Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WSC Birth Years: Felipe Paulino

Card #161 - Felipe Paulino

Born: October 5, 1983

Felipe's White Sox career would seem to be short lived. After winning his first start in a White Sox uniform on April 2, 2014, Paulino's luck ran out and his ERA started to balloon. Felipe's last appearance for the Pale Hose in 2014 happened on April 18th and resulted in ten earned runs over three and two-thirds innings.

Paulino's ineffectiveness was caused by a rotator cuff injury. This was quite a setback after Tommy John surgery sidelined him for the majority of the 2012 and 2013 seasons, when he was with the Kansas City Royals. The White Sox may not pick up his $4 million dollar team option for 2015, but if the team believes he can recover from these devastating injuries, they may sign him on a cheap incentive based contract, strictly as an insurance policy for the starting rotation.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WSC Birth Years: Frank Francisco

Card #160 - Frank Francisco

Born: September 11, 1979

Frank signed a minor league contract with the White Sox on April 14, 2014, where he was assigned to the AAA affiliate in Charlotte. Francisco previously had played six seasons for the Texas Rangers, one season for the Toronto Blue Jays and two seasons with the New York Mets. In that time, he logged seventy-three saves over ten seasons. Originally signed by the Boston Red Sox in 1996, Frank spent some time in the White Sox minor league system from 2002, when he came over in the Bobby Howry trade, to 2003, when he was sent to Texas to complete the Carl Everett trade.

Francisco made his White Sox debut on May 11, 2014, against the Arizona Diamondbacks, giving up a meaningless home run to D'Backs catcher Miguel Montero in the ninth inning, in a loss. His ERA blossomed to a robust 12.27, after three more outings and Frank was designated for assignment on May 22, 2014. Francisco cleared waivers and was outrighted to AAA Charlotte, which he refused and became a free agent.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

1933 Butter Cream (R306)

One of the more scarce issues in the 1930s, the thirty card set originated from the Butter Cream Confectionery Corporation in Union City, New Jersey. The black and white cards measure only 1 ¼ x 3 ½ inches. Each card back held a contest where one could guess the player's final batting average and win a prize. The nature of the contest and any prizes have been unfortunately lost to time, as there is no mention of specific prizes on the card backs.

The cards themselves don't hold much of a curiosity, but the rarity of the issue, with only a handful of examples of each card, remain the allure of the set. The thirtieth card (Babe Ruth) wasn't rediscovered until 1989 and is so rare that a set can be considered complete at twenty-nine cards.

The White Sox have one card in the set.

- Ted Lyons

The set may not be much to look at with mostly poor grades available and miscut cards providing the bulk of examples, but that adds to the charm of the set. It is doubtful that anyone will ever find a gem mint complete set, but the thrill of the hunt and uncovering new examples of this rare set have collectors scrambling.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cards That Never Were #61

2012 Topps - Rich Thompson

Rich's last licensed MLB card came in 2002, as a prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays. Since then, he made his MLB debut for the Kansas City Royals on April 7, 2004. Thompson only appeared in six games for the Royals before he was sent down to the minors, where he was on the cusp of being called back up many times, for many teams.

Patience paid off and Rich was called back up to the majors in 2012, as a part of the Tampa Bay Rays organization. It was here that Thompson had his greatest success in the majors, collecting his first hit on May 17, 2012 against the Boston Red Sox, eight years, one month and ten days after his MLB debut.

Thompson broke his foot in 2013, while fielding a ball, which ended his career. Despite spending time with the Royals in 2004 and the Rays in 2012, Rich only has a Royals Police issued card from 2006 and a handful of minor league cards after his Blue Jays prospect cards in 2002. In 2014, Thompson competed on season six of American Ninja Warrior.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

WSC All-Stars: Thornton Lee 1941

Card #16 - Thornton Lee

Thornton relieved St. Louis Browns outfielder Roy Cullenbine, who pinch hit for Cleveland Indians starter Bob Feller in the bottom of the third inning, to start the fourth. He ran into a little trouble in the top of the sixth inning, when Cincinnati Reds pitcher Bucky Walters hit a double and St. Louis Cardinals center fielder Terry Moore's flyball to deep left field scored him.

Lee had one at-bat in the bottom of the fifth inning off Cincinnati's Bucky Walters, where he lined out to Brooklyn Dodgers center fielder Pete Reiser in left center, but moved Detroit Tigers first baseman Rudy York to third base.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WSC Birth Years: Hector Noesi

Card #159 - Hector Noesi

Born: January 26, 1987

Hector was signed by the New York Yankees in 2004, but didn't play in their minor league system until 2006. While moving up the Yankee minors, Noesi was injured in June 2007 and required Tommy John surgery., which sidelined him until July 2008. Hector finally made his MLB debut with the Yankees on May 18, 2011 in Baltimore. He ended up winning that game in the bottom of the fifteenth inning.

Noesi was traded to the Seattle Mariners before the 2012 season, where he stayed until he was purchased by the Texas Rangers on April 12, 2014. After three games with Texas, Hector was selected off waivers by the Chicago White Sox on April 25, 2014. Despite a rocky start in Chicago, Noesi has settled into a mostly stable starting pitcher. He was the ninth starter in 2014 for the White Sox.

WSC All-Stars: Luke Appling 1941

Card #15 - Luke Appling

Luke was a reserve shortstop in the 1941 All-Star Game at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan. Boston Red Sox shortstop Joe Cronin started for the American League and Cleveland Indians shortstop Lou Boudreau replaced Cronin in the top of the sixth inning. Appling did not play.

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.
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