Sunday, October 30, 2011

Song of the Week - Time by Pink Floyd

Having just turned the ripe old age of 60 this past week, time has been on my mind. I have a lot of songs with Time in their title.

All Kinds of Time - Fountains of Wayne
All Time High - Rita Cooledge
All Time Low - Widespread Panic
By the Time I Get to Phoenix - Glen Campbell
Come Down in Time - Elton John
Comes a Time - Neil Young
Dark Time - October Project
Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? - Chicago
Every Time It Rains - Charlotte Martin
Good Times - Love
Good Times Roll - The Cars
Hard Times Are Over - John & Yoko
Haven't Got Time For The Pain - Carly Simon
I Just Wasn't Made For These Times - The Beach Boys
Long Time Coming - Delays
Long Time Gone - Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
The Longest Time - Billy Joel
No Time - Frente!
No Time - The Guess Who
No Time Soon - Gnarls Barkley
No Time To Live - Brian Auger
Pledging My Time - Bob Dylan
Pony Time - Chubby Checker
Right in Time - Lucinda Williams
Time - The Alan Parsons Group
Time - David Bowie
Time - Hans Zimmer (Inception sound track)
Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper
Time and a Word - Yes
Time Has Come Today - The Chambers Brothers
Time Is - It's A Beautiful Day
Until It's Time For You To Go - Buffy Sainte-Marie
Who Knows Where The Time Goes? - Judy Collins

Just to name a few. But I decided to go with the classic Pink Floyd piece from Dark Side Of The Moon. I was 21 years old when this album came out. A newly minted adult, with all my future ahead of me. This song, about the end of long life has always been one of my favorites.

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Baseball Birthdays October 23-29

October 23
2011 Greats of the Game Autographs
Bunning was a career 224-184 pitcher mainly with the Tigers and Phillies. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996 by the Veteran's Committee. He chose to go into the hall as a Phillie.

October 24
2011 Topps Update #86 Rafael Furcal
I'm writing this on Friday afternoon still trying to get over Game 6 of the World Series. Furcal has played in 58 post season games. He came over to the Cardinals from the Dodgers in July.

October 25
2009 Sweet Spot #44 Pedro Martinez
Martinez ended his career going 5-1 for the 2009 Phillies. Unfortunately, he was 0-2 for the Phillies in the 2009 World Series against the Yankees. He is a future Hall of Famer for sure.

October 26
2003 Topps 205 #146 Richard 'Doc' Hoblitzell

Doc played from 1908 to 1918, for the Reds and then for the Red Sox. Not a particularly remarkable career but he does appear in two of my favorite baseball card sets of the 2000's, this set and the 2004 Topps Cracker Jack set.

October 27
2001 Bowman Heritage 1948 Reprints #3 Ralph Kiner
Not a lot of big talent born on my own birthday. But at least there is one Hall of Famer. Ralph led the NL in home runs from 1946 through 1952.

October 28
2000 Bowman Draft Picks #17 Chin-Feng Chen
Not a lot of talent on this date either. I decided to go with this guy mainly because of the card. Note the debut date of 00/00/00. Chen was a member of Taiwan's 1990 Little League World Series team but this didn't translate to success in the major leagues. He had all of 22 at bats in the majors, hitting .091.

October 29
1987 Fleer Baseball All Stars #2 Jesse Barfield

The late October talent drought continues. Certainly not a bad player, he did have a 12-year career and was an All-Star in 1986. He had a career .156 batting average but had some pop in his bat, hitting 241 home runs.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011 Cards by Position - AL

My favorite cards featuring fielding. American League players this time.

Like I commented on the NL post, no cards featuring pitchers fielding in this year's cards.

2011 Topps #474 Jeff Mathis
This looks interesting. It looks like a force play at the plate and Mathis is hoping to get the batter at first for a double play.

First Base
2011 Bowman Gold #87 Adrian Gonzalez
If you look closely you can see the ball just about a foot above his glove.

Second Base
2011 Topps #526 Jason Donald
I don't remember seeing many rundown plays featured on a baseball card.

2011 Topps All-Star Set #AL17 Elvis Andrus
How do these guys avoid groin pulls on plays like this? Good conditioning, I suppose.

Third Base
2011 Topps #215 Edwin Encarnacion
Looks like a desperate, off-balance throw to somewhere.

2011 Topps #101 Gregor Blanco
And that's why they have padding on the outfield walls.

2011 Topps #658 Mitch Maier
Mitch gets way up there. Too bad we can't tell if he actually caught the ball.

2011 Topps Throwback #252 Michael Saunders
Saunders took a homer away from somebody, assuming he held on to the ball.

Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 Cards by Position - NL

Well, it's getting time to wrap up the 2011 collecting year.  Let's start by featuring cards with fielding plays by position. I'll do the National League today and the American League next.


Cards feature pitchers fielding their position are pretty rare. I didn't get any, in either league, this year.

2011 Topps Update #16 Wellington Castillo
Mister Castillo has only played in 11 games in his career but managed to be featured reaching desperately for a throw on this card.

First Base
2011 Topps #220 Todd Helton
I like the look of concentration on Helton's face as he takes a throw, probably to complete a double play.

Second Base
2011 Topps All-Black #298 Jeff Keppinger
Looks like Keppinger took a single away from somebody, assuming he got up in time and threw it to first.

2011 Topps Update #329 Dee Gordan
Lots of air underneath Dee Gordon on this play.

Third Base
2011 Topps #89 Placido Polanco
Always a tough play for a corner infielder, heading for the dugout while trying to haul in a pop up. At least Polanco will have some friendly hands to catch him if he goes over the rail.

2011 Topps Gold #484 Gerardo Parra
Nice catch

2011 Topps #45 Hunter Pence
One of my favorite cards of the year. Hunter Pence appears to be running out of his shoes to make this catch.

2011 Topps #363 Aaron Rowand
Rowand prevents a double or worse with this great looking play.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Song of the Week - She's A Lady by John Sebastian

This is a solo version of Sebastian on a TV show in 1970 (a silent Groucho Marks in the opening is a bonus). You can stop when David Steinberg comes out to chat. I always thought this was a Lovin' Spoonful song, but no, it's his first single after the band broke up in 1969.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Baseball Birthdays October 16-22

October 16
1970 Topps #90 Tim McCarver
It's World Series time and everybody loves to listen to Tim.

October 17
2011 Goodwin Champions #181 Buck Ewing
Buck played from 1890 to 1897 for such teams as the Troy Trojans, the Cleveland Spiders and the Cincinnati Reds. He was the first player in major league history to hit 10 home runs in a season.

October 18
2008 Upper Deck Timeline #109 David Murphy
Speaking of the World Series, this guy's playing in it. He hit .333 in the ALDS, .412 in the ALCS but is hitless so far in the World Series.

October 19
2005 Fleer Patchworks Jersey Michael Young
Another guy in the current World Series. I hadn't intended that today's edition of Baseball Birthday's turn into a World Series celebration but it has.

October 20
1996 Topps #7 Mickey Mantle
In 1996, Topps "retired" #7. Since then, if the flagship Topps set has a card number 7, it's Mantle. I don't have a single Mantle card from when he was playing. I'll have to rectify that.

October 21
2011 Topps Kimball Champions #89 Whitey Ford
Another Hall of Famer and, of course, contemporary of Mickey Mantle. He had a 236-106 record over 16 years.

October 22
2009 Topps Heritage Mayo #15 Ichiro
A 28-year-old Rookie of the Year in 2001, Ichiro has been one of the best and most consistent players of the past decade. Now 38, he is perhaps slowing down a bit, hitting only .272 in 2011, the first year of his career he failed to hit over .300.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 Tristar Obak Mini T212

Back in September I did a post on the regular sized cards from this set. I planned a post on the minis and here it is, finally. While there are 120 cards in the main set, there are only 24 minis. Since you get one per pack, maybe it wouldn't be too hard to collect them all. There are several parallels, blue brown, green and purple. Plus autos in various colors.
As far as I know there are not many post-career Ripken cards. This is the second I've gotten this year.
I'd like to think this was Nolan in an Astros uniform, considering the background similarity to the Astros uniforms when Ryan played in Houston. But I'm pretty sure that's a Rangers uniform.  The number is the give away.
The background of some of these cards is rather fanciful. Here's Joe Carter hacking his was through the Canadian wilderness.
Zach had a pretty good rookie season with the Orioles, but I'm not sure he fits in well with the rest of this group of players.
Two Whitey Ford cards. He began his career in 1950 and then served with the Army in 1951-1952. Another great background. I'd say it was supposed to represent his early years, except that he grew up in Queens.
There are also 2 Stan Musial cards. After winning the World Series in 1944, Stan spend 1945 in the Navy.

Monday, October 17, 2011

2011 Topps Update Series

This may be Part 1 of 2. I bought a blaster and a rack pack at Target but I've got a hobby box coming from eBay. It there is anything interesting in it I'll pull together another post.

What's to say about this set? You already know the design. But, since I'm writing this blog, I get to make some comments on it. Except for parallels, there don't seem to be any inserts new to the series. The inserts are just continuations of the inserts from Series 1 and 2, like Kimball Champions and Topps 60. There is also another series of Topps Town (groan).
Harry Blanco is still in baseball? Topps has taken this opportunity to include some players I haven't seen cards of in awhile.  Nice picture.
There are lots of rookie cards. These are players who made their debut in 2011 but didn't make it into Topps Series 2.
Then there are cards which celebrate a rookie's debut.

There are All-Star cards.

And All-Star Home Run Derby cards.  Do you get the feeling that Topps had to really pad this set to get to 330 cards?
This is also the red-bordered parallel set available in Target blasters. There were 2 packs of these in the box. I rather like them. There is a special parallel in Wal Mart blasters as well but I don't think I want that many more cards from the set to buy another blaster.

Of the 62 regular issue cards, there were only 4 cards I actually wanted to add to my collection: 2 Phillies (including the Roy Halladay All-Star), 1 Astro, and one player I collect (Scott Rolen). I'll keep all the rookies. The rest will be available in the 2012 Summer Clearance Trade.

And there is one more new parallel. the Cognac Diamond Anniversary.
There are not just Update Series parallels but parallels of Series 1 and 2 also. These don't look like too hard a pull, I got 5 of them, but only 3 of the original Diamond Anniversary parallels.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Song of the Week - Life on Mars by David Bowie

Ziggy Stardust and The Thin White Duke are long gone. This performance was recorded in September 2005, one of his few live performance since he had emergency angioplasty for a blocked artery in his heart in June 2004. I must say he looks better at 64 than I would have expected.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Birthdays October 9-15

My Saturday morning birthday series is back in a stripped down format. If you had a birthday last week, I hope it was a happy one.

October 9 
2009 Goodwin Champions #63 Brian Roberts
Roberts has missed a lot of playing time the past two years due to recurring headaches.

October 10
2000 E-X Generation E-X #4 Pat Burrell
Phillies #1 draft pick in 1998. Now with the Giants.

October 11
1989 Topps #161 Gregg Olsen
The Orioles #1 pick in 1988. His 1989 cards were hot at the time.

October 12
1997 Ultra #525 Sid Fernandez
Known mainly as a Met, he spent the last few years with the Phillies and Astros. I have no idea what is going on in this picture.

October 13
1996 Pinnacle Aficionado Artist's Proofs #117 Trevor Hoffman
Retired last year with 601 saves, good for 2nd place on the all-time list.

October 14
2011 Tri-Star Obak #11 Tom Chaney
On September 12, 1962, Chaney struck out 21 batters over 16 innings as his Senators beat the Orioles 2-1. He averaged 7.6 Ks/9 innings pitched in 1962.