About The Shlabotnik Report

I've been collecting baseball cards since 1974, and I'm on a quest to rediscover the collection hidden within my accumulation.

Once More Unto The Breach: More From The Early 1990s Topps Gold Checklist Replacements

So I started out with “Hey, check out this 1992 Topps Gold card of Terry McDaniel which replaced the checklist in 1992 Topps!”

Then I did a follow-up post of the various cards from 1992 – 1994 Topps Gold Baseball which replaced the checklists.

Then reader Zac Neubauer asked if Topps did the same thing in the 1992 Topps Gold basketball, football and hockey sets… And I said “Well, back to the three-dimensional blackboard!”  (And you’re welcome, anyone old enough to get a Phineas J. Whoopee reference)

I did some more research and now present you with the checklist replacement cards from Topps Gold basketball, football and hockey:

1992-93 Topps Gold Basketball
197 – Jeff Sanders – Hawks
198 – Elliot Perry – Hornets
395 – David Wingate – Hornets
396 – Carl Herrera – Rockets

1993-94 Topps Gold Basketball
197 – David Wingate – Hornets
198 – Frank Johnson – Suns
395 – Will Perdue – Bulls
396 – Mark West – Suns

1992 Topps Gold Football
109 – Freeman McNeil – Jets
218 – David Daniels – Seahawks
316 – Chris Hakel – Redskins
341 – Ottis Anderson – Giants
452 – Shawn Moore – Broncos
563 – Mike Mooney – Oilers
759 – Curtis Whitley – Chargers

1993 Topps Gold Football
329 – Terance Mathis – Jets
330 – John Wojciechowski – Bears
659 – Pat Chaffey – Jets
660 – Milton Mack – Buccaneers

1992-93 Topps Gold Hockey
525 – Alan Conroy – Flyers
526 – Jeff Norton – Islanders
527 – Rob Robinson – Lightning
528 – Adam Foote – Nordiques

Sadly for me, the research I did on this didn’t add anything to my wantlists… but hopefully some of you will find this helpful

2021 TSR Daily: Wrapping Things Up

This morning I Tweeted the last of my 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily ).

I started Tweeting these on February 23rd and sharing them here on March 1st.  Back in 2020 with everything shut down, I created a couple of hundred customs as a way to keep me occupied and relaxed.  For 2021 I decided that if I was going to crank out that many I might as well make a small cohesive set and try to represent all of the teams.  I’m going to share the last batch of customs and then I’ll discuss how well I met my goals and what is coming next for me.

Alek Manoah was named the September/October AL Rookie of the Month, and for the season he was 9-2 with a 3.22 ERA, a 1.048 WHIP and 10.2 strikeouts per inning

One of the things I tried to do late in the game was make sure that I made a custom for anyone who might win an award or be a league leader in some major category (i.e. I didn’t sweat the Hit By Pitch leaders). I don’t think Manoah is going to be the AL Rookie of the Year, but I expect he’ll get some consideration.

Lucas Giolito has gotten Cy Young votes in the past and threw a no-hitter last year. This year he has 11 wins and 201 strikeouts.

During the month of August Shane McClanahan won each of his five starts. One other thing I found out, and I don’t know why this surprised me as much as it did, but he’s just the second McClanahan to appear in the Majors… the first was Pete McClanahan who played in 7 games for the 1931 Pirates.

Quick side note about Pete McClanahan: He’s a “reverse Moonlight Graham” in that he played in 7 games without ever taking the field. He pinch hit 6 times and pinch ran once. For his abbreviated career he went 2-for-4 with 2 walks and 2 runs scored. The 1931 Pirates were a mediocre team, it makes me wonder why a guy with a .667 on-base % didn’t get more of a shot… but there’s very little information about Pete out there.

Getting back on track…

Rookie starter Luis Garcia is one of four Astros starters with double-digit wins, and he averaged 9.7 Ks per 9 innings pitched.

The Braves’ Will Smith lead the NL with 60 games finished and he’s 3rd in the league with 37 saves.

Garrett Whitlock was selected from the Yankees farm system in last winter’s Rule V draft… and then he helped end the Yankees’ season by pitching the 9th inning of the Wild Card game. He lead Boston pitchers with a 1.96 ERA and a 1.105 WHIP.

Kenley Jansen’s 38 saves was second-best in the National League.


As I mentioned, my original objective is to have each of the 30 teams represented by 8 different players.  I had pretty decent success with that as 22 teams had at least 8 customs.  Eight teams had only 7 customs, but in some cases there wasn’t much I could do about it.  For example, after the Nationals traded off many of their players I tried going forward with a prospect they’d obtained in one of the deals, but ultimately decided that I wouldn’t feel good about anyone I’d select as the 8th Nat.

Early in the process I made sure I included anyone who won an award in 2020, assuming that they were still active and not out for the season.  Later on, I did the opposite, trying to make sure that I didn’t miss anybody who would go on to win an award this year, or lead the league in some category.

I had a lot of fun doing this, I learned a lot about different players along the way, and I plan to do something similar in 2022… but I don’t know that I would do this same exact thing.  It was fun, but it was also a lot of work.

In the meantime I have plans to do some other custom projects coming along.  You’ve seen my hockey customs.  I recently came up with a new design to use for a “Hot Stove” set that will probably kick off whenever the Cardinals, Padres or Mets hire a new manager… and I’ve got some other things in the works.


And here, for those who are curious, are the team checklists for my finished set. Feel free to give me grief about leaving any players out; I’m genuinely interested in your takes on that, but will also invite you to make your own equally-representative checklist and see how much of a challenge it is.

NL EAST

NL CENTRAL

NL WEST

AL EAST

AL CENTRAL

AL WEST

The 1970’s, A To Z: Don Mincher to George Mitterwald

Recap: I’m going through all of the notable and somewhat notable players and managers of the 1970’s and I’m basically making like it’s an all-encompassing 1970’s throwback baseball card set. For the “card front”, I’m sharing my favorite 1970’s card of that guy. I’m also including a card back’s worth of information and thoughts about him and his cardboard.


DON MINCHER

1970 Kellogg’s #75

Played 1960 – 1972
1970’s Teams: A’s, Senators, Rangers

1970’s Highlights:
Lead the 1970 A’s with 27 homers, 4 more than Reggie Jackson; started at 1st base in first ever Rangers game; His last Major League appearance came with the A’s in the 1972 World Series

Career Highlights:
Was an All-Star in 1967 and 1969; Was the Seattle Pilots first pick in the 1968 expansion draft and hit 25 homers for the team; Was the GM of the Huntsville Stars in the 1980s, became a team owner, and eventually became president of the Southern League up through his retirement in 2011

Fun Stuff:
Mincher was the only player to play for the original Senators, the “new” Senators and for he two teams that each team became after moving: The Twins and Senators; Hit a home run in his first World Series at-bat (1965)


MINNIE MIÑOSO

1977 Topps #262

Played 1946 – 1980
1970’s Teams: White Sox

1970’s Highlights:
On September 12, 1976 when he was 53 years old he got a hit, a single off of the Angels’ Sid Monge. At the time he was named the oldest player to hit safely but that was based on an incorrect birthdate (1922 instead of 1925)

Career Highlights:
Was a 7-time All-Star and a 3-time Gold Glove; Finished 2nd to Gil McDougald in 1951 AL Rookie of the Year voting even though he batted .326, scored 112 runs, drove in 76 and lead the league with 14 triples and 31 stolen bases; Lead the AL in hits in 1960, and led the league in stolen bases and triples multiple times during the Fifties; In 1956 he set a White Sox single season mark with 23 HBP and also holds the team’s career mark with 145 HBP

Card Stuff:
Before appearing in the 1977 Topps “Record Breakers” subset, his last major baseball card was in 1964 Topps


GREG MINTON

1978 Topps #312

Played 1975 – 1990
1970’s Teams: Giants

1970’s Highlights:
I’ll admit; Minton’s success came largely in the 1980s, but he’s included here mainly for his infamous 1978 card which used a colorized black and white photo; Prior to this card, he’d pitched in just 16 Major League games, only two of which were in 1977

Career Highlights:
In 1982 he was named an All-Star, got 30 saves and 10 wins with a 1.83 ERA and finished a distant 6th in NL Cy Young voting; Held a record (since broken) for most games pitched in a season without allowing a home run (68 games in 1980); Finished 2nd in the league in saves in 1981 and 1982, and 3rd in 1983

Fun Stuff:
A shortstop with a live arm in high school, he’d never pitched before being drafted by the Royals, who converted him during his first instructional league; Got a reputation as a flake for stunts like stealing the team bus


GEORGE MITTERWALD

1972 Topps #302

Played 1966 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Twins, Cubs

1970’s Highlights:
Starting catcher for the Twins in three seasons; In his 5th game with the Cubs (after a December 1973 trade) he went 4-for-4 with a walk, double, three home runs (one a grand slam) and 8 RBI… A Cubs catcher would not have 3 homers again until Dioner Navarro in 2013; Went 4-for-8 with 2 runs and 2 RBI against the Orioles in the 1970 ALCS; On 9/3/71 he hit a walk-off homer off of eventual Cy Young winner Vida Blue to give the Twins a 2-1 win over Oakland

Fun Stuff:
His nickname was “Baron von Mitterwald”

Card Stuff:
His first two card, both “Rookie Stars” cards, had to shorten his first name to “GEO.” to get his name to fit


1975 “MVP” Project: 1965 Topps Zoilo Versalles

I won’t get into the full explanation of this project, especially when I wrote about it last year, but the general idea is this:  I loved the 1975 “MVP subset when I was a kid, and I somewhat recently decided last year that even if getting all of the featured cards wasn’t realistic for me, that doesn’t mean I can’t get *some* of the cards.

Honestly, calling this a “project” is overselling it a bit, because not a huge priority…  Not so much a chase as it is a ‘side gig’.

In this post I’m going to feature one of my recent COMC acquisitions, a 1965 Topps card of AL MVP Zoilo Versalles.

Here’s the card from the 1975 subset…

Here’s the actual card…

As with other cards I’ve obtained so far, ‘1975 Me’ is still gaping at this, saying “WOW, AFTER ALL THIS TIME I’VE GOT THIS CARD!”

…And now I can see the back!  The cartoon is fairly uninteresting by 1965 standards.  You can also see from the pen mark and small amounts of scotch tape why I got this card cheap.  The front presents well, so this grades as a “Shlabotnik 10”.

So why was Zoilo Versalles the 1965 AL MVP?

The 1965 Twins won 102 games, finished 7 games ahead of the 2nd place White Sox but lost the World Series to the Dodgers in 7 games. Versalles lead the league in runs (126), doubles (45), triples (12), extra-base hits (76) and total bases (308).  In addition he hit for a .273 average with 77 RBI and 27 stolen bases.  He also lead AL shortstops with 105 double plays.

Versalles easily won the MVP voting with 19 first place votes and 275 points, with teammate Tony Oliva finishing second with 1 first place vote and 174 points.  In winning the award he became the first MVP in either league who was not born in the USA.

 

1992 – 1994 Topps Gold Cards Which Substituted For Checklists

Yesterday I featured this 1992 Topps Gold Terry McDaniel card which doesn’t have a corresponding card in regular 1992 Topps:

For the three years that Topps did the “Topps Gold” parallels – 1992 to 1994 – Topps replaced the base checklists with new players who didn’t appear in the base Topps set.

Since a lot of people aren’t aware of these cards and might want them for team/player collections = or to complete a Topps master set – I’ll share a list of these cards, plus a scan of the one other card I have which fits in this category.

1992 Topps Gold
131 – Terry Mathews – Rangers
264 – Rod Beck – Giants
366 – Tony Perezchica – Indians
527 – Terry McDaniel – Mets
658 – John Ramos – Yankees
787 – Brian Williams – Astros

UPDATE:
Nick Vossbrink (blog, Twitter) pointed out that there’s a similar card in 1992 Topps Traded Gold

132T – Kerry Woodson – Seattle Mariners

1993 Topps Gold
394 – Bernardo Brito – Twins
395 – Jim McNamara – Giants
396 – Rich Sauveur – Royals
823 – Keith Brown – Reds
824 – Russ McGinnis – Rangers
825 – Mike Walker – Mariners

1994 Topps Gold
395 – Bill Brennan – Cubs
396 – Jeff Bronkey – Rangers
791 – Mike Cook – Orioles
792 – Dan Pasqua – White Sox

For what it’s worth, Mike Cook pitched 2 games for the O’s in 1993 and pitched in Triple-A in 1994

Interesting Cards From 1992 Topps Gold and “NotGold”

In one of the more exciting moments of my hobby year, I received a package from COMC last week… the first package from them in 2 years, and an influx of cards in a year where there hasn’t been much of that for me.

Today I’m going to share a small batch of cards, starting off with some cards from the 1992 Topps Gold parallel set… but these are more than just parallels.

Before we get into my new acquisitions, let me refresh your memory on what 1992 Topps looks like…

1992 Topps Gold was – if I remember correctly – the first full set parallel cards ever issued in the same packs as the base cards.  There were two versions… the ones which came inserted into packs and also ones which were the rewards which were part of a scratchoff game.  The ones which came from the game were stamped “Winner” (there was some sort of shenanigans at the time where the scratchoff was easy to win because you could read the text under the scratch areas by holding them up to a bright light, so Topps made them different than the cards which came in packs)

Now I’ll tell you up front that I’m not a collector of parallels.  In my mind, “parallel” is essentially the same as “I’ve already got this card”.  There are a handful of parallels that I’ve liked, but those are often kept *instead* of the base cards.

So if I don’t like parallels, why did I buy this Topps Gold “Winner” card of the Mets’ Terry McDaniel?

Because this isn’t a parallel card.  You see, card #527 in the regular Topps set is Checklist #4. Topps doesn’t always know what collectors want, but I guess it was obvious enough that nobody would want a foil-stamped parallel of a checklist.

Since there were six checklists, there were six players who got cards which were unique to the Topps Gold set:
131 – Terry Mathews – Rangers
264 – Rod Beck – Giants
366 – Tony Perezchica – Indians
527 – Terry McDaniel – Mets
658 – John Ramos – Yankees
787 – Brian Williams – Astros

I’m not a big enough fan of the 1992 set to go seeking out the other five cards, but I’m happy to add McDaniel to my Mets collection.

On top of that non-parallel Topps Gold card, I got two other Topps Gold cards which have something else that sets them apart… For whatever reason, these Topps Gold cards don’t have any gold foil on them, and the results are pretty spectacular… Check it out.


That’s Terry Mulholland… I don’t have any reason for buying a card of Mulholland other than it was a Gold/Not Gold card and it was affordable.

The other card I got like this is for José Vizcaíno (who, at least, played for my Mets over two seasons):

I don’t know what else to say about these cards other than I’m very excited to add them to my collection. It’s interesting that the gold foil replaced the colored boxes of the base cards rather than getting stamped on top of them, but I would guess it was done that way so that if the foil is stamped just a bit out of place, it wouldn’t be as obviously wrong because you wouldn’t see the colored boxes peeking out from behind the foil.

This last card is almost totally unrelated, but I’m shoehorning it in to this post because it’s a 1992 “Gold” card of a different kind:

This is a 1992 Sterling Cards Country Music Association “Country Gold” card of Mary Chapin Carpenter… and I’ll be honest, this card was an impulse buy that I’d completely forgotten about until I opened my COMC box.  I’m not a huge, huge fan of MCC, but I do have a couple of albums and I’ve seen her in concert. I personally discovered her in the early 1990s at a time when I was commuting over an hour each way, got bored of my usual radio stations and started listening to stations I wouldn’t normally listen to. This was when MCC’s “Come On, Come On” was huge on Country radio, so I heard a bunch of her songs and liked them enough to buy the CD. A few years later she was playing at an outdoor concert series near where I lived, and the main thing I always remember – well, other than it being a good show and my having good seats near the stage – was how much smaller Mary Chapin Carpenter was than what I’d expected. I believe my exact words – out loud, but to myself – were “OMG, she’s TINY!”. Well, maybe “tiny” is a bit of hyperbole, but that’s what happens when your illusions are shattered.

OK, that’s enough of that. I’ve got much more coming from my COMC shipment, but seeing as how I’ve had trouble writing for this blog lately I’m going to try to keep the posts smaller and more frequent. We’ll see how that goes…

2021 TSR Daily: Coming Down The Home Stretch

Once again we rip into another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily ).  Going by my “240 custom set” plans, the last custom will be Tweeted (and posted here) next Sunday… after which I’ve got plans to do other custom things at a similar frequency.

Aaron Loup was the Mets’ secret weapon out of the bullpen this past season. Over 65 appearances he had a 6-0 record, a 0.95 ERA, a 0.935 WHIP and struck out 57 batters over 56.2 innings.

Two-time Gold Glove winner Matt Chapman holds a dubious team record after striking out 202 times this season… That’s right, he had more strikeouts for the Athletics than Jose Canseco, Reggie Jackson, Dave Kingman, Khris Davis and Jack Cust.

…But to his credit (?) he didn’t lead the league. Joey Gallo has that honor with 213, which would’ve been a Rangers or Yankees team record had he not split the season between those two teams.

Former MVP Andrew McCutchen was among the Phillies leaders in runs, RBI and home runs.  Plus he’s, y’know, Andrew McCutchen.

Jacob Stallings hit a two-out walk-off grand slam to beat the Mets on July 17th, and had a pretty good season otherwise.

After the Cubs cleared house at the trading deadline it cleared the way for Frank Schwindel, who proceeded to lead the Cubs in 2nd half batting, runs, on-base % and slugging %.  Not bad for a 29-year-old rookie in his fourth organization.

2nd Gen pitcher Cal Quantrill went 7-1 with a 1.94 ERA and 78 strikeouts over the 2nd half of the 2021 season.  His dad, Paul Quantrill, pitched for 7 teams from 1992 to 2005.

For the second season in a row, Tyler Rogers had the most appearances in the NL, plus he had 7 wins, 13 saves, a 2.22 ERA and a 1.074 WHIP.

Ryan Zimmerman, who has been the face of the Nationals for pretty much their whole time in DC, played what may have been his last home game at Nationals Park.  The fans gave him a well-deserved sendoff… and I’m giving him a Shlabotnik’s Picks custom.

Hockey Custom #1: Philipp Grubauer, signed by the Kraken to a six-year contract, will also be in goal for the German team when the 2022 Winter Games roll around.

Hockey Custom #2: I recently signed up for a free NHL fantasy team, and when looking at the top-ranked players the names were at least ones I’d heard… except for Leon Draisaitl. For whatever reason, he’d completely flown under my radar during the time I was ghosting the NHL (as I’ve decided to refer to the multi-year period of shunning that league).

Draisaitl, for those who don’t know, was the winner of multiple awards for the 2019-20 season: The Hart (MVP), the Ted Lindsay (Most Outstanding Player, known to old timers like me as the Pearson) and the Art Ross (Top Point Scorer… 43 goals, a league-leading 67 assists and 110 points).  Not sure why I missed him while being at least vaguely aware of guys like Connor McDavid, Nikita Kucherov and Auston Matthews, but hey, that’s the way it goes sometimes.

Oh, and Draisaitl will be a teammate of Grubauer’s when the Olympics come.


I’ll wrap this up in the way I’ve done several times lately, by including a music video that is recommended for my on the YouTube home page.  This time it’s “Bob”, one of my favorite ‘Weird Al’ songs that’s not a direct parody.  I love it because it works on several levels.

The 1970’s, A To Z: Dan Meyer to John Milner

Recap: I’m going through all of the notable and somewhat notable players and managers of the 1970’s and I’m basically making like it’s an all-encompassing 1970’s throwback baseball card set. For the “card front”, I’m sharing my favorite 1970’s card of that guy. I’m also including a card back’s worth of information and thoughts about him and his cardboard.


DAN MEYER

1978 Topps #57

Played 1974 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Tigers, Mariners

1970’s Highlights:
Was the Mariners’ starting first baseman for their first two seasons and stayed with the team longer than any other original Mariner; Got the first RBI in Mariner history during the team’s 3rd game, as the M’s had been shut out by Frank Tanana and Nolan Ryan in the first two games; Was the first Mariner to be named the AL Player of the Week (Aug, 7, 1977) and the first to be named Player of the Month (June 1979 after batting .369/.417/.730, 9 HR, 23 RBI over 28 games)

Card Stuff:
Shares a rookie card with Gary Carter and two others


GENE MICHAEL

1971 Topps #483

Played 1966 – 1975
1970’s Teams: Yankees, Tigers

1970’s Highlights:
A light-hitting defensive player, Michael was the Yankees’ starting shortstop from 1969 to 1973; Signed with the Red Sox for the 1976 season but never played another game in the Majors

Career Highlights:
Is best known as the manager and General Manager of the Yankees in the 1980s and 1990s, but also managed the Cubs in the late 1980s

Fun Stuff:
His nickname was “Stick”; Pitched 3 innings without giving up an earned run (although he gave up 5 unearned runs)

Card Stuff:
I associate Gene Michael so thoroughly with the Yankees that I’m forever weirded-out by this 1976 SSPC card which shows him with the Tigers


FÉLIX MILLÁN

1978 Topps #505

Played 1966 – 1977
1970’s Teams: Braves, Mets

1970’s Highlights:
Set a Mets team record with 185 hits in 1973 and broke his own record with 191 in 1975 (Lance Johnson would break that record with 227 in 1996); Holds a Braves team record by getting 6 hits in a 9-inning game on 7/6/70; Got the first hit at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium and then scored the first run when Hank Aaron followed up with the first Riverfront home run, 6/30/70; In a 25-inning game in 1974, the longest game of the 1970s by innings played, he tied a record for the most plate appearances in an extra-inning game (12) and went 4-for-10 with a run scored;  Played for Japan’s Yokohama Taiyo Whales from 1978 to 1980

Career Highlights:
A three-time All-Star and two-time Gold Glove winner; Considered a tough batter to strike out, Millán never whiffed more than 35 times in a season (and that was over 652 ABs)

Fun Stuff:
Was known for choking way up on his bats, something every kid in my neighborhood imitated while playing Wiffle Ball;  In a game in 1975 he singled in four straight at-bats and each time Joe Torre immediately grounded into a double play

Damning with faint praise:
The text on the back of his 1974 Kellogg’s card starts off “Felix’s 1973 output proves all Mets’ deals aren’t bad”. OUCH!

Card Stuff:
That’s Dave Parker sliding into 2nd on the featured card; Millán was included in the 1979 TCMA Japanese Baseball set


RICK MILLER

1976 SSPC #416

Played 1971 – 1985
1970’s Teams: Red Sox, Angels

1970’s Highlights:
A dependable fielder, he won a Gold Glove with the Angels in 1978; Had been the Red Sox starting center fielder in 1973, but would come to lose time to young prospects Fred Lynn and Jim Rice

Fun Stuff:
Married Janet Fisk, teammate Carlton Fisk’s sister


JOHN MILNER

1978 Topps #304

Played 1971 – 1982
1970’s Teams: Mets, Pirates

1970’s Highlights:
Got a vote for 1972 NL Rookie of the Year (teammate Jon Matlack was the winner) and was named the 1st baseman on the 1972 Topps All-Star Rookie team; Like Felix Millan in the same game (see above), he is tied for the record for most plate appearances in an extra inning game; Set a Mets record with 5 career Grand Slams (Mike Piazza holds the currrent record with 6);  Won a World Series with the 1979 Pirates

Career Highlights:
Has a .306 career World Series batting average (1973 and 1979)

Fun Stuff:
His nickname was “The Hammer”; His cousin Eddie Milner played for the Reds and Giants

Card Stuff:
He and Rick Miller share this rookie card

2021 TSR Daily: Still Alive

Again, I apologize for my extended absences here. It’s been a pretty crazy couple of weeks for me.

Here’s another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )

It’s a bit much for one post, but I’m going to go ahead and catch up to where I am on Twitter.

Back in August Dansby Swanson, 1st overall pick in 2015, set a Braves record for home runs as a shortstop. He currently sits at 27 homers.

The previous record for a Braves shortstop, as mentioned in my most recent “1970s: A-Z” post, was Denis Menke, who hit 20 home runs for the Milwaukee Braves in 1964.

Kyle Tucker falls in the league’s Top 10 for batting average, extra base hits, OPS and a bunch of sabermetric stats that I don’t completely understand. I’ll be keeping an eye on him in the postseason.

Yadier Molina is having a decent season and was an All-Star, but you also can’t leave Yadi out of a Cardinals team set.

In the second half of the season, nobody on the Red Sox has more runs, homers and RBI than Hunter Renfroe.

Former first round pick Tyler Stephenson is a rookie of the year candidate… or, at the very least, a Topps All-Star Rookie Team candidate.

Jeimer Candelario leads the Majors with 42 doubles.

Jake McGee has 31 saves, a 2.72 ERA and a WHIP of 0.905… and if you’re not familiar with him you may be surprised that he’s 34, in his 12th season and has a career WHIP of 1.126.

Yasmani Grandal leads the White Sox in On-Base % (.422) and Slugging % (.523). This post seems to be heavy on catchers, especially ones whose first name starts with “Y”.

Ty France is tied for the Major League lead for being hit by a pitch (26 times). He leads the Mariners with a .293 average and a .368 on-base %

Christian Yelich played himself in a 2019 episode of Magnum P.I.

Reliever Jonathan Loáisiga is an underhyped Yankee (the best kind). He has a 9-4 record, 5 saves, 2.21 ERA, 1.024 WHIP, 8.8 K’s/9 IP and 4.25 K’s/BB. In June he became the 3rd Yankee to struck out 4 batters in 1 inning… the first Red Sox batter he faced that inning, Michael Chavis, reached first because the third strike was a wild pitch which got away from the catcher.

Interestingly enough, the other times this happened to a Yankees pitcher were within the past 11 years: A.J. Burnett in 2011 and Phil Hughes in 2012.

A couple of hockey customs to get us caught up on those…

My latest Seattle Kraken custom takes advantage of the preseason games going on right now…


(Yes, that *is* an attempt to copy Zebra from “Pearls Before Swine”)

A couple of weeks ago the Arizona Coyotes announced that their original “Kachina” coyote logo would be returning to primary logo status. I was very happy to hear that as it’s easily the team’s best logo. The recent howling coyote logo & related uniforms were kind of boring… “Salesman samples” is how I always thought of them.

When I decided to make a Coyote’s custom, Phil Kessel was the only name on the team’s roster that this lapsed hockey fan recognized.

From Joe Jackson’s 2003 album “Volume 4” — a qualified “Best Joe Jackson album since the 1980s” because I’ve not heard the most recent three — here’s “Still Alive”:

2021 TSR Daily: I Love Making Customs And I Feel Fine

Here’s another virtual pack of 2021 TSR Daily custom cards (called “Daily” because I Tweet out a custom each day #2021TSRDaily )

Brandon Nimmo is a fan-favorite now, but back in 2011 he was the first-ever 1st round pick taken out of Wyoming. The Mets are now officially a disappointment now that they’ve been eliminated and have clinched a non-winning record. We’ll see how much the team gets blown up during the off-season.

While it’s fresh on my mind, I learned something about “Elimination numbers” yesterday. Going into Saturday, the Mets’ Elimination # sat at 2… however, after the Phillies beat the Pirates in the afternoon, the word got around that the Mets were eliminated. Whut?

Well, the Elimination # is based on the team in question and the first-place team, which is the Braves… And yes, if the Mets had won the rest of their games and the Braves had lost theirs, the Mets would’ve jumped over Atlanta… but in losing the remainder of their games, the Braves would lose 3 to the second-place Phillies and put Philadelphia in first. What it boiled down to was that once the Phillies won yesterday, there was no longer a path to the division title, and they were toast. As it turned out, last evening the Mets lost and the Braves won, so it’s all moot.

Frankie Montas leads the A’s with 13 wins, 181.0 IP and an even 200 strikeouts.

Avisaíl García leads the Brew Crew with 119 hits, 29 homers and 85 RBI, plus he has a .314 career batting average in the postseason.

Shohei Ohtani leads the Angels in [takes a deep breath] Runs, triples, homers, RBI, stolen bases, walks, on-base %, slugging %, wins, winning %, innings pitched and strikeouts.

Here’s a shorter list of the traditional stats where Ohtani does NOT lead the Angels…

Batting:
Hits – David Fletcher – 160
Doubles – Jared Walsh – 31
Batting Average – Jared Walsh – .272

Pitching:
ERA – Raisel Iglesias – 2.69 (although Ohtani has the best among starting pitchers)
Complete Games – José Suarez – 1
Saves (of course) – Raisel Iglesias – 33

Reliever-turned-starter Ranger Suárez has maintained a 1.45 ERA over 38 appearances and 99.0 innings pitched. He also strikes out 0.99 batters per inning pitched.

Robbie Ray, emerging as a Cy Young candidate, leads the league with 244 strikeouts, a 2.68 ERA and 188.0 innings pitched. In the second half of the season he’s 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA and he was named the August AL Pitcher of the Month with the following stats: 41.0 IP, 52 Ks, 8 BBs, 1.76 ERA, 0.854 WHIP

If Jan Brady were a Dodgers pitcher, she’d say “Kershaw, Kershaw, Kershaw!”

…Or “Scherzer, Scherzer, Scherzer!” or “Buehler, Buehler, Buehler!”

Right now, Julio Urías is the Dodger’s overlooked Jan Brady. My point being that you’d hardly know that Julio Urías leads MLB with 18 wins and also leads with a .857 winning percentage (he’s got just 3 losses against those 18 wins)

All-Star Joey Wendle leads the Rays with a .274 average and he’s top 3 on the team in hits, doubles and triples. He was originally drafted by Cleveland and made his MLB debut with Oakland.

Over 15 postseason games Tommy Pham has a .352 batting average with 5 runs, 6 RBI and 4 stolen bases.

Jorge Polanco and his 31 homers, 91 runs scored and 90 RBI would be getting more attention if he were on a playoff-bound team and/or in a major market.

Here are the inserts for this “pack”…

The Orioles’ Cedric Mullins hit his 30th home run Friday night; he already has 30 stolen bases and he is now the first player in Orioles history to go 30/30 in a season.

Kind of hard to believe that nobody had done it before, but it’s true. Among those who have come reasonably close were Brady Anderson, Jonathan Villar, Don Baylor and – believe it or not – Reggie Jackson who hit 27 homers and stole 28 bases in 1976, his one season in Baltimore.

See the fun, useless info you learn from me?

I’m still catching up on my “transactions” cards; Joey Gallo was undoubtedly excited to go from the last-place Rangers to the contending Yankees, but who knows if he was prepared for the roller coaster that has been the Yankees this season.

And that’s the pack. If you’re disappointed that you didn’t get a 1/1 or an autograph, you clearly didn’t look at the odds stated on the wrapper.