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Tuesday, June 30, 2015
In my many years of trail running I've encountered lots of wildlife. Today a couple mentioned to me that there was a deer ahead in the brush. Instead of saying thanks I actually told them "I see deer all of the time on these trails." Looking back on it I'm thinking she was trying to warn me about something.
I couldn't see the deer on the left at all which surprised me. Then I saw it about 50 feet directly to my left. It was a larger deer than I am used to seeing and it had nice antlers protruding from its head. Maybe it was because of my red hat, but it actually charged through the brush toward me. By the time it got to the trail I was about 50 feet ahead of it and moving like Usain Bolt.
Usually a deer just runs across the trail and back into the brush. Not this time! The deer gave a bit of a bull's clawing the ground motion and then headed toward me. I began running backward at this point and looking for a stick or something to protect myself. I couldn't find anything.
Luckily, the deer was spooked by an approaching bicycle and it ran back into the woods. Since I run at the trail many times during the year I will certainly be on the lookout for "Bull" in the future.
How can I tell this story and tie it to Kellogg's cards? I found multiple players on Kellogg's cards who had the nickname of Bull. Three of them appeared in the same set.
Orlando Cepeda's nickname was Baby Bull. Why? His father's nickname was Bull.
Leon Durham was nicknamed Bull. That one just makes sense.
Greg Luzinski was nicknamed The Bull. He was listed as 6'1" and 255 pounds so his nickname made sense too.
Bob Watson was nicknamed Bull, but I didn't know that one. I remember him as a good player who scored the one millionth run in baseball history. I would guess that some SABR guy already proved that someone else did. I plan to join SABR in the future and maybe I'll find out more.
What was Pee-Wee's fortune? Don't leave the house today. If I had stayed home I would probably be writing about Bob Bailor today. Sorry Bob but you'll need to wait until tomorrow.
I would also have been better off taking Al Czervik's advice in Caddyshack about what he should have done instead of playing golf.
Monday, June 29, 2015
Those poor coaching plans led Little League to the continuous batting order and allowing players to switch on and off the field each inning. Now every kid can be involved in every inning of the game.
Back to Graham, known from the movie Field of Dreams. Graham's career was first mentioned in W.P. Kinsella's book Shoeless Joe which was the inspiration for the movie. I would love to make a Shoesless Joe Kellogg's card someday. If I can get that to work I'd need a Moonlight Graham card too.
Shoeless Joe has some good quotes in the movie. Ty Cobb asked to play on the field in the movie and was told to "stick it" because, as Joe said "none of us could stand the SOB when we were alive!"
Sunday, June 28, 2015
Only one player in MLB history has been named Franz, but he went by Otto Knabe. Two players had the first name of Ferdinand, but both went by Ferdie - Schupp and Moore. Thanks to http://www.baseball-reference.com/ for the great stats showing that Ferdie Moore played two games.
It is also the birthday of Chris Speier and Don Baylor. Both went into coaching when done with their playing careers.
I was surprised to see that Baylor stole 285 bases which included a season with 52. You can tell I followed the NL more as a kid. I did know that he was always being hit by pitches. He totaled 267 of those which left him as the modern day record holder until Craig Biggio surpassed him. The all-time record in 287 by Hughie Jennings. Baylor led the league in this category eight times while also finishing in the top four seven other times.
As we saw with the near perfect game this week, umpires don't enforce rules in place to keep players from intentionally being hit by a pitch.
Speier had a longer career than I remembered. He played from 1971 to 1989. He started out fast, making the All-Star team in 1972, 1972 and 1974. He never made another one. He was 0-4 in the first two games and he didn't play in the third one.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Madlock added another batting title in 1976. I'm not going to look it up, but if I recall correctly from reading the newspapers before delivering them, Madlock was asking the Cubs for more money. The Cubs didn't like that so they traded him for Bobby Murcer and Steve Ontiveros, two guys who also got on Kellogg's cards. I was not happy about that one, especially when they gave Murcer the money that Madlock requested.
Murcer was a good player from 1971-1975, but he never was as good as a Cub. Where have you heard that before? Ontiveros joined the long list of third basemen that followed Ron Santo.
Back to Madlock. Since I was a kid I remember him as a Cub. He only spent three seasons with the Cubs. He also spent there years with the Giants and the Dodgers. He was a Pirate for seven years, winning two more batting titles with them in 1981 and 1983.
Only nine players in MLB history have won more than four batting titles - Cobb (12 so far), Gwynn, Wagner, Carew, Hornsby, Musial, Williams, Boggs and Dan Brouthers. Brett, Rose and Yastrzemski only won three. He's in company with guys who need only be mentioned by last name.
1976 Kellogg's Bill Madlock #20
1976 Cereal Box rating -- 9 comment -- Great to get one of my favorite Cubs. He's having another great season. It was great that he was the All-Star game Co-MVP in 1975.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Many weeks later, after I'd given up hope about this contest, I got word that I was one of about 70 winners. I was given two tickets and we were going to be allowed to go on the field to take pictures during batting practice.
The game was a weekday afternoon game against the Phillies. The seats that they gave us were in the back of the lower deck - definitely not great seats so we weren't off to a good start.
It sounded like we'd be able to take photos from the designated spot next to the dugout. More bad news followed. My brother joined me at the game and we found out that only one of us was allowed to take the photos.
The next question was how would they put 70 of us in the press areas on the field at once. Then more bad news. They told us that we'd go there for about 10 minutes each.
As they explained the process I took a chance. Everyone hurried to the front to get on the field right away. As they took the first group of 10-15 I went directly to the back of the line. Surprisingly, the first group was actually allowed to get access to the field. That certainly wouldn't happen in today's safety first world.
The group that rushed to get onto the field first got to take pictures of the pitchers and non-starters. If they'd been to batting practice they would have realized that this was the normal order for batting practice.
They kept shuffling groups off and on the field as I waited impatiently at the back of the group. My biggest worry was that they'd run out of time even though batting practice always ended at the same time.
Finally, it was time for the last group. The Cubs timed it well and we were able to get on the field to take pictures of the final six or so Cubs taking their swings. It worked out great for me as that group included Sandberg, Dawson, Moreland and Davis.
It was nice to take the photos from the first-base side of the batting cage, but my biggest memory of the day isn't even about the Cubs. since the Phillies were going to hit next, they were starting to linger on the field. Mike Schmidt came past me and stood against the cage talking to the Cubs. So, while I was taking pictures I was also listening to the conversation and getting Schmidt in some photos.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
Since I'm more of an NL fan I didn't realize how long Harrah played - 17 years. He was a four-time all-star who played most games every season.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
1. He only played in the AL.
2. He played 22 seasons. He logged at least 470 games at three different positions.
3. He won one AL MVP award and he placed in the top-5 six times.
4. He had only 19 career steals.
5. He played his last season with the brother of someone from yesterday's post.
6. He is from Idaho, isn't that easy enough?
60 years ago today Harmon Killebrew hit his first of 573 home runs. He was still 18 years old! He led the AL in homers six times.
He was signed by the Washington Senators because Idaho's U.S. senator told the Washington Senators owner that he should check out Killebrew. The farm director then flew to Potatoville, Idaho (not really) to see him play. The scout certainly liked what he saw and a Hall of Fame career began. I doubt that it works that way any more.
He certainly could hit every pitcher. Andy Messersmith faced him in 41 official at-bats without giving up a homer. The 52 other pitchers who faced him more than that all surrendered at least one home run to Killebrew.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
On this day in 1971 Rick Wise hit two home runs while throwing a complete game. Oh yeah, he also threw a no-hitter. Later in the season he also had a two-homer game. He finished with 15 career homers partly because he spent 6 of his 18 years in the AL.
Eight of those home run came against pitchers good enough to get onto a Kellogg's baseball card. Maybe I should find out which players hit more home runs off of pitchers who have a Kellogg's card?
On this day in 1973 Ken Brett homers in his fourth consecutive start on the mound. He finished with 10 career homers because he played in the AL a lot and only got 347 official at-bats in his career.
I read that Brett wore 13 different uniform numbers in his career. That could be hard to top. I will need to see if anyone has surpassed that count. More later. See http://www.baseball-reference.com/
for more amazing baseball data.
On this day in 2008 Felix Hernandez of the Mariners hits a homer in an inter-league game. It the the first home run for a Mariners pitcher. Remember, the Mariners entered the AL after the designated hitter rule was in place.
Monday, June 22, 2015
Paul Konerko Has Replaced My Bob Knepper Kellogg's Card? What Item Has Been on Your Refrigerator the Longest?
Recently, I noticed that our refrigerator has only one item that has been there long-term. There is a Paul Konerko magnet of some kind holding up some papers. I have no idea how it got there, but it has been on the refrigerator for a long time.
I'd be interested in hearing about the item that has survived the longest on your refrigerator. Here are a few fictional ones for you.
1. I think I know where that Bob Knepper card end up. Mike Schmidt probably put it on his refrigerator since he owned Knepper. In 82 at-bats he had 9 home runs and 24 RBIs while batting .402.
2. If Schmidt doesn't have the Knepper card, then he probably has an entire team photo of the Cubs from any year since he commanded a big salary partly due to the poor pitching of the Cubs.
3. Pete Rose probably doesn't have a Bart Giamatti rookie card on his refrigerator.
4. Reggie Jackson has a life-size picture of himself eating - a Reggie bar of course.
5. A full-size mirror is probably on Steve Garvey's refrigerator since he's been rumored to constantly be checking himself out in the mirror.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
The Final Regular Set - Who is Not in the 1983 Kellogg's Baseball Cards and Some Unrelated Trivia About 83rd St
Dale Murphy is a Hall-of-Famer in my opinion.
Bobby Grich is the last card in the set.
Who did they leave out?
Paul Molitor had a great year, leading the league with 136 runs, over 200 hits and a batting average of .302 for a World Series team. He was 12th in the MVP voting.
Doug DeCinces was 3rd in that MVP voting and despite a good career he never appeared on a Kellogg's card.
Wade Boggs was 3rd in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Kellogg's probably figured he was too old.
Ryne Sandberg was 6th in the NL Rookie of the Year voting. Kellogg's probably remembered the horrible start he had to his career.
Cal Ripken was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1982 hitting 28 home runs and driving in 93 runs. Kellogg's stayed away from younger players in this set, but what a great addition that could have been. Ripken got some MVP votes in 1982, but in Kellogg's defense he didn't make the All-Star team in 1982. He proceeded to make every All-Star team after that. Ripken missed two games in 1982 and Kellogg's was probably not impressed.
Now for some unrelated 83 trivia. There are two questions related to a garage on 83rd St. No, not the one that mysteriously collapsed on a windy day. I'm referring to the most famous garage on 83rd Street - the white garage.
This garage was at times listed as three different distances from the 4th hole at a certain golf course. Can you name all three official distances?
Extra credit (and I don't have any idea of the answer) - Who decided to use the white garage as a yardage marker and in what year?
The next question refers to the house with the white garage. Which of the following is a possible street address for the white garage? Keep in mind that I don't know the actual street address, but the next time I drive in that area I will check it out.
A - 2350
B - 2351
C - 2450
D - 2451
Guessing is not allowed.
Saturday, June 20, 2015
Bruce Bochte hit 100 career home runs. In his best season of 1979 he had a career-high 100 RBIs and 16 HRs. The card below is blurry, but 100 career home runs isn't enough for me to make a better attempt at a picture of this card.
Dwayne Murphy stole 100 bases. Check his stats. He got lots of walks which helped him to two seasons of 26 SBs.
Don Kessinger stole 100 bases. Kessinger was caught 85 times so his percentage wasn't very good. Son Keith played 11 games without attempting a stolen base. Don was player-manager for the 1979 White Sox. This included Disco Demolition Night when he locked the players in the clubhouse for their own safety. He was the last AL player-manager and Tony LaRussa replaced him. More about the last NL player-manager in the future.
Bobby Tolan was caught stealing 100 times. After leading the league with 57 steals in 1970 he tore his Achilles tendon playing basketball and missed the entire 1971 season. I'm guessing that the team's management wasn't too happy with him after the injury. He finished with 193 SBs. He had 7 steals in 10 attempts in the post-season.
Paul Molitor and Dan Driessen both were walked intentionally 100 times. That's not a surprise for Molitor since he played 21 years. The reason for Driessen to get walked intentionally so often isn't obvious since the Red had plenty of hitters in the lineup.
Ted Simmons had 100 sacrifice flys. This makes sense since he didn't strike out a lot.
Ron Hunt and Marty Perez both grounded into 100 double plays. Perez stole 11 bases in 10 years, so his running probably was a factor in the double plays.
Clyde Wright and Randy Jones won 100 games. I was surprised to see that Jones only won 100 games. He was really good when I was a kid. Jones had W-L records of 8-22 in 1974, 20-12 in 1975 and 22-14 in 1976. He won the Cy Young Award in the third year after being runner-up the previous year. The 1974 team only won 60 games. Jones was great the next two years when his team won 71 and 73 games.
Dennis Eckersley threw 100 complete games. Those of you who knew him as a relief pitcher might be surprised to see this. He started 361 games from 1975 - 1987 and none from some point in 1987 to the end of his career in 1998. He had 3 saves from 1975 - 1986 and 387 from 1987 to 1998.
Friday, June 19, 2015
Over-Paid Ballplayers Should All Thank Curt Flood Today; Why Did He Have a 1970 Kellogg's Card Without Playing?
Flood was traded from the Cardinals to the Phillies after the 1969 season. For a few reasons, Flood refused to report to Philadelphia. He wrote a letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn requesting to become a free agent. The ruling was that baseball was a sport and not a business so it was exempt from anti-trust laws.
Flood didn't play for Philadelphia or anyone else in 1970. After the season they traded him to the Washington Senators and he played on 13 games for them in 1971.
If you aren't familiar with his career look him up. He had 1,861 career hits, 7 Gold Gloves and he was in three All-Star games.
In 1975 Andy Messersmith and Dave McNally won their challenge and free agency changed everything in baseball including the price of baseball tickets and cards.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Veeck was well loved in Chicago from his ownership days to his days of hanging out at Wrigley Field. There are many stories about Mr. Veeck. Maybe I can work others into future posts.
Freddie Patek 77 79 was the shortest at 5'5". He probably didn't mind the smaller cards in 1979. He managed to hit 41 home runs in 14 seasons. You know that someone is lacking power when they have more triples (55) than home runs.
Joe Morgan found his way onto six Kellogg's cards. At 5'7" he was still a slugger. I didn't like him as a player and he's not one of my favorite announcers either. He did know how to win. His statistics aren't amazing, but the guy is 5th all-time in walks and 11th in stolen bases with 689. That certainly translates to winning.
Yogi Berra is included in the 1991 Kellogg's All-Star set. At 5'7", I decided to add him to this list so that I could remember to work his Yogi-isms into future posts.
John McGraw, the manager on the 1972 Kellogg's All-Time Greats set also was 5'7". His career went from 1891 to 1932. He managed for 33 years. I didn't realize he played in over 1,000 games and had a career average of .334.
Fred Norman had a career record of 104-103. At 5'8", he managed to get into the 1977 set by going 12-7 in 1976.
Tim Raines came into the league as Kellogg's cards were ending their run. The 5'8" speedster had a long and successful career. His Hall-of-Fame chances are hard for me to figure out.
There were a lot of players listed at 5'9" so that's enough for this post.
In a future post I will find out the tallest players to appear on a Kellogg's baseball card.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
The Niekro's threw knuckleballs which resulted in 389 wild pitches, also tops on the list for brothers. This gives me another chance to quote Bob Uecker who said the best way to catch a knuckleball was to "wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up." A site called knuckeball.com covers everything you'd want to know about the pitch. Maybe I should consider a career change?
Phil also did a few other things that Joe didn't. Phil had a no-hitter in his long career while Joe had one close call. Phil also appeared on Kellogg's cards while Joe managed to be ignored even with his strong career.
Joe still did a few things that Phil didn't manage to do in this career. Sure Phil hit 7 career homers and Joe only managed one. Joe's one claim to fame was that this homer was off his brother Phil. Do you think that ever came up at family reunions?
Joe also had one other thing that Phil didn't - an emery board in his pants during a game. Check out YouTube for a video of the moment when the umpire had Joe empty his pocket and he threw the emery board. As if throwing a knuckleball wasn't enough to frustrate hitters. Why did he also need an emery board?