Monday, September 1, 2014

Darren Blakely on baseball cards

Outfielder Darren Blakely played eight seasons in the Angels, Yankees, Padres and White Sox organizations. In 904 games he hit .247 with 115 HR and 456 RBI. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I really don't have a good story to tell about the cards other than I've always enjoyed signing for the fans. I was a player who really appreciated the fans because I was in their seats at one time. I think out of all my cards I've had taken...I might be missing two. I wanted to keep one of each to show my son and give him guidance for whatever he wants to do. I used to collect cards growing up but wasn't living in a good area and they were vandalized."

Thanks!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Player Profile: Bobby Bonds Jr.

I have one card of Bobby Bonds Jr., from 1993 Classic Draft. 

Playing career: The son of Bobby and brother of Barry, outfielder Bobby Bonds Jr. played in the Padres and Giants organizations from 1992 to 1998. In 586 games he hit .250 with 38 HR, 218 RBI and 133 SB. A fuller account of his career can be found at Bleedin’ Brown and Gold.

Where he is now:  A hitting instructor at BB Grand Slam in South Plainfield, NJ.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Bobby Bond, between Bobby Bonds Stats and Bobby Bonds Hall of Fame, both of which refer to his father. There do not appear to be any other prominent Bobby Bonds Jrs.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Ricky Bones.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Player Profile: Bobby Bonds

I have nine cards of Bobby Bonds. This one is from 1982 Fleer. 

Playing career: Outfielder Bobby Bonds was one of the most talented players of the 1970s, hitting at least 20 HR and stealing at least 20 bases nine times in ten seasons from 1969 to 1979. However, like his son Bobby, he was a difficult personality, causing him to bounce around from team to team, ultimately playing for eight teams in fourteen years. The carousel started when the Giants traded him to the Yankees for Bobby Murcer. After one season and two drunk driving arrests, the Yankees shipped him to the Angels for Mickey Rivers and Ed Figueroa in what has gone down as one of the best trades in team history. He would also play for the White Sox, Rangers, Indians, Cardinals and Cubs.

Post-playing career: After his playing career he was a hitting coach for the Giants. He died of cancer in 2003.

My memories: He was from before my time.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when  you type Bobby Bo, between Bobby Bottleservice, a TV character, and Bobby Bowden, a college football coach. Another prominent Bobby Bonds is a motocross racer.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Bobby Bonds Jr.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Player Profile: Barry Bonds

I have 138 cards of Barry Bonds. This one is from 1990 Donruss. 

Playing career: If not for steroids, people would probably consider Barry Bonds the greatest hitter of all time. He holds the career record for home runs, 762, and single season record, 73 in 2001 (the only year he hit 50 or more HR). His walk totals are off-the-charts, in large part because his batting eye was so good you couldn’t throw him a strike (and no-one has ever explained how steroids help your battin eye). It’s a shame that his legacy is tainted by his use of a drug whose impact on his numbers can only be guessed at, but not explained.

My memories: I never had the visceral hatred of Barry Bonds that seemed to swirl around him even before he joined the Giants. He was just a really good hitter, by the end of his career so good that it was really hard to believe that it was all natural.

Where he is now: Bonds returned to the Giants as a spring training instructor earlier this year. He is also currently appealing his obstruction-of-justice convicition relating to the federal investigation into steroids in baseball.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Barr, between Barron’s, the financial newspaper, and Barrio Chino, a restaurant on the Lower East Side. There do not appear to be any other prominent Barry Bondses.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Bobby Bonds.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Player Profile: Jeremy Bonderman

I have thirteen Jeremy Bonderman cards. This one is from 2004 Bowman. 

Playing career: Jeremy Bonderman pitched in 225 games from 2003 to 2013, all but seven of them with the Tigers. He went 69-81 with a 4.91 ERA, putting up decent numbers for some mediocre (and one very good) Tiger teams in the mid-00’s before injuries ruined his career.

Where he is now: Bonderman is out of baseball and lives in a mansion on the Columbia River in Franklin County, WA. Last month he was asked by the county to remove some illegal vegetation blocking pedestrian access to the river. Bonderman’s response: "I don't give a (expletive) if they walk down there, but I'm not going to rip out the bushes and stuff."

My memories: I remember him as one of the very few good players on the weak Tigers teams pre-2006. I know he beat the Yankees in the last game of the 2006 ALDS – if I remember correctly, it was a weekday day game and I was at worked and was spared the misery of watching it.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Jeremy Bo, between Jeremy Bobb, an actor, and Jeremy Boal, Chief Medical Officer at Mt. Sinai Hospital. There do not appear to be any other prominent Jeremy Bondermans.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Barry Bonds.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Player Profile: Zoilo Almonte

I have one card of Zoilo Almonte, from 2014 Topps Blue. 

Playing career: Zoilo Almonte came up with the Yankees in 2013 and played in 34 games, hitting .236 with 1 HR and 9 RBI.

Where he is now: He has played in 13 games for the Yankees this season, hitting .139 with 1 HR and 3 RBI. He has spent most of the season at AAA Scranton.

My memories: He hit well in his first few games with the Yankees, so I was hopeful they had something with him, but it doesn’t look like that is the case.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Zoi, between Zoids, a model kit line, and Zoidberg, a character on Futurama. There do not appear to be any other prominent Zoilo Almontes.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jeremy Bonderman.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Yankees Team Lot from Hot Corner Cards

Pat at Hot Corner Cards is trading team lots for Tigers cards. I claimed the Yankees and got a ton of cool cards. There are still several lots still available so check it out.

Here are some highlights from what he sent me.

This card immediately caught my eye when I opened the package. Sparkly blue!
 
But the sparkly green may be even cooler!

 
Included was a Yankees Fan Pack from 2008 Upper Deck. It included samplers from a variety of sets, including a glossy version of UD Masterpieces and a silver version of  SP Legendary Cuts which I think are unique to the fan packs. I have some of these already so if someone wants some in a trade let me know.
 I really liked this card, as 1987 Topps is one of my favorite designs, Mark Teixeira is one of my favorite players, and this is a great photo.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Player Profile: Daven Bond

I have two cards of Daven Bond. This one is from 1991 Line Drive. 

Playing career: Daven Bond pitched in the Astros, Yankees and Mariners organizations from 1986 to 1992. In 222 games he went 33-40 with 14 saves and a 4.16 ERA.

Where he is now: Head Softball Coach at Colorado Christian University. 

My memories: Only know him from his card. 

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Daven B, between Draven Build, referring to a video game, and Dave & Busters NJ, referring to a restaurant. There do not appear to be any other prominent Daven Bonds.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jeremy Bonderman.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Player Profile: Mark Bomback

I have six cards of Mark Bomback. This one is from 1982 Fleer. 

Playing career: Mark Bomback pitched for the Brewers, Mets and Blue Jays from 1978 to 1982. In 74 games he went 16-18 with a 4.47 ERA.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Mark Bomback is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is sixth when you type Mark Bo, between Marc Bolan, singer for T. Rex, and Mark Bomback Screenwriter, referring to a writer of Hollywood blockbusters. Another prominent Mark Bomback is a truck driver in Massachusetts.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Daven Bond.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Player Profile: Tom Bolton

I have 26 cards of Tom Bolton. This one is from 1994 Collectors Choice. 

Playing career: Fred Digby was a Red Sox scout who knew he could get a good deal on a Cadillac in Nashville, and wanted to expense his trip, so he decided to check out a high school pitcher named Tom Bolton while he was in town. Digby liked what he saw, and the Red Sox took a flier on Bolton with the 20th pick in the 1980 draft. By 1987, Bolton was in the major leagues, and in 1990 he was a key member of the pitching staff for the 1990 AL East champs, going 10-5 with a 3.38 ERA and pitching three innings of scoreless relief in the ALCS. Overall, Bolton pitched for eight seasons in the major leagues, mostly for te Red Sox but with brief stops in Cincinnati, Detroit and Baltimore, going 31-34 with a 4.56 ERA. A fuller account of his career can be found at The Greatest 21 Days.

Where he is now: He works in real estate development in Nashville and is also an instructor at the Nashville Baseball Academy.

Interesting facts: Bolton’s wife Diane is an avid marathon runner. In 2013, both Tom and Diane were at the Boston Marathon that was bombed by terrorists. Tom was near the finish line and saw the explosion. Diane had slowed to jog with a friend along the way, otherwise she may have been much closer to the bomb when it went off. It took two hours for the two of them to be reunited.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is sixth when you type Tom Bol, between Tom Bolles, an artist, and Tom Bolt, Director of Performance Management at Lloyds. Another prominent Tom Bolton is a clown in Germany.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Mark Bomback.