Monday, May 26, 2014

678th Place - Ken Schrom

Card #256

In my mind Ken is the epitome of the mid-1980's number five starter.  The innings eater who got shelled a little too hard but managed to stick around a bit to endure the beating.  He even looks weary as he goes into his windup.

Sadly for Schrom, this card would be his last as a player.  He wrapped up his career after the 1987 season, probably because of that 6.50 ERA he sported for Cleveland.

Here's a nice segment he taped recently recounting his experience as an AL All-Star:

Sunday, May 25, 2014

679th Place - Tim Crews

Card #57

There's a weird glitch with this baseball card.  The photo editor didn't do a good job of setting the "G" in Dodgers completely behind Tim's head, leading to some pink spilling onto his cap.

I'm just stalling, though, because I don't want to write about the tragic death of Tim Crews.  As most of you reading this will remember, Tim Crews and Steve Olin, teammates on the Cleveland Indians, died in a boating accident that also severely injured Bob Ojeda.
The accident was all the more tragic, and frustrating, because Crews was operating the boat under the influence of alcohol.

Here's a great article catching up with Crews and Olin's families, twenty years after their loss.

Friday, May 23, 2014

680th Place - Steve Shields

Card #632

I'm guessing it never occurred to the Seattle stylists that their two most prominent uniform letters were "S&M."  C'mon, Mariners, this is supposed to be family-friendly entertainment.

For some reason I feel guilty about this, but I have no recollection of Mr. Shields.  A quick Google scan indicates I own multiple variations of his cards over the years, but none of them ring a bell. 

Speaking of ringing a bell...Shields might be known to some of you as a victim of a Kirby Pucket line drive to the face.  Unfortunately, it wasn't his first time being nearly decapitated on the mound.

Maybe all the blue on this card was a subtle nod to the facial bruising he surely suffered?   We'll throw in a "nose hair" tag too thanks to the angle of the photograph.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

681st Place - Jose DeLeon

Card #634

Check out the symmetry of the trees behind Jose.  Combined with the green "White Sox" lettering this card looks like the most eco-friendly shot in the set.  I wonder if that's a real background or if Topps took Jose to the local JC Penney portrait studio.

I think I mentioned this before, but that late-80's Chicago cap is my least favorite hat in the history of MLB.  As a kid it looked more like a cursive, lowercase "e" to me.  But if I'm not mistaken, they followed it with one of the best, the classic black with the old-English "Sox" on the front. 

Two things stand out on the back of this card.  First, Jose led the league in losses with 19 in 1985.  Eek.  Second, the "this way to the clubhouse" section mentions DeLeon was traded by the Pirates to the White Sox straight up for Bobby Bonilla.  That can't be a happy memory for White Sox fans...