Hostess Card Of The Week: 1979 Bruce Bochte

1979 Hostess Bruce BochteWhen it came time to pick a card for this post, a voice in my head said “Seattle Mariner”. I always listen too the voices in my head, so I selected this lovely, very blue, Bruce Bochte.

Bruce Bochte played for the Angels, Indians, Mariners and A’s, but he’s probably best known for his time in Seattle. He retired after the 1982 season, but came back in 1984 and played another three seasons in Oakland.

Bruce was the first Mariner to get a hit in an All-Star game, and it happened in 1979 when Seattle hosted the game in the Kingdome. 1979 was his career year, as he bated .318 and drove in 100 runs. His 100 RBI’s were a club record at the time, but is now tied for 35th best in Mariner history.

His On-base percentage with the Mariners ranks 8th all-time, and is better than Ichiro! (.370 vs. .366)

Pointless, but sorta interesting: After the 1982 season, Bochte was the all-time Mariners leader in Hits, RBI and Total Bases. Currently, he’s 15th in each of those categories.

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Once again, I’m way overdue for Weigh-In #44.

Since 11/11/12…

Net change in the collection: -283  (99 added, 0 purged)

Net change to the # of cards in the house: -9,368  (343 cards came in, 85 were recycled)

Total # of cards which have left the house: 13,622

Number of cards tracked in my Access database: 4,740 (2,842 entered in)

A Few Random Customs I Figured I’d Share

No real reason behind posting any of these, other than I felt like it.

I like the way this card turned out, and I’ve liked Rodrigo Lopez since he was an Oriole, but the Cubs unfortunately designated him for assignment back in April before I could post the image.  At this point in the season, it just doesn’t matter.

I’ve been keeping an eye out for photos involving throwback uniforms which would not be anachronistic on a 1974 Topps card, and here’s another one; like the Josh Hamilton card I’d featured a little while ago, this is from a Rangers 40th anniversary throwback game.

And finally… A week or two ago, I featured one of my custom cards in a cello wrapper. I got some comments asking what the card looks like without the “wrapper”, so here you go:

National Show & Tell: Haute Coture

Aside from being a collector, I’m also a uni-nerd… I’m fascinated by sports uniforms, and I love to see the authentic examples on display at the National.  I featured a 1967 Tom Seaver uniform on Monday, and thought I’d share a few more examples (Auction house listed in parentheses).

1973 Padres Road Jersey (Mears)  I put this one first because it’s the most eye-catching of the bunch – not necessarily a good thing.

St. Louis Brown’s uniform (I think this might be Heritage Auctions, but I’m not 100% sure.).

Ichiro & Sadaharu Oh jerseys  (Heritage Auctions).  The Ichiro jersey is from Jackie Robinson night in 2009, and he was wearing it when he tied Isao Harimoto for the Japanese career hits record.

1972 Cubs road jersey (Mears)

1938 Babe Ruth Jersey, from his season as a coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers (Memory Lane Auctions)

Pack Animal: 2012 Topps Stickers

Since there have only been a handful of sticker posts across the Blogosphere, I figured I’d share the highlights of the two packs I bought.

It occurred to me that these cards are sort of the 21st Century equivalent to the Bazooka cards of the 1960’s:  Aimed at kids, smaller than standard, no real information on the back, colorful-but-minimal design.  (Now that I look back at what I just wrote, it’s a bit stupid – in the 1960’s, every card set was aimed at kids).

I didn’t get any Mets, but I did get an Oriole and a Pirate (my “Emergency Backup Team”), plus Mariner Moose and a player I like.  For me the mascots are among the best parts of the Sticker and Opening Day sets, although I’m not entirely sure why that is, I’m not particularly fond of mascots. I guess it’s just because it’s something different and fun.

 

 

 

 

2012 TSR Custom: Mariners and A’s Open Season In Japan

I think it’s great that MLB teams go to Japan for games, especially when one of those teams is the unofficial MLB team of Japan (thanks to some guy named Suzuki), but I’m not entrhralled with the idea of making the games count in the standings… I don’t disagree to the point of leaving angry rants in the comments section of a Yahoo article (even better if it’s an article about The Hunger Games or Khloe Kardashian), but I don’t see why they feel that having the games count adds something for the Japanese fans.  Look at it from the other side… If the Yomiuri Giants played the Hanshin Tigers in your local ballpark (or, perhaps a better analogy would be Manchester United playing Arsenal), would the fact that the games count in their standings matter to you?  I mean, you’re either going to go or you’re not going to go, regardless of whether the games count.

I guess if the Mariners and A’s are OK with it, then who am I to kvetch?  It’s just something (along with the DH) which will get eliminated when I get named Commissioner of Baseball.

What do you think?  Are you OK with the season starting overseas?

2012 “Emergency Backup Team”, Candidate #3: Seattle Mariners

As I’ve  mentioned before, I’m looking into the possibility of following a third team (along with the Mets & Orioles) this season.   To briefly recap:

I’m not jumping ship.  The Mets and Orioles will remain my favorite teams.

Pros for a team include:   Underdog status, up-and-coming players, dedicated fan base, fun to watch, competitive (although not necessarily a contender).

Cons for a team include:  Players signed to ridiculously huge sums of money, drama and/or scandals, overhyped prospects, being in the AL East or NL East, having a name like “Yankees” or “Marlins”.

I’m still taking nominations;  leave a comment, send me an email, make your own blog posting to tell me why your team should be my EBT.

And now, on to the Mariners (Last year:  67-95, 4th place in AL West)

For some reason, I find myself drawn to Seattle teams to some degree… Maybe it’s just residue from my Seattle Pilots obsession, maybe Seattle  just seems like a nice place to me, although the key word in that sentence is “seems”, because I’ve never actually been there.  I don’t drink coffee, I don’t like Nirvana or Pearl Jam, but whatever the reason, Seattle just seems like a nice place to live.

One other factor that helps the Mariners is their Japanese connection.  I’ve been interested in Japanese baseball since the 1970’s, when I caught some games on a metro New York City TV station which carried international broadcasting.  Couldn’t understand the broadcasters, but I could follow the game and I recognized some of the “gaijin” playing there at the time.  Whether it’s because of Ichiro, the Nintendo ownership or the steady procession of Japanese players through the Mariners 40-man over the years, the M’s seem to have become the unofficial MLB team of Japan.

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Running down the lists…

Favored Players on 40-man:  George Sherrill, Jason Vargas, Chone Figgins, Jesus Montero (Just because he’s a prospect traded away by the Yankees)

Favored non-roster players:  Aaron Heilman, Kevin Millwood, Darren Ford

Players featured in USA Today Sports Weekly’s “100 Players to watch”:  Jesus Montero,  Kyle Seager, Alex Liddi, Hisashi Iwakuma, Trayvon Robinson, Danny Hultzen

Players under 5’10” (I have a soft spot for guys my height):   Chone Figgins, Luis Rodriguez (NR), Darren Ford (NR)

Japanese Players:  Ichiro, Hisashi Iwakuma

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So what do you say, Mariners fans?  Should your team be my EBT?