Sunday, April 11, 2021

A Legendary Hat and Legendary Goggles: The Frankenset Recap (Page 55: Cards 488-496)

Welcome to third installment of an 89-part series (wow, that sounds daunting) covering my completed Frankenset. I thought it would be fun to share the set page by page on this blog, and also provide some random commentary with each page. More information on the Frankenset as well as links to the pages that have been revealed can be found here.

I'll also occasionally share miscellaneous information about the set in its entirety. This week, I am featuring a fun fact about the "unique team" category. There are 77 cards in the 800 card set depicting a player with a "unique team." This is defined as a team you normally wouldn't associate that player with (think Willie Mays on the Mets or John Smoltz on the Cardinals). Here are the top teams featured in this category:

  • Orioles - 7 (one of these is featured in this week's post, but the card only contributes a half point to this total, since it also fits another Frankenset category)
  • Giants - 7 
  • Athletics - 6 
  • Padres - 5 
  • Red Sox - 5 
  • Angels - 5 
  • Yankees - 5 
Today, we'll look at page 55 of the set, cards 488 to 496.

1993 Stadium Club #488, Scooter Tucker

The meaning of this nickname is not fully known, even by Scooter himself.

1992 Upper Deck #489, Paul Gibson

Probably Dubble Bubble, which means it lost its flavor after approximately 7 seconds.

1994 Pinnacle #490, Chris Sabo

Sabo's iconic goggles make an appearance with an added bonus of an unfamiliar uniform.

1982 Donruss #491, Billy Martin
It probably wasn't too hard to find an opportunity for this type of photo.

2013 Topps #492, Jose Molina

The middle Molina brother actually played 15 years in the majors, but is still lesser known than older brother Bengie and younger brother Yadier. 

1990 Score #493, Eric Show
If you only saw his face, I imagine you might think Eric was participating in an activity other than throwing a baseball.

2012 Topps #494, Darwin Barney


1984 Fleer #495, Jay Johnstone

Perhaps one of the most iconic cards of all time, from a quirkiness perspective. And Jay Johnstone was a quirky guy.

1987 Topps #496, Bruce Bochte
Bruce looks like a middle school science teacher from the early 90s. Does anyone wear glasses like that anymore?

What was your favorite card from the page? Mine would have to be the legendary Jay Johnstone. I've actually read a couple of his books, which are quick and entertaining reads. I'd say the Billy Martin would be my second choice and Chris Sabo would come in third. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Hey Don't I Know You From Somewhere? - Some More Lesser Knowns

One of my mini-collections is of "lesser known" players. Put simply, a "lesser known" is a baseball player who reminds you of a more famous person. I categorize these players into a few groups:

Players with a more famous baseball player in the family.

Players sharing the same name with a more famous baseball player.

Players sharing the same name with a more famous athlete in a different sport.

Players sharing the same name with another more famous person. 

I don't remember when I first became interested in this subset of cards, but I'm sure Craig Griffey and Mike Tyson had something to do with it. I recently went through TCDB's list of player names to see if I could pluck out any new ones I hadn't found before. I found A LOT of cards for players that I consider lesser knowns, and Card Barrel came through with a lot of cards available. So I guess there's something good about basically every minor league player getting cards these days. My full list of lesser knowns (currently at 181 different players) can be found here

Today I'm going to feature only players with a more famous dad who played baseball. Some of these guys still have a chance to become better known and possibly escape this list altogether. Enjoy!

Tate Matheny - son of Mike Matheny; Highest level: AAA in 2019

Ryan Ripken - son of Cal Ripken Jr.; Highest level: AA in 2019

Reid Ryan - son of Nolan Ryan; Highest level: A+ in 1995

Preston Mattingly - son of Don Mattingly; Highest level: A+ in 2011

Joe Gaetti - son of Gary Gaetti; Highest level - AAA in 2008

Griffin Conine - son of Jeff Conine; Highest level: A in 2019

Glenallen Hill Jr. - son of Glenallen Hill; Highest level: Rookie in 2019

Cutter Dykstra - son of Lenny Dykstra; Highest level: AAA in 2015

Cameron Seitzer - son of Kevin Seitzer; Highest level: AAA in 2016

Brett Wallach - son of Tim Wallach; Highest level: A+ in 2012

Bo Greenwell - son of Mike Greenwell; Highest level: AA in 2014

Andre Randolph - son of Willie Randolph; Highest level: A- in 2003

Which player from this list surprised you the most? Had you heard of any of these guys before? 

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Player collections that make no sense: Dale Murphy edition

1984 Topps - Glossy All-Stars #19 Dale Murphy

I think anyone that's a player collector probably has at least a couple of players they collect for no particular reason. My main collections that fit this category are Minnie Minoso and Luis Tiant. Another player I've considered collecting in the past is Dale Murphy. I'm not entirely sure why. 

All of my player collections other than Minoso and Tiant have at least some rationale behind them. Here's a quick rundown:

Top Tier Collections

Ryne Sandberg (favorite Cubs player of all time; played during my childhood)
Mark Grace (second favorite Cubs player of all time; played during my childhood)
Kerry Wood (great Cubs player who played during my childhood)
Roger Maris (from my hometown - Fargo, ND, went to my high school, and still the legitimate home run king)
Dave Dravecky (met him, read his book, super nice guy and an inspiration)
Deacon Phillippe (great turn of the century player who played in Fargo)

Second Tier:

Maury Wills (met him, has been involved with our local independent baseball team)
Chris Coste (Fargo, ND native)
Jim "Mudcat" Grant (played in Fargo during his first minor league season with Roger Maris)
Minnie Minoso
Tony Campana (5'8" like me; Cub who played with lots of energy)
Darryl Motley (played for our local independent minor league team)
Jeff Bittiger (played for our local independent minor league team)
Darin Erstad (Jamestown, ND native)
Rick Helling (originally from Devils Lake, ND; moved to Fargo and went to same high school I did - graduated about 14 years ahead of me)
Satchel Paige (possibly the greatest pitcher of all time with ties to Bismarck, ND teams in the mid-1930s)

Third Tier 

Travis Hafner (ND native)
Jamie Moyer (played forever, was once a Cub)
Jay Johnstone (read his books and they were funny)
Julio Franco (played forever)
Michael Young (I became a fan of the Rangers after visiting Dallas in 2006; Michael Young could just flat out hit)
Jim Thorpe (one of the first multi-sport athletes; has an interesting story)
Luis Tiant

So back to Dale Murphy. Let's run him through some of the criteria above:
Cubs player? No.
Local guy? No.
Met him? No.
Played for our local independent team? No.
Read his book? No (although I probably would if a new bio came out)
Played forever? No - and darn it if that's pretty much the only reason he isn't in the Hall of Fame.

I think there are some parallels between him and Ryne Sandberg, which I think is where I feel a connection. That's really the only thing I can think of. But for now, I don't have a player collection of Murph. As you can see above, I have too many already!

Hope the card above helped you in your search today.

Monday, March 29, 2021

Did that dog just pee on the field? - The Frankenset Recap (Page 14: Cards 119 to 127)

A couple of weeks ago, I revealed that my Frankenset was complete. I thought it would be fun to share the set page by page on this blog, and also provide some random commentary along with each page. More information on the Frankenset as well as links to the pages that have been revealed can be found here.

I'll also occasionally share miscellaneous information about the set in its entirety. This week, I'm revealing the players depicted most often in the Frankenset:

Player / Number of Appearances:

Jose Rijo - 5
Tom Glavine - 5
Jose Canseco - 5
Greg Maddux - 5
Dwight Gooden - 5
Steve Carlton - 4
Hideo Nomo - 4
19 Players - 3

Today, we'll look at page 14, cards 119 to 127.

1992 Leaf #119, Julio Franco

Come on, Julio, it's not the helmet's fault.

1992 Donruss #120, Carlos Baerga

Is Albert Belle is coming after him with a bat? I'd like to think so. 

1991 Score #121, Oddibe McDowell

MLB Limbo Champion, 1990.

1980 Topps #122, Dave Rosello

The Rosello 'Fro

1995 Collector's Choice #123, Randy Johnson

A 6'10" American League pitcher in the pre-interleague era tossing his bat at the ball. The definition of card perfection.

1993 Upper Deck #124, Andy Van Slyke

Upper Deck recognized Van Slyke's All-Star season in 1992 by showing him in the aftermath of being hit by a pitch. No idea why.

1992 Upper Deck Minors #125, Mark Anthony

I need to know, yeah, I need to know why Mark Anthony is making a fish lips face in this photo.

1996 Score #126, Benito Santiago

I'm sure Reds owner Marge Schott's St. Bernard (Schottzie) was a nice dog, but Marge wasn't and most people didn't like her. So the dog wasn't nearly as popular as he could have been. I read a biography of Schott and of the players said they hated the dog because Marge would let it just poop anywhere and not pick up after it. That sentiment is confirmed in this AP article from 1995, which provides more entertaining info on the dog saga.

1989 Fleer #127, Frank Viola

If Frank's face stayed like that, I hope he consulted a doctor.

Do you have a favorite from the page? I'd have to go with Randy Johnson #1, Van Slyke #2, and the Schottzie cameo at #3. If it wasn't Marge Schott's dog, that card would have shot up to #1. 

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 21, 2021

The Moment You've Been Waiting For: The Frankenset Recap (Page 72: Cards 641 to 649)

A couple of weeks ago, I revealed that my Frankenset was complete. I thought it would be fun to share the set page by page on this blog, and also provide some random commentary along with each page. I'll also occasionally share miscellaneous information about the set in its entirety. So here's your first one of those, a list of the top 10 categories featured most often in the set (half points if more than one category was represented on the card). 

The random number generator chose page 72 to kick things off, cards 641 to 649. Enjoy! 

1991 Score #641, Dave Anderson

Swing and a miss. How embarrassing.

1991 Upper Deck #642, Kent Mercker

Wonder if this fan got Maddux, Glavine, Smoltz, and Avery, too?

1984 Topps #643, Mike Brown

It's all about the shades.

1986 Topps #644, Mark Gubicza

GUBICZA looks like something you'd see on an eye chart. So maybe it's fitting this card is so blurry.

1991 Upper Deck #645, Alex Fernandez

This card is all about Ozzie Guillen's two hats. And the fact that the backwards one says "You Can't Touch This." 1990 was prime Hammer Time after all.

1979 Topps #646, Rick Sweet

Sweet mustache.

1992 Donruss #647, Jim Campanis Jr.

Jim Jr. never made the majors. His dad reached MLB, but didn't make much of a splash there. The most famous family member was grandfather Al, who only played 7 MLB games, but was the longtime General Manager of the Dodgers. 

2002 Upper Deck #648, Tino Martinez

Tino had two somewhat productive years in St. Louis, but his time with the Yankees and Mariners is more notable. 

1989 Donruss #649, Rod Nichols

Maybe Rod needed better glasses. He went 1-7 in 1988 with a 5.06 ERA. He somehow had three complete games, however.

Do you have a favorite from this page? I'm torn between the Rick Sweet mustache and the Ozzie MC Hammer hat. 

Thanks for reading!