|Posted on May 21, 2013 at 11:00 PM||comments (0)|
You can now find us at www.baseballcardmemories.com.
Please come see us at the new site. We are no longer a blog! We are real website now!!!
Thanks so much for your support!
|Posted on February 4, 2013 at 11:05 AM||comments (0)|
Although I'm sure it's not exactly respectful, they are dropping like flies. Former Orioles, Braves, Expos and A's catcher Earl Williams passed away in Somerset, New Jersey last week. Aside from being the 1971 NL Rookie of the Year with the Braves, his career was no very exciting.
I'm sure few people would believe that Earl Williams hit 138 homeruns during his eight year major league career that spanned from 1970-1977. Along with most of these early 1970s players, I never watched him play. But I after looking at some of his baseball cards, I do remember them clearly.
The 1975 Topps card in an Orioles uniform is like most cards from that year. Just a shot of player in a batting pose. Yet the design of the card itself is impressive. I still say the 1975 Topps set is one of the best of all time. The "C-1B" position in the baseball in the lower right hand corner is something I always liked about the 1975s.
Slowly but surely, we are losing the heroes from our youth. Earl Williams, I tip my cap to you and wish the best to your family. It's always a shame to say goodbye...
|Posted on January 29, 2013 at 11:30 PM||comments (0)|
By Pat McCrystal
I remember coming across this card when I was 9 and trading a lot of good cards to get him. Why? Because I had never ever even seen this card before or heard of this guy and he played for my Phillies so I figured this card had to be a hidden gem that nobody knew about but me!
Mike's 3 year career and .219 lifetime batting average would not seem to support my theory but he did have a great long last name and had that cool mid-70s shaded glasses look going for him.
Lastly, and I cannot verify this, but I'm pretty sure my parents bought our refrigerator from him in 1976 or19 77 after his career ended. They came back and mentioned that the guy they just dealt with had played outfield for the Phillies. I excitedly ran every name I could think of by them and that was the one they remembered.
Who else can say their family bought a refrigerator from a forgotten Phillies outfielder (who wore porn star glasses?)
|Posted on January 23, 2013 at 11:15 PM||comments (0)|
I don't even know where to begin with this card. I remember it from my youth for what is the wrong reason. Look at that hair! I mean seriously, this is a baseball card, not the cover of Tiger Beat Magazine. Two people should be tarred and feathered for this card, neither of which is Bruce Ellingsen. The two guilty parties are obviously the photographer and the guy who selected this photo for use in the 1975 Topps Set.
I had forgotten this card until someone looking for obscure names mentioned him. At first, I only recalled he was a pitcher. After looking up his card, I remember it completely. And yes, I remember the hair most of all! But what I didn't know was this interesting tidbit of baseball history. Bruce Ellingsen, who spent part of 1 year in the major leagues, was traded to the Indians from the Los Angeles Dodgers for Pedro Guerrero. Yes, that Pedro Guerrero. The superstar of the Dodgers and Cardinals for nearly a decade. Bet you didn't know that...I certainly didn't!
So although he had a very forgettable career, Bruce Ellingsen was just another scrub acquired by the Indians for a future superstar. How many times did that happen to the downtrodden Tribe in the 70s? Probably too many times to count. Seriously, could ownership be any worse? Well, maybe if they had the same hairstyle as our latest memory of the week, but that's about what it would take.
I'm guessing you do not remember Bruce Ellingsen, and don't be ashamed, few people would. But if you collected the 1975 Topps Baseball Set, there is no way you would forget this card. I'd love to see Bruce's hair today, if he has any left. Not that I have any room to talk...
|Posted on January 19, 2013 at 9:50 PM||comments (0)|
By Michael Katz
I’m sure that any baseball fan who is over 35 could say a lot about Pete Rose. I’ll start with his 1979 Topps, which is the Pete Rose card that I most remember from my childhood.
We see that Topps got it wrong and placed him on the Reds. I don’t know why, since the Phillies signed him to a free agent contract before the end of 1978.
We see the ugly 1979 design of the card, and note the faint resemblance to the most excellent 1976 design. The “All-Star” strip above the player’s name was just terrible. I hated it in 1979 and I hate it now. The baseball in the lower left corner was also a step backward in card design. The little indentations at the ends of the strip with the team name were annoying.
Although the 1979 Topps set generally and Pete’s card specifically were flawed, what Pete represented was not. I was nine years old when my Phillies signed Pete, and he was the first player I hated who ever joined one of my teams. As a key member of the Big Red machine that knocked my Phillies out of the 1976 playoffs and one of the few NL teams to challenge them in 1977 and 1978, I could not stand Pete Rose. That changed when he joined my team. As an adult I always think of Pete whenever a player I dislike joins one of my teams, even though few players have come into Philadelphia since 1978 and had anything close to the impact that Pete had.
Even as a nine-year old I could see the value of finding that last piece to put the team over the hump. That was exciting, especially after having washed up Dick Allen and then Rich Hebner at first base for a few seasons. Having Pete Rose join my favorite team is one of my happiest childhood sports memories that does not involve an actual game being played.
Now Pete is languishing in Vegas and elsewhere, signing autographs to make a living and waiting for Bud Selig to reinstate him so that the Veterans Committee can put him in the Hall of Fame. One thing that is clear is that Pete Rose was all about winning. There’s no evidence that he broke any rules as a player, and there’s no evidence that he did anything not conducive to winning simply to win a bet. Pete Rose is an immortal of the game who should be in Cooperstown. If Phil Rizzuto can be there, then Pete Rose certainly had better be enshrined. When Pete finally gets his due, I think I will make my first trip to Cooperstown.
|Posted on January 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM||comments (2)|
By Michael Katz - My First Sportscard Memory
I can’t say that I remember seeing Tony Solaita, a marginal American League player in the days before inter-league play, ESPN, or even many nationally televised games. I do, however, remember his 1976 Topps card. That set was my favorite, with the little player in the lower left corner (some with the all-star logo that of course did not grace Tony’s card) and the player’s name and team. I remember Tony in part because most of the cards in that set were headshots while Tony was swinging a bat.
Tony’s baseball card really troubled me as a child. It was probably the first to trouble me. Looking at his statistics, we see that he played in a single game for the Yankees in 1968 and then did not reach the majors again until 1974. Even as a child I wondered what Tony did to deserve to spend five full seasons in the minors after his single at-bat for the Yankees. To this day I still do not know, and I am curious (courtesy of www.baseballreference.com I know that his single at-bat ended in a strikeout, but surely that did not lead to a five-year sentence in the minors).
I would like to say that things ended well for Tony, but I cannot. After bouncing around the major leagues for most of the 1970s, which included being traded from the Royals just as they started to dominate the AL West, he returned to his native American Samoa, where he died soon after his forty-third birthday and was buried in his front yard.
Tony did not accomplish much as a ballplayer, but at least he inspired a young card collector to a moment of sympathy. Wherever Tony is now, that has to count for something.
|Posted on January 17, 2013 at 10:50 PM||comments (2)|
My guess is, unless you are old school, you are asking yourself, "What's an Enzo and why is he on this site right now?" Well, I'm sorry to say, the reason he is our Memory of the Week is, Enzo Hernandez committed suicide in his native Venezuela recently at the age of 63.
Why Enzo, why? According to the article I read, he had suffered from depression for some time. That's always sad to hear. Was it connected to the back problem that ended his career prematurely? We'll never know.
But on to the happy things about this former Padres shortstop. First of all, he was indeed the first major leaguer named Enzo, so for that reason alone, you have to love him. Secondly, look at that uniform. Is that not a thing of beauty? Oh, the Padres of the early 70s and their yellow...
And let's not forget the incredibly cool 1973 Topps design with the great looking cartoon in the lower right hand corner that depicts the position. Oh how I love the 1973 cards.
I was only four when this series was released but it's the first baseball card series that I remember from my youth. I didn't have many, but on occasion I'm guessing Mom and Dad would buy me a pack or two. Maybe that's what started the obsession, who knows?
As for Enzo himself, well, he wasn't much of a hitter. Then again, shortstops in the 70s weren't known for their hitting. We could go on for days talking about the Jim Masons, Johnnie LeMasters and Tom Veryzers of this era. But Enzo could field. And he could do it in a puke yellow uniform which is even more impressive.
It's getting sad seeing more and more players from my youth passing on. Sure, I don't remember seeing Enzo play, but I had all of his baseball cards which is the reason he indeed a baseball card memory! Rest In Peace Enzo.
|Posted on January 10, 2013 at 12:10 AM||comments (0)|
I don't even know where to start when it comes to David Clyde. I was way too young to remember him actually pitching so I can't tell you stories of more than 5,000 people in the stands in Arlington just a year or two after the Senators moved there from Washington.
Most of my knowledge comes from "Seasons In Hell" written by Mike Shropshire. Who would have thought there would be a book written about the 1973-1975 Texas Rangers? Not me, but it was one of the best baseball books I have ever had the pleasure to read.
"Seasons In Hell" is exactly what it sounds like, three years with one of the worst teams run by a lousy owner. And that owner did some serious damage to a high school kid named David Clyde. You don't start an 18 year old out in the major leagues for a garbage team, you just don't!
Clyde didn't see the minor leagues until 1975 and by that time, the damage was done. He would then have arm troubles and the next thing you know, he's pitching briefly in Cleveland then retiring. But it shouldn't have been that way. It was a lousy PR move that backfired. It's possible that David Clyde could have been an ace for 10 or 15 years for Texas instead of a gate draw for one or two seasons.
So yes, I am a bit bitter although I have no personal stake in his career. I just hate to see potential go down the drain. Sure, the arm troubles could have surfaced anyway, but probably not. Overworking a teenager is probably not a good idea if you ask me, but what do I know?
Bottom line, as cool as it might have been for an 18 year old to make his major league debut weeks after leaving high school, it's not conducive to a long major league career. The saddest part might be how strong his first major league start and victory were.
Oh well, at least Bob Short drew nearly 36,000 people to that garbarge stadium for one game. Well worth the career of a teenager I guess...
|Posted on January 7, 2013 at 12:25 AM||comments (2)|
We lost another one recently. Former Cincinnati Reds hurler Frank Pastore was killed when the motorcycle was struck by a car while driving in Los Angeles. He was only 55 years old. Another former player dies too young.
Now I'd like to sit here and tell you all about my wonderful memories of his parts of eight years in the show, but the truth is, I have very little recollection of his exploits. He won 48 games in his career and had an ERA of 4.29, which was okay but nothing special in the 80s. He pitched mainly for the Reds with a brief stint in Minnesota. Bet you didn't know that!
Aside from that, he was just another in the revolving door that is major league baseball. In the 1980 Topps set, he shared a card with Harry Spilman, who spent a few years kicking around as a utility player, and Art DeFreites, who I know nothing about. Let's just say, this card isn't going to hold much value to card collectors.
Although I don't know much about Pastore, research shows he was a Chrsitian radio host, and pretty popular according to the "The Hollywood Reporter." Who knew? I bet very few people that don't listen to Christian radio. The site also says he predicted he would get into an accident like this. I'm not so sure I buy into that, but it is an interesting read:
It's sad everytime a major leaguer that I remember from my youth passes away. Even if it isn't a big name player, it's something you hate to see. Rest in peace Frank Pastore...although I don't remember much about you, I do remember you. And can you really ask for that much more?
|Posted on April 8, 2012 at 5:00 PM||comments (8)|
I could go on and on about Curt Schilling, some good, some bad. So take a seat and get ready. This post will be like nothing you have read from me. Here we go...
Schilling came to the Orioles in a trade with Boston for Mike Boddicker. I was going to school at Towson State in Maryland when the trade went down. I chuckled because Boddicker was a solid pitcher and neither Schilling nor Brady Anderson, the other player in the deal, showed much when they came to the Orioles.
I saw him pitch in 1988. I believe it was against the Angels, but don't shoot me if I am wrong. It might have been a doubleheader, again, I'm not sure. Anyway, they shelled him and from that day forward, I always knew him as Curt Schelling. Yeah, I was young...
Then the Orioles traded him along with Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley for Glenn Davis, who was an Astros power hitter and a stud. I couldn't believe the Orioles of all organizations could steal a player like Davis for three scrubs. Little did I know that Davis would get injured over and over and barely play for the Orioles before retiring. Davis was on the DL, sitting in the dugout, and a line drive shattered his jaw. Sometimes, you just can't win.
So he kicked around with the Astros briefly before being traded to the Phillies for Jason Grimsley in one of those, I'll take your junk if you take ours deals. Who knew?? Not Houston. The rest is history to baseball fans but I'll tell you this, it didn't seem Schilling had that many fans in the Phillies dugout. The towel over the head while Mitch Williams pitched probably didn't do him any favors.
Let's move forward to retirement. Schilling is out of baseball and must wait five years to be eligible for the Hall of Fame. Upfront, I am not a supporter of his candidacy. He belongs in the Hall of Very Good, but not the Hall of Fame. But let's just say somehow he gets the votes to get in. He was with the Red Sox and that helps, and he has two rings and a bloody sock so anything can happen.
What hat does he wear on his Hall of Fame plaque? If you ask him, I'm certain he'll say Red Sox. Sorry Curt, it ain't gonna happen! The Hall of Fame decides which hat you will wear on your plaque thanks to players like Davie Winfield who actually attempted to sell his plaque to the highest bidder. When Gary Carter was elected, he begged and pleaded to wear a Mets' cap. They wouldn't let him. Carter spent 11 seasons with the Expos (his plaque) and only five with the Mets. Even with his World Series ring, they refused to let him in with a Mets' cap.
As for Schilling, he spent eight seasons in Philly and only four with the Red Sox. How could the Hall of Fame justify letting him in with a Red Sox cap after denying Carter his choice? Could they say "bloody sock" and "2 rings?" Anything is possible and none of us have a say in the matter, but with Carter passing recently, I would hope they would not dishonor him that way.
I think this is all for nothing as Schilling in no way a Hall of Famer. But I find it an interesting topic of conversation. I would love to hear what you have to say about it.