Monday, August 31, 2015

Player Profile: Greg Brock

I have 42 cards of Greg Brock. This one is from 1988 Donruss.

Playing career: Greg Brock was drafted by the Dodgers in 1979 and tore through the minor leagues, culminating in a 1982 season where he hit .310 with 44 HR and 138 RBI at AAA Albuquerque. In 1983 he hit 20 home runs as a Dodgers rookie but never came close to repeating his minor league success (accomplished mostly in an extreme hitters park and league) in the big leagues. Still he put up respectable numbers in his ten major league seasons with the Dodgers and Brewers he hit .248 with 110 HR and 462 RBI.

Where he is now: A mostly retired youth coach in Colorado.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is sixth when you type Greg Bro, between Greg Brown Tour, referring to a singer, and Greg Brody, who pitched for the Giants’ AZL rookie league team last year. Another prominent Greg Brock was a character on the TV show “The West Wing”.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jermaine Brock.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Wallet Card at Carnegie Hall

Back when I pulled a 1970 Topps Al Ferrara Story card/comic from one of my street boxes last month, it mentioned that Ferrara had played piano at Carnegie Hall as a teenager. Recently I brought Wallet Card over to Carnegie Hall to take a picture. The venue has been on of the most prominent classical and popular musical halls since it's opening concert conducted by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1891.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Player Profile: Doug Brocail

I have eight cards of Doug Brocail. This one is from 1993 Donruss.

Playing career: Reliever Doug Brocail pitched for the Padres, Astros and Tigers from 1992 to 2000, at which point he suffered an elbow injury that knocked him out of the major leagues for three years. An initial misdiagnosis of the injury led Brocail to unsuccessfully sue the Tigers. He made a comeback with the Rangers in 2004 and stayed in the majors through the 2009 season. Overall in 626 major league games he was 52-48 with nine saves and an ERA of 4.00.

Where he is now: Special Assistant to the General Manager & Special Pitching Advisor for the Houston Astros.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is tenth when you type Doug Bro, behind Doug Brown Lazard, a banker who used to be at Lazard. There do not appear to be any other prominent Doug Brocails.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Greg Brock.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wallet Card at the Washington Square Hotel

My favorite author is PG Wodehouse, the creator of the Jeeves and Wooster and Blandings Castle series, and generally considered the finest comic author of all time. Though he was English he lived much of his life in New York, and from 1909-1914 lived in the Washington Square Hotel, then known as the Hotel Earle. Wodehouse on living in New York: "Being there was like being in heaven, withouth going to all the bother and expense of dying.
Later residents of the hotel including Eleanor Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, Phyllis Diller, Bo Diddley, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. In Baez's song about her relationship with Dylan, Diamonds and Rust (later awesomely covered by Judas Priest), she wrote of the place, “Now you’re smiling out the window of that crummy hotel over Washington Square.”

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Player Profile: Pete Broberg

I have two cards of Pete Broberg. This one is from 1978 Topps.

Playing career: Pete Broberg was the number one overall pick in the 1971 draft by the Washington Senators, who immediately put him in the major league rotation. That year he went 5-9 but with a respectable 3.47 ERA. He never had as good a season again – some said it was because he needed minor league seasoning; others said the problem was in his attitude, not his arm. Nevertheless over eight seasons with four teams he went 41-71 with a 4.56 ERA. A fuller account of his career can be found at Cardboard Gods and the 1972Topps Blog.

Where he is now: After his career he attended law school, then after passing the bar joined his father’s law firm, now known as Coe &Broberg, where he still practices, and is considered one of the leading real estate and zoning attorneys in Palm Beach. Among his former clients is possible future President Donald Trump, whom Broberg represented in a dispute over some property owned by Trump in 1991.

My memories: Before my time. Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Pete Brob, ahead of Peter Broberg MD, an eye doctor in Texas. Another prominent Pete Broberg is a musician in Ohio.

Coming up next: The next profile is Doug Brocail.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sean Snedeker on baseball cards

Sean Snedeker pitched in the Dodgers organization from 1988 to 1993. In 80 games he went 34-21 with a 3.24 ERA. In 1991 he pitched a perfect game against the Port St. Lucie Mets. Now the pitching coach at Oral Roberts University, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I loved collecting cards as a kid and have done it for a large portion of my life, although not much recently.  I remember back as a 4th grader or so, when me and some friends would play a really exciting game involving our card collections.  We would find a wall and each lean one or two of our cards against the wall and then by “flinging” other cards in our hands, we tried to be the first to knock down our opponents cards.  First one to do it, by taking turns, would win all of the cards on the floor and quite often any “good ones” that we agreed upon but would not lean on the wall or fling. Needless to say, we exchanged a lot of cards back in those days and I still have proof of which cards I added in those games due to all the dinged up corners!

I feel fortunate to have several cards of myself from my playing and coaching days in the minors.  Although I never played in the big leagues or had the excitement of a major league card, I was flattered with the $5 check I received from Topps early on in my minor league career.  Never cashed it.  Provides a great memento of minor league life.

I have a good collection of cards but not many  after I had kids (the last 15 years or so) so the majority of my collection is older stuff."


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Player Profile: Lance Broadway

I have three cards of Lance Broadway. This one is from 2008 Topps Opening Day.

Playing career: Lance Broadway pitched for the White Sox and Mets from 2007 to 2009. In 27 games he went 2-2 with a 5.24 ERA.

Where he is now: When his baseball career ended after an off-field altercation, Broadway took up acting and moved to Hollywood. His biggest role so far was ten lines in the movie Olympus Has Fallen.

My memories: Shared his thoughts on baseball cards with this blog in 2011.

Google Autocomplete results: He is eighth when you type Lance Br, between Lance Braunstein, a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs, and Lance Brasil, referring to a daily sports newspaper in that country. There do not appear to be any other prominent Lance Broadways.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Pete Broberg.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Wallet-Card at Bigelow Drugs

Bigelow Drugs, originally opened at it's current location in 1838, is the oldest apothecary in the United States. Regular customers have included Thomas Edison, Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Player Profile: Tony Brizzolara

I have one card of Tony Brizzolara, from 1980 Topps.

Playing career: Tony Brizzolara pitched ten seasons of professional baseball, making the major leagues with the Atlanta Braves in three of those years. Overall his major league record was 8-11 with a 5.06 ERA. A fuller account of his career can be found at 1980 Topps Blog.

Where he is now: An actuarial consultant for Kravitz, Inc.

My memories: He shared some baseball card stories with this blog in 2009.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Tony Briz, ahead of Tony Brizendine, an engineering professor at the University of North Carolina. Another prominent Tony Brizzolara is a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Lance Broadway.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Wallet Card at the location of Nighthawks

Edward Hopper's painting Nighthawks is one of the most famous modern American paintings.

Though it has never been officially proven, the website NYC Popspots makes an excellent argument that the site of the picture is 70 Greenwich Avenue. Here is the Nighthawks location today.