Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2015 Diamond Kings

Diamond Kings really class the place up. They are usually more artful than the average card. Mostly on since 1982, Diamond Kings have separated Donruss from the competitors. Even the worst Donruss releases benefited greatly from the inclusion of Diamond Kings.

It is nice to see Panini revive this storied franchise. The only mark against this release is the same reason that killed Donruss in the first place, all the parallels. There are less parallels than in the mid-aughts, but they are there nonetheless and it is a little sad to see.

The most exciting thing about this release is the varied checklist. There is a healthy mix of current and former players, including a couple Black Sox, an under-appreciated player from the twenties, a few standby Hall of Fame options, and a rookie who is two teams removed from his MLB debut with the White Sox just nine months ago.

The White Sox have nine cards in the set.

8 - Alexei Ramirez
29 - Chris Sale
73 - Joe Jackson
77 - Jose Abreu
89 - Lefty Williams
93 - Luke Appling
108 - Nellie Fox
143 - Willie Kamm
151 - Andy Wilkins

This is a welcome addition to any White Sox collection. The mix of players is fantastic and comes with surprises. This is definitely not your cookie cutter release.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Draft Years: 1967

 With the thirteenth pick in the 1967 amateur draft, the Chicago White Sox chose third baseman Bill Haynes, out of Headland High School in East Point, Georgia. Bill had an eight year career between the White Sox and the Kansas City Royals. Despite a .303 career batting average, Haynes never made it past AAA ball. He only spent two seasons in the White Sox farm system before moving to the Royals farm system.

Vida Blue, Dave Kingman and Jerry Reuss all were drafted after Bill Haynes and before the second pick for the Sox at number thirty-three, a shortstop names Stuart Singleton, who also never made it to the majors. At this point, the White Sox had two opportunities to choose my pick and failed to get the job done, instead wasting their picks on minor league filler.

The better choice would have been the thirty-ninth pick...

Don Baylor.

Don enjoyed a nineteen year career, appeared in an All-Star game, won an MVP and won three Silver Sluggers. This is the first pick that the White Sox truly wasted. Out of fifty picks in the entire 1967 draft, the White Sox picked three that barely made it to the majors. Chris Ward, Dennis O'Toole and Jim Norris. Basically the White Sox batted .060 for the '67 draft and all three "hits" were bunts that fooled the third baseman by straddling the line and never going foul. Don Baylor would have been a much more solid hit.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Emilio Bonifacio

Card #176 - Emilio Bonifacio

Born: April 23, 1985

Emilio originally signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, making his MLB debut for them on September 2, 2007. Since his debut with the D'backs, Bonifacio has appeared in games for the Nationals, the Marlins, the Blue Jays, the Royals, the Cubs and the Braves before signing with the White Sox for the 2015 season.

Emilio signed on as a super-sub and he has really lived up to that billing. In the first two months of the 2015 season, Bonifacio has played at second base, third base and center field, as well as pinch hit and pinch run.
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