Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Mad Dash

As we await the beginning of the 2015 World Series, I reflect back on the winning run that Lorenzo Cain scored in game six of the American League Championship series and I am reminded of St. Cardinals Enos Slaughter's Mad Dash in the 1946 World Series against the Red Sox.

Cain should be applauded for his play when he scored from first base on Eric Hosmer's 8th inning single, as he scored the decisive run to end the Blue Jays post season.  Earlier in the series, Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele had noticed when a runner on first headed to third on a single, Blue Jays' right fielder Jose Bautista would throw the ball to second base.  Bautista had done it before during the series, but the runner coming into third on that play was Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales and Jirschele couldn’t take advantage of Bautista’s throw as Morales wasn’t fast enough.

However, Jirschele remembered that play and thought that if Bautista did that again and if the Royals had a fast runner coming into third, he would send that runner home.  There could not have a more opportune time for Jirschele to send a runner home when Cain motored into third base and Bautista throw went to second base.  Bautista intentions were to hold Hosmer to a single; however, when Jitschele saw Baustista's throw, he sent Cain home.  Cain speed pressured the Jays defense as they make two long throws and when shortstop's Troy Tulowitzki's throw to the plate was late, the Royals took a 4 - 3 lead.  After Royals reliever Wade Davis worked a tense ninth inning and the Blue Jays failed to score, the Royals won their second consecutive American League championship and are now headed back to the World Series.

This was not the first time in the state of Missouri, that a runner, in the bottom of the 8th inning, scored from first base with the run that won a post season game and series. 
The 1946 World Series matched the National League Champion Cardinals, against the American League Champion Red Sox.  The series featured future Hall of Famers, Stan Musial, Red Schoendienst, and Enos Slaughter from the Cardinals, and Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr for the Red Sox.   In the series, the club's star outfielders, Musial and Williams, who each won the Most Valuable Player award in their respective leagues, didn't match the batting averages they had during the season.  During the series, Musial hit .222 (six hits in 27 at bats) and Williams batted just .200 (5 hits in 25 at bats).  For the season, Musial had lead the National League with a .365 batting average and Williams, who had batted .342, finished second in the American League to Senator's Mickey Vernon's .353 average.  Williams, who had played the Series injured, refused to use his injury as an excuse.   
After six games, the series was tied at three games.  The Red Sox had won games one, three, and five. The Cardinals followed each of those Red Sox victories with a win of their own, as they won games two, four, and six.  Game seven was played in St. Louis on October 15.
So the 1946 World Series come down to a Game 7 and one of the most discussed plays in World Series history, "The Mad Dash".  After Red Sox center fielder, Dom DiMaggio's eight inning two-run double tied the score at 3, the Cardinals came to bat in the bottom of the inning.
The Cardinals Enos Slaughter opened the inning with a single but the next two batters failed to advance him. Then with two outs, Harry Walker stepped to the plate and hit a ball over Red Sox shortstop's Johnny Pesky's head and Slaughter started his dash. As Pesky caught the relay throw from the outfield, he turned and saw that Slaughter had rounded third base.  Although, Cardinal third base coach Mike Gonzalez threw up a stop sign, Slaughter ignored it, and he headed to the plate.  Pesky hesitated a split second before throwing home, and his throw was late as Slaughter slid into the plate safely.  Cardinal hurler, Harry Brecheen, who won three games during the series, pitched a scoreless 9th inning.  Walker was credited with a game winning RBI double and the Cardinals won the game and the World Series.
Baseball cards have been issued memorializing Slaughter's Mad Dash.
In 1970 and 1971, Fleer issued a set of Laughin World Series cards.  In each set, Slaughter's Mad Dash is depicted on the front of the cards.  The cards use cartoon drawings of Slaughter.  The 1970 card shows him sliding across the plate as the 1971 issue has him running through a stop sign. 

1970 Fleer Laughin World Series Card #43

1971 Fleer Laughin World Series Card #44
Then during the 90s, Upper Deck and Fleer each issued a card of the Mad Dash.
            1994 Upper Deck All Time Heroes Baseball Card #14
1998 Sports Illustrated World Series Fever #26
These cards use two different photographs of Slaughter sliding across the plate.
In 2010, Topps issued a History of the World Series card of Slaughter.

2010 Topps History of the World Series #HWS8 

With this issue, Topps used a color enhanced photograph of the picture Fleer used with its their 1998 Sports Illustrated card. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice

In 1994, Upper Deck introduced a new baseball card, Collector's Choice.  For five years, through 1998, Upper Deck produced the Collector's Choice card.  In the early 90s, card companies began to issue premium baseball cards.  Donruss was the first card company to introduced a premium card with Leaf in 1990.  Fleer followed up with Ultra in 1991 and then Flair in 1993. In 1992, Topps switched its Bowman card to a premium product and introduced Finest in 1993.  Upper Deck issued its first SP set in 1993.  By the mid 90s, sports card collecting was forever changed and was never again the same. 

1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature Mike Piazza Rookie of Year Card #310 
The 1994 Collector's Choice set has 670 cards and was issued in two series.  The first series has 320 cards and the second series has 350 cards. A pack of Collector's Choice had 12 cards and cost 99 cents.  Each pack had a Silver Signature card (card with a silver facsimile of the player's signature) and each box had Gold Signature card (card with a gold border and a gold facsimile of the player's signature).   Sets of Collector's Choice included five Gold Signature cards.

1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature John Kruk Card #168

When Collector's Choice was first issued, it really wasn't a premium product.  I feel it was more like the current day Topps Opening Day card.   Collector's Choice was a nice card available at a more affordable price. 

1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature Shawn Green Card #9

Currently, blogger buckstorecards is writing 1994 Collector's Choice - Card by Card.  The blog is providing a written description about each player card in the set.
1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature Cecil Fielder Card #100

Since Collector's Choice was introduced, I have found boxes of both the first and second series for sale at card shows.  If I find a box of the cards for less than $20, I will usually purchase it.  Today, you can find first series boxes on ebay in the $20 to $25 range.  The second series box is a little harder to find and when I checked ebay today there were no second series boxes being offered.

1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature Edgar Martinez Card #480
Back in 1994, I worked on completing a Collector's Choice set.  Upon finishing the set, I began working on a Silver Signature set.  I've continued to collect the Silver Signature cards and now have the set about 95% complete.  Are there are any other baseball card collectors out there who are trying to complete the 1994 Collector's Choice set?

1994 Upper Deck Collector's Choice Silver Signature Matt Williams Card #299

I've included a list of the Silver Signatures duplicates on my blog page.  I also have many duplicates of the Collector's Choice regular issued cards.  I have not included a list of these cards, but if you are working on the set please check with me and I will see if I have the cards you need.  If you want any of these cards, let me know and we can make a trade.  I have also listed the Silver Signature cards I need.  If you have any of these cards and can help me complete my set, I would like to possibly make some kind of arrangements and get those cards from you.  Please let me know. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Happens to every guy sometimes this does

I recently completed a trade with JediJeff from 2 x 3 Heroes.  I had written a blog seeing if there was anyone out there who was interested in trading for some 2015 Topps to help me complete my set.  JediJeff contacted me and offered me some of the cards I needed. 
To work the trade, I sent cards to JediJeff from his White Sox team want list.  He wrote about those cards on his 2 x 3 Heroes blog entry titled "That Which I Covet"  He did a great job describing the cards I sent to him.  I was happy to trade these cards with JediJeff to help him get closer to completing his White Sox team sets.

JediJeff sent me a package of cards that I received this past week.   JediJeff passed on some of the Topps 2015 cards I needed plus some great A's cards.  

Yoda, as one of the most renowned and powerful Jedi Masters in galactic history says "Happens to every guy sometimes this does." 

Though I am no Jedi, Yodi's words have shown me, through my blog that I have happened to find sometimes, trades and have acquired new cards for my collection.

Some of the cards JediJeff sent to me include:

Topps 2015 Needs

These were the cards JediJeff sent me from my Topps 2015 want list.
Giancarlo Stanton Card #150
James Jones Card #494
Brandon Finnegan Card #154
Derek Holland Card #357
Michael Saunders Card #424
Albert Pujols Card #600
Giancarlo Stanton hit some long home run this pass season before his year ended on June 26 when he broke the hamate bone in his left hand on a swing and miss.   One of his long home runs was hit on May 12th, when a 467-foot blast cleared the left field stands at Dodger Stadium.   It was the fifth time that a ball had been hit out of Dodger Stadium.  On May 15th, 2015, Stanton hit a 474-foot home run to center field in Marlins Park. Then on May 30th, 2015, Stanton hit a 466-foot home run, the longest home run in the history of the Mets' home park, Citi Field.
A's Stars
JediJeff included cards of four players who, in 1989, helped the A's to their last World Series Championship.  
1997 Pinnacle Mark McGwire Card #188
1995 Emotion Rickey Henderson Card #71
1991 Fleer All Star Team Jose Canseco Card #6
1993 Leaf Rickey Henderson Card #291
1988 Topps UK Minis Dave Parker Card #55
1993 Topps Black Gold Mark McGwire Card #39
Jose Canceso, Rickey Henderson, Mark McGwire, and Dave Parker were members of the 1989 team that defeated the Giants during the 1989 World Series.  This series was postposed for ten day due to the Loma Prieta earthquake that struck the San Francisco/Oakland area. During the series, each of these players hit a home run during the four game sweep of the Giants.
Autograph Cards
JediJeff added a couple of autograph cards of A's pitchers who have pitched in the minor leagues for the A's.
2002 Select Rookie and Prospects Bert Snow Card #8
2014 Bowman Chrome Chris Kohler Card #BCAP-CK
Bert Snow was the A's 10th round draft pick in the 1998 MLB June Amateur Draft from Vanderbilt University.  The right handed pitcher spent six years in the minor leagues playing for affiliates of the A's.  Chris Kohler was the A's 3rd round selection in the 2013 MLB June Amateur Draft.  After sitting out 2014 due to an elbow injury, this season, Kohler pitched for the Vermont Lake Monsters of the New York-Pennsylvania League.  The 20 year-old left handed pitcher struck out 37 batters in 38.1 innings pitched. 
Home Town Heroes
JediJeff added a couple of cards from the 2013 Panini Home Town Heroes set.

2013 Panini Home Town Heroes Dwayne Murphy Card #110
2013 Panini Home Town Heroes Reggie Jackson Card #200

Reggie Jackson exploits on the baseball diamond are well documented and earned him a plaque in Cooperstown.  In 21 seasons, Jackson lead the American League in home runs on four different occasions.  He also was a four-time World Champion, winning the World Series twice with the A's and Yankees.  Dwayne Murphy played parts of nine season with the A's.  He was a Golden Glove center fielder, as he won the award six consecutive times, between 1980 through 1985.
Vintage Athletic

JediJeff included a Topps 1964 card of Jim Gentile.

Topps 1964 Jim Gentile Card #196
Jim Gentile was acquired by the Kansas City Athletics during November 1963 from the Orioles in a trade for Norm Siebern.  In the 1964 season, the A's finished in tenth place in the American League and Gentile was their regular first baseman.  Gentile had 28 home runs and 71 RBI during the season, second on the club in both categories to the A's starting right fielder, Rocky Colavito, who lead the team with 34 home runs and 102 RBI.  After being replaced at first base at the beginning of the 1965 season by Ken "The Hawk" Harrelson, Gentile was traded to the Astros in June.  Before leaving for Houston, Gentile played in 38 games for the A's and hit 10 home runs in 118 at bats.         

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Golden Rainbow Cards Trade

Recently, Bryan from Golden Rainbow Cards saw my blog about Topps 2015 cards for trade.  There were a few cards that he needed and he had a card I needed.  I asked if there might be other cards he needed and he offered up his want list.  I sent a package of cards from cards from the 80s and the 90s with the cards he needed from the Topps 2015 set.  Bryan said that he would send me some A's cards. 
The cards that Bryan sent are a sweet package.  He sent me cards that were additions to my collection.
Topps 2015 Card
This was the card from the Topps 2015 set that I needed, Topps All-Star Rookie Nick Castellanos.  

Topps 2015 Nick Castellanos Card #521
Nick Castellanos was a first round draft pick (44th overall) of the Tigers in the 2010 amateur draft.  For the past two years, Castellanos has been the Tigers starting 3rd baseman.  In 2014, he finished the year with a .259 batting average with 11 home runs and 66 RBI.  For his 2015 season, Castellanos  batting average was .255 and he increased his home run output (with 15) and RBI total (to 73).
A couple of Southern California Infielders
Bryan added a couple of cards of infielders who played in the A's during the past decade.
Topps 2006 Bobby Crosby Card #448

Bobby Crosby was a first round draft pick (25th overall) of the A's in the 2000 amateur draft after attending college at California State University, Long Beach.  He is son of former Cardinal, Red, and Indian infielder, Ed Crosby.  In 2004, Bobby Crosby won the American League Rookie of the Year while playing shortstop for the A's.  He spent part of seven season playing for the A's and finished his time there with a .238 batting average (568 hits in 2391 at bats) and 61 home runs and 263 RBI.  In 2010, Crosby's final year in the major leagues, he spent time playing with the Pirates and the Diamondbacks.

Topps 2009 Wal-Mart Black Daric Barton Card #32
This is a 2009 Wal-Mart Black card of Daric Barton, who was a first round draft pick (28th overall) of the Cardinals in the 2003 amateur draft.  He signed with a the Cardinals as a 17 year old after attending high school in Huntington Beach, CA.  In 2004, Barton was traded to the A's in the trade that sent left handed pitcher Mark Mulder to the Cardinals.  Barton played first base in parts of eight seasons with the A's.  While with the A's, he batted .247 (431 hits in 1744 at bats) with 30 home runs and 184 RBI.  In 2010, he was the major league leader when he was issued 110 base on balls. 
A Golden Rainbow card
The next card was a 1994 Stadium Club Golden Rainbow of A's third baseman Scott Brosius, who played with the A's during the 1990's.
1994 Stadium Club Golden Rainbow Card #164 
Scott Brosius was a 20th round draft pick of the A's in the 1987 amateur draft after attending college at Linfield College in McMinnville OR.   Brosius made his major league debut with A's in 1991 and played part of seven seasons with them.    While playing with the A's, he batted .248 (494 hits in 2085 at bats) with 76 home runs and 249 RBI.  In November 1997, Brosius was traded to the Yankees for left handed pitcher, Kenny (The Gambler) Rogers.  Brosius played four season for the Yankees, and was an All Star in 1998 and won a Gold Glove for his play at third base during the 1999 season.  Brosius was a part of three Yankees World Championship teams, (1998, 1999, & 2000), winning the World Series Most Valuable Player in 1998.  
1992 Stadium Club
Bryan added some 1992 Stadium Club cards.
1992 Stadium Club Harold Baines Card #536
1992 Stadium Club Mark McGwire Card #475
1992 Stadium Club Willie Wilson Card #343
1992 Stadium Club Joe Klink Card #326
1992 Stadium Club Steve Chitren Card #518
All five of these players were members of the 1991 A's team.  Mark McGwire started at first base for the team and finished with 22 home runs (3rd highest total on the team behind Jose Canseco and Dave Henderson).  Harold Baines was the club's designated hitter. Baines' 90 RBIs was second highest on the team and trailed only Jose Canceso's 122 RBI.  Willie Wilson was signed as a free agent prior to the beginning of the 1991 season and he was a backup in the A's outfield as he played 41 games in leftfield, 33 in centerfield, and 19 in right field.  Joe Klink and Steve Chitren were joined in the A's bullpen that year with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley as Klink appeared in 62 games and Chitren appeared in 56 games. 
Athletic Hall of Famers
Finally, there were three Topps insert cards from Hall of Fame Athletic outfielders.
Topps 2009 Legends of the Game Jimmie Foxx Card #LG10
Here is the Topps 2009 Legends of the Game card of Jimmie Foxx.  Foxx played 20 years in the major leagues and was a member of the Philadelphia A's from 1925, when he broke in as a seventeen year old, to 1935.  In 1932, Foxx was the American League Most Valuable Player when he lead the league His 302 home runs as an Athletic is second only to Mark McGwire's 363 home runs that he hit as an A's. 

Topps 2015 Series Two 1st Home Run Gold Reggie Jackson Card #FHR-13
Here is a Topps 1st Home Run card of Mr. October, Reggie Jackson.  Jackson had two different stints with the A's.  He made his debut with he Kansas City A's in June 1967 when he was 21 years old.  He played with the A's in Oakland from 1968 through 1975 and was a member of the A's three World Championship teams during the 1970s although he didn't play in the 1972 because he injury his leg in game five of the American League Championship Series against the Tigers.  Jackson return to Oakland to play with the A's in 1987, his final season in the major leagues.  In 1975, Jackson was named American League Most Valuable Player and he lead the American League in home runs four times, twice while he played with the A's  His 269 home run as an Athletic is third all-time behind only Mark McGwire and Jimmie Foxx. 
Topps 2013 Chasing History Holofoil Gold Rickey Henderson Card #CH8
Rickey Henderson, played for nine Major League nine teams from 1979 to 2003, including four stints with the A's.  Henderson was a 4th round draft pick of the A's in the 1976 amateur draft after attending Technical High School in Oakland.  In June 1979, as a twenty year old, Henderson made his major league debut.  Then in 1990, while playing for the A's, Henderson was named the American League Most Valuable Player. He was 12-time American League stolen base champion, and lead the American League in runs scored five times.   Henderson holds the single-season record for stolen bases (130 in 1982) and his 1,406 career steals is 50% higher than the previous record of 938 held by Cardinal outfielder, Lou Brock.  His 167 home runs hit as an Athletic ranks twelfth on the team's all time home run list.