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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.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Does Anyone Else Have a Chet Lemon Model Rawlings Glove or His Kellogg's Cards?

I think when I was a kid I had a Billy Williams model glove and then a Tom Seaver model.  In the 1980s I bought my last glove to be used to play baseball, a Chet Lemon model.  That glove continued with me to ballparks where I liked to sit in the outfield.  Batting practice was lots of fun back then.

I get lots of comments when I mention that I have a Chet Lemon model glove.  I guess people imagine that only Hall of Famers have contracts with glove manufacturers.  No one has ever mentioned the obvious problem with all of the gloves that I had - I'm left-handed and none of these players threw with their left hand.  

I was surprised that Lemon was included in three Kellogg's sets - 1980 to 1982.  He was the only White Sox player in the 1981 set.  Claudell Washington was with Lemon in the 1980 set and Carlton Fisk was in the 1982 set.  

Sorry for the blurry pictures.  I'm too tired to dig through the cards to find his cards.  

Lemon played from 1975 - 1990.  He played for the White Sox for seven years and then lasted 9 more years with the Tigers.  I didn't remember his lasting that long with Detroit.  

He was a three-time all-star who batted .300 three times, once while only playing 105 games in 1978.  He amassed 1,875 career hits.  Since he was primarily a centerfielder I'm surprised that he only had 58 career steals and that he was caught 76 times.  

He led the league in being hit by pitch four times.  He ranks 22nd all-time in this category.  

He was on the 1984 Tigers team that won the World Series.  He was 0-for-13 in the ALCS but he redeemed himself by going  5-for-17 in the World Series.  

Lemon still holds the AL record for most putouts by an outfielder in a season.  In 1977 he recorded 512 putouts.  He only played 149 games in the outfield that year.  That's well over three per game.   Only two other AL outfields have surpassed 491 putouts in a season.  One of the two was Dwayne Murphy who appeared in the 1982 Kellogg's set.  The other was Dom Dimaggio, brother of Joe and Vince.  

I like the 10 players that the computer used by comes up with as most similar to Lemon.  That reminds me of what a good player Lemon was.  Here is the list.

  1. Johnny Callison (928)
  2. Bobby Murcer (917)
  3. Jeff Conine (916)
  4. Amos Otis (915)
  5. Gus Bell (913)
  6. Dusty Baker (913)
  7. Felipe Alou (910)
  8. Devon White (910)
  9. Richie Hebner (907)
  10. Gary Matthews (903)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Happy Birthday to Davey Johnson - He Only Had Kellogg's Cards in 1972 and 1974

I remember Davey Johnson as both a player and a manager since I'm getting old quickly.  Johnson played from 1965 - 1978 but some of that time in 1975 and all of the 1976 season he played in Japan.

Johnson was a four-time all-star.  He added three Gold Gloves.  He played most of his games as second base.

Johnson's career stats probably would have raised suspicions or showed that hitting homers in the NL is certainly easier than in the AL.  He hit 26 homers from 1966-68, 40 from 1969-72 and then 43 homers in 1973, his first year with the Braves.  How about that?  He then hit 15 the next year.

That 1973 Braves team had three guys hit at least 40 homers.  Hank Aaron and Darrell Evans joined Johnson.

He played for Baltimore, Atlanta, Philadelphia and the Cubs.  He managed for 17 years with the Mets, Reds, Orioles, Dodgers and Nationals.  He was the manager of the 1986 Mets that won the World Series in dramatic fashion.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Quotes That Should Be on the Back of a Kellogg's Card - Round 2

I had fun reading the quotes yesterday so I figured two days in a row could be fun.  After that I will get to answering some of the questions I posed recently.

Here are a few more quotes.

Lou Brock said  "First base is nowhere".  He's thinking that stealing second and third puts him in a better place.  I always like quotes that can combine baseball and running.  This quote could use one of those cartoons that were found on Topps cards in the 1970s.

Ron Fairly when being asked about losing his speed said "There was nothing to lose".  Lots of players have said something along these lines.

Fairly stole 35 bases in 21 seasons.  For those who aren't great at math that is between 1 and 2 per season.  For those who like math that is 1.67 per season.

Brock had a few more steals.  He finished with 938 steals in 19 years.  He averaged 49 per season which is more than Fairly had in his career.  

Brock's middle name is Clark.  I'll need to look more into that someday.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Quotes That Should Be on the Back of a Kellogg's Card - Round 1

It would be great if Kellogg's had put some great quotes on the back of their cards.  I'm going to see if I can find quotes from players who had a Kellogg's card.  I will not worry about whether the quote actually occurred chronologically before the Kellogg's card.

Baseball quotes are easy to find.  One of my favorite books of baseball quotes is called Voices of Baseball by Bob Chieger.  It is always fun to skim through on a quiet day.

Five quotes shown on the back cover are from players who appear on a Kellogg's card - Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Tug McGraw, Dan Quisenberry and Yogi Berra.  I will check those out sometime.

Today I'm going to check out quotes that are fan-related.

Reggie Jackson will lead the way with his quote.  He said "Fans don't boo nobodies".  I like that one because it sounds stupid but it certainly rings true.

Referring to autographs, Babe Ruth said "Oh, hell, who wants to collect that crap?"  He sure did sign a lot of them.  I was lucky enough to hold a ball signed by the entire 1927 Yankees and another signed by Ruth, Gehrig and a few others.  How did I get so fortunate?  My friend's grandmother went to Columbia University and became friends with a ballplayer named Henry who ended up playing with the Yankees.  Luckily for my friend her grandmother's friend was better known as Lou Gehrig.

I doubt that I will ever see that ball again since I haven't seen my friend in many years.  If someone held a ball like that today they'd at least have a nice picture of the event.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

More League Leaders and Kellogg's Cards

So, a few pitchers didn't get a Kellogg's card even though they led the league in wins.  That didn't happen as much with hitters.  Every hitter that led the league in homers or hits from 1969 to 1982 managed to find their way into a Kellogg's set.

Players leading the league in batting also get great recognition from Kellogg's.  Only one player managed to win a batting title without getting onto a regular-issue Kellogg's card.  Many years later he ended up on a 1991 Kellogg's set.  Can you name him?

Leading the league in saves did very little to help a pitcher get noticed.  That goes for everything from the all-star team to the Hall of Fame to Kellogg's sets.  There were 17 relief pitchers that led or tied for the league lead in saves from 1969 to 1982.  Only nine of them found their way into a Kellogg's set.

The nine relief pitchers shown in a Kellogg's set are Bruce Sutter, Rollie Fingers, Clay Carroll, Dan Quisenberry, Rich Gossage, Sparky Lyle, Al Hrabosky, Mike Marshall and John Hiller.  Good luck naming the other eight relief pitchers.  Two of them actual had two years of leading the league and still no Kellogg's cards.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

League Leaders in Wins Who DIdn't Get a Kellogg's Baseball Card the Next Year (or at all!)

I was checking the league leader list for wins and I was surprised that there were some leaders who didn't manage to get a Kellogg's baseball card.  I won't count the strike-shortened year of 1981 when the AL had four tied for the league lead with 14 wins - D. Martinez, S. McCatty, J. Morris and P. Vuckovich.  Morris appeared the next year but Vuckovich appeared in 1983.

There were four league leaders in wins from 1969 to 1982 that didn't appear on a Kellogg's card.

One player had Won-Loss records in consecutive years of 15-7, 17-10, 20-12, 21-17, 14-12, 20-11 and 13-11 during the Kellogg's era.  Three twenty win seasons in the AL wasn't enough to get him into a Kellogg's set.  Can you name him?

Another player led the league in wins in 1982 and 1983 but didn't get into the 1983 set.  Maybe that was okay since he led the AL in losses the next season.  Do you have a name for this guy?

The third pitcher tied for the league lead in wins with his brother and then he won 20 games again the next season.  The player in question finished second in the Cy Young voting and his brother finished 6th.  Who is this brother mentioned in an earlier post?

The last guy led the league winning 24 games one year while losing only seven.  That only got him third in the MVP voting.  His previous season was 14-7.  The following season he was 3-15 - ouch.  This is the one I couldn't figure out, can you?

Monday, January 25, 2016

Kellogg's Cereal Box Dream #20 - Who is Wally Bunker?

Before getting this card, most of what I knew about Wally Bunker was from his 1970 Topps Storybook.  Those were a great read.  

I didn't know much about him due to my age and his playing only in the AL.  Like lots of pitchers before the 1980s, his career ended due to arm problems.  He didn't pitch after age 26.  

Wally turns 71 today.  Happy Birthday to a guy pitching in the majors at age 19.  

1970 Kellogg's Wally Bunker #70

1970 Rating                    -- 3  comment -- an okay player but I only know the stars at my age.  

2015 Rating                    -- 4  comment --   You are either in the Hall of Fame or you are a                                                              common.  I disagree with that and I enjoyed learning about him.

Bunker was 19-5 as a rookie in 1964.  He finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting to Tony Oliva.  The player to hit the most homers off of Bunker (5) was Oliva of course.

Bunker threw a shutout in the World Series for the Orioles.  He was taken by the Royal in the 1968 Expansion Draft.  He was the starting pitcher in the Royals first game.  

Kellogg's selected at least one player from each team for their inaugural set in 1970.  Bunker was the only Royal selected after a record of 12-11 in 1969.  Like most expansion teams, there weren't any obvious choices for Kellogg's.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

World Series Match-Ups During the Kellogg's Era

Today the Super Bowl teams will be finalized.  I was thinking back to how many different teams played in the World Series during the Kellogg's years.

With the new teams added in 1969 both leagues had 12 teams.  Playoff games were now scheduled since four teams qualified for the playoffs for the first time.

From 1969 to 1982 here is a breakdown of teams to make the playoffs.  In 1981 during a strike-shortened year, eight teams made the playoffs.  So, each division should have 15 playoff teams from 1969 to 1982.

NL East

1 - Cardinals
2 - Mets
0 - Cubs
1 - Expos
5 - Phillies
6 - Pirates

NL West

4 - Dodgers
1 - Giants
2 - Braves
2 - Astros
6 - Reds
0 - Padres

AL West

0 - White Sox
2 - Twins
5 - Royals
6 - A's
2 - Angels
0 - Rangers/Senators; in East from 1969 - 71 (Washington)

AL East

2 - Brewers/Pilots; in West in 1969 (Seattle) and 1970-71 (Milwaukee)
5 - Yankees
1 - Red Sox
1 - Tigers
0 - Indians
6 - Orioles

Every division had at least one team that didn't reach the playoffs in the 14 years examined.  Each division also had two teams that dominated most of the years.

World Series Records During This Time

Pirates 2-0                    6 NL East Team in World Series - 5 winners
Phillies 1-0
Mets 1-1
Cardinals 1-0

Dodgers 1-3                  8 NL West Team in World Series - 3 winners
Reds 2-2

A's 3-0                          4 AL West Team in World Series - 3 winners
Royals 0-1

Yankees 2-2                  10 AL East Team in World Series - 3 winners
Orioles 1-3
Brewers 0-1
Red Sox 0-1

Five teams didn't make the playoffs at all during these years.  Two of them were my hometown teams - the Cubs and the White Sox.  The others were the Padres, Indians and Rangers/Senators.

Another seven teams made the playoffs without going to the World Series - Montreal, San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Minnesota, California and Detroit.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Willie Mays and 23 Hall of Fame Voters Who Probably Didn't Eat Their Kellogg's Frosted Flakes

On this day in 1979 Willie Mays was elected into the Hall of Fame.  He received 409 or 432 votes.  I guess he wasn't as good as Tom Seaver or Ken Griffey Jr.  I know there was a tradition that some voters didn't vote for players in their first year of eligibility.  Most of those guys must not be voting any longer.

So, even though Mays was listed in the starting lineup of the 1969 list of greatest living players, 23 guys decided that he should wait a year to be inducted.  Did that ever make sense when the players already waited five years to get on the ballot?

Who are these 23 baseball writers?  

Chris Short, Johnny Callison and Hal Lanier got a vote.  Did they take a vote away from Mays?

Jim Maloney got two votes.  Denny McLain got three along with Clete Boyer.  

Friday, January 22, 2016

Reggie Jackson is Done With the Yankees But Not with Kellogg's Cards

On this day in 1982  Reggie Jackson signed with the Angels after spending five years with the New York Yankees.  Kellogg's was able to get him in an Angels uniform for their last set.

Jackson went on to hit his 500th homer as an Angel.  I think he also was an Angel in the Naked Gun movie(s).  He finished his career with the A's in 1987.  That team had lots of career homers with Canseco, McGwire, Cey, Lansford and Tettleton.

I disliked a lot of things about Reggie.  Here are a few.

1.  He intentionally moved into that thrown ball during the World Series.
2.  He was in the World Series while my team wasn't.
3.  He was so annoying on TV that I couldn't even try a Reggie bar.

Number 3 is a big one if you know me.  If I do a Sporcle quiz on chocolate bars I can usually ace it.  I was always willing and able to try everything in the candy aisle.  That paper route money sure went to good use when I wasn't buying baseball cards.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Bonham Bullet Doesn't Have a Kellogg's Baseball Card

I was looking through a list of nicknames on today trying to find great nicknames or ones I hadn't heard before.  The Bonham Bullet was a surprise to hear because Bill Bonham was a Cub during my childhood.

It turns out that the nickname belonged to Danny Darwin whose career overlapped Bonham's by a few years.  They never faced each other since Darwin was in the A.L.  while Bonham was active in the N.L.

Darwin got the nickname because he attended Bonham H.S.  His other nickname was Dr. Death.  It has been stated that he punched Orel Hershiser in the face during a fight on the field - when they were teammates.  That reminds me of the movie Major League where Charlie Sheen is the one getting punched in the face.

Darwin had a nice career including a 171-182 record over 21 seasons.

Bonham didn't seem to have a nickname.  Unlike Darwin, Bonham got a Kellogg's card in 1979.   Bonham pitched for 10 years and had a career record of 75-83.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Other Choices for the Players in the Kellogg's 1972 All-Time Greats Set and Why No Centerfielder?

I decided to check out the players selected and who was excluded from this set.  I will use 1969 as the last year for inclusion since the 1970 Rold Gold Set is virtually the same set.

Since players in the set needed to be retired, many players were ruled out.  Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ernie Banks and Roberto Clemente come to mind.

The 1970 set was a great follow-up to the 1969 Baseball Centennial All-Century Team voting.
The team included Gehrig (1B), Hornsby (2B), Wagner (SS), Traynor (3B), Ruth (OF), Cobb (OF), Joe DiMaggio (OF), Cochrane (C), Johnson (RHP), Grove (LHP) and McGraw (Mgr.).

The team voted in 1969 as the great living players was Sisler and Stan Musial tied (1B), Charlie Gehringer (2B), Joe Cronin (SS), Traynor (3B), DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Willie Mays (OF), Bill Dickey (C), Bob Feller (RHP), Grove (LHP) and Casey Stengel (Mgr.).  Designing this set could be a future project for me.

So in the 1972 set where do Tris Speaker, George Sisler, Eddie Collins and Cy Young fit in?  They were finalists for the all-century team but neither won their position.  Sisler's card mentioned him as a finalist, so the team has no centerfielder, my favorite position.  

Why did Joe DiMaggio get excluded?  Everyone else on the all-century team got into the set.  Was Mr. Coffee already too greedy to be in this set?  Did that lead to another Babe Ruth card in the set?  Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio?

Cochrane and Traynor both retired in 1937 but they didn't get elected to the Hall of Fame until 1947 and 1948 respectively.

Cochrane won two MVP awards.  With the rules in place today he'd have won neither of those.  In the 1920's a player wasn't allowed to win twice so Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig only won once before 1931.  Check those stats.  In 1934 he won the MVP because his team won the AL.  Lou Gehrig hit .363 had 49 homers and 166 RBIs to earn the award.

Besides adding some of the 1960's players there are four others from the 1930s HOF induction classes that would be great additions to this set - Christy Mathewson, Pete Alexander, Nap Lajoie and Cap Anson.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Kellogg's All-Time Greats Players Included in the Second Hall of Fame Class in 1937

In 1936 the Hall of Fame began with the following members being inducted - Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson.  In year two the inductees included Cy Young, Tris Speaker and John McGraw.  That's eight of the 15 cards in the first two HOF classes.

The 1970 Rold Gold/1972 Kellogg's All-Time Greats set included 15 cards.  14 different players are featured since Babe Ruth has two cards in the set.

Here is a checklist of the set along with their Hall of Fame Induction Data -

1.  Walter Johnson  -- 1936 first class
2.  Rogers Hornsby  -- 1942
3.  John McGraw  -- 1937 second class
4.  Mickey Cochrane -- 1947
5.  George Sisler -- 1939
6.   Babe Ruth  -- 1936 first class
7.   Lefty Grove -- 1947
8.   Pie Traynor -- 1948
9.   Honus Wagner  -- 1936 first class
10. Eddie Collins -- 1939
11. Tris Speaker  -- 1937 second class
12. Cy Young  -- 1937 second class
13. Lou Gehrig -- 1939 - inducted later in the year when he retired
14. Babe Ruth  -- 1936 first class
15. Ty Cobb  -- 1936 first class

More later on what other choices could have been made on this list.

I don't remember seeing the Rold Gold cards.  I've been able to get the Kellogg's cards easily but the Rold Gold ones are more difficult to find, especially in nice condition.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Why Be The First One to Open the Kellogg's Cereal Box? The Big Family Blues

With a big family it was critical to be the first one to grab the Frosted Flakes box as well as to be the person to finish the Hostess HoHos.  Doing either of those things increased my chances of getting the cards that were included.  I can't imagine what it would have been like to be in a small family where the box would be sitting in the pantry waiting for me to open at my leisure.

I didn't go shopping on Saturday morning often with my mother but that was another secret to getting more of these cards.  When mom was going to grab the numerous boxes of cereal that we devoured weekly she would grab the nearest Frosted Flakes boxes.  If I was with her I could check out the different prizes in an attempt to find the box with cards included.  Mom also wasn't too concerned with getting the HoHos and Twinkies that included cards so being around helped.

Even if mom brought home the Frosted Flakes boxes that I wanted, there were still a few hurdles getting in the way before I could get the card.

1.  Since mom usually shopped on Saturday morning with every other mom in the area, I was usually out playing sports when she returned.  If one of my brothers got to the card first I might now have to trade something to get the card.

2.  If one of my older sisters opened the box the card might be discarded.  Even if they saved it for me, they probably didn't make any effort to keep the card in decent shape.

When someone finished off a box of a Hostess product, it was important to get to the box before it was thrown away.  We didn't have any recycling in our day so time was critical on this one.

If I purchased an old box of Frosted Flakes it would be difficult for me not to open it.  That's just like the decision pack buyers make - it's a tough one.

Ding Dongs in my world

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Which Baseball Player Was Born Closest to the Kellogg's Headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan?

Only four players in MLB history were born in Battle Creek, Michigan.  Bill Stein and Bob Rush were the two names that I recognized.  The other two were Dann Howitt who I remembered only after looking him up and Gowell Claset who played in eight games in 1933.

I wanted to see who was born closest to the headquarters.  Maybe there were players who new people who worked there.  Maybe that's why they got in the set or maybe that helped them get free cards?

Only 13 players were born in Michigan and appeared in a regular-issue Kellogg's set.  Rick Wise was the closest to Battle Creek since he was born in Jackson, Michigan.

Wise grew up in Portland, Oregon.  His Little League team made it to the World Series.

Wise is known for throwing a no-hitter, being traded for Steve Carlton and for hitting two homers in the no-hitter game.  He also hit two homers in another game.

He hit 15 career homers and batted a solid .195.

He appeared in the 1972 Kellogg's set as a Phillie and the 1976 set with a Boston uniform.

Things that are not as commonly known about Wise:

1.  He was the winning pitcher in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, considered one of the greatest baseball games.  That was the game where Carlton Fisk hit his famous homer.

2.   His first win was in 1964 in game two of a doubleheader.  In game one Jim Bunning threw a perfect game.

3.  He played 18 seasons accumulating 188 wins to go with 181 losses.

4.  The first homer given up by him was hit by Willie Mays.

5.  He gave up more homers to Hank Aaron (6) than to any other batter.

6.  Of the 11 batters that faced Wise the most, four were Cubs.  Did he pitch more against the Cubs or did he just pitch longer into those games since he was facing the Cubs?

7.  More Cubs.  Pete Rose batted against Wise 83 times without homering.  Only three players stepped up more times without a homer.  Yes, all were Cubs - Kessinger, Beckert and Santo.   Beckert did hit .333 but the other two didn't post strong batting averages against Wise.  

8.  In a 1971 game against you guessed it, the Cubs, Wise gave up three runs in the first two innings before retiring 32 consecutive batters through the top of the 12th inning.  He then drove in the winning run with his third hit of the gam in the bottom of the 12th.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Where are the Mike Schmidt Kellogg's Cards?

I finally got around to the sorting my newer Kellogg's doubles in an attempt to create additional sets.  Mike Schmidt cards seem to be a challenge in all of my sets.

Schmidt has cards in 1975, 1978 and 1980 - 1983.

I don't know how he didn't get a card in 1976 and 1977 since he led the league in homers from 1974 - 1976.  Maybe it is because he also led the league in strikeouts?

His 1979 omission isn't a surprise.  His 1978 season was probably his weakest one.  That was the only year in a twelve-year period where he didn't get any MVP votes.

He came back to lead the league in homers in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984 and 1986.  He led the league in RBIs four times and walks four times.

He was MVP in 1980 and 1981 so I guess I could see why people were chasing his cards.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Kellogg's 1984 Baseball Card Set - What Could Have Been?

I don't know when Kellogg's decided that the 1983 set would be their last annual set.  Let's assume that there was a time when the company planned to create another 60-card set.

Here are some players that might have appeared on their only Kellogg's card had the company tried again in 1984.

1.  Cal Ripken - 1982 Rookie of the Year and 1983 AL MVP.

2.  Wade Boggs - won 1983 AL Batting Title

3.  Tony Gwynn - batted .309 in 1983

4.  Ryne Sandberg - Gold Glove in 1983 and 37 steals

5.  Andre Dawson - deserving in previous sets

6.  Ron Kittle - 1983 AL Rookie of the Year

7.  Lamar Hoyt - 1983 Cy Young Award

8.  Don Mattingly - big year in 1984, but did enough in 1983 to be one of their chance inclusions

9.  Tony Pena - in 1983 he won a Gold Glove and finished 12th in the MVP voting

10. Lee Smith - 1983 all-star; led league in saves; got MVP votes

11. Lou Whitaker - deserving in previous sets

12.  Rich Dotson - had 22 wins in 1983

13.  John Denny - won NL Cy Young Award

Some would have been great but others not so much.  Sure, I was biased toward Chicago players.   The White Sox did make the playoffs.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Frank Robinson's 1970 Kellogg's Card Is A Challenge to Find in Nice Shape

On this day in 1981 Frank Robinson was named as manager of the Giants.  He became the first black manager signed by the NL after accomplishing this in the AL in Cleveland.

Robinson was also the first person to win the MVP Award in both leagues.  Has anyone else even done that?

Like a lot of Kellogg's cards, the 1970 Frank Robinson card looks great when the color is vivid and there are few cracks.  The version shown above  is one of the proof cards that I didn't get last year.

There is a group of 1970 cards that seem to be in shorter supply.  I haven't seen any comments about how/why that occurred but it seems that those numbered between 15 and 30 are the cards being discussed as in shorter supply.  If you have more information on that let me know.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

My Favorite Kellogg's Sets - Why I Love the 1979 Set

I spent way too much time on the 1979 set.  Looking at the fine print to find errors and copyright differences is a slow process.

There are really two different sets.  The first is the set on thin card stock with the white border.  The second version has a thick card stock and the border color is some kind of cream color.

I haven't gotten any new variations lately.  I still need to confirm how many available possibilities exist.

I have no problem with the smaller card size.  Unfortunately, lots of the thicker stock cards tend to curl.

Nolan Ryan was 10-13 in 1978 so he didn't get into the 1979 set.   There is a good group of stars with Brett, Jackson and Rose.  Someday I will need to see which set did the best job depicting the best stars possible.

I used to see lots of these cards on ebay in the past.  Now I see lots of sets, but not any large lots.  This seems to be the first set that is readily available as a factory set.  Will that hurt its long-term value?  The value doesn't impact how I rate the sets.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy Birthday to Randy Jones - A Great Kellogg's Card to Pull in 1976

Randy Jones was one of my favorite pitchers in the mid-1970s.  He played for a team that never threatened the Cubs so it was easy to cheer for him.  Happy birthday to him today.

Why was it easy to cheer for him?  He was 8-22 in 1974 and turned it around to 20-12 in 1975 when he was the runner-up in the Cy Young Award voting to Tom Seaver.  The 1976 cards rank high among my favorite sets.  In 1976 Jones was a big part of that set and he went on to win the Cy Young award with his record of 22-14.

Jones ended up with a damaged nerve in his arm that limited his success in the next few years.  Playing for some poor Padre and Met teams didn't help his overall record of 100-123.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Here's an Easy Choice for Comeback Player of the Year - Give Him Some Kellogg's Cereal

John Hiller led the AL in saves in 1973 while setting a league record with 38 saves.  He played from 1965 - 1980 except that he missed all of the 1971 season and he only pitched in 24 games in 1972.

In 1973 in addition to the saves he led the league with 65 games pitched and 60 games finished.  His ERA was a scant 1.44.  He struck out 124 in 125+ innings of work.  He finished 4th in both the Cy Young and MVP Award votes.

That Comeback Award was an easy decision.  It was made more impressive after reading about what happened to Hiller on this day in 1971.  Hiller suffered a heart attack at the age of 27.  It's great that he came back to pitch until the age of 37.

His only appearance on a Kellogg's card was the 1975 card show above.  How did Kellogg's skip him in 1974?

Sunday, January 10, 2016

10 Years Ago Today This Pitcher Got Voted into the Hall as a Pitcher Without Ever Starting an MLB Game

He managed to get a few Kellogg's cards but he didn't manage to ever get a career start.  Bruce Sutter was one of my favorite Cubs.  He played five years with the Cubs, four with the Cardinals and three with the Braves.

Sutter was the first pitcher elected to the Hall without ever starting a single game.  He managed to steal a base somehow but no starts.  He played five minor league season and only started two games there.  What did he do in high school?

There are 18 players not in the Hall of Fame who have more career games without ever starting a game.  Here are the first ones on the list.

John Franco 1,111 games and 0 starts.
Kent Tekulve 1,050 games and 0 starts.
Trevor Hoffman 1,035 games and 0 starts.
Sparky Lyle 899 games and 0 starts.

Sutter pitched in 661 regular-season games.

Jesse Orosco leads with 1,252 games pitched, but he started four times.

Only Ryne Sandberg managed to hit 4 homers against Sutter.  Two of those were in the well-known "Sandberg" game.  I remember watching that at my parent's house.  I also remember that my mom made delicious homemade cookies because my brother was coming over for a visit.  My visit on the same day - mom gave me the lawn mover.

Sutter doesn't rank high in any career stats now. compares him mostly to guys not going to the Hall.  He did revolutionize relief pitching with the split-finger fastball.

I decided to see who did well against Sutter and who failed the most.  I was expecting someone like Shawon Dunston to struggle against Sutter since he swung at everything.  I didn't think that Dunston would have faced Sutter.  He did.  Dunston was 3-for-3 and he showed up first on the list when sorted by batting average even though others batted 1.000 against Sutter.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Does Anyone Else Have This on a Kellogg's Card?

Toby Harrah's last name is a palindrome.  Are there any other players that can say that?

I haven't checked all of the baseball database yet, but for those featured in a Kellogg's set there are no  others like Harrah.  There are only 10 other players in Kellogg's sets who even have the first and last letters that match.  Try to name those 10.

There are nine first names in Kellogg's sets that are palindromes.  Do you have more free time?  This should be easy since many of the names are used by multiple players.

There is one name that appears on both the first and last name list, but the first and last name are not for the same player.  It is a first name of one player and a last name for a different player.  Good luck with that one.

I will check the entire MLB database in the future.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Who is This Guy and Why is He Mentioned in Baseball History?

I was reading about baseball history on this day and I came across a name that I didn't immediately know.  So, let's see how the readers do with this one.  His name is Johnny Sylvester.  This is multiple choice so give it a go.

Is he

(a) the guy who caught Derek Jeter's playoff out turning it into a home run
(b) the guy who caught Luis Quinones' first career homer
(c) the first guy to line up for the bleachers at the Cubs first night game in 1988
(d) the sick guy in the hospital who Babe Ruth promised a homer to
(e) the guy in the San Diego Chicken costume
(f) the guy who caught Hank Aaron's 715th homer

Here is more information that might lead you to an answer.

Johnny was born on April 5th.

He died on this day in 1990.

He was born in New Jersey.

Never bad to show Babe Ruth.

Yes, he was the kid who Babe Ruth promised a homer to during the World Series.  I won't link to stories about this since the movie and the truth seem to be a bit at odds.  I like that in the Pride of the Yankees Gehrig promised a kid two homers instead of just one like Babe promised.

Extra credit if you can name three of the other answers.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What Happened to 1976 Kellogg's Cards #1, #2 and #3?

It is known that the first three cards in the 1976 Kellogg's set are in shorter supply.  Unlike other years, these cards are included in their own sheet.

What I have heard is that these three cards were not available in cereal boxes.  It seems as though one needed to buy the factory set to get them.  That would explain the proof sheet shown above.

Of the 14 main Kellogg's sets, only in 1973, 1975 and 1976 did the first three cards not include a future Hall-of-Famer (or Pete Rose).  I'm inclined to believe that there were three other players who were supposed to be included in the set.  But for that to be true those players would probably appear on the proof sheets that were auctioned last year.  Any help would be appreciated.

Some Players not in the 1976 set

Hank Aaron who they didn't get into a regular set for some rea$on.

Mike Schmidt led the NL in homers in 1975 but didn't get a 1976 Kellogg's card after being in the 1975 set.  He also wasn't included in 1977.

Tony Perez surpassed 100 RBIs but he was excluded.

Rusty Staub also surpassed 100 RBIs.  He was traded in December of 1975 so maybe that kept him out of the set.  He was not in any Kellogg's set.

George Brett batted .308 and led the AL in hits.

Mike Torrez won 20 games in 1975 but he never appeared in a Kellogg's set.  He was traded in early 1976 in a deal that sent Reggie Jackson to the Orioles, but Reggie appeared in his A's uniform in the Kellogg's set so Torrez could have been included as an Oriole.

Rich Gossage led the league in saves, had lots of strikeouts and an ERA of 1.84.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Happy Birthday to #7 on the All-Time Winning Percentage List

I was checking out the all-time leaders in winning percentage today.  The list only includes pitchers with at least 100 career decisions.

Here are some of the top pitchers on the list.

1.   Albert Spalding.  252-65.   Yes, the sporting goods guy.   He only played for seven years.  Why?
2.   Spud Chandler.  109-43.
3T. Whitey Ford.  236-106.  
3T. Dave Foutz.  147-66.  He's listed as a batter first since he played even when not pitching.
5.   Bob Caruthers.  218-99.
6.   Pedro Martinez.  219-100.  


10.  Smokey Joe Wood
11.  Babe Ruth
12.  Clayton Kershaw
16.  Christy Mathewson
19.  Roger Clemens
22.  Sandy Koufax
24.  Ron Guidry
25.  David Price

Number 7 on this list has some impressive statistics.  If you've read my other posts, this player must appear on a Kellogg's card.  No, this player doesn't appear in the All-Time Greats set.

He played for only nine years but compiled a record of 109-50.  He added 11 saves over the years.

He pitched in the post-season in five different years and he was on the roster in another season.  He was a member of six World Series teams including teams that won in 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1978.  

He didn't pitch in the 1978 post season and he never appeared in another game after July 9, 1978.  

By now you probably know that he was a Red and then a Yankee.  

This sheet shows Gullett's 1976 Kellogg's card along with Steve Hargan and Claudell Washington.  More on that tomorrow.

Don Gullett had a nice career in many ways.  Unfortunately he never pitched after the age of 27 due to shoulder problems.  

He had a complete game win in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Pirates in 1975.  He was also 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs and a homer.  He joins a unique list of guys who homered in the post-season but never during their regular season careers.  He had 442 plate appearances in the regular season without hitting a homer.

Hank Aaron sure liked facing Gullett.  Aaron hit 7 homers in 26 official at-bats against Gullett.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Book That I am Now Planning to Read - It is Already in My Garage

In 1963 on this day Rogers Hornsby passed away in Chicago.  He has the highest career average for a right-handed hitter with his .358 average.  He also had the highest average in a season after 1900 when he hit .424.

I know that I have a book in the garage about him.  After what I learned today I'll certainly be reading it soon.

Hornsby was buried in a place near Austin, Texas called Hornsby Bend, Texas.  Is anyone else born in a town that matches their name?

Hornsby wasn't well-liked as a player or as a manager.  Maybe that is a big reason why he played for some many teams and coached/managed at a lot of places as well.

I like this quote that I found that was attributed to him -
"I don't want to play golf. When I hit a ball, I want someone else to go chase it."

I guess that he never would have liked being a caddie either.   I will be thinking about that when I read the book.  

Monday, January 4, 2016

The "Original Padre"? I Guess I Should Check the Other Teams Too

So, Ollie Brown was the Original Padre since he was their first player selected in the 1968 Expansion Draft.

Bob Bailor was the first Blue Jay selected.  The first Expo and Pilot drafted both appeared on a Kellogg's card so I will save them for another day when I mention all of the first picks.

Back to Ollie Brown who passed away in 2015.  His brother Oscar played for the Braves for five years.  Another brother, Willie, played for the Raiders and coached in the NFL.  I remember Willie the most.

I remember getting Topps cards of Ollie and Willie as a kid, but I really don't remember Oscar.  Sorry about that Oscar.

Ollie played from 1965 -1977, so the Padres at least picked someone who lasted.  He played four seasons with the Padres.  He had 20+ homers in two of those seasons and he finished with 102 career home runs.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

What Do Lefty Grove, Roy White and Bruce Sutter Have in Common?

This is my 300th post.  I always liked how Topps gave card numbers ending in "00" to star players.  That's not what the three players listed in the title have in common.

Lefty Grove won exactly 300 games in his career.

Bruce Sutter saved exactly 300 games in his career.

Roy White got exactly 300 doubles in his career.

Thanks to these guys for making my post easier to do.  We'll see in a few months if there is anyone with exactly 400 of something.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ted Turner Knows How to Make News - Sports, TV, Wives and More

Gary Matthews signed in as a free agent with Atlanta after the 1976 season.  On this day in 1977 Braves owner Ted Turner was suspended for the 1977 season for tampering in the free agent signing of Matthews.

Mathews had a nice career, as did his son.  Matthews Sr. was Rookie of the Year and he had 7 post-season homers in 19 games.

After Turned decided to manage one game in 1977 Commission Kuhn ruled that anyone who is a team owner couldn't manage a team.  He must have been appealing the suspension at this point in May of 1977?

Turner took a new path after the suspension.  He went on the skipper the USA victory in the America's Cup Yacht Race.

Matthews became a leader for the 1984 Cubs, leading the league in walks, sacrifice flies and on-base percentage.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Not Many A.L. Pitchers Were Able to Do This But Paul Lindblad Did.

Paul Lindblad passed away on this day in 2006 from Alzheimer's disease.

He played 14 years, all in the A.L.  Lindblad was a workhorse who pitched in 655 career games mostly in relief.

In 1975 he was a pitcher in a combined no-hitter.  The other pitchers were Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers and Glenn Abbott.  He pitched one inning retiring the side in order.  Fingers pitched the last two like relievers normally did back then.  Today many closers get one inning only.

In over 1,200 innings no one hit more than four homers off of him.  No Hall of Famer hit more than two homers off him.  Al Kaline and Carlton Fisk managed two homers each while Rick Reichardt had the most of Lindblad with four homers.  Reichardt hit two of them in consecutive innings in 1967.

As I said, Lindblad only played in the A.L.  I noticed on his stats that somehow he managed to give up one home run in Shea Stadium.  Does anyone know how this is possible?

Give up yet?  Here is a big hint.  When Joe Dimaggio played his final Old-Timer's Game it was also at Shea Stadium.

Need another hint?  Lindblad had one career homer and it was at Yankee Stadium in 1967.

It turns out that Thurman Munson was the one to hit a home run off of Paul Lindblad at Shea Stadium.  The Yankees played home games there in 1974 and 1975 because Yankee Stadium was being renovated.  Since we didn't have cable TV that wasn't something we heard about every day.  I'd forgotten that.

Lindblad and Munson are cards #52 and #53 in the 1976 Kellogg's set.  They are next to each other in nine-pocket pages.