Monday, October 23, 2017

Shairon Martis on baseball cards

Shairon Martis has pitched professionally since 2005. He pitched in the major leagues for Washington in 2008 and 2009 and Minnesota in 2013, going 6-7 with a 5.35 ERA in 26 games. This year, for the Orioles' AAA team in Norfolk, he went 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA in 8 games. He kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"My favorite card is the one from the WBC when I threw the no hitter because that was before I made it to the MLB. I really don’t collect cards but if I see one that I like I always ask for one."

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

Sunday, October 22, 2017


When Andy Pettitte shocked the Yankees by signing with the Astros after the 2003 season, the headline in the New York Post (or was it the Daily News?) said DISASTRO. For some reason that headline always stuck with me when I thought about the Astros. Since that time the Yankees were no-hit by the Astros, lost the Wild Card Game to them in 2015 and now were defeated by them in the 2017 ALCS. Still, it was a good season, as the Yankees really overachieved to get this far. Hopefully the good seasons the young players had this  year are building-blocks for the future and not one-time flukes. Good luck to the Astros - those Dodgers sure look tough to beat.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Gil Velazquez on baseball cards

Infielder Gil Velazquez played parts of five seasons in the major leagues for the Red Sox, Angels and Marlins. In 33 games he hit .233 with 0 HR and 4 RBI. Now the minor league infield coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

"My favorite card of mine is my very first one. I was in the Appalachian League as an 18 year old and had no idea they made baseball cards of us. I never had one of the big leagues even though I had parts of 5 seasons or else I feel that would have been my favorite. I used to collect baseball card as a kid growing up. We would play marbles to win each other’s cards. I still remember losing a Jose Canseco rookie card and went home crying. Not because he was a favorite player of mine but because it was valuable at the time. My favorite card of another player was my Cal Ripken Jr. card. He was my favorite player. The Iron man!! I never kept my cards due to us moving around so much and I never knew what happened to them. But I still cherish those memories of getting out of school walking home with 50 cents to purchase a pack of cards. I’d buy my cards and walk home crushing the bubble gum in the pack. Great memories."

Thanks! I couldn't find a picture of that card (1999 Multi-Ad Appalachian League All Stars), but here is one from later in his career.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Baby Bombers do it again

Wow, I did not expect that kind of success against Keuchel. It seems like these young Yankees may not have the experience to know when they are supposed to be overmatched. Now they go back to Houston in prime position to win this series, needing to just win one out of two. Sitting pretty . . . just like in Seattle in 1995, or Arizona in 2001. Good reminders not to get overconfident.

Could easily highlight Judge and Sanchez again but there are some many good young players on the team right now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Baby Bombers growing up

It's amazing the Yankees had gotten as far as they had with very little from their two biggest bats, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez. Fortunately that changed in a big way yesterday, as they came back from being down 4-0 in the seventh and 4-2 in the eight with some big clutch hits from both of them. The Yankees still have a lot of work ahead of them if they want a pennant but this was a great game.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

A lucky package

Yesterday was a great day for the Yankees. Some serious two-out thunder - all eight runs scored with two outs. And CC continues to be ageless, pitching six shutout innings, looking like the Cy Young CC pictured on this card, which arrived in the mail yesterday as part of a trade package from an Astros fan. Talk about timing!
(More to come on the awesome package in a future post)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Caught a Trout

A few weeks ago I won a contest from Collecting Cutch, winning this awesome jersey card of one of the best players in baseball.
 He also threw in some extras which are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

1993 Studio Barry Larkin

Hobby is hunting: Larkin has a reputation as one of the most avid hunters in sports.

Favorite sports announcer is Al Michaels: Larkin is from Cincinnati; Michaels was originally a Reds announcer.

Favorite players as a kid were Dave Concepcion and Ozzie Smith: Larkin ended up playing with his idol, Concepcion, with the Reds.

Most prized possessions are his ’90 World Series ring and his ’88 Olympic medal: It must be a pretty select group that has won both a World Series and an Olympics, I know Tino Martinez was on that team as well.

Might have been a financial advisor if he hadn’t been an athlete: Larkin has now done just that, starting a firm called Dugout Ventures with Torii Hunter, David Ortiz, Nolan Ryan and Vernon Wells.

Where he is now: In addition to Dugout Ventures Larkin also does work for the Reds.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

In Houston we had a problem

Well, it took the Yankees less than 24 hours to fall behind 2-0 in this series. Unlike the Division Series its unlikely the Yankees will get enough lucky breaks to come back. As the Yankees break all kinds of postseason records for strikeouts, it's clear no one on the team has heard of having a two-strike approach to hitting. Hopefully there will be a new hitting coach next year.

Still, the pitching has been good - nice to see Tanaka in particular overcoming a disappointing season to be great in the playoffs.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Mike Glavine on baseball cards

First baseman Mike Glavine played nine seasons of professional baseball, reaching the major leagues with the Mets in 2003. The brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Glavine, he hit 108 career home runs in the minor leagues. Now the Head Coach at Northeastern University, he kindly answered my questions about baseball cards.

- Do you have any stories about cards of yourself or of other players?  For one of my cards I took a posed picture with my brother's bat in my hands. A lot of people noticed it and commented on it. I tried to get him to use one of my bats in one of his cards but I don't think he wanted his card value to go down. 

 - Do you have a favorite card of yourself or of another player? My first professional card is still my favorite. My mom always liked it because I was smiling and I liked it because it was my first card. The card also had my favorite glove in it before it was stolen that season

- Do you collect baseball cards? I have started helping my 5 year old son collect cards. We have been having a lot of fun with it and trying to collect all the players from his favorite team the Red Sox. 

Thanks! His first card was in 1996 Fleer Excel. I could not find a picture online. Any of you readers have it? Here is a card of him from my collection.