Thursday, February 23, 2017

Player Profile: Dariel Alvarez



I have one card of Dariel Alvarez, from 2016 Topps.

Playing career: Outfielder Dariel Alvarez came up with the Orioles in 2015, hitting .241 with 1 HR and 1 RBI in 12 games.

Where he is now: He played in two games for the Orioles in 2016, hitting a double in three at bats.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Dariel, ahead of Dariel Abreu, referring to White Sox star Jose Dariel Abreu. There do not appear to be any other prominent Dariel Alvarezes.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Chase Anderson.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Player Profile: Miguel Almonte

I have three cards of Miguel Almonte. This one is from 2016 Topps Opening Day.

Playing career: Miguel Almonte made his major league debut for the Royals in 2015. In nine appearances he went 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA.

Where he is now: He spent all of 2016 in the minor leagues, split between AA NW Arkansas and AAA Omaha. In 32 games he went 5-8 with a 5.92 ERA.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is seventh when you type Miguel Al, between Miguel Algarin, a Puerto Rican poet, and Miguel Aleman, former President of Mexico. There do not appear to be any other prominent Miguel Almontes.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dariel Alvarez.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Player Profile: Scott Alexander

I have one card of Scott Alexander, from 2016 Topps.

Playing career: Scott Alexander was drafted by the Royals in the sixth round in 2010, and made his big league debut going 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA in four games in 2015.

Where he is now: In 2016 he made 17 appearances, going 0-0 with a 3.32 ERA.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is sixth when you type Scott A, between Scott Adsit, an actor, and Scott Anderson, an author. The first entry when you google Scott Alexander is not the ballplayer but a personal trainer.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Miguel Almonte.

Player Profile: Ozhaino Albies

I have one card of Ozhaino Albies, from 2015 Bowman Prospects Yellow.

Playing career: Shortstop Ozhaino Albies is one of the top prospects in the Braves system. He tore through two rookie leagues in 2014, hitting .364 with 1 HR, 19 RBI and 22 SB. He was very solid at Class-A Rome in 2015, hitting .310 with 0 HR, 37 RBI and 29 SB.

Where he is now: He split 2016 between AA Mississippi and AAA Gwinnett, hitting .292 with 6 HR, 53 RBI and 30 SB.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Ozh, ahead of Ozhivu Divasathe Kali, an Indian film. There do not appear to be any other prominent Ozhaino Albieses.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Scott Alexander.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Wallet card at the former 38th Street subway entrance

When the Sixth Avenue elevated train was torn down in the 1930s, 38th street lost its subway stop. To partially make up for it, a 38th Street exit was included in the pedestrian tunnel that was built along Sixth Avenue from 34th Street to 42nd Street. Generations of New Yorkers used the pedestrian tunnel to get out of the rain and cold, but after some horrific crimes in the 1980s and early 1990s, this tunnel and others like it were closed in 1991. You can see the tunnel, dark and deserted at night, in this 1991 video taken shortly before it was closed for good.

The tunnel is closed to pedestrians, but is still used for access and storage for the MTA. And while the pedestrian entrance has been paved and grated over, access to the stairs still remains for occasional use by the MTA. If the light is on in the tunnel in the evening, you can still see down the stairs and into the long-disused tunnel. If you zoom in on the image you will clearly see the stairs with a length of yellow caution tape going down them.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Player Profile: Spencer Adams

I have one card of Spencer Adams, from 2015 Bowman Draft.

Playing career: Spencer Adams was the White Sox’ second-round pick in 2014, and he had a phenomenal 2015, going 12-5 with a 2.99 ERA  in A-ball.

Where he is now: He moved up to AA Birmingham halfway through 2016. Overall his numbers for the year were 10-12 with a 3.98 ERA.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Spencer A, between Spencer Ackerman, a national security reporter, and Spencer Althouse, Community Manager at BuzzFeed. Another prominent Spencer Adams was an infielder for four major league teams in the 1920s.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Ozhaino Albies.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Wallet Card with remnants of NYC's flagship Automat

The Horn and Hardart Automat chain was a revolution in quick service dining. A precursor to fast food restaurants like McDonald's and Burger King, you would stick your coins in a slot next to a glass container with the food you wanted, and the container would open to give you your food. Originally started in Philadelphia, the company opened their flagship New York store in Times Square in 1912. The building was intricately decorated, with the centerpiece being an ornate floral design on the ceiling of the first floor.

By the 1960s and 1970s the Automats were going out of business, with many of the locations including this one becoming Burger Kings. Now it is a shop called "Grand Slam" selling knickknacks to tourists. However, remnants of the ceiling sculpture can still clearly be seen above the "Make America Great Again" T-shirts.

When Burger King owned the former Automat location in the 1970s, they put shingles on the outside to make them look like every other Burger King in the country, no matter how incongrous they looked on the side of a large city building. Those shingles can still be seen poking out from behind the large billboard that now covers the store's exterior.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Player Profile: Austin Adams

I have one card of Austin Adams, from 2015 Topps Update.

Playing career: Austin Adams came up with the Indians in 2014 and became a key member of their bullpen in 2015, going 2-0 with a 3.78 ERA in 28 games.

Where he is now: 2016 was much rougher for Adams, as he went 0-0 with a 9.82 ERA in 19 games.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Austin Ad, between Austin Adventures, a travel website, and Austin Advisory Group, a marketing agency. Another prominent Austin Adams is a singer.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Spencer Adams.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wallet Card at the former Carnegie Deli

Back when I started doing a wallet card in January 2015, I mentioned that I would take requests for locations in or around midtown Manhattan or Long Island. (Still happy to do so.) The first request came from Unclemoe of the 2008 Topps Set Blog, who asked for the Carnegie Deli. That ended up being one of my first wallet card posts.

The Carnegie Deli closed at the end of 2016, and its iconic sign is gone. I figured I would do a follow-up Wallet Card photo with the now-former Carnegie Deli. The sign is gone, the windows are boarded up, and the wallet card looks a lot worse for wear two years later.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Player Profile: Ronald Acuna

I have one card of Ronald Acuna, from 2002 Bowman.

Playing career: Outfielder Ronald Acuna played eight seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the Mets organization. In 879 games he hit .282 with 18 HR, 389 RBI and 187 SB.

Interesting facts: His son, also named Ronald Acuna, is a top prospect in the Braves organization.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Ronald Acuna is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Ronald A, ahead of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, referring to the former First Couple. There are no entries for the older Acuna on the first page of Google results, all of which refer to the younger one.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Austin Adams.