Sunday, June 29, 2008

How's this for karma?

Blogging live from San Antonio, it's the Tribecards show! I woke this morning and stood outside the hotel, looking every bit the confused tourist/conference-goer. A bus pulls up with a BLUE ROUTE sign, but I wave him down anyway. You see, I am in the RED ROUTE.

Being that it was all of 7:00am, I am the ony person on the bus. I strike a conversation with the driver, and he asks where I'm from. When I tell him I live in Arkansas, he asks where Springdale is in relation to Hope. We talk a bit about it, and then he says he willbe in Springdale on Wednesday. I ask him what would send him to Springdale....

He is the bus driver for the San Antonio Missions baseball team! How friggin cool is that!? We talk at length about his driving the team around. He said is can be long work. He is doing an 8-day stint with the team over the next 10 days before coming back home again.

I meant to ask his name, but we were talking so much that I forgot! DUH! Well, if you happen to catch a Missions game, and happen to spot the bus drive, tell him "Dave from Hope says Howdy!"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Out of the Office (and yet not so much)

Saturday, I head for San Antonio and the National Education Computing Conference! I don't know what (or how much) Tribe-related posting I'll be doing from there, so if things are quiet on the Tribe-al front, you'll know why.

In case you haven't been getting updates, the scratch-off game is in the bottom of the third with 2 outs for the Readers. Readers are trailing 2 to 1. I noticed that when I post updates, and even change the publishing date, the RSS fed doesn't always seem to cooperate. For the heck of it, I'll have the game with me, should anyone care to chime in. However, I've decided that if the game is not over by the time I get back from NECC, I'm calling it... I have another plan for scratch offs in which there will be prizes awarded... Oh yes, there will be prizes... Okay, that was bad, I admit.

I am hoping to take in a Missions (Padres Minor League) game this weekend while I am in Alamo-town, so if that comes to fruition, you can be I'll be bloggin' that!

In the meantime, I recently bought an eBay auction of 20 G/U and #'d cards, and there were THREE Tribers in the lot! Sweet!

If this one was listed in the auction (or shown), I do not remember seeing it. I was surprised to find it when I opened my loot!! Excellent score (well, Donruss)! The back of the card even lists bio info and has a blurb about him. There are also STATS on the back! Holy smokes, who the heck was asleep at wheel when these cards were made? Didn't they know that the rest of the card makers simply put "Way to go" on the backs??

I also did not remember seeing THIS card as one of the listed ones. I am wondering if the seller saw my ID and had more than a sneaking suspicion that I might enjoy a few Tribers in the stack! This one is a sweet multi-color, and they even show you a photo of the "actual jersey" that the cut came from on the back! How nice of them. Of course, this card only offers the serial number and a congratulatory message on the back (well, in addition to the jersey photo).

I actually KNEW this card was in the lot, and is one of the main reasons I went for the auction in the first place. Roberto Alomar! Hello!? Only one of the greatest second basemen to grace the field (yes, in my humble opinion). The back, of course, features only the "Congrats" and not even a pic of the jersey, no stats, nothin'. Oh well, who really cares! I wanted the swatch. Excellent!

The other cards in the lot are VERY nice game-used items. I won't say anything about the yet, as I plan to use some of them as the prizes in the next incarnation of the scratch-off game!

Scratch-off Update (Bot 3rd, 2 Outs, Tribecards 2, Readers 1)

Okay, I've decided to add whatever new plays there are to the TOP of this post instead of the bottom. That way, you don't have to scroll through the whole thing to see what new twists have taken place. (last updated: 06/27/08) The "Available Plays" card is still at the top of the post to make it easier for folks to pick the spot they'd like.

After a L-O-N-G delay, the unknown comic, er, unknown batter, simply calling him/herself "anonymous" steps up to the plate. For the sake of arguement (and to make commentary easier), I will use the female gender for this batter. Girls can play, too ya know!

The batter takes a practice swing. The pitcher, who had dozed off, wipes the strand of sleep-drool from his mouth, and sets up for the pitch. Remarkably, most of the crowd has remained on-board, trying to rally their team to victory!

The first pitch is straight across the plate, but catches the batter looking. She shrugs it off, and resets herself. The pitcher winds up and the batter connects with this one, sending it into foul territory. The pitcher smiles, knowing his 0-2 count is about to be another "K" on the scoreboard. He throws, and the batter hits this to the opposite field, up and out of play into foul territory again.

Anonymous is not new to the Readers, but this is the first time she has decided to step up to the plate for this game. She generally offers comments from the dugout, so it's nice to see her get up and offer some support to the team!

The next pitch comes in and it's a ball outside. 1-and-2 now to the batter. Here's the wind-up, the pitch, and it's high. 2-and-2. The catcher waves his glove, trying to get the pitcher to calm down a bit. The pitcher nods, sets, and throws. This one heads right for the batter! Luckily, she is able to make her body move in a way that can only be described as a vertical caterpillar break-dance move and she avoids getting beaned. We're not sure how she pulled that off, but she stays in the game.

It's a full count to the batter. The wind-up and pitch, she smacks this ball down the line into foul territory. The fans are getting their share of game balls today.... Here's the next pitch, it's low, but the batter takes a swing and sends THIS ball foul, too. She really wants to make something happen here, folks. She is hanging in there.

The pitcher seems pretty ticked off about the batter's refusal to miss the ball. He slams the ball into his glove, takes the sign, and sets. Here's the wind-up, the pitch... CRACK! The batter sends this ball flying down the line! If this stays fair, it's a home run.... But, no... It's just a long foul ball.

The pitcher gets ready. The batter steps into the box. Here's the wind-up, the pitch, and Anonymous goes down swinging - strike three!

That's two outs for the readers. Bottom of the third inning, and they trail by a score of 2-to-1. Will they pull a victory out of the hat? Will the game ever really end? Is this the longest game in the history of online scratch-off games? Stay tuned to find out, folks... Though, you might want to bring a blanket and a pillow, which are now being offered at the concession stands...

Okay, maybe "mania" won't quite be accurate. Ever since Thorzul posted a 1993 Triple Play scratch-off game interactively (see here), I have been chomping at the bit to do the same thing on here. Well, finally, I can!

My game will work the same way his did. I bat first, then when I get out, it'll be your turn. That is, "your" as in anyone who responds. We'll play in order. You must wait at least one comment from another person before you can bat again, though, so we encourage fair play... :-)

I will update this post, adding results to the bottom each time as we go along. To play, you call your shot by giving me the coordinates of the spot you wish to have rubbed off (across, then up). Swicth sides after three outs, three inning game. I'll update as I can, usually at night after work. Good luck!

Tribecards gets up to the plate, taps his foot twice and takes a swing (3,4). What is this? He hits the ball so hard it breaks the bat and shatters the ball into a million pieces! That's a forced out, folks... (Okay, so I scratched a tad harder than necessary)

Having learned to use some finesse with the bat instead of brute force, Tribecards takes another swing (4,8), and POW! Home Run!!

Tribecards - 1, 1 out
Readers -0

Next pitch (1,4), and it's a single... Judging by the difficulty in seeing the results, I'd say they are playing through one massive rain storm here, folks...

Well, this time, the rain is just too bad, and we'll have to call (3,0) an out. Next bat, we used a different method for scratching off the space, and we have a ground out at (4,0). Side is retired. Now, we'll let you take a whack at it. Don't be discouraged if the results aren't posted right away. I'll try to post updates throughout the day!

Going into the bottom of the 1st, Tribecards - 1, Readers - 0

Well, so far, there appears to be quite a rain delay as we wait for TribeCards readers to pick thier game spots. So, while we wait, let's hear a word from our sponsors:

(voice in headset): "Umm, Dave, we don't have sponsors..."
Me: "What!? Of course we have sponsors!"
(voice): "No, I'm afraid we haven't been able to pull the numbers that would warrant sponsorship..."
Me: "Well, tartar sauce!"
(voice): "Actually, sir, you can't really say 'tartar sauce.' The implies a reference to Spongebob Squarepants, and we don't have a sponsorship with Nick studios."
Me: "That's ridiculous. I can say 'tartar sauce' just as easily as I can say 'ketchup!'"
(voice): "Well, actually, 'Ketchup' is believed to be a trademarked form of the word 'catsup.'"
Me: "Great... I have a bad feeling about this..."
(voice): "Umm, that would be 'Star Wars,' sir..."

Okay, so we eagerly await a response from our readers. Pick a spot... Any spot... Really.. It's okay... Heck, at this stage, I may even let you pick back-to-back spots.... :-)

So, at the end of the top of the first inning, the score still stands at Tribecards 1, Readers 0. Let's se if the readers can pull off something in the first...

All right, player TastesLikeDirt gets up to the plate. Here's the pitch! It's a swing and a hit! Looks like tasteslikedirt got the bottom of the ball, however, and it is popped up into the air. Tribecards gets under it, and we have a Pop Out to start the bottom of the 1st...

Bottom of the first, 1 out - Tribecards 1, Readers - 0

Let's see who is up next....

TastesLikeDirt says, "Looks like all your readers are afraid to get hit by a pitch or something..." He gives the other readers a quizzical look, shakes his is head, and steps up to the plate. The first swing is fouled off into the stands. Tribecards gets ready... Here's the pitch, and it's high fastball outside. TastesLikeDirt is 0-for-1 so far in the game. Let's see what happened here. Here's the pitch - swing and a miss, strike two. He is not happy to be the only player willing to step up to the plate and now has two strikes against him. Of course, if no one else steps up, he'll get to play the whole game by himself. Tribecards throws, and it's a breaking ball that catches TastesLikeDirt a bit off guard, and he goes down swinging - count that as a strike out for TribeCards:

In an affort to make the scratch-off easier to see, I tried only scanning the one side. In the future, I'll experiment some with ways to get the scratch-off spots to show up better...

In the meantime, TribeCards 1, Readers (or maybe I should say TastesLikeDirt) 0, Bottom of the 1st with 2 outs... Come readers, someone out there can give your team a hand! Pick a spot...

After watching his teammate struggling at the plate for the first two pitches, Andy steps up for some baseball action (2nd row from bottom, three from left)! Tribecards winds up and here comes the pitch - a low, inside curve for a ball. The next pitch comes in a bit high, ball 2. The count is 2-and-0. Tribecards brings the heat, Andy gets a piece of it, and it flies off foul into the crowd behind the plate. There's the nod, the windup and Andy swings and misses that blasted sinker. The 2-and-2 pitch is coming up next. Let's se if Andy can get something going for the Readers... High and away, ball three. Tribecards looks nervous as he preps for the full-count pitch. He throws.... Swing and a miss, another strikeout to end the 1st inning!

At the end of 1, Tribecards leads 1-0. Let's se what the 2nd inning has in store...

Okay, Tribecards gets up to bat and selects top-row, 3rd slot. The Readers first pitch comes in high and tight for a ball. The next pitch comes in low and inside, another ball. Tribecards gets ready, the pitch is straight across the plate, and it's a swing and a miss! With the count at 2-and-0, Readers go into the windup, here's the pitch, and it's low and away just missing the outside corner. The pitcher gets the ball, takes the sign, and the throw narrowly misses Tribecards as he manages to avoid the inside pitch. It's a walk...

With a runner on first, the next selection is the bottom-left corner. The batter gets ready for the pitch. It's a high fastball! He swings and connects, but the ball sails foul down the third base line. The next pitch comes in, Tribecards swings and it's a hit! Unfortunately, it's popped up and out of play. Strike two. The Readers' pitcher looks completely unnerved. He winds up... Here's the pitch... Holy smokes! That ball blew by the batter at 98 miles an hour. He never saw it coming and goes down standing there like the Statue of Liberty. That's one out with a runner on first...

The next batter comes in, calls his shot at 3up, 4 across. The pitcher throws the ball, and Tribecards smacks it to deep right field... The Readers' right fielder is heading back, and snags it at the dirt! The runner stays put as the outfielder roackets the ball to second. That's two outs.

Let's see what the next batter for Tribecards can do here. Two outs with a runner on first. The spot picked out is 6up, 2nd spot in. The batter swings at the first pitch and it goes off foul into the stands. The next pitch comes in high and outside for a ball. The pitchers wipes his brow, sets, and throws one in over the plate. Tribecards swings and manages to catch the bottom of the ball, popping the thing straight up in the air. The catcher tosses his mask, holds out his glove and easily retires the side with a fly out.

(No picture, since the spot is barely visible to me, the scanner just laughed when I tried to post the thing)

So, going into the bottom of the 2nd inning, the score is still Tribecards 1, Readers 0.

Let's see how the Readers do this inning!

Thorzul, the father of this "interactive" game, steps out of the dugout, and the crowd goes wild. After all, this is very much like Doubleday himself making an appearance at the plate! The spot is across 2, up 1. Let's see what happens:

The first pitch is way outside, bordering on the target for an intentional walk. The crowd boos as the catcher throws the ball back to the pitcher. The next pitch is a curveball that Thorzul takes a swing at. He connects, but it's fouled off. The crowd is restless. It's the bottom of the 2nd and their hometown heroes have yet to score. The pitcher winds up, throws, and it's another ball. This one was high inside. 2-and-1... The next pitch to Thorzul is inside at the knuckles and he gets jammed for a foul ball - 2-and-2. The pitcher gets his sign, he cocks back his arm and rifles a ball right down the middle. Thorzul swings, and it's a hit! It's a long fly ball down the third base line. If thing stays fair, it's outta here! The crowd "awwws" as the ball dips to the left, into foul territory and into the hands of the disappointed crowd. The next pitch comes in low and fast, but Thorzul can't seem to connect. He goes down swinging - a strike out. Well, hopefully, we'll see him again in the game.

In the meantime, we wait to see if Andy, TastesLikeDirt, or another member of the Reader team comes up to bat. So, we go to commercial with Tribecards leading 1-0 in the bottom of the 2nd inning. 1 out for the Readers, who hope to pull this off and get a "1" in the win column for the hometown crowd...

Today's game is brought to you by Coca-Cobra:

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(music starts)
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The Readers' manager picks up the phone ringing in the dugout. What's this? A "phone-in" play!? It appears that a reader from David's personal blog (poppedinmyhead) has phoned in, calling a shot from the OTHER BLOG! I'd say we should go to the rule book on this one, but at this stage of the game, we'll take what we can get!

So, the off-site shot is 0,7 (1st column, 2nd down from top). Shari steps up to the plate after taking quite the jump-jet whrilwind tour to get to the stadium so quickly. She adjusts her helmet, taks a practice swing, and readies herself for the pitch. Tribecards is not phased at all and sends a heater right down the middle. She swings and whiffs at it, strike one.

She sets up again, glaring at the pitcher. The wind up, and it's a curveball low and outside, but she swings and snags a piece of it! It rockets down the firstbase line, just over the edge into foul territory. Strike two.

The pitch is way ahead here. He takes the sign, nods his head, and fires a rocket down the pipe. Shari swings and just missed the ball! Strike three, and the readers now have two outs in the bottom of the 2nd.

We're still in the bottom of the second here at Readers' Field where the Readers trail one to nothing with two outs. Who will step up to the plate next? And, just as important, will they be able to rally this team back from the deficit?

Bottom of the 2nd, 2 outs, Readers at bat. Tribecards leads 1-0 with two outs.

My Aunt chimes in again, selecting the first column, last row... Deja Vu, that's already been selected. Due to technical difficulties, though, the only way to really know that is by reading through the entire game thus far. The picture of the scan is just too bad in that area. So, I am going to give this batter a pass and let her walk to first base.

I am also going to edit the scanned image of the game card so that you will know what's been played... I have also numbered the spaces, so you can choose by SPACE NUMBER rather than by grid coordinate. Hopefully, this will make the game easier to play, and maybe get some more folks to chime in... :-)

Come on, Readers! You have a runner on base and a chance to make something happen!

Reader Andy steps up to the plate, happily choosing spot #12! See how much easier this is now? Unfortunately, he swings and the ball goes deep for a fly out, leaving the stranded runner on base...

Tribecards gets up to bat. The first space called is #2, and the batter goes down swinging - strike out.

The next batter gets up, chooses #30, and smacks the ball out of the park! A home run!!

Spot #28 gets selected next, and there is some controversy as to exactly what the space reveals. It looks like a "W" but no way to tell from here. The umpire calls the batter out. Two outs.

The clean-up man steps to the plate, and selects #23. He smacks the ball toward the fence and it drops in for a double!

Unfortunatey, the next guy batting for Tribecards picks #20, and he pops the ball straight up in the air for an easy out by the shortstop.

Tribecards scores a run, and leaves a runner on the bag. I purposely scanned and enlarged this card just so you can see what bad shape this card is in. I have learned my lesson, and in the future, only cards pulled straight out of packs will be used for the scratch-off game. With the unopened box I bought not long ago, I have at least 30 mint condition cards to play with in upcoming games. In fact, I am working on a way to have a cool tourney with them and have prizes, etc.. Stay tuned for that!

In the meantime, the Readers up in the bottom of the third, trailing by two runs. Can the Readers pull off a last-ditch victory? Will Tribecards keep the lead and win the game? We'll find out as you, my readers, pick your spots:

Shari steps up to the plate, and judging from her comment, the new selection method has helped making picking spots much easier! So, she calls #22 and takes her place. The first pitch is high and outside for a ball. The 0-1 count doesn't phase the pitcher at all. He pulls back and lets a screamer rip down the lane toward the plate, Shar swings, and smacks it hard! It is heading down the first base line, but it pulls foul. The count is 1-and-1, no outs, and the Readers trail two to nothing here in the bottom of the third.

Here's the pitch.... High and tight, ball two. The pitcher is showing some frustration. The catcher calls time-out and they go to conference. The manager starts to head out of the dugout, but the catcher waves him back as he returns to his spot behind the plate. The pitcher gets his sign. The wind-up, the throw, and SMACK! It's a LONG fly ball to deep center field. This one's got legs, wings, and thighs! It is OUTTA HERE!! Shar snags a home run in the third to bring the Readers within one of tying the game!!

I am posting the card with the #22 spot covered. I tried to scan the thing, but even after some photo-editing, you can't make out the "HOME RUN" on the #22 spot, which is a bummer!! Oh well, it looks like Readers are standing on the edge of a comeback!

Bottom of the 3rd, 0 outs, Tribecards 2 - Readers 1! Who is up next for the Readers??

Madding for the Readers gets up to bat. Feeling "lucky," the batter calls #13. The pitcher winds up, throws the ball, and Madding fouls it off into the crowd behind the plate. Madding held off showing us what can be done until late in the game, but is certainly a welcome addition to the Readers team. The 0-1 pitch gets away from the pitcher, hits the dirt and gets away from the catcher, too! Luckily for Tribecards, no one was on base... 1-and-1 the count. Madding steps in, the pitcher delivers. Madding swings and sends this one out of fair territory into the crowd behind third base. The pitcher takes his sign. He pulls back and launches. It's a mislocated fastball right down the pipe! Madding swings and gets the top-half of the ball, sending a low line drive that drops quickly onto the in-field grass. Madding heads for first. The bullet shoots between the first and second basemen, but HOLY COW! The second baseman makes a diving grab for it, and manages to snag the ball! He rolls, getting to one knee. He throws to first. Madding is barely a half-step behind, but just far enough that the Tribecards get the ground out. What a play!

The Readers are hitting the ball hard, and are working to pull a win out of their hats. As, we wait for the next batter, we'll take a short commercial break. Don't go too far, folks! The energy in this place is picking up as the Readers trail one to two in the bottom of the third with only one out! Who will be the next batter, and can s/he make something happen here today?

Today's game is brought to you by Brawl Park Franks - they FIGHT when you COOK 'em!

Each package of Brawl Park Franks comes with some of America's favorite franks - Frank Robinson, Frank Thomas, Mike Frank, Frank Baker, and more! We seal them together for days, even weeks, on end until their tempers are flaring. You can just hear them starting to sizzle even before you add the heat! But, once you do, these guys go at it like no one's business! It's an all-out Brawl! You have a Battle Royale in your own backyard with each and every package of Brawl Park Franks.

Tough meat = Killer Franks. That's Brawl Park Franks - The Franks that FIGHT when you COOK 'EM!

Welcome back to the park, folks! We're eagerly awaiting the arrival of the next batter to the plate for the Readers. Stay tuned, you are NOT going to want to miss this action!


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Hero Decks for everyone...well, almost

Some time ago, I posted a message about a deck of cards I bought online. The reseller of the deck is HeroDecks (

I had forgotten about the deck until tonight when I was taking cards from my "To Be Recorded" box, inputting them into the computer, then placing them in the "To Be Filed" box. I opened the deck of cards, and saw the web address and knew I needed to see what else they had. They have Celtics cards, football, baseball, political, and more. I don't get anything for directing you there, but I know several of the folks that stop by here collect team-related items. These are unique items, for sure!

Pack Busting five-year old

Recently, I bought an unopened box of 1990 Donruss cards. Honestly, I don't remember why I did. I have all the 1990 Indians cards from Donruss. But, if memory serves, it was actually packaged with another box of cards or something. I digress.

My daughter asked me if she could open a few packs of the "red cards." I was busy sorting through a stack of other cards in order to send some 'gift packs' out to a few of the folks that I have traded with in the past. I told her she could open a few packs, but not to open ALL of the packs.

To a five-year old, "few" has little or no meaning. "Not all of them" has definite meaning. "Not all of them" means that she could leave one unopened pack in the box, if left to her own devices. I made this discovery when I pulled my head away from the cards I working with long enough to see opened packs strewn around the floor. Emily was sitting among them, rifling through cards.

It was the manner in which she was opening the packs that really got my attention, though. As she opened each pack, she looked at each card. She would stop on cards with the team names she recognized: White Sox, Cubs, Angels, Pirates, and Indians, of course. She is very adept at sounding out the words, even if she doesn't recognize the team. Though, I am pretty sure she knew what the Indians were long before she ever saw her first set of golden arches along some highway.

She took the Indians cards and placed them in a separate pile. If she came across a duplicate, "a match," she left that card in the stack of cards she was going through at the time. She then took the puzzle piece that comes in each pack and put it into another pile. She did not look for duplicates of those. All pieces, no matter what, were relegated to their own special place.

After she went through the pack, she carefully placed the remaining cards back into the pack, and set the pack aside, reached into the box for another one, and began the process over again. I watched her go through another pack before I spoke.

"How ya doin' there?" My question startled her. She had been so enthralled with opening the packs that she was in her own little world - one I was all too familiar with myself. She looked up at me, looked over at the now nearly empty box of cards, looked around her at the packs she placed in a semi-circle on the floor around her, looked back up at me, and said, "Opening red cards.... DUH..." I gave her a quizzical, not quite stern, look and she corrected herself.

"I'm putting the Indians in a pile for you, but if they match, I'm keeping them in the pack. See?" She showed me the small pile of Tribers she had picked out. I smiled and nodded. She put the stack next to her. "And, I'm putting all the puzzles in a pile." She pointed at the stack of cardboard next to her other knee, as she was sitting "criss-cross applesauce" as they say now, so as not to be offensive. I told her she was doing a good job, and reminded her not to open ALL the packs. "I know, Daddy. I'm saving some for later. Wanna come help me?"

I did.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Baseball Cards on Baseball Tonight

The folks over at SportsCard Fun ( are holding a contest to have a new segment added to Baseball Tonight. The new segment would feature baseball cards in a short segment. Visit the SportsCard Fun site for more details.

I think it's a great concept and have already submitted my entry and ideas. Think about it - what if YOU could produce, or even offer input to the production of, a segment devoted to the hobby we love so much! I am very excited about the prospect and submitted several names of folks I'd like to see have a guest spot on the segment and how I think the segments should run. A key element to the contest is that you provide them with a WAY to get it done. Oh, and if you win, you get a 2008 Hobby Box of Bowman Baseball cards for your thoughts... Of course, I'd rather have a cut of the profits generated from selling advertisements related to the program, since I see that would be much more profitable than a box of cards.....

2006 SPX Rookie Signatures Kelly Shoppach

It's been a while since I posted one of my cards, so I thought I would show off my latest addition. I bought this while researching Shoppach for the all-time uniform countdown. I am not-quite-jaded enough that I still think autographed cards are neat things to have in one's collection. Same is true of game-used cards. Because there is a severe overabundance of the things, I don't think they will ever hold their value as they have with older cards, but still, a collection conversation piece.

The front of the card has a cool shot of Shoppach, though the card's graphics take up most of the real estate. It's numbered 586/999, and features the "hey, let's just send the players some stickers to sign" clear mailing label-like signature spot. How long does it take to sign one's name 999 times? Was this signature actually number 586 on the pages of stickers? I haven't compared this sig with another of his, but it could pass as being about halfway through a stack of clear labels to be signed...

The back actually has stats (gasp!) in addition to the congratulatory message from the CEO of Upper Deck.... "I am Richard P. McWilliam, and I approve this card." Upper Deck didn't even bother to put a different picture on the back, either. Dang it. Oh well, it's still a cool sig of one of the hot Tribe players this season.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Indians Uniform Number 10 - George Uhle

In the "longevity" category, there are only three Indians that I would say qualify: Uhle, Alvis, and Tabler. There are several players that could come close if they had just played for the Tribe a little longer, or had at least stayed in one uniform number longer.

Some may argue that Uhle shouldn't qualify because he played during the era of numberless uniforms, so how could we really know which number he would have worn? That is true, but I don't think that really has much bearing because we should remember that early uni numbers were dolled out based on position. Uhle was one of the best hitting pitchers I've seen yet in this countdown.

Alvis had a long run with the Tribe, and he did well enough to be considered one of the Top 100 Indians of all time. Add to that the fact that he suffered a severe bout with spinal meningitis, only to come back and continue his career. Alvis was also chosen as "Mistake By The Lake's" All-Time #10.

Tabler was considered to be a "big bat at first" during the same year as McGwire. He played six seasons, and handled himself very well during his tenure with the Tribe.

I have to say that overcoming serious illness weighs pretty heavy in favor of a player, but for all-around playability, I have to say that my choice for all-time Triber in a #10 uniform is George Uhle. Not only was he the longest player in the position/number, but he carried a pretty big bat while serving up pitches, too! credits him with perfecting and naming the 'slider.'

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Serious Scum

I don't usually go into rants and raves about most things, but what happened over at Wax Heaven (here) is just ridiculous. I find it completely ludicrous that someone would take HIS redemption code and claim it as their own.

I have not been so lucky as to have won a redemption card, so I might have made the same mistake as he did (posting it online), but that is no excuse for some bottom-feeding scum-sucker to watch the video and steal the code for his/her own. That says a lot about the person who sunk to card-stealing in cyberspace. Come on, really?

My advice to the folks at Wax Heaven was to contact Upper Deck and get to the bottom of it. If they really wanted to push it, legally, they have every right to file fraud charges against the tool that scammed UD. In fact, both UD and Wax Heaven could file a suit against the perp for fraud and theft.

In the meantime, the honest card-collecting members of the blogosphere are getting our bats ready for a good old-fashioned Sopranos re-enactment......

Tribe or No Tribe #3

It's been a while since I've played TonT, so I thought I'd bust open a pack of 1990 Donruss cards, and see what happens. Each pack has 16 cards plus a Carl Yastrzemski puzzle piece. Let's go Tribe:

Brook Jacoby - Indians. Holy Smokes! A Tribe card right out of the gate! +2 points (Total = 2)

Eddie Murray - Dodgers. Jiminy cricket, a HOFer! +.5 points (Total = 2.5)
Dave LaPoint - Yankees. +.5 points (Total = 3.0 Points)
Mike Greenwell - BoSox. +.5 points (Total = 3.5 points)
Chet Lemon - Tigers. +.5 points (Total = 4.0 points)
Rob Deer - Brewskies. +.5 points (Total = 4.5 points)

John Smoltz Diamond King - Braves. UGH It's a Trap! -1 point (Total = 3.5 points)

Checklist - Hmm, I may need a scoring category for non-player cards. Oh well, +.5 points (Total = 4.0 points)
John Morris - Cardinals. +.5 points (Total = 4.5 points)
Rick Wrona - Cubs. +.5 points (Total = 5.0 points)
Al Newman - Twins. +.5 points (Total = 5.5 points)

Pete Smith - Braves. OUCH, another trap! -1 point (Total = 4.5 points)
Tim Birtsas - Reds. +.5 points (Total = 5.0 points)
Ron Jones - Phillies. +5 points. (Total = 5.5 points)
Carmelo Martinez - Padres. +.5 points (Total = 6.0 points)
Juan Agosto - Astros. +5.5 points (Total = 6.5 points)
Yaz puzzle piece - Again, need a non-player score. +.5 points (Total = 7.0 points)

Overall, the average score would have been 8.5 (if there had been no Tribe and no traps), so I think I fared fairly well. I snagged a Tribe card (which happens to already be in my collection), so that's ALWAYS a plus! Hitting two traps was rough, though, and from the same team! Ouch.

Tribe-or-no-Tribe Total this pack: 7.0

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wahoo Duck!

Sometimes, I browse around the Internet long enough to find something really, really different that I can add to my Indians collection. Even I have to admit, I found something that I just had to have, and it doesn't get much "different" than this:

It is a Dodge promo Indians rubber ducky of Ellis Burks. Why? I have no idea, but I knew I just had to snag it up.... :-)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Indians Uniform Number 10 (Part 3)

Tonight, I offer up the final set of Indians who wore the Number 10 during their careers for the Tribe. We have a couple 1-season guys, and a winner of a previous uniform list on here. Have fun, and I will announce my pick for All-Time Jersey Number 10 in a few days!

Mark Lewis - 5 seasons (1991-94, 2001) - Lewis wore #10 his first two seasons, then switched to #20 for the next two. We first saw him wearing #1. Wearing Number 10, he came to the Tribe in 1991 and stood at the plate 314 times. That is nothing particularly special, but the fact that he did not hit a single home run in all those at-bats is... Of course, not the fact that hit did not hit any home runs in 300+ at-bats, but that he still managed a .264 average that season without any homers. He scored 29 runs and 30 RBIs on 83 hits, 15 doubles and a triple. The next season, he had again had 30 RBIs and ended the season with another .264 average - back-to-back 30 RBI seasons with .264 averages.

Max Alvis - 8 seasons (1962-69) - Alvis' full-time gig with the Tribe did not start until 1963. In his rookie year (I am counting that as '62, since that's when he started in the majors), he had 11 hits with 1 run in 51 at-bats. The next year, he played full-time third baseman and racked up 165 hits in 602 chances at the plate. Those hits scored 81 runs with 67 RBIs, while he also knocked 32 doubles, 7 triples, and 22 home runs! He was walked 38 times (2 intentional) and struck out 109 times. He was swinging, for sure. He also managed to get himself pegged by the ball 10 times... I don't know if that's crowding the plate or just bad luck. Over the course of his carer, he was elected to two all-star games ('65, '67), and survived a nasty battle with spinal meningitis ('64). He is listed among the 100 greatest Cleveland Indians players (here). His eight-season life with the Tribe netted him 3,514 at-bats, scoring 405 runs on 874 hits, 140 doubles, 22 triples, and 108 home runs. He brought in 361 RBIs (just over 10% of his at-bats and 41% of his total hits!). He left the Indians with a career .242 average before being sent over to the Brewers.

Mickey Rocco - 4 seasons (1943-46) - We took a look at Rocco's stats while he was wearing #9, so today, we look at his stats while wearing the Number 10 jersey. He wore #10 in 1945-46 while serving as the Tribe's 1st baseman. In his final two years in the majors, he scored 89 runs on 173 (663 at-bats) with 30 doubles, 6 triples, and 12 home runs. He struck out 55 times, but brought in 70 RBIs. Defensively, he led the AL in 1st base fielding percentages twice (43 and 45), and overall (all four years) helped complete 399 double plays.

Pat Borders - 3 seasons (1997-1999) - Borders played in 55 games his first year as a Triber, but was given Free agency before the Tribe went on to the World Series that year. The next year, they picked him back up again. Talk about being robbed. Best I can figure, he served as backup catcher and third baseman during his time with the Tribe. In his three seasons, he only batted in 115 games, and only 6 in his final partial season. He came to the plate 339 times, scored 31 runs, and made 91 hits, 13 doubles, 2 triples, and hit four home runs. He drove in 24 RBIs, ending his Indians carer with a .278 overall average.

Pat Tabler - 6 seasons (1983-1988) - Tabler came to Cleveland when the Tribe traded Jerry Dybzinski to the White Sox. He batted in 124 games his first season with the Indians and piled up a .291 batting average. The next year, he continued doing well, and his average "fell" to .290. Tabler was a solid hitter that seemed to be blessed with the ability to drive in runs when the bases were loaded (in his overall MLB career, he was nearly .500 when runners packed the bases!). In 1987, he was a member of the AL All-Star team, though he had just one at-bat and struck out. As an Indian, he had 2,476 at-bats with 729 hits. Of those, 343 (47%) were RBIs and 312 (43%) were runs. He also snagged 130 doubles and 39 home runs. Over the course of his career in Cleveland, he hit 17 triples, was walked 233 times with 15 intentionals. Not one to just stand there, he also struck out 366 times. He left the the Indians batting .285 overall.

Paul Zuvella - 2 seasons (1988-89) - Zuvella only batted in 75 games for the Tribe during his two-year stint. In his 188 at-bats, he scored 19 runs on 46 hits with 7 doubles, a triple, and two home runs. He knocked in 13 RBIs, struck out 24 times and was walked nine. He batted .231 his first year and then .276 his second before being sent to the Royals. According to Wikipedia editors, Zuvella appears in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." In the film, the character "Mr. Rooney" is watching a game in which Ferris catches a foul ball. Zuvella is the runner on first base. Just in case you are ever asked about it in a game show...

Ray Fosse - 7+ seasons (1967-1972, 1976-Part of '77) - In case you've slept a little since Uniform Number 8 rolled around, Fosse was chosen as All-Time Triber in the #8 jersey. Fosse wore Number 10 during his 2nd visit with the Indians club (76-77). In his final two years as an Indian, he held a .992 fielding percentage as catcher and first baseman (he had a perfect 1.00 fielding avg as a 1st baseman, but that only counted for four games. The other games were played as catcher). This guy came to play. In 168 games those two years, he batted 514 times. In those at-bats, Fosse gathered up 51 runs on 146 hits with 16 doubles, 2 triples, and 8 home runs. He only struck out 46 times and walked 27 times. He left the Indians batting a .283 while wearing uniform Number 10.

Rich Rollins - Part of 1 season (1970) - Rollins came to the Tribe from the Brewers, played in 42 games, then left the majors after a 10-year run in the majors. As far as his partial season with the Indians goes, he had 43 at-bats in 42 games. He scored 6 runs and 4 RBIs on 10 hits with 2 home runs and five strike outs. He left the Indians batting a .233 average.

Tom Brookens - 1 season (1990) - Brookens is one of those players that I had previously thought played for several years with the Tribe. I was mistaken for sure. In fact, he only played in 64 games, and after he did that, he left the majors for good. I may need to do a study on the number of players who left the majors after playing with the Tribe (that is, who played for Cleveland in their last major league season). I digress. Brookens got 41 hits, 7 doubles, 2 triples, and a partridge in a pear... er, and a home run in his season with the Tribe. He did this with 154 at-bats, bringing in 20 RBIs and scoring 18 runs himself. He left Cleveland with a .266 batting average (his 3rd highest in his 12-season career).

Vic Power - 4 seasons (1958-1961) - Two-time AL All-Star while playing with the Tribe, Power came to Cleveland from the A's. He came in swinging, and just kept right on swinging. His last name was actually Pellot, but he used his mother's maiden name (Pellot Pove) while playing ball. Evidently, a 'rough' translation of "pellot" in Old French refers to 'small balls.' This led to fans laughing when he was announced. Pove got changed to Power, and the rest is history. (Again, in case you are ever asked on a game show). Power has 2,123 trips to the plate during his career, and his batting prowess helped secure two trips to the All-Star game (1959,60). He scored 298 runs on 612 hits with 155 doubles, 19 triples, and 37 home runs. He tallied up 260 RBIs during his career as well. He did all of this while being walked 115 times. His four years spent with the Indians earned him a .290 overall average. Doesn't look like 'little balls' to me!

a VERY Happy Father's Day!

For Father's Day, I was handed a gift bag that has the logos from all the MLB teams on it. Inside the bag were a series of envelopes. Each envelope was marked "Clue #1," "Clue #2," and so on. I opened each envelope, pausing to read the contents of each before moving on to the next envelope:

#1 - Clipart picture of a family. Clue is "Your gift includes the following people. Do you know who these people are?" (My Answer: Our family)

#2 - Image of my wife's Town&Country. Clue is "Your gift includes a vehicle doing something. Do you know what it is?" (My Answer: Going on a trip)

#3 - Image of a state. Clue is "Your gift includes this state. Do you know which state it is?" (My answer: Texas)

#4 - Image of hotel desk. Clue is "Your gift includes one overnight stay in this place. Do you know what this is?" (My Answer: A hotel)

#5 - Image of a ball. Clue is "Your gift includes this object. Do you know what this object is?" (My answer: a baseball)

#6 - Cleveland Indians logo. Clue is "Your clue includes this symbol. Do you know what this symbol means? Can you guess your gift?" (My answer: I didn't really answer so much as "ask" if it was a Cleveland Indians baseball game?)

The reason I 'asked' my answer is because I am slow on the uptake, and I wasn't sure how Texas and Indians baseball fit together. Of course, the answer was obvious:

In August, we're going to ARLINGTON! I know I have been collecting Tribe cards for 30+ years, but this will be my FIRST Cleveland Indians ballgame!! I am soooooooooo stoked!! How awesome is this!?!? I can't believe I am going to Disney World AND an Indians baseball game in the same summer! SUH-WEET!!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Indians Uniform Number 10 (Part 2)

Tonight, I present Part 2 of the All-Time Tribe Uniforms Number 10! There is a gem or two in here, and even a player or two you may not have heard of (or I didn't anyway!). Enjoy! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Part 3!

Jack Brohamer - 4+ seasons (1972-75,part of '80) - His name has popped up a couple times before. He has worn #7, #8, and now #10. Brohamer wore #10 from 1973 through 1975 for the Tribe. During those three seasons, he served as the Tribe's lead second baseman, making 832 trips to the plate. He scored 77 runs and 75 RBIs on 204 hits, 28 doubles, 2 triples, and 12 home runs. He was walked 72 times and got hit 3 times (all in 1974), while striking out 59 times. While wearing Number 10, Brohamer earned a .245 average.

Jerry Dybzinski - 3 seasons (1980-82) - As a youngster, I always thought he had a cool name. Of course, his first name was my Dad's first name, so that probably had a lot to do with it back then. According to Wikipedia, he was the first graduate of Cleveland State University to play in the Majors. That's kind of a cool "first" to have under your name. Dybzinski played backup shortstop for Tom Veryzer and served as utility 2nd baseman. He played in 114 games in 1980, and 128 total over the next two years. While wearing an Indians uniform, he had 123 hits, 17 doubles, 3 triples, and a single home run. He scored 61 runs with 51 RBIs, was walked 39 times and hit by 5 pitches, and struck out 68 times. He was traded to Chi for Pat Tabler in 1983, after posting an Indians career .253 average.

Jerry (Gerry) Moses - 1 season (1972) - Another Jerry, though I do not remember this one until I saw his card. He came to the Indians from the Angels, played in 52 games, and was promptly paired up with Graig Nettles in a trade over to the Yankees. While playing for the Tribe, Moses had one of the worst seasons of his career, getting just 31 hits and 3 doubles on 141 at-bats. He did score 9 runs (4 homers) with 14 RBIs. Unfortunately, he also struck out 29 times, leaving the Indians with a .220 average.

Jim Hegan - 14 seasons (1941-42, 46-57) - In case it has been a while, remember I chose Hegan as All-Time Triber in a #4 uniform. During his career as an Indians player, Hegan wore #4, #9, #10, and #40 - which means we will see him again much later. He wore #10 for four seasons and for THREE of those seasons, he was chosen for the AL all-star team. In 1948, he went 4-for-19 in the World Series. I'd say #10 was a pretty good number to have. From '47-'50 (his #10 days), Hegan made 1,733 plate appearances, scoring 205 runs with 216 RBIs on 407 hits, 70 doubles, 21 triples, and 40 home runs. He was walked 180 times and struck out 264! Talk about a guy who went down swinging... He was only hit by one pitch during that time, and that was back in '47. Unfortunately, his batting average fell from .249 to .219 during those years, each year losing a bit at a time. He ended his #10-wearing days with an overall .235 average. He did manage to hold a .991 fielding percentage while sporting the #10 jersey. You can't deny that this guy was good.

Jimmy Wasdell - 2 seasons (1946-47) - Does the name sound familiar? We first met Wasdell back in Uniform #1 (where he had batted just one time). He wore that jersey number in 1947, but donned #10 for his first year as an Indian. As a #10-wearing member of the Tribe, Wasdell hit a .268 average with 11 hits, 1 run, and 4 RBIs on 41 at-bats. A fan of the "fours," he also walked 4 times and struck out 4 times. After his single game the next seasons, he was released.

Joe Becker - 2 seasons (1936-37) - We met Becker wearing #8, but he started with the Tribe in a Number 10 uniform. He batted in 22 games his rookie year, averaging just over two at-bats per game. His rookie-year .180 batting average reflects a rough first year with just 9 hits on 50 at-bats, though he did score 5 runs and 11 RBIs on those 9 hits, plus he got 3 doubles, a triple, and a home run. He struck out only 4 times and was walked 5 times, all of which accounts for his .340 slugging percentage and his .255 on-base percentage.

Jolbert Cabrera - 4+ seasons (1998-part of 2002) - Cabrera came to the Tribe after spending nearly a decade in the Expos minor league system. We first met him wearing uniform Number 6. He only wore the Number 10 in his last season (partial, that is) with the Indians. During that seasons, he batted 72 times in 38 games, scoring 5 runs on 8 hits with 7 RBIs and 13 strike outs. He ended his Indians career batting just .111 in 2002 before being sent to the Dodgers.

Jose Vizcaino - 1 season (1996) - Frankly, I was surprised that Vizcaino only played one season for the Tribe. I would have sworn he had several years in Cleveland under his belt. Guess that just goes to show that a player can make quite an impact on a fan. He batted .333 in the Division Championship that year after batting a .285 on the regular season. During his one-year stop in Cleveland, he scored 23 runs on 51 hits (out of 179 at-bats) with five doubles and two triples, bringing in 13 RBIs.

Kelly Shoppach - 2+ seasons (2006-Present) - Shoppach came to the Tribe in 2006 from the Red Sox, and would go on to help the Tribe make to the 2007 World Series. During his first two seasons, he made 271 plate appearances, getting 69 hits, 19 doubles and 10 home runs. He scored 33 runs with 46 RBIs, striking out 101 times. Ouch. He is a strong part of the Tribe line-up. On a sidenote, his Wikipedia entry reads like the back of an old Topps baseball card: "Shoppach's favorite TV show is Survivor; His favorite movie is Crimson Tide; His favorite celebrity is Ed Harris; He enjoys going to the movies; He is classically trained in the clarinet; He enjoys Chocolate Glazed Donuts and was a regular fixture in Mark Bellhorn's Dunkin Donuts franchises."