Saturday, April 30, 2011

Birthdays April 24-30

I started this feature at the beginning of the year and was keeping it going pretty well. Then I got sick and everything went to hell. Well, the feature is back. I'm going to go a little easier on myself and just feature any player I want for the day, not try to stick to themes like best home run hitter. Also, I'm only going to feature players for whom I actually own cards. One of the reasons I do this blog is to show off the wide variety of cards I own. Nobody in my house really cares about that, but I know you, my faithful reader, does.

April 24
1992 Bowman #28 Chipper JonesChipper was born in 1972 in Deland FL. If there is anyone playing today who is sure to be a first year of eligibility Hall of Famer, it's Chipper. I first heard of Chipper Jones in 1991 when one of the players in my rotisserie league drafted him as a minor league reserve player. He had a tough season in 2010 when he tore the ACL in his left knee in a game against the Astros (I think, I know I was watching the game). I also saw him get his 2,500 hit off the Phillies this year. I own 150 Chipper cards and this is my favorite.

April 25
2003 Upper Deck Victory Tier 1 Green #47 Jacques JonesNo big names born this date so I'll go with the biggest home run hitter and another Jones. Jacque was born in 1975 in San Diego, CA. He was the Twins 2nd round draft pick in 1996. He was an outfielder who hit 165 home runs in his 10-year career. He was a member of the 1996 US Olympic Baseball Team.

April 26
2008 Bowman Chrome #155 Kosuke FukudomeFukudome was born in Kagoshima, Japan in 1977. He'd played 9 years in Japan before the Cubs signed him for $7,000,000 in 2008. He was a sensation in the game and in the hobby in 2008 but he doesn't seem to have really lived up to the hype.

April 27
2009 Topps Turkey Red #133 Rogers HornsbyAnother Hall of Famer, Enos Slaughter, was also born on this date but I decided to go with Hornsby. Rajah was born in 1896 in Winters Texas. He had a career batting average of .358 and hit 301 home runs in his 23 year career. Through much of his career he also managed the team he played for. Can you imagine that happening today? The last player/manager I can think of was Pete Rose.

April 28
1997 Studio Hard Hats #1 Barry Larkin
Barry was born in 1964 in Cincinnati. He was the Reds #1 draft pick in 1985 and played his entire 19-year career for the Reds. He was a 12-time All-Star with 3 Golden Gloves to his name. He was a great offensive player with a .298 career batting average, 960 RBIs and 379 stolen bases. He was also a great defensive player. He was eligible for the HOF in 2010 but didn't get enough votes in 2010 or 2011. He'll be back on the ballot in 2012 and seems to me that he should get into the Hall. This card is die-cut clear plastic. You can't tell from the scan but the top corners are cut back to the helmet border. The card is numbered 2569/5000.

April 29
2003 Finest Topps Team Topps Legends Autographs Luis AparicioLittle Louie was born in Venezuela in 1934. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1984. In addition to playing for the White Sox, he also played for the Orioles and the Red Sox. This card is somewhat of a mystery to me. I got it in a box of 2010 Topps 205. What it was doing there I have no idea since it is actually a 2003 issued card. It is a reprint, not an actual 1956 Topps card.

April 30
2005 Topps Cracker Jack #133 Phil GarnerScrap Iron was born in 1949 in Jefferson City TN. He had a 16-year career mainly with the A's, Pirates and Astros. As you might expect with a nickname of Scrap Iron, he was considered a hard-nosed player. His best season as a player was 1979 when he helped lead the Pirates to the World Series. I best know him as the manager of the Astros in 2005, leading them to their first ever World Series, which they promptly lost to the White Sox in 4 games.

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