Several years of caustic negotiations between team owners and the players’ union culminated in a work stoppage in 1994 and the cancellation of the World Series for the first time since 1904. The strike cost Major League Baseball dearly—attendance and revenues fell sharply when play finally resumed—and spelled doom for the card traders and dealers whose success depended on unbroken good fortune.
Just a few years after the bitter collapse of the baseball-card boom, many of the same kids were intoxicated again, swapping tech stocks across fancy new online trading platforms from dorm rooms and group houses. And then, older but no wiser, they were at it once more, borrowing recklessly for a first home and a ticket to future wealth. Three strikes, as it were.
Now that we’ve got that World Series thing out of the way, we can turn our attention to important baseball developments, like Derek Jeter cleaning out his locker:
There were a few special items I knew I wanted to take home: The two bats I used for my last hits in Yankee Stadium and last hit at Fenway Park, the bases the Red Sox gave me from my final game. There were other items, too. But more than any one thing, I know what I’ll miss most of all is the people. So after spending way too long trying to figure out what to take, I just decided to box it all up and ship it to my house in Tampa. I wanted to spend my last afternoon hanging out with the clubhouse guys.
Has anyone thought of checking Bob Costas’ swollen ass pocket?
Anthony Johnson is suing the agency, claiming it lost his jewelry and card collection valued at $329,000. He says the valuables were stolen in 2009 by a house guest and shipped to California.
Johnson says he alerted the Postal Service, which intercepted the goods. But the Grosse Pointe man says he’s only recovered cash that was taken, not the collection. The memorabilia include mint cards of DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Hank Aaron.
Johnson tells the Detroit Free Press it’s been a “three-year runaround.” The Postal Service has denied any negligence. Johnson says the collection was sent to an Atlanta postal site where it sat for months.
In a way, Dr. William Strupp is a five time World Series champion. He has the rings to prove it.
He is the team dentist for the Yankees. It’s been that way since he fixed George Steinbrenner’s teeth in 1995. He wears the 2000 ring with most pride and is honored to get all five of his rings still while Steinbrenner was alive.
...More than 100 baseballs signed by players over the years, three baseball bats and a football signed by Heisman winners were among the items tucked in the back room in part of the office. It was a treasure trove of sports memorabilia that was stolen sometime between Nov. 16 and 17.
To get the sports memorabilia back would take a hail mary pass.
Because many of the items stolen would be difficult to pawn, detectives talked to Strupp about the possibility of posting an ad on Craigslist.
“It was an ingenious idea,” Strupp said.
Strupp set up a “stolen Yankees” ad Nov. 24. It contained several photos of the stolen items and an offer of a reward for their return.
“You kind of throw it out there and hope some idiot bites,” Strupp said.
Or as we used to elongatingly say…“Dibs on the Dibny card!”
At first glance, he looks a bit odd. That neck is awfully long. On a peculiar level, that protracted neck is what first comes to mind when I think of Eddie Brinkman. No photograph better illustrates this than his 1972 Topps card. It’s a wonder he was never nicknamed “The Giraffe.” Sportswriter extraordinaire Tom Stanton, noticing Brinkman’s long neck and small head of hair, has called him “The Turtle.” Turtles have long necks and small heads without hair, so I guess that’s a pretty accurate assessment.
It might be accurate to characterize “Steady Eddie” as the diametrical opposite to Walt “No Neck” Williams, the journeyman outfielder who played for the Colt .45s, White Sox, Indians and Yankees. Of all the players in the history of the game, Williams may have the shortest neck ever; his head looked as if it had been placed directly onto his collar bone, on a level completely even with his shoulders. In an intriguing oddity that seemingly only baseball can produce, Brinkman and No Neck Williams were actually teammates with the 1975 Yankees. It makes you wonder if any free-thinking photographer took a picture of the two standing side by side.
...As with Belanger, Brinkman’s weakness became evident every time he took a bat in his hands. He just couldn’t hit. Brinkman usually struggled to hit no more than .220, and did so with little power. He wasn’t a particularly good bunter or hit-and-run man, so he really couldn’t help you play small ball either. So Brinkman just choked up on the bat, a good five to six inches from the knob in his later years, and tried to punch the ball somewhere.
Holy shirt! This had to come with a priest’s blessing or something!
The Yankees play in one of the newest ballparks in baseball, but next year they’re going to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the oldest. They’ll be in Boston to play the Red Sox when Fenway Park turns 100 years old on April 20th, a century after they were in town when the place opened in 1912. Well, technically the New York Highlanders were there in 1912, since they didn’t become the Yankees until 1913.
The Sox will have all sorts of pre-game ceremonies to honor the place before the game, and the impossible to read Fenway Park 100th Anniversary Events site says that both clubs will wear 1912 throwback uniforms during the game. Reports earlier this month indicated that the Yankees had not yet agreed to wearing their old uniforms, but apparently the people at Fenway got the a-okay recently. A second throwback game between the Red Sox and Athletics is still tentative according to the Fenway site. The Yankees have not yet confirmed that they will be wearing the 1912 jerseys during the game, just to be clear.
Aside from various patches and whatnot, the Yankees have been using their current road jerseys since 1918* and their current home uniforms since 1936. The uniform above is the 1912 Highlanders’ outfit they’ll apparently wear during the game in Fenway Park, a rather generic uniform aside from the multi-colored socks.
These strange but apparently true injuries are captured for posterity on a set of cards called “Left Field Cards,“and this, the first set, aptly titled “Bizarre Injuries.” They are printed from Mancini’s own linocuts onto letterpress paper.
“It’s fun to have a quirky point of view,” says Mancini from her home in Brooklyn. The artist, who moved from Lyon, France, in 2006, says she fell in love with baseball when she moved to the U.S. Her art reflects it—in addition to the cards she’s done several paintings with baseball themes as well.
She decided to feature the players’ foibles after googling fun facts about baseball. She discovered, as did we when we did our own Internet search (after finding out about Mancini on Design Sponge), that collecting information about peculiar baseball player injuries is a popular pastime. Or making a list about other weird baseball player facts. Apparently it’s a niche.
“I found all these guys who had gotten hurt in very strange ways,” Mancini says, “and I compiled my 10 favorite injuries.”
He hath given meat unto them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his maketh a hellzapoppin’ plop.
How excited are Angels fans to have Albert Pujols? It took the OC Sports Grill—located about one mile from Angel Stadium of Anaheim—less than a week to build a tribute burger for the former Cardinals slugger. The monstrosity is dubbed “The Machine,” just like the player it honors and is the brainchild of the restaurant’s management and chef Vince Carino.
“We all got together when we found out [Pujols] signed,” Carino said. “We knew we had to come up with something cool because starting next season, we’re going to be even busier than we’ve been, and we’re always pretty busy.”
The dish has plenty of gut-busting power. It includes 1/2 lb. of chimichurri seasoned angus, queso frito, pulled pork and cabbage tossed in “savon” sauce (adding plenty of Dominican flair), tomatoes, avocado and crispy onion straws. All told, it packs well over 2,000 calories, according to Carino. In case you’re curious, that’s at least four Big Mac’s worth of calories.
Yankee star Derek Jeter, one of New York’s most eligible hunks since his split with longtime gal pal Minka Kelly, is bedding a bevy of beauties in his Trump World Tower bachelor pad — and then coldly sending them home alone with gift baskets of autographed memorabilia.
The Yank captain’s wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am kiss-offs came to light when he mistakenly pulled the stunt twice on the same woman — forgetting she had been an earlier conquest, a pal told The Post.
“Derek has girls stay with him at his apartment in New York, and then he gets them a car to take them home the next day. Waiting in his car is a gift basket containing signed Jeter memorabilia, usually a signed baseball,” the friend dished.
“This summer, he ended up hooking up with a girl who he had hooked up with once before, but Jeter seemed to have forgotten about the first time and gave her the same identical parting gift, a gift basket with a signed Derek Jeter baseball,” the pal said.
“He basically gave her the same gift twice because he’d forgotten hooking up with her the first time!”
I have received some very nice reports about you and the nice way you are getting along. Now I want you to keep it up and it will not be long before you will be and running around.
You are only eight years now and who knows that some day the umpire will say Freddy Clark Jr. now batting for Babe Ruth — say Freddy? Will that be great or not. Now I want you to keep your fight and think of me.
Rap is great. Sports cards are terrible. 1999 was terrible. Rap in 1999 was really, really terrible. Rapping sports cards in 1999 are the very worst thing. In this edition of Sports Cards For Insane People, we visit a ridiculous rapping card set.
Until I discovered the 1999 Skybox Thunder baseball card set a few days ago…
Mike Lansing card:
One ... two ... three, four, five. Brother, your game is all the way live. With all your skillz, you’re bound to thrive.
SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN, ELEVEN, DROPPIN A base11 NUMERICAL FORMAT ON YA HEAD LIKE PERHAPS A BLUEBIRD WOULD ACCIDENTALLY DROP A PIECE OF TOAST oh god i wish i could just go back to formatting batting averages
Travis Lee card:
Travis, you’re the most famous Lee since Robert E. But your game ain’t civil, no, when you get your groove on, you go buck wild in the wild, wild West.
YYYYEP I JUST NAME-CHECKED A FREAKING CONFEDERATE GENERAL IN A RAP SONG
LOOK THIS IS THE ONLY WAY I CAN FIGURE OUT HOW TO TELL YOU I’M A WHITE PERSON WITHOUT JUST COMING OUT AND SAYING IT
However, industry experts, collectors and even sources at the Federal Bureau of Investigation have questioned whether the majority of these high-end beauties are worth more than the vintage baseballs they are signed upon. The most spectacular examples that have sold at auction for prices ranging between $50,000 and $100,000 are now the targets of a new investigation endorsed by Babe Ruth’s granddaughter, Linda Ruth-Tosetti.
Tosseti has followed closely the proliferation in the marketplace of forged signatures attributed to her grandfather and has been vocal about her concerns for collectors who have been taken advantage of. She has voiced her concerns to the FBI and she hopes that the findings of an investigation launched by Haulsofshame.com will expose the forgers and authenticators who have made her grandfather’s signature a tool of their trade.
Said Ruth-Tosetti, “I can’t believe how these crooks have lined their pockets forging my grandfather’s signature. It’s a shame and it needs to be stopped. I’ve made my concerns known to an agent at the FBI and I hope they will be able to put an end to this. In my opinion, the authenticators are as bad as the forgers, it’s ridiculous. I can even tell that Babe didn’t sign most of these.”
Back in February, an architecture conference focused on “concrete modernism” met in Houston. Included on the agenda: a tour of the famed Astrodome. The 65,000-seat domed stadium, the first of its kind when it opened in 1965, was the perfect destination for the group. But the visitors’ path through the venue had to be changed when, just hours before the event, an electrical fire broke out in the facility. The blaze wasn’t major, but it illustrated the extent to which the facility, once viewed as an engineering marvel, has deteriorated. “It felt like walking into a movie set of something prematurely aged,” says Sarah Whiting, dean of the Rice University School of Architecture, who was part of the group. “I find it incredibly sad to see what had been hailed as the Eighth Wonder of the World essentially crumbling before our eyes.”
The fire was the latest chapter in the unceremonious decline of a facility that continues to remain an icon in Space City.
Not all the notes are perfect. Some show signs of Rose correcting himself by writing over a letter or two. Some remain with spelling mistakes in tact. One such error reads, “It’s a round ball & a round bat & you got to it it square.”
While some may wince at such autograph errors, others may find a bit of humor in them. As Rose would likely freely admit, nobody’s perfect. In most marathon card signing sessions, players and personalities are simply scribbling their names in such a way you might be able to make out a letter or two. Rose is going way beyond the scribble and actually adding a note.
2011 Leaf Pete Rose Legacy Rose-isms Inscription List:
-30 Yr Old Body, 15 Yr Old Brain = Ball Player
-I was born on the day Lincoln was shot and the Titanic sank.
-Dad taught me to practice and practice more.
-With the money I’m making, I should be playing 2 positions.
-Never bet on baseball.
-It’s a round ball & a round bat & you got to hit it square.
-See the ball, hit the ball.
-I’d walk through hell in a gasoline suit to play.
-Winning 2/3s of the games usually wins a pennant.
-You win a hitting lesson with the hit king. (Note: Not part of regular print runs. Limited to one prize card.)
Oh my gosh, oh my gosh! Of all the dramatic things I’ve ever seen! Satoken19770127 standing right in an Upper Deck trading card box announcing he is back-flipping!
In this random video on YouTube, a baseball fan from Tokyo, Japan named Ken gushes over an Upper Deck trading card that holds the signatures of both Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. He apparently got the card in a pack which is a pretty lucky find.
Under the username ‘Satoken19770127,’ Ken shows off the card while describing how excited he is to have it. He starts to get really, really excited at about the 1:30 mark.
Sure, sure…13-years after I stopped drinking (makes healthy aspartate transamayonnaise sandwich).
MillerCoors has received TTB label approval for several Miller Lite cans donning Major League Baseball team logos. These 16 oz. aluminum cans are presumably for the 2012 baseball season.
Anheuser-Busch remains the official beer sponsor of the MLB despite a lawsuit filed after MLB allegedly reneged on an agreement to renew AB’s sponsorship.
MillerCoors is still able to sponsor individual teams. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that AB was the sponsor for all but a handful of teams. So far, labels have come in for the Brewers, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Padres, and White Sox. Labels also came in for the Royals and Cubs though no official sponsorship was indicated.
Sculptor Zenos Frudakis, known to Phillies fans for his statues of Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Richie Ashburn and Robin Roberts at Citizens Bank Park, said Murtaugh’s face reminded him of some of the men he met as a child in Gary, Ind.
“I grew up in a steel town and the men who worked in the mills were like the men who worked in the mines,” he said. “They had strong faces — faces with strong features.
“This subject had a lot of character and integrity. It’s not exactly a pretty face — not like a Cary Grant face … I could almost envision him in a helmet as a conquistador or a general. In a way, he was kind of a conquering general with an army of baseball players he led into the field of battle on the baseball diamond.”
Jeez…why dontcha just say he looked like Roy Barcroft beaten to a ten-cent pulp with a studded Trejo meat stick.
Kelly was the first larger-than-life pro baseball player, and many of the Elks had him autograph their programs as the evening progressed, whiskey flowed and toasts became grandiose…
One of the programs surfaced 124 years later, and it’s in mint condition. Kelly’s autograph is a rarity, and this one is perhaps the most valuable ever for a baseball player.
Many of the programs never even left the building that night. Thoroughly soused, Kelly was loaded into his carriage, normally horse-drawn. But on this night Elks and other admirers lifted the carriage and lugged it through the streets to his home…
Within two years Kelly was the subject of America’s first pop music hit, recorded on a wax cylinder and played on the phonograph Thomas Edison had invented in 1877. The song was titled, “Slide, Kelly, Slide,” which is what fans in Chicago would chant when he flew around bases in his prime. It was sung on stage by dance hall star Miss Maggie Cline and covered by numerous artists as 78 rpm records proliferated in the early 20th century, well after Kelly’s death.
Within four years he was moonlighting as a Vaudeville act, reciting “Casey at the Bat,” often substituting Kelly for Casey. His pet monkey sat on his shoulder and a beer or shot of whiskey was invariably in his hand.
Within seven years he’d drank himself out of the major leagues and was a player/manager for an Allentown, Pa., farm team. After the 1894 season he contracted pneumonia during a boat trip from New York to Boston and died Nov. 8 at age 36, leaving a wife and small child. Legend has it he slipped off a stretcher at the hospital, looked up from the ground and said, “This is my last slide.”
As Chris Treadway points out…“Only 2 known and one is at the Hall of Fame? Maybe they should check to be sure they still have it.”
One of only two known surviving copies of the first World Series program sold at auction Saturday for a record-setting price of $241,500, the highest price ever paid for a World Series program. The only other program seen in public resides in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The winner, whose name hasn’t been revealed, placed the winning bid of $210,00 over the phone during Hunt Auctions’ live event at the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum.
The realized price for the 1903 Series program included a 15% buyer’s premium. The first World Series, a best of nine games affair, pitted Honus Wagner and the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Boston Americans. Boston won the series five games to three.
The program was part of a large collection of vintage World Series programs sold Saturday. A 1908 example, from the Cubs’ last championship, brought $32,200 including the buyer’s premium.
Even long lost members of Spinks family look to the heavens for an answer!
The memory was brought to mind by a piece by Samir Husni, aka “Mr. Magazine” about TSN‘s decision to move from a bi-weekly to a monthly publication. He’s mostly concerned with the ethics of subscription fulfillment (or the lack thereof) as the magazine undergoes the transition. Seems TSN is trying to shortchange their readers by cutting back on the remainder of issues they’re allowing based on how much of the subscription remains because the cover price will be increasing substantially. How the mighty have fallen.
TSN, which has gone through numerous incarnations in the last several years (currently under the auspices of AOL?), used to be considered “The Bible of Baseball.” I used to buy it because they had recaps of every game from the previous week along with the box scores. Then it was just box scores. Then they were gone. Suffice it to say, it is lo longer the sports publication of my youth.
Nuttiest thing to come out of Philly…since Rev. Heidnik lost a fortune on a Crazy Eddie investment!
If you were hoping Lenny Dykstra might re-schedule that sports memorabilia show appearance at the Oxford Valley Mall he blew off last weekend to participate in a celebrity boxing match in Hollywood (which he also blew off), don’t hold your breath.
The memorabilia show’s organizer Eric Poppel doesn’t want the former Phillies centerfielder back.
“I would never consider working with Dykstra again,” Poppel said in an e-mail message. “I firmly believe he has mental health issues and needs to get the proper aid.”
Poppel, who claims he’s been burned by Dykstra in the past, said he had a signed contract confirming Dykstra’s appearance at the Oxford Valley Mall event for Nov. 5-6. Then last Wednesday he found out Dykstra was scheduled to take part in the celebrity boxing match, and would not be appearing at the memorabilia show.
“I contact his minion/manager Dan Herman (a man Dykstra told Daily News gossip columnist Dan Gross was a “A starf***er” who booked the celebrity boxing gig without his consent and made up quotes in the press), who claims the boxing was supposed to be on another date,” Poppel told Phils-ville Wednesday. “He sends me a crazy e-mail how he will make this right, he’s a man of action, etc. Just another part of this Dan Herman/Lenny Dykstra game.”
A package that drew the attention of the state police bomb squad this morning was determined to contain an unwanted collection of baseball cards. Initial suspicions of the sealed box, left atop a newspaper box outside the post office branch on Chandler Street, prompted police to close off the area.
The sealed box had the word “Free” on the outside. It was heavily taped, and authorities could not easily determine its contents.
Upon further review, the box was found to contain baseball cards.
Officials, who were notified of a “suspicious package” about 9 this morning, did not immediately locate the person who left the box.
Radio City Matinee just had to go and give Jon Gnagy’s Beard a show.
As a kid I was into reading biographies of athletes that were before my time. I was too young to have seen them play, but pictures of giant fro’s and mangy beards caused me to build them up in my head as awesome, wild legends.
Mid (To Late) 70’s Baseball Dudes is an ongoing drawing project. It’ll probably be complete once I have enough to make a cool zine or when I can’t think of anymore dudes to draw.