Tuesday, September 30, 2008

AUGH, somebody stole my blog roll...

Well, I was playing around with various layouts yesterday (Monday) and i the process, I seem to have lost my bloglist (Clubhouses)! I'll rebuild it over the next few days... OY!

Tribe On Board

Some time ago, I contacted Hammerhead-Grafix (Bastrop, LA) about making bed stripes for my 2004 HEMI Ram 1500. After we talked back and forth a few times, he made some custom stripes for me. Yes, I mentioned these were supposed to be bed stripes (stripes that are placed vertically on the sides of the truck bed). Well, they came in about 25% bigger than I had expected. So, after taking a couple walks around the truck, inspiration struck (with some input from my son and Mom).

I had never placed anything remotely close to this size before, and there are a lot of flaws. But my son put it all in perspective. When I mentioned the faults, he said, "You'll get over it." And, you know, he's right.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Short -n- Not-so-sweet

On top of getting sick this weekend, the DSL at the house has gone wonky. There are a lot of perks with living away from civilization in the boonies outside of Prescott, Arkansas. The fact that there is one DSL provider and their customer sevice is generally full of morons is not one of them. Centurytel DSL is great when it works. When it's broken, you might as well fire up your dial-up account. We currently get less than 100k stream. And, it is so sporadic, it's honestly more like about 10k if you keep a contast PING going to their "speedtest" server. FUN...

None of that has to do with the Tribe, but does have to do with the fact that there is no way I am going to try to post any pictures for now...

I realize that in the scheme of things, it didn't matter, but a win is a win. Why the heck would you NOT start the AL (future) Cy Young Winner??? Hello!? Cliff Lee is smokin' awesome... I just hope he gets to stick around next season. If there was some way that I could the blankety-blank team for two seasons, I can tell you there are a few things that would change, and a few things that wouldn't. Alas, it'll never happen, so as they say, I will only concentrate on those things that I do have control over... :-)

The Steelers won the Superbowl then flopped the next season. the Tribe puts on one of the best seasons ever, then flops the next...

Okay, so who do I want to see win the series? Honestly? The Cubs. I just think it would be cool for them to win 100 years after their last one. Then, they can wait another 100... :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul Newman (1925-2008)

Paul Newman poses with Cleveland Indians players Leon Wagner, Chuck Hinton, and Rocky Colavito (image from The Cleveland Memory Project)
I've been sick the past couple of days, but this morning it hit hard and I woke up very late. When I finally got my groggy head out of bed and threw my rear end into the couch in front of the TV, my wife told me that Paul Newman had passed away.

He was born in Cleveland (well, near Cleveland really), and will be missed in all the various circles in which he made an impact: Sports, Philanthropy, and of course, Acting....

"Doc Hudson" heads for the great race in the skies above...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mickey Vernon heads to the diamond in the sky

Ex-Triber Mickey Vernon passed away earlier today (September 24). Vernon made a couple appearances in the Indians Uniform Countdown. As a tribute and reminder, he was born in 1918 and played with the Indians from 1949-1950 and then again in 1958. Vernon batted .291 in his first year with the Tribe, hitting 18 homers, getting 170 hits, 27 doubles, and 83 RBIs. In his next season, he dropped to 90 at-bats with 17 hits, watching his average drop to .189. In his return to the Tribe in 1958, he got 49 runs on 104 hits while bringing in 55 RBIs. His .293 avg netted him a place on the '58 AL all-star team. He had come back to the Tribe after playing with the Senators and the Red Sox. He left the Indians for the Braves in late 1959 with a .293 average on the season.

Our hearts go out to his friends and family.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On Loyalty

Ever since the girls over at Dinged Corners posted a message about loyalty, I have been pondering the subject in my mind. Specifically, for me, is my loyalty to the Indians and loyalty I have to certain players, whether or not they are (or ever were) in an Indians uniform.

I am going to start with the Indians. Long-time readers will know that I first came to be aware of the Cleveland Indians as a child. My father's parents lived in Cleveland when I was a kid (they lived in Pittsburgh before that). Now, we're talking about the time period just before the Steelers and the Pirates were dominating sports in the late 70's. I would say I was probably 5 or 6 years old, which puts that at about 1975 or so. My grandfather was a civil engineer and for whatever reason, I thought it was important to try and draw the Indians logo as best I could for him. At that age, it was not pretty. But, into the 80's, I got better at it, and my fandom for the Tribe grew even though I had never seen a game on television and had never seen them play in person. I grew up watching the Tribe change through the cards I collected. Throughout the years, my love for the team has never wavered, though how much I actually paid attention surely did (girls, school, etc). But why even remain loyal to a team that, let's be honest, sucked for much of the history to which I am most closely connected?

Of course I can only speak for myself, but I associate the Tribe with my grandparents, especially my grandfather. I have no idea if he even cared one iota about the Indians, but he lived in Cleveland, and that's what I joined together. He passed away when I was young (1980), and for whatever reason, that trauma led me even further into loyalty to the Tribe. Over time, I had amassed a sizable collection of Indians cards for a teenager and I just kept at it off an on. While collecting players of my time, I also loved the history of the Cleveland team, learning about the players like Doby, Feller, Boudreau, and Garcia. Mike Garcia, according to something my Dad once told me, was a friend of the family, though I do not recall any occasions in which we met him.

The other thing that has fed my loyalty are the gifts I have received over the years - picture frames, miniature stadium replicas, posters, cards, other Indians memorabilia. I used to be an avid Coca-Cola collector and still have a bunch of the stuff in a shed. I will be selling much of that on eBay just to get rid of it. But, my Indians stuff is much more personal to me. I genuinely get excited when I get something new for my collection, and as I get older, it seems to be more the case.

Perhaps it is a deep-seeded connection I feel to my grandparents or maybe a connection to the great American pasttime itself. The Indians have gone through many years of absolute suckage and a few years where they were on top or very close to it. They are not the greatest by any stretch, and for me, that is part of the appeal. The Indians are a lot like me - I have my good times and my bad. And, so far in my lifetime, they've always been right where they are...

I am a true-blue Indians fan. Sometimes I'm not sure if it's love or habit, but either way, I'm behind them all the way. That is not to say I'm actually a FANATIC, though. I do not know the complete history or all the stats or even who the 40-man roster is this year. And, I think that speaks more about team loyalty than anything else. Players come and go, but team continues on. While there are notable players on the team every year, most will likely be forgotten years after they either don a new uniform for another team or hang up their gloves forever.

And then, there are the players. And, by extension, other sports-related loyalties. For those that don't know, I was born and raised around Pittsburgh (born in "SouSide" and lived in "WessMifflin," Elizabeth, "Keesport" and various other places). I bleed Black-N-Gold - Steelers, Penguins, Pirates... I was in the 'burgh during the days of Spirit indoor soccer and we hung out with all the guys on the team all the time (my Dad was an MISL pro referee and Lee Pagano officiated with him and served as the team's caterer). I have very deep loyalty to the Steeltown, even though Steel hasn't been its 'thing' for many, many moons. But, that's an easy one - it is my hometown, my birthplace, my 'motherland' if you will. As I mentioned, I also grew up during the greatest era of Pittsburgh sports history (in my opinion) and sports figures: Clemente, Stargell, Bradshaw, Swann, Lambert, Harris.

So, what about other players? It is no secret that I have been a HUGE Thome fan since he first came on the scene. He's not an Indians player now, nor has he been one for quite a while. Yet, I feel loyalty there to him. Why? Partly because I enjoy watching him play. Partly out of admiration (more on that in a bit). How about non-Tribers altogether? I have a collection of baseball cards of players that I like to collect (some for no concrete reason I can think of): Jose Canseco, Reggie Jackson, Mike Schmidt, JR Richard, Derek Jeter, Paul O'Neill, Nolan Ryan, Tony Gwynn, Darryl Strawberry, Goose Gossage, to name a handful though the list is actually much much longer. Why? Some of these guys are admitted 'roiders. Yes, a lot are HOFers. Others I like had little-to-no MLB career. Yet, I am compelled to take note when I hear their name or find one of their cards.

For the bulk of the players I feel loyal to, the main reason is that those players (at one time anyway) represented something I either saw in myself or WANTED to see in myself. Living vicariously, I suppose then. Some of it is pure admiration, and some is respect. The difference? I admire Thome for going out there day after day, hovering just below the radar for the longest time as the most under-rated 1st baseman in the league (imo). I respect Griffey Jr for his ability to come back, and keep coming back, after injury and everything else. I do not feel loyalty to Griffey though. Why not? Maybe because I never felt any kind of connection to him. To me, he's a lot like the Beatles... I respect what the Beatles did, but I also believe there was a huge marketing ploy behind their success and popularity. I never cared for the Beatles. That's how I see Junior... He deserves respect, I just don't feel any loyalty there.

Loyalty is such a strange beast. Take C.C. Sabathia, for example. As a Triber, I loved to watch him. Once he left, though, I never really paid much attention unless someone sent me one of his Tribe cards. How about Hafner, Victor Martinez, Cliff Lee? Honestly, I can't say. I will probably develop a Lee loyalty because he's from Benton (about 75 miles from where I live), so there is a "connection" there. Other players, like Papelbon, Hamilton, Jeter, etc, are high on my "I enjoy watching" list, but do I feel 'loyal' to them? No. Once their careers are over, I will most likely not collect their cards or look to see what they're up to. And, despite this soul-searching entry, I still have no idea why or why not.

Reading back over this, I have at least expounded on where the loyalty to the Indians began. Though, what continues to give it life is beyond my own understanding. It is a part of who I am.

All I know is that when I think of the Tribe, I couldn't be more proud to be a loyal, devoted fan. And, that's good enough for me.

Monday, September 22, 2008

1977 Jim Rowe 4-on-1 Exhibits (Yellow)

The Jim Rowe 4-on-1 Exhibits are reminiscent of the styles of exhibits in the 30's. These were done up in 1977 and only 10 teams were featured. Each card a little bigger than 3" x 5" and features four of the team's star players from earlier days. In the case of the Indians, we're talking about Earl Averill, Lou Boudreau, Bob Feller and Bob Lemon!

If (or when) you serach for these, pay attention to the wording of the seller. The yellow ones are Jim Rowe editions, no matter what some people might say. However, there are a slew of these on eBay right now, just search for "4-on-1 exhibits" to find your favorite team! Well, so long as your favorite teams one of these: Boston Braves, Boston Red Sox, Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, New York Giants, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Browns, St. Louis Cardinals, or the Washington Senators....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Saying goodbye to a friend I never knew

I have never seen you with my own eyes, but only in pictures. I watched you on television and heard of your exploits on the radio. You were born of greatness and helped others live out their hopes and dreams - to help them achieve their own greatness. You held up a nation during the darkest hours, and withstood years of triumph and turmoil.

You've seen singers, performers, religious leaders, and other celebrities. But, your heart and soul was born of baseball. You've seen perfect games and series championships. You were there during incredible victories and heart-wrenching defeats.

Though I have never laid my eyes upon you in person, I grew up getting to know you through the stories passed along by those who knew you well. I have never seen the arches along the top of your crown, nor the monuments that have a special place inside your walls. I will never know the feel of the seats, the smell of the grass, or the sound of Bob Sheppard's voice over the loudspeakers.

But through all my years of watching and listening and learning, I have come to know you as best I could from a distance. You will be missed greatly as those who are sworn to uphold and protect you bring a new era to the place where you stand. You are an old friend that I never knew. You will not be forgotten. You will live always in the hearts and souls of baseball fans forever.

Goodbye, Yankee Stadium, my friend.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tournament Wrap-up

Welcome back! When I started out with the idea of doing the scratch-card tournament, I really had no idea how things would go. It turned out much better than I ever would have been able to make up!

Now, for the part the players don't know, but some may have guessed by now...

Each contestant, no matter where they finished up in the tournament, is receiving a 100-count box of cards! The prize packs went out on Friday and a couple will go out Saturday because I needed mailing addresses. I tried not to have any duplicates in the box, buy my daughter helped me pack some of them, and she may slipped in doubles while picking out the cards she wanted to include.

Thank you to everyone that played the game, answered the trivia questions, and those who tuned in just to see what was going to happen next! I had a lot of fun doing the play-by-play, and the scratches occurred 'live' as I was typing out the plays, so I was as surprised as you may have been during some of the wild times of the tournament. I found myself often taking a deep breath just before a critical scratch, even closing my eyes before seeing what the spot revealed. Drawing the prizes was a lot fun, too, especially in the cases when the prize turned out to be the same team that the contestant collected. Sometimes I drew the prize and other times I would have my wife or daughter pick a prize. I think my thought I was getting 'too into' what was happening in the games, but we had fun seeing things develop. I don't know if my wife is looking forward to the 2nd tournament, but I sure am! :-)

What's next on Tribecards? Well, several things! I still have a LONG way to go with the all-time uniform numbers countdown, I am planning on doing another "12 days of Christmas" giveaway (though slightly modified), and there will be the 2009 scratch-off tournament sometime in the spring. That tournament will feature custom-designed scratch-off cards with additional 'events' behind the scratchdust! It should be a lot of fun! In the meantime, I have a LOT of Indians baseball card items that I'll be posting, too!

Tribecards Tourney Flair

If you're on Facebook, feel free to search for the official 2008 Scratch-card Tournament Flair and add it to your own pieces of Flair! Just BROWSE for "Tribecards" and it'll pop up!

Speaking of Facebook, if you're on it and wanna be friends, look me up here:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Third Inning Action - Does it all end here?? (9/18)

Dayf has a man on third with two outs here in the top of the third inning. From the looks of things, this match is going to an extra card and we'll see about extra innings, depending on what Erin and her Orioles do when (or maybe *IF*) the Braves are sent out of the inning...

Dayf calls in Number 13 to come to bat next. Number Thirteen proves to be unlucky for the Braves as Erin's pitcher sends him back to the dugout in a 1-2-3 strike out.

The Braves take their 6-1 lead into the bottom of the third inning here tonight. Erin only has four players to choose from on this card: 18, 26, 11, 14

She's submitted her batting order and we get rollin...

Number 18 comes up first. The Orioles fans are cheering on their team, trying to get a rally started! The pitcher throws. The batter sends the ball deep to left, but this one doesn't have the legs to leave the park and it drops into the fielder's glove for an out. There's a simultaneous "Oooohhh..." and a raucous cheer from the crowd as both sides react to that one.

One out and the only sound coming from the bases is that of crickets. Here's Number 26 up to bat next. The pitcher nods at the sign from the catcher. He winds up and throws. The batter smacks the ball in there for a single up the first base line!

That'll bring up Number 11 batting third. She's got a runner on base and there's one out in the inning. You cannot count the Orioles out of this match until the last out is called, as we have seen at various times during this competition. Here's the pitch to Eleven... Swing and a miss. The pitcher checks the runner. He throws and the batter takes strike two. The batter looks a little nervous. The pitcher throws the 0-2 pitch and the breaking ball gets the batter looking for strike three.

The last spot on the card comes up next. There are two outs and a runner on first. This next scratch is HUGE. If it's an out, the championship match will end with a Braves victory. Anything else and the Orioles will have a full card to continue the game! This is where the cleats meet the dirt, folks! The fans are cheering, yelling, you name it!! This place is ROCKIN!

Number 14 walks to the batter's box. The pitcher throws and the ball is fouled off. The next pitch misses wide and the count is even. Here in the bottom of the third, this pitch slides past the batter's swing and it's strike two. 1-and-2 the count. The pitcher winds up and throws. It's a ball inside and he evens up the count again. The 2-2 pitch is fouled off into the third base crowd, and the batter stays in the game here. Here's the wind up, and the pitch... The batter gets a piece of it! The ball heads between first and second, but the second base man makes a HUGE diving stop and gets the ball over to the first baseman for the final out!

BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN!! DAYF takes his team to a 6-1 victory over the Orioles!

Incredibly, the entire tournament came down to the last spot on the card! Congratulations to both Dayf and Erin for hanging in there through the whole tournament and for a GREAT game of (scratch-card) baseball!!

To the victors go the spoils, and here is what our Champion and Runner-up will be receiving:

Dayf, for winning the whole shootin' match, you win a 2007 UD Legendary Cuts Masterful Materials Gaylord Perry game-used jersey (MM-GP), 2002 Topps Gold Label MLB Awards Ceremony Roberto Alomar game-used bat Class 1 Gold (ACR-RA), 2002 Donruss Classics Significant Signatures Steve Belcher auto'd card (serial #417/500 - card 415), AND 2008 Topps Allen & Ginter mini game-used jersey Carlos Zambrano (AGR-CZ)!! You will also receive a special "web button" (for placement on your site or where ever you'd like) commemorating your win! Congratulations on being the first-ever Tribecards scratch-off tournament winner!!

Erin, no need to hang your head! You fought hard and hung in there until the very end! You also walk away with a few cards yourself: 2001 Upper Deck Yankees Dynasty game-used DUAL jersey card of Joe Girardi and David Cone (YJ-GC), 2008 SPX Winning Materials J.D. Drew jersey card (serial 058/125 - card WM-JD), AND 1999 UD Authentics Signatures Alex Gonzales auto'd card!

Thanks to EVERYONE that participated in the scratch-card tournament! Your prizes will be mailed within the next couple days (most likely on Saturday), so be looking in your mailboxes!

I'll be back after a commercial break with some final thoughts!
(I'll kick out a new post for those thoughts)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Top of the Third, Braves last at-bats? (9/17)

It's hard to believe, but we have reached what could be the final inning of the scratch-card tournament! Twelve readers started off on a journey that has taken many twists and turns over the past month. Even the playoff games had to have a no-holds barred scratch-off! The Braves jumped out to an early 3-0 lead here in the championship and then things seem to have stalled out. That is until the Orioles grabbed a run in the second inning. Today's action takes us into the final inning of the tournament (barring extra innings, that is). Dayf has carefully looked over the last of the batters and selected the six he thinks will help bring in even more runs for his team. Let's take a look at the players he will be sending to the plate:

Leadoff batter - #24 Deion Sanders (because #1 Otis Nixon's gone already)
2 - #8 Yogi Berra (Ted Turner offered him a job in the '80s, so he's a Brave to me)
3 - #10 Chipper Jones
4 - #3 Dale Murphy
5 - #30 Orlando Cepeda
6 - #21 Warren Spahn

Sanders comes up to lead things off. The Orioles are hoping for a three-up, thee-down inning, but so far Dayf has been doing well with his choices. The pitcher sets, winds up and throws her first pitch. Sanders sends a blooper over the first baseman's head for a lead-off single. There's a lot of Braves Blue here today and they're all stomping! (Do Braves fans still do the 'tomahawk chop?')

Dayf reaches WAY back and brings in Yogi Berra. This should prove to be an interesting at-bat. The pitcher throws and Berra swings, but can't connect with the ball. The next pitch sails by Berra for another strike. He's behind 0-and-2. Here's the pitch... Berra knocks the ball to left and he'll make it to second for a double!

The Braves now have two men on and no outs. This could spell serious trouble for Erin and her Orioles. Dayf calls up Chipper Jones to see if he can add more runs to his scorecard. The pitcher takes her sign and throws. Jones is behind it by a fraction, swinging for a strike. The second throw is right on the mark, and Jones is left scratching his head as the ump calls strike two. Jones takes the next pitch, which is a bit low for a ball. The pitcher's ahead in the count 1-and-2 as she wipes a hand across her brow and sets up for the next toss. Here's the pitch... Jones swings for the fences! Unfortunately, there is no ball going along for the ride, and he goes down swinging.

One out, two men on base, and Dale Murphy comes to the plate! The Braves have called in the super stars for the final inning, giving the fans quite a show. Let's see if the cleanup man can clean up now. The pitcher throws and Murphy sends the ball deep to right field! It drops in there, but bounces over the wall for a double as Sanders and Berra cross the plate, giving the Braves 5 runs!

Orlando Cepeda faces the pitcher with just one out and a runner on second. The Orioles fans are NOT happy! The pitcher looks shaken, but waves off the catcher who wanted to have a conference on the mound. The catcher crouches down and gives the pitcher her sign. The pitcher checks the runner, turns and throws toward home. Cepeda wastes no time coming around and knocking this ball into the far corner and he'll end up with a run-scoring triple! That's 6-1 for the Braves, and they appear to be running away with the championship.

Warren Spahn will bat next. If memory serves, his last at-bat netted an out. Let's see how he does here. Spahn takes the first pitch for a strike. The next pitch is a bit high, but the batter swings for it anyway. He'll pop this one up to the shortstop. And, that's two outs for the Braves in the third.

Dayf, your boys are still up to bat in the third inning! The Braves lead 6-1 with two outs. There are only five spots left on the card, so Dayf, just put them in the order you'd like them to bat: 10, 13, 14, 18, 26

Erin, since there are only five spots, go ahead and put all five players in the order you'd like them to bat. Whichever players Dayf doesn't get to use, I will bat the numbers in the order you select. The numbers he does get to use will just be dropped from your list when the time comes.

Catching up on trades!

I am WAY behind on posting some of the trades I've been involved with lately. But, I am hoping to make that up right now!

The first group of cards comes by way of Chris. I sent him all the Nationals cards I had at the time and he sent me a VERY nice stack of Indians cards!! I think there are even a couple team sets in here! Once I build my stash of Nationals cards back up again, I'll be offering up another trade with him for sure.

The next trade comes from Tom in Virginia. He's a Braves collector, so I sent him a slew of Braves cards in exchange for a lot of Indians items! Some of the ones that fed my craving for oddball things include a newspaper clipping from the boat accident that took two Indians' lives, a signed Carl Long baseball card, and some very cool inserts and vintage cards!

The last trade I have for you today comes from across the pond, as it were. My first international trade (that I can recall, anyway)! John loves all things Red Sox, so I sent him a lot of Beantown items I had laying around. In return, I got several unopened packs of Phil Rizzuto's National Pasttime CHROMIUM cards! Very cool! Plus, there were a couple packs of 2003 Victory and a stack of Indians cards!

THANKS to each of you for helping me continue to build me Tribe collection!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Midday Trivia Winners - already!

Remember: You will need to scroll down past this to see the latest scratch-card action (bottom of the 2nd)!

Way to go, folks! Man, you guys are making short work of my trivia questions. I'll have to try harder!

If you didn't get a chance to answer, don't worry! I'll other chances for ya!

WhiteSoxCards got 1-5 and NightOwl got number 6! Excellent!

The picture is of the Williams Shift, created by Lou Boudreau as a means to foil Ted williams. The first time it was used, Williams walked on four straight pitches. Williams proved that he did not always pull the ball by hitting a pitch over into left left for his only inside-the-park home run. the image is, in fact, from the 1959 Fleer Ted Williams set:

Both winners will receive a selection of game-used and/or serially-numbered cards. WhiteSoxCards will get five and Night Owl will get one!

Have no fear folks, and don't get discouraged if you have not won a trivia prize yet! I've got more to come!

The Championship reaches halfway point! (9/16)

Good evening, folks! We've reach the halfway point of the championship match. Dayf's Braves grabbed an early three-run lead in the first inning, and so far they've been able to sustain it.

Erin's Orioles kept the Braves from scoring in the beginning of this inning, and now they're up to bat, hoping to close the gap. Let's take a look at tonight's line up: 4, 29, 32, 5, 12, and 18.

Now, we've seen these players before in the tournament, and some have done very well. Others have been struggling, but now may be their time to shine!

First up is Number 4. The Braves have taken the field and the batter comes up to the plate. The pitcher comes in with an offspeed pitch to start and the batter hits a long fly ball to center. The fielder is under it for the out.

One down and Number 29 steps in. Here's the first pitch and the batter sends it flying down the right foul line, but it dips foul into the crowd. We've seen plenty of foul balls during this tourney, and I'm sure there will be at least a few more before it's all over. The pitcher winds up and throws. The batter jumps out early and misses for the second strike. Both teams have battled through some tough spots to get to the finals, but so far this one is a shutout. Here's the pitch. OH! The batter gets caught standing there and the ump calls for the third strike.

That is two up and two down here in the bottom of the second inning. The Orioles fans have really quieted down here... In fact, I'd have to guess that the majority are sitting in their seats, while the Braves fans have continued showing the love to their team. The third batter up this evening is Number 32. Being the last spot on the scratch-card has not slowed down this batter in previous games. Let's see how she does here. Oh MY! She knocks this pitch deep into left field. She's around first. The ball takes a bad lick off the wall and shoots back into the field, bouncing past the fielder. The batter rounds second and the coach tells her to stop, but she keeps coming. The center fielder has the ball and throws to third. Thirty-Two hits the dirt and beats the throw! It's a triple!

Now the Orioles fans are back on their feet after that one! They've got a runner on base in perfect scoring position. The Braves don't seem bothered by it at all as the get ready for Number 5 to come out of the dugout. There's some last-minute coaching from Erin before Number Five gets into the batter's box. The pitcher winds up and throws. The ball is fouled off down the third base line. The next pitch is fouled off, too. Number Five is behind 0-and-2. The pitcher loses track of the strike zone and sends down three more balls in a row for a full count. Two outs, runner on third, and the Orioles trail three nothing. Here's the pitch... It's fouled off behind the catcher. The batter is not giving up easily, that's for sure. She's got some spunk! The pitcher takes the sign. He winds up... And WALKS the batter to first! Following the rules of the game, the runner on third advances to home for the run!

The Orioles are now down by two. They've got two outs and the tying run comes to the plate. Number 12 adjusts her helmet and faces the pitcher. The pitcher throws and the batter sends the ball foul into the crowd. The next pitch misses wide and the count is 1-and-1. The fans for both teams are cheering wildly and everyone is on their feet! Here's the throw... Swing, and a miss... Two strikes... The pitcher winds... And the batter goes down on strikes to end the inning.

The Orioles grab a run in the bottom of the inning as we head into the final inning of the championship! Dayf's Braves lead 3-1 and are hoping to increase the distance between them and the O's!

Dayf, select the SIX SPOTS that you feel will seal the fate of the Orioles in the Scratchcard Championship! 03, 08, 10, 11, 13, 14, 21, 24, 26, 30

Midday Trivia

While we are between at-bats in the tournament, I decided to offer up a trivia question to the readers out there. It's open to EVERYONE (readers, ex-players, current players, friends, family, pets....)!! It has multiple parts, and EACH PART will have it's own winner and if you know the answer to more than one part, you can answer each part (or feel free to make guesses). The first person to answer a part correctly wins a prize for that part. Look at the picture below:

Answer these:

Part 1 - What is the name given to the defensive position depicted?

Part 2 - Who is the person credited for creating this defensive position?

Part 3 - For whom is this defensive position named?

Part 4 - What happened to the namesake batter the first time this was used?

Part 5 - What "once-in-his-lifetime" event resulted from the namesake batter taking advantage of this defensive position?

Part 6 - On which baseball card (year and brand) does this image originally appear?

Credit will only be given as long as the answer is preceded by the Part Number. For Example: Part 1 - Jumbo's Hot Dogs, Part 2 - Got Hit By Lightning, etc.

Good luck and happy hunting! Remember, you can answer any part (1-6) to win (you do NOT have to answer all the parts!).

Monday, September 15, 2008

Scratch-card Championship 2nd Inning (2/15)

Welcome back to the game, folks! We're here in the top of the second inning, but before we get things going, we have a little business to attend to. Voltaire came up with the answer to the last trivia question: Which hall-of-famer once donned a Cleveland uniform because his was missing? It was Ty Cobb! During 1911, an all-star benefit game was held in honor of Addie Joss. According to most accounts, it was the first all-star game in major league history. One story says that Cobb's luggage was lost, so he had to play in the Indians uniform, while another tale reports simply that Cobb had forgotten his outfit. Either way, for one fleeting moment, Cobb was an Indian. Want a picture? Okay!

Cobb is in the front row, third player from the RIGHT - the one in the "CLEVELAND" uniform!

For his research prowess, or general baseball knowledge, Voltaire is the winner of a 2000 Pacific Paramount Holo-Gold Vladamir Guerrero (serial #101/199 card 142)! Way to go!!

I've been waiting to post the grand prizes and runner-up prizes until I could get back to my scanner, so you'll just have to wait a tad bit longer, I'm afraid... :-)

Let's get to some dusting - scratchcard dusting that is!

Dayf's Braves jumped out to an early lead, and held on as Erin's Orioles were not able to score any runs in the first inning. Braves fans are clapping, cheering, making all kinds of noise as the next set of batters comes into the game!

Leading off the second inning, Number 06 comes up to the plate. The pitcher seems pretty upset that her team is still behind. The first pitch is WAY inside, and brushes the batter out of the box. The umpire gives her a warning. The next pitch is a fastball over the plate, and the batter fouls it off. The pitcher sets up... Here's the pitch... strike two. The pitcher is ahead in the count 1-2. She fires off the next pitch and sends the batter down looking.

The first batter came up empty, but Dayf is unaffected. He leads by three and sends in Number 17 to try and build an even bigger lead. The pitcher can't quite find the zone on this batter and she walks him.

The Braves have a runner on and one out. It's still early in the inning as Number 25 takes his place in the batter's box. The pitcher throws... Whoa! The batter lays down a bunt! The catcher jumps up to get it, but cannot throw the runner out in time! Two men on base now present a real threat to the Orioles.

Number 27 comes out of the dugout and tips his hat to the crowd. He's got a lot of fans here today! Let's hope he can give them what they came for... The pitcher gets her sign. She checks the runners, turns and fires the pitch! The batter swings in what looks to be more instinct than aim, and he hits it! The ball takes a funny bounce off the mound, sending it to the outfield for a base hit.

The Orioles have pitched themselves into a bases-loaded situation. Can their pitcher get them out of it? Will Dayf's next batter capitalize here? Let's see if Number 01 earns his pay today. OH! The batter may not be earning his pay, but the pitcher sure did! She sends the batter back to the dugout on three pitches for a 1-2-3 strike out!

Two outs, bases loaded, and the last batter for this go-round comes up to the plate. Number 16 is feeling the pressure. Here's the pitch... The batter swings and sends the ball into the air above the center fielder. She easily makes the catch to keep the Braves stranded on the bases! The Orioles escape the bases-loaded situation.

Erin trails by three as her girls come up to bat in the bottom of the second. Erin, pick your SIX SPOTS! 03, 04, 05, 08, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 21, 24, 26, 29, 30, 32

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Scratch-card Championship (bot 1st, 3-0)

The Braves came out swinging in their half of the first, but now the Orioles take to the plate to see how much damage they can do.

The Orioles are well represented in the crowd today, and the fans are on their feet to encourage their team! Erin scans the lineup card and chooses Number 15 to start things off. The Braves take their positions on the field, hoping to keep their lead. Here's the first pitch... The batter hits it high into the air, and it's deep! But, it's not deep enough and this one is a long fly out. That's one away.

One down and Number 9 comes up to the plate next. She is hoping to put on a show here in front of the crowd. Let's see if the show is a hit or not. The pitcher throws, and Number Nine knocks this one to deep right field where it drops in and bounces against the wall in that back corner that has become the bane of pitchers throughout this tournament. She puts on a show, alright! She comes around second heading for third as the fielder throws the ball toward the baseman. She slides and she is SAFE on third!

The Orioles have a runner in perfect scoring position and just one out here in the bottom of the first. The fans are going crazy! Erin sends in Number 22 to bat third here today. As long as she can avoid an out, the runner on third will cross the plate here. Let's see what happens... The pitcher takes his sign and sets up for the next pitch. He throws... The batter swings and gets under the ball a bit too much, sending it straight up into the air back to the pitcher. The second baseman waves the pitcher off and he's under it for the grab.

Two outs, a runner on, and the crowd is not quite as 'randy' as they have been. Well, the Orioles fans anyway... The Braves fans have started making some noise as they see the end of the inning looming closer. Number 31 comes in, batting in the clean-up spot. Let's see if she can clear that base... The pitcher assesses the situation, checks the runner, and throws. Thirty-One swings but gets the top of the ball, driving it forward but into the ground. It takes a hop toward first base. The first baseman comes off the bag to grab the ball, and he turns, underhanding it back to the pitcher waiting on the base for the ground out to end the inning.

The Orioles leave a runner on third without being able to bring any of the girls across the plate in order to generate runs. They trail 3-0 behind the Braves as we move on to the second inning here in the Scratch-card Championship!

Dayf, your boys are leading by three and now you will have SIX PLAYERS to call up in the second inning: 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 32

Trivia Question (open to everyone except Erin and Dayf): Which hall-of-famer once donned a Cleveland uniform during an All-Star event because his own uniform was MIA (he either forgot it, or it got lost, depending on which source(s) you use)?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Scratch-card Championship Begins! (9/13b)

Welcome back everyone! The wind outside the Tribecards stadium is blowing and gusting pretty severely. The rain comes and goes, but so far, the championship match is going on as planned!

It's been three solid weeks of scratch-card dust flying, and it has all come down to two very worthy and deserving teams. Dayf's Braves and Erin's Orioles face off to see who will claim the title of Scratch-Card Champion! Who is going to win? It's boys against the girls, North against the South, people versus nature (well, that's a bit of a stretch)! No matter how you cut it, I am sure we are in for some kind of match!

Dayf leads off the first inning with Number 7 coming to the plate. The Orioles take the field. The pitcher looks for the first sign. Meanwhile, the crowd is cheering for both teams and they are on their feet! The pitcher gets her sign, sets, and takes a quick deep breath. She winds up and throws. The batter swings and misses. The next pitch is off the mark, and the count is 1-and-1. Here's the third pitch. Number Seven swings and this ball is outta here! A lead-off home run! The Braves take a 1-0 lead to start off the championship match!

Dayf brings in Number 19 to bat second. The pitcher shakes off the last hit and gets ready to throw. Here's the pitch. It's a bit outside, but the batter goes after it. He gets much more than a piece of it! He sends this one down the right foul line. It's a laser beam that misses the post by inches to the LEFT!! It's a HOME RUN! Back-to-back homers to start off the game! The Orioles have been here before, so this does not appear to phase them. The Braves fan are cheering on their boys!

With a 2-0 lead and no outs, Number 20 steps into the batter's box. The pitcher throws and the batter grounds this one straight to the second base fielder who throws it to her partner at first for the out.

One out and the bases are empty. Dayf brings in Number 2 to bat clean-up, but there's no cleaning up here (unless you count the two runs as cleaning up!). This batter is on his own. Here's the pitch... The batter knocks this one to left field and it keeps...on...going... ANOTHER home run for the Braves. These guys came to play some serious scratch-off baseball!

The Orioles may be losing some of that confidence they displayed at the start of the match. The catcher heads out to the mound to calm down her pitcher. After their meeting, Number 23 jogs out to home plate. Here's the pitch... The batter hits the ball out to right field, but the fielder is under it to make the play for out number two.

The last batter in this set is Number 28. The Orioles hope to put an end to this Braves at-bat right here. The pitcher takes a long, hard look toward the plate. She sets up for the pitch. Here's the wind up... the throw... and the batter smacks this one to deep center field. The fielder is back... She's to the track... And the ball runs out of steam, dropping into the waiting glove of the Oriole fielder for out number three.

The Orioles have a LONG way to go. Dayf's Braves scored THREE runs in their first at-bat, giving them a lot of breathing room. But there are no givens when it comes to scratch-cards, as we've seen!

Erin, you're up to bat in the bottom of the first. Which SIX BATTERS are you going to bring in to try and help get some offense going? 01, 03, 04, 05, 06, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32

The winds are blowing VERY hard here, and we've lost DSL twice, and power several times. There may be an IKE delay tomorrow (Sunday), but only time will tell! Stay tuned!

I stand corrected!

Hold the phone, folks! Madding pointed out the fact that I had actually stated "INDIANS" in the trivia question, though I was thinking "CLEVELAND!"

So, here's what I'm going to do: Everyone that answered the trivia question prior to TODAY gets a prize because this was my fault!

So, WhiteSoxCards has his prize selected. Madding and Voltaire, here are your prizes: Madding receives a 2001 Fleer Focus Prospects Red Foil Eric Byrnes (serial #1820/1999) and Voltaire gets a 2001 Topps Gold Dan Wilson (serial #0834/2002)!!

Thank you very much to Madding for pointing out my error! Good eye!!

This is IT! It all gets decided here! (9/13a)

Howdy, folks! As much of the Ark-La-Tex fights, fears, and deals with what's left of IKE, we are going to put an end to this playoff series (or, I'm hoping that's what happens here!). It has been an intense battle for the top two spots, as none of the final three teams seems willing to give up the fight!

So, in order to narrow down the two finalists, the players will all choose from the same scratchcard. There will be a LOT of dust flying around here today! I held up a stack of scratchcards and had my wife "pick a card, any card." So, if you don't like the end results, you can blame her! LOL!!

Erin chimes in first, hoping to capitalize on having the entire board at her disposal. Let's see how her girls do here!

Number 23 - Holy cow! It's a lead-off HOME RUN! (1 run, 0 outs)
Number 4 - the batter flies out to short (1 run, 1 out)
Number 19 - the batter pops the ball up to first for an out (1 run, 2 outs)
Number 32 - the batter goes down on strikes (1 run, 3 outs)
Number 1 - the batter is sent to first on balls (1 run, 3 outs, 1 runner on)
Number 27 - it's a two-run jack outta the park! (3 runs, 3 outs)
Number 12 - the batter goes down swinging (3 runs, 4 outs)
Number 21 - a blooper to left for a single (3 runs, 4 outs, 1 runner on)
Number 5 - the batter flies out to right

There you have it, folks! Erin's at-bat nets her 3 runs and 4 outs! I think it'll be an uphill battle for the guys!

Joey is the second player to announce his picks for this all-out playoff game. Let's see how his Rangers perform here!

Number 15 - a lead-off double! (0 runs, 0 outs, 1 runner on)
Number 24 - a single! runners on the corners (0 runs, 0 outs, 2 runners on)
Number 2 - a shot to shallow center for a run-scoring single! (1 run, 0 outs, 2 on)
Number 30 - the batter pops the ball up to second (1 run, 1 out, 2 on)
Number 17 - the batter pops out to first (1 run, 2 outs, 2 on)
Number 22 - the batter drops down a bunt single (1 run, 2 outs, bases loaded!)
Number 7 - the batter grounds out to third (1 run, 3 outs, bases loaded!)
Number 11 - the batter grounds out to first (1 run, 4 outs, bases loaded!)
Number 6 - the batter whiffs, striking out (1 run, 5 outs, bases loaded!)

The Rangers score a run and leave the bases like my wife likes her baked potato: fully loaded! I have a feeling it's going to be hard for Joey to pull through this one. He ends up with 1 run, 5 outs, and bases loaded. But, we've seen ALL kinds of things happen in this tournament!

Dayf brings up the rear and outlines his plan of attack:

Leadoff: LF Otis "my man" Nixon - 31
2 spot: 1B The Crime Dog Fred McGriff - 28
3 hole: SS Chipper Jones (yes, shortstop) - 10
Clean up: RF Hammerin' Hank Aaron - 8
Protection for Hank: 3B Eddie Mathews - 13
More Protection: CF Dale Murphy - 3
Can't walk Murph: C Brian McCann - 16
8th but DEADLY: 2B "Mr Clutch" Mark Lemke - 20
THE PITCHER: Warren "35 home runs" Spahn - 25

Let's see if Dayf's Braves can put together a winning combination or if his batters will serve as the friends he's called in to help load the moving truck outta here...

Number 31 - Nixon gets nixed, striking out (0 runs, 1 out, 0 runners on)
Number 28 - The Crime Dog takes a walk to first (0 runs, 1 out, 1 on base)
Number 10 - Jones is not so chipper after striking out (0 runs, 2 outs, 1 on base)
Number 8 - Hank hammers one to the right fielder (0 runs, 3 outs, 1 on base)
Number 13 - Unluckily pops out to center (0 runs, 4 outs, 1 on base)
Number 3 - Murphy adds to the poppin...out that is (0 runs, 5 outs, 1 on base)
Number 16 - McCann...can't...he strikes out (0 runs, 6 outs, 1 on base)
Number 20 - Lemke pops the clutch and knocks it outta here! (2 runs, 6 outs, 0 on)
Number 25 - Spahn spawns a triple, a little late (2 runs, 6 outs, 1 on base)

The Braves' Lemke saves the day for Dayf! His team ends up with 2 runs, 6 outs, and a triple to end things.

So, let's take a look at the overall stats here for this ultimate championship playoff round:

Erin - 3 runs, 4 outs, 1 runner left on
Joey - 1 run, 5 outs, bases loaded up
Dayf - 2 runs, 6 outs, 1 runner on base

Erin and Dayf - YOU are going to Disney World!! Oh, wait, sorry, I got a little carried away there... You are going to the Scratchcard Championship!

Congratulations to ALL of you for hanging in there and making this one of the coolest (albeit longest) championship playoff rounds in scratchcard history*! Okay, Roddy, tell our contestants what they've won!

"Well, Tribecards, for starters, Erin and Dayf, you have reached the Pinnacle of the tournament! You two are Topps! Let's hope under the pressure of the upcoming championship, you don't Bow,man! Okay, okay, seriously folks, Erin wins 2002 Upper Deck Mid-Summer Stars Swatches Carlos Delgado game-used jersey (MS-CD) AND a 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Green Parallel Mark Mulder (serial #399/499 - card 160)! Dayf wins a 2005 Topps All-Star Sttches Dontrelle Willis game-used jersey (ASA-DW) AND 2001 Upper Deck Evolution E-Prospects Billy Sylvester (serial #0255/2250 - card 119)!! Joey, you won't go home empty-handed, as you have probably guessed! Joey receives a 2000 Royal Rookies Futures Jovanny Cedano autographed card (serial #3293/4950 - card 7)!"

These prizes were not randomly chosen, but rather, I went through my stacks of game-used and serially-numbered cards and hand picked the cards that I thought suited each of these folks' team likes as best I could. I hope y'all enjoy your prizes from this ultimate playoff game!

Okay, folks, it has come down to this: Erin and Dayf will face each other in the Tribecards Scratchoff Championship!! I flipped a coin and DAYF will lead things off in the Championship match. I know it has been a while since we've played by the "official rules," but the Championship match will be three innings long and the team with the most runs at the end of the game wins!

So, DAYF, you have a brand-new, unscratched card at your disposal! Select SIX SPOTS that will lead your team in the first inning of the championship! Keep your feed readers, web browsers, and bookmarks pointed right here, folks! When we come back, the championship will be underway, and the championship prizes WILL BE REVEALED! Plus, more chances for readers and former players to walk away with more prizes, too! You will not want to miss this!

*Disclaimer: I have not done any research to back up this claim, but I would venture to say it's a safe assumption.

We have our winners! or do we? (9/13)

I took the night off last night to spend the time with my wife on her birthday!!

Before we get into today's playoffs, WhiteSoxCards came up with the answer I was looking for in the trivia question. I purposely did not use the phrase "hit for the cycle" because that would have made (re)searching a tad easier. Yeah, I know, most of my readers know what it means to hit for the cycle and did their own translation, I'm sure, but that was still a little 'work' for ya! :-) The first Cleveland player to hit for the cycle was ------- Larry Twitchell in 1889. There was some discussion regarding 'franchises' and that is where the 'trick' part of the question comes in. I purposely said "which Cleveland" and no "Which Indians." Ain't I a stinker?

The first Cleveland player was Twitchell. That was in the days of the Spider/Blues. The first Nap to do it was Bill Bradley and the first Indians player was Earl Averill.

WhiteSoxCards receives a 1999 Just Minors auto'd Michael Barrett (serial #166/200)!

Now, let's get to the business that brought all here together today in the first place: SCRATCHCARD CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS!!

Playoff Match 1 - Joey vs Dayf - Joey's eight players were able to generate a two-run lead last time. He's already got one win in the playoffs. Can he seal the deal here, or will Dayf bring down the rain like Hurricane IKE? The Braves bring out their big dogs:

Number 29 - First batter flies out to right
Number 4 - A single up the middle!
Number 16 - Batter goes down swinging (strikeout)
Number 28 - Batters gets walked - two men on base!
Number 1 - It's a triple! That brings in two runs to tie the game!
Number 22 - It's a double and the runner scores for the win!
Number 13 - (just for fun - it's a single)
Number 9 - (again for fun - a triple)

Dayf grabs the win (3-2) with a runner to spare! Congratulations to Dayf and the Braves! Joey's Rangers put up a good fight, but proved to be no match for Dayf's mad-scratchdusting skills. For his win, Dayf receives 2002 Topps Gold Label Class 1 Gold Wilson (Willie) Betemit (serial #251/500 - card 185)! Joey gets a 2000 Pacific Prism John valentine (serial #269/480 - card 25)! Way to go guys!

Dayf's record is 1-0, and Joey is 1-1. It all comes down to the Braves and Orioles game to see who moves on to the final round!

Playoff Match 2 - Joey vs Erin - Joey won, Erin was not able to come back (final score 3-2). As mentioned above, Joey's record is 1-1 and Erin's is 0-1. Let's see what happens in Match 3.

Playoff Match 3 - Dayf vs Erin - Dayf scored a run in his at-bat. Let's see how the Orioles girls fare here!

Number 19 - A lead-off game-tying HOME RUN! Holy Smokes!
Number 23 - a single to get another on base
Number 4 - the batter flies out to center
Number 28 - the batter goes down on strikes
Number 14 - a game-winning triple! The Orioles win!
Number 1 - (for fun - batter grounds out to third)
Number 20 - (for fun - home run to clear the bases)
Number 5 - (for fun - the batter walks)

The Orioles grab a triple to take the game away from Dayf's Braves (final 3-2). Congratulations to Erin's Orioles who pulled off a win, bringing everyone's record to 1-1!! For her win, she snags a 2001 Pacific Private Stock Randy Johnson (serial #09/90 - card 7)! Dayf pulls a 2008 UD Piece of History Timeless Moments John Smoltz (serial 036/149 - card TM-3)!

For the record, prizes were pulled randomly from my stack of serial #d cards. I have to admit, I find it very 'spooky' that Dayf pulled TWO Braves cards from the prize pool!! Way to go!

Okay, so my Championship Playoff idea did not solve the problem. My wife suggested I add up the total points scored by each team. Let's see how that pans out:

Dayf - 3+2
Erin - 2+3
Joey - 2+3

Well, that's not going to work either... ROTFL... Wow, I had no idea things would get so tight here at the end!

Okay, here is what I'm going to do... Let's try a ONE-CARD, THREE-TEAM super playoff. Here is the way this is going to work: The first player to respond gets his or her pick of NINE SPOTS from a new, clean card. The second player picks NINE SPOTS from the remaining spots on the SAME CARD. Then, the third player will pick NINE SPOTS from what's left over on that same card. Be sure not to pick the same spot as another player! If a player chooses the same spot as another player, the first player to pick the spot gets it and the second person will receive an out. The two players with the most runs AND fewest outs will advance to the championship.

ALL THREE PLAYERS, please respond to this post with your selections. Remember to check the comments before you choose, so you can be sure not to pick the same spots as someone else! :-)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More playoff action!! (9/11)

Alright, folks, we have got some serious playoff action going here! I've ramped up the scratching, so tonight, we are letting the dust fly!

Playoff Match 1 - Joey vs Dayf - Neither team scored in the first inning, so tonight Joey will play eight spots to see what kind of damage he can do before Dayf gets his own crack at the plate.

Joey gets creative in his scratchcard selections:

#07 Lonnie Line Drive - Ground out
#25 Hot Corner Harry - Strike out
#24 Speedy Sammy Sneedy - Strike out (good thing we changed things up!)
#30 Triple Play Troy - Pop out (ouch, four outs in a row!?)
#02 Homer Hank - Triple! That's a runner in scoring position!
#20 Grand Slam Baker - HOME RUN! It's a two-run homer for Grand Slam Baker!
#27 Pinch Hit Peter - Fly out
#17 Big Fly Moses - Pop out

Joey snags two runs in a 'middle-of-the-pack' home run shot! The Rangers lead the Braves, but they also managed to reveal a LOT of outs. How will that affect Dayf's choices and reveals? Let's find out!

Dayf, you're down by two, but six of eight Ranger scratches were outs. Who would you like to do your bidding? Pick your EIGHT: 01, 04, 06, 09, 11, 12, 13, 1, 15, 16, 21, 22, 26, 28, 29, 31

Playoff Match 02 - Yesterday, Joey defeated Erin but they both left with some nice additions to their respective prize pools!

Playoff Match 03 - Dayf vs Erin - We're in the top of the second inning here as Dayf's team takes their chance at the plate. We saw them give up two runs moments ago to Joey. Will they be able to put some tally marks on this game's score board or will Erin's Orioles hold them off? Here we go!

Number 6 - It's a lead off double! That's a runner ready to score!
Number 29 - Strike out
Number 3 - Pop out
Number 25 - Strike out (three outs in a row... ouch)
Number 17 - Strike out
Number 7 - Single! That advances the runner to third. Runners on the corners!
Number 24 - Double! That scores the runner on third and leaves men on 2nd & 3rd!
Number 11 - Fly out

The Braves leave two men stranded, but do manage to get one across the plate before running out of batters!

Erin trails by a run as her Orioles come up to bat in the bottom of the second. Which "eight (wo)men out" will she pick? 01, 02, 04, 05, 12, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 30, 31

We're getting close to a winner in the trivia question from yesterday, too! Keep your eyes on that post (or this one) to see when we get the correct, final answer!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Championship Playoffs - Bottom of the inning (9/10)

Playoff Game 1 - Joey vs Dayf - Joey was not able to get a runner in during his half the inning. Let's see if Dayf can bring a batter all the way around to win this playoff game. The Braves come up to the plate, leading off with Number 08. The Rangers pitcher winds up and tosses the ball in there for a strike. The pitcher takes him time setting up for the next pitch. Number 08 gets ready. Here's the pitch and the batter gets a piece of it! It's heading out toward center-right. The center fielder runs, and makes a diving catch! That one landed in the laces as the fielder skidded across the field to snag it up. The Braves have one out as they bring in Number 23.

Number 23 walks to the batter's box. The pitcher takes his sign and gets ready to throw. There's the wind up. The throw comes in and the batter swings and misses. The next pitch is hit deep to the left side, but it's fouled into the stands. That's 0-and-2 with one out. The pitcher throws, and it looked close from here, but the ump calls ball one. The batter's got a good eye. The pitcher really thought he had the out there, and he's not happy. He throws way outside on the next pitch for ball two. He's evened up the count, and the catcher goes out to talk to him. The batter steps out of the box and the coach gives him a few signs. The conference ends and the pitcher sets for the next pitch. Here's the throw. The batter swings but can't catch it, and he strikes out for out number two.

Time seems to be running short here for Dayf and his Braves. If he doesn't do something here, we're going to a whole new level of game play. He looks over his roster and chooses Number 3 to bat third. The Rangers look ready to make that move. The Braves batter takes the first pitch and it's low and away for a ball. The pitcher lets the next one slip a bit and it sails over the catcher's shoulder for ball two. The batter fouls off the third pitch and the count is 2-and-1. Here comes the wind up and the throw is outside of the zone for ball three. The batter, way ahead in the count, takes the next pitch and it's ball four - a walk.

The Braves have a man on base now with two outs. Dayf motions for Number 18 to get in the game. The pitcher finds his rhythm and sends the batter down on strikes to end the inning. The Braves leave a runner hanging on first.

Since my plan for selecting a lot of players to help push some runs across the plate failed miserably, I'm invoking some "arcade-style" rules.

Joey is up to bat in the second inning. Here's what we're going to do: Joey will select EIGHT SPOTS. Outs will not be kept up with. An out at this stage just means the defense blocked the batter from getting a hit. After all eight spots have been scratched, Dayf will get to select eight spots from what's left and I will scratch off those spots. The player with the best score at the end of the inning wins the match. Batters will move around the bases just like we have been playing (Wii rules).

Everyone got it?

Joey, pick your EIGHT SPOTS and let's see how your team does! Pick from these: 01, 02, 04, 06, 07, 09, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

Playoff Game 2 - Erin vs Joey - Erin scored two runs in her half of the inning. Joey's got to make a great showing, or he'll take a knock here. Joey employs a pair of strategies in his player selection process. Let's take a look:

#15 his softball number
#24 his High School Baseball Number
#16 his High School Football Number Backwards

Lets finish off the picks using a random stack of baseball cards.

#2 Derek Jeter
#28 Prince Fielder
#17 Lance Berkman
#18 Jason Kendall
#5 Pat Burrell
#7 Ivan Rodriguez
#30 Magglio Ordonez

So, starting things off with the batter wearing his softball jersey number. Erin faces Number 15. The Orioles pitcher throws out the first pitch and the batter wastes no time dropping that baby right over the shortstop for a single. His boys jump on it early.

Up next is Number 24, who is sporting the same number as Joey's high school baseball number. The pitcher throws and the batter sends it flying off into the right field crowd, foul. The next pitch hangs for a second too long and the batter gets ALL OF IT! There is nothing for the girls to do but watch that thing g sailing out of the park, giving the Rangers a two-run homer to tie the game!

No outs and so far, Joey's strategy has paid off well for the Rangers. Erin's Orioles are hoping they can put an end to Joey's run. His next batter is his high school football jersey backwards.... I feel like a particle in the Hadron Collider... Backwards, anticlockwise, see where I'm going here, people? No? Okay, well, so much for the color commentary... Let's just see how Number 16 does. The batter swings at the very next pitch and the ball shoots for the right field corner. It takes a bad bounce off the wall, and the Rangers put a man on third!

The Rangers fans are going ballistic! Their team has no outs, a runner in the ultimate scoring position, and up next is ... Derek Jeter!? Well, let's see how Jeter likes the south... Number 02 steps into the box to face the pitcher. The Orioles have fought back from bigger situations than this, so nothing is a given. The pitcher throws and Jeter fouls the ball off behind the catcher. The next pitch misses high and tight. With the count 1-and-1, the pitcher takes a breath before she sends in the next pitch. Here's the throw.... The batter swings, and Jeter bloops this one into shallow right-center for a run-scoring single!

Joey wins the playoff match! His record is now 1-0, and Erin falls to 0-1. For their work, the Rangers snag Joey a 2007 Topps Moments and Milestones Mike Piazza 1993 ROY (serial # 081/150 - card 79)! The Orioles help Erin walk away from the match with a 2003 Upper Deck Honor Roll Silver Honors JD Drew (serial # 142/150 - card 103)! Both players still have teams playing in other matches, so we'll se how things go!

Playoff Game 3 - Dayf vs Erin - Dayf's Braves were not able to bring in any runs during their at-bat. The Orioles are coming up to bat after a hard loss against Joey's Rangers just a few moments ago. Will the girls pull themselves back up after the loss, or is the devastating blow too much for them? We've seen the Orioles pull off some amazing feats in this tourney... First up is Number 15. The Braves pitcher winds up and throws. The batter swings and pops the ball into the air. The third baseman is under it for the easy out. He tosses it to first and then the ball is returned to the pitcher. Erin sends in Number 09.

The pitcher takes his sign and throws. The ball can't seem to find the strike zone and it's a ball. Number Nine swings at the next pitch, but she misses for the first strike. The home crowd is pretty quiet as they wait to see what this batter is going to do. The pitcher throws. Here's the swing and the ball bounces hard in front of the second baseman. His quick reflexes serve him well, as he turns and throws off balance to first. The runner is out by half a step!

Two outs and no one is on base yet. Number 32 wants to change the momentum of the game right here and now. She steps up to the plate and ... What the!? She POINTS to left field with her bat! She is calling her shot!? The pitcher laughs and shakes his head. He winds and throws. The batter swings, and she hits the ball! Instead of going left, the ball pulls to the right! The right fielder makes a beeline for the wall. He leaps and .... CATCHES the ball to end the inning! Three up and three down.

So, it looks like we're going into the second inning in this game, too. Just like Playoff Game 1, the way this works is that Dayf will choose EIGHT SPOTS and I will scratch off all eight spots. After that, Erin will choose eight spots and I'll scratch those off. The team with the most runs wins. Players advance bases just as they have so far - Wii Rules.

So, Dayf, pick the EIGHT NUMBERS you hope will bring you the best results: 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 07, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31

TRIVIA TIME! This is open to everyone EXCEPT Joey, Dayf and Erin (sorry guys, but you're getting plenty o' prizes just for makin' it this far!). So, anyone else out there in bloggersville is free to answer: Who was the first Indians player to hit a single, double, triple, and home run in one game? First one with the correct answer wins a prize!

Surprise! Cards from Dayf!

I got home late today because I had some birthday shopping to do - her birthday is later this week! The wife and kids were gone to church, but when I came in the house, I had a padded envelope waiting for me. I've been buying stuff off eBay, so I thought it was one of those. Instead, it was a GREAT selection of TribeCards!

There are a lot of very cool cards in here, some from the 60's on up! One of the most unique is the autographed Tom Couston! Dayf is well aware of my loyalty to the now non-Triber Jim Thome, and Couston is the guy who scouted him and got him signed in the first place! Friggin Awesome! There are a lot of other cards from the padded pack that I know I need for my collection, too!

I was originally only going to scan the first group that I put haphazardly on the scanner, but the more I looked through the cards, I just knew that one scan would not do these cards justice! I'm impressed with the variance in years and companies in here, too! Topps, O-Pee-Chee, Bowman, Fleer, Donrus, UD... You name it!

And, there are a great selection of superstars, rookies, hall-of-famers, players I've loved since I was a kid and players I never knew existed. This was a fantastic, wonderful surprise!! Thanks a ton, Dayf!

So, you want to start your own card company...

While surfing the net looking for ... well, whatever came across the screen, I found a site that shows sample contracts used in business. Lo and Behold, I saw an agreement between Topps and the MLB in 2006:


Of course, I did not stop there... There is a list of all kinds of Topps contracts:


Why does any of this matter? Well, let's say a group of collectors decides they want to start up their own card company. Let's say that same group of collectors has no idea what legal hoops there are with such a venture. Well, then, this group could peruse these puppies and at least get an idea of what they're in for!

It's no wonder card companies in the past would airbrush out logos.... :-)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Championship Round Playoffs - Top of the inning

Welcome back to the Tribecards Scratchoff Tournament, folks! We've come a long way from 12 teams! We're down to the last three teams left, and these three teams will play each other in order to see who moves on to the championship! The playoffs feature a one-inning game, so things could get fast, furious, and frustrating very quickly! We've got Dayf, Joey, and Erin ready to play some scratchoff baseball, so let's get to the action!

Playoff Game 1 - Joey vs Dayf - Joey has a group of players that he likes to use, and has placed them in the path of the scratchcard dust many times during this tournament. Dayf's team (and for the sake of keeping things lively, I'm calling his team the Braves) takes the field. Up first for the Rangers is #5 Ian Kinsler. He's had mixed luck in this tournament, so let's see how he fares here. The pitcher winds up and throws out the first pitch. Kinsler takes a whack at it and sends it bouncing over the wall for a double to start the inning. #10 Michael Young comes up to the plate, batting second here today. The Braves pitcher makes short work of this batter, sending him out almost as quickly as he came into the game with a 1-2-3 strikeout. One away here in the playoff inning and #32 Josh Hamilton wants to keep things that way. The pitcher throws but he's a bit off the mark for a ball. Hamilton gets ready. The pitcher winds up, and throws. The ball is fouled off behind the catcher. The 1-1 count is hit to deep right, but the Braves defense is there to make the grab for out number two. The quick throw back into play keeps the runner on second.

Will the Rangers leave a runner stranded with nothing to show for it? #19 Chris Davis is hoping the dust will blow in his favor. Here's the pitch... Davis hits the ball toward center, but there's not enough card dust to carry it. The Braves retire the side on a routine fly out.

The Braves escape the at-bat, only allowing one runner to get on base.

Dayf gets to select his TEN BATTERS to see if he can take the game in the bottom of the first. Dayf, you've got all 32 spots except for 05, 10, 19, and 32.

Playoff Game 2 - Erin vs Joey - Erin's Orioles have shown that the girls can certainly keep up with the boys in scratchcard action! She's taking on Joey's Rangers, who couldn't quite get things started against Dayf's Braves. Will Erin continue to show these boys who's boss, or will the Rangers shoot down these birds?

Erin looks over the field of players she has, and sends Number 04 into the game to serve in the lead-off position. The pitcher takes the sign, winds up, and tosses down the first pitch. Number Four lets it go by. The umpire calls a strike, and the batter nods. She knows where she wants the pitch, and is apparently willing to wait for it. The next pitch comes right down the middle and the batter swings. She gets a part of it, but it's not enough to do anything but pop the ball into the air. The catcher stands, flips off his mask, and is under the ball for out number one.

Number 19 makes her way into the batter's box. The Rangers make a slight defensive shift and get ready for the throw. Here's the pitch and the batter swings and misses. The pitcher sets. Here's the wind up and the delivery. Strike Two! The pitcher is up in the count, 0-and-2 and he's already helped generate one out. The next pitch comes in low for ball one. The batter is standing her ground, ready to take whatever the pitcher sends her way. The next pitch is inside, and the batter has to back away from it to avoid getting pegged! The count's all evened up as the next pitch gets fouled off. The pitcher tilts his head in a quick little move that suggests, "okay, let's try something else..." He looks to the catcher, but refuses the first sign. He gets a sign he likes and takes his position. He winds up and throws a hard fastball that misses the corner by a few ticks at the most! I don't know how the umpire kept himself from calling that one a strike! But, as it is, the batter is still up and now faces a full count. The pitcher throws and Nineteen takes a swing at it, but barely misses the ball for strike three...

That's two up and two down. Things are not looking good for the Orioles here, folks. On the other hand, things are looking VERY well for the Rangers. Erin gives a little pep talk to Number 23 and sends her in to change the direction of this game. The pitcher throws and Twenty-Three puts the pine to the leather! This one is GONE! A two-out home run to put the Orioles on the board! They are the first to score in the playoff games!

The girls in the dugout go crazy! Things settle down long enough for Number the 12 get her bat and take to home plate. The pitcher shakes his head at himself, but looks pretty unshaken. He wipes his brow, sets, and throws. The batter swings and misses the first pitch. Looking satisfied, the pitcher sets, winds, and throws in his next pitch. The batter fouls it off down the first base line. Two strikes and the batter is way behind with two outs. Here's the next pitch and the batter swings, sending the ball into the right field corner! She rounds first, trucking for second as the fielder throws. The batter slides as the ball reaches the short stop on second.... The throw is.... NOT in time!! She is SAFE at second. It looks like these girls have turned up the heat. Number 31 comes in, hoping to add to the sizzle. Here's the pitch... It's a hit to left field back to the wall and it bounces off. The batter steps at second for a run-scoring stand-up two-bagger!

The Orioles take a 2-0 lead. The Rangers are going to try to turn off the lights at this party. Can they knock Number 11 out of this rhythm? The pitcher nods, sets, and throws a curve ball toward the plate. The batter swings and connects! Unfortunately for her, it's a direct flight to the first baseman for the third out.

The Orioles leave a runner on second, but not before driving in two runs, making life hard for the Rangers as the come into bat in the bottom of the inning.

Joey, you're up with your work cut out for you. Which TEN PLAYERS are you going to send into the game? 01, 02, 03, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32

Playoff Game 3 - Dayf vs Erin - Dayf's Braves come up to bat to start off the third game of the playoffs against Erin's Orioles. The Orioles are coming into this match after scoring two runs against Joey. The Braves kept the Rangers from scoring anything in Playoff Game 1 and they are hoping to put these Orioles in line.

To start things off, Dayf motions for Number 10 to leave the dugout and take his place at the plate. The Orioles pitcher winds up. She throws and the batter hits the ball into the air above the second baseman (basegirl?) for the first out. Next to the plate is Number 13. This player has not proven to be all that lucky in this tournament so far.

Let's see if he can turn that around here. The pitcher takes the sign, winds up and throws. The batter fouls it off into the crowd on the third base side. That's a souvenir for someone. The catcher tosses out another ball and the pitcher sets. She stares at her mark, and here's the throw. It's high and outside for a ball. The count is 1-and-1 to Number Thirteen. The next pitch falls away from the strike zone for another ball. On the next pitch, the batter knocks the ball on the ground to third. The fielder picks up the ball and gets the batter out before he can reach first.

That's two down with no one on base. The Braves find themselves in the same position the Orioles were in just a moment ago against the Rangers. Will the Braves be able to pull off a couple runs here? Dayf sends in Number 18 to find out. The pitcher adjusts her cap, winds up and throws. The batter comes around, and in a move we haven't seen in while, he lays down a bunt! The defense is caught totally off balance and the batter reaches first! Dayf has a man on! He calls Number 8 up from the depths of the boys on bench next.

The batter fouls off the first pitch. The next pitch misses low and inside for a ball. Neither the pitcher nor the batter seems willing to give in. The next pitch also drifts inside for another ball. Here's the next pitch... A huge swing sends the ball deep to right field. If it stays fair, it'll be a two-run homer! It's drifting... And just squeaks by the foul side of the pole. A long strike, and that shores up the count here in the first inning. The Orioles got a lucky break there, but will their luck run out? The follow-up pitch is high and away, and now the pitcher looks at a full count. The batter takes a couple practice moves and the pitcher sets. The batter sets his bat back. There's the wind up, the throw and the batter brings his bat around. The ball dips ever so slightly and the batter swings above the ball by a hair as the ump calls "STRIKE THREE!"

The Braves leave a runner on base. They leave scoreless as they head for the field.

The Orioles come up to bat in the bottom of the inning. Erin will choose TEN PLAYERS. She can choose from all 32 spots except 8, 10, 13, 18

Round Two Scratchcards and Prizes!

Round Two saw lots of action! Two of the thre matches had to go to extra cards/innings, and I believe the players drew some cool prizes!

Dayf and Madding

Chris(M) and Joey

ChrisB and Erin

WhiteSoxCards and Joey each picked up a trivia prize!

Stay Tuned right here, folks! There is more baseball scratchoff action ahead, with chances for the viewers at home to win more prizes!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The end of Round 2 - The Fight for the Championship begins! (9/8)

Round 2 Match 3 - ChrisB comes up in the third and his team is behind by three runs, trailing 5-2 against Erin and her Orioles. He's a bench full of batters eager to make it through to the next round. Let's see what happens here!

Batting first is Number 10. The pitcher throws and she gets the batter to fly out to center. That's a hard way to start things off. Let's see if Number 26 can get things going. Here's the pitch, and it's another fly ball to the center fielder.

Two down and it is not looking good for ChrisB's team right now. Third up is Number 20. The fate of his team rests on his shoulders. Will the scratchcard dust be full of magic or mayhem? The pitcher throws. The hit is sent to deep left field. The fielder runs toward the ball and dives.... She's got it! The Orioles win! The Orioles win!

Erin's Orioles hang on to the lead and carry themselves through to the next round! For her win, she grabs a 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes Game-use jersey Mariano Rivera! ChrisB grabs a 2008 Upper Deck Series 1 Game-used jersey Ian Snell! Congratulations to both of you!

Now that we have our three finalists, we're moving into the mini-championship seeding matches!

Joey, Dayf, and Erin will all choose TEN PLAYERS from each of their respective brand-new cards. Each of you has 32 players fresh off the bench to come to bat in the one-inning playoff! After each half-inning ends, then we will move to the bottom of the inning where the other team will get a chance to show their stuff. Good luck!

Game 1 - Joey vs Dayf (Joey picks ten to start)

Game 2 - Erin vs Joey (Erin picks ten to start)

Game 3 - Dayf vs Erin (Dayf picks ten to start)

As in the other round, I will post scans of prizes and scratchcards soon!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Say Goodnight, Gracie... Round 2 truckin along (9/6)

Congratulations to WhiteSoxCards for doing some research and coming up with George Burns (hence the title, for those old enough to understand the reference, though it was a different GB). For his effort, WhiteSoxCards wins a 2001 Leaf Rookies and Stars Statistical Standouts Game-Used Opening Day Base Magglio Ordonez (ss-23)!! Excellent work!

Round 2 Match 1 - Chris(M) grabbed a game-tying run in his half of the inning, forcing Joey to send more of his players to the plate. If Joey can score a run here, he will join Dayf in the next round of action. If Chris(M) prevents a score from crossing the plate, THIS game will go into extra innings!

#5 Ian Kinsler steps up to the plate to lead things off. The pitcher is not going to let things end quickly or quietly, apparently. He gets Kinsler swinging for Wiffle Ball field, but only coming up whiffing... He goes down on strikes. That'll bring up #7 David Murphy to see if HE can make something happen. Here's the pitch. Murphy swings and pops the ball out to the left fielder who is under it for the out. Two up and to down. Are we looking at ANOTHER extra-inning game? #32 Josh Hamilton will try to prevent that from happening.

The pitcher throws. Hamilton takes the pitch and the ump calls a strike. The next gets delivered and Hamilton takes a swing. He connects! This ball is heading for the fans! It.....Is.... GONE! Hamilton knocks the ball out of the park for the game-winning run, keeping the game from going into extra innings! HO-LY COW!

Joey takes his Rangers to round three, and for his game-winning run, he also receives a 2002 Donruss New Generation 2002 Rookie Game-used jersey Travis "Pronk" Hafner (serial #238/500)! And even though he's been knocked out of the tournament, Chris(M) receives a 2001 Donruss Class of 2001 Scrapbook Game-used jersey Larry Walker (with pinstripe! serial #320/500, card SB-16)!

Round 2 Match 2 - Dayf pulled off an extra-inning win last night and he advances to Round Three. More details about Round Three action below...

Round 2 Match 3 - Erin's Orioles are still batting here in the bottom of the second inning. She's got runners on second and third, two outs, and leads ChrisB 5-2. Erin brings in Number 28, hoping she can keep the Orioles streak running. The pitcher throws, and ChrisB breathes a sigh of relief as Twenty-Nine hits the ball on the ground to the second baseman who fields over to first to end the inning.

ChrisB has got his work cut out for him going into the third inning. Since Erin is leading, Chris just needs to put all the remaining players in the batting order he'd like, and hope he catches up or takes over the lead before his three outs come up! This is going to be a hard inning to watch... Chris, put 'em in order: 06, 10, 16, 18, 20, 26, 29, 32

Round Three Info - I'm sure if you've been following along, at some point you must have seen what is about to happen here. Because of the number of players, this next round has an 'odd team out.' I have played out several scenarios on how to advance the tournament, given that in Round 2 Match 3 the winner has no one to play against! I considered a random "BYE" situation where one team would be chosen to automatically advance to the finals, but that didn't seem fair. I thought about having the team play against me, but again that didn't seem fair. So, here is my plan. I will hold a "mini round-robin" tournament-within-a-tournament! A WHAT!?

Here is the way this works: Joey, Dayf, and the winner of Match 3 (we'll call that person WM3) will play a series of ONE-INNING mini games. Each team plays twice. The two teams with the best records head to the championship. Here is the mini-bracket:

Joey vs Dayf
WM3 vs Joey
Dayf vs WM3

To speed things up, each visiting team (team listed on left) will choose TEN PLAYERS to bat for them in their respective games. The game plays exactly like the main tourney except there is only one inning! Yes, every player gets a 'bonus' card (though it will be a serial #'d card instead of game-used/auto) in every game played!

Round Three will start after Round Two is completed. Stay tuned to see how things turn out in the final game of Round Two!!

Oh, and for those of you that have already been eliminated from the main tourney, keep your eyes peeled! I have a surprise for you guys, too!