Sunday, August 24, 2014

665th Place - Calvin Schiraldi

Card #599

My apologies to any Sox fans who just threw something at their computer screen.  Rightly or wrongly, Schiraldi is a dirty word for many in New England.  He was a key culprit in the 1986 World Series collapse.  Despite flashes of brilliance early in his career, Schiraldi would retire by the age of 29.

I'm not here to pick scabs with Boston fans, though.  This card is just plain weird looking.  It's hard to tell by the angle, but I think he's warming up on a bullpen mound during spring training.  His face and body language don't express any sort of enthusiasm for it.  I'm also puzzled by the white fabric on the underside of his throwing arm.  What is that? 

Calvin's son is now a starter at his alma mater, the University of Texas.  Calvin is actually a UT Hall of Famer.  If I'm not mistaken Calvin has been coaching at a high school in Austin since his playing days ended. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

666th Place - Greg Booker

Card #727

Yikes.  Booker's ranking on the countdown is an evil one.  It's hard to be scared of him with that goofy grin, though.  The Vanilla Ice eyebrow is relieving tension too.

Booker was a classic 1980's bullpen arm who lasted eight seasons, mostly with the Padres.  He has served as a pitching coach for many years at different levels of pro ball.  Right now he works as a scout for the Dodgers.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

667th Place - Ron Roenicke

Card #783

I've mentioned before that I'm a die-hard Orioles fan, but I'm ashamed to admit that, as a kid, I don't think I realized Gary Roenicke was Ron's brother.  It's not like they have a common last name.  Gary was a very rugged looking guy, while I always thought Ron was a bit dorky in appearance.  Those glasses aren't helping.  Maybe Ron is discussing his specs with fellow four-eyes Greg Grosss?  That's him in the corner, after all.

All teasing aside, Ron is having a heck of a season as the skipper for the Milwaukee Brewers this year.  He's starting to pick up steam for "Manager of the Year" consideration. 

About 14 years ago I threw away a lot of my common cards from the late 80's and early 90's.  My professional career requires me to move quite a bit, and I didn't want to lug around junk cardboard.  I completely regret it now.  Just think of how many future manager of the year cards are now in a landfill.  I apologize, Ron.  I should have known better.

(Gary's son and Ron's, nephew, Josh, has made it to the big leagues off and on the past few years.  That's a heck of a baseball family...)

Monday, August 18, 2014

668th Place - Jerry Royster

Card #257

When this card was printed, Royster was entering his last season as a journeyman backup infielder.  What's a bit unusual about this card is that they caught Royster in a Yankees uniform, despite a mid-season trade from the White Sox.  This is a similar situation from the Bill Gullickson card featured earlier on the blog.  Royster was traded for Ken Patterson, who had a few years of success in the Chicago bullpen.

Since his playing days Royster has managed the Milwaukee Brewers and was the third base coach during Bobby Valentine's ill-fated run with the Red Sox.  He's now coaching a high school team in Los Angeles. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

669th Place - Eric Nolte

Card #694

The Padres probably thought they had a good thing going with Eric Nolte in 1988.  They had just let him start 12 games in 1987, and he compiled a respectable 3.21 ERA, despite walking too many hitters.  But Nolte never stuck in the majors, getting some cups of coffee for three more seasons before fading back into obscurity. 

It looks like part of his problem at maintaining success in the big leagues was a bad stomach ulcer.  My dad got hospitalized with one of those when I was in high school, they're no joke.

The Padres sure didn't shy away from the browns back in the 80's, did they?  It feels like they're still searching for a permanent design...

Monday, August 4, 2014

670th Place - Rocky Childress

 Card #643

This had to be his entrance music coming out of the bullpen, right?

Despite a good 1987 season, Rodney "Rocky" Childress was out of the big leagues after 1988.  Here's a nice summary of his playing career.





Sunday, August 3, 2014

671st Place - Wally Ritchie

Card #494

Wally's swimsuit area looks like an optical illusion.  The inseam of his striped pants combined with the required protective gear underneath confuses the mind.

Am I looking at a cubist painting?

Are Light Cycles doing battle below Ritchie's belt?

You can't help but stare at it until you realize where you're staring. 

In 1988 Wally was coming off a good rookie campaign out of the bullpen.  He recorded a 3.75 ERA while appearing in 49 games.  For some reason he didn't appear in the majors in 1989 or '90.  He was effective again from 1991 to 1992 but was done after that.

It looks like Wally joined Vance Law on the BYU coaching staff.