Will Clark Player Collection

1988_donruss_21_will_clark_dkI have started to inventory my Will Clark collection.  Looking at the plethora of cards in my Will Clark box (soon to be my Will Clark binder) I thought I had a lot of them.  But after an inventory of 1986 and 1987 I realize I don’t have as many as thought and have some work to do.  Now I am pretty good on base set cards in his early years, it is the oddballs I am lacking.  That just means I am going to have some fun tracking them down right?  Like I mentioned I have just completed the inventory on 1986 and 1987, will work on more tonight.

Update (June 3, 2013) – Inventoried all the way up to 1992.

Will Clark Player Collection

Have a great day!

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Will Clark 2013 Topps Museum Collection

Added a few cards to my Will Clark collection from the 2013 Topps Museum Collection.  The Topps Museum Collection, a 100-card set, was released on April 15, 2013.  The Will Clark cards I added were the Copper Parallel #76 and the Canvas Collection #CC-26.

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Will Clark – 2013 Topps Museum Collection Copper Parallel #76 (058/424)

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Will Clark – 2013 Topps Museum Collection Canvas Collection #CC-26

Realistically I should be able to add the Base Set Card #76, Green Parallel #76 and Blue Parallel #76 to my collection in the near future but the red parallel (one-of-one)/autographs/patches/relics may be out of reach!

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Memorial Day Weekend Dollar Store Pack #2

If you read the Memorial Day Weekend Dollar Store Pack #1 post you know what is going on, if not scroll down a bit and check it out . . . I will wait.  You back?  Good!  So here is what I got in Pack #2.

Two Hall of Famers –

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Ozzie Smith – 1988 Topps #460

Ozzie Smith was drafted by the Padres and played 4 seasons (1978-’81) in San Diego before he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals where he played from 1982-1996.  Smith was a defensive monster and was nicknamed “The Wizard” for his play at shortstop.  He won 13 straight Gold Glove Awards (1980-’92) during his 19-year career.  He was also a 15x All-Star (1981-’92, 1994-’96), Silver Slugger Award winner (1987), NLCS MVP (1985), won a World Series in 1982 and finished his career with a .262 batting average, 2,460 hits, 793 runs batted in and 580 stolen bases.  Smith entered the Hall of Fame as a first ballot inductee in 2002.

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Dave Winfield – 1991 Donruss #468

Dave Winfield was selected by the San Diego Padres in 1973 amatuer draft, 4th overall.  During his 22 year career he played with the Padres (1973-’80), New York Yankees (1981-’88, 1990), California Angels (1990-’91), Toronto Blue Jays (1992), Minnesota Twins (1993-’94) and Cleveland Indians (1995).  He is a member of the 3,000 hit club with 3,110 hits.  He finished his career with a .283 batting average, 465 homeruns and 1,833 runs batted in.  Winfield is a 12x All-Star (1977-’88), 7x Gold Glove Award winner (1979-’80, 1982-’85, 1987), 6x Silver Slugger Award winner (1981-’85, 1987), AL Comeback Player of the Year (1990) and won a World Series in 1992 with the Blue Jays.  He entered the Hall of Fame as a first ballot inductee in 2001.

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Craig Biggio – 1989 Donruss RC #561

A ROOKIE CARD!!!  Craig Biggio was drafted by the Houston Astros, 22nd overall in the 1987 amatuer draft.  He played his entire 20 year career in Houston before retiring after the 2007 season.  He played catcher in the beginning of his career but was converted to a second baseman for the 1992 season.  Biggio is a member of the 3,000 hit club with 3,060 hits and had a career batting average of .281, 291 home runs and 1,175 runs batted in.  He was a 7x All-Star (1991-’92, 1994-’98), 4x Gold Glove Award winner (1994-’97) and 5x Silver Slugger Award winner (1989, 1994-’95, 1997-’98).  Biggio was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2013 but fell 39 votes shy with only 68.2% of the votes, 75% are needed.  He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and I think will get in soon!

Those were the big name players from the pack, not too bad for a dollar!

Here are the San Francisco Giants I pulled from the two packs –

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Kirt Manwaring – 1995 Collector’s Choice #257

Manwaring started his career in San Francisco and played 10 years (1987-’96) with the Giants.  He won a Gold Glove Award in 1993.

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Darren Lewis – 1992 Topps #743

Lewis played with the San Francisco Giants from 1991-’95 and won a Gold Glove Award in 1994.

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Todd Benzinger – 1994 Flair #238

Benzinger played the last three years (1993-’95) of his 9 year career in San Francisco.  Very nice looking card!

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Steve Kline – 2006 Topps #68

Kline finished his 11 year career with 2 years (2006-’07) in San Francisco.  This picture has him pictured in an Orioles jersey, which is who he played for in 2005.

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John Burkett – 1990 Classic Yellow #T6

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John Burkett – 1990 Score Rookie & Traded #73T

Burkett started his career with the Giants and played 6 years (1987, 1990-’94) in San Francisco.  His best season came in 1993 when he went 22-7 with a 3.65 earned run average and made the NL All-Star team.

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Memorial Day Weekend Dollar Store Pack #1

First off I hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day Weekend!  As many are celebrating with family and friends, I will take a little time to remember all the men and women who have died while serving in the US Armed Forces including some that were very near and dear to me!

I felt the need to post something this morning about baseball cards but wasn’t sure what?  I was browsing a few other blogs and came across a repack article.  That’s it . . . let’s go to the dollar store.  I picked up 2 packs at $1.00 each, let’s see if I got anything worthwhile or interesting in the first pack.

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Danny Ainge – 1982 Topps #125

Danny Ainge was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1977 amateur draft and played with them from 1979-1981.  By the time this card was produced he was beginning his second sports career in the National Basketball Association.  Ainge was drafted by the Boston Celtics in the 1981 National Basketball Association Draft.  After a court battle the Celtics bought out Ainge’s contract with the Blue Jay. During his three-year baseball career Ainge played in 211 games, with a career batting average of .220, 2 homeruns and 37 runs batted in.

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Tommy John – 1988 Leaf/Donruss Diamond King #17

I was always a fan of the Donruss Damond Kings.  Dick Perez created these paintings for the Donruss Diamond Kings series starting in 1982 in partnership with Frank and Peggy Steele (Perez-Steele Galleries).  I thought this was a normal Diamond Kings card until I turned it over and noticed along with the English paragraph about Tommy John there was also a French translation.  This Diamond Kings was produced for the Leaf/Donruss set.  The Leaf brand was used from 1985-1988 on specially made cards distributed in Canada.

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It might be a little hard to see but the back is in English and French.  I am guessing Lanceur is French for Pitcher?

John’s career spanned 26 years (1963-’74, 1976-’89) and won 288 games, only 12 games shy of the magical 300 mark.  He was a 4x All-Star (1968, 1978-’80) and NL Comeback Player of the Year (1976).  He did not play in 1975 while he was recovering from surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching arm.  The injury should have ended his career but a revolutionary surgery that replaced the ligament in the elbow of his pitching arem with a tendon from his right forearm saved his career.  The surgery is now known as “Tommy John surgery”.

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Andres Galarraga – 1987 Leaf/Donruss #221

Speaking of Leaf/Donruss here is one of Montreal Expos first baseman Andres Galarraga.  Galarraga was one of the players I collected as a youngster.  He finished his 19-year career (1985-’98, 2000-’04) with a .288 batting average, 2,333 hits, 399 home runs, and 1,425 runs batted in.  Galarraga was a 5x All-Star (1988, 1993, 1997-’98, 2000), 2x Gold Glove Award winner (1989-’90), 2x Silver Slugger Award winner (1988, 1996), 2x NL Comeback Player of the Year (1993, 2000), NL Batting champion (1993), and NL Home Run champion (1996).  He was voted into the Venezuelan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.

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Robin Yount – 1986 Sportflics #42b

These were some of my favorite cards as a kid.  I can remember buying packs of them at the Thrifty’s around the corner from my house in Rialto, California.  This is the corrected version of the card.  There is an error version that shows a New York Yankees logo and script on the back.  Yount is a Hall of Famer, inducted in 1999.  He is also a member of the 3,000 hit club with 3,142.  He played 20 seasons (1974-’93) all for the Milwaukee Brewers where he had a career .285 batting average, 3.142 hits, 251 homeruns and 1,406 runs batted in.  Yount was a 3x All-Star (1980, 1982-’83), Gold Glove Award winner (1982), 3x Silver Slugger Award winner (1980, 1982, 1989), 2x AL Most Valuable Player (1982, 1989).  His #19 is retired by the Brewers and he is their all-time leader in hits and homeruns.

Stay tuned for Pack #2 and a few San Francisco Giants I pulled from the packs.

If you want/need any of these cards comment here or send me an email at jlculley@gmail.com.

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Mickey Mantle’s 500th Homerun

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I was exploring YouTube tonight and came across the video of Mickey Mantle’s 500th Homerun from 1967. Kind of fitting as I just announced the start of my 500 Homerun Club – Milestones Collection. I decided to do a little research on Mickey Mantle. I knew quite a bit about the legendary New York Yankees outfielder but I always enjoy researching old players and baseball history. Mantle played from 1951 through 1968, all with the Yankees. Something I learned was the fact that his entire career he battled injuries. In high school he dealt with acute and chronic injuries to bones and and cartilage in his legs. In the 1951 World Series, during his rookie season he tore the cartilage in his right on a fly ball by Willie Mays. I read that some believed he tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and played his whole career with the injury since the techniques to repair the injury today did not exist in the 1950’s. Again during the 1957 World Series he injured his shoulder during a collision at second base and would have difficulty batting from the left side for the remainder of his career. Even with these injuries Mantle was a 20x All-Star (1952-’65, 1967-’68), American League batting champion (1956), 4x American League homerun champion (1955-’56, 1958, 1960), 3x American League MVP (1956-’57, 1962), American League Gold Glove Award winner (1962) and won the American League Triple Crown in 1956. During his career he was part of 7 World Series Championships teams (1951-’53, 1956, 1958, 1961-’62) and finished his career with a .298 batting average, 536 homeruns, 2, 415 hits and 1,509 runs batted in. Mantle announced his retirement on March 1, 1969 and at the time was #3 on the all-time homerun list.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1974.

Mantle died on August 13, 1995.  The New York Yankees played the remainder of the season with black mourning bands topped by a number 7 on their left sleeves.  Sportscaster Bob Costas described Mantle as “a fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic” and said, “In the last year of his life, Mickey Mantle, always so hard on himself, finally came to accept and appreciate the distinction between a role model and a hero. The first, he often was not. The second, he always will be. And, in the end, people got it.”

So here is the video that sparked my research.  On May 14, 1967 against the Baltimore Orioles, Mantle hit a homerun to right field off reliever Stu Miller to join the 500 Homerun Club.  You will notice how he struggles just to round the bases in the later part of his career.  ENJOY some baseball history!

Check out the eulogy by Bob Costas at Mickey Mantle’s funeral.

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300 Win Club – Milestone Collections

cy_youngHere is the next of my Milestone Collections – The 300 Win Club.  Currently there are 24 members of this exclusive club, the first member was Pud Galvin who got his 300th win on September 4, 1888.  The latest person to join the club was Randy Johnson who won his 300th game on June 4, 2009.  Although Johnson is more known as a Seattle Mariner or Arizona Diamondback he did get his 300th win in a San Francisco Giants uniform!

300 Win Club Members
Cy Young (511) – Pictured to the right.
Walter Johnson (417)
Christy Mathewson (373)
Grover Cleveland Alexander (373)
Pud Galvin (364)
Warren Spahn (363)
Kid Nichols (361)
Greg Maddux (355)
Roger Clemens (354)
Tim Keefe (342)
Steve Carlton (329)
John Clarkson (328)
Eddie Plank (326)
Don Sutton (324)
Nolan Ryan (324)
Phil Niekro (318)
Gaylord Perry (314)
Tom Seaver (311)
Charles Radbourn (309)
Mickey Welch (307)
Tom Glavine (305)
Randy Johnson (303)
Lefty Grove (300)
Early Wynn (300)

Looking through my collection I was able to find three of the eleven players who have Topps cards in the year they got their 300th win – Steve Carlton (1983), Tom Seaver (1985), Phil Niekro (1985).

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Steve Carlton – 1983 Topps #70

Win #300: September 23, 1983
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Seasons: 1965-1988
Total Wins: 329

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Tom Seaver – 1985 Topps #670

Win #300: August 4, 1985
Team: Chicago White Sox
Seasons: 1967-1986
Total Wins: 311

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Phil Niekro – 1985 Topps #40

Win #300: October 6, 1985
Team: New York Yankees
Seasons: 1964-1987
Total Wins: 318

The search for the other 8 begins!  The 1961 Topps Warren Spahn is the most expensive card in this collection with a low and high price of $15.00 and $40.00.  The players who do not have cards include; Early Wynn (1963 – No Card), Lefty Grove (1941 – No Topps Set), Grover Cleveland (1924 – No Topps Set), Walter Johnson (1920 – No Topps Set), Eddie Plank (1915 – No Topps Set), Christy Mathewson (1912 – No Topps Set), Cy Young (1901 – No Topps Set), Kid Nichols (1900 – No Topps Set), John Clarkson (1892 – No Topps Set), Charles Radbourn (1891 – No Topps Set), Mickey Welch (1890 – No Topps Set), Tim Keefe (1890 – No Topps Set), Pud Galvin (1888 – No Topps Set).

Who is next to join the 300 Win Club?   Currently Andy Pettitte leads all active players with 249 wins but he is 41 years old and it appears he is running out of time.  Although Phil Niekro was under 200 wins at the time of his 40th birthday, he went on to win 121 games after he turned 40 and finished his career with 318.  CC Sabathia has 195 wins and is only 32 years old (turns 33 in July) and he currently averages approximately 15 wins per year.  If he can maintain that pace it would take another 7 years to reach the milestone which is more then in reach.

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500 Homerun Club – Milestone Collections

barry_bondsFor some reason I was looking up members of the Major League Baseball’s 500 HR Club the other night.  Currently there are 25 members of this exclusive club, the first was Babe Ruth who hit his 500th HR on August 11, 1929.  The last person to join the club was Gary Sheffield who hit his 500th HR on April 17, 2009.

500 HR Club Members
Barry Bonds (762) – Pictured to the right.
Hank Aaron (755)
Babe Ruth (714)
Willie Mays (660)
Alex Rodriguez (647)
Ken Griffey Jr. (630)
Jim Thome (612)
Sammy Sosa (609)
Frank Robinson (586)
Mark McGwire (583)
Harmon Killebrew (573)
Rafael Palmeiro (569)
Reggie Jackson (563)
Manny Ramirez (555)
Mike Schmidt (548)
Mickey Mantle (536)
Jimmie Foxx (534)
Ted Williams (521)
Willie McCovey (521)
Frank Thomas (521)
Ernie Banks (512)
Eddie Mathews (512)
Mel Ott (511)
Gary Sheffield (509)
Eddie Murray (504)

My first thought was to start collecting all the cards of these players that I could.  After thinking about that for a minute or two I determined that would be a monumental task not to mention quite expensive.  So instead of that I am going to hunt down the Topps trading card for each of the 500 HR Club members from the year they became members.  There are a few high priced cards in this collection; 1965 Topps Willie Mays ($75.00/$150.00), 1967 Topps Mickey Mantle ($175.00/$350.00), 1968 Topps Hank Aaron ($30.00/$60.00), 1970 Ernie Banks ($20.00/$50.00), Harmon Killebrew ($10.00/$25.00) and Frank Robinson ($12.50/$40.00).  This set may not be complete for awhile unless I win the lottery!  After doing a little research I discovered there would be 4 players that I would not be able to find cards for; Ted Williams (1960 – No card), Mel Ott (1945 – No Topps Set), Jimmie Foxx (1940 – No Topps Set) and Babe Ruth (1929 – No Topps Set).  My first two cards in the set are Reggie Jackson and Mike Schmidt who were the #13 and #14 members respectively.

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Reggie Jackson – 1984 Topps #100

Homerun #500: September 17, 1984
Team: California Angels
Seasons: 1967-1987
Total Homeruns: 563

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Mike Schmidt – 1987 Topps #430

Homerun #500: April 18, 1987
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Seasons: 1972-1989
Total Homeruns: 548

Albert Pujols should be the next player to join the 500 HR Club and I got his card waiting!  He started the season with 475 career home runs and currently (May 24, 2013) sits at 483.  Topps even recognized it on their Albert Pujols card from 2013 Topps Series 1 set.

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Albert Pujols – 2013 Topps Series 1 #266

Homerun #500: TBD  (I am predicting September 11, 2013 @ Toronto Blue Jays.)
Team: Los Angeles Angels
Seasons: 2001 – Present
Total Homeruns: 583 (Current as of May 24, 2013)

So there is the start of my first Milestone Collection.  Future Milestone Collections as of today include; 3,000 Hit Club, 300 Win Club and 3,000 “K”.  Stay tuned for posts about those soon.

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