Tuesday, February 26, 2013

ATBATT'S All-time All-Stars Shortstop

Hey everybody,

Continuing with the greatest all-star infield ever, that's at least according to my humble little blog and collection.  Speaking of which, you might recall I mentioned these all-stars would be marginally determined by my card collection.  This is one such occasion. 

While I would accept an argument that Honus Wagner was a greater shortstop than Ozzie Smith, I only have two measly tribute cards of Wagner, and that would hardly be enough to fill out a post with some nice cards to look at.  Sorry Honus, The Wizard of Oz gets the nod on this one...

 Yankee fans might argue that Derek Jeter should have earned the pick here.  While I certainly have enough of his cards to fill out a post, Jeter was much more of a bat than a glove for the Yanks.

Jeter won several World Series rings, and put up impressive WS offensive numbers, but he was also surrounded by numerous other big bats on those Yankee juggernaut teams, which afforded much more of an advantage than Ozzie ever had playing with Ken Oberkfell and Darrell Porter. 

Ozzie was by no means a slouch with the bat.  He was an all-star 15 times, had 2,460 hits, and stole 580 bases!

 But I chose Ozzie over the polyglot of great shortstops in the modern era because he certainly knew how to use the leather out there.  He's got huge numbers for assists (8,375) and double plays (1,590) and won Gold Gloves for shortstop in THIRTEEN CONSECUTIVE SEASONS!

Great "D" will definitely get you included on my all-star team. Smith's career fielding percentage is a sick .978

Have you ever heard that famous home run broadcast call by Jack Buck, "Go crazy, folks! Go crazy!" ?  Yup, that was from a tater blasted by Smith.

"Not only did I wear Number 1, St. Louis retired it after me."

THANKS for reading everybody!

Next post: Trades galore! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Trading with 30-Year Old Cardboard and Lost Collectors

Hey everybody,

Here comes a short but sweet trade post about a coupla small...but very sweet trades.

First up is a trade with A.J. over at The Lost Collector A.J. posted some vintage, and lucky for me, he had a couple of 58 Dodgers for trade, Jim Gilliam and big bat Carl Furillo.  I already had the Gilliam,  but I needed that Furillo.  

Sure, it's a bit chewy, but this card got me to a count of 10 out of the 30 - yes, 30! - Dodger cards in 58 Topps. I'll post later about the 10 I have, with the hopes some of you out there might have some of the remaining Dodgers that I'm still missing.

What else did I get from A.J., you may ask?  Well, wonder no further, and behold the additional goodness that he sent my way...

It's more Dodger vintage!  Yes, he's listed as a damn Yankee, but he's wearing an L.A. cap, and the Yanks name seems to be kinda scuffed off.  In a weird way, I like that.

BTW - the other day GCRL posted about Bob Welch's extremely long arm and in looking at Williams' card, I notice he's got a super long arm also. Yikes! It's like that arm that creeps out of the crashed UFO at the end of  the 1953 movie version of The War Of The Worlds.

But that trade still wasn't finished - Check this out...

Yup - it's my first Hideo Nomo jersey card.  I know, I know, some of you guys have something like a thousand Nomo cards, swatches, relics and autos...but not my humble little collection.  A.J. helped me to lasso my first Nomo relic. This card is a well-designed and well-named little gem.

The other trade was really more of a gift, which makes it extra cool.  Brian over at 30-Year Old Cardboard  posted some 2013 Topps Dodgers and I requested this one...

Good ol' Paco here is an up and comer with the Boys in Blue. He debuted against the hated ones from the bay, and did his job, retiring the first batter he faced in the majors.

I wasn't able to find anything immediately in Brian's want lists, but being the great guy that he is, he went ahead and sent the card over to me anyway.

I'm planning on sending a surprise over to you in the coming days, so keep your eyes open, Brian.  I know you sent this card as a gift to me...and it's in that spirit that I'll be sending a little something over to you. 

All in all, Acouple of great trades.  THANKS Brian and A.J.!  I'm looking forward to our next trades.

THANKS also for reading, everybody. 

Monday, February 18, 2013


Here we go with my choice for the all-time best second baseman.  Although the decision was difficult -yet again - I made a "managerial" decision and didn't just go with the guy who had the highest offensive numbers.

Had I wanted to do that, I would have just gone with Rogers Hornsby, the choice of The Sporting News back in 75.  But I figured I'm putting together a team of all-stars who should have more to offer on the diamond than a simple line up of home run hitters.

I want ATBATT's team to have solid defensive prowess, the ability to exercise plate discipline when necessary, and to be base stealing rabbits.  All the better to preoccupy opposing pitchers so they'll make the mistake pitches that the home run hitters can capitalize on. 

Which is why I chose this (first ?) Dodger for the team...

Not known as a power hitter, Jackie was a career .311 hitter and a definite threat to steal once on the basepaths.

He was a 6-time all-star, and played on 6 WS teams, including the '55 World Championship Brooklyn Dodgers.

Absolutely solid at 2nd base.  He played 10 seasons and had a .983 fielding percentage.

 It's the intangibles.  You don't have to be a reader of my blog to know Jackie broke the color barrier and what he has meant to MLB as an icon.

Jackie wasn't chosen to get a shot at being the first Black player because he was the best player in the Negro Leagues at the time.  He was chosen because of his equally strong character.  

 Can you imagine if Satchel Page had been the first to break the barrier and he heard the cries of the N-word from the opposing dugout? The very first batter from the opposing squad would have had a fastball in his ear and baseball would have had a bench clearing brawl almost immediately.  It would have been "Experiment Over".

This is not to say Jackie was weak.  Rather, it took a particularly strong and self-confident person, with an eye for the bigger picture, and what it meant for all those still waiting, to undertake what Branch Rickey and the Dodgers asked of Jackie.

Number 42 let his glove, cleats and bat do his talking for him - and that's why he became one of the greatest players to ever set foot on the diamond.  ATBATT's 2nd baseman, Jackie Robinson.

THANKS for reading, everybody.  

Next Post: A couple of trades completed last week get a post!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday Night Trade Bait

Hey Everybody -

Last post I mentioned that I sprung for a few assorted packs.  I bought some 2013 Topps, cuz I dig those die-cuts and I'm still trying to pull one for myself.  In addition to those, I bought a few discounted 2010 and 2011 packs.  I got a whole mess of cards to add to various team piles, and no earth shattering hits, but I caught some subset cards that might be useful to those of you chasing them.  

Starting off with a coupla reprints...

In a week that featured the talk about Topps' scrubbing of Pete Rose, I managed to pull exactly one of the cards that was cited in the discussion.  Anybody out there chasing that History of Topps subset?

These cards are awesome. I'd chase this set myself, but I hardly see them around.

Anyone for a miiiiniiii Halladay or a Twins celebratory card?

Hey Arpsmith, you out there?  You interested in these cards of your boys?

How about some White Sox up and comers? 

 While I do like the Chasing History cards, I only like the shiny refractory ones.

 Anybody needs/want these miiiiiniiiiiiis?

And now a few of the Chasing History shinys....

These Dodger cards areawesome.
I'll close with a couple of shiny Yankees.  If you get tomorrow off, enjoy! 

Next Post:  ATBATT's 2nd Base All-Star

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

ATBATT'S All-Time All-Stars 1st Base

Hey everybody,

In my previous post I began the line-up of my All-Time All-Stars.  Today's post presents my choice for the best first baseman to play the game. 

I gotta tell ya, it was a tough decision.  Twins fans, I gave close consideration to Harmon Killebrew - and he almost won just because his name has "brew" in it - but I hadda go with Gehrig for a few extra reasons...

 First and foremost, he's "The Iron Horse".  Gehrig held what was once considered to be an unbreakable record of playing in 2,130 straight games.  You would be hard pressed to find somebody else as dependable as rock-solid Lou.  Actually, the only other guy in MLB history is Cal Ripken Jr., and sorry Cal, but I've already selected someone else at shortstop.

Gehrig is number one in baseball history with 23 grand slams.  Yes, A-PED is tied with him, but I'm personally refusing to acknowledge his phony drug enhanced numbers.  Who's the next closest to Lou? That would be Manny Ramirez with 21.  Did somebody just say 'drug enhanced numbers'?

Here's an intangible for you: Gehrig hit BEHIND Ruth.  One thing that helped the Babe get at least a few of his big bombs was the fact that pitchers noticed Gehrig over there on deck, and they couldn't simply pitch around the Bambino.  Now THAT'S respect. 

He averaged 139 runs and 148 RBI's for 13 friggin' seasons!

His teams won the Fall Classic six times.  Not too shabby.

86 Sportsflics Decade Greats Lou Gehrig

THANKS for reading everybody!

Next post: I made an impulse buy of a few packs at wallyworld today. Maybe I'll have some new trade bait for y'all! 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

ATBATT'S All-Time All Stars

Hey everybody,

Now that good ol' Potch helped me to finish collecting the 76 Topps subset "The Sporting News All-Time All-Stars", I've been inspired to name my blog's set of All-Timers.

ATBATT's All-Stars will differ from the Sporting News' in a few substantial ways.  First and foremost, S.N. chose their players in 1975 (for inclusion in the 76 release), and we now have more than 35 additional years of great players to choose from for the roster.  

Just like The Sporting News, I will be selecting one player to represent each of the infield and outfield positions, one backstop and two pitchers; one right handed and one southpaw. Unlike S.N., I'm also going to include an All-Time manager.  Furthermore, since we're dealing with today's game, I'm also going to add two new players - a middle reliever and a closer.

Sorry, American Leaguers, I'm not including a D.H..  Primarily because the old-school, purist National Leaguer in me still views the DH as a baseball abomination.  Pitchers should have to face the high heat, and batters should earn their ups, dag nabbit!

Where S.N. probably had a team of analysts studying stats from every available baseball almanac, I'm choosing my All-Stars less on pure stats analysis and more on their stat-us in baseball lore and legend.  The final criteria will be the player's status in the cardboard collecting universe in general, and my collection in particular. 

                 ALL TRADE BAIT ALL THE TIME'S
               ALL-TIME ALL-STARS...

First up will be Catcher.  Presenting the best catcher to play the game, and Cardboard Hero,

Starting off with a card paying homage to the Sporting News.  Johnny B. was ROY in 68 - the first catcher to ever win the honor.  Bench also pioneered the one-handed catching technique.

He anchored the Big Red Machine, which constantly battled the Dodgers for the N.L. West title.

My favorite Johnny Bench card.

10 Gold Gloves and 14-time all-star.

Kicking ass in the Fall Classic earns triple points in my book any day.  Bench was the WS MVP.

389 career home runs.

The first of ATBATT's All-Stars - Bad ass Johnny Bench.

THANKS for reading!

Next post: Around the horn. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Set Potched - Wheelered - Dealered - NAILED !

Hey everybody,

This is the reason I started ATBATT and this is the reason our hobby and it's participants are AWESOME!

I've been chasing a pretty dang cool vintage subset - the 1976 edition of The Sporting News' All-Time All-Stars - for quite some time.   However, one little card had been standing between me and completion.  Sure, I could have found one on the bay (a quick search shows I can snatch one up for $5 to $10), but clicking "Buy now" just isn't the kind of fun that I got involved in our hobby to have.

I think you know what I mean.  We've all done it. Checking around the local card shows, diving into boxes hoping to make that GREAT FIND.  You know the feeling...blissfully sifting through cards, occasionally stopping to ooh and ahh over something you hadn't seen before, or slowing to internally smile and say to yourself, "Heh, I've got that one."

When suddenly...THERE IT IS !  The card you need, or almost as exciting,  the card you didn't know you needed until you saw it.  Man, that's the juice right there!

That didn't happen for me this time.  But what did happen was equally as good, perhaps even better.  You know the story...some guy halfway around the country who loves cardboard just as much as you do realized he has the card you need, or he sees it himself at a card show a thousand miles away from you, and he grabs it in order to help you out in your card quest, because he's cool like that.

Enter Cool Like That Potch, from Potch Wheeler And The Cardboard Heroes.    Naturally, the guy from the cardboard heroes site noticed I needed one cardboard hero myself, and he sent it out to me. YAHOOO !!!    Enough intro already.  Here's the card...

The previously elusive Mr. Hornsby with his mitt stuffed into his back pocket.

Here's his buddies, the rest of the set.  altogether these guys make up an awesome team.  We have the infield, outfield and 2 pitchers, one a righty, and one a southpaw. 

Mission Accomplished, Set Complete 

Ordinarily that one card would have been enough, but Potch bein' Potch tossed in a coupla piles (and I mean PILES) of other baseball heroes of the Dodger Blue variety.  Here's just a few of the highlights...

A new Piazza!  Coooool!   How about that mug?  I think he gave a face like this to Clemens when that punk tossed a piece of bat at him in the WS.  

Remember when Dee Gordon's 2011 Topps issue personified "Dodger double play"?  I now present Eric Young's bid for that title.

A new Bulldog card.  Suddenly yellow on a card works. 

One of my all-time favorite Dodger shortstopsThe more things change, the more they remain the same...infielders still love to keep gloves in thier back pockets.

 Potch tossed in a great bunch of Dodgers form the 80's and 90's.  Although I liked the stars as much as anybody, I also liked to cheer for some of the lesser known guys and the utility players.  Here's a few of my past favorites...

Of course, in receiving as many cards as Potch sent, there's going to be one or two guys who I forgot were actually Dodgers.  For example...

Raw Sewage?

Jokes aside, what a great trade.  I got lots of cards from my favorite team, and of course, the clincher...the final card I needed, courtesy of my newest Cardboard Hero, Potch.

THANKS for a great trade, Potch, and THANKS for reading everybody!

BTW: If you see this, Night Owl, I am happy to request the removal of my quest from the One Card Challenge at your blog.   Everybody else, I encourage you to stop by that section of Night Owl's blog and help a fellow collector in finding that one last card.