Wednesday, July 16, 2014

1912 Plow's Candy (E300)

This set wasn't discovered by most collectors until the 1970s, when a large cache was found. Before then, it was virtually unknown until a decade earlier. At sixty-eight cards, it should seem like an easy set to attempt, but it has frustrated even the most savvy of ephemera enthusiasts.

Beckett lists this set as 1911, but the majority of collectors identify this as 1912. While there are photos shared with E145 Cracker Jack and PC796 sets, this set is definitely scarcer.

Cards are unnumbered and typically blank-backed, although some do appear to have advertisements on the back. In the future, other cards in this set may be found, but right now it stands at sixty-eight cards.

The White Sox have four cards in the set.

Joe Benz
Nixey Callahan
Billy Sullivan
Ed Walsh

The cards are three inches by four inches, with a large distinct 2 1/4 inch by 3 5/16 inch picture dominating the space. The set also features sturdy stock.

This is definitely in the category of white whale set. Examples don't become available often enough to be a realistic collecting goal. The team set completion may be a better goal, but still one that will likely tax your resources and luck.

2014 WSC Hall Of Fame Results

The votes have been tallied and here are the results.

There were no players elected this year and George Dickey received too few votes to be on next year's ballot.

Unfortunately no one was inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame Class of 2014!

There will be a new player at catcher on next year's ballot.

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Here are the final totals.

Hoyt Wilhelm - 44 votes (69%)
Robin Ventura - 41 votes (65%)
Al Lopez - 28 votes (44%)
Gary Peters - 27 votes (42%)
Bobby Thigpen - 26 votes (41%)
Buck Weaver - 22 votes (34%)
Jerry Hairston - 10 votes (15%)
Jorge Orta - 10 votes (15%)
Oscar Gamble - 9 votes (14%)
Dummy Hoy - 8 votes (12%)
Fielder Jones - 6 votes (9%) 
Frank Isbell - 4 votes (6%)
George Dickey - 2 votes (3%)

I did see a nice upward trend in votes for most of the holdover players. The top four gained considerable ground since last ballot. Most players that fell into the bottom four were on teams from the first decade of White Sox baseball. Most people aren't familiar with them and I encourage those of you who aren't to read up on them. Their great plays are the foundation of what White Sox baseball stands upon. Gary Peters made a huge leap from 26% to 42% since 2013! Maybe those almost teams of the sixties are finally getting the appreciation they deserve.

Perhaps next year will be a better year for the nominees to be inducted into the WSC Hall of Fame!

The voting for the Class of 2015 will begin some time after the World Series is concluded.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

WSC All-Stars: Luke Appling 1940

Card #14 - Luke Appling

Luke was the starting shortstop for the American League All-Stars in 1940 at Sportman's Park in St. Louis, Missouri. He went two for three at the plate, hitting a double off of Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Paul Derringer to right field in the second inning, and a single off of Chicago Cubs pitcher Larry French in the eighth inning. Cleveland Indians shortstop Lou Boudreau replaced Luke defensively in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Appling was the lone representative for the Chicago White Sox in 1940. The National League won the game 4-0.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

WSC Birth Years: Maikel Cleto

Card #158 - Maikel Cleto

Born: May 1, 1989

Maikel was originally signed as an amateur free agent on August 10, 2006, by the New York Mets. He was traded to the Seattle Mariners on December 11, 2008, in a three way trade involving the Cleveland Indians. Just over two years later, Cleto was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on December 12, 2010. Maikel made his MLB debut on June 2, 2011 when the Cardinals brought him up from AA to relieve an overworked bullpen.

Cleto would remain with the Cardinals for parts of three seasons, until he was claimed off of waivers by the Kansas City Royals on June 23, 2013. Maikel did not make it to the Royals' parent club and was selected off waivers by the Chicago White Sox on February 26, 2014. Cleto pitched fourteen innings over thirteen games for the Pale Hose between April 2nd and May 8th, producing a 5.14 ERA. His last appearance, on May 8th, sealed his fate with the ChiSox. Maikel gave up five runs over two innings to the Chicago Cubs. His season ERA jumped from 2.25 to 5.14. Cleto was released by the White Sox on July 1, 2014.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

This Year Is Flying By

An elusive photograph of Harold Baines making a leaping catch has made its way onto eBay. Very few seem to remember Baines as an outfield threat, just as a clutch hitter. Almost every baseball card I have of Harold features him either hitting, standing or somewhere on the base paths. One even included him sliding into a base! Very few cards show him in the outfield, where he roamed before his knees weakened and forced him into an almost full time DH role. So it's nice to see photographic evidence that my memories were not tainted as a kid. Everyone seems to recall the hitting prowess, but that always eclipses the fielding skills in most people's memories.

I'm fully aware that I haven't been posting much. It's not that I have lost interest in the White Sox, baseball or baseball cards... I haven't. Time has a way of slipping away quickly when there are multiple projects taking your time. The biggest and most important project on the horizon is my wedding, which takes place in less than two months. Those of you that are friends with me on Facebook may have noticed numbers popping up on my personal page. The countdown is in full swing!

I'm happy to report that the wedding is baseball themed and it takes place within walking distance of a baseball card shop. The card shop proximity wasn't planned, but I take that as a wonderful sign.

Work has also taken a lot of my time lately. Not only am I loving my job, but I've been working on multiple books that are all getting nearer to completion. Of course family takes up time too and with a lovely soon to be wife and a wonderful step-daughter to spend time with, I get away from the blog more than I probably should. With 2,750 previous posts, I think there is plenty to rediscover on the days I don't get to posting.

Friday, June 27, 2014

WSC All-Stars: Ted Lyons 1939

Card #13 - Ted Lyons

Ted was chosen for the 1939 All-Star game in Yankee Stadium in New York, but did not play. Amazingly, this was the only All-Star selection for this Hall of Fame pitcher in his twenty-one season career. Red Ruffing of the New York Yankees, Tommy Bridges of the Detroit Tigers and Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians shared the pitching duties for the American League team. Bridges won the game and Feller got the save.

Monday, June 16, 2014

WSC Birth Years: Javy Guerra

Card #157 - Javy Guerra

Born: October 31, 1985

Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2004 amateur draft, Javy made his MLB debut with the Dodgers on May 15, 2011. During his first year, Guerra was thrown into the closer role due to an injury to Jonathan Braxton and thrived. A few bad outings in his sophomore season and Javy was thrown into middle relief in favor of Kenley Jansen. Injuries plagued Guerra's 2012 and 2013 seasons. Javy was designated for assignment and removed from Los Angeles' forty man roster on March 16, 2014.

Ten days later, the Chicago White Sox claimed Guerra off of waivers and assigned him to AAA. In May 2014, Javy was promoted to the parent club and made his White Sox debut on May 25th against the New York Yankees, replacing Andre Rienzo to begin the sixth inning. Guerro lasted two innings in his ChiSox debut, giving up two hits, a run and two hit batters, while balancing that with three strikeouts. After some initial rockiness, Javy has settled into his role nicely with Chicago.

Friday, May 30, 2014

WSC All-Stars: Luke Appling 1939

Card #12 - Luke Appling

Luke was chosen for the 1939 All-Star game in Yankee Stadium in New York, for the shortstop position, but did not play. Boston Red Sox shortstop Joe Cronin played the entire game for the American League.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

WSC Birth Years: Scott Carroll

Card #156 - Scott Carroll

Born: September 24, 1984

Originally drafted by the Angels in 2006, during the sixteenth round, Scott did not sign and re-entered the draft in 2007, where he was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the third round of the draft. Carroll slowly climbed the Reds minor league system until he reached AAA in 2011. Cincinnati released him in 2012, but the White Sox picked him up on July 12th.

Scott missed the majority of the 2013 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery, but came back strong. A series of unfortunate events led to Carroll's promotion to the big leagues in 2014. Scott made his MLB debut on April 27, 2014 against the Tampa Bay Rays as a twenty-nine year old rookie. Carroll made the most of his debut, going seven and a third innings, in front of countless family and friends, winning 9-2. Scott came back to Earth in May, but his gritty determination has him contending for a permanent spot in the starting rotation.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

WSC All-Stars: Mike Kreevich 1938

Card #11 - Mike Kreevich

Mike was the lone representative for the White Sox at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio for the 1938 All-Star Game. Kreevich started in left field and led off the top of the first with a flyball to New York Giants center field starter Mell Ott. Kreevich also ended the top half of the third inning with a flyout to Chicago Cubs second baseman Billy Herman. Both appearances were against Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Vander Meer.

Boston Red Sox left fielder Doc Cramer pinch hits for Kreevich in the top of the sixth inning, ending Mike's appearance and the White Sox involvement in the 1938 All-Star Game.

Monday, May 12, 2014

WSC Birth Years: Moises Sierra

Card #155 - Moises Sierra

Born: September 24, 1988

Moises began his career in the Toronto Blue Jays organization in 2006. He worked his way up to the majors by 2012, when he was brought up on July 31st to play against the Seattle Mariners. Later that season, Sierra hit his first MLB home run on August 13th, against Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy.

The start of the 2014 season was a rough one for Moises. After hitting a dismal .059 through thirteen games, the Blue Jays placed Sierra on waivers. The White Sox claimed Moises on May 3rd. Since joining Chicago, Sierra has been on a tear, hitting .364 through his first eight games and clubbing a home run. Moises has been such a pleasant surprise, he replaced Jordan Danks as the backup outfielder after his first week with the ChiSox.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

WSC All-Stars: Monty Stratton 1937

Card #10 - Monty Stratton

Surely White Sox fans thought this would be the first of many All-Star selections for Stratton, but an accident after the 1938 season left Monty with an amputated right leg. Stratton did not play in his only MLB All-Star Game selection.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Thoughtful Journey To My Mailbox

 It's always a wonderful feeling when an unexpected package arrives in the mail. Especially when that package contains baseball cards! Specifically cards of one of your favorite players.

J.T. from The Writer's Journey saw a couple of Harold Baines cards and thought I'd like them. Was he ever right! Harold is the one untainted baseball hero from my youth. Well after his playing days, another baseball hero from my youth passed out in a cornfield and has since lost a little of my respect, but far from all of it.

Cards of Harold in his prime are a real treat. Although, I would be joyful if a White Sox card from the eighties showed anything but Baines batting, standing or posing. Harold was a five tool player and I refuse to believe there are no pictures of him making a diving catch in the outfield, in an eighties White Sox uniform.

The first image I saw when I removed the contents of the package was the 1987 Fleer Baseball's Hottest Stars card staring back at me. It was a simpler time, before beefed up super players sullied the game. Harold was young and one of the brightest spots on a White Sox team headed in the wrong direction.

I flipped the top loader over and the 1985 Drake's card was revealed.
Not far removed from an American League West championship, things were still promising for the White Sox when this gem came out. Baines had just crossed the threshold into crafty veteran presence while still having all the skills to accomplish anything.

Thanks, J.T. This was a great trip down memory lane. It always great to receive surprise cards from you in the mail. This was greatly appreciated!

WSC All-Stars: Luke Sewell 1937

Card #9 - Luke Sewell

Luke was selected as the reserve catcher for the American League All-Stars at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., but did not play in the game, due to New York Yankees backstop Bill Dickey (brother of future White Sox catcher George Dickey) playing the entire game.

Monday, April 28, 2014

WSC Birth Years: Scott Downs

Card #154 - Scott Downs

Born: March 17, 1976

After a disastrous 2013, the White Sox spent the off-season retooling their bullpen with a mix of veterans, projects and rookies. Scott was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 1997 draft. He made his debut with the Cubs in 2000, but was traded to the Montreal Expos before the end of the season for Rondell White. While with Montreal's AAA affiliate, Downs threw a no-hitter against the Las Vegas 51s in 2004, but was released after the season when struggles returned. Scott then signed with the Toronto Blue Jays, where he spent the bulk of his career. Before he signed with the White Sox in 2014, Downs spent time with the Angels and the Braves.

Scott mainly throws a sinker and a curve ball. In his thirteen year career, he has started, closed and relieved. His primary role with the White Sox has been late inning reliever and after a rocky start, has settled in nicely. The White Sox have found some offense in 2014 and Downs may be a key reason in 2014 that the Sox keep their leads late in the game.
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