Saturday, December 31, 2016

580th Place - Keith Hughes

Card #781

Happy Hughes Year's Eve, everybody!

Thank you for all the times you stopped by in 2016, and we'll see you again in 2017.

Monday, December 26, 2016

581st Place - Reid Nichols

Card #748

'Twas the day after Christmas
and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse.
The stockings had stirrups,
a bat swung through the air,
all hoping Reid Nichols
would hit a ball way out there...

Enjoy the holidays everyone - peace on earth and goodwill towards baseball men...on cardboard...!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

582nd Place - Ed Romero

Card #37

If you can look past Ed Romero, you'll see a now extinct species:  the Montreal Expo.  1988 was pre-inter league games, so we can deduce this is a spring training match.

Most folks know the last Montreal Expo still playing in the major leagues is Bartolo Colon.  But wait...there might be another making a most improbable comeback!  Tomo Ohka just signed a minor league deal with the Baltimore Orioles!  He's 41 and has reinvented himself as a knuckle ball pitcher.  How awesome would it be if Ohka makes it back to the bigs!?

So what does this have to do with Ed Romero?  I'm trying desperately to tie all of this together - hang in there. Though I tend to think of Romero from his Milwaukee Brewers tenure, he did spend a few seasons on the Red Sox.  I've only seen one game at Boston's historic Fenway Park, and that was in 2001.  They played the Mariners, so I got to see Ichiro during his sensational debut season. But who was the starting pitcher for Boston that day?

Tomo Ohka.

Boom.  Minds blown.  Thank you Ed Romero and the faceless Expos behind you for this circular trip to nowhere.

Monday, December 12, 2016

583rd Place - Ray Searage

Card #788

Wow - this card was four slots from being the last in the set.  That's a close call!  Kinda reminds me of this.  (Sorry, I have Star Wars on the brain - I'm headed to Rogue One Thursday night!)

You gotta hand it to Ray Searage - he sure looks like a charismatic dude.  These kind of posed shots were never my favorite as a kid, but that's an infectious smile peaking out from behind that caterpillar lip.  The green trees, blue skies, white clouds...heck, I even detect a glimmer in his eyes!

It's almost enough to make me ignore the hideous hat he's wearing.  I know I've teed off on these hats before on the blog, but good lord, is there a worse hat in the history of MLB?  The cursive "c" that looks like an "e" is so repulsive!

Ray is still rocking a 'stache and smile these days - he's the pitching coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

584th Place - John Marzano

Card #757

You are not looking at John Marzano's rookie card here, because despite this being his first piece of cardboard with Major League stats on the back, Marzano was included in the famed "USA Olympics" series in the 1985 Topps set.

John Marzano was the epitome of Philadelphia sports, as he was born and raised there and played college ball at Temple before representing the United States at the Olympics and getting drafted in the first round by Boston in 1984.

Marzano never reached a talent level beyond backup catcher status, but he was known to be a clubhouse legend and if WAR could account for "team chemistry" his would certainly be good.  He's probably best remembered by Seattle Mariner fans for his stint there in the mid 90's...which included the time he decked Paul O'Neil!

After his playing days he latched on with local Philadelphia sports shows and would eventually start working at when tragedy struck in 2008.  He fell down the stairs in his home and died as a result.  The coroner later determined he was intoxicated when the accident happened.