Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Shawn Hare points out a baseball card error

Outfielder Shawn Hare played four seasons in the major leagues for the Tigers, Mets and Rangers. His best season was 1995, when he hit .250 in eighteen games for Texas. Now a financial advisor at Wells Fargo in Woodland Hills, CA, he kindly responded to my questions about baseball cards by pointing out an error on one of his.

"I have a baseball card that is a misprint.  Rico Brogna’s picture is on my card.  I don’t think people know that."

Looking at Hare's cards on the fantastic tradingcarddb.com, it appears that the 1992 Donruss Rookies card is probably the one with Brogna on it.
I don't have that card, but here is one I do have from 1992 Ultra that is clearly Hare.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Player Profile: Abraham Almonte

I have one card of Abraham Almonte, from 2009 Bowman Chrome Prospects.

Playing career: Outfielder Abraham Almonte came up with the Mariners in 2013, was traded to the Padres in 2014, and traded to the Indians in 2015. In 166 major league games, he is hitting .244 with 10 HR and 48 RBI.

Where he is now: Split 2015 between San Diego and Cleveland. In 82 games he hit .250 with 5 HR and 24 RBI.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Abraham A, between Abraham and Sarah, referring to the biblical couple, and Abraham and Strauss, the defunct department store. Another prominent Abraham Almonte pitches for Philadelphia University.

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

Sunday, October 11, 2015

PWE from 2x3 Heroes

A couple of highlights from a recent PWE by 2x3 Heroes:

How is Jorge Posada a New York Hometown Hero? The card does mention on the back that he and Bernie Williams were both Yankee stars from Puerto Rico. Don't know if "Puerto Rico" counts as a hometown. 
 Can the Yankees squeeze another productive year out of this guy? I sure hope so.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Brandon Puffer on baseball cards

Brandon Puffer pitched for the Astros, Padres and Giants from 2002 to 2005. In 85 games he went 3-4 with a 5.09 ERA. Now an Insurance Agent at ICH Financial in Austin, TX, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I did collect cards as a kid and really enjoyed it.

I would say the funniest card I had was a Topps card that paired me with Jung Bong of the Braves at that time..... Bong/Puffer.. Pretty obvious why they paired us! Apparently it got publicity in Playboy, High Times and Letterman. Not my proudest card but pretty funny...Probably a popular card in Colorado lol!
I would say my favorite card is one where I'm on the mound at Wrigley. To see the ivy in the background is very special. Such a historic ball park! I really appreciate that card. Thanks for loving the game!!"


Friday, October 9, 2015

Player Profile: Michael Almanzar

I have one card of Michael Almanzar, from 2009 Bowman Prospects.

Playing career: Third baseman Michael Almanzar began his career in the Red Sox organization as a 17-year old in 2008. Traded to the Orioles in 2014, in eight minor league seasons he has hit .246 with 59 HR and 383 RBI.

Where he is now: Still only 24, at AAA Norfolk he hit .225 with 4 HR and 50 RBI.

Interesting facts: Son of former major leaguer Carlos Almanzar.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Michael Alm, between Michael Almereyda, a screenwriter, and Michael Almonacy, who plays basketball at Stony Brook. There do not appear to be any other prominent Michael Almanzars.

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

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Jarred Holloway on baseball cards

Jarred Holloway was the Astros' tenth-round draft pick in 2008. Unfortunately he only appeared in thirteen minor league games as his career was cut short due to injuries. He now co-owns his family business, a machine shop specializing in parts for nuclear plants and motorcycles (see more below). He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I think I have a handful of my own cards tucked in a drawer somewhere. I used to collect them as a child, with my father. He had an expansive enough collection that he sold them and purchased his first home when I was a small child.
I, along with my father, own a machine shop that specializes in the nuclear industry. We design and build parts for nuclear plants all over the world. Predominately in nuclear security and radiation shielding. Along with that, we have a line of aftermarket custom motorcycle parts that we manufacture.

It was a shame that my arm broke down on me, but that's all a part of the game. I'm thankful I had the chance to play the game that I love professionally, and that it afforded me the opportunity to open a business."


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Oh well...

Well, that was quick. It's kind of a shame that the game proceeded exactly as everyone in the world thought it would. I was hoping the Yankees would have shown a little more fight - maybe try to bunt or something to get runners on. Probably wouldn't have happened. At least the Astros didn't no-hit them like they did in '03. Still, considering the amount of talent on this team (or lack thereof), just making the playoffs should be considered a success. And despite being just one game, it did feel like the playoffs. I wasn't sure it would.

Oh well, at least there is some hope for the future with guys like Bird and Severino. Still a lot of holes on this team to fill, though....

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

"Playoff" Preview?

In the early days of this blog when the Yankees made the playoffs each year I used to do a Playoff Preview post before the start of the playoffs. It's been a couple of years but the Yankees are back in the playoffs, sort of. I'm not sure how I feel about the Wild Card Game - will it still feel like the Yankees are in the playoffs if they only win one game?

As a fan I can't help but be pessimistic - the Yankees have lost six of their last seven, they have no hitting outside of Beltran and Bird and they are going up against the best pitcher in the American League.

Still, considering that talent-wise this team is really not very good, certainly not championship-quality, it is fun that they were able to be as successful as they were this regular season. And who knows, maybe somehow they will sneak by tonight...

Monday, October 5, 2015

Player Profile: Wes Bankston

I have one card of Wes Bankston, from 2002 Bowman Chrome Prospects.

Playing career: First baseman Wes Bankston played for the A’s in 2008. In seventeen games he hit .203 with 1 HR and 4 RBI.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Wes Bankston is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Wes Ban, between Wesbanco, a bank holding company based in West Virginia, and Wesbanco Arena, home of a minor league hockey team in Wheeling, WV. There do not appear to be any other prominent Wes Bankstons.

Coming up next: The next profile will be BJ Barns.

Wallet Card at Live Bait

I originally took this photo because of the faux-vintage privilege sign on the bar called Live Bait on 23rd street. However when I looked the place up afterward it turns out the building has a bit of music history to it as well. Back in 1972, Ace Frehley answered a "guitarist wanted" ad in the Village Voice and successfully auditioned for KISS in the space above Live Bait.