Saturday, January 17, 2009

Tribecards Cards: Part 4

At the end of last summer, David at Indians Baseball Cards. Always. had a scratch off contest. To congratulate me for coming in last place, he sent me a boatload of cards. A few game used cards that I had "earned" and a bunch more Indians just for the heck of it. There were so many great cards that I took 3 posts to review a few of my favorites. (You can read those here, here, and here)

Well, it wasn't long and David was at it again. Just a few weeks after I got up that long winded thank you I received another box full of Indians cards. I tried to come up with an explanation for my good fortune. I figure it must be either my winning personality, my rapist wit, of my undeniable good looks.

Well, although devastatingly handsome, I don't think David has ever seen a picture of me, so that can't be it. I'm not sure what a rapist wit is. I only heard that term in Dumb and Dumber. SO, I can't really attribute it to that either. And, as far as a winning personality goes, way to many people have called me an asshole for seriously consider any other alternative.

So, what could it be? What could I have done to deserve this? say right here on the box. "Just For Fun" That's right! Fun is what this is supposed to be about isn't it. And, I think David probably has more than just about everybody when it comes to his baseball cards. And It's infectious. I had a lot of fun with these cards too.

Thank you very much David. Once again, this will take a few posts to get through.

Here we go:

34. Tris Speaker – 1991 Sporting News

Tris Speaker is one of baseball’s all time greats. The 7th player to make the Hall Of Fame, he started in Boston from 1907-1915, moved to the Indians from 1916-1926, and finished up with Washington and Philly. The dude was a lifetime .344 hitter. That’s not too shabby.

It makes very little sense to me that a guy already named Tris would need 2 nicknames, but Tris was also known as “the Grey Eagle” and “Spoke”. AS far as nicknames go, those two really kind of suck. I have no idea why they are promoted. I mean, seriously…”Spoke”? I guess someone somewhere thought it was clever.

“Hey guys, I got a great nickname for Speaker! SPOKE! Hahahaha. Get it? Spoke Speaker! It’s great! An instant classic! I’m a genius!” I guess enough people agreed because it’s stuck for a century now. I guess it was a different time.

I also notice that everywhere I turn, including this card, Tris’ height is listed as 5’11.5” That’s right. I’ll be damned if Tris is going to be cheated out of his half an inch. It seems to me that one of the greatest players of all time would get over not quite making it to 6 feet. That’s just me.

35. Lou Boudreau – 1993 Ted Williams

Did you know that there use to be (maybe there still is. I don’t know) a company called the Ted Williams company and they made baseball cards? I think I have one other of these but I forgot they exist. I’ll have to look them up to see what else they have and how long they made cards. This is a Nice card in what looks like a pretty cool set, especially for 1993.

And Lou Boudreau is a Cleveland legend. Player manager at the age of 24. That would be like if the Brewers said “Screw it, let’s just put Fielder in charge”. And it worked. He turned out to be a hall of famer and a great manager. If they made it into a movie you wouldn’t believe it.

34. Carmen Castillo – 1985 Donruss

I’ll give you three guess what I like most about this card and the first 2 don’t count. It’s not his shirt (although the short sleeves are pretty sweet). It’s not the wristbands either. Nope, IT’S THE HAIR! Just look at it. It’s glorious. It the kind of hair that deserves it’s own infomercial with that oxyclean guy. Don’t you just want to try to run you hand through it to see how far you get and see if you can get it back out? OK, that was a little weird.

On Sept 18, 1983, Castillo threw out 2 Yankees at home plate. In a less than spectacular career, even the averagest of average players can do something spectacular.

35. Wayne Garland – 1982 Donruss

In 1976 a 25 year old pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles came into his own. A 20 game winner, he hurled 14 complete games including 4 shutouts. Hell, he even threw in one save for good measure. He finished eighth in the Cy Young voting. Fresh off the high of a career year with no reason to think his good fortune wouldn’t continue, this young man singed a free agent contract with the Cleveland Indians. He has never heard from again.

Legend has it that Wayne Garland grew a mustache and pitched for Cleveland for 5 seasons before finally disappearing into bolivian. We may never know for sure what actually happened.

34. Travis Fryman – 1999 Topps

Guys named Travis have been good to the Indians. Fryman was one of my favorite players while he was here. As of the printing of this card, Travis had at least 80 RBIs (yes, RBIs with an “s”. I know it’s technically wrong. I’m sticking with it anyway.) in 8 consecutive seasons. Here in 2008 my brain tries to tell me that that doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot. I can’t help my initial reaction of “Wow, that’s impressive!” No matter how many times I beat myself about the head with my copy of Baseball Between The Numbers, I think I’ll always have a part of me that wants to rack up those RBIs.

As a follow up to that, I’d have to check but I think that there was a point in this last season that Jhonny Peralta had 11HRs and 19RBIs. Think about that for a quick second. I wonder what the record for the most HRs with the fewest RBIs is?

35. Omar Vizquel – 2002 Upper Deck Vintage

By now you know what I think of Omar, so I won’t go over that again. This is an Upper Deck release so I’m not sure what set they are vintaging. The closest I can figure is they took 1971 Topps and flipped the picture to the top of the card instead of the bottom. Whatever they did, it’s a cool card.

34. Jaret Wright – 1998 Topps Finest

In the 1997 postseason, Jaret Wright, a 21 year old rookie went 3-0 and almost won the Indians their first World Series rings since 1948. His future was very bright. In Cleveland we thought he was the second coming of Bob Feller.

I believe that the Indians were pushing hard for Pedro Martinez after the 1997 season. The Expos wanted Jaret Wright in return. The Indians basically responded with “Jaret Wright for Pedro? You must be joking. This kid will be the greatest pitcher to ever live. You can keep Pedro, he isn’t that good anyway.”

Well, Montreal didn’t keep Pedro. Instead they sent him to Boston for Carl Pavano and Tony Armas. A few years later he was joined by Manny Ramirez. Please excuse me for a moment…I need to find some liquor.

35. Brandon Phillips – 2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll

Brandon Phillips, as I have written many times, (or at least once, I think) was actually the cornerstone of the trade that brought Grady Sizemore and Cliff Lee to Cleveland. We gave up on him. Now we continue to search for a second baseman while Phillips continues to play all-star caliber ball for the Reds. If only Shapiro had looked at this card before he let Phillips go. He might have thought: “Hey, Upper Deck put Brandon Phillips on the Honor Roll. Maybe I aught to give him one more shot. After all…Honor Roll. He has to be good. Why would Upper Deck lie about something like that?”
End of part 4
I decide to just continue with part 4. I figure, if I play my cards right, David might just keep sending me stuff and eventually I'll have 100 parts to this thing with 1000 cards. that would be somethin', wouldn't it.


--David said...

Watch what you wish for... Just talk to dayf about that.. LOL! Seriously, I am glad you're enjoying the cards! I love reading your thoughts and insights on them!

Dubbs said...

If I ever start a team of RBIs supporters, you'd be on it. ESPN can suck it.

Dubbs said...

Thanks for the comments, I appreciate it greatly. I sent you an email, not sure if you got it. I have some cards that would find a happier home in your collection than in mine...shoot me an email at when you get a chance.