to congress about his steroid use as proven by a failed test. Gonzalez has been mentioned as a possible user but there has never been any proof.

So, what is your opinion? Should either or both of these guys get into The Hall? If you had a vote would you check their name? Why? Why not?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wantlist - 2006 Allen and Ginter.

Moving on from Absolute Memorabilia today to Allen and Ginter. Akinori Otsuka appears on card number 119 of the 2006 set. Here's what I need to complete the regular size team set:

2006 Allen & Ginter
177 Francisco Cordero
178 Kevin Millwood
215 Michael Young SP
253 Ian Kinsler

If you have any of these or any of the Ranger minis from 2006 please drop me a line. I would love to get this set finished off. Here's the next installment in the tradelist:

Manny Ramirez
1993 Upper Deck #433
1994 Bowman #371
1994 Upper Deck #23
1994 Collector's Choice #16
1994 Ultra #351
1995 Sportflix #HT13
1998 Collector's Choice Stick-Ums #11
1998 Thunder #24
1999 Metal Universe #211
1999 UD Choice #76
1999 Upper Deck Encore #28
1999 Victory #117
2010 Topps Cards Your Mom Threw Out #CMT103
2010 Topps Town
2010 Upper Deck Tape Measure Shots #TMS-14

Cal Ripken, Jr.
1988 Donruss #171 (x2)
1988 Donruss #625 (x2)
1988 Fleer #570
1988 Fleer #635
1988 Fleer #640
1988 Score #550
1988 Score #651
1988 Topps #650 (x2)
1989 Donruss #51 (x2)
1989 Donruss #BC-15
1989 Topps #250
1990 Bowman #255
1990 Donruss #BC-18
1990 Donruss #96
1990 Donruss #676
1990 Fleer #187
1990 Score #2 (x4)
1990 Topps #8
1990 Topps #388 (x2)
1990 Upper Deck #266
1991 Donruss #223 (x3)
1991 Fleer #490
1991 Studio #9 (x3)
1991 Score #95
1991 Score #433 (x2)
1991 Upper Deck #347
1992 Upper Deck #645 (x4)
1992 Donruss #BC1 (x2)
1992 Donruss Triple Play #199 (x2)
1992 Donruss Triple Play #253
1992 Donruss All-Stars #22 (x2)
1992 Score #540
1992 Studio #129 (x2)
1992 Topps #400
1992 Ultra #11
1992 Upper Deck #82
1992 Upper Deck #165
1993 Fleer #551
1993 Leaf #431
1993 Upper Deck #36 (x2)
1993 Donruss #518
1993 Donruss #559 (x3)
1994 Collector’s Choice #240 (x2)
1994 Donruss #140
1994 Topps #604
1994 Upper Deck #425
1996 Topps #222
1997 Collector’s Choice #41
1997 Score #546
1997 Topps #400
2009 Topps Legends Chrome Wal-Mart #PR-17
2010 Topps Wal-Mart refractor #WME-2
2010 Turkey Red #TR19

Kind of a long list there but it seems that Cal Ripken Jr. was around for awhile. Again, let me know if you see anything you can use. Also, I am trying to get a comprehensive wantlist posted to my website. Should I do that I think I will have to come up with something else for Wednesdays. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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.