Thursday, March 31, 2016

Birthday Time

Well, today is my birthday. I was born April 1, 1978 in Thunder Bay, Ontario at Port Arthur General Hospital, which sadly no longer exists.

I figured today I'd go over some baseball players who share my birthday, or I share with them, whatever the case may be,. :P

(This may have to turn into another PC for me, since I collect hockey players from my hometown.. Incidentally, anyone who has Charlie Simmer or Aaron MacKenzie hockey cards, let me know!)

First is Rich Amaral.

If you can't read the birth line there, it's 4-1-62 in Visalia, California.

Amaral was a jack of all trades type player, playing everywhere but pitcher and catcher. He spent most of his major league career in Seattle, spending his final two seasons in Baltimore. Before going to Seattle he spent time in the Cubs and White Sox minor league systems.

His son, Beau, is in the Cincinnati system.

Next is Frank Castillo. He was born April 1 1969 in El Paso, Texas.

Castillo played for the Cubs, Rockies, Tigers, Jays, Red Sox, and Marlins in his career. He was generally average, though he ended his career with a losing record. I've been trying to describe his career but every time I try I restart..

Using metrics like WAR, his best season came in Toronto in 2000. with his 1995 season coming second.

Unfortunately, Castillo drowned on July 28, 2013 when he was 44 years old.

Next is Phil Niekro. He was born April 1, 1939 in Blaine, Ohio.

Now, Niekro pitched most of his career for the Braves franchise, starting in Milwaukee and going with them to Atlanta. He spent two seasons in New York with the Yankees and almost two seasons in Cleveland before making cameo appearances in Toronto (3 starts) and Atlanta (1 start) to end his career in 1987.

He's in the Hall of Fame, going in 1997 and has his number retired by the Braves.

The final player I'm going to highlight, as he's the last one I have cards of, is Rusty Staub.

Staub was born April 1 1944 in New Orleans, Louisiana. He started out with the Colt 45s who became the Astros before moving to Montreal in 1969 and becoming Le Grand Orange. He's one of the first that embraced the idea of immersing himself into the Quebec culture to understand it better and relate to the fans more. 

He was traded to the Mets before the 1972 season, then was traded to the Tigers before 1976. In July 1979 he was traded back to Montreal before going to Texas in 1980. 1981 he was back with the Mets where he stayed until his retirement in 1985. 

He is in the Mets Hall of Fame, inducted in 1986. In 2006 he was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame, and 2012 the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. 

Obviously there are others that share this birthday but I just don't have the cards. One is another Northern Ontario native by the name of Jeff Heath. 

Here is where I got the information for this post. They have it so you can search any date to find out the births. 

Have a good one!!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

1977 Jays

 For lack of creativity, I want to highlight the group of Jays that took the field in April 1977.

First of all, it's always nice to have a theme song, right? Well, this was theme for those Baby Jays..

That screams 70s, no??

Just to show part of why it was decided Toronto needed a domed stadium, there's also footage of the first game, narrated by the Voice of the Blue Jays, Tom Cheek.

The video also shows footage of Doug Ault's home run, the first for the franchise. 

Well, since this is a baseball card blog, I guess I should show some baseball cards. 

Something missing from modern sets: Coach/Manager cards. While it doesn't state who does what, it does make the interesting choice of listing them all on the Team Checklist on the same card. 

See what I mean? I also like the fact it has the uniform numbers alongside as well. C'Mon Topps!! You're making 6570595493129614635 sets and parallels every year now, get this in there!!
(Yes, that number may be a small exaggeration)

As for that first game, it was started by Bill Singer

Here are the two cards I have of Singer. You can tell they airbrushed the Jays logo onto the hat, while not even bothering with the top of the uniform showing. The photo shows him from his time with the Twins in 1976. 

Singer, by far the biggest name on the Jays from the expansion draft, was the focal point of their marketing for that first year. 

He didn't do well, going 2-8 6.79 ERA in 13 games. He walked more than he struck out and was shut down partway through the season for ineffectiveness. He missed the 1978 season and was released. He then retired.

Pete Vuckovich pitched the final two innings of the game, picking up the save. 
Vuckovich was 7-7 3.47 in 53 games for the Jays, most coming in relief. He started 8 games as well. 
After the 1977 season, he was traded to St. Louis with John Scott for Victor Cruz and Tom Underwood. 

Then he ended up going to the Brewers and doing well there, including a Cy Young Award. 

There's a theme with the Jays cards from 1977. All of them have an airbushed hat logo on while you can tell the uniform is from their 1976 team. This time, the White Sox. 

Jim Mason didn't start the game for the Jays, but he did end up playing, pinch hitting for Hector Torres. Dave McKay I've written about before, so I won't say too much here. 

I will say though that the airbushing on the logos kind of bothers me, if only because it looks like they rushed through it. Mason played on the Yankees in 1976 while McKay was on the Twins. 

Otto Velez was the Designated Hitter for that game. In 1976 he played on the Yankees. The logo on his hat looks almost correctly sized. 


Again, one thing I liked about the old Topps (though it gets tough when you collect multiple teams) was the four panel rookie cards. 

The first one has the Left Fielder from that first game in John Scott. It also has some guy you may have heard of by the name of Andre Dawson. (for this reason, I need a second one lol)

John Scott played for the Padres up until he was purchased by the Jays from the Padres. After the 1977 season, he was traded to St Louis, where he played in the minors for one season then went to Japan. 

Doug Ault was the hero of the first game played, hitting two homers, including the first in franchise history.  He came from the Rangers. Ault didn't really recapture his 1977 season, spending time in Syracuse in 1979 and 1980 before going to Japan for 1981. He was back in Syracuse in 1982 before finishing his career in the Mexican League. 


Another one I need a duplicate of, with both the Expos' Sam Mejias and the Jays' Alvis Woods on the same card. 
Woods hit the other homer in the game for the Jays. (They hit three, while the Sox hit one) 
Woods came from the Twins in the expansion draft. His best season came in 1980 but by 1982 he was out of the Jays' plans. He was traded to Oakland for Cliff Johnson, but was then signed by the Jays when the A's released him. He then was released by the Jays in 1984 and finished his career in 1986 with the Twins. 

Now to the other Woods on the Jays.. Gary Woods. Gary was picked by the Jays from Oakland in the expansion draft. He played 1977 and 1978 for Toronto before being traded to the Houston Astros. He ended off his career with the Padres' Triple A Team in 1986. 

So there's a look at the players who were on the field that snowy April 7th in 1977. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Old and New

Another trade post :)

I made a trade with a member on the Trading Card Database earlier and am now getting into posting those cards.




First some 2015 base I needed. A bunch of Jays and a couple Canadians featured. John Axford and Justin Morneau with a couple of Axford's teammates.


Now some 2014 Update. Juan Francisco spent one season in Toronto and spent last season in Japan.
Aaron Sanchez bounced between starting and relieving. I think they want him as a starter this year.

And now the old. Two Expos cards from 1969. Jose "Coco" LaBoy was one of the first characters in a franchise known for characters. Wicker spent 1969 with Montreal before going to Milwaukee and San Francisco.

Dan McGinn played from 1968-1972. His only season with an ERA under 5 was 1969.
Carl Morton played from 1969-1976, playing in Montreal until 1972 when he went to Atlanta.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Spring Cleaning

So going through my cards lately mainly to determine what  actually have anymore and ensure my lists are accurate on the TCDB, I've come across a few interesting cards..

In this case, I was sorting through 1991 Donruss. I'm 56 cards away from the set and 6 from the Bonus cards.

1991 Donruss Jack McDowell

I have an interest in the cards showing throwback style uniforms. I don't actively collect them, but I enjoy seeing them.. Really it's also why I love seeing minor league cards. 

Is it me, or do the backgrounds on these cards remind anyone else of the title screen of Saved by the Bell?

1991 Donruss Diamond Kings Roberto Alomar

Ahh Roberto Alomar before he was a Jay.. I think there's a little too much earth tones in this picture. Still, I love the Diamond Kings cards

1991 Moises Alou

Moises Alou close up in Busch Stadium.. I remember that Busch had those arches around the top.. I don't recall too many of the other cookie cutter ones to.. Though, they very well could have..

1991 Tom Candiotti

Spring Training photo from the early 90s of a knuckle ball pitcher showing the knuckle ball grip.. By the end of 1991 he would be in Toronto trying to bolster for a playoff run.. Stinkin' Twins..

1991 Dennis Lamp

One thing about looking at these cards is trying to figure out the location. From this card, I can tell it's on the road.. Likely during batting practice.. The problem is I think this could be one of a few places..

I want to say it could be Oakland, but I don't know if Citizens Bank had branches out there.. 

1991 Rudy Seanez

Rudy Seanez. I didn't realize he bounced around so much in his career.. For example, he played for the Padres in 1993, 2001, 2005 and 2006.. From 2001 to 2006 he finished the season in a different organization than he started... 

1991 Pete Incaviglia

I don't recall if I mentioned it before, but here's the man who is the reason draft picks cannot be traded for a year after signing a contract..

Incaviglia was drafted by the Expos.He wanted to be in the Majors immediately. The Expos felt he would be better suited for minor league duty for a while. Now, back when he was drafted, he couldn't do what JD Drew did and sit out the year and play Independent ball.. He could sit out, but that's a year of development lost. So he demanded a trade if he signed.. The Expos agreed and sent him to Texas. 
They did and MLB decided that it didn't help competition for teams to trade their picks, so they put forth the rule now called the Incaviglia Rule.

1991 John Cerutti

Another road game warm up in what I can guess is Oakland.
1991 Mike Boddicker
It's nice to see a card with a press conference rather than airbrushing the new uniform on an old picture. 

1991 Matt Young
Looks like almost the same spot as Dennis Lamp, no?

1991 Bud Black

I've seen this a few times in O Pee Chee cards. This gets confusing though if you're not looking at the logo. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Life, the Universe, and Everything

It's been rather busy lately here in Peterborough. While I'm currently looking for work, appointments and other things tend to eat up my time. I've been sitting on this for a couple days now, and today I finally have time to write anything..

A wonderful stack of 1987 Topps found its way to my mailbox from the wonderful Night Owl . It was completely unexpected. I had sent him a card not too long ago from a 1992 Canadian cereal set, but I did not expect the flood of cards that came in return.. 

There were these, a small group of 1992 Donruss, a couple 1980s Jays, and a Stadium Club Justin Morneau. 

I would have pictures but the program I use to scan is acting up right now.. (grrr) 

So it's a one card post tonight. Huge thank you to Night Owl!! 

I was able to get a scan of some of the others I got..

I have to say now that I've seen the Stadium Club in hand they are a nice card. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Trade from the Land of 10 000 Lakes

When I was growing up one of the places people liked to go was Duluth, Minnesota. My mom made the trip a couple times with friends. I drove through/past Duluth a few times. There was even a time my dad and I went to Minneapolis to see a Jays/Twins series. The reason I mention Minnesota today is the package I received in the mail from Adam at Addiction As Therapy.

Now, while I currently live about an hour and a half from Toronto, I was born and raised in a small northern town called Terrace Bay.

Here is a handy map (Thank you Google!!) The point on Lake Superior is Terrace Bay. At the western tip of Lake Superior is Duluth. Further south is Minneapolis. 

Anyway, this is about the trade, not a Geography lesson.. Let's get to it.. 

Some miscellaneous Donruss Diamond Kings. I've always loved these cards. The Steve Rogers in the middle is interesting as Donruss spelled his name incorrectly on the back, spelling it Rodgers. 

Speaking of Donruss, we have some 1995 Expos. I never saw this design when it came out. For the most part until I moved to Peterborough the extent of my collecting was 1990-1993 product. Love the front of these cards. 

Some Topps Expos and a couple Canadian Rockies. I actually forgot Cormier pitched for the Expos. It's odd seeing Larry Walker in anything but the Bleu, Blanc, et Rouge but there he is.. Some real good young players in that middle row, if you think about it.. Cliff Floyd, Vladimir Guerrero, and Pedro Martinez. I don't mind these ones, though I don't like how the first names are just an outline.

We have some more Expos and a Daniel Norris. Rojas started and ended his career as an Expo. He is also the nephew of Felipe Alou. 

Ugueth Urbina is an interesting one.. He's the only player to have had "UU" initials in the Majors. His career also ended rather abruptly as a result of an attempted murder charge that he ended up spending 7 years in prison for. 

Some more Topps.. 

Henry Rodriguez was a bit of a cult figure in Montreal. In 1996 he gave the fans who decided to show up after the strike something to cheer about at the Big O. Fans started throwing Oh Henry! chocolate bars onto the field whenever he hit a Home Run, and gave him the nickname Oh Henry! He went to the Cubs in 1998, played part of a season in Florida in 2000, wore pinstripes for a week's worth of games in 2001 before returning to the Expos in 2002.. He was released in May of 2002. 

Darrin Fletcher and David Segui each spent time on both Canadian teams. Here they are Expos. Finally we have some draft pick cards. 
Homer Bush spent some time with the Jays after going to the Yankees. Felipe Crespo was a bench player for the Jays for a few years before moving on.. I honestly thought his career lasted longer than the 5 years Baseball Reference has it.. 
Billy Koch, who, after the Jays released him in Spring Training in 2004 decided to sit on the sidelines and collect his salary ended his career. The second game of the season he showed up at Tropicana Field and heckled the Jays. His Cardmate, Kris Benson, was a fairly decent pitcher, but is likely known more for his ex-wife Anna. 
Joe Lawrence who is best known for not being the Actor Joey Lawrence, played 55 games in the Majors with Toronto in 2002 and was done as a player by 2004. I never heard of Pete Tucci. 


A nice foursome of cards here. Of the three prospect cards, the best known is Dustin McGowan. Vito never made it out of Double A before being released and playing on the Indies.. 
Bill Bray ended up showing in Washington before going to Cincinnati. 
Finally, a Topps sticker logo card. This one gave me a little grief trying to find on the Trading Card Database. The copyright on it is 2001.. Topps Produced stickers in the 2001 Opening Day set, but this isn't part of it.. The same stickers, minus the Opening Day logo, were part of the 2002 set.. ARGH!!

Speaking of Stickers and Opening Day,.. Here are two Expos stickers from 1988 and an Opening Day Jose Reyes insert. I like the back of the Fleer sticker cards here since they have the same style back as the cards. 

Some more stickers and some miscellaneous. Another Diamond King this time for 1991. 

I like the jersey and the logo stickers, but I think the one I have to like the most is the one on the left.. And that's because of this.....

I've mentioned before that I love stadium cards. It's something that I'm not actively trying to collect though, since I know it's tough to find when there's different ways they can show up.. However, this grouping, with the stadiums on one side and the stickers on the other, I absolutely love.. I was fighting myself on whether this goes with my stadium cards or if it goes with my Expos cards because of the sticker.. 

Thank you again Adam for the wonderful cards. I hope we are able to trade again sometime!