Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
In honor of the 2008 World Series champion Philadelphia Phillies, today's 1953 Topps Project post features Karl Drews of the Fightin' Phillies. When Karl suited up for the Phils in 1953, he probably had no idea that it would be 27 years before his team would bring home a World Series championship (and another 28 years before they'd repeat).
Karl's 8 seasons in the big leagues were largely unspectacular. By 1953 his career was clearly on the downward slope, as he gave up a staggering 218 hits in 185 1/3 innings pitched.
Sadly, only ten years after this card was produced, Karl was killed in a tragic accident. He was hit by a drunk driver that he was trying to flag down after his own car had stalled near a construction site. His seventeen year old daughter witnessed the incident. The obituary, from the August 16th, 1963 issue of the New York Times, can be found here.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I found this subset in a binder of cards that I recently discovered. I guess Will is supposed to be standing on a fiery hot planet somewhere else in the galaxy crushing the hell out of a ball.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
There were two players I really focused on collecting as a kid, Will Clark and Nolan Ryan. Ironically, as most people are aware, Will Clark actually hit a home run off of Nolan Ryan in his first ever plate appearance in the majors. Anyway, in an attempt to bring my blog to new heights of boring, I've decided to show off some of my fine Will Clark cards. Sure, most of these cards are worth absolutely nothing, but they hold a lot of sentimental value to me.
First up is this 1993 Flair card. This is the first year for the Flair product line, and I remember card collectors went nuts over these super premium cards when they were first released. They were pretty expensive at the time, I think I was only fortunate enough to rip open one or two of the little black and gold boxes that contained the packs. There's not a lot of interest in them anymore though, and I recently picked up an un-opened wax box of this stuff for $25, which is where this card comes from. I think these cards look great, even by today's standards. They're super-thick, have simple design and high-quality photos, and best of all are borderless. I plan on doing a box review if I can ever find the time...
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
As dayf already noted in this A Pack A Day post, Wilmer Mizell had one of the best baseball nicknames of all time, "Vinegar Bend". The story behind the nickname isn't nearly as interesting as the nickname itself, it derives from the fact that he played baseball in Vinegar Bend, Alabama at one point in his career. Pretty exciting, I know...
Vinegar Bend was a fairly decent pitcher during his tenure in the majors, finishing with a respectable 90-88 record and with a 3.85 career ERA. He pitched an astounding 61 complete games, including 15 shutouts. In this day and age of coddling pitchers in the name of preserving arms, it's doubtful that any pitcher will ever even come close to 61 career complete games again.
As dayf also touched on, Wilmer went on to become a United States Congressman, serving for three terms. The Watergate scandal basically cost him his seat in Congress, but he would later serve as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development in the Ford administration, Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Governmental and Public Affairs in the Reagan administration, and as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the George H.W. Bush administration. Not a bad resume...
Vinegar Bend passed away in February of 1999 at the age of 68.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
This...rare...and...extremely...valuable 1991 Upper Deck Clint Malarchuk card isn't really too ridiculous on its own. Sure, it's not every day that you see a goalie 10 feet out of his crease "going high" on an opposing player. But the real reason I've chosen this card has to do with an article I stumbled across today. It's a brief article, but all you really need is the opening sentence:
"Clint Malarchuk, the former NHL goalie best known for having his jugular vein slashed by a skate in a 1989 game with Buffalo, is recovering after accidentally shooting himself in the chin with a rifle".
That is easily the greatest sentence I've read in weeks. What did this guy's neck do to deserve this? Apparently this happened when he was out shooting rabbits, which must be quite a challenge. There's not much more to the article, but if you want to bother reading the other two paragraphs (or if you think I made this up) you can find them here.
Will Patrice Bergeron be able to bounce back from the crushing hit and subsequent concussion that kept him off the ice for the better part of last year? Will the Bruins improve upon their admirable first round loss to the overpowering Montreal Canadiens last year? Will Joe Sakic, who's really getting up there at age 39, spark the Avs to a win?
By the way, how sweet is the photography on this Joe Sakic card? You gotta love Upper Deck...