Wednesday, 30 December 2015

41 - René Arocha

Front photo: That pitch is coming right at you!

Back photo: Pitcher at the plate! Second straight card with that on the inverse.

Better photo?: I really like that front photo, but I can't have two straight cards with a pitcher at the plate on the reverse and not select that as my favourite photo.

Ties to my personal collections: Shared his 1993 Topps rookie card with then-Blue Jays prospect Tim Crabtree. I also like getting cards of players who defected from Cuba, and he's one of them!

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 7

Wiki-facts: In 1991, (...) Arocha defected, opting for a life in the United States and the chance at playing in the Major Leagues.

Google it: A pretty interesting article about his popularity when the Marlins hosted the St. Louis Cardinals in 1993.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? 4-4 over 45 apeearances, with a 4.01 ERA.

Birthday boy: February 24, 1966. Rod Brewer was also born that date. The two were teammates in St. Louis over the 1993 season, which is something that probably didn't happen too often in MLB history. Kevin MacDonald, who played one game for the Ottawa Senators in their 1993-94 season, was also born on 2-24-1996. Actor Billy Zane (Titanic) was born that day. And at least one website thinks 2-24-66 was also Ghana's Day of Shame.

Up next: 42 - Rich Aude

Sunday, 20 December 2015

40 - Jack Armstrong

Front photo: Brought to you by the fine folks at David Sunflower Seeds.

Back photo: Pitcher at the plate!

Better photo?: This is easily the toughest battle so far, since both photos are not typical and both very Collector's Choice-y. I'll give a very slight nod to the front, since it really is out there in terms of photo choice.

Ties to my personal collections: Shares his name with Toronto Raptors broadcaster Jack Armstrong. That's about it.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 4

Wiki-facts: "A torn rotator cuff helped end his career at the age of 27." Helped isn't really the word I'd opt for.

Google it: Probably more of a thing, but it takes until the third page for this Jack Armstrong to get a page of his own, not counting the wikipedia disambiguation page. He's lower than someone who is a member of the Canadian Petroleum Hall of Fame, and is sandwiched between some cosmic artist (I don't know or care) and his denial of rape allegations.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Went 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 2 starts with Texas as his career drew to a close.

Birthday boy: March 7, 1965. Only the NFL has other alumni, but it has an interesting pair of players. Steve Beuerlein, a journeyman QB who picked up a Super Bowl ring as a Dallas Cowboys backup in '92, and the great nickname of Willie "Flipper" Anderson was also born that date. He  picked up a Super Bowl championship in his final game in the league as a member of the Broncos. Going along with the World Series team Armstrong was a part of with the Reds, that's eventual 3 world champion team members born that date. Golfer Jesper Parnevik was also born that day, making it a really good day for future sports stars to be born.

Up next: 41 - Rene Arocha

Monday, 7 December 2015

39 - Luis Aquino

Front photo: A pitcher in a catcher's crouch. I said crOUch.

Back photo: Generic pitching photo.

Better photo?: Both very teal, but the front is more different.

Ties to my personal collections: Made his debut as a Toronto Blue Jay, landing cards in 1987 Topps and Donruss. Was also a Montreal Expo, but never got any cards while in Montreal for 1995.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 5

Wiki-facts: Apparently, he's #80 on the list of the greatest Kansas City Royals of all-time.

Google it: There is a trumpeter by that name as well. That's relevant, since this is what appears when you google "Luis Aquino".
Spoiler alert. They're not the same guy. The second photo is a shot of him as an Expo, looking exactly like someone who'd have to notify the neighbours when he moves to town. I'm no longer mock the Royals or him for being #80 on that list.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Went 6-8 for the Marlins with an ERA of 3.42. Not too bad for a reliever on an expansion team.

Birthday boy: May 19, 1964 via baseball-reference, but 1965 on the card and via wikipedia. Majority rules and I'll say 1965. One season NFLer Troy Stedman was born on that date. 2 season Boston Celtic Michael Smith was also born that day. That's tie #2 to one of my PCs. Outside the sporting world, 1987 Miss Universe Cecilia Bolocco is another 5-19-64 baby.

Up next: 40 - Jack Armstrong

Friday, 20 November 2015

38 - Eric Anthony

38 - Eric Anthony

Front photo: A sliding catch, complete with a backup dancer.

Back photo: On the basepaths. There's also a flashback to the presence of cigarette ads on outfield walls.

Better photo?: Everything seems perfectly aligned with the sliding catch, as well as some other Astro helping out just in case he misses it. The Marlboro ad makes the back somewhat of an oddball, but the photo on the front is too nice.

Ties to my personal collections: Was once traded for future Met Mike Hampton.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 9

Wiki-facts: This paragraph might be my favourite one so far.

In 1986 Anthony was an 18-year-old Sharpstown High School dropout working on an assembly line at a Houston plastics company. He talked his way into an Astros tryout in 1986 and impressed scouts with his power (...) Subsequently, he was drafted by the Astros in the 34th round of the 1986 MLB amateur draft.

Google it: There are lots of other Eric Anthonys (Anthonies?) out there. I'll assume the baseball one isn't the musician in Utah.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? The aforementioned Hampton trade took him to Seattle in late 1993. He hit 10 HR with 30 RBI and a .237 average. He shows up later in this set as a Mariner on card #411.

Birthday boy: November 8, 1967. There's another tie to my Expos PC there, as Henry Rodriguez was also born that date. The only other person listed at the *-reference sites is former Cardinal/Chief cornerback Jay Taylor. Actress Courtney Thorne-Smith (Melrose Place, According to Jim) was also born that date.

Up next: 39 - Luis Aquino.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

37 - Rich Amaral

Front photo: Full extended horizontal swing photo.

Back photo: Infield throwing practice shot.

Better photo?: The latter seems most Collector's Choice-y, but the front is a solid choice among a frequent motif. I'll go against my usual grain and opt for for the first one.

Ties to my personal collections: Nothing.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 5

Wiki-facts: Amaral's son Beau ... was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds and in 2014 played with High Class-A affiliate in the California League, the Bakersfield Blaze. Beau has autograph cards in 2015 Bowman. His father is referenced on the reverse of his card.

Google it: Has a baseball camp, although the site is hosted by tripod and hasn't been updated since 2013. So maybe "had".

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Batted .263 with 4 home runs and 18 RBI.

Birthday boy: April 1, 1962. No other *-reference people match up with this April Fool, but he does match up with the current Leader of the British House of Commons, Chris Grayling.

Up next: 38 - Eric Anthony.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

36 - Wilson Alvarez

Front photo: I'd call this an autograph shot, but there's no sign of a pen, or ink on the ball. I'll call this more of a "show off a grip" photo.

Back photo: Pitching close-up.

Better photo?:  The photo on the front is more Collector's Choice-y, so I'll vote for that. It is also the photo so far that could conceivably show up as "Exhibit A" at some point.

Ties to my personal collections: No direct ones, but I still hunted down some of his early Donruss cards. His first game, and his only game of the 1989 season, saw him fail to record an out, and get an ERA of infinity. As for his second start, read on.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 8

Wiki-facts: "Alvarez provided one of the highlights of the 1991 Chicago White Sox season on August 11, by pitching a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles at Memorial Stadium in only his second Major League start."

Google it: At the bottom of the first page, you can see this video of a diving catch by Lance Johnson to save that no-hitter.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Pretty good. 12-8 with an ERA of 3.45.

Birthday boy: March 24, 1970. No other MLBer was born that date. One season NBAer Marques Bragg was. Also, Mike Vanderjagt, former "idiot kicker" (tm: Peyton Manning) was born that day.

Up next: 37 - Rich Amaral.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

35 - Moises Alou

Front photo:  A great dugout photo with Alou rocking the Oakleys.

 Back photo: Standard at the plate photo, but it is enhanced by the Wrigley bricks.

Better photo?:  It is an easy win for the photo on the front. The only way this could be any better is if the photographer was visible in it.

Ties to my personal collections: Is an Expo and a future Met.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 17.

Wiki-facts: "Moises Alou revealed that during baseball season he urinates on his hands to toughen them up." There is nothing I could say that would enhance that sentence, so I'll leave it there in all its glory.

Google it: It isn't until the 10th entry that anything Steve Bartman related comes up, although that is #1 when you search for video. #3 is a nasty injury on the turf at Busch Stadium.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Really good. Picked up a Silver Slugger and was an all-star as well as he hit .339 with 14 HR and 58 RBI.

Birthday boy: July 3, 1966. In another tie to my PC, former Ottawa Senator Jarmo Kekalainen was also born that date. Neil O'Donnell, who played for 13 seasons in the NFL is another 7/3/66 baby.

Up Next: 36 - Wilson Alvarez.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

34 - Sandy Alomar Jr

Front photo: Perhaps he should be watching where he's running.

Back photo: Hanging out in the dugout.

Better photo?: This one is really close. The dugout shot is so Collector's Choice-ish, but the facial expression is so great on the front, I have to give it to the front.

Ties to my personal collections: Would go on to play a few games with the Mets at the end of his career, but never got any cards out of it.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 11. That really seems low.

Wiki-facts: Is in the Cleveland Indians Hall of Fame.

Google it: If you have 1.43 million sitting around, you can buy his house.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Batted .288 with 15 homers and 43 RBIs.

Birthday boy: June 18, 1966. Nobody in baseball or basketball reference has their birth on that exact date. In fact, only 6 NBA alum at all were born on June 18th, although one was HOFer George Mikan. NHL veteran Doug Bodger does match exactly. In football, Rodney Rice, who had a couple seasons with the Pats and Bucs, is also a 6-18-66 baby. Figure skater Kurt Browning matches up as well.

Up next: 35 - Moises Alou

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

33 - Roberto Alomar

Front photo: A great defensive play.

Back photo: At the plate at Skydome.

Better photo?: I like the visible ball with the swing on the back, but I love photos where the players isn't touching the ground, no matter what the short.

Ties to my personal collections: He's a Blue Jay here. Although I'd like to forget his time as a Met, he was there as well. But, being the only Blue Jay with his number retired more than makes up for that forgettable time in his career. And he's also the only person with a Jays cap on Cooperstown. It means I can debut the Hall of Fame tag with this entry.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 24.

Wiki-facts: He's still with the Blue Jays, as a special advisor.

Google it: Has an entry at That might also be a first for this set.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Only 8 HR and 38 RBI over 392 AB. Still got a Gold Glove and was a All-Star.

Birthday boy: February, 5, 1968. Andres Santana, who had 2 AB over 6 MLB games in 1990 was also born that date. Also on 2/5/68 was Will Furrer, who made a couple appearances at QB for the Bears and Oilers.

Up next: 34 - Sandy Alomar Jr.

Monday, 31 August 2015

32 - Luis Alicea

Front photo: Turning two!

Back photo: Just a standard shot from the field.

Better photo?: While the back does include the Wrigley ivy, it is hard to vote against the double play flip, even if it isn't as urgent a throw as most.

Ties to my personal collections: A future Met! Albeit as a coach during the 2009

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 17..

Wiki-facts: Full name is Luis René Alicea de Jesús.

Google it: He's now the Executive Director of the Elev8 Baseball Academy. Former Boston Red Sox member Alejandro Machado is also on the staff. Machado also had a cup of coffee with the Mets, as per his bio at the Elev8 site.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? 4 HR and 29 RBI over 242 AB.

Birthday boy: July 29, 1965. Only people on the *-reference are a a pair of NFLers with 4 games between them, Scott Urch and Ray Brown. .

Up next: 32 - Roberto Alomar.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

31 - Kurt Abbott

Front photo:  A swing!

Back photo: The follow through. Maybe even from the same swing. Given the camera angles, unlikely, but that it is the type of thing UD would do.

Better photo?: I'll vote for the back one, since his facial expression seems a little silly in the first one.

Ties to my personal collections: A future Met! He'd play 2000 for them, appearing in 79 games. He got a base card as a Met in 2001 Topps, but was a Brave that season, as his career came to a close with 9 AB in 6 games.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 8.

Wiki-facts: Has been a a Sheriff's Deputy since 2006. It doesn't have any word on what effect a 2012 DUI had on that.

Google it: I can't find anything about his post DUI, just that he was suspended around that time. On a better note, he earned a commendation in April 2006 for rescuing a resident trapped inside a burning building

How was his strike-shortened 1994? He was traded to the Marlins in late 1993. There, he batted .249 with 9 HR and 33 RBI.

Birthday boy: June 2, 1969. Nobody at any of the *-reference sites has anyone other than Kurt listed as being born that date. Cy Chadwick, British actor/producer, is the only one wikipedia lists as being born that date.

Up next: 32 - Luis Alicea.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

30 - Matt Drews

Front photo: Throwing in front of a tarp.

Back photo: Might be from an actual game. At least he's throwing towards something or someone.

Better photo?: I'll vote for the back one, just because there is something in the foreground.

Ties to my personal collections: Was part of a trade that sent former Blue Jay Cecil Fielder to the Yankees, accompanying a (then) future Blue Jay Ruben Sierra to the Tigers.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 8. About 8 more than I expected for someone who didn't reach the bigs. The power of being a Yankees draft pick!

Wiki-facts:Grandson of former big leaguer Karl Drews. Karl was killed by a drunk driver in 1963.

Google it: There is something called The Matt Drews society. Which taught me that Angelfire is still out there. Last update to the page seems to have been 2002.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? At A-ball in Oneonta, went 7-6 with a 2.10 ERA. That would be the lowest ERA of his career.

Birthday boy: August 29, 1974. Japanese keyboard player Kumi Tanioka was also born that date. If you're a video game fan, you may have heard some of her work.

Up next: 31 - Kurt Abbott.

Monday, 3 August 2015

29 - Billy Wagner

Front photo: Casual Friday at baseball card photo shoot day.

Back photo: Something different, an exercising photo.

Better photo?: Definitely the back photograph. Mainly because I haven't seen a photo like that so far.

Ties to my personal collections: Would go on to become one of many heart-attack inducing closers for the Mets in the 2000s.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 34.

Wiki-facts: Nickname was "Billy The Kid". How creative. Is a natural right-hander, but learned to throw lefty after two broken arms as a child.

Google it: Twitter handle is wagsk13wjs_e - Let's see. Wags. K. 13. Then I'm lost.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Entered the season ranked as the #78 ranked prospect. Finished it at #17. Was a starter, going 8-9 with an ERA of 3.29.

Birthday boy: July 25, 1971. One of the original Toronto Raptors, Tracy Murray was born that date. Nobody else from the 4 major team sports lines up with that, but actress Chloë Annett (Red Dwarf) and country singer Roger Creager were also born 7-25-71.

Up next: 30 - Matt Drews. Then we move on to the standard base set.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

28 - Brooks Kieschnick

Front photo: Posed photo.

Back photo: Seems cropped way too tightly to be from an actual game. I'll really be glad to work my way out of these staged photos.

Better photo?: The bat over both shoulders is a classic pose, especially horizontally.

Ties to my personal collections: No direct ones, but the fact he both pitched and player outfield later

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 15

Wiki-facts: Was one of the inaugural members of the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and has had his number retired by the University of Texas.

Google it: You can follow him on twitter at @kiesch23. It isn't verified, but who the hell would try to impersonate Brooks Kieschnick on twitter?

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Was at AA Orlando. Didn't pitch, but batted .282 with 14 homer runs and 55 RBIs.

Birthday boy: June 6, 1972. One of my favourite names to say in baseball was born that date - Tony Graffanino. A couple short term NBAers, Frankie King and James Scott, were also born that date. A player with a more famous NHL brother in Marko Kiprusoff is a 6-6-72 baby. Outside the pro sports world, Today's Natalie Morales is another one.

It is nice to have a rather busy day in this category.

Up next: 29 - Billy Wagner.

Monday, 13 July 2015

27 - Matt Brunson

Front photo: A posed photo in front of a team photo interesting.

Back photo: The position of the ball gives a unique look to the staged photo.

Better photo?: The ball makes it closer than it should be. Still, I love that team shot in the background and give it to the photo on the front.

Ties to my personal collections: Nothing.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: N/A. Doesn't have one.

Wiki-facts: Again, N/A.

Google it: You have to go to the second page to find anything about this Matt Brunson. There's a guitarist from the band Crowbar and someone from Creative Loafing Charlotte ahead of him. First link included the term 'bust'. Yikes.

 How was his strike-shortened 1994? Batted .212 with 1 HR and 31 RBI.

Birthday boy: September 2, 1974. Basketball-reference lists Jason Lawson, who played 17 games with the Orlando Magic as being born that date. And that's it for the *-reference sites. But, wiki gives you an Australian Race Car driver in Steven Johnson, and a star of adult cinema. I'm not giving you the name, you can find out if you so desire.

 Up next: 27 - Brooks Kieschnick. And we're finally back to guys who have wiki entries.

Monday, 6 July 2015

26 - Kirk Presley

Front photo: A classic photo with a beautiful view of a minor league park in the background.

Back photo: Generic posed pitching photo.

Better photo?: Not even close. Stadium for the win!

Ties to my personal collections: Is pictured as a Met. I have another card of his in my Mets binder that says was third cousin to Elvis.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: N/A. Doesn't have one. Did have an article in People though. That's probably the first for someone from this set.

Wiki-facts: Again, N/A.

Google it: There's a lawyer in Kansas City named Kirk Presley whose name pops up as well in google searches. Not the same guy, unfortunately.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Spent time at Pittsfield and St. Lucie. Went 6-7 with an ERA of 3.83 in 16 appearances, all starts.

Birthday boy: April 17, 1975. Nobody at any of the * sites has that exact birthday. But, he does match up with a Travis Roy, hockey player who was sadly left a quadriplegic 10 seconds into his first shift at Boston University.

Yegads this is a depressing card.

OK. British politician Heidi Alexander was also born that date. She's still in office, so maybe that counts for something.

Up next: 27 - Matt Brunson.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

25 - Trot Nixon

Front photo: Posed photo.

Back photo: Couldn't be more staged if he were reciting Hamlet's soliloquy.

Better photo?: The clouds look like they are real and not some photographers backdrop, so I'll vote for the front.

Ties to my personal collections: Played 11 games of the 2008 season with the Mets and has a base card in that year's update set. I don't have it. The 2008 issue, and its parallels, were the last cards of his career.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 17

Wiki-facts: Real name is Christopher Trotman Nixon.

Google it: First son was born on 9/11/2001. He was at the airport in Norfolk, VA after air space shut down.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Spent the season with the A Level Lynchburg Red Sox, batting .246 with 12 HR and 43 RBI.

Birthday boy: April 11, 1974. Nobody else on the various *-references has that exact date. But, he does match up with model and actress Tricia Helfer (Battlestar Galactica).

Up next: 26 - Kirk Presley.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

24 - Steve Soderstrom

Front photo: Posed  photo, but at least you get some scenery in the background.

Back photo: Unless that ballpark has a fence within a few paces of the mound, I'll call this one posed as well.

Better photo?: Trees in the background are always nice. The front.

Ties to my personal collections: Was originally drafted by the Mets in 1990 in the 15th round. Didn't sign with them.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 4

Wiki-facts:  He currently runs a baseball teaching facility in Turlock, CA. Only had 3 big league appearances, all starts, going 2-0 with an ERA of 5.27 in 1996.

Google it: He's actually the co-owner of the Backyard Sports Academy.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Spent his time at Class A San Jose, where he went 2-3 with a 4.20 ERA.

Birthday boy: April 3, 1972. Matches up with nobody on any of the team sports reference sites. but does match up with former tennis player Sandrine Testud, who has 3 singles championships and was ranked #9 in the world at one point. In Hollywood, actresses Jennie Garth (90210) and Leigh-Allyn Baker (Will & Grace) were also born that date.

Up next: 25 - Trot Nixon.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

23 - Jeff Granger

Front photo: Despite the fact he debuted with the Royals in 1993, it is still a posed shot. But, that debut consisted of one inning and an ERA of 27.00.

Back photo: And another one.

Better photo?: A bland draw.

Ties to my personal collections: None that I can see.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 2

Wiki-facts: If I ever get a wikipedia page, I don't want the words "cautionary tale" to appear on it. Unfortunately for Jeff, those words do appear in relation to his being rushed to the majors. On a better note, he was also a quarterback at high school and at Texas A&M.

Google it: There is another Jeff Granger that shows up in two other links prior to this Granger. No matter how bad the cautionary tale is for the baseball Jeff Granger, at least the first three words in an article about him don't contain the phrase "Corrupt tax auditor".

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Had two games in the bigs, both starts. Went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA.

Birthday boy: December 16, 1971. Both the Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani Wars of 1971 ended on that date. Michael McCary of Boyz II Men was born that date. Nobody else on other sports reference sites has that exact birthdate.

Up next: 24 - Steve Soderstrom

Saturday, 30 May 2015

22 - Wayne Gomes

Front photo: A posed shot.

Back photo: Due to the fact that there's nobody else on the field, I'll call it a posed photo as well.

 Better photo?: It isn't a band photo, so he can get away with a chain link fence on his card.

Ties to my personal collections: Most similar players as per baseball reference are a pair of former Blue Jays, Giovanni Carrara and Cliff Politte. Was also once traded for former Blue Jay Felipe Crespo. There's one more in birthday boy, but it isn't a sports tie-in.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 2

Wiki-facts:  After his retirement, he opened the Virginia Baseball Academy in Suffolk, VA. He

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Spent it in the minors as A-level Clearwater.

Birthday boy: January 15, 1973. While he does match up perfectly with a soccer player from Egypt in Essam El-Hadary, there's a death on that date that interests me much more, as a MSTie. Coleman Francis passed away on that date - the man who brought us The Beast of Yucca Flats, The Skydivers and Red Zone Cuba.

"Drink Night Train go to the basketball game, throw up under the bleachers..."

Up next: 23 - Jeff Granger.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

21 - Brian Anderson

Front photo: A posed shot.

Back photo: Probably a posed shot as well, even though he went from the draft to the bigs in the same season.

Better photo?: I'll go for the front, due to the visible lights in the background.

Ties to my personal collections: Nothing of note. Never played for a team I follow. Was once part of a trade that included someone named 'Pep Harris', who has just landed on my wantlist on the strength of being named Pep Harris.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 19

Wiki-facts: Was a fill-in broadcaster for Cleveland while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He is currently part of the Rays broadcast team as a TV analyst. Was on the World Series winning D-backs in 2001.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Started 18 games, with a 7-5 record and an ERA of 5.22. Good enough for 6th in the AL ROY balloting. He finished ahead of teammate Jim Edmonds.

Birthday boy: April 26, 1972. Same date as former Pirate Francisco Cordova. In other sports, former NFL C Tim Ruddy was also born on that date. Outside the sporting world, actress Maura West, who has 3 Daytime Emmy Awards for her work on soap operas. Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, died on the date.

 Up next: 22 - Wayne Gomes.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

20 - Gabe White

Front photo: Spring training posed shot.

Back photo: N/A. Actual photos on the back debut with the next card!

Ties to my personal collections: He's an Expo on this card!

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 1

Wiki-facts: Surrendered the final hit in Tony Gwynn's career.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Went 1-1 with an ERA over 6. 7 appearances, starting 5 games, and getting a save in one as well.

Birthday boy: November 20, 1971. Same as short-term Met Kevin Lomon, of whom I pulled his only Mets card in my first ever Fairfield repack. Also born on that date was NFL HOFer Michael Strahan.

 Up next: 21 - Brian Anderson, starting a group of 10 cards of 1993 Draft Picks.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

19 - Solomon Torres

Well, it was one Expo ago I picked up this set. And I'm just at the 19th card 6 months later. Sounds about right for me. Time to get 1 card closer to the end.
Front photo: I'd lean with spring training on this, but the extreme close-up makes it impossible to tell for sure.

 Back photo: N/A. One card to go for a long time without a photo on the back.

Ties to my personal collections: Played a portion of the 1997 season with the Expos after being claimed of waivers. 12 appearances and a 7.25 ERA then. He then retired, and coached the Expos Dominican League team, before returning to baseball and having a good mid 00's run with the Pirates.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 9.

Wiki-facts: How about a quote? On being razzed my fans still bitter over a bad performance in 1993 " "They come to the park and they pay my salary, so they have the right to heckle me. " Is from San Pedro de Macoris, which might be the most famous place in the Dominican Republic, at least in a baseball sense.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Went 2-8 with an ERA over 5.

Birthday boy: March 11, 1972. Shares the date with former NFLer Carl Greenwood and Japanese singer Ua.

 Up next: 20 - Gabe White, wrapping up the first part of the Rookie Class subset

Friday, 17 April 2015

18 - Scott Stahoviak

Front photo: Definitely spring training, but not enough visible to determine if it is just practice or during an actual game.

Back photo: N/A.

Ties to my personal collections: Nothing direct as he spent his entire career with the Twins. Shares a birthday with former Toronto Raptor Dwight Buycks.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 3.

Wiki-facts: "He taught as a gym teacher at Saint Norbert School in Northbrook, IL. He resigned in 2008 to pursue a new career.  He now teaches Physical Education at Maple Middle School." That was one of the 3 paragraphs.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Played exactly as many major league games as I did.

Birthday boy: March 6, 1970. Chris Broderick (Megadeth) was born on that date, as was former NFLer Robbie Tobeck.

Up next:  19 - Salomon Torres

Thursday, 2 April 2015

17 - Johnny Ruffin

Front photo: Looks like an in-game photo, but it seems very spring-training.

Back photo: N/A.

Ties to my personal collections: Nothing direct. Baseball Reference lists former Expo and Blue Jay Randy St. Claire as the most similar pitcher.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 2.

Wiki-facts: He also played one season in Nippon Professional Baseball with the Kintetsu Buffaloes and one season in the Korea Baseball Organization for the SK Wyverns.

How was his strike-shortened 1994? Pretty good. He went 7-2, with an ERA just over 3.09 over 70 innings with 1 save.

Birthday boy: July 29, 1971. Outside the sporting world, he shares it with Bryan Dattilo from Days of Our Lives. Nobody else from the 4 major team sports was born that date.

Up Next: #18 Scott Stahoviak