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Use the menu below if you'd like to search for posts that relate to your interests. Note - this was just created on 12-30-20 so I will need to link the posts in the coming weeks. Until then, you can scroll down to the labels on the right to find the same information.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

I Found Another Reason that I Always Liked Manny Sanguillen

Even though I was a Cub fan I always liked Manny Sanguillen as a player.  I was never on the Pirates as a kid and I only played catcher one time in 10 years.  And that was in practice!  The curse of being a lefty I guess.  That's okay because I doubt that I would have liked being a catcher.

Sanguillen hit .296 in 13 years, 12 with the Pirates.  After the 1976 he was traded to the A's for Chuck Tanner, their manager.  After the 1980 season he was traded to the Indians but they released him in February. lists the most similar player to Sanguillen as Thurman Munson.  That says a lot for Sanguillen who played on two World Series winners with the Pirates.

On this day in 1972 Roberto Clemente died in a plane crash.  The plane was carrying urgently-needed supplies to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.  Clemente boarded the plane from San Juan, P.R. because he feared profiteers were trying to intercept the humanitarian aid.  The plane crashed soon after takeoff.

Clemente was a native of Puerto Rico and Sanguillen was from Panama.  I'd forgotten a bit of my Central American geography, so here is a map.  

Sanguillen was the only Pirate not to attend a memorial service for Clemente.  Why?  He was in Central America helping to search for victims of the crash.  Clemente was never found.

This was really big news in the pre-ESPN days.  I was never awake for the 10:00 pm news so the morning paper was how I got most of my news.

More about legal issues that followed : Legal Issues After the Crash

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Old Baseball Stadiums and What Ballparks are Shown on Kellogg's Cards?

I loved the early Donruss cards that featured so many pictures of Comiskey Park and Wrigley Field.   I've been to each park many times and it's great to see Comiskey and see the old Wrigley Field outfield with the catwalk.  If you don't know what the catwalk was at Wrigley Field check out some old photos or 1981 Donruss cards.  

What ballparks are featured on the Kellogg's cards?  Is it a real park or not?  I've got some research to do on this.  

Only six of the current MLB ballparks are old enough to have been used for Kellogg's cards in their regular run from 1970 to 1983.  If it wasn't for the 1994 baseball strike I would have been to all of these parks.  I had a trip set in August of 1994 to visit the west coast and go to games everywhere.  The strike messed that up and I went on strike against baseball for over 10 years.  

Those six parks are Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, Anaheim Stadium, Oakland Alameda County Coliseum and Royals Stadium.  Sorry, I either don't know the new names of all of these parks and/or I refuse to use the every-changing sponsor naming.

The big surprise for me to see in this research relates to New Comiskey Park as it was known back in 1991.  Comiskey is now the 9th oldest field in use by MLB.    

Something I Didn't Know About Ty Cobb and Eddie Collins and the Black/White Sox

On this day in baseball history in 1926 it was reported that the Detroit Tigers intentionally lost four games to the White Sox over two days in 1917.  The White Sox ended up winning the pennant and the World Series that year.

Tigers included Ty Cobb who was 6-for-17 in the four-game series.

Eddie Collins was with the White Sox.  He was 4-for-14.

It was quite a different era.  Back-to-back doubleheaders and the starters just played all of the games.  Detroit had a game in Cleveland the day before these games in Chicago.

What did Commissioner Landis do after hearing about this?  Nothing to the players.  Landis was commissioner from 1921-1944 and he wanted to keep gambling from bringing baseball down.  He already was working on the 1919 Black Sox Scandal.   In early 1927 he did help enact a new rule that banned anyone from baseball for life if they bet on a game and participated in the game.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Great Memories of My Dutch Friend - The Piano Story Might Fit in Some Other Time

I went for a run in an ice storm yesterday.  Not many people out - just the lunatics like me.  I crossed paths with a few long-time running friends and we ran together for about 30 minutes.  It was great catching up with them.

I probably hadn't seen these guys in six months or more.  At some point the discussion turned to remembering friends who were recently deceased.  Since we were in a running group together a long time ago we've got lots of mutual friends.

At some point I reminded them that a good friend passed away earlier in the year.  My friend was quite a unique guy.  The three of us enjoyed reminiscing about our Dutch friend for a mile or two.

My friend had come to the USA from Holland as a young adult.  He was quite proud to mention if a well-known person or company was Dutch.  I knew of one Dutch player that my friend always mentioned.  Surprisingly, there have been 12 MLB players born in The Netherlands as it is listed on the Lahman database.

None of the other 11 were stars like Blyleven.  Win Remmerswaal was the only one I recognized and that's only because he got himself onto some baseball cards.

Thanks to my three friends for helping me take a nice walk down memory lane and get a story for today.  

UPDATE - Immediately after finishing the post I went to the laundry room.  There I saw a reminder of my friend who sold us some storage items from one of his Dutch businesses. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

My Favorite Hit-By-Pitch Moments - None Involved Ron Hunt, Don Baylor or Andre Dawson

On seven baseball players have been hit by pitch more than 200 times in their careers.  Hugh Jennings leads the way with 287 with most of them coming before 1900.  He is followed closely by Craig Biggio with 285.

From the Kellogg's era Don Baylor is fourth and Ront Hunt is sixth.  These two were well known for getting hit by a pitched ball.  Hunt led the league seven times while only playing 12 seasons.

Hunt and Baylor were quite different as players.  Hunt had career highs of 10 HR and 42 RBIs in this rookie season.  He finished with 39 homers.  Baylor's MVP season saw him end up with 36 HR and 139 RBIs.  Baylor hit 338 homers.  Surprisingly, the home run hitter had 285 steals and Hunt only had 65.

Sure, I remember those players finding ways to get hit by a pitch.  Andre Dawson had a well-known moment against Eric Show, but even though Dawson was hit by the ball it was a strike since Dawson was leaning into the strike zone.

Nothing can top watching my little brother get hit by the same kid three times in one game.  None was a minor incident either.  In all three pitches my brother ended up like Charlie Brown with bat, helmet, hat and ball flying in every direction.  Yes, we all wore our hats under the cheap helmets because the helmets were always too big.  The hat kept the helmet from falling off or sliding over your eyes.

The one I remember most saw my brother end up face down on top of home plate.  He stayed there for a long time.  Being 30 years ago there was no panic in the stands and no one threatened the pitcher with a lawsuit.  I will need to find out from my brothers more details about that game.  

Eventually he got up and got himself to first base.  I guess no one in the stands worked in marketing for a laundry detergent manufacturer because that would have been a perfect commercial.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Kellogg's Proof Cards - Here is Another One That Differs From the Regular Issue

I've got about 15-20 proof cards from different years.  They are all graded and labelled as proof cards, but I don't know much else about them.

A while back (Hickman Post) I found that the Jim Hickman from 1971 had a different background in the proof than appeared in the card issued.  I've found a few more differences with some begin subtle.  Today's wasn't obvious to me but it should have been.

I have a 1970 Billy Williams proof.  I noticed yesterday that everything seemed the same as the normal card.  I checked the background, the picture of him, his bat, etc.  Nothing seemed different.  That was too bad since he was my favorite player when I was a kid.

Then I put the cards side-by-side and the difference was obvious.  Kellogg's moved his signature to the top of the card when they issued it in cereal boxes.  Now I'm going to try to see if any of the regular cards appear with the signature in the location that the proof shows.  If anyone has one let me know.

For those who have to have everything as player collectors you might want to check out Kellogg's proof cards.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Carl Yastrzemski Did Something Odd - Did Anyone Else Demonstrate This on a Kellogg's Card?

Another thing that I noticed recently while watching a Ken Burn's baseball video is the topic of today's post.  Carl Yastrzemski was shown in the video during his Triple Crown season.  What surprised me was that he was shown with a batting glove only on his top hand which for him was his left hand since he batted left-handed.

If wearing only one glove, most batters wear it on their bottom hand to enhance their grip and prevent blisters.  Since I grew up playing baseball in cold weather it would also have helped to have gloves to deal with the sting of hitting the ball.  The sting didn't bother me that much since I didn't hit the ball with any regularity.

Back to Yaz.  He's got seven different Kellogg's cards.  There is no consistency regarding batting gloves.  From 1981 to 1983 he is shown with a glove on the top hand while in a batting pose.  

His Kellogg's cards from 1975 and 1979 show him without a glove on either hand.   In both shots he is in a batting pose.

In 1976 and 1980 he's taking a knee but he has the glove on his left hand.

Yaz was teammates with Hawk Harrelson who is credited with being the first to wear a batting glove.  They played together from 1967 - 1969.  Yaz won the Triple Crown in 1967 and Harrelson led the league in RBIs in 1968,

Did anyone else wear the glove on the top hand?  I'll need to check out my Kellogg's cards.

Friday, December 25, 2015

A Post About Kellogg's Cards Inspired by a Scent

Today my daughter stepped up behind me and I noticed that the dessert she was eating had a distinctive smell.  The Tootsie Roll that she was eating took me back to my days on the 1973 Dodgers at the park near my house.

I remember this being a good team, but we only finished 3rd among the ten teams in our league.  I did okay recognizing kids on the team.  There were three kids who I new the last name but not the first and there were two who I didn't remember at all even after checking out their names on the back of the photo.

What does Tootsie Roll have to do with this?  We lived less than two miles from a Tootsie Roll plant.  I don't know if this Dodger team sold Tootsie Rolls as a fundraiser, but there were many years where we sold them.  I loved the can that doubled as a bank once the Tootsie Rolls were gone.

1973 was a great year for collecting cards.  Some kids collected entire sets while others focused on their favorite team(s) and star players.  There were no insert cards or traded cards.  No one focused on rookie cards.

I don't remember getting as many cards from Frosted Flakes as I got in other years.  My mom usually shopped on Saturday mornings.  To increase my odds of getting a Kellogg's card I needed to go with her to the grocery store.  Otherwise, one of my sisters might grab the Kellogg's box that had stickers, a license plate or an eraser - yuck!!  Maybe my team had lots of morning games and practices that year and I lost out?

Can you name the park shown in this picture?  Can you name any of the kids or pick out which one is me?  Can you name anyone in the background of this picture?  Can you name the street in the background?  Can you name anyone who lived in one of those houses?

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Watching and Listening to Ken Burn's Baseball Videos - Some Good Post Ideas

I was watching a Ken Burn's video and they talked about the Messersmith-McNally decision.  Cool to see that on its anniversary last night.  Even better since I just wrote a post about it.

In the video it also mentioned that Luis Tiant got a hit in the 1975 World Series without getting a hit during the season.  I did some research using the Sean Lahman database and found out that less than 40 players have had more post-season hits than regular season hits - not counting 2015.  Getting the exact number would involve more work on my part since I'd have to weed out players who played for two teams in a season.  

From 1969 - 1982 this happened only to:

Rollie Fingers in 1973

Ken Holtzman in 1973 and 1974

Luis Tiant in 1975

Will McEnaney in 1975

Of course all of these guys were pitchers.  What made McEnaney different from the others?
First, he was an NL pitcher.  The designated hitter rule was inplemented in 1973 in the AL, so the first three guys on the list had no regular season at-bats during the years listed.

As an NL pitcher, McEnaney batted 14 times in 1975 and got no hits.  As a relief pitcher he didn't bat much.  In 269 games he had 35 plate appearances and he was 1-for-31 for an average of .032.  That's where Ryne Sandberg started out, right?  He was 1-for-1 in the World Series with a single off of Jim Willoughby.

That's a lot of games for McEnaney in just six big league seasons.  I should look up which pitcher served up his hit, but he pitched in 55 games that year.  Maybe later?  He got a single to right field off Gene Garber of the Phillies on 8-28-76.  Garber played 19 years and had 96 wins and 218 saves so that's a good guy to get your hit off.

The other three also managed to get a Kellogg's card and McEnaney didn't.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

An Ugly Day in Baseball History - Unless You are a Baseball Player

On this day in 1975 MLB a major league arbitrator made Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally the first to benefit from free agency.  Neither had signed their contracts during their option year that had just ended.  They challenged the idea that one-year contracts were automatically renewed.

I don't remember that being a good day from a fan's perspective.  Player movement increased and it became difficult for the casual fan to keep track of who is on which team.  One of the Blue Jay teams that won in the early 1990s lost about 14 players the next year.  Not good for the casual fan.  Today player movement is really hindering growth of a fan base.

Baseball has not connected with the younger kids.  When I ask a class how many like baseball it usually ends up at only 20%.  That's not good for the long-term.

Messersmith played four more years winning only 18 games.  He did make 1.4 million dollars over his last few years.

McNally never played again.  He was only 32 at the time.

In future posts I will check out some of the players who became among the highest paid without being one of the best players.


Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Today is Quite a Popular Day for Kellogg's Card Backs

If you look at the back of every Kellogg's card and add up the birthdays (MM-DD only) today is the most plentiful.  19 cards show up with a player born on December 22nd.

Players born on this day who have Kellogg's cards are listed below.   

Matty Alou (2) - 1970 and 1971 Kellogg's cards.  For some reason my Little League coach called me Matty Alou a lot.  At that time Alou was having some amazing years as one of the top three batters in the league.  My coach must have been mistaken because leading the league for me never was mentioned in the same sentence as batting average.  

Steve Carlton (9) - 1973, 1977 - 1983, 1991 Kellogg's cards.  I can't see how Carlton didn't get into the early Kellogg's sets.  Sure he led the league in losses twice, but he had four really strong seasons and a poor team behind him for some of those years.  

Steve Garvey (6) - 1975 - 1977, 1980 - 1982 Kellogg's cards.  As a Cub fan I've already mentioned Garvey enough on this blog. 

Ken Landreaux (1) - 1981 Kellogg's card.  He was part of the trade that sent him to the Twins and Rod Carew to the Angels.  

Lonnie Smith (1) - 1983 Kellogg's card.  I remember that Lonnie would get brownies from a few of his fans in Chicago when the Cardinals were in town.  The girls would just drop the brownies to him from the left field bleachers.

Five players were also born on 10-26, but they only combined for eight Kellogg's cards.  

As of 2014, 11-18 is the most common birthday for all major leaguers with 75 born on that day.  Only 1 Kellogg's card had that birthday on the back - Steve Henderson.  The lowest number born on any day (other than 02-29) is 27 born on 5-31.  More on leap year in a few months.  

Monday, December 21, 2015

Happy birthday to Dave Kingman.  I don't know why he was one of my brother's favorites, maybe it was because they shared a first name.  Like me, he was one of the few family members who favored the Cubs instead of the White Sox that most other south siders preferred.

Kingman was quite a home run hitter.  His career total ended up being 442.  After he left Chicago he was quite forgotten by me.  I was surprised to see how strong his career ended in Oakland.  In his three seasons with Oakland he managed to hit surpassed 30 homers and 90 RBIs each season.  

How many other players managed to surpass 30 HR/90 RBIs in their last three seasons?  Only 147 players have even had three or more seasons of 30/90.  Kingman did this five times.  It may take some effort to see who did this in their last three seasons.

It looks like he is the only retired player to do this in his last season.  And Kingman did it during his last three seasons!  Please correct me if I did this wrong.  My calculations could miss any player who switched teams during his final season.   

With the money available today it is difficult to imagine someone quitting if they can still hit 30 homers in a season.  

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Why Did Kellogg's Not Put Individual Cards in Cereal Boxes from 1981-1983?

Kellogg's card collectors certainly know the story about why the 1971s are more expensive.  The company didn't offer mail-in set's that year, so there are a lot less of those cards around.  That's disappointing because I hope to get a factory set from each year that Kellogg's produced a set.  

I'm also trying to collect each card in it's original unopened wrapper.  Kellogg's messed that up too since the 1981-1983 sets were not distributed in boxes of cereal.  One had to buy the entire set from the company through the mail.

Did Kellogg's issue any samples in 1981 of cards in the individual wrapper?  Has anyone seen one?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How About Trading Some Kellogg's Cards?

I've been picking up Kellogg's cards in different places - online, shows, flea markets, etc.  Sometimes I end up with a bunch of one card for whatever reason.  I'm guessing that collation into Frosted Flakes boxes wasn't done the same way that cards were organized into packs.

Packs have gotten more randomly filled and I know that the process has changed a lot over the years.  I got 22 Mike Lums out of Topps packs in 1978.  Even if he was double printed, I didn't get enough cards to get 11 of everyone who wasn't double-printed.

I've done some organizing of my Kellogg's cards.  I found that I have some cards in excess.  Some are stars, some are Hall of Famers and some are commons in today's collecting world.  If anyone is interested in some cheap trades let me know.

I'm thinking I can complete a few sets this way.  For 1-4? card trades I figured we could just use top loaders and a plain white envelope to make the trade cost effective.  The following cards are all crack-free but they might have curling.

 1976 Blyleven

1976 Carroll

1976 Orta

1978 Blyleven

1981 Blue

1981 Concepcion

1981 Dent

1981 Garvey

1981 McGraw

1981 Molitor

1981 Perez

1981 Rice

1981 Richard

1983 Brett

1983 Valenzuela

1991 Aaron

1991 Banks

1991 Brock

1991 Gibson

1991 Killebrew

1991 Mays

I probably have a few more that I might post soon.  

Do you have similar stacks of some player?  Maybe we can help each other finish some sets?