Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Florida Bound

Congrats to the
2008 AL Central Division

Step Up Or Step Out Of The Way

This is not the original plan. The White Sox are not built for home runs. It just turned out that way.

The White Sox are primarily built for pitching and defense. The Sox picked up clubhouse guys like Nick Swisher to keep the atmosphere light and fun. They picked up Gold Glove winners like Orlando Cabrera to ensure nothing gets out of the infield. They took gambles on unknown commodities like Alexei Ramirez, who has adjusted quickly to the game.

If you look up and down the lineup, there are only two actual sluggers. Paul Konerko and Jim Thome. Jermaine Dye is in more of the Frank Thomas mode. He'll get his home runs, but he's more of a line drive hitter. Sometimes those line drives get enough height and distance. He was picked up for his defense, first and foremost.

Say whatever you will about Pierzynski. I've heard it all before and he's heard it all before. Why is he the most hated player in baseball? He makes things happen and he gets in your head. If A.J. can get into a player's head, it's that player's fault for letting it get to him. That player must not have the concentration level to achieve success in Major League baseball. The fact that he knows what buttons to push, within reason, just shows how much homework he does off the field.

Carlos Quentin was a nice surprise. He was picked up for his defense and his potential at the plate. No one could have predicted how he would respond this year. Ken Griffey Jr. was picked up more for his veteran presence than anything else. Griffey has declined from a home run hitter into a line drive hitter. He can handle the pressure and has shown that by being clutch with 2 outs.

What happens when the pitching goes south? The hitting tends to gravitate toward launching home runs for offense. A few key injuries to the bullpen, and chaos broke out. Everyone was out of their own comfort zone, so the pitching suffered. The offense then responds by trying to get as many runs as they can. This leads players like Nick Swisher to try for the fences. This gets them out of their game. This is why you see a lot of home runs. Everyone is trying to hit them because it's in their mindset to do so with the pitching suspect.

2008 is a prime example of what happens with a few key injuries to a team. It's a testament to the team that they are in a position to contend this late in September. Can you imagine what would've happened if the bullpen problems didn't happen this year? The White Sox would already be in Tampa right now.

The necessity of scoring runs has made this team into the "all or nothing" home run hitting hitting machine that it has become. With that "all or nothing" approach, you lose a lot of ballgames waiting for the home run. You lose confidence on the basepaths. You tend not to try to steal a base. You become afraid of running yourself out of an inning.

The more strain that's put on a club, the more they are going to lose in stupid ways. This is where you get the costly throwing errors. This is where you get caught in between bases. This is when you try for the home run and pop it up to the shortstop.

A team that is relaxed and confident will rarely make these mistakes. They will capitalize on the other team's mistakes and make them pay for it. I saw this in yesterday's game with Detroit. This was the first time I have seen this all year with the White Sox. I have also seen this type of behavior with the Twins. In fact, I have seen this type of play with every team that's already in the playoffs. No team is immune to this.

When things go south, two things can happen. You either step up or step out of the way. When Joe Crede's back issues sidelined him indefinitely, Josh Fields stepped out of the way. Juan Uribe stepped up. When Carlos Quentin broke his wrist, Jerry Owens stepped out of the way. DeWayne Wise stepped up. When Nick Swisher's bat developed a hole the size of Cleveland, Brian Anderson stepped up.

The reason the Sox have stayed in this so long is because they were built that way. Whether that's through trade, signings, pick ups, or the farm system, the Sox have been built to withstand these injuries. Granted, the last few years have been a real test of that ability. This year, despite the bullpen implosion and despite the offense swoon, the Sox have stuck around long enough to force a 163rd game.

Some team's fans may bitch about their owner's stinginess when it comes to payroll. Some may bitch about this and bitch about that. If everything worked out the way it should on paper, the Detroit Tigers would be in the playoffs instead of the cellar. It doesn't matter what you have. It matters how you use it. I applaud the Twins for staying in the race every year with a management that would rather spend a penny and save 99 cents out of each dollar. Imagine where they would be with more money. Then again, if they had more money to work with, they might lose the edge that keeps them in the hunt every single year.

It's all a matter of perspective. If the Sox should lose this year, it won't be because the pitching injuries forced the offense to swing for the fences. It will be because they lost game 163 to the Twins or lost somewhere in the playoffs. If the Twins should lose this year, it won't be because they were in second place the majority of the year. It will be because they either lost the last game to the White Sox or to someone else in the playoffs.

Put the focus on the game, where it should be. Everything else is just a distraction.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Paul Phillips

Card #33 - Paul Phillips

Paul is another castoff from the Kansas City Royals. He has been stuck behind A.J. Pierzynski and Toby Hall on the White Sox, so Paul has spent most of the year in the minors. Paul has impressed the Sox enough to get a September callup in the middle of a pennant race.

Phillips has only appeared in four games, mostly for late inning defense, but he is the first in line if an injury happens to either Pierzynski or Hall. He has shown enough promise to stick around.

This was the best picture I could find of Paul Phillips in a White Sox uniform. It's a bonus that the picture is not from a Spring Training game. The other photo I found of Phillips was unusable for this type of a project. It showed him being bowled over, at the plate, with no distinguishing marks.

I'm not that surprised that he is pictured talking to Lance Broadway in a game. They were battery mates in the minors this season.

Turn The Page

A very well done video by "Miss Jennifer" featuring Metallica's cover of Bob Seger's "Turn The Page".

Another 1964?

Today is do or die. Win or go home. You get my drift. There will be a celebration in Chicago today. Someone will go to the playoffs after this final game.

The funny thing is, this isn't the first time that the Sox were down to the wire. They were the bridesmaid team of the fifties and sixties, mostly to the Yankees. Second place was their fate for most of those years. The Sox had great teams but always fell just short.

Take 1967. The Red Sox, Twins, Tigers and White Sox were all in range of the World Series during the final week. The White Sox finished three games back to the Red Sox, when all was said and done.

1967 was the most famous pennant race, but 1964 was the most heartbreaking. The White Sox finished one game back of the Yankees that year. One game. The Sox won 98 games in 1964, which is four more than their last World Series appearance, to that point, in 1959. The Sox won their last nine games. The playoffs seems a lock.

How did they lose? The Yankees had a late season 11 game winning streak. Heartache is not just a Cubs trait. The Cubs failures and near misses just get more publicity. The White Sox have been there too.

1955 - 3rd - 5 games back
1956 - 3rd - 12 games back
1957 - 2nd - 8 games back
1958 - 2nd - 10 games back
1959 - 1st - 5 games up
1960 - 3rd - 10 games back
1963 - 2nd - 10.5 games back
1964 - 2nd - 1 game back
1965 - 2nd - 7 games back
1967 - 4th - 3 games back

Before 1955 and after 1967, the White Sox couldn't even see first place in September with binoculars. During the stretch from 1955 until 1967, they were in the thick of the pennant race until at least the final weeks of the season, for most years.

Will this be the year that the White Sox win by one game? We will all know after tonight.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Showdown For The Crown

A New Rookie Record

Four grand slams in a season by a rookie!
Congrats Alexei Ramirez!

Rain Delay Theatre - Thunderbolt

White Sox Cards proudly presents Nick Swisher and Toby Hall in Thunderbolt.

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

It seems to be hit or miss loading as an embedded file. If the video does not show up, go to http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cf84d400b7

Random Card #36

After yesterday's gutsy performance by Mark Buehrle, there is no doubt in my mind who the ace of the staff is on the 2008 White Sox. I don't remember a regular season performance so dominant since the days of Jack McDowell. When the game's on the line and it's do or die, you want these guys on the mound.

Jack McDowell ruled the American League from 1992 until 1994. 1993 was the apex of his talent on the baseball field. It could have been 1994, if it weren't for the strike shortened season. 1992 was just the warmup for his Cy Young 1993 season.

Today, Gavin Floyd will need to step up against ex-Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia. Will Gavin hear the call and pitch a great game? Will he feel the ghosts of Jack McDowell, Alex Fernandez and Wilson Alvarez? Will he have the rookie luck of Jason Bere, who was dominant until he was injured? Only time will tell.

If Gavin succeeds, maybe he will get a snazzy insert card like Jack McDowell. This was when insert cards weren't overdone. They were meant to be something special. Sure, this was during the oversaturation of the market, but these cards still felt special. They were harder to get when I was a kid. It was a great day if I could get an insert card of anybody. It was a red letter day, if that card was a White Sox player.

I never pulled a Smoke 'n Heat card in 1992. Green is my favorite color, but the base set for 1992 was just a slight upgrade from the yellow fever that was 1991. In comparison, the insert cards looked great. The black from the border made the Smoke 'n Heat set look elegant and important. This was evident when putting the card against the player's base card. There is no comparison. The 1992 Fleer base set got smoked with some heat from the insert cards.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Gift From Johngy

There are some great people that I've met through this blog. Too many to name here, and probably too many to think about in one sitting. There are probably more people reading anonymously than I'll ever know.

One of the great readers who has made himself known to me is Johngy. If you've never clicked over to his site out of curiosity, you are in for an in-person celebrity treat. From sports players to movie stars and everything in between, this site has great stories and pictures.

Johngy has been following this blog and appreciated the time and effort that goes on here most days. OK, I admit it. Sometimes I phone it in, but we've all done that. We exchanged a few e-mails and an agreement was made to send some cards my way. I asked what he wanted in return. Just keep writing. OK. Fair enough.

Since he had a friend working in the area, Johngy asked if that friend could drop it off at my house instead of wasting postage. If more people lived around me, I'd save a bundle in postage. Yesterday, a mysterious package with my name and address appeared in a clear plastic bag on my porch.

I wasn't able to open the box right away. I was driving out to Plainfield with my mom for the first meeting of my mom and Tracey's mom. We've been engaged for over a year and they still hadn't met for some reason. As we bonded over heavy Eurpoean food, my mind wandered to the mystery box. What would be in it, when I got home? I was so tired after the long day, I almost put the opening off until today, but I couldn't do that. I wouldn't be able to sleep, if I didn't at least look though the contents.

Let's see what Johngy's friend placed on my porch.

1981 Donruss
38 - Lamar Johnson
39 - Kevin Bell
40 - Ed Farmer
42 - Leo Sutherland
158 - Jim Morrison
159 - Glenn Borgmann
160 - LaMarr Hoyt
162 - Thad Basley
281 - Chet Lemon
282 - Rusty Kuntz
398 - Mike Squires
399 - Marvis Foley
400 - Steve Trout
576 - Ron LeFlore

1981 Fleer
339 - Ed Farmer
340 - Bob Molinaro
341 - Todd Cruz
342 - Britt Bunrs
343 - Kevin Bell
348 - Wayne Nordhagen
349 - Mike Squires
352 - Francisco Barrios
355 - Bruce Kimm
356 - Richard Dotson
358 - Mike Proly
359 - Greg Pryor

1981 Topps
67 - Ken Kravec
272 - Bruce Kimm
571 - Todd Cruz
608 - Greg Pryor
646 - Marvis Foley

1983 Topps Stickers
48 - Britt Burns

1985 Coke
41 - Tom Seaver

1985 Fleer
507 - Harold Baines
508 - Floyd Bannister
510 - Julio Cruz
511 - Richard Dotson
512 - Jerry Dybzinski
516 - Marc Hill
518 - Ron Kittle
520 - Vance Law
522 - Gene Nelson
524 - Ron Reed
525 - Bert Roberge
526 - Tom Seaver
527 - Roy Smalley
528 - Dan Spillner
529 - Mike Squires

1985 Topps
388 - Bert Roberge

1986 Coke
1 - Wayne Tolleson
7 - Marc Hill
8 -Daryl Boston
12 - Julio Cruz
13 - Ozzie Guillen
17 - Jerry Hairston
19 - Floyd Bannister
20 - Reid Nichols
22 - Joel Skinner
24 - Dave Schmidt
26 - Bobby Bonilla
29 - Greg Walker
30 - Gene Nelson
32 - Tim Hulett
33 - Neil Allen
34 - Richard Dotson
40 - Joe Cowley
41 - Tom Seaver
44 - John Cangelosi
50 - Juan Agosto
52 - Joel Davis
72 - Carlton Fisk
NNO - Tony LaRussa
NNO - Ribbie & Roobarb
NNO - Ken "Hawk" Harrelson

1986 Donruss
58 - Britt Burns
86 - Daryl Boston
122 - Dan Spillner
135 - Greg Walker
160 - Richard Dotson
208 - Ozzie Guillen
244 - Floyd Bannister
257 - Julio Cruz
282 - Scott Fletcher
302 - Luis Salazar
330 - Joel Skinner
379 - Bob James
404 - Tim Hulett
424 - Jerry Hairston
452 - Bryan Little
488 - Juan Agosto
501 - Gene Nelson
526 - Ron Kittle
546 - Joe DeSa
574 - Reid Nichols
609 - Tom Seaver
623 - Joel Davis
632 - Rudy Law

1986 Fleer
197 - Juan Agosto
199 - Floyd Bannister
200 - Britt Burns
201- Julio Cruz
202 - Joel Davis
203 - Richard Dotson
205 - Scott Fletcher
206 - Ozzie Guillen
207 - Jerry Hairston
208 - Tim Hulett
209 - Bob James
210 - Ron Kittle
212 - Bryan Little
213 - Gene Nelson
216 - Tom Seaver
220 - Dave Wehrmeister

1986 Topps
156 - White Sox Leaders
467 - Bob James
612 - Richard Dotson
637 - Rudy Law
657 - Juan Agosto
778 - Jerry Hairston

1986 Topps Stickers
289 - Ron Kittle
292 - Britt Burns

1987 Donruss
25 - Greg Walker DK
137 - Daryl Boston
409 - Steve Lyons
457 - Jose DeLeon
580 - Gene Nelson

1987 Fleer
487 - Daryl Boston
488 - Ivan Calderon
493 - Bill Dawley
495 - Richard Dotson
498 - Jerry Hairston
500 - Tim Hulett
504 - Gene Nelson

1987 Topps Traded
15T - Ivan Calderon

1989 Bowman
55 - Bobby Thigpen
56 - Bill Long
57 - Jerry Reuss
58 - Shawn Hillegas
59 - Melido Perez
60 - Jeff Bittiger
63 - Steve Lyons
62 - Carlton Fisk
64 - Ozzie Guillen
65 - Robin Ventura
66 - Fred Manrique
67 - Dan Pasqua
68 - Ivan Calderon
70 - Daryl Boston
71 - Dave Gallagher
72 - Harold Baines

338 - Dan Pasqua
351 - Bill Long
388 - Steve Lyons
512 - Jeff Bittiger
583 - Donnie Hill
608 - John Davis

1990 Leaf
36 - Melido Perez
89 - Ivan Calderon
128 - Ozzie Guillen
141 - Scott Fletcher
167 - Robin Ventura
175 - Bobby Thigpen
352 - Wayne Edwards
392 - Donn Pall
438 - Carlos Martinez

1990 Score
694 - Bobby Thigpen DT

1990 Score Superstars
87 - Bobby Thigpen

1991 Bowman
342 - Bobby Thigpen
344 - Melido Perez
349 - Lance Johnson
351 - Alex Fernandez
352 - Jack McDowell
353 - Bob Wickman
354 - Wilson Alvarez
356 - Ozzie Guillen
358 - Robin Ventura
359 - Scott Fletcher
361 - Dan Pasqua
362 - Rock Raines
363 - Brian Drahman

1991 Stadium Club
30 - Scott Fletcher
70 - Ozzie Guillen
87 - Jack McDowell
102 - Ron Karkovice
129 - Wayne Edwards
147 - Alex Fernandez
199 - Lance Johnson
214 - Dan Pasqua
232 - Melido Perez
311 - Scott Radinsky
382 - Matt Merullo
488 - Cory Snyder
523 - Rock Raines
559 - Craig Grebeck

1991 Topps
156 - Carlos Martinez
717 - Phil Bradley

1991 Ultra
73 - Scott Fletcher
75 - Greg Hibbard
78 - Jack McDowell
79 - Dan Pasqua
80 - Melido Perez
81 - Tim Raines
82 - Sammy Sosa
84 - Bobby Thigpen
396 - Bobby Thigpen GP

1991 Upper Deck
623 - Melido Perez

Wow! That was a tour de force! I feel like I just went through a war zone writing all that. Most of these cards were from my want list. I think I just completed a lot of sets because of Johngy's generosity. Frankly, I'm speechless at this whole box. I don't think I've ever gotten this many cards that hit what I needed at one time.

Thanks, Johngy! These cards are very much appreciated!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Card Spotlight: 9-26-08

2008 Topps Silk Collection #31 - Mark Buehrle 36/50

Even though the White Sox seem to be doing everything in their power to throw their season away, doesn't mean that I have to let my collection do the same. If the White Sox manage to limp backwards into the playoffs, it won't be the most improbable scenario, but pretty darn close.

Even as frustrating as this past three game series in Minnesota has been, I'm still ecstatic about this card I received earlier in the week from Dan of Saints of the Cheap Seats blog.

This is my first silk card and it is simply stunning! It has a tiny window for touching, but I don't think I'll be doing any touching of this card. The scan really doesn't do the card justice. Although, the scanner does pick up on the subtle hint of blue on the card encasing.

As for Dan's trade back, I have been putting cards aside for him and they will go out soon to complete the trade. I am waiting for one special card that I will send along. It should be in my hands next week.

There really is no card back to speak of. The silk part is plain white. The back of the card encasing consists of tiny copyright information and such. There's not much room, as the tiny silk card inside the standard size card holder is the main focus. As well it should be.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Blind Trading With Spiff

There are risks involved in blind trading. You could end up with 100 copies of a 1989 Donruss Jack McDowell card. You could end up with all cards that you already have. You could be stuck with a pile of crap that's worth $1.00.

Those are all worst case scenarios. The reality of blind trading is that you don't know what you will get. All you really know is the certain parameters that will be followed, such as all the cards will be White Sox, in my case. Usually, you get a good mix of doubles and cards you need. At least that has been my experience with blind trading so far.

So, Spiff and I agreed on a blind trade of 150 cards. 150 Rangers for 150 White Sox. I threw in a couple of extra cards, for no other reason than I do that from time to time. I try to stay away from sending more than one of the same card if possible. This way, my collection of tradable cards stretches further and the other person gets maximum value. It's a win-win situation!

Let's see what arrived in two separate bubble envelopes.

1981 Fleer
357 - Jim Morrison

1982 Fleer
346 - Lamar Johnson

1982 K-Mart
21 - Rich Allen

1983 Donruss
104 - Carlton Fisk

1984 Fleer
58 - Carlton Fisk

1984 Topps
311 - Jerry Koosman
480 - Ron Kittle

1985 Topps
78 - Scott Fletcher
140 - Roy Smalley F&S
286 - Rudy Law
650 - Greg Luzinski

1986 Fleer Limited Edition
15 - Carlton Fisk

1986 Topps
290 - Carlton Fisk

1987 Topps
201 - John Cangelosi
421 - Joe DeLeon
491 - Ron Karkovice
511 - Steve Lyons
718 - Steve Carlton

1988 Donruss
260 - Carlton Fisk
507 - Bob James

1988 Score
592 - Carlton Fisk

1988 Topps
86 - Ron Karkovice
281 - Jerry Hairston
334 - Dave LaPoint

OK, this is the point of every trade where it flies into the danger zone. Why the danger zone? I'm a closet Kenny Loggins fan. But enough about that. The danger zone refers to the least amount of cards that I would need. This period generally starts around 1989 and ends somewhere around 1993. The closer the year is to the center of that time period, the more likely I will already have it. I am missing a few key cards from that period, but generally I keep getting the same cards.

1989 Bowman
63 - Steve Lyons
69 - Ron Kittle

1989 Donruss
148 - Harold Baines
253 - Steve Lyons
573 - Bill Long
606 - Lance Johnson
647 - Barry Lyons

1989 Fleer
498 - Shawn Hillegas
499 - Lance Johnson
500 - Barry Jones

1989 Score
608 - John Davis

1989 Topps
156 - Dave Gallagher
247 - Shawn Hillegas
334 - Steve Lyons (2)
539 - Barry Jones
585 - Harold Baines
656 - Ivan Calderon

1990 Donruss
58 - Carlton Fisk
148 - Ron Kittle (2)
219 - Dave Gallagher
337 - Eric King
413 - Ron Karkovice
503 - Jerry Kutzler
573 - Lance Johnson (2)
619 - Shawn Hillegas
660 - Harold Baines AS
BC-19 - Carlton Fisk MVP

1990 Fleer
529 - Ivan Calderon

1990 Fleer Award Winners
13 - Carlton Fisk

1990 Score
290 - Carlton Fisk

1990 Topps
79 - Ron Kittle
169 - Richard Dotson
243 - Barry Jones
499 - Bill Long
587 - Lance Johnson
751 - Steve Lyons
786 - Eric King (2)

1990 Upper Deck
69 - Ron Karkovice
543 - Greg Hibbard
651 - Eric King

1991 Bowman
345 - Carlton Fisk

1991 Donruss
220 - Ron Karkovice (2)
259 - Lance Johnson
271 - Eric King (2)
589 - Shawn Hillegas

1991 Score
265 - Carlton Fisk
320 - Robin Ventura
421 - Carlton Fisk HL

1991 Topps
33 - Barry Jones
446 - Craig Grebeck
568 - Ron Karkovice

1991 Upper Deck
29 - Carlton Fisk CL
281 - Eric King
643 - Carlton Fisk

1992 Bowman
358 - Jason Bere
614 - Scott Cepicky

1992 Fleer Smoke 'N Heat
2 - Jack McDowell

1992 Leaf
303 - Carlton Fisk

1992 O-Pee-Chee Premier
45 - Carlton Fisk

1992 Score
72 - Carlton Fisk

1992 Stadium Club
480 - Carlton Fisk

1992 Topps
153 - Ron Karkovice

1992 Triple Play
149 - Carlton Fisk
261 - Greg Hibbard

1992 Upper Deck
571 - Carlton Fisk
603 - Craig Grebeck

1993 Donruss
697 - Joey Cora
720 - Terry Leach (2)
788 - Michael Huff

1993 Leaf
284 - Carlton Fisk

1993 Topps
94 - Lance Johnson
259 - Craig Grebeck

1993 Triple Play
216 - Ron Karkovice

1993 Upper Deck
207 - Charlie Hough
272 - Carlton Fisk
502 - Rod Bolton
738 - Craig Grebeck
742 - Joey Cora

1994 Fleer
85 - Lance Johnson

1994 Pacific
118 - Wilson Alvarez
119 - Tim Belcher
120 - Jason Bere
121 - Rodney Bolton
123 - Joey Cora
126 - Craig Grebeck
131 - Mike LaValliere

1994 Upper Deck Minors
59 - Ray Durham

1995 Sonic Coke
14 - Minnie Minoso

1997 Leaf
114 - Ray Durham
187 - Mike Cameron

1997 Pinnacle
46 - Roberto Hernandez

1998 Topps
383 - Ray Durham

2004 Upper Deck Vintage
37 - Bartolo Colon

2005 Fleer Showcase
6 - Paul Konerko

2007 Topps
147 - Javier Vazquez
148 - Scott Podsednik
284 - Jerry Owens
445 - Pablo Ozuna
451 - Bobby Jenks

2007 Topps Own The Game
OTG8 - Jim Thome
OTG17 - Jermaine Dye

2007 Topps Red Letter Back
148 - Scott Podsednik

2008 Artifacts/A Piece Of History
24 - Nick Swisher

2008 Baseball Heroes Black
43 - Jermaine Dye

2008 Goudey
40 - Mark Buehrle
42 - Paul Konerko
43 - Jermaine Dye
45 - Nick Swisher

2008 Spectrum
22 - Jermaine Dye
23 - Jim Thome

2008 Topps
224 - Mark Buehrle
248 - Jose Contreras
284 - Lance Broadway
293 - Gavin Floyd
420 - Nick Swisher
508 - John Danks
565 - A.J. Pierzynski
639 - Juan Uribe

2008 Upper Deck
282 - Jon Garland
284 - Matt Thornton

2008 Upper Deck Rookie Debut
5 - Lance Broadway

I haven't checked these cards against my collection yet. I can say that there are a lot that I know that I have, but the ones that stand out as ones that I don't have, are absolute gems!

Thanks so much, Spiff! That was an awesome trade. After I build up my Rangers cards a bit, we'll have to do this again.

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Esteban Loaiza

Card #32 - Esteban Loaiza

Can a team bring a name from the past and plug him into the lineup for a spark? Sometimes yes, but mostly no. It usually doesn't bode well trying to recapture magic from an aging pitcher. It didn't help much here either.

The White Sox tried to bring a starting pitcher, in Loaiza, and plug him into the long relief role in the bullpen. While the experiment wasn't a complete failure, Esteban ended up going on the DL and effectively ended his second stint with the Sox. He didn't pitch badly, but he didn't pitch well either.

Why did I choose this photo? Frankly, because I couldn't find any others of Esteban in a White Sox uniform. At least none that were from 2008. You'd think that if a player is coming back to a team he was successful with and he made three appearances that there would be one photo of him. Sadly, no.

I tried to find a photo that didn't show his number, but I couldn't find a good enough image to use. Esteban wore the number 21 during his first tour with the White Sox. In his brief cameo in 2008, he wore number 48.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mike Squires Appreciation Day

I was given the task to commemorate Mike Squires last Major League game. Given the information of September 23rd as being the anniversary, I dug into the matter. What I found was interesting only to Mike Squires fans. First, the facts.

Mike spent all of his Major League career with the White Sox.

Mike's first game was on September 1, 1975.

Mike's first hit was on September 1, 1975 at home vs. the Royals.

He primarily played first base, but became the first left handed catcher since 1958, when he caught a game in the late innings in 1980.

In 1983, he became the first left handed third baseman in roughly fifty years.

He was a vital part of the 1983 championship season.

Mike's last Major League hit was on August 26, 1984 at home vs. the Royals.

Mike's last Major League plate appearance was on August 31, 1984.

Mike's last game in 1984 was on September 23.

Mike's last run scored was on September 23, 1985.

Mike's last game was on September 24, 1985.

Just looking at those numbers might seem odd. Mike had his first and last hit against the Royals at Comiskey Park. The biggest eye opener was the length of time between Mike's last hit and Mike's last game. Over one year.

Of course there is a valid explanation for that. Mike was released before the start of the 1985 season. He did not catch on with anyone else. When the Sox were looking for help, they signed Mike to a contract on September 1, 1985. He only played in two games in 1985. Both were late inning switches, where he did not get to bat. His last game was on September 24, 1985. That just goes to show that there are explanations for large gaps in a player's career.

Although Mike didn't go out with a bang, he always played hard. It's still a testimony that he stayed with one team in a career that spanned 11 years. Here's to you Mike. Thanks for giving us some thrills on the South Side.

White Sox Fans Plan Hijack Of Cubby Bear

I've been asked to get the word out about a planned hijacking of the Cubby Bear. Rather than comment on everything, I'll post the info directly from the site organizer.

CubsSuck.com says it best – “Wrigley Field is full of tourists and people who come to be seen, get a tan, stare at chicks and ivy, and above all: get drunk.”

Despite clearly being a better team in a tougher division with the best fans the league has to offer, the White Sox are largely ignored by the Chicago establishment. Let’s show the Cubs fans who’s boss by taking over the
Cubby Bear for the first game of the playoffs.

If we can get at least 400 people to show up early on game day and claim a spot, Cubs fans will make up less than half of the patrons of their flagship location.

This thing isn’t on unless we get 400 people, so please tell everyone you know to join. If we hit 400, we’ll notify you and you are expected to be there on Wednesday to stand with your fellow Sox fans.

See you there.

White Sox fans will take over the Cubby Bear for the first Cubs playoff game

Show up to the Cubby Bear on Oct 1st between 2pm and 3pm and stay through the game
But we will only do it if at least 401 people join by October 1, 2008

If you are interested, go to their website and sign up.

With the Cubs already in the playoffs and the White Sox on the verge of joining them, it looks like it's going to be a very interesting postseason! I don't know if Chicago will survive if they meet each other in the World Series!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tribe Cards Tourney

When I decided to enter a scratchcard tournament at Tribe Cards, I figured I'd go a few rounds and end up losing to someone luckier than I. I had no idea that it would be one and done. It was a hard fought loss that went to the bitter end. I am better for the experience.

To keep those of us non-winners interested while the other action was continuing, David threw out quite a few trivia questions. They were tricky, but fun. I had a wonderful time seeking out the answers. I still felt that I was in competition, even though I never made it past the first round of the tournament. Bravo!

For my early exit and efforts in the trivia portions of the posts, I received this rather large pile of cards in the mail today. I certainly wasn't expecting this much, but David is a giving soul. Any numbered item, game-used item or autographed item, I would assume would be part of the tournament prizes. But you know what happens when one assumes. You make an ass out of you and Uma Thurman. Let's dig in!

1971 Topps
436 - Wilbur Wood
458 - Ron Lolich, Dave Lemonds
588 - Tom Bradley

1976 Topps Traded
618T - Jack Brohamer

1978 Topps
552 - Francisco Barrios
693 - Lamar Johnson

1984 Ralston Purina
33 - Carlton Fisk

1984 Topps
667 - Vance Law

1986 Donruss Highlights
44 - Joe Cowley
51 - John Cangelosi

1986 Topps Glossy Send-Ins
22 - Tom Seaver

1986 Topps Mini Leaders
8 - Harold Baines
9 - Floyd Bannister

1986 Topps Tattoos
Ozzie Guillen

1987 Fleer Pitchers vs. Sluggers
7 - Ivan Calderon

1987 Topps
89 - Ozzie Guillen
233 - Russ Morman

1988 Topps UK Mini
1 - Harold Baines

1989 Topps
764 - Robin Ventura

1990 Fleer
529 - Ivan Calderon

1990 Score
558 - Sammy Sosa

1991 Fleer
White Sox Logo Sticker

1991 Score
11 - Ozzie Guillen
85 - Dan Pasqua
418 - Bobby Thigpen HL
421 - Carlton Fisk HL

1991 Topps
461 - Robin Ventura

1991 Ultra
83 - Cory Snyder

1992 Donruss
457 - Ken Patterson
470 - Bo Jackson
543 - Carlton Fisk

1992 Topps
255 - Robin Ventura

1992 Upper Deck
743 - Steve Sax

1993 Conlon
895 - Bob Weiland

1993 Fun Pack
200 - Jack McDowell
201 - Tim Raines

1993 Kraft Singles Superstars
14 - Robin Ventura

1993 Leaf
330 - Lance Johnson CL
420 - Tim Raines

1993 Ted Williams
26 - Luke Appling

1993 Upper Deck Future Heroes
62 - Frank Thomas

1994 Action Packed
63 - James Baldwin

1994 Upper Deck
156 - Ozzie Guillen
309 - Jack McDowell

1995 Phil Rizzuto's Baseball
9 - South Side Park
26 - 1885 Chicago White Stockings (the predecessor of the modern day Cubs)

1995 Upper Deck Michael Jordan One On One
2 - Michael Jordan (Fielding)

1996 Collector's Choice
98 - John Kruk

1996 Leaf Limited
23 - Frank Thomas

1996 summit Above And Beyond
147 - Alex Fernandez

1996 SP
11 - Chris Snopek

1997 Finest
215 - Tony Phillips

1997 UD3
4 - Albert Belle

1997 Ultra Rookie Reflections
1 - James Baldwin

1998 Best
Richard Almanzar (autograph)

1998 Score
7 - Albert Belle

1998 Skyboc Dugout Access Double Header
DH17 - Frank Thomas

1999 Best
Michael Barrett (Autograph) 166/200

1999 Bowman's Best
17 - Ray Durham

1999 Metal Universe
27 - Albert Belle

1999 Stadium Club One Of A Kind
42 - Derek Bell 004/150

1999 Ultra Gold Medallion
106G - Ray Durham

2000 SPx
180 - Charles Johnson

2000 UD Black Diamond Rookie Edition
38 - Ray Durham

2001 Fleer Focus
Carlos Delgado 270/344

2001 Leaf Rookies And Stars Statistical Standouts
SS-23 - Magglio Ordonez (game-used base)

2001 Topps
White Sox logo sticker

2002 Absolute Memorabilia
33 - Mark Buehrle

2002 Fleer Maximum
155 - Carlos Lee

2002 Fleer Triple Crown
122 - Paul Konerko

2002 Topps
583 - Kenny Lofton

2002 UD Piece Of History
34 - Frank Thomas

2003 Topps Chrome
43 - Jose Valentin

2003 Topps Gallery
13 - Eddie Collins

2003 Topps Heritage
273 - Aaron Rowand

2003 UD Victory
26 - Frank Thomas

2004 Bazooka
39 - Juan Uribe

2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites
134 - Harold Baines
140 - Bill Skowron

2005 Topps Update
UH173 - Ozzie Guillen
UH219 - Chris Young

2006 Fleer Tradition
190 - Tadahito Iguchi
192 - Jose Contreras

2006 Sweet Spot Update
21 - Paul Konerko

2006 Topps Co-Signers
74 - Dontrelle Willis, Miguel Cabrera 089/115

2006 Ultra Diamond Producers
DP25 - Paul Konerko

2007 Allen & Ginter
70 - Jermaine Dye
123 - Tadahito Iguchi

2007 Goudey
156 - Scott Podsednik

2007 Topps Opening Day
21 - Mark Buehrle

2007 Topps Update
UH208 - Mark Buehrle
UH272 - Bobby Jenks

2008 Bowman
82 - Mark Buehrle

2008 Bowman Chrome Prospects
BCP46 - Javier Castillo
BCP68 - Francisco Hernandez
BCP97 - Matt Inouye

2008 Bowman Gold Prospects
BP68 - Francisco Hernandez

2008 Spectrum
69 - Nick Swisher

2008 Spectrum Retrospectrum Swatches
RS-FG2 - Freddy Garcia (game-used uniform)

2008 Topps
378 - Ozzie Guillen
420 - Nick Swisher
639 - Juan Uribe
649 - Joe Crede

2008 Upper Deck Game Used
UD-RH - Roy Halladay

Where do I even begin here? Well, this would be my first card of a game used base. That's really cool. The rest is just pure awesome! Thanks, David! You have run the best online scratchoff tournament I have ever played in! The prizes are awesome and the experience was a blast!

Stick A Fork In Crede

His White Sox career is done.

While nothing is absolutely set in stone, the second opinion on Crede was not good. Nobody is saying exactly what it said, but Ozzie said that Crede may be on a team next year... sitting things out.

Does this mean that Joe Crede's collecting stock will plummet? I hope not, but the outlook does not look promising. On the bright side, this may mean that I can now get Joe Crede rookies very cheaply. Anytime I can bolster my White Sox collection, on the cheap, is a great day for me.

It's too bad about Joe. I like Joe. He was part of a great number of Sox related memories for me. I blame his scum sucking agent, Scott Boras for the hushed tones from Crede's camp. Sure, Boras usually gets top dollar for less than spectacular talent. While doing so, he also bleeds his clients dry. Boras puts his clients in unnecessary situations and holds teams hostage. Short term, this may seem like a good idea. Long term, it's damaging to the reputation of anyone associated with him.

So long, Joe. It's been a slice having you on the South Side.

In the wake of Crede's news, the Sox have been slowly mounting a playoff run. Game by game, they seem to be inching their way into the postseason. The biggest test will be on Tuesday. The Sox face the Twins in a three game showdown that could decide the season, in Minnesota.

The Sox need to win at least one. If they can manage to sweep the Twins, which is no easy task, they will glide into October on a high. If the Sox get swept, you can see October hopes floating away. Anything can happen in the last week of the season. Sox and Twins fans are both bracing themselves for a great series.

You may have noticed the lack of posting over the weekend. Well, I took most of the weekend and spent it trying to track down Tracey's cousin in Resurrection Cemetery. Yes, the same one which supposedly is home to Resurrection Mary. I had the section number, the block number, the lot number and the grave number and we still couldn't find her cousin. Yet, we went to the cemetery next door and relying on 15 year old fuzzy memories, found her grandparents with no problem. Go figure.

The rest of the weekend was spent on Facebook, thanks to J.V.'s invitation. As some of you have discovered, I have contacted you as a friend, if I was sure of your identity. I'm shocked at how many people have the same names, even if isn't a terribly common name. I even found someone else with my name. If you seek me out on Facebook, I'm the one not pictured with a family for the profile picture. I won't be giving out that info on this site, but if we've become friendly enough to send non-trading related e-mails (and enough to know my last name) then look me up and I'll add you as a friend.

This may seem like a potpourri of information for a post that started about Joe Crede, but it always goes to show you. It's always something. If it's not one thing it's another. Goodnight Roseanne Rosannadanna.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Magic Number: 7

White Sox win. Twins loss.

Cheap Seats Doesn't Mean Cheap Trade

I just received a package in the mail from Dan of the Saints of the Cheap Seats blog. Let me just say... WOW!!

Now, I pretty much knew what was coming, but reading it in e-mail and actually seeing it are two very different things. It doesn't seem like a lot, until you factor in the Heritage cards. Take those away and you still have a silk card to whet your appetite.

With the Heritage cards, it's hard to hit a lot of cards that I don't have. It always amazes me when a stack of cards arrive and they are all or mostly all cards that I don't have! There is only one Heritage card that I have. That would be the black back of Ichiro. The only reason that it is a double now, is that it showed up in a surprise package yesterday from Eric. With the handful of Heritage cards from yesterday's trade, I'm awestruck that only one overlapped with Dan's package.

Unbelievable! Let's take a look at what Dan sent over.

1981 Topps
36 - Ed Farmer
83 - Mike Proly
107 - Rich Wortham
164 - LaMarr Hoyt
292 - Mike Squires
323 - Jim Morrison
398 - Ross Baumgarten
466 - Bob "Invisible Coke bottle" Molinaro
487 - Dewey Robinson
589 - Lamar Johnson
664 - White Sox Team
716 - Glenn Borgmann

2005 Upper Deck
328 - Joe Crede
427 - Tadahito Iguchi

2006 Upper Deck Update
1044 - Sean Tracey
1045 - Ozzie Guillen

2007 Artifacts
85 - Jerry Owens

2007 Ultra Retail
33 - A.J. Pierzynski
36 - Bobby Jenks
37 - Jon Garland
38 - Mark Buehrle
210 - John Danks

2007 Upper Deck
620 - Paul Konerko

2008 Finest
49 - Nick Swisher

2008 Topps Heritage
6, 7, 10, 23, 127, 128, 132, 133, 140, 141, 160, 188, 198, 205, 220, 227, 238, 240, 242, 270, 279, 281, 290, 371, 372, 486

2008 Topps Heritage Black Back
3, 67, 81, 92, 155, 175, 262, 323, 330

2008 Topps Heritage Flashbacks
8 - Mickey Mantle

2008 Topps Heritage New Age Performers
2 - Ichiro

2008 Topps Heritage Then & Now
10 - Don Drysdale & Jake Peavy

If that weren't enough...

I present the star of the trade.

2008 Topps Silk Collection

Mark Buehrle 36/50

Awesome. Simply, effectively awesome. I won't spoil the moment with a picture, but I have a strong suspicion that this will be the card spotlight next week.

Thanks, Dan! I am currently putting together your return package. I think I am on cloud 9 right now.

Card Spotlight: 9-19-08

1988 Donruss Baseball's Best #123 - Dave LaPoint

Why on Earth would this be the card spotlight this week? Well, there are four reasons for this decision.

1. Look at that smile. It looks like Mark Buehrle, if you squint really hard. That's just a great smile!

2. The poppy and bright (not Poppy Z. Brite) alternative color scheme of this 1988 Donruss release. It's a refreshing change of pace from the drab blue.

3. This photo is what the 1988 Topps card should have been. Not the airbrushed massacre that it turned out to be. This photo is the real McCoy.

4. I received this card in a trade yesterday from Eric. So, the convenience factor is certainly there.

Sorry for the Beckett default image. I can't access my scanner right now. This was the only image I could find.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Another Box From Eric!

Wow! I received yet another box from Eric! I think he's slowly sending me every card in existence featuring the White Sox.

I saw a nice small, tidy box on my windowsill, well after the mail carrier had gone. It was a substitute carrier, so not only was the mail late, but the box was hidden off to the side. If I hadn't gone out to pick up dinner for the family, I wouldn't have seen it.

I was having a so-so day, with little sleep, so this perked me right up. I saw one or two cards in the pile that I have never laid my eyes upon. The Bionic Bo Fun Pack card, I had never actually seen before. I love the cartoon aspect of the card!

Let's see what goodies arrived in the box!

I'm only listing what I needed for the collection. The want list will be updated tomorrow, with this list.

1988 Donruss AL Best
25 - Ivan Calderon
123 - Dave LaPoint
179 - Melido Perez
193 - Greg Walker
249 - Ken Williams
291 - Steve Lyons

I love the day-glo colors of this release.

1991 Score
36 - Scott Fletcher
179 - Melido Perez

I am now finished with this set!

1991 Upper Deck
621 - Scott Radinsky

I am now one card away from completion!

1992 Pinnacle
607 - Jack McDowell GRIP

1992 Stadium Club
761 - Wilson Alvarez

1993 Fun Pack
31 - Bo Jackson (Hero)
199 - Bo Jackson

Very cool Hero card!

1993 Stadium Club
495 - Bo Jackson

I used mine to get signed at K-Mart. Now, I have a replacement!

1993 Studio
110 - Bo Jackson

I seem to have hit a Bo Jackson vein.

1993 Topps
400 - Bo Jackson

The last Bo. I'm sad.

1994 Topps
392 - Jack McDowell (Greg Maddux)

2000 Topps
119 - Greg Norton

2007 Ultra Retail
35 - Paul Konerko
38 - Mark Buehrle

2008 Allen & Ginter
33 - Nick Swisher

You gotta love Swisher's smile. I just wish his bat would get happy too.

2008 Baseball Heroes
32 - Carlton Fisk (Red Sox)
44 - Paul Konerko

2008 Baseball Heroes Black Parallel
44 - Paul Konerko

2008 Goudey
42 - Paul Konerko

2008 Topps
457 - Josh Fields

The last card I need to complete the set!

2008 Topps Chrome
79 - Paul Konerko

2008 UD First Edition
238 - Juan Uribe
288 - Heath Phillips

Last, but not least....

2008 Topps Heritage
14, 35, 84, 129, 334

2008 Topps Heritage Black Back
16, 61, 117

Talk about a great selection of cards that I needed! This of course doesn't include the cards that I already had. That stack was almost three times the height of this one. I'm amazed that I'm still getting cards knocked off my want list with seemingly random White Sox cards.

Thank you, once again, Eric! You are truly someone who is thoughtful! I will start stacking a new package for you. It may take a while, but it will get there.

Magic Number: 9

Thanks Tribe!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Jason Bourgeois

Card #31 - Jason Bourgeois

After slowly climbing the ladder of minor league levels, Jason Bourgeois finally made his MLB debut in 2008. His time may have passed to become a bonafide star, but he has the makeup to become a star backup utility player.

Jason is a big man, but don't let his size fool you. He can run. Jason was called up in September 2008, after infielder Chris Gets broke his wrist.

The only photos I could find of Jason were from Spring Training games. Even though he's been a few games with the Sox this year, I couldn't find any photos of him with the big club.

This photo was taken from a game against the Cubs. Jason is sliding in safely into second base.

Magic Number: 10

Attic Insulation?

OK, I agree that releases like 1991 Donruss would be more economical as kitty litter or attic insulation. Before you do these cost saving measures to your home, check to see if card number 534 is in your collection before you shred (or shoot).

That card would be Barry Jones. Barry is the last card I need to complete the White Sox team set. I'm sure that I've had my chances at this card, but completing early nineties overproduced team sets are usually way down on the priority list. I will not pay $1.00 plus shipping costs for a 5 cent card, on eBay.

After I get this one card, I would encourage everyone to shred their doubles of 1991 Donruss. Use them around the house. Here's a list of things to do with your old cards.

Maybe, if we destroy all but the essential copies of these cards, the value will skyrocket! Maybe, I'll get that SNL writing gig that I've always dreamed about. Maybe, I'll be lucky enough to win the lottery, even though I don't play.

Come to think of it, I don't think that any amount of cards that were destroyed would increase this set at all. I think that even if there were 10 copies of each card left, the entire set would still top out at $8.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

At Last (Updated)

With all the hoopla surrounding a few stadiums closing this year, I decided to take another look through my scrapbooks. Why? To find a list of lasts at old Comiskey Park.

Some may be surprising, some may not. Either way, here are some of the lasts for that grand old park, now gone forever.

Last Sox player to come on the field to start the game: Carlton Fisk.

Last player to leave the field: Carlton Fisk.

Last ceremonial first pitch: By Mayor Daley to Steve Lyons.

Last Comiskey game time climate: sunny, 62 degrees, NW wind at 16 mph.

Last Comiskey roof shot by a left-hander: Dan Pasqua, May 30, 1989.

Last Comiskey roof shot by a right-hander: Ron Kittle, April 17, 1990.

Last grand slam: By Seattle's Alvin Davis, Sept. 28, 1990, off Steve Rosenberg.

Last no-hitter: Detroit pitcher Jack Morris, April 7, 1984.

Last triple: Dan Pasqua, Sept. 30, 1990, off Rich DeLucia.

Last double: By Seattle catcher Dave Valle, Sept. 30, 1990 (7th inning), off Jack McDowell.

Last homer: By Seattle's Alvin Davis, Sept. 29, 1990, off Eric King.

Last Sox victory: 2-1 over Seattle, Sept. 30, 1990.

Last Sox loss: 13-4 to Seattle, Sept. 28, 1990.

Last pitch: at 4:23 PM by Bobby Thigpen to Seattle's Harold Reynolds.

Last out: Seattle's Harold Reynolds groundout from second baseman Scott Fletcher to first baseman Steve Lyons.

Last songs: Kiss Him Goodbye and Auld Lang Syne.

Last strikeout: Seattle's Tino Martinez (8th inning), Sept. 30, 1990, by Jack McDowell.

Last Sox strikeout: Carlton Fisk (6th inning), Sept. 30, 1990, by Seattle's Rich Delucia.

Last wild pitch: by Jack McDowell to Seattle's Alvin Davis (6th inning), Sept. 30, 1990.

Last double play: by Seattle from second baseman Harold Reynolds to shortstop Omar Vizquel to first baseman Tino Martinez (hit by Lance Johnson forcing Ivan Calderon), in the 7th inning, Sept. 30, 1990.

Last Sox hit: Frank Thomas (8th inning), Sept. 30, 1990, off Seattle's Rich DeLucia.

Last hit: by Seattle pinch hitter Scott Bradley off Bobby Thigpen (9th inning), Sept. 30, 1990.

Last winning pitcher: Jack McDowell (14-9)

Last losing pitcher: Seattle's Rich DeLucia (1-2)

Last save: Bobby Thigpen, number 57, Sept. 30, 1990.

Last length of game: 2 hours, 43 minutes.

OK, how many of you lost money by not knowing that Dan Pasqua hit the last triple in old Comiskey Park? Yeah, me too.


I used a vintage list from a local paper from 1990 when compiling this list. Since then, Andy Hawkins no-hitter on July 1, 1990 has been declared not an official no-hitter. I honestly had forgotten about that ruling. The list has been updated to reflect that.

A few more lasts that I have found.

Last hit by pitch: Eric King hit Seattle's Jay Buhner, Sept. 29, 1990.

Last cycle: Milwaukee's Robin Yount, June 12, 1988.

Last balk: Greg Hibbard, Sept. 26, 1990.

Last inside the park home run: Milwaukee's Robin Yount, Spet. 13, 1988.

Last sacrifice fly: Scott Fletcher, Sept. 29, 1990.

Last umpires: Joe Brinkman, Derryl Cousins, Rick Reed, Terry Cooney

Last managers: Jeff Torborg (White Sox), Jim Lefebvre (Mariners)

Last attendance: 42, 849

Monday, September 15, 2008

Random Card #35

2005 White Sox Topps World Champions #5 - Paul Konerko

I picked up something today on a whim and I'm glad I did. It reminded me of Paul Konerko and old school type playing.

What did I pick up? The new Metallica CD, Death Magnetic. I feel like I'm listening to Metallica circa 1989. "The Unforgiven III" is the only misstep I have really heard. I think that James Hetfield has gone to the well one too many times with the Unforgiven theme. It's not too bad, but it feels out of place and forced compared to the rest of the album.

Paul Konerko and this album have many things in common. Mostly, a resurgence as of late to old form. Metallica is reminding me of the glory days, before all the ballads and awards and country music experiments. Paul Konerko has reminded me of the same man who belted out a grand slam in the 2005 Worlds Series. I just hope that the knee that was sprained a few days ago doesn't derail this great late season comeback.

I can say this for both. Even though they are not quite the same, they remind me of their glory days when they exhibited unlimited power and speed. Speed for Paul Konerko, you say? Yes. Speed. Paul Konerko has two infield hits during this late season power display. How about that? Speed out of the batter's box and a speed metal revival. Two surprises in unexpected places.

A Class Act

With K-Rod breaking Bobby Thigpen's record, it seemed like everyone was looking for Bobby to say something. Well, Bobby, in his own way, has broken the silence. I wouldn't expect anything less than this personal note that was sent to Rodriguez.

"Only a handful of major league relievers understand what it takes to reach the 50-save mark," Thigpen wrote. "Your record-setting season is an accomplishment you should treasure this year for and for years into the future. I am certain your record for saves will stand for many, many seasons to come."

Thigpen, who now manages the White Sox's rookie league affiliate in Bristol, Va., wrote that Dave Righetti sent him a congratulatory note after breaking the record the former Yankees reliever set.

"I wanted to continue that tradition with a note of my own to you," Thigpen wrote.

He closed the letter, which the White Sox distributed to the media, by writing, "I wish you continued success this season and with your outstanding career."

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Paul Konerko

Card #30 - Paul Konerko

Paul has been one of the most consistent hitters that the White Sox have had in the new millennium. He usually goes through slumps during the season, but 2008 really took the cake. Konerko has had one of the worst hitting slumps in major league history.

From the start of the season until mid-August, Paul literally couldn't buy his way on base. A funny thing happened in August though. Konerko started to get really hot. He may be getting hot at the right time to carry the White Sox down the home stretch.

I chose this photo of Konerko because he looks like he's auditioning for a chorus line of some sort. I also like the way that he's looking up with optimism. The crowd also seems to be looking in the same direction. Maybe it was a long ball close to the foul line.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Weekend

What a weekend!

First of all, congratulations to Carlos Zambrano for his no-hitter on Sunday night. I couldn't escape it, even watching the White Sox on ESPN. He's a great pitcher and rightfully deserves one.

Second of all, the same can be said for the White Sox themselves. They were rained out on Friday. Their doubleheader was rained out on Saturday. Then they swept a doubleheader on Sunday with virtually no break in between. Although, they blew a seven run lead, capped by a grand slam, only to be saved by a DeWayne Wise grand slam later in the game.

What have I been doing most of the weekend? Mopping water at a friends house and getting very little sleep. That's bound to happen with nonstop rain spanning three days. Oh well. The worst is over and I can finally get a decent night's sleep. I hope.

With all the mopping and catnapping, I've missed two opportunities to see The Big Lebowski on cable. My only hope is that The Big Lebowski kills me before the Germans can cut my... um, nevermind.

I know I'll catch it on cable at some point, from the beginning. Mostly because the Dude abides.

"Yes! That's your answer. That's your answer for everything! Tattoo it on your forehead!"

I don't think I'll have to go that far, but that makes me feel very secure, it makes me feel very warm inside.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

18 Years Was A Good Run

Yet More Cards From John

John is awesome! He sends unexpected packages of White Sox cards all the way from the UK. He deserves a round of applause for that.

OK, that's enough clapping. You need at least one hand free for scrolling.

This latest package came the other day. I was waiting to post it for a bit, since there were a few things on the schedule slightly ahead of this post. Plus, I wanted to distance this post from the other trade I got in the mail on the same day.

Out of 22 cards that I received, I needed 4. That's a pretty good blind ratio. As I make more trades and receive more cards, my lists are being filled rather nicely. Plus, I have a mountain of White Sox doubles to boot. I would have never imagined that I could get so many cards of White Sox players in less than a year. It's pretty amazing when I step back and look at the generosity of traders in this community.

In addition to the four cards that I needed I got a nice variety of nice doubles. Even a double from 1975! At the beginning of the year I had absolutely no cards from 1975. Now, I have my first double. Simply amazing!

The cards that I needed.

1985 Donruss All-Star (3x5) #25 - Harold Baines
I needed this card for the Baines collection. Very, VERY cool.

1988 Donruss #25 - Ivan Calderon DK
This is the last card that I needed for completion of the regular White Sox team set! Doesn't the background remind you of 1980s G.I. Joe?

1992 Ultra #339 - Dan Pasqua
Another card down for this pesky set.

1998 Score #229 - Jorge Fabregas
My Cubs friend used to call him George Flabby-ass. With all the 1998 Score packs I got in those awful repack boxes, you'd think I'd have all of the set by now.

Yes, there were only those 4 cards from my want list, but wait there's more cool stuff!

A 1975 Topps Tony Muser card! A 1989 Donruss Harold Baines card! A 2001 Fleer Futures Keith Foulke card! A sweet 2006 Bowman Heritage Juan Uribe card with an eye-popping blue background! Four different 2006 Topps All-Star cards! Plus a few random cards from 2007 and 2008!

I almost forgot. A 1990 Donruss card of White Sox fan and area native Donn Pall! I used to love the fact that he was a fan of the team he was playing for.

Thanks, John! Another assortment of great cards! As always, if you would like something in return, please e-mail me with a few suggestions. I have absolutely no problem sending out to the UK.

Friday, September 12, 2008

White Sox Photoshop Cards: A.J. Pierzynski

Card #29 - A.J. Pierzynski

What can be said about A.J. that hasn't already been stated? He knows how to squeeze the most out of a game. If he's on your team, you love him. If A.J. happens to be playing against your team, he is the most hated man on the field.

A.J. has a knack of getting into sticky situations and making them turn to his favor. He leaves everything out on the field. There are no regrets in his style of play. When things go awry, you can usually hear a teammate say, "That's another heads up play by A.J.".

I chose this photo of A.J. because he's sticking his tongue out. This is his reaction to a throw not getting a baserunner. You can see the emotion of each play in his face. He reacts, then moves on.

This is another thing that you don't normally find on a baseball card. The negative reaction. Usually if a player is showing any type of emotion, it's of the celebratory variety. Players are just like us, they have a wide array of emotions.

Card Spotlight 9-12-08

1998 Fleer Legends Of The Game #1 - Luis Aparicio

I love everything about this card! The angle of the slide. The foot in your face. The "I'm safe" pose. It's just a unique angle that you don't normally see on a baseball card.

I know it kind of a cliche, but I feel like I'm part of the action. This is just one great photo on a nicely designed card. I wasn't around for Luis Aparicio's playing days. The closest I came would be the end of his career, but I missed that by a few years. This makes me feel like I saw him play.

Growing up, I would hear these fantastic stories about Aparicio. On cards, I would see him in some sort of pose. I never got to appreciate one of the best aspects of his game, stolen bases.

Aparicio led the American League in stolen bases for nine consecutive seasons. From 1956 until 1964, no one was better in the AL. Talk about dominating an aspect of the game! This card makes me appreciate what is rarely shown from Luis, the art of the stolen base.

Trading With Chris

I was contacted by Chris last week about a possible trade. White Sox for Nationals. That sounded intriguing to me. There's not too much call for Nationals cards, besides the occasional Soriano or Kearns.

Imagine my surprise when I found that I didn't actually have as many Nationals cards as I thought I had. Apparently, I sold most of them off without realizing it.

Chris, who has been making the blog rounds with trade proposals, had found 60 White Sox cards for me. Anytime I can get 60 White Sox cards is OK by me. I scoured my boxes and came up with 60+ different Nationals cards to send out.

We would send random cards of each other's team blindly. I love a challenge like that! If they were a package full of doubles, so what. Let's throw caution to the wind and get crazy!

The problem with Nationals cards is that they've only been in DC for a few years. I have tons of Expos cards, but that's hardly the same. Or is it? I suppose it's the same for fans of the Brewers getting Pilots cards. They are nice and offer familiar faces, but they aren't quite Brewers cards.

I'm almost embarrassed to say that out of 60 White Sox cards, I found 6 that I actually needed. 6 is better than none, I would say here. I'm usually pretty lucky with blind trades. I only got 6, but those 6 were pure gold!

1999 Aurora #21 - Albert Belle
A White Sox uniform in all the pictures, but an Orioles logo. This fits in with my collection perfectly! I love cards like these. I call them bonuses.

2005 Topps #339 AL Home Runs Leaders - Paul Konerko (Manny Ramirez, David Oritz)
This is the last card that I need to complete my 2005 White Sox master team set! This is a glorious feeling!

2006 Ultra Gold Medallion #170 - Paul Konerko
I'm not really sure if I actually need this card. I'm too lazy to look it up right now. But I love gooooooold! These parallels are really awesome and I'm pretty sure that I need it.

2007 Upper Deck First Edition Momentum Swing #MS-JT - Jim Thome
This card has alluded me no longer! It has a nice home with me now.

2008 A Piece Of History #109 - Donny Lucy
Sweet! Another card closer to completion!

2008 Finest #71 - Orlando Cabrera
If I am not mistaken, this is my first 2008 Finest card. It sucks being laid off again. You can't buy really nice boxes of much. This is where trades come in handy!

Thanks, Chris! This was an awesome trade! I hope you fare better with the Nationals cards that I sent out. Maybe you'll find 7 that you'll actually need.

Rest assured, the doubles will not go to waste. I have plans for them. Big plans. OK, maybe an assortment of tiny plans, but plans nonetheless. There will be plans!

Hopefully, we can trade again, at some point. My Nationals stash will have to fill back up before that happens though.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

White Sox Photoshop Cards: Jerry Owens

Card #28 - Jerry Owens

Jerry has had some bad breaks in 2008. He was supposed to be the starting left fielder, until he was injured during Spring Training. Then his replacement, Carlos Quentin, produced monster numbers. So, with no room in the majors, Jerry was forced to play out 2008 in the minors.

Owens was called up in September when the rosters expanded. He has been in a few games and has responded well. His biggest contribution in 2008 is a perfectly executed suicide squeeze in a game against the Blue Jays on September 10th. Jerry is a player who does the little things and does them right.

I love this photo of Jerry Owens. I saw this in the game yesterday and knew I had to seek it out. I'm just lucky that someone was there to capture it. At this point of the at-bat, Jerry is down on one knee with the ball still a good ten feet away. This is exactly the style of play that is sorely missing from the 2008 team. Plus, Jerry almost beat it out. This is the type of play that can spark an offense.

Seven Years Ago Today

On September 11, 2001, the White Sox had just gotten into New York the previous night from Cleveland.

Paul Konerko awoke in his hotel room and turned on the television. What he saw was indescribable. Then I imagine it hit him like a ton of bricks. Paul was in New York that morning. The White Sox were supposed to be playing the Yankees that night.

Paul turned off the television and went outside to get a better look. The Sox were in no immediate danger, but I'm positive that no one could be certain of that at the time.

The games were rescheduled for the first week in October. The White Sox went on to lose all three games. Not that it mattered much. The Sox were well out of the playoff hunt and the Yankees would go on to lose to Mark Grace and the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series.

Regarding that 2001 White Sox team, there are only three players still with the team. Paul Konerko, Mark Buehrle and Joe Crede. I'm sure that today, each one of them remembers what it was like in New York that day. Sometimes there are more important things in life than baseball, like life itself.

If anyone is curious, this is what I was doing on that day. I warn you, it's mundane.

The August AL Rookie Of The Month

The votes are in and Alexei Ramirez has been selected as the American League Rookie of the Month for August.

Ramirez batted .308 with six homers and 22 RBI last month. He recorded a four-hit game against Baltimore on August 25.

Others in the running were Minnesota pitcher Glen Perkins and Twins outfielder Denard Span. Perkins was 4-0 with a 3.31 ERA in August, while Span hit .292 for the month with 23 RBI and 20 runs scored.

Gillette, who sponsored the event, will donate $5,000 to a charity of Alexei’s choice and present him with a trophy prior to one of the team’s upcoming home games.

Sounds like the rest of baseball is waking up to Alexei Ramirez. Maybe Topps will do the same? No, Alexei doesn't even get Fukudome love from Topps.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Supplies! From dayf

Two more variations of this card and I would have my very own Warhol card collectible.

The other package I received in the mail on Friday was an unexpected envelope from dayf. This came as a complete surprise. Needless to say, dayf's pile o' cards keep getting bigger with each passing day.

I knew I was in for a treat, when the first bundle that came out of the envelope contained green tape with the word "Supplies!" on it. Green is my favorite color and I love any clever reference to UHF.

Let's dig into this mystery envelope!

1986 Leaf
140 - Oswaldo Jose Guillen

1989 Topps
486 - Jack McDowell

1990 Donruss
489 - Sammy Sosa

1990 Leaf
431 - Barry Jones

1990 Topps
612 - Dave Gallagher

1992 Bowman
133 - Roberto Hernandez

1993 Donruss
139 - Alex Fernandez

1993 Topps
70 - Roberto Hernandez

1994 Bowman
267 - Brandon Wilson

1994 Leaf
175 - Joey Cora (2)
210 - Steve Sax
241 - Jason Bere

1994 Topps
572 - Roberto Hernandez

1995 Topps
191 - Roberto Hernandez

1998 Sports Illustrated - Legends Of The Game
1 - Luis Aparicio

2000 Fleer Showcase
24 - Charles Johnson

2000 Topps
219 - Chris Singleton HL

2001 Fleer Authority
2 - Paul Konerko
56 - Magglio Ordonez

2001 Fleer Platinum
8 - Jose Valentin
146 - Frank Thomas
202 - David Wells
479 - Magglio Ordonez/Aaron Rowand

2001 Fleer Showcase
77 - Carlos Lee

2001 Leaf Rookies & Stars
94 - Magglio Ordonez

2001 Topps Heritage
286 - Jose Valentin

2002 Bowman Heritage
263 - Brian West

2002 Donruss Fan Club
92 - Magglio Ordonez

Fleer Tradition Update
U66 - Edwin Almonte
U278 - Magglio Ordonez
U299 - Paul Konerko

2002 Leaf Certified
7 - Magglio Ordonez

2002 Leaf Rookies & Stars
323 - Edwin Almonte

2002 Topps Traded
T224 - Corwin Malone
T270 - Sammy Sosa

2002 Upper Deck
620 - Rocky Biddle

2002 Upper Deck 40-Man
399 - Lorenzo Barcelo

2003 Diamond Kings
19 - Magglio Ordonez

2003 SP Legendary Cuts
21 - Carlton Fisk

2003 Topps Heritage
273 - Aaron Rowand
302 - Magglio Ordonez
302B - Magglio Ordonez (old logo)

2004 Topps Heritage
25 - Carlos Lee
171 - Paul Konerko

2005 UD MVP
27 - Frank Thomas

2008 Allen & Ginter
148 - Mark Buehrle
151 - Orlando Cabrera

2008 Goudey
42 - Paul Konerko

2008 Goudey U.S. States
US39 - Paul Konerko

2008 Spectrum
21 - Paul Konerko
69 - Nick Swisher

2008 Topps
378 - Ozzie Guillen

2008 Topps Heritage Then & Now
TN4 - Luis Aparicio/Jose Reyes

2008 Topps Moments & Milestones
3 - Frank Thomas (103) 119/150

2008 Upper Deck
38 - Frank Thomas
458 - Josh Fields
459 - Paul Konerko

Nice selection! That really lifts my spirits right now. So many cool cards, so little room in the photo queue. There are a lot of great memories conjured up by this assortment. I had honestly forgotten about Edwin Almonte. How someone couldn't succeed with a name like Corwin Malone, I'll never know.

Thanks for the supplies, dayf! I'm sure there are more than a few that I need for the collection.
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