Kelloggs Cards

Kelloggs Cards

Saturday, April 30, 2016

One of the Best 0-for-4 Efforts Ever

I tend to write about Lou Gehrig whenever possible.  It's easy to admire his strength and determination as he fought ALS.  On this day in 1939 Gehrig went 0-for-4.  Why is that memorable?  Gehrig played his last baseball game.  



Everyone knows about Gehrig's streak of 2,130 games a record that stood until Ripken surpassed it over 50 years later.  What isn't well known is that Gehrig only played 34 other games outside of that streak.  The streak was his whole career.  He was still only 35 when he retired.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Kellogg's Cereal Box Dream #23 - Mr. Clean

Garvey was a great story in 1974 being a write-in all-star and the NL MVP.   Only he and Rico Carty got into the all-star game as a write-in.  He was a 10-time all-star and he had 2,599 career hits and a career average of  .294.  

He won four Gold Gloves and in nine seasons he earned MVP votes.   




1975 Kellogg's Steve Garvey #17


1975 Rating                    -- 8  comment -- The reigning MVP and I don't despise him yet.

2016 Rating                    -- 5  comment --   Not the Hall of Fame career that was expected.  


In 1993 Garvey appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.  He got over 41% of the votes.  Unlike many players who have support grow each year on the ballot, Garvey's highest percentage in 15 years was 42%.

Of course I don't like Garvey because of his 1984 NLCS against the Cubs.  Not that I'm bitter, but does anyone remember that the Cubs were supposed to have three home games but since they didn't have lights the league gave three home games to San Diego?



Thursday, April 28, 2016

Kellogg's Cereal Box Dream #24 - I Don't Remember Much About Him

In 1970 if I pulled this card out of a cereal box it would have been one of the few cards that I would have said "who is this guy?"  Short only appeared in two games in 1969 when I finally started to figure out the game and its star players.

Short injured his back early in the 1969 season and proceeded to have surgery that ended his season.  Even though he had a solid career in the 1960s, he had a losing record in his four years after back surgery.  It makes sense that I don't remember much about him. 



1970 Kellogg's Chris Short #41


1970 Rating                    -- 3 comment -- I'm not sure who he is.

2016 Rating                    -- 5  comment --  I love the uniform colors that stand out on clear 1970
                                                                      Kellogg's cards.  

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Here's A First For No-HItter Junkies and Kellogg's Cards

Jim Busby threw a no-hitter on this day in 1973.  He got Kellogg's cards in 1975 and 1976.  That matches his two no-hitters.

The question for everyone today is this - in Busby's 1973 no-hitter what happened for the first time in a no-hitter?

In the no-hitter he defeated Jim Perry and the Tigers.  Bill Freehan was the only other Tiger in the game to appear on a Kellogg's card.


His Royal teammates in the game who had Kellogg's card appearances were Freddie Patek, Amos Otis, John Mayberry, Lou Piniella and Cookie Rojas.



Otis homered in the 3-0 win.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

There are Some Crazy Baseball Rules - See Old HR Rules

Lou Gehrig hit 46 homers and had 184 RBIs in 1931.  On this day he hit one out of the park and it quickly bounced back to a fielder who caught it.  The baserunner thought that the ball was caught so he headed to the dugout.  Gehrig was called out for passing the baserunner. 



Gehrig tied for the AL HR lead with Ruth.  This cost him his own title.  His 148 RBIs is the AL record.  There would have been two more.  Let's check out the box score.

Gehrig is listed as being 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI.  In the first inning there was a walk before Gehrig's "homer".  Not mentioned in the story on nationalpastime.com - there was no second base umpire that could have helped with this call in centerfield.  



Monday, April 25, 2016

How Did I Miss This Last Year on This Day?

Last year on this date I talked about players who appeared on Kellogg's cards for three or more teams - Players Appearing on Kellogg's Baseball Cards for Three Different Teams - or Five?  Rick Monday was one of the players mentioned in the article.  His cards shown below were also shown.

What did I miss about the Rick Monday post from a year ago today?  It was on this day in 1976 that Rick Monday pulled an American flag away from two guys who ran onto the field at Dodger Stadium in an attempt to burn the flag.  Check out the video which can easily be found online - try nationalpastime.com.


Most of the 1971 and 1974 cards of Monday that I see are not in great condition.  Those first nine cards in 1974 consistently are cracked.

Monday also got three hits in the game raising his average to .365.  Bill Madlock also added three hits as the Dodgers won in 10 innings.  Steve Stone was the starting pitcher for the Cubs.

Lately, I've been busy with the high school seasons for me as a coach and as a parent - I don't coach my kids either.  Once that winds down in a few weeks I look forward to getting into more detail about some Kellogg's card backs.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

I'm Going to Just Play the First Inning Today

Busy, hectic day.  I'm going to just dream about getting a few of these sheets and move on to tomorrow.




Saturday, April 23, 2016

Kellogg's Baseball Cards From Japan - Someone Already Did My Homework

The site linked to below has a good starting point for research on the Kellogg's baseball cards produced in Japan.

thiscardiscool.blogspot.com/ -- Japanese Kelloggs Cards

I haven't been able to buy any in bulk to make sets.  At the National last year there was one collector who specialized in vintage Japanese issues but he didn't know anything about these cards.

The site linked above mentions the years 2007 - 2010 and a total of 32 cards.  Now that I've got nine I will start working on the remainder of the cards.

Are there only six in the 2009 and 2010 sets?

Friday, April 22, 2016

Luis Aparicio Had a Few Interesting Walks

Luis Aparicio played 2,599 games in his career with the White Sox, Orioles and Red Sox.  He had 736 career walks, or 1 per every 3.5 games.



On this day in 1959 he walked twice in one inning.  That's not a big deal until you hear about what else happened in that inning.  Here is the breakdown:

Boone reaches on error
Smith reaches on error
Callison singles; error scores both runners, Callison to third
Aparicio walks and steals second
Shaw walks
Torgeson walks scoing Callison
Fox walks scoring Aparicio
Landis hits into a fielder's choice; Shaw is out at home --- 1 out
Lollar walks scoring Torgeson
Boone walks scoring Fox
Smith walks scoring Landis
Callison hit-by-pitch scoring Lollar (Skizas pinch runs for Callison)
Aparicio walks scoring Boone
Shaw strikes out -- 2 outs
Phillips (PH for Torgeson) walks scoring Smith
Fox walks scoring Skizas
Landis grounds out --- 3 outs

In the inning there were 17 batters.  11 runs scored and three runners were left on base.  There was only one hit.  Add a HBP and 10 walks to the crazy box score.  Jim Landis made two of the three outs.

Nellie Fox also walked twice.  He had almost the exact same walks to game ratio as Aparicio.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

It Would Have Been A Great Birthday Present - If Only....

Fifty years ago today the Cubs acquired Fergie Jenkins from the Phillies.  My brother also turned one on that day.  That would have been a cool present except that my brother is a big fan of the White Sox.



As a kid it was painful to hear about my favorite Cubs being traded.  The next bad step was seeing their card with them wearing another uniform.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Busy Day But I Can At Least Mention Roberto Clemente's Kellogg's Cards Again

Whenever I see nice Clemente Kellogg's cards on ebay they go for a price that is way beyond what I'm willing to pay.  So, some of my sets have Clemente's missing.



On this day in 1973 Roberto Clemente was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.  After his death a few months earlier, the committee decided to skip the normal five-year timeline for induction. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

More Sparky Lyle and Kellogg's Cards

I added nine new cards to my Kellogg's baseball card collection today.  It's been a busy day with work, coaching and school musical performances, so details will need to wait until morning.

Until then, here is something from 4-19-1972.  According to nationalpasttime.com Sparky Lyle was the first relief pitcher to enter a game with his own song.  Yankee Stadium played Pomp and Circumstance on this day in 1972 when Lyle was called into the game.  Lyle didn't like the pressure that the song put on him as a closer so he asked them to stop.



Other good reading from April 19th - check out the story about the baserunner who stole second base and later got caught stealing second base in the same inning.  You can even check the box score!






Monday, April 18, 2016

What Did Steve Blass and Steve Sax Have in Common?

Steve Blass turns 74 today.  He played 10 seasons, all for the Pirates, from 1964 to 1974.  He didn't get to the majors for any games in 1965.

In 1972 Blass was 19-8 with a 2.49 ERA.  He was runner-up to Steve Carlton (27-10, 1.97 on a horrible team) in the Cy Young voting.  Blass also made his only All-Star Game appearance in 1972.



He found himself on a Kellogg's card in 1972 and 1973.  I've had a tough time finding his Kellogg's cards in decent condition.

On April 17th 1974 he played in his last game a day before turning 32.  He pitched five innings in relief and gave up eight runs.  He surrendered back-to-back homers to Bill Madlock and George Mitterwald.

He was the winning pitcher in game seven of the 1971 World Series while also recording another win in the Series.

Why was Blass out of baseball at a young age?  I heard plenty about Steve Sax "disease", a condition named after Sax when he no longer could throw the ball to first base from his position at second base.  I had never heard of Steve Blass "disease".

Blass got the "disease" named after him because he suddenly lost control on the mound in 1973.  He walked almost a batter per inning and had an ERA of 9,85 in over 88 innings (18 starts and 5 relief appearances).



 

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mike Schmidt Was Amazing At Wrigley Field and I Suffered at Home Watching It

On this day in 1976 The Cubs play like, well the Cubs.  In a game that the Cubs lead 13-2 they end up losing to the Phillies 18-16 in ten innings.



I remember watching the game and keeping score on one of those large, green binders that coaches used.  Sure enough, the game was on a Saturday so my memory is correct.

I remember Schmidt hitting the homers in his last four at-bats and him not homering until the sixth inning.  I was off by one as he homered in the 5th, 7th, 8th and 10th innings.  He was 5-for-6 with four runs scored and eight RBIs.

Things I didn't know/remember about the game.

1.  Jim Lonborg got his fourth and last career save to go with 157 wins.

2.  Jay Johnstone had four hits for the Phillies.

3.  Steve Carlton gave up seven runs and seven hits while only getting five Cubs out as the Phillies' starter.  He gave up homers to two of my favorite Cubs - Steve Swisher and Rick Monday.

4.  Rick Reuschel also gave up seven runs, but he pitched seven innings.  His brother Paul also pitched poorly for the Cubs giving up two runs without getting an out.

5.  Schmidt homered off of both Reuschel brothers in this game.  Has that ever happened before or since?  More research on baseball brothers in the future.

6.  I knew that Schmidt hit lots of homers against the Cubs and here are the facts.  He hit 78 against the Cubs and his next highest number against other teams was 62 (Mets).  On the road he hit 50 homers at Wrigley and no more than 28 at any other park.

 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

It's Almost Always Best to Finish What You Start

On this day in 1975 Juan Marichal played in his last game.  It was his second and last start for the Dodgers.  He only pitched six innings and ended up with one loss.




Marichal won 243 games on his way to the Hall of Fame.   By today's standards his 244 complete games are amazing since that's one more than his career wins.  

In earlier years, complete games were the norm.  Six pitchers had over 200 more complete games in their career than they had wins.  These players included Pud Galvin and Cy Young.  Galvin had 646 complete games to go along with 364 wins.

In modern times, only Bob Feller, Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson and Robin Roberts  have had more career wins than Marichal and more complete games than wins.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, modern players don't have many compete games at all.  There are seven pitchers who have at least 200 more wins than complete games.

1.  Tom Glavine with 305 wins and 56 complete games - difference 249.
2.  Greg Maddux 355 W, 109 CG - difference 246.
3.  Jamie Moyer 269 W, 33 CG - difference 236.
4.  Roger Clemens 354 W, 118 CG - difference 236.
5.  Andy Pettitte 256 W, 26 CG - difference 230.
6.  Mike Mussina 270 W, 57 CG - difference 213.
7.  Randy Johnson 303 W, 100 CG - difference 203.


Can you name the player with the most wins (99) without having a complete game?  

Can you name the player with the most career starts (167) without a complete game?




No, Babe Ruth isn't the answer.  He completed 107 of his 147 starts - not too bad.

Sparky Lyle won 99 games without pitching a complete game.  Not a fair question since he never even started a game in the majors.



Tony Armas started 167 games without completing one.  His dad was Tony Armas, but baseball-reference.com doesn't list the younger Armas as Jr.  




Friday, April 15, 2016

Reggie Jackson DId A Lot of Things But I Hadn't Heard This One

Reggie Jackson was certainly one to seek the limelight, but today's anniversary is quite unique.  Nationalpastime.com reports that on this day in 1972 Reggie Jackson became the first player in 58 years to wear a mustache in major league baseball.



Here is his 1973 Kellogg's card with the mustache.  Lots more fun ahead when I get a few new cards in the mail that I purchased recently.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

What Does Someone Get Pete Rose For His Diamond Birthday?

Happy 75th birthday to Pete Rose.  Can he get access to diamonds for his diamond birthday?



I knew that Rose always wore #14, but I didn't know that day was his birthday.

What should he get for his birthday?  We all know what he wants.

1.  A new nickname?

2.  An assistant who can help him prepare for TV announcing gigs?

3.  a lifetime pass to SportsClips?

Happy birthday to the guy I hated to see play against the Cubs.  Why?  He was always the guy who wanted to win more than anyone else on the field.



Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Remembering Mark Fidrych

On this day in 2006 Mark Fidrych passed away at the age of 54.  Other than remembering the World Series and All-Star games, Fidrych was the biggest news in baseball in the late 1970s.


He had 24 complete games in 29 starts as a rookie.  Some of those games went as many as 11 innings.  He was Rookie of the Year, Cy Young runner-up and he finished 11th in the MVP voting.  He led the league in ERA with his 2.34.


We heard all about him even in the days before cable television.  He talked to the baseball before throwing it.  Getting his cards was certainly exciting during his short career.

He was a big draw on the road and I never got to a game where he pitched.  Watch some highlights on YouTube to see how good and entertaining he was on the mound.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Lou Gehrig Was Named Yankee Captain on This Day in 1935. Was The Babe Ever Captain?

Lou Gehrig became the fifth Yankee captain on this day in 1935.  That is nice, but I read that Babe Ruth was captain for all of six days.  What is that story?



I found a site which listed the history of Yankee captains (http://www.cheatsheet.com/sports/derek-jeter-and-the-history-of-yankees-captains.html/?a=viewall).  It explains how the Babe's behavior cost him being captain.  Not a surprise, but a nice site to read.



Monday, April 11, 2016

How's This For An Opening Day Game - Check Out The 1972 All-Time Greats Set!

I read on http://www.nationalpastime.com/ today that on this day Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker were first teammates for the Philadelphia A's.  Cobb played for the A's in 1927 and 1928 and Speaker played just the 1928 season with the A's.  Both played their last game within a few weeks of each other in 1928.   Baseball-reference.com lists the player most similar to Ty Cobb as Tris Speaker.




Also playing in this game against the Yankees - Lefty Grove and Mickey Cochrane.



The Yankees had a nice lineup too - with two Ruths and a Gehrig, that's seven of the 15 cards from this set in one game.  Leo Durocher and Jimmy Foxx were also in this game.



Can any game have more than seven of these cards at once?  I will need to research that one.



Sunday, April 10, 2016

Rich Gossage - Richie Zisk - Jon Matlack - Ron Guidry on Opening Days

I was surprised to read that Rich Gossage and Richie Zisk had a few opening day battles.  I think of both of them as White Sox players even though that certainly how others see it.

Gossage, who is getting a lot a grief lately for talking about playing the game right, played only five seasons with the White Sox and one with the Cubs.  Of his nine teams, he played the longest with the Yankees - 7 years.



Zisk only played one of his 13 seasons with the White Sox.  That was quite an entertaining season, even for a Cub fan like me.  Zisk played for the White Sox just after Gossage left the team.



On opening day in 1978 Rich Gossage pitched a scoreless eighth inning in a 1-1 tie.  In the bottom of the ninth Zisk led off the inning with a walk-off homer against Gossage.  Jon Matlack won for the Rangers giving up one run in nine innings.  Ron Guidry gave up one run in seven innings for the Yankees.



Spin forward to opening day in 1980.  Gossage enters the game to pitch to Zisk in the 12th inning of a 0-0 tie.  He throws a wild pitch on his first pitch of the contest and the winning run scores from third.  Did he remember the 1978 outcome before throwing this pitch?  Guidry and Matlack paired up again in this one.  Both threw nine scoreless innings.

Zisk only hit two homers in 16 at-bats against Gossage.  Gossage never gave up more than three homers to any player - Brett had three including a famous one in the Pine Tar Game.  In over 1,800 innings Gossage only surrendered 119 homers.  



Saturday, April 9, 2016

It Was 35 Years Ago - Wow I'm Old

Fernando-mania began on this day in 1981.  It was a really great thing for baseball, especially with the strike that stopped baseball for a while during the 1981 season.  He won his first eight decisions on his way to the Cy Young and Rookie of the Year Awards.  No one had ever won those two awards together before.


The Dodgers won the World Series as well that year so Fernando was always in the news.

That is it for now.  I ended up driving to St. Louis and back today so I'm exhausted.









Friday, April 8, 2016

Not Such a Great MLB Debut and a Surprising Stat

In his first MLB appearance, Pete Rose walks in the first inning and scores his first run on a Frank Robinson homer.  Rose ended up 0-for-3 on this day in 1963.


Rose hit .273 as a rookie and Robinson had 21 homers and 91 RBIs.  Robinson's 26 steals was double Rose's 13 even though Rose had 115 more plate appearances than Robinson.



Rose stole 198 bases in his career.  Robinson edged him out by having 204.  I would certainly have lost a bet if someone asked me who had more career steals between these two guys.  

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Last of the 1981 Kellogg's Card Backs - #09-01 This Has Been Much More Fun Than I Imagined

Wow.  I rarely finish anything I start that quickly.  It's great to be done with all of the fine print on this set.  I do like that Kellogg's spent the time writing down something about each player.

As a kid I immediately read the back of the card.  Since the late 1980s kids immediately look at the back for the card number and then they immediately look at some kind of price guide to see what the card is worth.  Ick!

#09 Jim Rice - it seems like almost every player in the set was injured in 1980.   Kellogg's called Boston's 83-77 record "poor".  He is active in raising funds for children's cancer research.  Not on the card - calling that record poor proves that the writer didn't follow Chicago's teams.  Rice's charitable days continued long after he retired from baseball.


#08 George Brett - hobby - surfing.  Dude!  Nice to have a card back them mentions him with Babe Ruth, Roger Maris and Ted Williams.  But ever better - he's listed as one of the game's most eligible bachelors.  Not on the card - my wife would trade me for him in an instant.   Brett had 118 RBIs in 117 games.  Only 64 times in MLB history has a player gotten to 100 RBIs and had more RBIs than games.  Can you name the four players who have done this since Brett did it?  Hint - two of the four happened in 1994 and might not have happened in a full season.

#07 Bucky Dent - it is mentioned that the first MLB game he saw was a game he played in.  I know there others like that.  He was the 1978 World Series MVP but he's more known for his playoff homer against the Red Sox.  Not on the card - even though I grew up watching him play for the White Sox I no longer can call him Bucky Dent.  Instead he's always got the name that Red Sox fans gave him - Bucky F-ing Dent.


#06 Nolan Ryan - struck out Cesar Geronimo for #3,000 in 1980.  Not on the card - Bob Gibson struck out Geronimo for his 3,000th in 1974.

#05 Mike Schmidt - he was the MVP of the season and the World Series.  Not on the card - He repeated as MVP in 1981 and added a third award in 1986.


#04 Al Oliver - he used to have personalized license plates that read "AL HITS".  Now that he has surpassed 2,000 hits he predicts he will surpass 3,000 in seven more years.  He is the only player wearing number 0.   Not on the card - now 16 players have worn that number but none as long as Al did.  He only played five more years and he ended up with 2,743 hits and a .303 average.

#03 Reggie Jackson - tied for the league lead with 41 homers.  Not on the card - Reggie said that if he played in NY he'd have a candy bar named after him.  In 1978 he got the Reggie Bar.

#02 Jim Palmer - nothing exciting to report.  Injuries and three Cy Young Awards.  Not on the card - he won World Series games 17 years apart.

#01 George Foster - nothing exciting to report here too.  Not on the card - he was on seven Kellogg's cards and twice he was card #1.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Kellogg's Card Backs - Who Lost Out on The School Naming?

I don't know if these nine will be able to match the last nine.

#18 Eddie Murray - is one of 12 children.  All five of the boys played professional baseball.  Not on the card - brother Rich hit four homers in the majors.  I was always jealous of these guys from small families.

#17 Tony Perez - he had a great season in Boston at age 38.  Not on the card - his card is one of the few that don't list a hobby.  I will assume he'd say French cooking from his Montreal days.


#16 J.R. Richard - he was 10-4 with an ERA under 2.00 when he was sidelined with a stroke at age 31.  He vowed to return to the mound.  Not on the card - like the All-Time Greats cards, the 1981 Richard card has his complete career stats since he never pitched in the majors after 7-14-80.  He was the starting pitcher in the All-Star game just six days before the stroke.


#15 Don Baylor - he was one of the first free agents to strike it rich in 1977.


#14 Cesar Cedeno - he broke his ankle in the 1980 playoffs.  Not on the card - after 48 steals in 1980 he never got to 20 during the last six years that he played.  Rehabbing injuries is certainly more advanced today.

#13 Dave Parker - Kellogg's calls him "the big guy" and mentions "his awesome size".  He's listed as 6-5 and 225 pounds.   Not on the card - Aren't middle infielders that size now?


#12 Phil Niekro - he won another Gold Glove in 1980.  Not on the card - he ended up winning five Gold Gloves or as he might say it "five more than my brother".


#11 Willie Stargell - he lists bowling as a hobby.  He organized an annual bowling tournament to raise money for Sickle Cell Anemia research.  Not on the card -   He also raised money for kidney disease.  He was one of the most loved players in the game.

#10 Steve Garvey - a school in Southern California has been renamed Steve Garvey Junior High. Not on the card - I was surprised to find that the school still bears his name.  Willie Stargell was one of the most loved players in the game.  Cub fans also added an adjective to his name similar to Red Sox fans hatred of Bucky Dent.


So, the school was renamed for Steve Garvey.  Let's pretend the school was named after someone else from Southern California in the late 1970s.  Who lost that honor and how do you talk about that at Thanksgiving dinner?

Here are some guesses - Shirley Temple, Joe DiMaggio (he probably wanted naming right$), Richard Nixon (probably not talked about), General Patton, Robert Redford, John Steinbeck.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

1981 Kellogg's Card Backs #27 -18 - A Political - Economic Commentary Included

Nine more cards today.


#27 Garry Templeton - GM Whitey Herzog declared that Templeton was the only untouchable player when it came to trades.  Kellogg's called him "The Franchise".  He was the first player to get 100+ hits from both sides of the plate in a season.  Not on the card - the untouchable shortstop was traded to San Diego after the 1981 season in a deal which sent Ozzie Smith to St. Louis.

#26 Rod Carew - the card talks about his career .333 average and his ""so-so" .331 average in 1980.

#25 Steve Henderson - he was traded by the Reds in a deal that sent Tom Seaver from the Mets to the Reds.  "Last season Steve's bat may have shown a few signs of things to come" reads the back.  Not on the card - I should check my garage for signs since somewhere in there I have a game-used bat of his.

#24 Willie Wilson - he had 200 college football scholarship offers and chose Maryland.  But, when the Royals drafted him No. 1 he chose baseball.



#23 Vida Blue - Kellogg's called his 1979 ERA of 5.01 "national-debt size".  His career ERA through 1980 was 3.11.  Not on the card - our national debt has gone up a lot more than the ERAs of any pitcher, even Blue's 1983 ERA of 6.01.


#22 Joe Morgan - "Little Joe's final statistics don't reveal the leadership role he played in Houston's successful and exciting drive for the NL West pennant."  Not on the card - his stats weren't good - 11 HR, 49 RBIs and an average of .243 in 141 games.

#21 Dave Winfield - he just signed with the Yankees for $1.5 million making him baseball's highest paid player.   Not on the card - Golfer Jason Day made more money than that last week,  Oprah and Michael Jordan made more than that while I wrote this post and deceased celebrities and sports stars make that weekly.


#20 Ben Oglivie - he tied for the league lead in homers with 41 in 1980.  Not on the card - since I follow the NL and the Brewers used to be in the AL, I thought he and Cecil Cooper were the same guy.

#19 Chet Lemon - moving him to the lead-off spot in the batting order helped Lemon's hitting.  He played high school football with the NFL's Rickey Bell.  Not on the card - he played centerfield for the White Sox in those softball-uniform shorts a few years back.



Monday, April 4, 2016

My Last Opening Day - At Least as of 2016

On this day in 1994 I attended my last Opening Day at Wrigley Field.  I'll talk about the strike that year and my subsequent strike at some other time.

Nationalpastime.com mentions two memorable events from that game.  One I remembered and one I didn't.  The only player in the game who had a Kellogg's card was Willie Wilson.  He finished his career in 1994 with the Cubs getting into 17 games before being released in May.  He struck out as a pinch-hitter in this game.



Here is what I remember about the game.  In his first three at-bats Tuffy Rhodes hit three homers off of Dwight Gooden.  He became the first MLB player to homer in his first three at-bats of the season.  He later added a walk and a single.  If you are wondering who is Tuffy Rhodes so is everyone else.  He hit eight homers for the year and 13 in six years.  Rhodes started in the minors in 1986 and played in Japan until 2009.

According to baseball-reference.com Rhodes hit 531 career homers. What?  13 in MLB (6 years), 54 in the minors (9 years) and 464 in Japan (13 years).  That's a lot of homers in Japan for a guy who couldn't hit one frequently in the New World.  He is 13th on the Nippon league all-time home run list.  He is the highest ranked American player.

What I didn't remember about the game - the first pitch thrown out by Hilary Clinton.  She later joined Harry Caray in the booth to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.  

Sunday, April 3, 2016

More 1981 Kellogg's Card Backs #36 - 28

Back for another round of reading the fine print on the back of 1981 Kellogg's cards.

#36 Reggie Smith - couldn't stay healthy in a Dodger uniform.  He endured injuries to his shoulder, ankle and knee as well as having a pinched nerve.  Yesterday was his birthday.  Not on the card - Don Sutton got into a fight with Steve Garvey after Sutton said Smith was a more valuable Dodger than Garvey.  Did Garvey's hair get messed up?



#35 George Hendrick - he has averaged over 20 homers per year since 1973.  Not on the card - I think that I've already mentioned this, but whenever I see a Hendrick card I always think of my friend catching a batting practice homer hit by him.



#34 Frank White - he grew up in Kansas City just a few blocks from where the Royals played at the time (Municipal Stadium).  It was in that old stadium that he was first noticed by Royals scouts.  Not on the card - stolen bases since Kellogg's didn't list that stat at all.   White had 178 in his career.

#33 Rickey Henderson - I don't have this card in my partial set for some reason so I guess as to what it might say on the back--- he grew up in Oakland and with his likable, crowd-pleasing personality he's likely to have a long career with the A's.  He led the league with 100 stolen bases.  Probably not on the card - his stolen base stats (see Frank White).

#32 Cecil Cooper - probably the only player in MLB history with the middle name Celester.  He led the league with 122 RBIs and batted .352 but George Brett made everyone forget about that by hitting 24 homers, driving in 118 runs and batting .390 in only 117 games.

#31 Keith Hernandez - he was second to Bill Buckner in batting average (.324 to .321).  He was drafted in the 42nd round.  Not on the card - he didn't play his senior year in high school due to a dispute with the coach.

#30 Ken Landreaux - he predicted that Twins fans wouldn't miss Carew since he'd be in the lineup.  His 31-game hitting streak is the longest in the AL since 1949 (Dom DiMaggio).  Not on the card - Carew got on 14 Kellogg's cards and Landreaux got on this one.

#29 Davey Lopes - he received the most votes for the 1980 All-Star game.  He is second in career steals on the Dodgers to Maury Wills.

#28 Dave Concepcion - He had an elbow injury all season that required him to miss the last week of the season for surgery.  He still played in 156 games which means he played every day.



Saturday, April 2, 2016

I'm Glad that My Older Brother Was an Ump; That Certainly Kept Me From Following Him




The same older neighbor who introduced me to the All-Time teams used in his baseball dice game is also the reason that I decided to never be an umpire.  Sure, I'd heard of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Cy Young, but his game introduced me to lots of other Hall of Famers including those in the 1972 Kellogg's All-Time Greats set.



My brother the umpire was eight years older than me.  He eventually went on to become a high-school certified umpire and basketball referee.  My neighbor certainly didn't help my brother on his journey to being certified.  

The neighbor, only two years older than me, was a player in lots of the game that my brother umped.  On one occasion, the eight-year-old player was quite unhappy with a call made by my brother.  Since this was probably 1970, there was no heading to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to let out frustration.  So, what did my neighbor do?  He crafted a letter to the umpire expressing his "displeasure" with the call.  The letter was then placed in our mailbox along with the daily mail.  

I don't know if the letter still exists, but I will ask my mother about that the next time I see her because I'd love to see it.  The story certainly comes up often as we discuss our love of all things Little League.