Saturday, February 28, 2009

#75T Joey Meyer

Meyer has been captured here in all his meatball glory, looking quite hefty as he lunges for the pitch. I guess Meyer was given card #75 because he had a bunch of success in the majors in 1988, at least producing a fair number of runs in a little over half a season. Meyer got only 53 more games in the majors after that, though.

The quote on the back, from an anonymous teammate, has GOT to be a dig at Meyer, suggesting that he couldn't play defense.

By the way, I once saw a Denver Zephyrs game at Mile High Stadium and saw the star marking the massive home run mentioned on the back of the card.

Best word on the back? "Monstrous."

Friday, February 27, 2009

#74T Greg Briley

I wonder if Briley swung and missed, or if he fouled the ball upwards. Those are some seriously big eyeglasses, and if you don't believe me, just look at the photo on the back. As style for eyeglasses has gotten smaller and smaller, I wonder if players would really play with them today, since the smaller lenses yield a small field of (non-blurry) vision.

These days, I can't think of anybody who still wears eyeglasses, although I'm sure there must be at least a pitcher or two.

Pornographic Greg Briley

Best word on the back is clearly "Pee Wee." OK, I guess that's two words.

#73T Cecil Espy

This card is an example of why I do this blog.

Take a look at the photo above. See anything particularly interesting? No?

There's something pretty damn cool on this card, and you'll want to click on the image above to see the fine detail. It's the reflection on Espy's helmet. Look carefully and you can see the foul line, the stands, as well as his own bat reflected there. You can even see clouds!

I bet you just spent 30 seconds studying a photo that you otherwise might have spent half a second glancing at.

Most unusual word on the back? "18th."

#72T Darryl Hamilton

A bunch of interesting things on this card. Firstly, I love the bunting photo. Secondly, I love being able to see the bottoms of his sneakers. Thirdly, I love the shadow on the ground. Fourthly, I love the photo on the back, itself for 4 reasons: A) Hamilton's playful smile B) The 1960's Batman tilting of the photo C) the fact that both beer and cigarettes ads are visible and D) the strange object flying through the air on the top left. It is a flag? A bird? Who knows?

Let's go with "dazzling" as the best word.

Hamilton had a pretty nice career, although he was strictly a singles hitter, finishing with a career batting average of .291 but an OPS+ of just 95. In 1996, he batted .293 but had an OPS+ of only 81. That's incredible.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

#71T Jeff Montgomery

Here's Royals all-time saves leader Jeff Montgomery.

I did a little research, and behind him is, I think, Al Bumbry, who was the Red Sox' first base coach during 1988 (and other years.)

On the back, while "totalled" is an acceptable variant of the word "totaled", it's much less common. I'll go with that as the most unusual word, narrowly beating out "Freshman", "Computer", and "Science."

#70T Brady Anderson

The copy on the back of the card nicely sums up the trade that sent Anderson to the Orioles, one of a few prospects the Red Sox traded during this period that went on to have notably major league careers (the others being Curt Schilling, actually traded with Anderson in this deal, and Jeff Bagwell, traded away for another Andersen--this one with an 'e' and a first name of Larry.)

Most interesting word on the back? "Steroids."

Ha! Just kidding! Made you look!

Most unusual word? I guess "seasoning," although that's not such a rare word.

#69T Tommy Gregg

Again it's kind of weird how the copy on the back of the card talks about him homering in the big leagues in 1988 and yet there are no 1988 stats on the card. I guess they started working on these cards before the season was over and couldn't include 1988 performance.

Most unusual word on the back? I'm going with "punt."

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

#68T Ricky Jordan

This photo was probably taken at the same game as Bob Dernier's since they're both at Wrigley.

For Phillies fans, this was a great card to have in 1988 as Jordan ripped onto the scene that year (but unfortunately never became a decent full-time player despite a career OPS+ of 103.) Oddly, Jordan's full real name is Paul Scott Jordan.

I was tempted to choose "slick", "fluke", or "heroics" as the odd word here, but in the end, I went with "Maine", a word I think you see less often on a baseball card than those other three.

#67T Ray Hayward

Starting with this card, the rest of the set is all rookie cards. (I guess the previous card, Jeff Bittiger, was also a rookie card.) You'll notice that from here on out, just about all the players have very few stat lines and therefore tons of text.

For the rest of this set, one thing I'm going to do for each post is pick the strangest, most interesting and/or most unusual word on the back of the card. In Hayward's case, it's most definitely "finance."

The front of this card features an awesome photo, with ball in mid-flight.

#66T Jeff Bittiger

Oh man, I hope that's not his orgasm face.

The back of the card talks all about his minor league performance, but they failed to mention how he had more walks than strikeouts on 1983. Wow.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

#65T Larry Parrish

I wrote a whole thing about 3-HR games and Larry Parrish right here.

It's also interesting that in his last season, Parrish had 7 HR and 26 RBI for both the Rangers and the Red Sox (same totals for each team.)

#64T Jesse Orosco

There's an interesting stat on the back about extra-inning grand slams.

Here is the list of such slammers in 2008, of which there were 6. No pitcher gave up more than 1, although Toronto was involved in half of them, giving up 2 and hitting 1.

In 1987, there were just 3, including the pair by Orosco and one off Joel Davis.

#63T Floyd Bannister

Holy crap! Another card featuring Kevin Seitzer in the background! (see also: Glenn Hubbard.) This guy has one of the best smiles in the history of baseball.

Monday, February 23, 2009

#62T Mike Jackson

Jackson is one of my more favorite players and I think is pretty underrated. His 1998 seasons was, in particular, one for the ages. He even got an MVP vote that year.

The game mentioned on the back is right here, and that's a pretty cheap save, pitching 3 mop-up innings in a blowout win.

#61T Jerry Reuss

I just thought I'd point out some anagrams using text from the back of the card.

"heady veteran" = "averted hyena"

"pitches with finesse" = "step in whitish feces"

"won eighteen games" = "eminent sewage hog"

#60T Richard Dotson

Another uniform number mismatch.

And who is that in the background? Clearly it's someone standing in front of the 408 marker in center field at the (now old) Yankee Stadium. It's damned difficult to know for sure, but it looks like the guy has darker skin. That makes it most likely Claudell Washington, who played about 60% of the Yankees games in CF in 1988. But it might be Gary Ward (wrong body type I think) or Roberto Kelly. Even Rickey Henderson played 22 innings in CF for the Yankees that year. Two of his 3 games appearing in CF were road games, though, so it's pretty unlikely!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

#59T Mike Smithson

Wow. more Batman photography, with the slanted camera angle. And you gotta love the gold chain flying wildly!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

#58T Glenn Hubbard

This is simply an awesome photo. Here are the top 3 reasons why:

1) It's a superb action shot, with every inch of Hubbard's body off the ground.

2) It captures the nice A's logo in the background, which is great for an A's card.

3) It features one of the top rookies of the time, Kevin Seitzer, as a bonus!

Friday, February 20, 2009

#57T Ernest Riles

Score chose to call Riles "Ernest" like on most of his other cards, instead of "Earnie" like Topps did in 1988.

That's likely deceased Giants SS Jose Uribe in the background.

#56T Dan Pasqua

Here is yet another guy with a mismatched uniform number between what our eyes tell us and what the back of the card wants us to believe. Oops.

I'm also surprised to see the word "delightful" on the back of any baseball card.

#55T Don Baylor

Wow, here's another great photo! Baylor (number 12 in the photo but number 18 on the back) appears about to mash the ball, totally unfazed by the Angels batboy in the background playing fiddlesticks. On the back, they captured a headshot of Baylor right before he got smashed in the back of his head with a bat.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

#54T Rafael Santana

We've got a 1960's Batman card here, with a crazy camera tilt angle for no reason at all. I wonder if the camera was tilted or if they just tilted the photo on the card.

Also, for some odd reason, the photo on the front looks a lot like Mel Hall to me, even though I know it's Santana.

"Lengthy minor league apprenticeship" indeed!

#53T Mike Davis

Any card of Mike Davis wearing a Dodgers uniform is a good one, as I talked about back here.

Looks like Padres in the background in the dugout.

#52T Mark Salas

This is a nice photo of a traditional way of wearing the uniform, with nice coloring stirrup socks and all. It's also another example of a good use of two photos, with Salas' face being almost completely obscured on the front, but nice and visible on the back.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

#51T Mike Young

There he is, number 19, Michael Young...just like it says on the back, number 43, Michael Young. Seriously...what's up with that?

And what the hell is up with the copy on the back? Why would he be returning to the Orioles in 1988? The card is a TRADED card showing that he's ALREADY BEEN TRADED to the Phillies. WTF???