Friday, 29 December 2017

88 - Ron Darling

Front photo: Reacting to something?

Back photo: Pitching

Better photo?: Whatever he was reacting to deserved a full extension with the horizontal photo. I'll pick that one.

Ties to my personal collections: Former Met, and also a former Expo. He never received any cards from his 3 game (0-2, 7.41) stint in Montreal.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 44

Wiki-facts: "Darling began his college career for the Yale Bulldogs in the Ivy League as a position player, and did not pitch regularly until his sophomore season."

Google it: There are so many fun things when you search through his video results. How about him discussing the curveball with Neil Degrasse Tyson?

How was his strike shortened 1994? Was co-leader in the league with 25 games started, going 10-11 with a 4.50 ERA.

Birthday boy: August 19, 1960. Sap Randall, who played  4 games with the White Sox was also born that date. There's a Hall of Famer born that date, NFL kicker Morten Andersen. Morten shares the day with a teammate in New Orleans, QB Bobby Hebert.

Up Next: 89 - Danny Darwin

Monday, 11 December 2017

87 - Chad Curtis

87 - Chad Curtis

Front photo: It exists.

Back photo: It exists.

Better photo?: It doesn't matter.

Ties to my personal collections: Thankfully, none.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 33

Wiki-facts: "Curtis was convicted in 2013 of sexually assaulting three underage girl students while he was a volunteer weight-room strength trainer at Lakewood High School, in Lake Odessa, Michigan, and is serving 7–15 years in prison as a felon."

As for something baseball related:

"In May 1997, after Curtis objected to lyrics of a rap song teammate Kevin Mitchell was playing in the clubhouse, and shut off the clubhouse stereo, he exchanged punches with Mitchell, who threw him over a ping pong table."

Google it: He just lost a 1.8 million dollar lawsuit from one of his student victims.

How was his strike shortened 1994? .256 with 11 HR and 50 RBI.

Birthday boy: November 6, 1968. Actress Kelly Rutherford is lucky enough to share her birth date with him.

Up Next: 88 - Ron Darling

Saturday, 2 December 2017

86 - Tim Costo

86 - Tim Costo

Front photo: On the way to first base.

Back photo: Talking (yelling?) at somebody.

Better photo?: A dull combination.

Ties to my personal collections: He spent 1998 with the Jays minor league affiliate in Syracuse.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 2

Wiki-facts: "He had a nine-year minor League career."

Google it: He's now the head baseball school at McCallie, a boarding school in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Must have been hurt, as he only had 19 games with the Reds AAA affiliate. Batted .194 with 5 RBI and 0 HR.

Birthday boy: February 16, 1969. Nothing from the *-reference world that date, but my wrestling fandom notes that David "Gangrel" Heath was also born that date.

Up Next: 87 - Chad Curtis Oh boy...

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

85 - Joey Cora

Front photo: Making a tag from a sprawling position.

Back photo: Fielding a grounder.

Better photo?: The front photo is definitely a unique one for cards, especially for a non-catcher. The photo is a tad blurry, though.

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 14

Wiki-facts: "Cora took over as interim manager for the Miami Marlins on April 10, 2012 in the wake of Ozzie Guillen's 5-game suspension for comments related to Fidel Castro." I have to admit I didn't think I'd be referencing Castro is any of these entries.

Google it: After Hurricane Maria, Joey has been writing messages referencing Puerto Rico on his helmet. He's the 3rd base coach in Pittsburgh.

How was his stike shortened 1994? 2 HR, 30 RBI with a .276 average in his last season with the White Sox.

Birthday boy: May 14, 1965. Isidro Marquez, who pitched in a handful of games in 1995 for the White Sox was the second MLBer born that date. There were 3 future NFLers that came into the world as well on 5/14/65, Dave Widell, Kelvin Martin and Darren Twombly. There's nobody else in the *-reference world from that date, but Irish author Eoin Colfer was also born that date.

Up Next: 86 - Tim Costo

Saturday, 16 September 2017

84 - Scott Cooper

84 - Scott Cooper

Front photo: Looks like there's two out.

Back photo: At the plate.

Better photo?: I like the uniqueness of the front photo, but man, does Cooper look scrawny in that photo.

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 12

Wiki-facts: "It was with the (Seibu) Lions that he was given the nickname "Super Duper Cooper Scooper" in recognition of his tremendous defense."

Google it: Only makes one appearance on the front page of the search engines, thanks to a more famous actor and a more famous director.

How was his stike shortened 1994? 13 HR, 53 RBI with a .282 average. Was an All-Star.

Birthday boy:  October 13, 1967. Baseball wise, both Monty Fariss and Trevor Hoffman (Card #494 in this set) were born that date. One definitely more famous than the other two. Football gives us Brad Goebel and Derrick Moore. Actress Kate Walsh (Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy) also blows out the same # of candles that date.

Up Next: 85 - Joey Cora

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

83 - Steve Cooke

83 - Steve Cooke

Front photo: Pitching, but with a throwback uniform.

Back photo: The same, but with a regular uniform.

Better photo?: No contest. Throwback uniforms easily win this one.

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 2.

Wiki-facts: "He was named as the LHP in the Topps All-Star Rookie Team in 1993."

Google it: With the front page taken up by biologists and professors, this Steve Cooke shows up on the second page.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Not good. Went 4-11 with an ERA over 5.

Birthday boy:  January 14, 1970. Former NFL kick returner Tyrone Hughes was also born that date. The date is also shared with a pair of former NHLers, Tom Pederson and Eric Charron.

Up Next: 84 - Scott Cooper

Thursday, 6 July 2017

82 - Jeff Conine

Front photo: Looks like he's slowing up rounding third.

Back photo: Pick-off attempt.

Better photo?: Neither one is that interesting. A dull draw.

Ties to my personal collections: Was a Met for a small run at the end of the 2007 season, but didn't appear to get any cards out of the deal.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 21

Wiki-facts: "Griffin, his son, plays baseball at Duke University and was drafted by the Marlins in the 31st round of the 2015 MLB draft." That's actually a one-up on dad, who was a 58th rounder.

Google it: Looks like he, along with other Marlins employees, will run in 7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Was an all-star, going .319/18/82.

Birthday boy:  June 27, 1966. Among the * world, only RJ Kors, a former NFL safety was born that date. Also born that date was former Latvian PM Aigars Kalvītis.

Up Next: 83 - Scott Cooper

Saturday, 10 June 2017

81 - David Cone

Front photo: Pitching

Back photo: Holding the ball

Better photo?: I love the front photo. Great usage of the horizontal design to show the full stretch.

Silver Signature:

Ties to my personal collections: Played for both the Jays and Mets, having two separate stints with both teams.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 30 (his perfect game is a separate article)

Wiki-facts: "He attended Rockhurst High School, a Jesuit school, where he played quarterback on the football team, leading them to the district championship."

Google it: On the first page is a link that alludes to some of his 80s hijinx.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Went 16-5 with a 2.94 ERA, picking up the Cy Young.

Birthday boy:  January 2, 1963. He shares it with another really good player in Edgar Martinez. The only other person across the *-reference world is Neal Coulter, who played a handful of games for the Islanders in the 80s.

Up Next: 82 - Jeff Conine

Friday, 5 May 2017

80 - Royce Clayton

80 - Royce Clayton

Front photo: Seems to be staring back in disbelief at a call.

Back photo: Being waved home, but doesn't appear to be in a hurry.

Better photo?: The rear photo is nice that includes the coach waving him home at the side, and that gives it the slight edge over the closely-cropped front pic.

Ties to my personal collections: Played part of the 2007 season in Toronto. Got several photoshop special cards, although his Upper Deck card does look like it is a legit photo of him on the team. He finished that season with a handful of games in Boston, and got a World Series ring out of it.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 7

Wiki-facts: "Clayton portrayed Miguel Tejada in the 2011 film Moneyball"

Google it: Wanna buy his house?

How was his strike shortened 1994? 3 HR and 30 RBI with a .236 average.

Birthday boy:  January 2, 1970. The only person across the *-reference world born that day was 90s NFLer Glenn Cadrez.  Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre was also born that date.

Up Next: 81 - David Cone

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

79 - Jerald Clark

Front photo: Stretching downward for a catch.

Back photo: Throwing the ball on the infield.

Better photo?: With the position of OF-1B on the front of the card, it is nice that both positions appear in the photos. Gotta go with the front image, though.
Parallel: Silver Signature

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 5

Wiki-facts: "In 1992, as a member of the Padres, Clark accomplished the rare feat of stealing home. Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia and manager Tommy Lasorda went to the pitcher's mound to discuss strategy. In the meantime, Clark alertly realized they did not call time and sprinted home."

Google it: He's a realtor now, and does include his baseball history on his linkedin.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Spent it in Japan, with the Yakult Swallows. Got 415AB, and went .293 with 20 HR and 53 RBI. So, maybe not so strike-shortened?

Birthday boy: August 10, 1963. No MLB alum other than Clark were born that date. From football, Derek Burton, who played a few games with the 1987 Minnesota Vikings was born that date, but that's it across the *-reference world.

Up Next: Royce Clayton

Thursday, 9 March 2017

78 - Dave Clark

Front photo: Sliding.

Back photo: He's safe!

Better photo?: I hate to call it a draw, but the photos are obviously from the same play. Since they flow together so well, I have to call it even.

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 10

Wiki-facts: His brother, Louis, is a former wide receiver for the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers.

Google it: Takes 5 pages to get to the first reference to this Dave Clark. Most on the earlier pages are about the Dave Clark 5.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Batted .296 with 10 HR and 46 RBI.

Birthday boy: September 3, 1962. None of his fellow MLB alumni were born that date, but former Jet/Eagle/Falcon Rich Miano was. Outside the sporting world, David De Roure, an English computer scientist is also a 9/3/62 baby. Poet E.E. Cummings (or e e cummings if you prefer) died on that date.

Up Next: 78 - Jerald Clark

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

77 - Archi Cianfrocco

Front photo: Taking the ball at a base.

Back photo: Laughing.

Better photo?: The front photo is pretty generic, until you look behind him. There's an Astros jersey. And that player looks to have a fielding glove as well. What oddball situation was this from? I don't know, but that's enough to give this to the front image.

Ties to my personal collections: Was a former Montreal Expo.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 5

Wiki-facts: While playing for the Padres, he had multiple fan clubs, including "Archi's Army" and the "CianfrocCrew"

Google it: First video is described as this "Archi Cianfrocco Spits Inside & Outside Batting Helmet! "San Diego Padres"

How was his stike shortened 1994? 59 games played, with a .219 BA and 4 HR and 13 RBI.

Birthday boy: October 6, 1966. Only football reference has people that share that birthdate. Those are Walter Wilson, Ken Wilson and Jimmie Johnson. Johnson is neither the more famous coach or auto racer, but he did carve out a 10 year career in the NFL. Wikipedia lists actress Jacqueline Obradors (NYPD Blue) and musician Tommy Stinson as others born that day.

Up Next: 78 - Dave Clark

Thursday, 16 February 2017

76 - Wes Chamberlain

76 - Wes Chamberlain
Front photo: Looks like a very desperate slide attempt.
Back photo: Swinging.
Parallel: Silver Sig

Better photo?: With his feet on the grass while running the bases, that is certainly some CC oddness.

Ties to my personal collections: He signed with the Jays in 1996, but never played for them. Was traded to the Mets as well, but also never played a game for them.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 4

Wiki-facts: "He also played one season in Nippon Professional Baseball for the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1996."

Google it: Nothing really notable on the first page, although his appearance in a World Series video earned him a credit at imdb.

How was his stike shortened 1994? 2/6 with a .275 average over 69 AB. This was his last season in Philly.

Birthday boy: April 13, 1966. Ken Hodge Jr is the only person listed at *-reference born that date. Marc Ford, formerly of the Black Crowes was also born that date.

Up Next: 77 - Archi Cianfranco

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

75 - Andujar Cedeno

75 - Andujar Cedeno

Front photo: Almost a Tattooine card (tm: gcrl)

Back photo: Sunglasses switch.

Better photo?: When in doubt, go for the more Collector's Choice-y one. So, the back photo.

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 4

Wiki-facts: "His number 10 is in the wall of the center of Estadio Francisco Michelli in his honor. A stadium in La Romana was named after Andújar Cedeño, where they built a statue of him that was placed in the stadium."

Google it: It tried to auto-complete me with Andujar Cedeno Jr, who is playing baseball with Rutgers-Camden.

How was his stike shortened 1994? 9/49 with a .263 average.

Birthday boy: I don't do these for players who have passed away. 2 deceased players within a few cards of each other (Ken Caminiti). Both players were part of a multi-player trade that sent both of them to the Padres after the 1994 season.

Up Next: 76 - Wes Chamberlain

Monday, 16 January 2017

74 - Vinny Castilla

Front photo: Fielding the ball.

Back photo: Running the bases.

Better photo?: Easily the back photo, since you can see the distinctive wall of Wrigley as well as a player making a defensive play as Castilla heads to third.

Ties to my personal collections: When I bought a box of Hometown Heroes to send to the Super Traders, Castilla was the only player I ended up sending out, as the rest of the players were on unclaimed teams.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 16

Wiki-facts: "In 2008, he was a player-manager for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League." His entry might have the worst photo on it for a notable player.

Google it: Nothing interesting on the first page.

How was his stike shortened 1994? .331 AVE with 3 HR and 18 RBI over 52 games.

Birthday boy:  July 4, 1967. Vinny Castilla may have been born on that particular 4th of July, but nobody else in the *-reference sites was. Over in wikiland, Canadian TV personality Andy Walker (G4Tech TV) is the most familiar name to me listed on that date.

Up Next: 75 - Andujar Cedeno