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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, March 31, 2016

What Else Did Kellogg's Say on the Back of Its 1981 Cards - #45 - #37

Not every card has interesting comments on the back.  Some stick to the basic stats and facts.

#45 Ron Guidry - threw Louisiana Lightnin' which Kellogg's seems to be calling his fastball.  He was mentioned to be a late bloomer since he joined the starting rotation at age 26.  Not on the card - websites list Louisiana Lightning as his nickname.

#44 Phil Garner - 12-for-24 in the World Series which was one hit shy of the record.

#43 Larry Bowa - career MLB fielding percentage leader with .981.  He also has the season best percentage with .991.  Not on the card - Wikipedia notes that he never made his high school baseball team.  Bowa is currently ninth all-time in fielding percent as a shortstop with .980.  Troy Tulowitzki leads at .985.

#42 Terry Puhl - his hobby is listed as winter sports.  He was rejected by the Expos at a special tryout camp in Canada.  Not on the card - it's easy to see that he grew up in Canada, eh.  (Three Canadian players Got a Kellogg's card)

#41 Rich Gossage - was a starter for the White Sox at age 19.  Went through the minors with Bucky Dent.

#40 Fred Lynn - the card mentions his trade to California and the broken toe that affected his 1980 stats.

#39 Ken Singleton - nothing interesting is mentioned.

#38 Tom Seaver - lists bridge as a hobby.  He's 12 K's short of 3,000 which will make him the fifth pitcher to do so.  Not on the card - I can't imagine a player today listing bridge as a hobby.

#37 Tug McGraw - bats right and throws left.  Only 14 players on Kellogg's cards do that and the only non-pitchers are Cleon Jones and Rickey Henderson.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Here is a Gold Glove Question for Everyone

I was looking at which players won the most Gold Gloves from 1969 -1982.  Ten players earned more than five Gold Glove Awards during those years.

Can you name the 10 players?  Hint: one of the 10 didn't get a Kellogg's card at all.  He ended up with eight Gold Gloves.  The leaders during these years earned nine Gold Gloves in 14 years.

Players who won five awards during these years who are just outside of the top ten are listed below.

Dwight Evans - won eight in his career.

Bob Gibson - won nine, all in consecutive seasons.

Doug Rader - won five, all in consecutive seasons.

Joe Morgan - won five, all in consecutive seasons.

Cesar Cedeno - won five, all in consecutive seasons.

Keith Hernandez - won 11 in his career.

Dave Concepcion - won five in his career.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

1981 Kellogg's Card Backs #54 - #46 Lots of Text Even for a Guy Who Played 20 Years

Lots more writing to talk about on the 1981 Kellogg's card backs.  It is really small print for someone my age.  Another reason that more writing is included - the cards are larger than other years as the 1981s are standard baseball card size (3.5 x 2.5).

Kellogg's still managed lots of text for guys who played a long time.  Topps didn't always do that, skipping text when there were lots of years of stats.

#54 Joe Charboneau  Less than a month into the season he had a nickname (Super Joe) and a few months later a song ((Go Go Charboneau) that was #1 on the charts in Cleveland.  He quit in 1977 while in the minors due to lack of playing time but he returned in 1978.  Not on the card - the odd things he did and the fizzle of his career due to injuries.

#53 Paul Molitor - Rookie of the Year in 1978.  His lifetime average is .300 after three seasons.    

#52 Tommy John - won 43 games in the previous two years, the most in MLB.  He's called "The Bionic Man" because hit left elbow had to be rebuilt due to injury.  The doctor told him in 1974 that he'd never pitch again.   Not on the card - cool that the procedure is named for him instead of Dr. Frank Jobe.

#51 Alan Trammell - made the All-Star team.  He was mentioned as a likely permanent fixture on that team.  Not on the card - Not a bad call since he did make five more All-Star teams.

#50 Steve Carlton - won his third Cy Young Award tying him for the most all-time.  He is now the career leader in strikeouts for a lefty and he's got six career one-hitters.  Not on the card - he never threw a no-hitter but he was quite a hitter.  He hit 13 homers and batted .201 for his career.

#49 Rick Burleson - named the team MVP the Red Sox in 1979 and 1980.  A trade to California is mentioned.

#48 Carl Yastrzemski - he had 100 hits for 20 straight seasons.  Only Cobb and Aaron can join him in that category.  Not on the card - Pete Rose ended up with 23 staight seasons of 100+ hits while Yaz and Cobb had 20 in a row.

#47 Dave Kingman - missed lots of games after being injured crossing home plate.  This also led to his newspaper column being canceled in Chicago.  Not on the card - Chicago newspaper writer Mike Royko parodied Kingman's column in a rival paper.

#46 Lee Mazzilli - he stole 41 bases in 1980 and now has 122 in his Met career.  The Mets are so poor in the SB department that he already has a club record.  Not on the card - I didn't look up which record he held, but he only finished with 152 as a Met and Jose Reyes had 370.  Lee played nine more seasons and never surpassed 17 steals

Monday, March 28, 2016

I Don't Have any Dairy Queen Cards But There is a Good Story

On a hot summer day a Dairy Queen large shake sure hit the spot after a long day of caddying.  After getting the shake the ride home was almost two miles.  My shake never lasted the entire bike ride.  I wouldn't want to get home with it since someone would want me to share it with them.

A story today about one of my brothers sounded funny at first until I thought about the untold part of the story.  The story is true, but since I'm not sure when it happened, I'm going to do my best to come up with the rest of the story using an actual box score.

My brother is a big White Sox fan.  In 1993 the Sox made the playoffs only to lose to Toronto.  Another brother passed along the Dairy Queen incident today and I thought it would be more fun to create the story rather than wait for the truth.  Plus, the truth could possibly be a story without players who have appeared on a Kellogg's card.

On June 13, 1993 the White Sox played a Sunday afternoon game against the Royals in Kansas City.  The White Sox scored in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game.  In the 10th inning George Brett doubled and later scored when pitcher Donn Pall gave up another hit.

My brother, remembering that Donn Pall grew up within a few blocks of that Dairy Queen was quite frustrated by the outcome.  So what did he do?  He ran out of the house and threw his XL DQ shake into the street.  As the story was told to me, my brother's violent heave went sailing over my older brother's 1961 convertible that went by the name of "Flash".  Why was it called that?  When he bought it, the name was cheaply spray-painted on the side and my brother never painted over it.  The doors also didn't open but we didn't mind.

Why would he do that?  Did Pall's family own the DQ? How far did he throw it?  Why wasn't YouTube around yet?  I promise to update this story in the future unless it is too boring.

Two more questions arose from hearing this story today.  First, how did my brother get all the way home from DQ without finishing his shake?  He must have gotten a ride.  Back in my day we rode our bike or walked the 3.5 miles home from the golf course.  The younger generation was certainly soft.

Another question came to mind as well.  How was my brother already watching a White Sox day game on a Sunday?  This is the biggest day to make money as a caddie.  The only way I got home that early on a Sunday was if there was a flood or lightning.  Did I mention that this younger generation was soft?

I await answers to my questions.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Wow, the 1981 Kellogg's Set Has Lots of Player Write-Ups on the Back

I'm finally going to start looking at the back of the Kellogg's cards for this blog.  I started with the 1981 Kellogg's set since I've got more of these cards than any other year.  I bought a lot of them in two purchases a few years ago.

I found lots to write about from reading the backs so today I will only talk about cards #55 - #66. Subsequent posts will cover nine cards at a time as they are displayed on standard 9-pocket pages.

#66 Mike Hargrove - didn't play baseball in high school since his school didn't have a team.  After playing at Northwestern Oklahoma State University the Rangers took at chance on him in the 25th round of the draft.  Two years later he won the AL Rookie of the Year Award in what his Kellogg's card calls a "Cinderella Story".  Not on the card - This card did come out a year after Caddyshack.  Did they steal Carl Spacker's Cinderella Story line?

#65 Johnny Bench - it was mentioned that he'd have a good shot at 400 homers.  Not on the card - He finished with 389.

#64 Buddy Bell - the card mentions that his father (Gus) played in the majors and that his grandfather also played professionally (not in MLB).  Not on the card - Two of Buddy's boys (David, Mike) played in the majors as well.  Gus out-homered Buddy 206-201.  Buddy (5) got named to more all-star games than his dad who had four.  David added 123 homers and Mike accounted for two more.  That's a nice family total of 532.  

#63 Pete Rose - is only 74 hits from breaking Stan Musial's NL hit record.  

#62 Bruce Bochte - had 1,033 chances in a row at 1B without an error.  That was a team record.  Not on the card - The MLB record is 2,379.    

#61 Bob Horner - was labelled as the next MLB home run king.  Not on the card - He did hit 218 homers but he never stayed healthy enough to play more than 141 games in a season.  

#60 Mike Flanagan - his father and grandfather both played in the minors.  

#59 Larry Gura - it says he spent the first six years of his pro career trying to convince the world that he could pitch.  Not on the card - He never exceeded 65 innings in any of those seasons.  

#58 Steve Stone - owns a chain of restaurants.  He also had poetry published.  His college catcher was Thurman Munson.  

#57 Robin Yount - is expected to be the youngest player (age 25) to appear in 1,000 MLB games during the 1981 season.  Not on the card - He needed 12 games and since the strike was in mid-season I assume he earned that distinction.    

#56 Bruce Sutter - it took him six years to get our of the minors with the Cubs.  He is shown as a Cub in the photo but the trade to St. Louis is mentioned.   

#55 Rick Langford - he pitched 290 innings and had 28 complete games including 22 in a row, the most in a row since 1904.  Not on the card - Since 1904 only 497 times has a pitcher recorded more than 22 complete games in a season.  None have happened since 1980 and most were before WWII.  The most complete games in a season since 1981 is 21 by Ron Guidry in 1983.  

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Why I Never Got A Kellogg's Card.....Part 1

By age 10 I was a tall left-handed thrower.  So that ruled out playing 2B, SS, 3B and catcher.  I never played those spots in organized games.  First base tended to be my home from age 8 to 12 since coaches liked to put tall lefties there.

There were two problems with that.  First, two or three years in a row I ended up on the team with the kid who threw the hardest in the league.  While that was good since I didn't have to bat against him, it meant that when he wasn't pitching he was throwing the ball to me from shortstop.  I just checked my hands and there seem to be no more marks from those days but I can still feel the pain of not having a first-basemen's glove that would have helped protect my hand.

The second problem - I was better at running on the field than standing still.  Every thing was okay except for one thing.  When a popup was hit directly too me I had problems catching it.

When we played baseball one-on-one at night or when no one else was around, we played behind Scottsdale Park in a game that I think was call one-on-one or fast-pitch.  A strike zone was drawn on the building and a rubber coated ball was used.  I hated this game since I was horrible at pitching.  When a pitcher gave up a hit, he had to go chase it.  Lots of chasing for me - there's another reason I became a runner.  I think there were specific markers that signified single, double, triple or homer but I can't remember that part.

So a shrewd coach decided when I was 12 to have me pitch twice.  The memories are unclear but a few things are still easy to recall.  First, I didn't retire the side and I remember being put back at first base both times.  Second, a kid that I didn't get along with got a double off of me and proceeded to heckle me quietly from second base.  I heard he went to reform school.  Should I feel good or bad about that?

Here is my best guess at my career pitching stats -

G - 2
IP - 1.0  -- hey I got a few guys out
H - 5
R - 4
BB - 0 -- everyone knew they could hit off me
K - 0 -- have you been reading this post?
ERA - 36.00
Kids sent to reform school - 1

Maybe if I struck that kid out he'd have gone to Harvard.  Maybe if I hit him with a pitch he'd have been in prison, so I guess it worked out somewhere in between.  I do know that if we have a Durkin Park Little League reunion he might want to borrow some of Barry Bonds' protective batting armor.

Friday, March 25, 2016

I think That I've Finally Got the e-mail Address into My Profile - Contact Me There or Comment on the Blog as You are Already Doing

For those trying to contact me to discuss Kellogg's cards, I finally added my e-mail into my profile.  On the right side of the blog there is a link to my profile.  Once there click on About and my e-mail address should appear.

I look forward to hearing about your Kellogg's items and if you are going to the National.  I'm undecided on the National so far.

Who Is In Your Kellogg's Foursome?

A common question to get people talking is to ask them who would join them for dinner for four at a restaurant.  The people can be living or deceases.  This always makes it easy to get a good discussion going on all sorts of different topics - sports, politics, religion, global warming, etc.

I would probably include Isaac Newton, Lou Gehrig and golfer Chick Evans.  Gehrig and Evans may have met since they are from a similar time.  

In golf it is common to skip the dinner table and ask who would be in your foursome.  I'm going to ask the same question except that the players must have appeared on a Kellogg's card.  Depending on one's mood, this could change at any time.  Disregard the fact that some of these guys might not be golfers since I'm not going to look that up.

Would it be best to pick people who actually knew each other or not?

Would it be better to choose people from different eras?

Does one just pick their favorite players?

Does one select players from different parts of the USA/World?

Let's start with the Cubs since I've been blessed to be a Cub fan my entire life.  Since I was a horrible pitcher (see my career stats tomorrow) I will skip pitchers.  I already met Fergie Jenkins last year in a skybox so adding him has less appeal now.

I was a bit too young to be an Ernie Banks fan.  My brother was a big fan of Banks.  He seemed like a great guy and ambassador for the team.

Billy Williams and Ron Santo were my favorites as a kid.  I saw both of them for years at games and I saw Santo on the golf course before.

I think I'd have gone with Ernie Banks.  His enthusiasm would be great for any foursome.  He'd probably be great at getting everyone in the conversation.

Since Lou Gehrig was in my foursome already, he's a shoe-in for this group.  I want to know if the stories are true.  I also saw one of my wife's relatives go through some of the stages of ALS.

Roberto Clemente would also be a good choice for some of the same reasons as Gehrig.  Was he really that amazing in daily life?  I will pass on him since his career spanned almost exactly the same years as Banks' career.

By choosing someone who began in the 1970s I can get a nice mix of baseball from the 1920s, '30s, '50s, '60s, '70s and '80s.  There are so many interesting choices.  None jump out at me like those already chosen.  Some would be good just because they are polarizing personalities and others would be good since they were star players.

It is tough to decide so I will go back to another baseball ambassador - Minnie Minoso.  Before his recent death, he was seen everywhere around Chicago at White Sox events and other community events.

Banks is from Dallas, Texas.  Gehrig is from New York City and Minoso hailed from Cuba.  That fits right in with all of the coverage of Obama in Cuba and Cuba's link to MLB.  It doesn't matter if they are any good at golf because I sure haven't figured the game out.  

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Only three players made their debuts in 1970 and played their final game in 1983.  Joe Ferguson, Larry Biitner and Dave LaRoche all did this.

LaRoche has been in the news lately because his son retired.  There were way too many stories about that in the Chicago papers last week.

Three players also made their debuts in 1969 and retired sometime during the 1982 season.  This would match the years Kellogg's used to select players for the next set.  Tom Griffin, Fred Stanley and Bill Lee did this.  Hey, Bill Lee got into a Kellogg's set - 1976.

Does Anyone Remember the Name of This Game That I Played But Never Owned?

George Sisler was born on this day in 1893.   When I was a kid I read about lots of different players.  I never did see a book about him.  How did I hear his name?  There were two ways I heard about his career.

The first way I heard about him was in the 1972 Kellogg's Set.  The set included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Rogers Hornsby and Walter Johnson.  Anyone included with them must have been an amazing player.

In the winter a few friends spent downtime playing a baseball board game using stats from each franchise's all-time greats.  I can't find out the name of it yet but I'm not certain it was a version of Strat-O-Matic baseball.  Since they had the all-time teams for each franchise, we started to learn about all of the players.  That was my favorite part of the game.  

My friends ran a full season, keeping stats along the way.  I played the game at times but I wasn't involved in the season.

In the game,  it was easy to determine which players were the best.  On the best players the most commonly rolled numbers were likely to get them a hit.  I remember that 19 was the toughest number to roll.  If a guy only could get a homer on a roll of 19, he certainly wasn't much of a home run hitter.
I'll need to add that to the list of games I'd like to find.  I think I have a 1970s Strat-O-Matic game but it doesn't resemble this one.  I think the highest number was 39, but I can't remember if the lowest number was 10, 11 or 12.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Kellogg's Cereal Box Dream #22 - 1971 Wasn't A Great Year For Me and Frosted Flakes

I didn't get a lot of Kellogg's cards in 1971.  I remember getting Glenn Beckert and a few others but none of the big stars - Clemente, Mays or my favorite - Billy Williams.  I had better luck in 1973 and 1974.

The Tommie Agee card is more along the lines of what I pulled from cereal boxes in 1971.  

1971 Kellogg's Tommie Agee #46

1971 Rating                    -- 4  comment -- not a great player and a Met.  Yuk!

2016 Rating                    -- 7  comment --   These cards rarely look nice, so getting any one of                                                   them out of a box would be great.  

Agee made a few great plays in the outfield for the 1969 Mets who won the World Series.  A few years earlier he was the AL Rookie of the Year for the White Sox.

He only played until 1973 so I mostly remember him as a injured, older player.  His last Topps card showed him as a Dodger, but he got released before opening day and never played for the Dodgers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Red Sox Lost Out On This Trade With the Yankees Too

Sure the Red Sox dealing Babe Ruth to the Yankees didn't work out well.  On this day in 1972 the Red Sox sent Sparky Lyle to the Yankees for Danny Cater and Mario Guerrero (player named later).

Cater had three part-time seasons in Boston before being shipped to St. Louis on 3-29-75.  Guerrero lasted less than two part-time seasons before also being sent to St. Louis (4-04-75) for Jim Willoughby who had 20 saves and a 14-16 record in three seasons for Boston.  

Lyle pitched seven seasons for the Yankees.  He won a Cy Young and led the league in saves twice. He was an all-star three times for the Yankees.  He pitched from 1967 - 1982.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Did Ty Cobb's Contract Have This Stipulation Every Year?

On this day in 1908 Ty Cobb signed a contract that paid him $4,000.  In addition, Cobb would be paid an $800 bonus if he was able to finish the season with a batting average of at least .300.  Was this the first contract of this type?

I don't think there were GM's at that point so I'm guessing the owners decided that the extra $800 would a decent wager and motivation.   When did GM's begin working in MLB?

Well, putting that clause in Cobb's contract would be like:

1.  Giving Babe Ruth a bonus for eating hot dogs during a game, or for me to eat them while caddying.

2.  Giving Turk Wendel a bonus for eating licorice and brushing his teeth during a game.  Sorry for the reference after 1983.  I will try to limit those but that just came to mind.

3.  Having a bonus for Gaylord Perry that only kicks in when he throws a spitball.

Cobb batted under .300 in 41 games during his rookie year.  In 1907 he won his first batting title with an average of .350.  After his first year, he played 23 years and he batted over .300 every year.  After this contract in 1908 he batted under .350 only six times with the lowest of those being .323.  I wonder if Cobb got the same bonuses each year after that.  

With the new contract in 1908 after his 1907 batting title, Cobb went on to win all batting titles from 1908 to 1919 except for 1916 when he hit .371.  In 1916 Tris Speaker ended Cobb's streak.

1908 was the last good year of baseball for Cubs fans.  I'm going to ignore all of the years between then and now except when I'm adding these posts.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Kellogg's Cards at the Rosemont Card Show

Yesterday I went to the card show in Rosemont, Illinois.  This used to be called the Sun Times Show and now it goes by some other name.  The show has taken on more of an autograph show over the years and there were certainly less tables than in previous years since the autograph pavilion is taking up more of the floor.

Usually I find Kellogg's cards at dealer tables that contain old cards.  There were lots of those tables.  There were plenty of dealers with old cards in VG condition and low prices.  I enjoyed looking through those, but I didn't find any cheap Kellogg's cards.

I was also looking for any Kellogg's promo items, uncut sheets and one-of-a-kind items.  I even carried a camera in case I found something interesting that was beyond my limited budget.  I never used the camera.

The search was fun even though I didn't see anything.  I'm hoping to go to the National in New Jersey  to search more, but this is the first year in a long time that I'm not likely to go.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fergie Jenkins Was So Close to Being on the 1984 Cubs

On this day in 1984 the Cubs released Fergie Jenkins, then a 41-year old.  That ended the career of the future Hall of Famer.

The Cubs season of 1984 was almost a magical one.  Sounds familiar doesn't it.  It was frustrating to hear fans talk about how good the Cubs will be in 2016.  The roster on paper doesn't mean much when it comes to winning the World Series.  Just ask the Marlins and Twins who have both managed to win two World Series titles without rosters that seemed ready to win.

Who would have not been on the 1984 Cubs if Jenkins lasted another year?

Friday, March 18, 2016

Joliet, IL Has Always Been Known For It's Baseball Players

I drove through Joliet, Illinois on my way home from Peoria.  Joliet has always had strong baseball teams.   21 players born in Joliet have made it to the big leagues.  The area continues to be strong so I'd expect more in the future.

The list includes Jesse Barfield, Mark Leiter, Jack Perconte, Jeff Reed, Ed Spezio, Scott Spezio, Bill Sudakis and Larry Gura.  Only Gura found his way into a Kellogg's set.

Gura played from 1970 to 1985.  I remember him when he was a youngster with the Cubs and when he was a good pitcher for the Royals. reminds me that he played five years with the Cubs, 10 with the Royals and two with the Yankees.  I'd forgotten that he finished his career back with the Cubs.

I knew that Gura had a Kellogg's card in 1981 but I didn't remember that he also appeared in the 1983 set.  In 1980 he was 18-10 and in 1982 he was 18-12 so it isn't a surprise to see how he was selected.  The only other time he surpassed 13 wins was 1978 when he was 16-4.  He received Cy Young votes in all three of those year.  His career record was 126 wins and 97 losses.

In five years with the Cubs he only managed to get into 59 games.  After being traded to the Rangers who he never played for, he ended up getting into the starting rotation with the Yankees during his second season there.

He was selected to the 1980 American League All-Star team.

John Ellis sure liked batting against Gura.  Ellis had five homers and 17 RBIs in 36 at-bats against Gura.  That's pretty good for a guy who only hit 69 homers while averaging a homer every 39 at-bats in his career.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Too Bad Joe Girardi and Jim Thome Didn't Get a Kellogg's Card

I'm heading home from Peoria, Illinois today.  That's the hometown of both Jim Thome and Joe Girardi.  I didn't know Girardi in college but our team shared a locker room with his team.

Today is St. Patrick's day.  Only two players named Pat got onto a Kellogg's card - Pat Kelly and Pat Zachry.  I always liked Kelly when he was on the White Sox.  Why?  I am a fan of the Cubs.  I always liked the outfielders since that's where I liked to sit at Comiskey Park.

I was not a fan of Pat Zachry only because he spent time on the Mets.  I will still wish him a Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Freddie Patek is included here since he's the only player with a Kellogg's card that also has the letters "Pat" in his name.  Happy St. Patrick's Day to him too.

Patek retired on 10-03-1981 and Pat Kelly's last game was the next day.

More tomorrow when I have more time.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wow! Today is A Big Anniversary in MLB

On this day in 1976 one of the most important events occurred for the players.  Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith became free agents.  Later in 1976 the league agreed to have free agency begin after six years of MLB service.

The free agency market expanded quickly in the late 1970s.  Player salaries escalated quickly since owners fought to get the best free agents.  Many of the signings didn't work out, especially the signing of older free agents.  Check out the stats on some of the players signed.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Learned a Bit More About Ron Bryant's Career Today

Ron Bryant was the answer to a Kellogg's question a few weeks ago (League Leaders Who Didn't Get a Kellogg's Card....).

On this day in 1974 Ron Bryant got injured at a swimming pool.  Did he hurt his shoulder, forearm or some other body part?

He went from 24-12 to 3-15 in one year.  In 1973 he was the only NL's 20-game winner.  He played his last game in 1975 at the age of 27.

Why did Kellogg's ignore him in the 1974 set?  Did Joe Coleman, Wayne Twitchell, Bill Singer or Jim Brewer do more to get into the set?

Monday, March 14, 2016

Today is Like Halloween - My Brothers Get the Goodies and I Get a Rock

Today is pi day.  My daughter gets extra credit for bringing a pie to school for math class.  I wish someone did that when I was a student.  

On the Sean Lahman database there is only one player with the last name of Pie (Felix) and one with a first name of Pie (Traynor).  Luckily, Mr. Traynor has a Kellogg's card.  Once again I'm too lazy to dig one out of my room, so here is a bad picture from the internet.

He hit .320 for his career (1920 - 1937).

I found one other player with the nickname of Pie - Al Piechota.  That led me to search for other players with the letters "pie" in their name.   

Only six players had the word "pie" in their first names.  None played after 1946 and none were names I recognized.

43 players in MLB history have the word "pie" in their last name.  A few are worth noting. 

Billy Pierce - a long-time White Sox pitcher who lived a few miles from me.  He'd attend local shows frequently and wander the room talking to collectors and dealers.  

Jimmy Piersall - a White Sox announcer that sure made games entertaining with Harry Caray.  

Juan Pierre - he had over 2,200 hits and led the league in hits and steals a few times.  He played for both Chicago teams. 

A.J. Piezynski - everyone loves or hates A.J.  Everyone will remember him too.

Tony Piet - I recognize the name only because he's from IL.

Ed Spezio - from Joliet, IL where I used to work.

Scott Spezio - from Joliet, IL where I used to work.

No MLB players have had the initials P.I.E. Two have P.E. without a middle name but a quick search didn't yield any middle name so I gave up.

Only two players have had the initials P.I., which is the basis of pi day.  Phil Irwin and Pete Incaviglia.  

If you haven't noticed, I really don't feel like being productive today.  

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Nothing Much at the Local Card Show Today

I went to the local card show today.  It occurs once per month.  There are about 40 tables with a variety of cards old and new.  I stayed about 30 minutes buying a few 1971 Kellogg's cards and a 1974 Ron Blomberg that I will use as an upgrade.

This is not the card I bought today.  Since I only bought four cards, I lacked the motivation to do anything with them yet.  Actually, I didn't even take them out of the car yet.

I actually was looking for some 1961 Topps commons since I saw them at the show last month for 50 cents each.  Since I brought my want list today, those cards weren't around.

Next week there is a big card show in Chicago.  I hope to be able to get there on Saturday morning.  I'm going to take my time and look around for the variations and unopened Kellogg's cards that I need.  I need to be patient at the booths because Kellogg's cards are normally not found at the center of any display.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

I Forgot That Jim Palmer Did That

On this day in 1991 Jim Palmer's comeback ended when he tore his hamstring.  The only pitches that Palmer had since 1984 were for his underwear line by Jockey.  Do Palmer fans or Orioles fan collect the Jockey boxes?

Palmer was a key to three World Series wins by the Orioles.  He won three Cy Young awards.  I'm sure there will be plenty more about Palmer in future posts.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Here is Another MLB Player Who Never Played Travel Ball

There are very few stories of someone beginning to play baseball in high school and then making it big in the majors. Cesar Geronimo didn't do just that.  He began playing baseball at the age of 17 and four years later he was in the majors.  Happy birthday to him today.

I will try to get a better picture up soon.  He appeared in both the 1975 and 1977 Kellogg's sets.

Geronimo was known for being the 3,000th strikeout victim of both Bob Gibson and Nolan Ryan.  He only had eight at-bats against Ryan and he struck out three times.  Gibson whiffed him nine times in 22 plate appearances.  

Geronimo won four Gold Glove awards and two World Series rings with the Reds.  

Oops.  I posted this to my other blog by mistake this morning.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Some Players Wore Batting Helmets on the Field; Others Didn't Even Wear Them When Batting

On this day in 1941 the Dodgers announced that their players would wear batting helmets.  After some earlier rules regarding batting helmets, in 1971 MLB mandated that all players were helmets.  Current players didn't have to abide by the rule.

The last three active players to go without helmets at the plate were Bob Montgomery (last game in 1979), Tony Taylor (1976) and Norm Cash (1974).

Taylor appeared in the 1971 Kellogg's set.  I would think that at least of few of the 78 times he was hit by a pitch in his career might have convinced him to weave a batting helmet.

Cash won a batting title (.361 in 1961) and in 17 years he never surpassed .300 again.  His never best average was .286, .075 points lower than his best average.  He later told about this season and how he corked his bat.  Why didn't he do it in other years?

Dick Allen would wear a helmet when playing in the field.   Check out the cards below.  That's how I remember him playing.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Bert Campaneris Out-homered Yaz

Today is Bert Campaneris' birthday.  I was surprised by a few things that showed up in his stats.  In 1970 he hit 22 of his 79 career homers.  How did he do that when his next highest season had him hit eight homers?

I mentioned a few days ago that Carl Yastrzemski hit no career homers off of Gaylord Perry.  Campaneris hit three of of Perry in 78 plate appearances.  Two more of his homers came of Gaylord's brother Jim.

He had three 2-homer games including his first two homers off of Jim Kaat.  Not bad for a guy who averaged a homer every 121+ at-bats in his career.

He finished his career with 649 stolen bases, the most for a Latin-American player.  Can you name who is next on that list?  Hint - he has at least one Kellogg's card.  

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Is the Kellogg's Hispanic Legends / Leyendas Hispanas del Beisbol Missing One or Two Cards?

I had a previous post where I showed this sheet that I bought a while back (Leyendas - Hispanic Legends Set).

It looks like there should be another card in this set.  The top three spots on the upper left side of the sheet are gone.  It would have made sense to add another player.  Besides that, there are missing a player for third base so maybe that is the missing player.  Or maybe they cut out two players and added the header card at the last minute.

Why not just double print Roberto Clemente?  That's what Topps would have done.  Collectors certainly wouldn't have minded that.

Tony Perez played about one-third of his career at third base, so he could have been the guy.  Others who played third base - Jorge Orta and Manny Trillo.

Others who could have been included that weren't at third base - Luis Tiant, Juan Marichal, Fernando Valenzuela, Luis Aparicio, Dave Concepcion, Tony Oliva and the Alou brothers.

If you have more information on this set please let me know.  Anyone?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Kellogg's Cereal Box Dream #21 - Did Yaz Ever Complain About Spitballs?

I've already had a post about Carl Yastrzemski and his batting gloves (Yaz and His Batting Glove).   What about getting a Yaz card from a cereal box in the 1970s?  Of course I couldn't pull a Yaz card most years since he only appeared in 1975, 1976 and 1979 through 1983.  He was an all-star from 1965 to 1979 and in 1982 and 1983 and he had over 3400 career hits.  That should have warranted more cards in those early years.    

1979 Kellogg's Carl Yastrzemski #45

1979 Rating                    -- 10  comment -- favorite player of a friend; I could get a good trade 

2016 Rating                    -- 8  comment --   nice photo of Hall of Famer.  

He won the Triple Crown in 1967.  That was the only year he led the league in RBIs or homers.  He did win three batting titles included the lowest ever winning average of .301.  That was certainly the year of the pitcher since the entire league batted .296 in 1930, the year of the hitter.

He hit 452 homers.  None of them came in 97 plate appearances against Gaylord Perry who he batted .161 against.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bill Veeck Got 1976 Off to a Good Start on This Day

1976 was a great year in baseball.  The bicentennial was celebrated along with the 100th year of the National League.  I went to the Cubs Opening Day game that year.  They used to always sell some number of tickets (15,000?) on the day of the game.  They advertised that so I should remember that number.

Going to Opening Day was a fun ritual for us.  I think I did that for four years as a kid and about eight more as an adult.  How did I manage to do that as a kid?  My neighbor always liked taking his kids and I was able to tag along.

One year that trip to Wrigley Field resulted in me ended up in the Principal's Office.  School called my neighbor to see why all of the boys were absent on a day where standardized testing was happening.  The mom said they were going to the Cubs game with me.  "I would have gotten away with it if it weren't for those meddling kids parents".

My mother now required me to go to school.  The principal didn't have a lot of kind words for me when I showed up late.  Luckily the neighbor was still interested in going to the game.  He met us at school and off we went at noon when Chicago Public Schools had lunch.  I'll stick to baseball and leave out my repeat engagement in the Principal's Office to another day.

It was definitely one of my favorite days at the ballpark.  They gave us a certificate celebrating 100 years of National League baseball.  I still have it.  I didn't remember the score (5-4) or how they won (Rick Monday singled in the winning run) but I do remember them winning in the bottom of the ninth.  

Cubs with Kellogg's cards from that game included - Rick Monday, Joe Cardenal, Bill Madlock, Andre Thornton and Rick Reuschel.  Mets included Dave Kingman, John Milner, Ed Kranepool, Joe Torre, Felix Millan, Bud Harrelson and Jerry Koosman.

What did Bill Veeck do?   On this day in 1976 Veeck sold pieces of the infield turf that was used for a few years at Comiskey Park.  They replaced it with natural grass which certainly looked better.  If you see old photos from Comiskey look for the ones with the turf on the infield - it looked horrible.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

He is the Babe Ruth of ...............

I like it when it is said that someone is the "Babe Ruth of ..........".  A quick check online I found someone who is the "Babe Ruth of " "Congress", "Auto Racing", "WWE", "Deaf Studies" and CEOs. I found that from just reading the titles of the first page of search results.

On this day in 1922 Babe Ruth signed a three-year contract which paid him $52,000 per year.  Mickey Mantle didn't make more than that until he earned $60,000 in 1957.

Does anyone have good "Babe Ruth of " categories related to sports?

Friday, March 4, 2016

Kellogg's Players from Rhode Island

As of the end of the 2014 season there have been 77 MLB players from Rhode Island.  I just found out that the database including 2015 data is now available at so I hope to update my database soon.

Some famous players are on this list including Nap Lajoie, Hugh Duffy Paul Konerko.  I notice Rocco Baldelli on this list too.  Baldelli brings back memories from The National Card Show in Baltimore one year.  I bought a few boxes of newer cards that advertised a jersey/auto card in each box.  I managed to pull two Baldelli jersey cards in one day.  What are the odds and why couldn't I get someone different (better)?  Later I think I got one of his autographs from a box.  

Only two of the 77 players managed to get on a Kellogg's card.  Bill Almon found his way into the 1979 set.  Almon played longer than I remembered - 15 seasons.  Another surprise was that in 1981 he received MVP votes finishing 19th for the White Sox.

Almon played for seven teams with the Padres being his longest stop - six years.  Not only is he from Rhode Island, he managed to stay there for college.  I can't blame him since he went to Brown University, one of about 12 colleges in RI.
The Padres selected him as the #1 pick in the 1974 draft.  He played in the majors that year.

He ranks first one a career fielding list.  See the information from that is below.
Statistic Description: Range Factor per 9 Inn =  9 * (Putouts + Assists) / Innings Played
Minimum of 1000 IP, 3000 PA, 500 games (fielding, 500 IP for Ps), 200 stolen base attempts (catchers) or 80 stolen base attempts (baserunners only since 1951) or 100 decisions for career and active leaderboards for rate statistics.
This statistic is computed from play-by-play data which is only complete from 1974 to the present. 

Davey Lopes also appeared in 1979.  He was featured in the 1980 and 1981 sets too.

I remember when Lopes set the record with 38 consecutive stolen bases.  Topps commemorated that with a card the next year.  Vince Coleman later broke that record.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Rogers Hornsby Said Some Good Things With The Bat

Rogers Hornsby was an easy choice for greatest second baseman when the 1970 Rold Gold card set was produced.  The same card was used in the 1972 Kellogg's All-Time Greats set.

These cards are great.  The old uniforms work well with the border chosen for these cards.  

His statistics are hard to match.  He led the league in every major category multiple times - R (5 times), H (4), 2B (4), 3B (2), HR (2), RBI (4), BB (3), BA (7), OBP (9), SLG (9), TB (7).

Ty Cobb only led the league in homers once, with nine.  He also never led the league in walks.

Babe Ruth never led the league in hits, doubles or triples.  He led in batting average only once.

Hornsby, Cobb and Ruth combined to make a total of two all-star teams.  Does anyone know why this is so low?

Hornsby also said something else about hitting - "Don't read.  It'll hurt your eyes." 

Stan Musial managed to lead in each category except homers.   Willie Mays never led in doubles or RBIs.  Hank Aaron missed three categories in his career.  Ted Williams and Mickey Mantle also missed leading in two categories.

Lou Gehrig managed to lead the league in each of these categories at least once.  I'm guessing others might have also done so, especially someone who either won a triple crown or had a few amazing years.

For those who think a lot of the current players, Mike Trout has not led the league in six of these categories and Miguel Cabrera hasn't led in four.