Ya Get Whatcha Get: Triple Play Chicken And Other Delicacies

A couple of months ago I did a post about the three “Famous Chicken” cards I picked up on COMC. Shortly afterwards, I rediscovered another Chicken card that was already in my collection.
1992 Donruss Triple Play Famous Chicken
This card is from the 1992 Donruss Triple Play set, and I don’t really have much to say about it…

…So let’s move two years later to 1994. That year, O-Pee-Chee was in their second (and final) year of producing a flagship baseball sets that wasn’t just Topps cards with French on the back. Not long ago, I picked up a Cal from the set.
1994 O-Pee-Chee Cal Ripken
…und hier ist der back… (Don’t ask me why I suddenly slipped into pidgin German).
1994 O-Pee-Chee Cal Ripken back
These really are very nice cards, and have been the subject of some internal debate. “I should get more of this set!” is followed by “Oh, yeah, because we don’t have enough cards from 1994…”

I’m going to say something that may seem heretical to some Mets fans, and I don’t want anybody to think I don’t appreciate everything David Wright has done for the Mets and everything he brings to the team…
2011 Heritage David Wright
…but with the emergence of young Mets pitchers like Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom, I am beyond happy that there are more and more inserts that feature Mets other than David Wright.

And finally I’m going to finish up with a career retrospective on Sonny Siebert that I will be sort of “live blogging”… writing it as I’m researching it. The main impetus behind this is my buying this cheap 1972 Kellogg’s card and then wondering “What did Sonny do to warrant a Kellogg’s card?” Prior to finding this card, Sonny Siebert was (to me) just another guy in the 1974 and 1975 sets.
1972 Kelloggs Sonny Siebert
OK, well the first thing I found out about Sonny Siebert’s 1971 season was that he as an All-Star, which goes a long way to explain this Kellogg’s card. He went 16-10, 2.19 that season. He was also an All-Star in 1966, while with the Indians.

He shares his 1964 rookie card with fringe-y Indians pitcher Tom Kelley, who should not be confused with Tom Kelly who managed the Twins for 16 years.

His 1965 card says that he was originally an outfielder, but switched to pitching in the minors. On May 10, 1964, he pitched 6 innings of mop-up relief during a Yankees blowout in the first game of a double-header, and he struck out 11 Yankees, including Jim Bouton, Mickey Mantle, Elston Howard and Clete Boyer. All four of those notable Yankees struck out twice against Sonny.

Moving along, his 1966 card says he was among the 1965 A.L. leaders in wins, K’s and ERA. Oh, look! There’s his picture on some 1966 League Leader cards. The photo used on his 1966 League Leader card was used on his 1967 base card.

Let’s see… he no-hit the Senators on 5/10/1966… He’s on a 1968 Topps ERA Leaders card… Traded to the Red Sox in April of 1969… Oh, he was also on a 1971 Kellogg’s card…

On June 19, 1970, Sonny Siebert was no-hitting the Yankees after 8 innings and had a 7-0 lead. Horace Clarke lead off the 9th with a single, which was followed by a double, a two-run single and a two-run homer… at which point Sparky Lyle came in for the save.

Sonny likes to go bowling! …That’s according to his 1973 and 1974 cards. He was traded to the Rangers early in 1973, but never appeared on a card in a Rangers uniform – A call to action for one of you “Cards That Never Were” guys (and if you’ve already done one, please leave the URL in the comments).

His real name is Wilfred… He was traded to the Cardinals after the 1973 season, traded to the Padres after the 1974 season (a fact noted on the back of his 1975 card), made six starts for San Diego before being traded to the A’s in May, 1975. He ended his career after 17 appearances with Oakland. 1975 Topps was his last baseball card, so he never appeared on cardboard with the Padres or A’s, either. Two more opportunities for custom card makers.

To wrap things up, baseball-reference.com says that Sonny is the last A.L. pitcher to hit two homers in the same game (9/2/71 against Baltimore).

OK, well sorry about the rambling but as the subject line says, “Ya get whatcha get”.

Because That’s The Way These Things Go

I’ve had 5 packs of 2013 Topps Series 2 sitting around for a couple of weeks, and last night I got around to opening them… Well, actually my wife opened them. Mrs. Shlabotnik doesn’t collect, but she loves baseball and she enjoys opening packs and looking through the cards, especially when there’s a chance of pulling Brian Roberts, her favorite player.

So, did she pull any Brians? Nope.

Did she, in 5 packs, pull anybody at all from her favorite team, the Orioles? Nope.

But she did pull three inserts from my team!

2013 Topps Making Their Mark Ike Davis

2013 Topps Chasing History David Wright

2013 Topps Cut To The Chase Tom Seaver

A pretty good haul for 5 packs. Maybe the powers that be were making it up to me for the fact that, as we were opening these packs, the Mets were being no-hit through 6 innings and would eventually lose a 1-hitter by the score of 9-0. Oh, and they were mathematically eliminated from the NL East division title.

…and although he didn’t participate in the Nationals’ drubbing of the Mets, I also got this Steve Lombardozzi card which got me cautiously excited…
2013 Topps Green Sparkly Steve Lombardozzi
I wasn’t sure if a celebration card like this always meant short printed variation… And a sparkly green short print variation? Maybe I could get a couple of bucks for it on COMC?

Ah, but it’s not a variation, it’s just the regular Lombo card’s green parallel. It’s still going to COMC, I just won’t be financing any 1972 high-numbers with it.

The MASN reporter with the microphone is Kristina Akra, who’s now with the MLB Network.  If you do an Image Google on “Kristina Akra Lombardozzi” you can see a picture or two of this incident.  The Gatorade shower came on 4/16/12 after Lombardozzi went 4 for 5 with a double and 2 RBI in saving a 6-3 win for Stephen Strasburg.

…and no, it wasn’t another Nats win over the Mets, although that would’ve been fitting.

One of you Nats fans or Kristina Akra fans out there should get this card autographed by Kristina… it seems like it’d be a fun addition to one’s collection.

My Reward For Being A Courteous Holiday Shopper

I went out on the Saturday before Christmas and braved the area of concentrated retail surrounding the local Open-Air Upscale Shopping Experience (once referred to as a “mall”).  My next-to-last stop was at Target, so I decided to reward myself for meeting the pre-Xmas frenzy with a smile.  I walked into the card aisle, and the first Fairfield repack I saw hanging there had this on the front:
2008 Topps Back To School David Wright
David Wright & Mr. Met said “Psst, Joe!  You can’t NOT buy this repack!”

I’d assumed it was a card from a Topps Mets team set, but when I got home and opened the pack, it was numbered TB5.  What the…?

I did a little Googling and found that it’s from an 8-card 2008 “Back To School” set. You can read about these cards via some 4-year-old posts from JayBee (he of the Blogroll and Topps Baseball Card Blog) and Paul (he of the Random Baseball Stuff).

Should you not feel like linking, the gist of it is that Target (and perhaps other stores) sold a “Back To School” bundle which included 2 packs of series 1, 2 packs of series 2 and two cards from a special 8-card set (numbered TB1 – TB8).  If I saw those “Back To School” packages in my local Target in 2008, I probably only saw ones which had Chipper and A-Rod in them.

The repack also contained this lovely 1984 Donruss Ron Cey.
1984 Donruss Ron Cey
It’s funny how I largely ignored this set in 1984, bought maybe one or two packs and said the Eighties equivalent of “meh”;  yet I now like the set, I value it for it’s relative scarcity, and I hang on to any cards that come my way.

1986 Topps Glossy All Star StrawberryFinally, I got this Darryl Strawberry All-Star Glossy which has somehow eluded my grasp for all these years. The 4 Fairfield repacks I’ve bought over the past month or two have contained so many All-Star and Rookie Glossies from the 1980’s that I’m going to have to make those the next sets that I inventory, just to see how many of these I really, really need.

Since I didn’t wish everybody a Merry Christmas – Hey, I was busy! – I’ll wish everybody a happy Boxing Day.  I hope that, whether for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or whichever December holiday you observe, you all got some cool stuff.

My Mets wall calendar is making me nervous

I’ve got a Mets wall calendar at work, and it seems like a bad omen when a player has appeared on the calendar;  either the player’s gone or is about to be gone through injury, trade or otherwise.  Here’s what happened to each player pictured on the calendar:

January:  Daniel Murphy – No problems here, other than there being rumors this week about him being traded.

February:  Ike Davis – missed the season with an injury

March:  Luis Castillo – A pariah when March started, unemployed when March ended.

April:  John Maine – had become a free agent over the offseason, didn’t pitch in the majors in 2011.

May: Jose Reyes – I don’t need to tell you what the story is here.

June:  Johan Santana – missed the season with an injury

July:  Jeff Francouer – had been traded during the 2010 season

August:  Francisco Rodriguez – had been traded at the All-Star break

September:  Carlos Beltran – had been traded to the Giants at the end of July

October:  Jason Bay – Still around but coming off a disappointing season

November:  Mike Pelfrey – Ditto

Now David Wright is on my calendar and I can’t help but wonder… is this an omen of something bad to come?  Will he get traded at the Winter Meetings?  Will he be walking down a Manhattan sidewalk and have a grand piano dropped on his head?

With any luck, only thing that’s headed out the door is the black hat and socks which David’s wearing.