Monday, March 31, 2014

Pre-season predictions

Be sure to check out my Derek Jeter baseball card retrospective over at the Hall of Very Good. He has had some pretty comical cards over the years.

Every year I do some pre-season predictions. I know some teams have started playing already (heck, the Dodgers have played three games before most teams have played any) but the Yankees don't open until tomorrow night, so for me it is still solidly the pre-season.  Here are this year's predictions.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

AL East.
1. Yankees
Yes, I'll always pick the Yankees first. But I don't understand why everyone is picking the Yankees to have a losing record this year. They were 85-77 with a ton of injuries last year. This year they've upgraded their offense and starting pitching considerably. Yes, with an old team there are always concerns about injuries, but most teams have that problem anyway. 90 wins or even more is hardly far-fetched.

2. Red Sox
Losing Jacoby Ellsbury will hurt them, especially as it looks like Jackie Bradley Jr. isn't quite ready to pick up the slack. They also probably won't get the same career-year production they got last year from Gomes and Napoli. Still, this team won 97 games last year and should still be very competitve for years to come.

3. Rays
They're a very solid team that won 92 games last year. However, their lineup is not very imposing, and they seem easily as likely for a downfall as the Yankees. (The Yankees outperformed their Pythagorean standings by six games last year; the Rays by five. Everyone points out the Yankees pythag record as to why they will regress; no one does the same for Tampa Bay.)

4. Orioles
They picked some guys off the scrap heap at the end of the off-season, but it looks like they're basically the same team that won 85 games last year. In this division, that probably means another fourth-place finish.

5. Blue Jays
They finished last after making a ton of moves last off-season. They'll finish last again after making very few moves this off-season.

AL Central:
1. Indians
Terry Francona has a very solid track record. This team won 92 games last year and could certainly match or exceed that this year. And, doesn't David at TribeCards deserve a winner?

2. Tigers
I just don't understanding signing Miguel Cabrera for all the money in the world while dumping Doug Fister and blowing off Max Scherzer. Yes, big contracts for pitchers are dangerous, but so are astronomical contracts for players with substance abuse problems. Things could get difficult quickly for rookie manager Brad Ausmus.

3. Kansas City
They're everyone's darling pick every year. I remain skeptical that they'll even match last year's 86 wins.

4. White Sox
I hadn't even realized the White Sox lost 99 games last year. They'll almost certainly be better this year.

5. Twins
When you're biggest acquisition is Phil Hughes, expectations are not very high. I say it every year - this seems to be a team content with losing.

AL West
1 . A's
I don't know how they do it, but until proven otherwise they're still the class of the division.

2. Rangers
They've had some bad injury luck this spring, and their off-season acquisitions weren't thrilling. However, they're in the thick of the division race every year.

3. Angels
I just find it hard to believe that Albert Pujols is toast. I think the Angels bounce back from 78-84 and finish well over .500 this year.

4. Mariners
With the addition of Robinson Cano, they could go from a 71-win team to a 76-win team.

5. Astros
Last year they were a 111 loss team. However, they had some bad luck, and according to their talent indicated only a 105 loss team. Who knows, maybe this year they could be as good as a 100-loss team!

NATIONAL LEAGUE

NL East
1. Nationals
The injuries to the Braves' starting rotation give Washington some nice breathing room in their quest to reclaim the top spot in the NL East.

2. Braves
Losing two starting pitchers hurts a lot, but this is still a talented team that won 96 games last year. Fredi Gonzalez is the most underrated manager in baseball and will find a way to keep this team competitive.

3. Phillies
They still have one of the best 1-2 starting combinations in baseball with Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels. It doesn't take a lot to break right for this team to finish above .500.

4. Mets
They are still in a holding pattern, making few improvements to the team. Their best case scenario is that all of their young talent make strides in 2014 to help position the team for a run in 2015 when Matt Harvey returns.

5. Marlins
Maybe they need to return to the team. Those rainbow uniform's aren't working out so well.

NL Central
1. Cardinals
Year after year, the cast of characters change, but their position atop the standings rarely does.

2. Pirates
This team has been steadily improving over the last few years. If they are buyers at the trade deadline, they could really make some noise in the National League. More likely, they are like the 2013 Orioles, where everything that broke right one year doesn't the next.

3. Reds
Losing Aroldis Chapman hurts as this team fights to maintain relevance in an increasingly difficult division.

4. Brewers
There is some decent talent on this team - a fight for the Wild Card is hardly out of the realm of probability.

5. Cubs
Theo Epstein sure is having a hard time duplicating his Red Sox success.

NL West
1. Giants
It is an even-numbered year, isn't it? Time for another surprise World Series run.

2. Dodgers
Kershaw is already on the DL. There are already problems with Puig. This team has a few big stars and lots of holes.

3.Padres
4. Diamondbacks
5. Rockies
I'm not going to pretend I have any great insight into these teams.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Player Profile: Karl Best


I have nine cards of Karl Best. This one is from 1985 Fleer Update.

Playing career: Karl Best pitched five years in the major leagues for the Mariners and Twins. In 61 games, all in relief, he went 5-6 with 5 saves and a 4.04 ERA.

Where he is now: Owns K-Best Construction in Washington.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Karl Bes, between Karl Besel, an urban planning professor at Indiana University, and Karl Besas, who died in a boating accident in 2010. Another prominent Karl Best was a minor league umpire.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jim Beswick.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Player Profile: Jayson Best

I have two cards of Jayson Best. This one is from 1989 Star.

Playing career: Jayson Best pitched five seasons in the Twins organization. In 131 games he went 18-19 with 25 saves and a 4.18 ERA.

Where he is now: A letter carrier for the US Postal Service in Goshen, IN.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Jason Bes, ahead of Jayson Besserer, a Project Associate at COSA in Alberta. Another prominent Jayson Best is a Financial Analyst at Blackbaud in San Diego.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Karl Best.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Player Profile: Andres Berumen

I have seven cards of Andres Berumen. This one is from 1994 Classic.

Playing career: Andres Berumen pitched in 40 games for the Padres in 1995 and 1996, going 2-3 with 1 save and a 5.74 ERA.

Where he is now: A pitching coach in Tijuana, Mexico.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Andres Ber, between Andres Bernal, sustainability director at EllisDon, and Andres Berger, a law firm in New Jersey. Another prominent Andres Berumen is a Supervisor at CFE.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jayson Best.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Player Profile: Jerry Bertolani

I have one card of Jerry Bertolani, from 1988 South Atlantic League All Stars.

Playing career: Shortstop Jerry Bertolani played six seasons in the White Sox organization, reaching as high as AA. In 614 games he hit .267 with 26 HR and 284 RBI.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Jerry Bertolani is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is fourth when you type Jerry Berto, between Jerry Bertoldo, a Dairy Veterinary Specialist at Cornell University, and Jerry Bertolini MD, an orthopedist in Joliet, IL. There do not appear to be any other prominent Jerry Bertolanis.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Andres Berumen.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Player Profile: Damon Berryhill

I have 52 cards of Damon Berryhill. This one is from 1992 Pinnacle.

Playing career: Damon Berryhill spent ten years in the major leagues as a backup catcher, mostly for the Cubs and Braves. In 683 games he hit .240 with 47 HR and 257 RBI. His three-run home run off of Jack Morris won Game 1 of the 1992 World Series for the Braves.

Where he is now: Manager of the Albuquerque Isotopes, AAA team for the LA Dodgers.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Damon Be, between Damon Bennett, a contractor on the TV show Holmes on Homes, and Damon Benning, a former college football star. There do not appear to be any other prominent Damon Berryhills.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Jerry Bertolani.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Player Profile: Sean Berry

I have 48 cards of Sean Berry. This one is from 1993 Pinnacle.

Playing career: Third baseman Sean Berry played eleven seasons in the major leagues for the Royals, Expos, Astros, Brewers and Red Sox. He put up some good numbers as one of Houston’s “Killer B’s” of the late 1990s. In 1998, his best season, he hit .314 with 13 HR and 52 RBI in just 102 games.

Where he is now: Minor league hitting coordinator for the San Diego Padres.

Interesting facts: Was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2009 while a coach for the Astros. The kidney was removed and he has been cancer-free since.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Sean Berr, between Sean Berry Cadwalader, a corporate lawyer in New York, and Sean Berry Facebook, referring to the page of a an online record shop. Another prominent Sean Berry is a photographer in Dallas.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Damon Berryhill.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Player Profile: Geronimo Berroa

I have 40 cards of Geronimo Berroa. This one is from 1989 Score Rising Stars.

Playing career: Outfielder Geronimo Berroa came up with the Braves in 1989, and got in 88 games for them over two season. He then played very briefly for the Reds and Marlins before going to Oakland in 1994 and blossoming into a star. His best season was 1996, when he hit .290 with 36 HR and 106 RBI. The next season, he was traded to Baltimore to help them down the stretch (which he did, including two home runs in the playoffs). His career fell off a cliff after that, though – 20 games for Cleveland, 52 games for Detroit, 22 games for Toronto and 24 games for the Dodgers. A fuller account of his career can be found at The Greatest 21 Days.

Where he is now: He has had some difficulties in his post-baseball career. He was successfully sued by former major leaguer Mario Guerrero, losing property in the lawsuit over whether the player-turned-scout was owed a portion of Berroa’s earnings.

He was also mentioned by former major leaguer Jason Grimsley in a federal affidavit as a steroid user.

My memories: I remember him as a Yankee killer in his time with the A’s.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Geronimo B, between Geronimo Bar and Grill, a restaurant in Connecticut, and Geronimo Biography, referring to the famous Apache leader. There do not appear to be any other prominent Geronimo Berroas.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Sean Berry.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Player Profile: Angel Berroa



Playing career: Angel Berroa was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2003, hitting .273 with 17 HR and 73 RBI. He never was anywhere near as good again. After four more disappointing seasons for the Royals, he played for the Dodgers in 2008, and both the Yankees and Mets briefly in 2009. Since then he has played in the American minor leagues and in the Mexican League.

My memories: I remember him as a controversial Rookie-of-the-Year choice. In a clear case of anti-Yankee bias, many voters chose him instead of Hideki Matsui despite Matsui’s superior numbers. These writers claimed that they didn’t want to vote for a veteran of the Japanese leagues as a rookie, although most of them had had no problem voting for Ichiro Suzuki just two years earlier.

Where he is now: In 2013, he played for Yucatan in the Mexican League. In 105 games he hit .293 with 12 HR and 62 RBI. He was looking for a minor league invite to spring training in 2014 but found no takers.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Angel Ber, ahead of Angel Bermudez, a teenager from Freeport, Long Island who was charged with attempted murder in 2012. There do not appear to be any other prominent Angel Berroas.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Geronimo Berroa.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Player Profile: Dale Berra

I have 23 cards of Dale Berra. This one is from 1985 Topps Traded.

Playing career: Infielder Dale Berra played eleven seasons in the major leagues for the Pirates, Yankees and Astros. For most of his career he was a semi-regular, defense-first shortstop. In 853 games, he hit .236 with 49 HR and 278 RBI. A fuller account of his career can be found at Cardboard Gods.

Interesting facts. He had a well-publicized struggle with cocaine, one of many early-80’s Pirates to do so. In 1989, after his playing career ended, he was arrested again for cocaine possession. The charges were dismissed on June 25, 1992, after he completed a three-year pre-trial intervention program.

The son of Yankee legend Yogi Berra, he was born shortly after Yogi caught Don Larsen’s perfect game. He was named after the final batter of that game, Dale Mitchell.

Where he is now: With his brothers Larry, a former minor leaguer, and Tim, a former NFL player for the Baltimore Colts, he runs LTD Enterprises, which markets everything related to Yogi Berra.

My memories: His playing career is before my time. Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Dale B, between Dale Brown – Basketball Coach, the former head coach at LSU, and Dale Bronner, a bishop. There do not appear to be any other prominent Dale Berras.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Angel Berroa.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Player Profile: Juan Bernhardt

I have two cards of Juan Bernhardt. This one is from 1978 Topps.

Playing career: Infielder Juan Bernhardt played for the Yankees and Mariners from 1976 to 1979. In 154 games, he hit .238 with 9 HR and 43 RBI. A fuller account of his career can be found at Baseball 1977.

Interesting facts: His son Cesar played eight seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the White Sox organization. Juan was a White Sox scout when the team signed Cesar.

Where he is now: A baseball instructor in the Dominican Republic.

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

Google Autocomplete results: He is eighth when you type Juan Bern, between Juan Bernat Fifa 14, referring to a soccer player, and Juan Bernal Villegas D.D.S., a dentist in California. Another prominent Juan Bernhardt is a Customs Entry Specialist at DB Schenker.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dale Berra.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Player Profile: Cesar Bernhardt

I have three cards of Cesar Bernhardt. This one is from 1991 Bowman.

Playing career: Second baseman Cesar Bernhardt played eight seasons of professional baseball, mostly in the White Sox organization. In 850 games he hit .267 with 25 HR, 371 RBI and 118 SB. A fuller account of his career can be found at The Greatest 21 Days.

Interesting facts: He is the son of former Mariner Juan Bernhardt, who was working as a White Sox scout when the team signed Cesar.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where Cesar Bernhardt is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Cesar Bernh, ahead of Cesar Bernhard, a lawyer in Honduras. Another prominent Cesar Bernhardt is a psychologist in Argentina.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Juan Bernhardt.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bob Parry on baseball cards

Outfielder Bob Parry played four seasons in the Oakland A's organization. In 380 games he hit .254 with 24 HR and 185 RBI. Now the head baseball coach at Poway High School, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I collected baseball cards for as long as I can remember.  I had tons of cards going back to the 60's.  Nolan Ryan, Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose rookie cards, to mention a few.  Two years ago my friend's son was stealing his credit card to buy cards off Ebay.  I decided to give him all my cards.  I told him, I would give them to him under one condition, that he never sell them.  I hope he still has them.  I will check."
Thanks!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Player Profile: Adam Bernero

I have one card of Adam Bernero, from 2001 Victory.

Playing career: Adam Bernero pitched for the Tigers, Rockies, Braves, Phillies and Royals from 2000 to 2006. He was basically used as cannon fodder by bad teams in Detroit and Colorado. His career numbers are pretty bad – 11-27, 5.91 ERA. He went 1-14 in 2003 with Detroit and Colorado. The one year he had a winning record (2006 Braves), he still had a 6.51 ERA.

Where he is now: He is a fishing guide and youth baseballcoach in Bend, OR. He is also a photographer specializing in portrait and “boudoir” shots. His description on his website, Circle Change Photography, sounds pretty creepy: “I want to make sure you are comfortable with my work and personality before you get in front of the camera. If that feels good for both of us then we can schedule the shoot for a day that works for you… Most of the women you see on here so far have been friends and we have shared a bottle of wine before the shoot. It helps me get comfortable as much as it does them and its created a more relaxed mood. I understand getting somewhat unclothed is stressful so if a bottle of wine helps great!” So, basically he wants women to pay him to take naked pictures of them while they’re drunk. I wonder if the parents of the kids he coaches are aware of his photography business.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Adam Berne, between Adam Berner, a lawyer in New Jersey, and Adam Bernell Olson, a sex offender in Colorado. There do not appear to be any other prominent Adam Berneros.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Cesar Bernhardt.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Player Profile: Tony Bernazard

I have 33 cards of Tony Bernazard. This one is from 1984 Fleer.

Playing career: Second baseman Tony Bernazard played for five teams in a ten-year major league career. His best season was 1986, when he hit .301 with 17 HR and 73 RBI for Cleveland. In the 1987 Topps set he is listed as an All Star, but he never actually was an all-star.

My memories: I remember him best as the assistant GM for the Mets in the late 2000s, when he famously took his shirt off and challenged some Binghamton Mets to a fight. He also offended Carlos Delgado by trying to recruit him to the Mets by speaking “street Spanish”, and got into fights with other players and reporters.

Where he is now: Works for agent Scott Boras.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Tony Ber, between Tony Berlin, husband of Fox News anchor Harris Faulkner, and Tony Berkman, co-founder of Majestic Research. There do not appear to be any other prominent Tony Bernazards.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Adam Bernero.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Player Profile: Dwight Bernard

I have four cards of Dwight Bernard. This one is from 1983 Fleer.

Playing career: Dwight Bernard pitched for the Mets in 1978 and 1979, and for the Brewers in 1981 and 1982. In 115 games he went 4-8 with a 4.14 ERA. His last major league appearance was in Game 6 of the 1982 World Series, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. A fuller account of his career can be found at the 1983 Topps blog.

Where he is now: Pitching coach for the Giants’ AAA club in Fresno.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is sixth when you type Dwight Be, between Dwight Beckford, CEO of Faceless Entertainment, and Dwight Bennett, a Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman. Another prominent Dwight Bernard is District Director at Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Tony Bernazard.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Glendon Rusch on baseball cards

Glendon Rusch pitched twelve seasons in the major leagues for the Royals, Mets, Brewers, Cubs, Padres and Rockies. His best season was 2004, when he went 6-2 with 2 saves and a 3.47 ERA for the Cubs. Now an instructor at the Full Count Baseball Academy in California, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I collected when I was a kid. Canseco, McGwire, Henderson, Griffey, Gooden, Strawberry rookie cards were my early favorites."
 
 
 
 
 

Thanks! Here is a Glendon Rusch rookie card from my collection.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Player Profile: Ronald Bermudez

I have one card of Ronald Bermudez, from 2011 Bowman Prospects.

Playing career: Outfielder Ronald Bermudez signed with the Red Sox organization in 2008 and slowly moved up the ladder, playing AAA ball in parts of the last three seasons. Overall, in 462 games he has hit .255 with 20 HR and 177 RBI.

Where he is now: Signed with the Orioles for 2014.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Ronald Berm, between Ronald Berman, a literature professor at UC San Diego, and Ronald Berman MD, a doctor in San Pablo, CA. Another prominent Robert Bermudez is a lawyer in Venezuela.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dwight Bernard.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Player Profile: Lance Berkman

I have 68 cards of Lance Berkman. This one is from 2010 Topps Update.

Playing career: Lance Berkman came up with the Astros in 1999 and quickly become a star. One of the team’s many “Killer B’s”, the six-time all-star was one of the NL’s leading power hitter in the 2000’s. He hit 366 home runs and 422 doubles in his career, twice leading the NL in doubles. He led the NL in RBIs in 2002, but put up his best numbers in 2006, when he hit .315 with 45 HR and 136 RBI. He later played for the Yankees, Cardinals and Rangers and retired after the 2013 season.

My memories: I remember him being traded to the Yankees during the 2010 season and he looked completely washed-up and done. He was fat and out-of-shape and looked lost at the plate. Then he went to the Cardinals in 2011 and had a great comeback season, capped off with one of the biggest hits in World Series history, a two-strike, two-out game-tying RBI single in Game 6 of the World Series.

Interesting facts: In 2012 Forbes.com named him America’s seventh most generous celebrity based on amount of money donated to charity. Most of his donations are to religious-based children’s organizations. In 2013 he donated a fire truck to the town of West, TX that suffered a deadly fertilizer plant explosion that year. The town’s truck had been destroyed in the blast.

Berkman married the daughter of Johnny Baker, a former Houston Oilers linebaker, and Carla Swanson, of the Swanson TV dinner family.

Where he is now: An assistant coach at Second Baptist School in Houston.

Google Autocomplete results: He is third when you type Lance B, between Lance Briggs, a linebacker for the Chicago Bears, and Lance Bangs, a music video director. There do not appear to be any other prominent Lance Berkmans.

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Randy Jones on baseball cards

Randy Jones won 100 games in his ten-year major league career. A two-time All-Star and twenty-game winner, he was the NL Cy Young Award Winner in 1976, going 22-14 with a 2.74 ERA and 25 complete games for the Padres. Now the creator of Randy Jones BBQ Sauce and the owner of the Randy Jones All American Sports Grill in San Diego, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"Growing up I did collect some baseball cards but wasn't a collector of them. Hell, I was ALWAYS outside playing the game. I had my favorites, Sandy Koufax, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, even Tommy Davis. They all usually ended up in the spokes of my bike while I rode to the ball field. I don't have a story where my collection was thrown out by my mom or something, I just never took care of the cards I had the way collectors do today. As of today, I do have approx. 7 cases of Upper Deck cards, from the early 90's, that I've never opened. It's at least 30,000 cards.
My favorite Randy Jones card would have to be the one the Ted Williams Card Company did or the Sports Illustrated card. They're newer cards than the old Topps cards that were produced from 73 to 80 but I still enjoy seeing those cards as well.

I'm afraid I don't have any funny stories regarding cards. Sy Berger, the Topps Rep, kept a pretty good eye on all of us. My only unique card is the 1974 Washington card that briefly came out."

 Thanks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jose Guzman on baseball cards

Jose Guzman pitched eight seasons in the major leagues for the Rangers and Cubs. His best season was 1991, when he came back with Texas after missing two seasons due to injury and went 13-7 with a 3.08 ERA. Now the founder of the Guzman 23 Foundation, which provides financial assistance to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, their families or loved ones. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"My favorite card is my first one - 1983 when I was in Class A in Burlington, Iowa. I do not collect baseball cards but I have all of my baseball cards."

Thanks! I don't have that card, but here is one from my collection.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Player Profile: William Bergolla

I have one card of William Bergolla, from 2004 Upper Deck.

Playing career: Infielder William Bergolla played in seventeen games for the Reds in 2005. He hit .132 with an RBI.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Where he is now: Anyone know where William Bergolla is now?

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type William Bergo, ahead of William Bergosh, a Public Administration Professor at the University of Missouri. There do not appear to be any other prominent William Bergollas.

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

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Player Profile: Jason Bergmann

I have four cards of Jason Bergmann. This one is from 2006 Upper Deck First Pitch.

Playing career: Jason Bergmann pitched for the Washington Nationals from 2005 to 2010, winning 12 games and striking out 299. His best season was 2007, when he went 6-6 with a 4.45 ERA.

Where he is now: In 2013 he pitched for the Royals’ AA team in Northwest Arkansas.

My memories: He shared his thoughts on baseball cards with this blog last year.

Google Autocomplete results: He is ninth when you type Jason Berg, between Jason Berger Great Neck, the President of Prestige Global Corporation, and Jason Berger IG Federal, referring to an electrical products salesman. Another prominent Jason Bergmann is a World’s Strongest Man competitor.

Coming up next: The next profile will be William Bergolla.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Ryan McGuire on baseball cards

First baseman Ryan McGuire played six years in the major leagues, mostly for the Expos. His best season was 1997, when he hit .256 with 3 HR and 17 RBI in 84 games. Now a Financial Advisor at Athlete Wealth Management Group, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"I really don't care for the card of me looking through the camera which is ironic since it seems to be one of the favorites of the collectors."

Thanks!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Mark Quinn on baseball cards

Outfielder Mark Quinn played four seasons for the Kansas City Royals. His best year was 2000, when he hit .294 with 20 HR and 78 RBI. Now the owner of The Baseball School in Houston, he kindly replied to my questions about baseball cards.

"I don't collect cards, but my dad does. All complete Topps sets from 1960's to current."
Thanks!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Player Profile: Sean Bergman

I have eleven cards of Sean Bergman. This one is from 1995 Upper Deck.

Playing career: Sean Bergman pitched in the major leagues for the Tigers, Padres, Astros, Braves and Twins from 1993 to 2000. In 196 games he went 39-47 with a 5.28 ERA.

Where he is now: Physical Education Teacher and baseball coach in the Hicksville, OH School District.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Sean Bergm, ahead of Sean Bergman Santa Cruz, a criminal. Another prominent Sean Bergman is a graphic designer in Nebraska.

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

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Player Profile: Dave Bergman

I have 53 cards of Dave Bergman. This one is from 1991 Ultra.

Playing career: Dave Bergman played seventeen seasons in the major leagues for the Yankees, Astros, Giants and Tigers. He was primarily a utilityman and pinch-hitter, most notably for the 1984 World Champion Detroit Tigers, where he was a platoon first baseman.

Where he is now: He is a Partner and Senior Portfolio Manager at Sigma Investment Counselors in Michigan. He is also the Chairman of the Board of the Joe Niekro Foundation and Vice Chair of Sparky Anderson’s CATCH Charity for Children.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is sixth when you type Dave Berg, between Dave Bergmann, VP of Finance at Danaher, and Dave Bergamotto, Service Director at Park Avenue BMW. Another prominent Dave Bergman is a photographer in New York.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Sean Bergman.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Player Profile: Brad Bergesen

I have one card of Brad Bergesen, from 2010 Topps Heritage.

Playing career: Brad Bergesen came up with the Orioles in 2009, and had a solid rookie season (19 starts, 7-5, 3.43 ERA) that was cut short when he was hit in the shin by a line drive. Tests found no structural damage, but he was in too much pain to pitch the next season. The next time he picked up a baseball was in December, shooting a commercial for the Orioles, and he promptly strained his right shoulder, causing him to miss the beginning of spring training. He was less effective for the Orioles in 2010 and 2011, and pitched briefly for Arizona in 2012.

Where he is now: He pitched for the Chunichi Dragons in Japan in 2013, going 2-2 with a 3.71 ERA in fourteen games before developing an infected hangnail on his pitching hand. He was released in September and does not appear to have signed with a team for 2014.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Brad Berg, between Brad Berger, a photographer from Minnesota, and Brad Bergstresser, an attorney in New York. There do not appear to be any other prominent Brad Bergesens.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Dave Bergman.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Player Profile: Peter Bergeron

I have fourteen cards of Peter Bergeron. This one is from 2001 Topps.

Playing career: Outfielder Peter Bergeron played for the Expos from 1999 to 2004. In his one season as a regular, he got 518 at bats in 2000 and hit .245 with 5 HR and 31 RBI, astoundingly bad numbers, especially in a year that was just about the height of the offensive explosion in baseball. 

Where he is now: A scout for the Dodgers.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Google Autocomplete results: He is fifth when you type Peter Berge, between Peter Berger The Sacred Canopy Summary and Peter Berger Invitation to Sociology, both of which refer to works by an Austrian sociologist. Another Peter Bergeron is a disc jockey in Louisiana.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Brad Bergesen.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Player Profile: Mike Berger

I have one card of Mike Berger, from 1989 ProCards.

Playing career: Mike Berger is one of a select number of ballplayers who played in over 1,000 minor league games without reaching the major leagues. A catcher, outfielder and first baseman, he played in the Pirates organization from 1980 to 1986, the Expos organization in 1987 and 1988, and the Rangers organization from 1989 to 1993. He hit .261 with 91 HR and 461 RBI. A fuller account of his career can be found at The Greatest 21 Days.

Where he is now: Vice President and Assistant General Manager for the Miami Marlins.

My memories: Only know him from his card.

Interesting stories: Night Owl would appreciate this one. Berger was known as a practical joker in his time in the minor leagues. One time, Berger fooled a reporter for a small Oklahoma newspaper into thinking he was teammate Nick Capra. He told the reporter he was thinking of quitting baseball to run a gas station. The gag was discovered less than two hours before the paper was going to print, causing the editor to have to redo the entire front page in a hurry.

Google Autocomplete results: He is second when you type Mike Berg, between Mike Bergen Korn Ferry, a recruiter in the firm’s Sports and Human Resources practices, and Mike Berger MSKCC, referring to a cancer research scientist. Another prominent Mike Berger is Director, Office of Student Engagement at NYU Stern.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Peter Bergeron.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

New cards for my new residence

I've been busy with a move, getting ready to sell my house. If you plan to send me cards, make sure you get my new address. Just don't tattoo it on yourself, because I'll be moving again in a few months when we buy another one. Got a nice surprise in the mail today, though, with a generous "tis the season" package from Jeff at 2 by 3 Heroes.  Here are a few highlights:

Mark Teixeira has never been a "Hot Corner Guardian". Though with A-Rod's suspension, I suppose they could move Tex over...
 There were a lot of cards from the last Yankee championship team. Five years later, very few of them are still on the team.
 There were lots of more recent cards too. I enjoyed Vernon Wells's one season with the Yankees.