Friday, May 27, 2011

Birthdays May 22-28

May 22
2002 Topps Gallery #101 Jose Mesa
"Joe Table" was born in 1966 in Pueblo Viejo, Dominican Republic. He was a free agent signing by the Blue Jays in 1981. He started his career in 1987 as a starter with the Orioles but was converted to a reliever in 1994. His best year was 1995 when he saved 46 games in 62 appearances. He was an All-Star that year and came in 2nd in the Cy Young voting. The Phillies acquired him as a free agent after the 2000 season. In 3 years (2001-2003) with the Phillies he had 111 saves in 170 games. He retired in 2007 with 321 saves.

May 23
2009 Topps 206 Jordan Zimmermann
Jordan was born in 1986 in Auburndale, WI and is the youngest player born this day. He shares a birthday with Hall of Famer Zach Wheat born almost 100 years before in 1888 (but I don't have any Zach Wheat cards, do you?). Jordan was the Nationals 2nd round draft pick in 2007. He made is major league debut in 2009, making the Nationals the first team in baseball history to have a player named Zimmerman and a player named Zimmermann in the roster at the same time. In 32 starts, Zimmermann is 6 and 12.

May 24
2000 Crown Royale #58 Brad Penny
Brad was born in 1974 in Blackwell, OK. He was the Diamondbacks 5th round pick in 1996. He has a career record of 112-92 over his 11-year career and is currently pitching for the Tigers. He was 14-10 with the 2003 Marlins who won the World Series that year over the Yankees. He was the starting pitcher for the NL in the 2006 All-Star game where he struck out the side (Ichero, Derek Jeter and David Ortiz) in the 1st inning.

May 25
2005 Studio Portraits Zenith White #92 Miguel Tejada
Miggy was born in 1974 in Bani, Dominic Republic. He was originally signed as a free agent by the A's in 1993. He is a 6-time All-Star who has played for the A's (1997-2003), Orioles (2004-2007), Astros (2008-2009). Since leaving the Astros he's been back with the O's, with the Padres and with the Giants this year. He's been mainly a starting shortstop. He has a career batting average of .286 and has hit 301 home runs.

May 26
1989 Donruss #533 Darrell Evans
Howdy Doody (really?) was born in 1947 in Pasadena CA. He was the 7th round draft pick of the Kansas City A's in 1967. Darrell had a long 20-year career playing for the Braves, the Giants, and the Tigers. He hit 414 home runs with a career .248 batting average. He was a 2-time All-Star and won the World Series with the Tigers in 1984. Evans was the first player to hit 40 home runs in a season in both leagues.

May 27
1990 Topps #414 Frank Thomas
It's hard to believe that two great players like Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were born on exactly the same day. Both played 1st base. Both players were among the elite of power hitters through the 1990s and 2000s and neither was ever implicated in steroid use. I couldn't decide which one to feature, especially as both are among my favorite players, so I'll feature them both. I decided to show this particular Thomas card because one of the most famous and most rare error cards is a misprint of this card missing his name.

Big Hurt was born in 1968 in Columbus GA. He was the White Sox #1 draft pick in 1989 and played most of his career in Chicago. Throughout his career his stats were always similar to Bagwell but Frank managed to play a few more years. He ended up with 521 home runs and 1,704 RBIs with a career batting average of .301. I believe that he is a sure bet for the Hall of Fame.

May 27
1991 Stadium Club #388 Jeff Bagwell
Baggy was born in 1968 in Boston MA. He was the Red Sox #4 draft pick in 1989. In what, in retrospect, may have been one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history, the Astros acquired Jeff from the Red Sox in 1990 for pitcher Larry Anderson. It was the last transaction of his career as he played for the Astros until injuries forced him to retire after the 2006 Spring Training season. I was lucky enough to see him play in a spring training game that year. Jeff was the 1991 NL Rookie of the Year and the NL MVP in 1994. He was a 4-time All-Star. In his 15-year career he hit 449 home runs, drove in 1,529 RBIs and had a .297 career batting average. Although he was not elected to the Hall of Fame this year (his first year of eligibility) he is sure to get in. I have 431 Jeff Bagwell cards scanned and it was sure tough to decide which one to post. According to his nickname was BagPipes but in 10 years of watching Jeff play I never heard anyone call him that.

May 28
1988 Fleer Update #U-93 Kirk Gibson
Kirk was born in 1957 in Pontiac MI. He was the Tigers #1 draft pick in 1978. He had a 17-year career, 12 0f them in two stints with the Tigers. He played for the Dodgers in 1988-1990 and is probably best known for the home run he hit off Dennis Eckersley in the 1988 World Series which sparked the Dodgers to win the series in 5 games over the A's. It was the only World Series appearance he ever had. He was sick and had two bad legs and I remember watching him limping around the bases with fists pumping. Wikipedia has an entire article on it here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Random Phillies cards of the Week

1978 Topps #515 Barry FooteBarry was the Expos #1 draft pick in 1970 but played most of his career as a back-up catcher. He was so highly regarded by the Expos that they actually moved Gary Carter to right field. But that didn't last long. He was with the Phillies in 1977-1978 appearing in 57 games. The Phillies regular catcher in those days was, of course, Bob Boone. Foote's main contribution to the Phillies was a part of the trade which brought Manny Trillo to the Phillies in 1979.

1980 Topps #380 Garry MaddoxHow can you not love this baseball card? The beard, the hair escaping from under his hat and the great smile. These days he is involved with a group of investors trying to build a casino in Philadelphia. Good luck with that.

1992 Donruss #685 Dave HollinsDave was acquired from the Padres in the Rule V draft in 1990. He played for the Phillies into 1995 and again briefly in 2002. Hollins played 3rd base for the Phillies and although he was a decent player, he wasn't going to make anyone forget Mike Schmidt. His best two years were 1992-1993 when he batted around .270 each year and hit 45 of the 67 home runs he hit for the Phillies. Hollins is currently a scout for the Phillies.

2008 SP Legendary Cuts Legendary Memorabilia 35 Mike Schmidt
I only paid $8.00 for this little bit of a Mike Schmidt baby blue away uniform. The card is serial numbered 15 of 35.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Song of the Week - Black Mirror by Arcade Fire

This is a really great song from a great band. Watching a song emerge from what appears to be general chaos on stage is fascinating. This is probably not the best version of this on YouTube but I chose it because you can easily see one of the weirdest musical instruments ever, a hurdy-gurdy. Even if you have never seen one before you'll recognize it as soon as you see it.

This song is from their second album, Neon Bible released in 2007. Lyrics follow the video.

I walked down to the ocean
After waking from a nightmare
No moon, no pale reflection
Black Mirror, Black Mirror

Shot by a security camera
You can't watch your own image
And also look yourself in the eye
Black Mirror, Black Mirror, Black Mirror

I know a time is coming
All words will lose their meaning
Please show me something that isn't mine
But mine is the only kind that I relate to
Le miroir casse,
The mirror casts mon reflet partout
Black Mirror, Black Mirror, Black Mirror

The black mirror knows no reflection
It knows not pride or vanity
It cares not about your dreams
It cares not for your pyramid schemes

Their names are never spoken
The curse is never broken
The curse is never broken
Un! Deux! Trois! Dis: Miroir Noir!
Black Mirror!
Un! Deux! Trois! Dis: Miroir Noir!
Black Mirror!

Black Mirror!
Black Mirror!

Their names are never spoken
The curse is never broken
Their names are never spoken
The curse is never broken

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Show me where them bombs will fall.
Mirror, mirror on the wall,
Show me where them bombs will fall.

Black Mirror!
Black Mirror!
Black Mirror!
Black Mirror!
Black Mirror!
Black Mirror!
Black Mirror!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Birthdays May 15-24

May 15
2001 Topps Archives Reserve #9 George Brett
Mullet was born in 1953 in Glen Dale, WV. He was the Royals 2nd round pick in 1971, and played his entire Hall of Fame Career with them. In my opinion, one of the best players of my lifetime. He was an 11-time All-Star and the AL MVP in 1980. From 1976 to 1985 the Royals were play-off contenders almost every year. Brett hit .375 in a losing cause as the Royals were beat by the Phillies in 6 games in the 1980 World Series. He hit .375 in the 1985 World Series as the Royals topped the Cardinals in 7 games. And then, of course, there is the famous Pine Tar Incident. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1999, his first year of eligibility.

May 16
1986 Topps #651 Billy Martin
Billy was born in 1928 in Berkley CA. He played 11 (1950-1961) years in the majors for the Yankees, A's Tigers, Indians, Reds, Braves and Twins. He won 4 World Series rings with the Yankees. He is probably better known as a manager, his managing career stretching from 1969 to 1988. As a player and a manager he was very combative and his arguments with umpires were legendary. He lead the 1976 Yankees back to the World Series (their first pennant since 1964). His fights with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner were also legendary and led him to be fired and rehired as the Yankees manager several times. Martin was killed in an alcohol related automobile accident on Christmas Day in 1989.

May 17
2004 Upper Deck Vintage #340 Carlos Pena
Carlos was born in 1978 in Santo Domingo D.R. He was the Rangers #1 pick in 1998. He is a first baseman who has played for the Rangers, the A's, the Tigers, the Red Sox, the Rays and is now with the Cubs. His greatest success has been with the Rays. In 4 years with the Rays he hit 144 home runs and helped lead them to the 2008 World Series (which they lost to the Phillies).

May 18
2009 Upper Deck Icons Legendary Icons Jerseys Reggie Jackson
There were two Hall of Famers born on this date, the other being Brooks Robinson. Reggie "Mr. October" Jackson was born in 1946 in Abington PA (a suburb of Philadelphia). He was the #1 pick of the Kansas City A's (remember them?) in 1966. He spent most of his 21-year career with the A's, the Yankees and the Angels. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993. He is known as Mr. October mainly for his performance in the World Series. In 5 World Series he hit 10 home runs, has 24 RBIs and a .357 batting average. He also has 4 World Series rings.

May 19
1959 Topps #382 Curt Simmons
Curt was born in 1929 in Egypt PA. He was signed as a free agent by the Phillies in 1947, after his high school team nearly beat the Phillies in an exhibition game in which Simmons struck out 11 Phillies. He was 17-8 with the Phillies Whiz kids in 1950, propelling the Phillies to their first ever World Series. Unfortunately for him, he was drafted due to the Korean War and missed the Series. He pitched with the Phillies until they released him in 1960. He signed with the Cardinals and finally got a chance to pitch in a World Series in 1964, as the Cardinals beat the Yankees for the championship.

May 20
2010 Bowman Gold #53 Jayson Werth
Warewolf was born in 1979 in Springfield IL. He was the Orioles #1 pick in 1997. He was a part time player with the Blue Jays and Dodgers from 2002-2005 and missed all of the 2006 season with a wrist injury. The Phillies signed him in December 2006. From 2007 to 2010, Werth hit 95 home runs, had 300 RBIs and batted .282. The Phillies were in the playoffs each year, winning the World Series in 2008. Werth hit .444 in the 2008 World Series. Werth parlayed his success with the Phillies into a 7-year, $122 million contract with the Nationals after the 2010 season.

May 21
1993 Pinnacle #307 Kent Hrbek
Herbie was born in 1960 in Minneapolis. He was the 17th round draft pick of the Twins in 1978 and ended up playing his entire 14-year career in his home town. That makes him a Hometown Hero. Kent was an All-Star in 1982, his first full year in the majors and the runner up for the AL Rookie of the Year Award, losing out to some guy named Cal Ripken. Kent had a pretty good career, belting 293 home runs, with 1,086 RBIs and a career BA of .282. He has two World Series rings (1987 and 1991) and is credited with hitting the first home run in the Metrodome, in an exhibition game against the Phillies.

Friday, May 20, 2011

2011 Bowman

Before writing this post I went back to see what I said about 2010 Bowman (click here). I rather liked the 2010 set. I'm afraid I can't say the same about the 2011 set. As they have for the past 15 years or so, Bowman sticks to the same color scheme. Black and green for and red for veterans. The set design is just blah and the photography is nothing to rave about. I bought 2 blaster boxes at the local Target. I did not get any duplicate cards in the two boxes. There were 8 packs in the box (actually 7 packs and 1 Extra Pack Each!). There are 10 cards in each pack. The pack breakdown is : 4 base cards, 2 prospect cards, 2 chrome cards, and 2 insert or parallel cards. I'm also happy to report that, unlike Gypsy Queen, the checklist cards do not count as a card. There are 220 base cards. At 32/box, it would be pretty expensive to attempt to complete the set by buying blasters. I understand that the hobby box packs have 5 base cards per pack.
They have revived the old Bowman International parallel set from the mid-1990s. I'll bet a bunch of you were writing letters to Topps asking to bring this parallel back. The card has a dufex finish like before. I got two of these. Here's Lance Berkman from some foreign country named Texas.
The Gold Parallel is back as well, 1 per pack.
The Blue Parallel is back. These are serial numbered to 500 and I got one of them.
And, apparently working on the theory that you can't have too many parallel sets, this year there is a Green Parallel (numbered to 450). This card is uglier in person than the scan indicates. There are also Orange (numbered to 250) and Red (1 of 1).
There is the usual Prospects set, still blue and white. Over the past few years I have often liked the design of the Prospect set more than the base set. Last year, Bowman dropped the white area with a facsimile signature at the bottom of the base cards. I'd be happy if they'd drop this from the Prospect cards as well.
The box advertises that there are 2 chrome cards per pack. As usual, these are the Chrome Prospects cards. If you look at this scan about a third of the way in you'll see a printing mark. It runs pretty much the length of the card, there is a similar line on the other side of the card but it doesn't show as much. Just about every chrome card I got is marked like this. Very poor in my opinion. There are a number of different parallels but I didn't get any.
Another older set card being brought back as an insert is Bowman's Best. If a pack has one of these, it counts as a Chrome card. These look most like the 1994 Bowman's Best. I got three. The other two are separately numbered Prospect cards which have a blue background. I am assuming that the rookie cards have a green background. There are 50 cards in the set.
There are four insert sets. The Topps of Class set has 25 cards and I pulled 2 of them. This is a new insert this year.
Back from last year are the Topps 100 cards. There are 100 of them (no kidding). I pulled 5.
Also new this year is 25-card Bowman's Brightest set. I pulled 2. I like this design. I think it would have been nice as the design of the main set to get out of the black and red rut.
And finally, another new insert, the 25-card Finest Futures set.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Movie of the Week - On The Beach

There's nothing in the theater we want to see this week so I got some videos from the library. One was this classic from 1959.I last saw this movie when I was in 4th or 5th grade. That would have been in the early 1960s, probably in 1964, the year in which the movie is set. I was 12 years old. The Cold War was very much a reality and we were having air raid drills in grade school where we huddled under our desks waiting of the all clear siren. I didn't remember much about the movie beyond that it scared the crap out of me.

Major spoilers ahead.

The premise of the movie is simple. Captain Dwight Towers (Gregory Peck) of the US nuclear submarine Swordfish is stationed in Melbourne Australia. As the movie opens, the Swordfish is returning after a reconnaissance mission. Why is the boat stationed in Australia? Because the rest of the world has been destroyed by a nuclear war. The Swordfish was out in the Pacific when the war broke out and was over before it could even get in the game.

This is basically a story of people going through the motions as they wait to die. They know that a cloud of radioactivity is heading their way. The story follows Towers as he slowly comes to grip with the fact that his family back in Connecticut really is dead and takes what short term comfort there is in the arms of Moria Davidson (Ava Gardiner). We also follow Lt. Peter Holmes (Tony Perkins), who is assigned to the Swordfish for one final mission, and his wife Mary and their baby. Mary cannot accept the coming doom and sinks into catatonia. One other major character is Julian Osbourn (Fred Astaire), a scientist who once worked on nuclear weapons. He also joins the Swordfish's last cruise to take atmosphere readings of radioactivity, readings that confirm Australia's doom. In his spare time he is rebuilding a Farrari, to drive in the last auto race in history.

It is doubtful that such a movie could be made today, even forgetting about the subject matter. The movie is driven by plot and dialogue. There is almost no action beyond the automobile race, where cars are crashing left and right while Osbourn, with grim determination, drives through the madness to win the race. It is also, at 2 hours and 14 minutes, a pretty long movie. There are not even any scenes of destruction. As the Swordfish sails into San Francisco Bay, the city is intact, no fires, no wrecked buildings. Just eerily empty.

Stanley Kubrick directed and does a great job of involving the audience in the story of the characters. I think, that ultimately, that's what scared me about this movie as a 12-year-old. As an adult, I still found it moving and terribly sad. You come to care about these characters, feel their despair, their courage, and then they all die. Osbourn goes out in his sealed up garage, with the Farrari engine running. Peter and Mary (in one last bout of clarity) take the suicide pills provided by the government. Moria stands on the beach as the Swordfish, commanded by Captain Towers, leaves the harbor to try to return to their home base in Connecticut, even though it is unlikely they will make it.

The last scene of the movie takes us back to a revival meeting where a large banner which reads "There is still time Brother" hangs over the meeting place. The first few times we see this, we understand it to mean that there is still time to repent your sins because doomsday, although close, hasn't happened yet. The final scene shows the area empty of people, trash blowing around, and the sign now is a message to the audience that the world doesn't have to end like this. It's a bit corny, perhaps even heavy handed but in 1959 many people believed that world could (maybe even would) come to an end this way.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Random Phillies cards of the Week

1975 Topps #374 Eddie WattHere's a guy I should have saved for my Phorgotten Phillie Phile. The Phillies bought him from the Orioles in December 1973 for $70,000. They released him before the 1975 season. In 1974 he was 1-1 with 6 saves in 42 appearances. I have no recollection of him.

1989 Bowman #407 Ron JonesIf there was a future star in the Phillies minor league system in the late '80's, it was Ron Jones. A power-hitting outfielder with good defensive skills he made is debut in 1988. In 1991 he hit .272 with 13 home runs in 97 games. Unfortunately, several knee injuries ended a promising career early. In later years, Jones ran the Big League Batting Academy in Houston with another former Phillie, Charlie Hayes. I'm sad to say that Ron Jones passed away in 2006 at the young age of 41.

1993 Stadium Club #229 Ricky JordanRicky Jordan was the Phillies #1 draft pick in 1983. Ricky played 1st base and in 1989 looked to be the Phillies regular starter at first for years to come. However, the Phillies acquired John Kruk in 1989, and although Kurk mostly played outfield his first few years with the Phillies, by 1991 he was the started at first, mainly leaving Ricky as a pinch-hitter. Ricky was due to be a free agent after the 1994 season and probably would have gotten a good contract somewhere. Unfortunately for him, the 1994-1995 baseball strike effectively ended his career. He did eventually sign on with the Mariners in 1996 but that was his last year.

2004 Studio Game Day Souvenirs Number #65 Jim ThomeJim Thome was always one of my favorite players and I was pretty excited when the Phillies signed him for the 2003 season. Jim hit 89 combined home runs for the Phillies in 2003-2004. His playing time in 2005 (the last year of his 3-year, $26.5 million contract) was limited by injuries. With the rise of Ryan Howard, Thome's services were no longer required and he signed with the White Sox after the 2005 season. This is a nice game used jersey card with a stripe I picked up on eBay.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Birthdays May 8 - May 14

It was a pretty good week for birthday hunting. Two Hall of Famers and two probable future Hall of Famers. And a Phillie!

May 8
2011 Topps Gypsy Queen #26 Adrian Gonzalez lists 30 players born on this date and I hardly knew any of them. I almost went with Orestes Destrade but then saw Adrian Gonzales, who is actually a pretty good player. Gonzo was born in 1962 in San Diego, CA, where he's played most of his career. He was the first pick of the 2000 draft, chosen by the Marlins. The Marlins traded him to the Rangers for Ugueth Urbina in 2003. He's played 2 years for the Rangers, 5 years for the Padres and now plays for the Red Sox. The Padres traded him to the Red Sox for a bunch of minor leaguers. He is a 3-time All-Star with 2 Gold Gloves. At this moment he is leading the AL in RBIs with 29.

Is every player named Gonzales called Gonzo?

May 9
1993 Studio #100 Tony Gwynn
Mr. Padre was born in 1960 in Los Angeles, CA. Prince Fielder was also born on this date but I got to go with the Hall of Famer. Tony played his entire 2-year career with the Padres and has a remarkable career batting average of .338. That's good enough for 19th place on the all time batting average list and the only player in the top 30 of that list to have played his entire career during my lifetime. He was a 15-time All-Star, won 5 Gold Glove and 7 Silver Slugger Awards. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2007, the first year he was eligible.

May 10
1987 Topps Robbie Thompson #658
Robbie was born in 1962 in West Palm Beach FL. He was the Giants #1 pick (2nd overall) in 1983. He finished 2nd in the NL ROY voting, losing out to Todd Worrell. Does anybody really remember who finished 2nd in Rockie of the Year voting? Although a he was a great defensive 2nd baseman he was not a great offensive player, except for 1993 when he batted .312. He was also an All-Star that year and won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger. He signed a 3-year contract worth $12 million after that season second highest paid 2nd baseman after Ryne Sandberg. Unfortunately he spent most of that 3 years injured and retired in 1996.

May 11
Topps 206 Mini Piedmont #251 Francisco Cordero
CoCo was born in 1975 in Dominican Republic. He was a free agent signing by the Tigers in 1994. He has pitched for the Tigers, Rangers and Brewers. Currently he is in the last year of a 4-year, $46 million contract with the Reds. He is a reliever, primarily a closer. He is second in active players in saves with 296. He is not likely to ever catch the current active leader, Mariano Rivera who has 572. He is currently #22 in the all-time saves list. He's averaged 38 saves/year for the Reds. At that rate he'll be #11 on the list. Another 7 saves after that and he'll crack the top 10.

May 12
2009 Upper Deck Goodwin Champions #62 Yogi Berra
Lawrence Peter Berra was born in 1925 in St. Louis, MO. He played his entire 19-year career for the Yankees from 1946 to 1965. He was elected into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1972. He was an 18-time All-Star (some of those years were when there were two All-Star games a year) and a 3-time MVP. Yogi was also a manager (3 years with the Yankees and 4 years with the Mets) and a coach. He was also famous for fracturing the English language. My favorite saying by him is "90% this game is half mental".

May 13
2002 UD Authentics #6 Barry ZitoBarry was born in 1978 in Las Vegas NV. He was the A's #1 pick in 1999. He was a pretty good pitcher early in his career which prompted me to collect his cards. He finished 2002 with a 23-5 record and the Cy Young Award. It probably didn't hurt that the A's won 103 games that year. In 2006 he signed a 7-year, $126 million contract with the Giants. It is probably not an understatement that his performance with the Giants has been disappointing. He has a 40-58 record from 2007 with the Giants. Although the Giants won the World Series last year they did it without Zito who was left off the post season roster.

May 14
2010 Topps National Chicle #122 Ray HalladayDoc was born in 1977 in Denver CO. He was the Blue Jays number 0ne pick (17th overall) in 1995 and made his major league debut in 1998. He pitched for 12 years for the Blue Jays, with an impressive 148-76 record. He shows no signs of slowing down with the Phillies. He won 21 games for the Phillies in 2010 and his second Cy Young Award. His first was with the Jays in 2003 when he won 22 games. When Roy Oswalt came to the Phillies last year, the pitching staff was nicknamed the H2O rotation (for Halladay-Hamels-Oswalt).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Movie of the Week - Thor

We first heard of this movie at the end of Iron Man 2, when the S.H.I.E.L.D agent drives out to a desert local to where a hammer fell from the sky. We've been seeing trailers since last fall. We went to see it tonight.The movie was way better than I had any right to expect. For a movie like this, it's hard to get a sense of how good the movie is going to be from the trailers. But generally this is the sort of movie we'll go to see unless the reviews are really bad. I didn't bother to read any review of this prior to going to see it because it looked like it would be fun. And it was great fun. Taking a quick look over at Rotten Tomatoes it looks like in general the movie is getting good reviews.

The movie also has some talent involved. It was directed by Kenneth Branagh. Natalie Portman plays 'that mortal woman', and Odin is played by Anthony Hopkins (although he doesn't have much to do beyond looking god-like). Chris Hemsworth plays Thor as sort of an all-powerful frat boy who comes to realize that with great power comes great responsibility (OK, that was corny). The only thing I've ever seen him in was the Star Trek re-boot where he played Captain Kirk's father. I had to look that up.

It's going to be a block-buster summer, if you like that sort of thing. We saw trailers for Conan the Barbarian (not sure a remake of this was needed, but we'll be there), Captain America, Green Lantern, X-Men:First Class, and Cowboys & Aliens. We're looking forward to them all.

Donruss 1987 - accidently completed set

In 1987 I was pretty much only buying Topps cards. I finally completed the 1987 Topps set 2 years ago with the help (trades and gifts) from my fellow bloggers. I just realized that I have another completed set from that year, Donruss. Since I bought very few, if any packs of 1987 Donruss, I managed to complete this set, quite accidentally by acquiring cards in repacks.

I'm pretty sure that 1987 Donruss is one of the uglier sets from the 1980s. Even so, I've got them all. Here are is a sampling of some of the cards from the set that I happened to have scanned.

In the 1980s, Donruss, being legally forbidden to put gum in their card packs, put in puzzle pieces. I've got the entire puzzle as well.

Up until about 1993, the Diamond Kings were a part of the regular set.

There were some good rookies that year. This Maddux card used to be the second most valuable card in the set. The three top cards were Bonds, Maddux and McGwire. I suspect that Maddux, the only one of the three to remain scandal free, is now #1.

Speaking of McGwire. What a fresh-faced looking guy.

Molitor hit .353 in 1987.

This is also Will Clark's rookie card, but without the Rated Rookie logo. His popularity in the hobby declined many years ago.

But this guy has, and will remain ever popular.

Same for this guy. It was Mike's last best year in baseball. He hit 35 home runs, drove in 113 and had a .293 batting average. It was also his last All-Star appearance.

Was Pete Rose the last player/manager in baseball?

Phormer Phillie Bob Walk was 8-2 in 1987.

Carlton "you talkin' to me?" Fisk.

Still not a regular starter for the Phillies.

This was the number one card in the set. Beckett listed it a $12.00 last year. You can currently get this card, slabbed GMA rated 10, for $6. Better hurry, the auction ends in 5 minutes.

Tom Seaver ended his career with the Red Sox.

Charlie was in his 17th year and had 7 more to go!

Another rookie card not worth much.

One of the six teams Steve "I can still pitch" Carlton played for between 1986 and 1988.