Saturday, 3 December 2016

71 - Rob Butler

71 - Rob Butler

Front photo: Heading towards first.

Back photo: The follow-through of a swing.

Better photo?: Nothing too spectacular for back-to-back posts, although both give the vibe of coming from the exact same plate appearance. A slight nod do the front photo.

Ties to my personal collections: Pictured as a Blue Jay - would also fit into my mini-collection of MLB Canadians.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 8

Wiki-facts: Spent 5 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Inter-County baseball league's Toronto Maple Leafs.

Google it: Runs a baseball academy in Ajax, Ontario. That's just a little bit east down the 401 from Toronto.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Batted .176 with 5 RBI over 41 games. Those were his last games with the Jays until 1999.

Birthday boy: April 10, 1970. That wasn't a good day for Beatles fans, as Paul McCartney left the group, effectively breaking up the band. NFLers J.J. McCleskey and Sean Gilbert were born that date as well. No NBAers were born that date, but NHL tough guy Enrico Ciccone was.

Up Next: 72 - Ken Caminiti

Friday, 25 November 2016

70 - Brett Butler


70 - Brett Butler

Front photo: Against the Wrigley ivy.

Back photo: Doing the running man.

Better photo?: Close, but the ivy is always a good tie-breaker. Both also give a nice look at the '52' memorial patch for former Dodger Tim Crews.

Ties to my personal collections: Would go on to play for the Mets.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 19.

Wiki-facts: In May 1996, Butler learned that he was suffering from squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsils, a type of cancer which only rarely involves the tonsils. (...) he returned to the Dodgers' lineup in September of the same year—defying the predictions of those who had speculated he would never be able to play again.

Google it: 9 out of the 10 results on the first page refer to the comedienne. I don't think the baseball Butler ever allegedly said Walt Disney's last words were "Whatever you do, don't let the Jews get the place."

How was his stike shortened 1994?

Birthday boy: June 15, 1957. Nobody in baseball history matches up, although Wade Boggs would arrive in this world exactly one year later. The only person in the *-reference world to share that birthdate with Brett Butler is Frank Pollard, a running back for the Steelers in the 1980s.

Up Next: 71 - Rob Butler

Saturday, 19 November 2016

69 - Jeromy Burnitz

69 - Jeromy Burnitz

Front photo: Casually fielding a ball.

Back photo: At the plate.

Better photo?: A rather bland competition. I guess the relaxed fielding photo is somewhat rarer.

Parallel: Silver Signature

Ties to my personal collections: Is a Met. Had an autograph in a recent Archives Fan Favorites set, but was a Brewer there.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 6

Wiki-facts: During a slump in May 2006, he held an interview in order to apologize for failing to run out a grounder, then joked about the challenges that his team would face during the rest of the season, saying, "I'm your Highest-Paid Free Agent. That, in and of itself, should tell you the big picture that the team's in.". I must say, if it were May and I heard a player on a team say that, it wouldn't inspire me to buy tickets the rest of the way through the season.

Google it: Hit a walk-off homer in the first interleague game at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Batted .238 with 3 HR and 15 RBI over 45 games. He'd be off to Cleveland for 1995, but return to the Mets in 2002.

Birthday boy: April 15, 1969. No other MLB alum were born that date. In hockey, Jimmy "Let's trade Hasek" Waite was. In the NFL, Mike Jones was born that date. He's best known as the guy who made the game-saving tackle of Kevin Dyson to give the game to the Rams, and is forever immortalized in the famous photo(s) of the Dyson's failed stretch to the end zone.

Up Next: 70 - Brett Butler

Sunday, 6 November 2016

68 - John Burkett


68 - John Burkett

Front photo: Pitching.

Back photo: Pitching.

Better photo?: It looks like he's smiling in the front photo, so I'll vote for that one.

Ties to my personal collections: Was once part of a trade that included Ryan Dempster, who makes numerous appearances in my CanCon collection.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 3

Wiki-facts: "Burkett is also a part-time professional bowler, and has 12 perfect games to his credit." His bowling acumen was also featured on a 1992 Pinnacle card.

Google it: His twitter avatar is that 1992 Pinnacle card.

How was his strike shortened 1994? Went 6-8, but his ERA was a respectable 3.62, down .03 from the 1993 when he picked up 22 wins.

Birthday boy: November 28, 1964. Craig Wilson (the Cardinals guy, not the Pirates early 00's OFer) was born that date. NBAer Roy Tarpley, who sadly had basketball career derailed by drug and alcohol addiction, before his death in Jan 2015 was born that date as well. No NFL or NHLers were born 11/28/64. Outside the sporting world, the Mariner 4 spacecraft was launched on its way to Mars.

Up Next: Jeromy Burnitz

Friday, 28 October 2016

67 - Dave Burba

67 - Dave Burba

Front photo: Pitching.

Back photo: Pitching.

Better photo?: Hard to go against any appearance of the Wrigley ivy. I didn't even need to change the sentence from my previous post. Back to back ivy appearances.
Parallel: Silver Signature

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 10

Wiki-facts: "He is currently the pitching coach for the Hartford Yard Goats."

Google it: More minor league stuff, this time as an Ohio State article that focuses on his coaching time with the Tri-City Dust Devils.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Went 3-6 with a 4.38 ERA over 57 games and 74 innings.

Birthday boy: July 7, 1966. Jeff Shaw, who would be a teammate with Burba for 1996 and 1997 with the Reds was also born that date. Jack Capuano, who played 1, 3 and 2 games for the Leafs, Canucks and Bruins respectively was born that date as well. In the NBA, Tom Garrick, who spent most of his time with the Clippers during the late 80s/early 90s is a perfect match. For the NFL, you have one game QB Jeff Francis (Cleveland). First time in a bit (if ever) I've gotten perfect matches across the board on *-reference. Outside the sporting world, you have comedian Jim Gaffigan.

Edit: He is the first one to get a match across all four of the sites.

Up Next: Jeromy Burnitz

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

66 - Steve Buechele

66 - Steve Buechele

Front photo: Throwing the ball.

Back photo: A chat along the wire fence

Better photo?: Hard to go against any appearance of the Wrigley ivy.

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 7

Wiki-facts: "At Stanford, his roommate was Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway."

Google it: 5 of the 10 results on the first page have to do with his son playing QB for the Texas Longhorns. Shane was the first freshman to start at QB for Texas since 1944.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Went .242 with 14 HR and 52 RBI.

Birthday boy: September 26, 1961. No MLB alum were born that date. Ditto for the NBA and the NHL. The NFL does offer a pair of players, "wild" Wes Hopkins, who spent 11 years with the Eagles, and Mark Behning, who spent a season in Pittsburgh. Cindy Herron, of the singing group "En Vogue" was also born that day.

Up Next: Dave Burba

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

65 - George Brett

65- George Brett

Front photo: Standard batting photo, but a nice view of a 25th anniversary patch.

Back photo: N/A. Full stats!

Better photo?: N/A.
Parallel: Silver Signature

Ties to my personal collections: George owns the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League. I have several hits of one of their alumni, Jared Cowan, in my Senators collection.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 35.

Wiki-facts: "George Brett is credited with making the term The Mendoza Line popular."

Google it: I was expecting references to the Lorde song, but those don't show up until the second page. There are several references to the pine tar game on page 1.

How was his stike shortened 1994? N/A. He retired in 1993. This was his farewell card. While this is nice, it isn't quite as nice as his 1994 Topps farewell card.

Birthday boy: May 15, 1953. No baseball birthdays, but the next May 15th birthday boy would join George in the Hall of Fame (1967, John Smoltz). NHLer Pat Hickey was born that date, and outside the sporting world, musician Mike Oldfield was also born 5/15/53.

Up Next: Steve Buechele