Thursday, March 23, 2017

Cards from 2 by 3 Heroes

JediJeff of 2 by 3 Heroes is another one of the very generous bloggers out there. I got some of the cards from his annual Tis The Season giveway yesterday.

Most of the package was 2015 Gypsy Queen. That year had a nice design.
 There were also several inserts from the set, including one highlighting the most recent Yankees playoff success, from five years ago.
 He threw in some other cards as well, including a bunch of cards with players wearing throwback jerseys.
 He also knocked off a few more of my 2015 Topps set needs.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cards from Baseball Every Night

Peter from Baseball Every Night is one of the most generous bloggers this side of Arkansas. He's been giving away cards from some of his old binders and I found about thirty that I needed, all oddballs from the 1980s and 1990s.

Peter is a big Darryl Strawberry collector, so I'm always looking for Strawberrys for him. He had an extra one of these which I was happy to get.
 Darryl Strawberry and Ruben Sierra were two of the most exciting players on the 1995 Yankees team, which at the time was the best Yankee team since I started following them in 1986. I know Sierra ended up getting a bad rap but no one was more exciting when he was at the plate.
 Some of the cards he sent were of the unlicensed variety, which I always enjoy. The design here is more ambitious than the usual unlicensed fare. It was produced by Pacific Cards & Comics which as far as I can tell was not related to Pacific Trading Cards.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Player Profile: Jason Berken

I have one card of Jason Berken, from 2010 Topps When They Were Young.

Playing career: Jason Berken pitched for the Orioles and Cubs from 2009 to 2012. In 110 games he went 10-20 with a 5.36 ERA. Interestingly, for a guy who pitched over a hundred major league games, his only big league baseball card features a picture of him in Little League.

Where he is now: In the Blue Jays organization in 2016, he pitched in 29 games split between AA and AAA, going 2-9 with a 4.43 ERA. He does not appear to have signed on with a team for 2017.

My memory: I remember him vaguely as one of many supposedly good young pitchers the Orioles would trot out in the late 00s. Like Berken, most didn’t last long in the majors.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fourth when you type Jason Berk, between Jason Berk DDS, an orthodontist on Long Island, and Jason Berkeley Fosun, a real estate developer. Another prominent Jason Berken is a guitar tech for Bob Dylan.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Chad Bettis.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Wallet Card at the Morgan Stanley Building

Modern office towers are not usually my Wallet Card subject, but when I saw Defgav's custom card of the Morgan Stanley Building on Johnny's Trading Spot, I figured, if it's good enough to be a Defgav custom, it's good enough to be a Wallet Card photo too. Morgan Stanley has been at this location at 1585 Broadway since 1995 but is considering a move to the newly developed Hudson Yards.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Player Profile: Eric Berger

I have one card of Eric Berger, from 2008 Razor.

Playing career: Eric Berger pitched six seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the Indians organization. In 194 games he went 28-29 with a 3.95 ERA.

Where he is now: He is an entrepreneur whose businesses include a transportation service in Jamaica and a pretzel necklace vendor in the US.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Eric Berg, between Erich Bergen, an actor, and Eric Berg Hazlet, a New Jersey man arrested in a prescription drug ring. The first entry when you google Eric Berger is not the ballplayer but the senior space editor at Ars Technica.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jason Berken.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Player Profile: Trevor Bell

I have one card of Trevor Bell, from 2009 Bowman Draft.

Playing career: Trevor Bell pitched for the Angels from 2009 to 2011 and the Cubs in 2014. In 54 games he went 4-8 with a 5.57 ERA.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Trevor Bell is now?

Interesting facts: His grandfather, Bob Bell, was the original Bozo the Clown.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Trevor Be, between Trevor Bender, a murder victim from Mastic, NY, and Trevor Bernard Bronx, an elevator operator arrested for groping a girl. Another prominent Trevor Bell is a kick returner for the Columbia football team.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Eric Berger.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Player Profile: Ronald Belisario

I have one card of Ronald Belisario, from 2014 Topps Update.

Playing career: Ronald Belisario pitched for the Dodgers, White Sox and Rays from 2009 to 2015. In 341 games, all in relief, he went 24-20 with 12 saves and a 3.85 ERA.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

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

Google Autocomplete results: He is seventh when you type Ronald Bel, between Ronald Bel Obituary, referring to a recently passed former Oregon state legislator, and Ronald Bellamy, a former wide receiver for the Dolphins. There do not appear to be any other prominent Ronald Belisarios.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Trevor Bell.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Player Profile: Pedro Beato

I have three cards of Pedro Beato. This one is from 2011 Topps.

Playing career: Pedro Beato pitched for the Mets, Red Sox and Braves from 2011 to 2014. In 84 games, all in relief, he went 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA.

Where he is now: He spent 2016 in the Orioles organization, going 5-5 with 4 saves and a 2.65 ERA for AAA Norfolk.

My memories: I remember him vaguely with the Mets but nothing specific.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Pedro Be, between Pedro Bertolini and Pedro Bertolini Age, both of which refer to a model. Another prominent Pedro Beato is a disbarred attorney in Massachusetts.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Ronald Belisario.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Player Profile: Buddy Baumann

I have one card of Buddy Baumann, from 2009 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects Chrome.

Playing career: After an eight year minor league career, Buddy Baumann made his major league debut for the Padres in 2016, going 1-0 with a 3.72 ERA in 11 games.

Where he is now: In spring training with the Padres.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is seventh when you type Buddy Ba, between Buddy Bar, a door jammer, and Buddy Bands, a fictional headband from the TV show “Saved by the Bell”. There do not appear to be any other prominent Buddy Baumanns.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Padro Beato.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wallet Card at the Macy's Maddock Madera

Everything that exists has a dedicated core of fans. There are baseball card fans. Sign fans. Elevator fans. Escalator fans. And even toilet fans. There is a small but dedicated community of people who post videos of all the toilets they find, with comments as extensive and spirited as you would see on any baseball card forum. It's not really my thing, but I respect people who love something enough to become an expert on it. And these people can look at a toilet and instantly rattle off the make, model and year.

One favorite spot for these toilet fans is the ninth floor of the Herald Square Macy's. There you can find toilets that date back to the building's original expansion in 1924. These are Madera toilets produced by Maddock. It is clear that they date from 1924 because Maddock was acquired by American Standard in 1929.  (The toilet fans generally claim that the American Standard Madera's are clearly inferior to the Maddocks.) Here are links to some more information on the Madera (still produced by American Standard today) and a couple of the YouTube videos featuring these toilets with dozens of comments by fans. (Don't worry, there is nothing gross.)

And yes, after taking the photo I used a 93-year-old toilet. I hope its still around in 2024!