Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 WSC Hall Of Fame Ballot

Here's a Hall of Fame that anyone can vote for: The White Sox Cards Hall Of Fame.

Yes, it's that time of year again, but this time around there will be a shorter window for voting.

You can vote for as many or as few players as you want. The rules are the same as the MLB Hall of Fame. 75% of the vote will get a player in. At least 5% of the vote will keep a player on the ballot for next year. A player has to be away from the White Sox for a minimum of five years for ballot consideration. If a player cannot get 75% of the vote after 15 tries, he is taken off the ballot.

Last ballot, no one was voted into the WSC Hall Of Fame. Who will make it in this year?

The 2016 ballot includes a player for each positional spot on the field, a designated hitter, a manager, and pitching has been split into spots for starter, middle relief and closer.

Oscar Gamble - DH (6th year) 
Jerry Hairston - OF (4th year) 
Dummy Hoy  – OF (3rd year)
Frank Isbell – 1st Base (5th year)
Fielder Jones – OF (5th year) 
Ron Karkovice - C (2nd year)
Al Lopez – MGR (6th year) 
Jorge Orta  – 2nd Base (3rd year)
Gary Peters - P (6th year)
Bobby Thigpen - P (5th year)
Robin Ventura – 3rd Base (6th year) 
Buck Weaver - SS (4th year)
Hoyt Wilhelm – P (5th year)

Voting will be through July 12, 2016, with the results announced shortly after. You can vote on the right sidebar. Any position left open due to election or cuts will be filled by another player next year.

The results should prove interesting. Have fun!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

WSC Birth Years: Rob Brantly

Card #192 - Rob Brantly

Born: July 14, 1989

Rob was selected in the 46th round of the 2008 amateur draft by the Washington Nationals, but chose not to sign. He was selected in the third round of the 2010 draft (100th overall) by the Detroit Tigers. Once with the Tigers, Brantly rose to the level of AAA, before being traded to the Miami Marlins on July 23, 2012. Fortune would smile on Rob, as he made his MLB debut with the Marlins less than a month later on August 14, 2012. He went 0 for 3 in his debut, but two days later, in his second game, Rob would hit a double or his first MLB hit.

The Chicago White Sox selected Brantly off of waiver wires on December 8, 2014. Rob would make his White Sox debut on September 2, 2015, striking out while pinch hitting in Minnesota. While he hit a paltry .121 in fourteen games with the Pale Hose, he had a perfect fielding percentage. On March 12, 2016, Brantly was claimed by the Seattle Mariners off waivers, where he would unsuccessfully battle Steve Clevenger for the backup catcher position. He started the 2016 season playing for the AAA Tacoma Rainiers.

Friday, April 22, 2016

2016 Topps Wal-Mart Marketside Pizza

I was surprised and delighted to see this set. It's been a long time since I can recall a licensed (or even unlicensed) baseball card food release. I stumbled upon this set accidentally while browsing through eBay for oddball baseball cards.

The cards can be found in specially marked Marketside pizza boxes, cheese bread and garlic bread boxes, exclusively at Wal-Mart. I hate to sound like a commercial for Wal-Mart, but that will be the only place to find them unless you hit the secondary market. From what I've heard, the pizzas aren't bad, but that is irrelevant. The important part is that there are new food issue baseball cards to be had! The promotion runs through the end of June 2016.

The set itself features fifty cards and a healthy mix of stars, rookies and even mascots. It's a bit strange, but definitely a sight for sore eyes.

The White Sox have two cards in this set.

17 - Chris Sale
39 - Jose Abreu

Tim Horton's ran a very successful hockey card promotion a few months back, so I will take this as a very good sign that things are headed in the right direction for further food issue sets. That is never a bad thing. It may never get back to the heyday of food issue sets, but I like the fact that the proverbial toe is being dipped in the water again. Or the nibble of a slice, as the case is for this food tie-in.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Lifetime Topps Project Trade

I will freely admit that my job takes too much of my time away from this blog. My family is also a culprit in my time away from the blog too. Both things I absolutely love and will not apologize one iota for occupying my time more frequently.

That being said, I miss the time that I would spend day in and day out on this blog, uncovering long buried hobby secrets, reminiscing about cup of coffee players from decades ago and being on the pulse of the hobby through my feverish pace of trades and daily monitoring of other card blogs.

I keep up when I can, but I know I'm not as in the loop as I was a few years ago. That's OK though. I keep up enough to where I can still hold up my end of a conversation about baseball cards. I still put my stored up knowledge to good use talking shop. I still keep up on new releases and what's going on in the hobby world. The information just doesn't arrive to me instantaneously anymore. It's more after work and between time with my wife and daughter.

I still love a good trade and when I can make it work, I am all over it. When The Lifetime Topps Project e-mailed me about a possible trade, I was excited. It had been awhile since I've traded and I was hoping to make it work. First, I would have to find time to rummage through my boxes to find some trade bait. It took some time, but I managed to find a few cards that were on the want list.

Full disclosure, the trade is lopsided. I feel bad about it, but sometimes a few cards that can get someone close to a completion goal is better than hitting a whole bunch of cards that make a small ripple in an ocean.

Here's what Charlie sent over.

1993 SP
253 - Alex Fernandez
255 - Bo Jackson

1993 Ultra
177 - Scott Radinsky

1994 SP
188 - Wilson Alvarez

1994 Upper Deck
3 - James Baldwin

1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond
3 - James Baldwin
25 - Tom Fordham
43 - Alex Fernandez
57 - Julio Franco
156 - Ozzie Guillen
231 - Alex Fernandez
371 - Joey Cora

1994 Upper Deck Minors
8 - Brandon Wilson
128 - Eddie Pearson

1995 Pinnacle
226 - Frank Thomas

1995 SP Championship
137 - Jason Bere
138 - Robin Ventura

1995 SP Top Prospects
35 - Harold Williams
37 - Tom Fordham

1995 SportFlix
 157 - Scott Ruffcorn

1995 Stadium Club
33 - Joey Cora
155 - Jack McDowell

1995 Ultra
28 - Alex Fernandez

1995 Upper Deck
197 - Wilson Alvarez
254 - Jimmy Hurst
434 - Alex Fernandez
436 - Roberto Hernandez

1996 Upper Deck
387 - Frank Thomas

1998 SP Authentic
68 - Robin Ventura

1999 SP Authentic
21 - Mike Caruso

2003 SP Authentic
105 - Magglio Ordonez (1615/2500)

2004 SP Authentic
59 - Frank Thomas

2005 SPx
61 - Joe Crede

 2005 UD Origins
218  Brian Anderson

2005 UD Reflections
206 - Brandon McCarthy
275 - Sean Tracey

2007 Upper Deck
89 - Neal Cotts

2009 Upper Deck
588 - Jim Thome

2010 Upper Deck
137 - John Danks

Thanks, Charlie! These cards are awesome. Thank you for your generosity. I will keep my eye out for other cards that are on your list. This was a great trip down memory lane.

Monday, April 11, 2016

2016 Topps Opening Day

Another year, another Topps Opening Day release. This release may be just popular enough to stick around each year, but it's not all bad. A truncated release of the flagship set, it combines a lot of base cards from series one and peppers the set with a few previews of series two players.

Is this release necessary? Yes and no.

The Opening Day base set really just becomes a parallel handpicked set of the flagship release, but the upsides generally outweigh the downsides. The major upside is that, at $1 a pack for seven cards, this is a very affordable option for kids. This is usually a gateway pack to bigger and better sets. I hate to put it like that, but it does give novice collectors a very approachable way to get their hands wet into the world of card collecting. It also has fun and kid-friendly options for inserts.

The White Sox have four cards in the base set and a mascot card.

OD-55 - Carlos Rodon
OD-57 - Chris Sale
OD-170 - Jose Quintana
OD-198 - Avisail Garcia
M-21 - Mascot (Southpaw)

Opening Day is definitely no collectors' definition of a perfect set, but it doesn't need to be either. I commend the set for being very affordable and kid-friendly. It also gives a nice preview of a few players not represented in the flagship series one. Those are really the only reason for this set to exist. For some people, that's enough.

Friday, April 8, 2016

WSC Birth Years: Frankie Montas

Card #191 - Frankie Montas

Born: March 21, 1993

Frankie was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox in 2009. While pitching in rookie and class A ball, Montas was traded to the White Sox on July 30, 2013, in a three team deal that saw Jake Peavy go to the Red Sox and Avisail Garcia come to the White Sox from the Tigers. He was placed in Kannapolis class A, where he finished the season. Frankie would be called up to the majors on July 17, 2015, as the 26th man for a doubleheader, but never got into either game. He was sent back down.

Montas would get another taste of the big leagues on September 1, 2015, when the White Sox called him up when the rosters expanded. Frankie would make his MLB debut on September 2, 2015 against the Twins in Minnesota, striking out Miguel Sano to start his career. He finished the inning by retiring all three batters he faced. Frankie would leave the White Sox in the same manner in which he came to them, by a three team trade on December 16, 2015. Frankie went to the Dodgers, along with Micah Johnson and Trayce Thompson, while the Cincinnati Reds sent the White Sox third baseman Todd Frazier.

Friday, April 1, 2016

WSC Birth Years: Tyler Saladino

Card #190 - Tyler Saladino

Born: July 20, 1989

Tyler was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 draft by the Chicago White Sox. It was a long road to the majors for Saladino, but he did get long looks in most of the spring training games that he attended for the Pale Hose. Tyler finally cracked the big leagues on July 10, 2015, starting at third base, against the Chicago Cubs in Wrigley Field.

Saladino didn't do much in his debut, but he was adequate enough to be slotted for the backup shortstop position for the upcoming 2016 season, behind veteran shortstop Jimmy Rollins. Tyler's best shot in 2016 is to be a super utility man for a revitalized ChiSox infield. He has the talent and tenacity to make this situation work beautifully.
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