My Favorite Athletes By The Numbers; Part 2, from 34 to 99

Just like Part 1, this post features my favorite athletes who were associated with numbers from 34 to 99 (I say “associated” because NASCAR drivers don’t really “wear” their numbers).

Unlike Part 1, these are consecutive up to a point… Once we get above #59 it starts to skip around a bit.

After a couple of comments on the last post, I feel like I need to point out that I’m not any kind of numerical genius. Although I did the initial draft from memory, it was basically “Who wore this number for the Mets, Yankees, Steelers and Capitals and do I still like them?” After that, I leaned heavily on the All-Time Uniform Number listings on and (where it’s “Sweater Numbers“), and I also flipped through my “player collection” binder to remind myself who wore which number.

OK, with out of the way let’s get back to the numbers!

34 – Noah Syndergaard

35 – Brandon Crawford

Crawford is one of my “He caught my attention in the minors” guys.  I gave serious thought towards going with Mike Mussina, but I’m frankly still kinda pissed that Moose left the Orioles for the Yankees.

36 – Jerry Koosman

37 – Casey Stengel

Casey was with the Mets from the start and his numbered was retired, so he goes down in history as the one and only #37 with the Mets.

38 – Skip Lockwood

39 – Erik Hanson

Hanson is from the same small town in New Jersey that a very good friend of mine is from (but she doesn’t know Hanson)

40 – Bartolo Colon

41 – Tom Seaver, New York Mets

42 – Ron Hodges

43 – Troy Polamalu

44 – Jason Isringhausen

45 – Tug McGraw

46 – Jeremy Guthrie

47 – Jesse Orosco

48 – Jacob deGrom

49 – Charlie Hough

I’ve got a thing for knuckleballers

50 – Sid Fernandez

…I strongly considered fellow Hawaiian Benny Agbayani

51 – Jamie Moyer

Moyer was the last of his kind – a Major Leaguer who was older than I was. Bless you, Jamie Moyer.

52 – Yoenis Cespedes

53 – Chad Bradford

Just like I have a thing for knuckleballers, I also have a thing for submariners.

…and for those of you who have been with me long enough to remember my original header…

…the basis for that header was this 2008 custom I made of Chad Bradford

54 – John Habyan

Like me, he’s a Long Island guy; At the time Habyan broke through, a friend of mine got very excited because he’d played against Habyan in high school ball. I got excited as well.

55 – Kelly Johnson

I chose a 2015 custom card rather than an actual card just because it shows his uniform number (and because I like the card design I’d made for 2015)

56 – Jim Bouton

I love anything to do with the Pilots.  Because of “Ball Four”, Jim Bouton is at the center of the Pilot-verse.

57 – Johan Santana

58 – Doug Fister

Fister was a godsend one year I won my Fantasy Baseball league.

59 – Jack Ham

This is bit of a cheat because Ham’s career and my Steeler fandom overlap by just one season… but there are damn few #59’s to choose from.

62 – Tunch Ilkin

My college roommate got me into the Steelers, and at first we both liked Tunch Ilkin’s name… and liked him even better when he became an All-Pro.

66 – Munenori Kawasaki

C’mon, who doesn’t love Muni?

72 – Phillip Evans

Just for the heck of it, and because I got one of these sent to me in a recent package from “Dime Boxes Nick

77 – Greg Sacks, NASCAR driver

I was sort of a Greg Sacks fan; he’s from Mattituck, NY, way the heck out on Long Island. Every NASCAR fan I knew at the time pulled for him (sometimes grudgingly) because he was “The one local guy”. He raced under other numbers, but this is one of the few cards of his I have, so…

If you’ve seen the Tom Cruise movie “Days Of Thunder”, you’ve seen Greg Sacks in action; some of the footage from the movie came from actual races with “movie cars” in the field, and Sacks was one of those drivers. I’m pretty sure he drove as “Cole Trickle” in at least some of the scenes. Sacks was also a “Technical consultant” on the film.

83 – Heath Miller

86 – Hines Ward

99 – Turk Wendell
You were expecting Wayne Gretzky here, admit it.


Favorite Athletes By The Numbers; Part 1, from 0 to 33

Not long ago there was a post at The Five Tool Collector which featured 9 players who wore #9. I started thinking about my own list of players who wore #9.  Soon,  my mind started wandering to other numbers and I thought it would be fun to see how far I could go making a list of my favorite athletes associated with each number (at least at some point in their career).

Just to emphasize, this is a list of MY FAVORITES for each number.  It’s not the all-time greatest.  Honestly, for me Bill Almon would get #2 over Derek Jeter …but to be fair, I *do* like Bill Almon… and, at any rate, Almon is not the guy I chose for #2.

For those who are new here, I’m a fan of the Mets, Orioles and Steelers, and I used to be a fan of the Capitals and of NASCAR (back in the 1990’s when the top level was still the Winston Cup).  Naturally, most of the choices come from these teams;  I’ll offer explanations only for cards which don’t fall into one of those categories.

0 – Rey Ordonez

1 – Mookie Wilson (Don’t tell my wife I didn’t pick Brian Roberts)

2 – J.J. Hardy

3 – Bud Harrelson

4 – Rusty Staub

5 – Rod Langway

6 – Melvin Mora

7 – Alan Kulwicki

It’s been 25 years since Kulwicki’s tragic death in a plane crash and looking at his cards still makes me wonder what might have been.  I continued following NASCAR for another 7 or 8 years, but for me it was never the same without Alan Kulwicki


8 – Cal Ripken


9 – Todd Hundley

FYI, the next two cards are from the 1995 Donruss Top Of The Order collectible card game.  One of these days I’m going to learn how to play this game.

10 – Darren Daulton

I collect Dutch because he’s the first player I saw in the minors who went on to establish himself as a Major League player

11 – Mike Gartner

12 – John Stearns… could’ve gone with Ron Darling, but I thought of Stearns first.

13 – Edgardo Alfonzo

14 – Nolan Reimold

I latched on to Reimold when he was an up-and-comer.

15 – Kirk McCaskill

My friend Billy went to the University of Vermont at the same time that McCaskill was the star and captain of the school’s hockey team;  I followed the exploits of “Captain Kirk” through Billy and became a fan.  Had he stuck with hockey rather than baseball I would’ve still collected him.

16 – Doc Gooden.

17 – B.J. Surhoff

18 – Daryl Strawberry

19 – Fritz Peterson

I collect Fritz for reasons too involved to get into here… and if you have to ask, yes, it’s for baseball reasons.

20 – Howard Johnson

21 – Dennis Maruk

22 – Doug Flutie

As someone who’s not particularly tall, I like guys like Flutie, Spud Webb and Muggsy Bogues.


23 – Luke Walker

When I was a kid, I mistakenly thought that Walker was a big name player;  I still collect him because of that.

24 – Rick Dempsey

To be clear, this 2004 card from the Maryland Lottery features the card number on the front, so don’t get confused by the “34” up top – Demper is #24 in the hearts of all Orioles fans (except maybe not for fans of Eric Davis or Arnie Portocarrero)

25 – Jim Abbott

26 – Rod Woodson

27 – Frank Catalanotto

I saw Frank in the minors and discovered that, like me, he’s from Suffolk County, Long Island.

28 – Daniel Murphy

29 – Dave Magadan

30 – Michael Conforto

31 – John Franco

Some of you are saying “What about Mike Piazza?”  Sorry, always felt a closer bond to Franco.

32 – Steven Matz

33 – Eddie Murray

I’ll be back in a couple of days with my favorite athletes from #34 to #99 (although I skip around a lot once I get past #59).

2018 TSR: I Need An All-Star Break

So yesterday I was able to go to a card show… This is noteworthy in that the last show I went to was this same show from last July, and like pretty much any shows I attend, it involved fives hours of driving on top of the five or six hours on the show floor. The upshot of this is that I’m worn out, and I have obligations for today, given that my Saturday was largely devoted to the show.

But of course, the way things always go with me… I intended this to be a short post, but it’s not… not really.  I kept thinking “Oh, just one more thing”.  I’m apparently the Columbo of sportscard bloggers.  (Kids, ask your parents)

Among the best players on the Orioles this past week has been – not surprisingly – Zach Britton. Trade rumors have been circling around him, and perhaps Zach is doing his baseball best to get across the message “GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!”

During the past 7 days, Britton went 1-0 with 2 saves and 5 K’s in 3 innings pitched.

Robert Gsellman had a similar week for the Mets. He pitched 3.1 innings, got a win and a save. Interestingly enough, he pitched 2 innings for the save and only 1 inning for the win (an extra-inning walk-off against the Phils).

When double-checking the spelling of Gsellman’s name, it occurred to me that I probably could search on just “Gsellman” and get information about Robert. Not only was that true, but the only other people who turned up in “Searches related to Gsellman” were for Trisha Gsellman, Robert’s mother who passed away in 2009, and Bob Gsellman, Robert’s father, who played four seasons as a catcher, largely in the Phillies organization.

Manager of the week time… In the nobody’s-great-but-nobody’s-awful National League, the Rockies have managed to stay in the thick of the NL West race, going 8-2 this past week to find themselves in third place, but just 2.5 games out of first.

If you were wondering what uniform that Bud Black is wearing, the photo was taken on July 4th… ‘Nuff said.

Moving on to the 1988 Topps tribute of the week…

Jake Bauers had quite a week, batting .393 with 5 doubles, 3 homes 11 runs scored and 9 runs batted in.  I wouldn’t normally feature a rookie in this spot, I couldn’t resist this time around.

Aside from giving me an opportunity to make a 1988-style card of a team which didn’t exist in 1988, I have to admit I have something of a soft spot for the Rays.  I mean, I’ve got enough baseball misery in my life between the Mets and the Orioles, but there’s just something about the Rays doing the best with what they got (as well as needing all the support they can get) that draws in the Shlabotnik side of me.

Here’s an interesting bit of trivia:  As the Devil Rays the team had a .399 winning percentage and never won more than 70 games, but they made the World Series in their first season as the Rays, and have a .527 winning percentage as the Rays.

Here’s your bonus card of the week, a 2018 Faux Set card which just sort of happened after I read some of the morning headlines.

Wayne Rooney, who established himself as an all-time great with Manchester United and as captain of the England team, made his debut with D.C. United yesterday as the United also unveiled their new soccer-only facillity near Nationals Park.

I went to check if Rooney has made it to Topps MLS Now, the least popular “Now” there is.  As of my writing this, he has not, but I don’t believe today’s cards have gone yet.  What really threw me about MLS Now is how low the print runs are.  Almost all of this year’s cards are double-digits, one as low as just 26, with the triple-digit ones coming only for world-famous footballers like Zlatan Ibrahimovic

When I was a kid we had the North American Soccer League which tried to boost interest with internationally famous players in their thirties like Pele, George Best, Rodney Marsh and Franz Beckenbauer.  These days, MLS is trying to boost interest with internationally famous players in their thirties like Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.  Fill in your own comment.

While reading up on Rooney, I found that he’s England’s all-time leading goal scorer, and he’s also the second-most capped player England has ever had, behind Peter Shilton.  To this bit of information I said aloud “Wow, that sounds impressive!  What the hell does that mean?”  If I understand this correctly, ‘most capped’ means to have made the most appearances in international competition.






It’s Been A LONG Time Since I Did A Playlist Post

Been a long time
Been a long time
Been a long, lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time…

It’s also been a long time since I acquired most of the cards in this post, but for one reason or another, I never got around to featuring them… until now.

I’m a bit crunched for time this week so I figured I’d combine these arbitrarily-selected cards and a playlist of songs with “long” somewhere in the title.


(I’ve Been) Searchin’ So Long – Chicago
(This Song’s Just) Six Words Long – ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic (Parody of “Got My Mind Set On You” by George Harrison)
All Night Long – Joe Walsh
All Summer Long – The Beach Boys
Another Long One – Shawn Colvin
Foreplay/Long Time – Boston
How Long Must I Wait for You? – Joe Jackson
How Long – Ace

It Won’t Be Long – The Beatles
It’s A Long Way To The Top – AC/DC
Long As I Can See The Light – Creedence Clearwater Revival
Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) – The Hollies
Long Day In The Universe – The Darling Buds
Long Distance Runaround – Yes
Long Division – Death Cab For Cutie
Long Hot Summer Night – Jimi Hendrix Experience

Long Legs – The Magic Numbers
Long Line Of Cars – Cake
Long Live Rock – The Who
Long Summer Days – The Moody Blues
Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance) – Leo Sayer
Long Tall Sally – The Beatles
Long Time Coming – The Zutons
Long Time Gone – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Long Time – Cake
Long Title: Do I Have To Do This All Over Again? – The Monkees
Long Train Runnin’ – The Doobie Brothers
Long View – Green Day
Long Way Back Home – Barenaked Ladies
Long Way Down – Emmet Swimming
Long, Long Day – Paul Simon
Long, Long Time – Billy Joel

Long, Long Way from Home – Foreigner
Long, Long, Long – The Beatles
Long, Tall Texan – The Beach Boys
One Long Pair of Eyes – Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians
Short Skirt/Long Jacket – Cake
So Long – Guster
So Long, Bannatyne – The Guess Who
So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright – Simon & Garfunkel
So Long, Mom (A Song For World War III) – Tom Lehrer

(This addition to my Ryan Zimmerman collection came from “A Cracked Bat” Julie)

Take The Long Way Home – Supertramp
The Girl I Love She Got Long Black Wavy Hair – Led Zeppelin
The Long and Winding Road – The Beatles
Through the Long Night – Billy Joel
Too Long in the Wasteland – James McMurtry
You Can’t Hold on Too Long – The Cars
You Shook Me All Night Long – ACDC

(This addition to my Frank Catalanotto collection also came from Julie)

Honorary Mention (Songs which aren’t particular favorites of mine):
A Long December – Counting Crows
As Long As You Follow – Fleetwood Mac
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) – Styx
All Night Long – Lionel Richie

A Thwarted Comment, And I Didn’t Want To Waste The Time Spent Researching The 1976 Topps Mets Team Card

On Monday, Brian from “Highly Subjective And Completely Arbitrary” posted a very interesting unopened (or was it?) pack of 1976 Topps, and after sharing a Mets team card he pulled, he pointed out Willie Mays on the bottom right and said “I’m guessing this team photo wasn’t taken in 1975.”

Well, I got intrigued, started researching and wrote a long comment on his blog only to find that….


The only commenting option is “Google Account”!!!

I don’t *HAVE* a Google Account!

To paraphrase Barbara Billingsley from the movie Airplane!, “Chump don’t want no comment, chump don’t GET da comment.”

(Kidding aside, there were new internet privacy laws that kicked in at the end of May which affected a lot of default settings, so all bloggers should check to make sure your blog allows for comments without a Google account.  The More You Know.  TSR Cares.  And so on)

At that point I’d already put a good 15-20 minutes worth of research into it, so I decided to make a quick post out of it.

You see, I think the photo *is* from 1975, although not from spring training of 1975 since it doesn’t match what’s in my 1975 Mets yearbook.

So you’ve got Yogi Berra near the front and in the center;  Yogi took over before the 1972 season (after Gil Hodges’ fatal heart attack), and was fired late in the 1975 season.

Willie Mays is sitting up front because he stayed on as one of of Yogi’s coaches after his final season as a player (1973).

I believe this is Jesus Alou (back row, third from left) and his only season with the Mets was 1975.  Alou joined the Mets on 4/12/75 and was released at the end of 1976 spring training.  He wore #23 while with the team.

Here’s Alou on his 1976 card.

In the second row on the far left is a dark-skinned gentleman with muttonchop sideburns;  I believe this is Gene Clines, who wore #1 and played for the Mets only during the 1975 season.

Over on the right we have two players wearing #5 and #9;  they look like Mike Phillips and Joe Torre (#9).

Torre was acquired after the 1974 season (you may remember his airbrushed 1975 card).  Phillips was picked up from the Giants on waivers on 5/3/75,  here’s his 1976 SSPC card (my copy was autographed with a not-great pen).

So, in conclusion I believe that this is a mid-season team photo from 1975, possibly used in the “Revised” version of the yearbook (which I don’t have).

2018 TSR: Players Who Ought To Be In Topps Update

I have a feeling that upcoming custom card posts will focus on players moving around before the July 31st trade deadline, but I thought that now that we’ve hit the halfway mark in the season it might be interesting to see which players more-or-less qualify for statistical ranking (3.1 AB’s / game or 1 IP / game) and see which of those players are still lacking a mainstream 2018 baseball card.

Recently on Twitter, the esteemed Night Owl (blog, twitter) has been voicing concern that Max Muncy, who’s breaking out this year with the Dodgers, will get the same neglect from Topps which Chris Taylor received last year.  I can’t control Muncy getting any physical cards, but I can make a custom for Mr. Muncy.

Max Muncy doesn’t qualify for a batting title just yet, but it’s hard to argue with 20 homers, 38 runs and 39 RBI.

Muncy had been cut loose by the A’s at the end of 2017 Spring Training and gave thought to walking away from the game.  He signed with the Dodgers, played 2017 with AAA Oklahoma City and didn’t make his L.A. debut until April 17th this year, but since then he’s been making Dodger fans happy that he isn’t at home finishing off his degree from Baylor U.

According to, Muncy’s 2018 cardboard consists of two Topps Now cards he shared with Joc Pederson:  #376 “First time two players hit 10+ homers in a month in franchise history” and #409 “9 XBH in back-to-back games for first time since 1929”.  Muncy’s only prior MLB cardboard was a 2015 Topps Update rookie card he shared with Tyler Ladendorft.

Max Muncy isn’t the only player getting short shrift from Topps, however…

Teoscar Hernandez is playing regularly for the first time.  Like Muncy, he’s a bit short of qualifying for a batting title (not that he’s a challenger with that .260 anyway), but he brings 39 runs and 35 RBI to the table.

2018 Cards: the Topps Toronto Blue Jays team set and Donruss Diamond Collection (relic inserts)

The Brewer’s Brent Suter has started 16 games, has a 8-5 record, a 1.189 WHIP, 7.5 K’s per 9 innings.

2018 cards:  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  Bupkis.  Bugger all.

Similarly, the Giants’ Chris Stratton has an 8-6 record and is averaging 6.8 K’s per 9 innings.

2018 cards:  Topps San Francisco Giants team set.

Jurickson Profar is primarily a shortstop, but has also played at 1st, 2nd, 3rd and in left field one game.  He’s scored 48 runs and has 45 RBI.

2018 cards:  Topps Now Road To Opening Day

Leonys Martin has appeared in center field in 67 games, has 44 runs and 29 RBI.

2018 cards:  Topps Now Road To Opening Day

Marco Gonzales has started 18 games, has a 9-5 record, a 3.64 ERA, a 1.223 WHIP and 8K’s per 9 IP’s.

2018 cards:  Topps Now #386 “First career complete game leads Seattle to fifth straight win”

In 72 games, Matt Duffy is batting .309 with 27 runs and 25 RBI.

2018 cards:  Topps Now Road To Opening Day, Topps Tampa Bay Rays Team Set and Topps Now #320 “1-0 walk-off win on two-out RBI single”.

Quick aside:  Looking at the 2018 Topps Rays team set made me realize that 4 of the 17 cards are for players who aren’t in Topps Series 1 or 2:  Duffy, Jesus Sucre, Chih-Wei Hu and Dan Jennings.  Sucre has been in the Majors on and off since 2015, and this is his first MLB card.  It appears that this isn’t unusual for the lesser-represented teams;  the Tigers also have four players who don’t show up elsewhere.  I haven’t checked any other teams as of yet.

Finally, there’s Tyler Skaggs, who has 16 starts, a 6-5 record, a 2.64 ERA, a 1.217 WHIP and 9.8 K’s per 9 innings.

2018 cards:  None, and this is for a guy who was in Stadium Club last year (although that may have been as much about the photo as anything else).

My research was not exhaustive, and clearly took more time than I really shold have spent… but I may have missed players along the way.

Are there any players you follow who should have 2018 cards and don’t yet?

Update:  I realized after I finished the post that I’d forgotten one player whose custom I’d created back at the beginning of the season: Miles Mikolas (9-3, 2.63 ERA, 1.034 WHIP and who hurled a 4-hit, 9 K shutout on May 21st  – granted it was the Royals, but still)

2018 cards:  Topps Now #239 “First career shutout in a 6-0 complete game win”

Moving on to the “every week” customs…

The 1988 Topps tribute of the week goes to Francisco Lindor.  During the past week, he had 2 doubles, 3 triples, 2 stolen bases, 13 runs, 10 RBI and batted .458

For the Manager card each week I like to feature someone who has gone 8-2 or better over the past 10 games, and who (of course) hasn’t already been featured. This week the honor goes to the Red Sox’ Alex Cora, who currently has the team in first, 2 games ahead of the Yankees.

Wrapping up with the Mets and Orioles customs for the week… Honestly, neither team was tremendously inspiring this past week, so I just grabbed a couple out of the already-made customs I had.

Still More Cards From DimeBoxedonia

Once more I dip into the well…  This is the third installment of “Cards I recently got from ‘Dime Boxes Nick‘ “.

Up until a couple of years ago, the only Action Packed baseball cards i was aware of was the minor league set they made in 1995.  As it turns out they made two series of “All-Star Gallery” in 1992 and 1993, and I’ve been slowly adding these to my collection.  It occurred to me that the only thing I know about these cards is that the black-bordered first series, like this Bud Harrelson, came out in 1992…

…and the red-bordered second series, like this Jerry Koosman, came out in 1993.

I don’t even know what else I might want out of these sets. When I get a chance I might have to dip into that font of checklist information that is Card Collector 7.0, a 15 year old software package which still manages to run (on my Win7 laptop, anyway).

The following is a public service announcement for casual faux card makers as well as graphics professionals:  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking “You can never have too many retro design elements!”.

Remember, when it comes to throwbacks, “less” is more.

I really liked 2011 Topps Lineage when it came out, but now it’s like years ago when there was that woman who worked in the company cafeteria and who was really cute in a way that I couldn’t quite put my finger on, but then one day the ‘spell’ was broken and no matter what I did I couldn’t quite see her in that same way after that……… and where was I?  Oh, yeah, Lineage.  At any rate, it’s Cal, so it’s cool.  Ripkens are always welcome.

I’m a tiny bit embarrassed that this is my first card of Mets catching prospect Tomas Nido.

I used to buy the majority of my Bowman cards at shows from a particular dealer, but that dealer stopped buying new product and I rarely get to shows anymore.  I guess I really should get on board with buying team sets online.

Not that I don’t appreciate the heck out of a Manny Machado relic, especially a nice-looking card like this, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Manny’s wearing a different team’s uniform tomorrow.

It’s like some wise person once said;  “We stink with you, we can stink without you.”

The package contained a couple of Orioles from 1960 Topps… This first card came with a note on the penny sleeve;  the note made ma laugh so I left the penny sleeve on when I scanned the card.

You ain’t kidding, “Poor Joe Ginsberg”.  With an entire corner torn off, paper loss and creases galore, this card is a bit beyond “well-loved” and goes into another category. It’s about as rough of a shape as one will find a card, but it ended up in the right hands.

Later in the package I found another 1960 Oriole with less damage and a bit more Hall-Of-Fame credentials…

Other than scotch tape on all four sides, this card is in pretty decent shape.  I really hate to start YET ANOTHER project, but these two cards get me about a third of the way towards a 1960 Orioles team set, and with Brooks out of the way, the biggest obstacles seem to be Hoyt Wilhelm and the high #’s.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage… Hoyt Wilhelm And The High Numbers!!!!

At any rate, it may depend on whether some disagreeable person somewhere has decided to drive up values by hoarding cards of Marv Breeding or Al Pilarcik.

I suppose I might also upgrade Joe Ginsberg… in an augmenting way, of course.  I think “Poor” Joe Ginsberg needs to stick around in some way.


The back of this card only notes that it’s from the “20 Years Of Mets Baseball” set, and it’s easy to overlook the “RGI” notation on the back. (BTW, Cliff Cook played 90 games as a utility guy for the Mets in 1962 and 1963)

However, anyone who read baseball magazines in the 1970’s and 1980’s and dreamed of getting “1,000 mint baseball cards for only $9.99” knows that RGI = Renata Galasso, Inc.

One of the benefits of having blogged as long as I have is being able to dip into the archives and pull up an appropriate image like this:

In a similar vein to that Renata Galasso set, TCMA did a series of “All-Time Teams” devoted to different major league franchises.  Over the years, cards like these (and Pacific Legends and Ted Williams Card Company and Swell Baseball Greats) have gone from “mildly interesting oddball” to “I should get more of these”

It occurred to me when I was going through my cards that the casual observer might think I’d gotten disgusted with the Mets and made a switch to the Phillies.

Well, I *am* pretty disgusted with the Mets, but I have not run out and bought myself a red baseball cap.  These cards are all for players I collect because they caught my attention when they were still in the minors.

I will, however, admit that the Phillie Phanatic is on the heels of Mr. Met and The Oriole Bird in my own MLB Mascot Power Rankings.  I’ve never seen the Phanatic in his natural environs but I have seen him (or perhaps a member of his “touring company”, if there is such a thing) a few times in minor league ballparks.

Joe Panik is another guy I saw in the minors.  I still roll my eyes at the fact that the card numbers have a “GG” prefix but the cards are labeled as “Fielding Award”.  I suppose I should be happy that they’re not listed as the “Precious Metal Mitten” or “Short-printed Hand Covering Award”

…And that covers the highlights from the legendary Dime Boxes package of June, 2018… I guess I’ll have to actually think of some sort of subject matter for next week’s posts.

Thanks again, Nick!