Sunday, May 30, 2010

RIP Dennis Hopper

"'The whim of a madman' I like that!"

Unlike Gary Coleman, everyone saw this death coming. It was only a matter of time. That doesn't make the loss sting any less.

"We did it, man. We did it, we did it. We're rich, man. We're retirin' in Florida now, mister. "

I could watch Dennis is almost anything. It was always amazing to me how versatile he was as an actor. Of course there are the iconic roles, such as Easy Rider and Blue Velvet, but there were lesser roles in Rebel Without A Cause and Cool Hand Luke that grabbed my attention just as much as his starring roles.

"Son of a bitch was right. She taste's like a peach."

Imagine my surprise when I first saw Hoosiers and noticed Dennis in another memorable role. I wasn't expecting him in the movie. I didn't know what to expect actually. I first saw Hoosiers in gym class in junior high. For reasons that escape me, the gymnasium was being used for something else and we couldn't go outside for an entire week. Instead we watched Hoosiers and Tucker during the class period, inside an empty classroom. Not being a fan of school related sports, I wasn't looking forward to watching the movie. Yet the story and Hopper drew me in.

"I know everything there is to know about the greatest game ever invented. "

He kept popping up in unexpected places and ended up making the films better. True Romance, already a classic, turned into an extraordinary movie once Dennis Hopper and Christopher Walken were allowed to chew scenery together. Even schlocky horror, like Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 and Land Of The Dead were made a little better because of his presence.

"I'm the Lord of the Harvest! "

I appreciate the sheer tenacity it must have taken to play King Koopa in one of the worst movies of 1993, Super Mario Brothers. That's saying a lot about a year which saw cinematic waste such as Coneheads, Cop & A Half, Surf Ninjas, Son Of The Pink Panther and Weekend At Bernie's 2.

"Here's what's logical to me: If you do not return with the plumbers and the rock... I shall personally... kill you."

Thankfully, we will have a rich legacy of film to watch. Good and bad, Dennis Hopper always made things interesting when he appeared on screen. There are very few actors that I can say that I would watch him in anything. Dennis Hopper was one of those rare actors.

"Zombies, man. They creep me out. "
"In dreams... I walk with you. In dreams... I talk to you. In dreams, you're mine... all the time. Forever."

Saturday, May 29, 2010

RIP Gary Coleman

Sure, Gary had the trading cards. I'm sure if I really look hard enough, I could probably find some that were released at the height of his fame, but Donruss Americana offers a more than suitable substitution.

Although, if hard pressed enough, this is the first hobby I associate Gary Coleman with.
Model railroads were a passion of his. They were a passion of mine for a short while in the eighties. I inherited an HO scale train set from my dad. He taught me how to put everything together and I had a blast building models and assembling towns and running trains.

I always thought it was cool that Gary had a passion for trains and that fact made me like him on a different level than just being a child star on a hit television program and a few likable movies. It made me identify with him more and it brought a new sort of coolness to a hobby that was shown to me by my dad.

I grew out of model trains by the time I was a teenager, but I still have fond memories of picking out the right models to make my town the best I could make it. I have no idea if Gary stuck with trains, after the limelight faded. I like to think that he did. That he had one constant that could bring him joy.

Another part of my childhood passed yesterday. Thanks for the great memories Gary.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Card Spotlight: 5-28-10

1998 Topps Tek #33 Pattern 14 - Robin Ventura

Late nineties cards would have made me quit the hobby, if I wasn't already gone at that point. Someone, somewhere, must have thought that endless parallels were the way to really make money.

Topps kicked it up a notch by forgoing the usual method of just changing the color and decided to change the background pattern of each variation. In the end, this became the main collecting challenge that some people are still chasing.

It seems like a simple challenge to collect a 90 card set, until you factor in that every card has 90 different patterns to collect. Unless my math is off, that is 8,100 different cards to collect. I'm glad the White Sox only have three cards, which equates to 270 cards.

It does get better. There are also "diffractor" parallels for each pattern. So double the amount of cards for a master set to 16,200 cards! This could be a cooler precursor to the putrid "Moments & Milestones". I'm not a big fan of endless parallels, but this set was pretty cool. It boasted a see-through technology that is a big advantage over the die cut cards. Where the die cards usually get dinged up and damaged right out of the package, these cards do not have the delicate intricate structures, but still look that way.

I love the way Ventura seems to be busting out of the box into a world full of waves and confetti. It's a world I'd love to visit sometime. If only the '94 Sox team was able to finish the season, maybe this would be what the victory lap would have looked like.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Who's Umpiring The Umpires

What happens when an umpire has it out for your manager? It's no secret that umpire Joe West does not like Ozzie Guillen. It's also no surprise that Ozzie Guillen was ejected by Joe West. That would've happened even if Joe West was in love with everything Ozzie did.

What happens when an umpire's hatred for your manager influences his decisions against your team? Then you have a situation that happened today.
Joe West called two balks on Mark Buehrle. Then, right after the second balk (and an inning after Ozzie Guillen was ejected), Joe West ejects Mark Buehrle.

Yes, Mark Buehrle. Also known as the calmest person in baseball. What could Mark possibly have done to incur that sort of wrath? He picked up his glove.

Mark had to be roped off by umpire Angel Hernandez. For anyone who has followed the career of Mark Buehrle, you know that Angel did not have to do that. Mark seemed to be more shocked and inquisitive than anything. Do you really think Mark would have rushed Joe West? I think not. Angel was just following protocol and I can't fault him for that.

I had planned to do a long post about West, Buehrle and Guillen, but Wronged Man Out posted her story first and it pretty much summed up what I was going to say. Read Melissa's excellent post here.

Shouldn't there be a check and balance system in place with umpires? Shouldn't they strive to make the correct decision, no matter what their personal feelings are?

Joe West has infected the MLB with his showboating and "me first" attitude for awhile. Joe used to be a very competent umpire, who was one of the best in the business. Now he is a pathetic hack, who would rather bring attention to himself by making a spectacle of himself and a mockery of the game, in order to promote his singing career.

Umpires are only human and they do make mistakes. That's one of the many beautiful aspects of baseball. There's a difference between making a mistake and having a personal vendetta. There was so much outcry over Joe West's actions today, "Joe West" became a trending topic on Twitter. If that doesn't tell you that there's something seriously wrong with Cowboy Joe West, I don't know what to tell you.

Retire, Joe West, and focus on you. That's obviously what you do best. Write a country song about how you were wronged. Curse Ozzie Guillen all you want in your downtrodden country songs. It might make a better hit than your recent umpiring.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mailbox Joys: '52 Chico

1952 Bowman #41 - Chico Carrasquel

For some odd reason, the scanner chopped off the right hand side. It happens sometimes. Let me assure you that this card is centered. It does have a little bit of corner wear and shows age coloring, but it is a fine example of a 48 year old card.

This would be my second card from 1952. The first one was bought at a steal of a price through an auction. This card was obtained through the same means. Money has been extremely tight lately and looks to be that way for a little while. I could not pass up my first 1952 Bowman card for $5.50 shipped. I needed a little joy in my mailbox.

Except for a 1985 Coke card of Luis Salazar with Chico in a tiny window to the past in a lower hand corner, this is my first card of Chico Carrasquel. I shouldn't find that too surprising considering Chico was only with the Sox from 1950 until 1955. Beckett lists only 56 entries for Chico. Only three of those are from the past ten years. One is Venezuelan, one is a buyback and the other is a cut signature card limited to 5. That surprises me more than the 56 entries.

Two Chico White Sox cards down (including the 1985 Coke), 21 to go.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Separated At Birth: John Danks And Dayf

I don't know why I didn't see it before, but during the White Sox vs. Indians game tonight, I glanced at pitcher John Danks and thought, "That looks exactly like dayf!"

Dayf runs the excellent blog Cardboard Junkie and runs and/or participates in many other fantastic blogs and he's usually commenting on various blogs around the community of card blogs.

Except for the lack of glasses and the addition of a Sox hat, I wonder if dayf was in Cleveland tonight. Does he take off his glasses, don a different hat and suit up for the White Sox? A different take on the comic book superhero perhaps?

Anyway, the addition of the full beard on Danks makes him look eerily close to one of our fellow bloggers. Talk about getting closer to the game!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Goose Used Mind Control?

While reading books about strange phenomena and weird occurrences in baseball, I ran across a story of the 1975 White Sox using mind control to better their players during Spring Training.

Using Silva Mind Control was the brainchild of general manager Roland Hemond. The experiment was cut short due to clashes over the program with Bill Veeck.

Twenty-three rookies enrolled in the 1975 class. Pitcher Ken Kravec took off one full run off his ERA between 1975 and 1976.

The two most notable students were Rich Gossage and Bucky Dent. Gossage parlayed the technique into a Hall of Fame career which lasted 22 seasons. After taking the class, he dropped his ERA to an astonishing 1.84. After 1975, his career took off as a journeyman and an elite closer.

Bucky Dent wasn't as successful as Goose, but he did enjoy a twelve year career. Could mind control be responsible for one of the most lamented games in Boston Red Sox history?

Dent hit the home run in the 1978 tie-breaker game against the Red Sox that gave the Yankees the lead. Gossage almost blew the game by giving up a double and two singles. With the tying run ninety feet away, Goose took a deep breath, exhaled and envisioned the Rocky Mountains back home in Colorado.

His head leveled, Gossage got the next two batters out to end the danger. In the ninth inning, Rich had one out, when he walked Burleson, stepped into trouble with Remy. By fortune, Burleson was fooled into staying at second despite Pinella's adventure to Remy's ball. Jim Rice hit a fly ball that would have scored Burleson, had he been on third.

Returning to the thoughts of the mountains, Goose made Yastrzemski pop up and the rest is history. The Yankees went on to win the World Series and Bucky "F***ing" Dent was named World Series MVP. It all may have begun with the Chicago White Sox three years earlier. Or it could have all been coincidence. That's up to you to decide.

Cards That Never Were #31

1970 Topps - Jim Bouton

During the 1969 season, Jim Bouton was traded from the Seattle Pilots to the Houston Astros. He would stay with the Astros until his first retirement midway through the 1970 season.

After my first card of Bouton, many have requested the 1970 Topps card. Well, here it is in all its glory. I decided to hold this one back for awhile, until a little space developed between Jim's Pilots card and his Astros card.

When I started this project, I wasn't sure how many of these cards I would actually be able to create, which is why the Mike Squires cards bunched together.

I envisioned this projected originally to be a good way to fill my want lists of White Sox players and other favorites, but with the help and suggestions of friends, this has grown into something much greater.

I have learned to duplicate almost any design, which I thought next to impossible when this started. The only things holding me back are finding decent pictures for everyone I have in mind. Recently, I have found a temporary solution to that as well.

Somewhere, in the near future, I'd like to also make other cards of Jim Bouton on neglected teams. I haven't run across a color photograph of Bouton in a Knoxville Sox uniform, so a White Sox card could be made. That would be a coup. A color photo has been found of Bouton in a Braves uniform, so expect one to show up here at some point.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How I Became Addicted And What Hooked Me On Cards

I've waxed poetic about how my dad bought a pack of 1983 Topps for me. I've recounted the story of the Alfredo Griffin card found in that first pack and how that hooked me into collecting. I've told the story many times of how the White Sox kept luring me back into the hobby, time after time.

That's all fine and dandy, but I began to really wonder what held my fascination as a fickle kid. What kept me collecting? When fads come and go and rarely push the two week mark, what has kept my big toe in the waters of baseball card collecting?

I couldn't immediately think of an answer, other than I was a complete obsessive nut as a kid... but that didn't describe my childhood at all. Sure, I stuck with things longer than most kids would, but if there wasn't something I liked about it, I wasn't going to waste my time and energy with it. I had better things to do with my free time.

This really started to get under my skin, so I retraced my steps. I tried to think of anything I possibly could to give me a clue into where my head was at that time. My memory is usually good when diving into the past, but for whatever reason, this fact that I was seeking was escaping me.

Then a chance sentence uttered by my aunt gave me my first good clue.

"I can still remember that Wade Boggs hit .361 in 1983."

Huh? I don't even remember that off the top of my head and my aunt does not follow baseball.

After a little probing, I found out that when my aunt lived with my family for a short while, I would rattle off the statistics on the back of baseball cards and quiz her. I can recall many things that my aunt and I did together at that time, including my recreation of the Thriller video on my front porch, but I have absolutely no memory of this.

I can remember laying out my baseball cards on the floor and stacking them in team order or year order or alphabetical order, depending on my mood. I would lay them out and go through them. I would marvel at each team. Test my memory on past teams. I'd try to figure out a player's past by tracing his minor league teams. I was pretty good at remembering that stuff until I discovered that teams switched affiliations often. I even tried to figure out the complexities of having a team in Hawaii play teams in the other 49 states.

I could recall all of that, but I still could not conjure up the memory of quizzing my aunt. I can come up with fuzzy memories, but nothing definitive. But that clue led me to the realization of why I stuck with it.

In those sets, the common player was as important as the star player. I could pick a card at random and find something interesting about that person, whether he was the MVP or the guy who worked at the local hardware store during the offseason. There was a story behind every player. There was a story during the season and a story away from the game. These were people, not product.

I looked at the majority of the players and their respective cards, from the eighties, and I can envision myself in that role. Me. The kid who loved sports, but wasn't the best athlete. If someone that looked like my next door neighbor could do this, so could I. If someone liked this television show or had an interest in this subject, they might be just like me.

Today, it's rare to see a card of everyone on the team. Players look like they live at the gym rather than in your neighborhood. There's a level of disconnect that I would imagine most kids can't identify with. They can't see themselves in there, unless they are the star of their school baseball team. Even that is no guarantee.

When I look at my origins as a collector, I find that I could identify with those players more than the players of today. There are some players today that are approachable and that people can identify with, but that is a rare commodity.

I can understand wanting to fill a set with nothing but the most popular players and rookies. It makes sense from a marketing standpoint. It takes more than 100 players to fill out the rosters of 30 different teams. Of course you'd want about three cards of each superstar, so that leaves around 80 different players in a typical set of current players. Let's not forget that the popular teams get more cards. You're left with one or two cards for each average team. That's not the way to get kids to know a roster full of players.

The argument will now be for the flagship set. With Upper Deck and their 1,000 card set out of the picture (which still had three or more cards of some players), you are left with 600 cards out of a set of 660 for actual players. Add on an update set which will tack on All-Stars, highlights, more rookies and players that changed teams and you are left with maybe 50 cards of players that were left out of the first two series. Out of 750 initial players, around 100 are left without a card.

Is this a new thing? Nope. It is getting more prevalent as the years pass. If one good thing can come out of a single license, hopefully it will be a return to basics. I don't need three cards of every player in one set. I need every player that played during the season to be represented in some way on cardboard. Hopefully, any multiple cards of players would reflect each team change during the year. If one set can claim to do all that, I would be very happy.

I learned about every player when I first collected. I learned the history of the game back then too. I also learned about the cool quirky things that can happen during a baseball game back then. I learned most of that information through cards. A lot of what I learn about modern day players, I have to learn from other sources. Maybe that is why cards aren't as relevant with kids today. It might not be about the latest technology or more shiny foil or whatever the card companies throw out there to entice kids. It might just be about cool statistics, weird facts, anomalies of the game and every player being represented as an equal.

Cards That Never Were #30

1965 Topps - Dick Wantz

Dick Wantz, a 6-foot-5, 190-pound right-handed sidearmer reminded everyone of Ewell Blackwell, when he broke camp with the Angels in 1965. He would be used when Bob Lee was tired.

On April 13, 1965, Dick got his first shot with the Angels. In the eighth inning, against the Cleveland Indians at home, Wantz struck out Max Alvis to start off the frame. He gave up two straight doubles to Vic Davalillo and Larry Brown, scoring Davalillo in the process. A single to Joe Azcue scored Brown. Dick settled down and struck out pitcher Ralph Terry, then got Dick Howser to flyout to shortstop Jim Fregosi.

After the game, Dick complained of severe headaches. Wantz was eventually diagnosed with a brain tumor and died on May 13, 1965, at the age of 25.

Dick Wantz never got a card from Topps. In my research, he never got any card. There may be a local or team issue that has escaped me, but to my knowledge, none exist.

This was perhaps the most difficult entry to make. There are only a few Dick Wantz pictures in an Angels uniform. All pictures of Dick that I've seen are in black and white. Therefore, I had to hand tint the one usable picture I found. All of the California Angels pictures I've found of Wantz are headshots. All but this one were grainy, newspaper quality.

Hopefully, this will fill the void until a decent quality picture of Dick Wantz can be found in color.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Favorite Cards: Cleveland Spiders

1893 Just So Tobacco #13 - Cy Young

The Cleveland Spiders are best known today as the worst team in professional baseball (sorry Mets fans). Their 1899 season is legendary in its awfulness. It wasn't always that way.

For a good portion of their existence, the Spiders were great. They even battled for the Temple Cup twice out of the four years that it was offered. What led to the quick demise of the team? The owners.

In what I can only describe as Wirtzian behavior, the Robisons (the Cleveland owners) decided to punish fans for low attendance by moving a good chunk of the Spiders home games to other cities, thus ensuring a record for most road losses that cannot possibly be duplicated. The reasons behind that decision was two-fold. The low attendance caused other teams to refuse to play in Cleveland. The other teams refusal to play in Cleveland forced the situation of playing home games in other cities.

The final straw for the Spiders was the sale of the St. Louis Browns to the Robisons. They renamed the Browns to the Perfectos (the modern day Cardinals) and moved all of the star Cleveland players to St. Louis, thus improving the odds that the 1899 season would be the worst ever seen.

Back in the glory days of the franchise, the Just So tobacco company put out a set featuring Cleveland Spiders personnel. The card that stands out the most to me is the card of D. T. Young, better known as Cy Young.

It still amazes me that Cy Young would be associated with a team that wrote the book on futility. Under the circumstances, I can see how it happened. The 1899 record of 20-134 was displayed by a minor league team masquerading as a Major League team. It's a shame that all the previous teams' efforts are erased in the minds of most baseball fans because of that one team.

This card of Cy Young symbolizes those other Spiders teams that get lost in the gloss over of history. Plus, it's not every day that you see a portrait of Cy Young in his mid-twenties.

WSC Birth Years: Sergio Santos

Card #57 - Sergio Santos

Born: July 4, 1983

Sergio started his career as a shortstop with some pop in his bat. Santos was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2002 and worked his way up the the AAA level. He then spent time with the Blue Jays, the Twins, the White Sox and the Giants, in their minor league organizations.

Fate stepped in when the White Sox finally convinced Sergio to embrace his strong throwing arm (which he used to win bar bets) and reinvent himself as a pitcher in 2009. Starting in A ball and stopping at every level of the White Sox minor league system, Santos was in a great position to open eyes in 2010 Spring Traning.

Breaking with the White Sox, after camp, Sergio tied a team record of 11 appearances to start his career without allowing a run.

Card Spotlight: 5-21-2010

2005 Topps World Series Champions #19 - Chris Widger

Chris Widger is a prime example of redemption in Major League baseball. After spending all of 2004 out of MLB and its affiliates, Chris broke with the White Sox out of Spring Training in 2005 as a backup catcher to A.J. Pierzynski.

After seeing glimpses of team success on the Mariners, the Yankees and the Cardinals, Widger finally saw the World Series with the White Sox in 2005. His last taste of the playoffs was ten years prior, in 1995, with the Mariners.

Chris responded by having his best season in five years with the White Sox and helped them propel into the playoffs. Widger would only play in one game during the World Series, but his play would be important, at the time.

In Game 3, in the top of the fourteenth inning, the Sox had just taken the lead on Geoff Blum's solo home run. Aaron Rowand and Joe Crede had singled after the home run and Juan Uribe showed infinite patience and walked to load the bases. Chris Widger walked to score Rowand as a very important insurance run.

Ultimately, the insurance run wasn't needed, but the way the game had been going back and forth, it provided enough breathing room for Damaso Marte and Mark Buehrle to finish off the Astros in the bottom of the fourteenth inning.

Happy 39th birthday, Chris!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Another Four 2010 Goose Joak Cards

Check out the full 2010 set here!

Cards That Never Were #29

1951 Bowman - Eddie Gaedel

On August 19, 1951, Bill Veeck pulled off a publicity stunt that people are still talking about today. He signed and played a three foot, seven inch, twenty-six year old, Eddie Gaedel. Being so short, Eddie had virtually no strike zone and promptly walked on four pitches before being replaced at first by a pinch runner. Gaedel's uniform number was 1/8.

Two days later, Eddie's contract was voided and he never played in the majors again. Initially, Eddie's appearance was stricken from the MLB record book, but within a year, Gaedel was placed back in.

Eddie continued to gain employment from Bill Veeck, although always in a non-playing role. One memorable promotion in 1959, with the White Sox, included Gaedel and others dressed as spacemen who presented ray guns to Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio.

During the last year of his life, 1961, Eddie was employed as a vendor at Comiskey Park in Chicago. Veeck hired dwarves and midgets as vendors so the view wouldn't be blocked for fans in the stands.

I've always thought that Eddie deserved a card for his playing time, so here it is. A Bowman card from the year that he played.

I did toy with the idea of a 1952 card, but ultimately decided on the 1951 for two reasons.

1. Eddie's contract was voided and his appearance was stricken from the record on August 21, 1951. It wouldn't be reinstated until roughly a year later.

2. Card companies at that time were known not to include players if they retired the season before. Topps even scrapped a 1952 Joe DiMaggio card because he retired before the 1952 season.

To illustrate to the Topps Company how a card should look, take a gander at the 1951 Bowman card above. Now feast your eyes on how a card should not look.
The only acceptable reason for this 1986 Topps mock up of Eddie Gaedel to exist would be if this card was released in 1986. In 2010, when I made this 1986 Topps card of Gaedel, there is absolutely no logical reason for this to exist. There is no connection to 1986 whatsoever.

The 1951 card makes sense because Gaedel played in 1951. A 1961 card would even make sense, because that was the year Eddie passed away. While the '86 card may look cool, it is an eyesore that does not associate Gaedel with any time period, and creates more confusion than anything else.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Favorite Cards: Baltimore Orioles (NL)

1894 Alpha Photo Engraving #5 - Kid Gleason

First of the American Association, then of the National League, the 19th century Baltimore Orioles team was a force to be reckoned with. Lady luck smiled upon the team after the American Association folded. The Orioles joined the National League in 1892. By 1894, they were on their way to dominating the league.

Starting in 1894, the Orioles finished in first place for three straight years. They were involved in every Temple Cup game, which was the equivalent to the World Series of its day. The end of the season seven game series involved the first and second place teams in the National League. It lasted from 1894 until 1897. The Orioles played in all four series and won the cup in 1896 and 1897.

After a fourth place finish in the 1899 season, despite still being one of the elite clubs, the National League decided to fold the Baltimore Orioles along with three other teams.

Ninety-eight years before Scott Ruffcorn cut short his prom to attend a Topps photo shoot, thirteen of the first place Baltimore Orioles players and their manager were featured in a card set from Alpha Photo Engraving wearing their Sunday best. Ideas aren't really new. They're just recycled.

There's something about the face on Kid Gleason that makes this card stand out from the rest. His connections later to the White Sox as a player, then a manager, cinch this card as a favorite.

Is Nothing Sacred Anymore?

I'm a big supporter of putting players on different card designs. It has to make sense for me though. There has to be a connection.

I get why current players are on designs from the past à la Heritage. The reason is celebrating a past set by releasing it with current players. I can understand the things that I do online with cards; Birth Years and Cards That Never Were, etc.

I can even understand the reason of a mixture of players from all eras being featured on a single set design. I even let it slide a couple of years ago when Trading Card History came out as an insert set and featured all sorts of players on all sorts of different set designs. Why? Because there was a purpose behind it.

Judging by the write up on Thurman Munson's card back, this set features a "What If" approach to players on cards. That was a hit or miss comic book series (although I did enjoy the take on Ben Parker living) and usually a cop out when writers had a mental block.

Sure, we've all fantasized about our favorite players from the past, in their prime, being inserted into a modern day lineup of our favorite teams. Does it really need to be portrayed as a card set? No, it does not.

What exactly is Cy Young doing on a 1987 All-Star card? Steve Bedrosian and Roger Clemens won the award named after him that year. Cy Young died 22 years earlier, in 1955. I can tell you exactly how Cy Young would have performed in 1987. Very poorly. Even if he were alive in 1987, he would have been a spry 120 years young. I know that's not the point of these cards, but what other logical reason would Cy Young be doing on a 1987 Topps card?

How would a 9 year old Reggie Jackson have done on the '55 Yankees? Pretty bad, I suspect. Mel Ott after 31 years of death? Even worse than a nine year old Jackson. An eighteen year old Tom Seaver on a 1962 Topps card may be the most realistic portrayal, but I'm sure that was done by accident. Then again, the Dodgers and Braves both drafted him before the Mets even sniffed their luck of the draw pick of Tom Terrific.

The Beckett blog has a sampling of pictures from this upcoming insert set. They also include a "What If" future series that is still a pipe dream, but still has a shot of coming true, albeit by the slimmest of margins.

I'm sorry if I sound so negative about this insert set. It is a cool idea, probably thought of by a nine year old with a baseball record book in hand. It's the child's logic approach to the set that drags it down based on the preview images. I, too, can take random years from the recent past and assign random players, mostly from the distant past. What exactly does that prove? Nothing, except that I have a fertile imagination and I can throw a dart or pick a piece of paper out of a hat just as well as anyone else.

There needs to be a logic to insert sets like this. Anyone can slap these things together on a whim. Give me a valid reason for doing so.

Win A Custom Card Of Your Choice

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cards That Never Were #28

1952 Topps - Stan Musial

In 1952, Topps had an ambitious plan. They were to release a set of all 400 Major League players. Due to unforeseen circumstances, they were not able to produce cards of every player. A few were not included because of retirement. A few were not included because they did not sign a contract with Topps.

Stan falls under the latter category. Musial did not sign a contract with Topps until 1958. This caused one of the best hitters of the era to have cards with Bowman and a few smaller companies.

Since that time, there have been numerous attempts to fill in the gaps created by these missing players. Most come from baseball card fans with various degrees of fine arts backgrounds ranging from extensive to none. The results are usually as wide ranging. A few attempts have actually come straight from Topps, as they use the 1952 design to overkill some years.

When most people think about the 1952 Topps set, they think of the Mantle card or some other iconic player. Those players tend to have one or two color backgrounds. If you really study the photos with their painted facades, you'll notice that a great number of cards have backgrounds that include people and buildings.

With this in mind, I decided to take a 1949 picture of Stan and "paint" over it in the style of this celebrated set. The end result of many hours of work turned out much better than I ever expected. Much of the time was taken by trial and error, but I am pleased with the final product.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cards That Never Were #27

1972 Topps - Tom Paciorek

Wimpy was fortunate enough to get the "career card" treatment in 1988 with a final Score card. Tom's last game in the majors was in 1987 and this was a nice tribute to a solid player and soon to be awesome broadcaster.

Paciorek was also fortunate enough to have a card in every single season from 1971 on, except for 1972. Tom had a shared rookie card in 1971 and another shared rookie card in 1973. He wouldn't get his first solo card until 1974.

1972 is a very unique set for Topps. The design was bold and instantly recognizable. The player list included some who were pictured in teams that they would never play for, but were attached to briefly in Spring Training. It was an example of Topps showing initiative and airbrushing players into their new uniforms, only to find that they had moved on before the beginning of the season.

Does Wimpy deserve a solo card in 1972, after playing in eight games in 1970 and two games in 1971? Probably not. Yet, a legitimate prospect is probably better than a phantom player on a card. In 1972, Tom's best days were ahead of him. So I say, why not?

For all you Tom Paciorek completists out there, here is his missing 1972 card. Duke, we miss you broadcasting games on the South Side of Chicago.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cards That Never Were #26

1978 Topps - Bobby Bonds

Sure. There are plenty of Bobby Bonds cards from 1978. Topps has one on the Angels. O-Pee-Chee has the same picture of Bobby on a White Sox card. The problem is that it's the same close up head shot of Bonds in an Angels uniform. It's better, but not good enough.

Bobby Bonds' career in a White Sox uniform lasted one Spring Training and 26 regular season games before he was shipped off to Texas for Claudell Washington and Rusty Torres. Despite performing well, Bonds never quite fit in during his stay with the White Sox.

Sadly, Bobby is now a mere footnote. Blessed with speed and power, Bonds was a player born before his time. If Bobby had his prime during the eighties, it's likely that he would have been a bigger star and perhaps mentioned with the likes of Rickey Henderson and Tim Raines.

This card should correct a glaring error in a solid career.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Frank Thomas Drinking Game

Steve Stone is on vacation, so Frank Thomas is filling in as Ken Harrelson's television broadcasting partner, while the Sox are in Kansas City.

Mind you, I'm not suggesting people drink and if you do, it is of your own free will. Some people will find a way to drink, so here's to you.

Every time Frank says, "No doubt about it", take a drink. Every time Frank says, "Definitely", take a drink. Every time Frank something to the effect of, "I was just about to say that", take a drink.

Following just the first line, you will be lucky if you don't succumb to alcohol poisoning.

Anyone under 21, please do not drink alcohol. Substitute with a carbonated beverage of your choice. By the end of the game, you will feel like you are about to explode.

Anybody who only drinks occasionally, do not drink anything more powerful than domestic U.S. beer. This should still bring the desired effect of the porcelain gods beckoning you to their will.

Anybody who can be classified as a certified drunk, feel free to indulge in the hard stuff. With your reputation, you'll get there anyway. Why not make a game out of it?

This is definitely (if I were Frank, you'd have already swigged one back) not an endorsement to drink or get drunk. It's just another variation of the "Hi, Bob" game.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Card Spotlight: 5-14-10

1995 Emotion #27 - Ozzie Guillen

I can already tell what was going through Ozzie Guillen's mind while this picture was being taken.

"I going to be the best f***ing manager someday. I will run the show. My way. I going to take no s*** from no Venezuelan motherf***ers. I going to make the weak ones cry. I win the World Series, then I stick it to homophobic reporters by making fun of them. I stay loose and keep my eye on the prize. Sweet Lady Trophinea will be mine. Everyone will see. I will be the best f***ing manager someday."

Well... maybe not ALL of that was going through his head at the time. I can safely say that probably a few of those things were rumbling around in there. During the latter half of Ozzie's playing days, he expressed much interest in learning everything he could about coaching. Being a vocal leader came natural to Guillen and managing would be the next logical step.

As for the card itself, I never knew that "slick" was an emotion. All of the cards that I've run across show different players in various stages of emotional exploits. On some cards, players are in the middle of a grueling exhibition during a game. On other cards, the player is shown in an almost contemplative mood. Being a product of the mid-nineties, I'd say full brooding angst was on permanent display in this set.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

2010 Bowman

At the moment, 2010 Bowman is the hottest product out there. Is it because Bowman finally has a top notch design which separates the set from previous Bowman releases? Nope. Could it be innovative pictures or current Major League players in the checklist? Not even close. Could it be the rookie crop? Yes and no.

The crop of would-be Major League players is the usual hit and mostly miss. I would be delusional if I were to say that half the players in the prospect checklist will even sniff the majors. The veteran cards are only there so this isn't a minor league set.

So what makes this such a hot ticket right now? Future Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg has an autograph to chase. That seems to be the current redeeming quality to this set. There may be stars of the future in this set, but that is really up in the air.

All the fuss over Strasburg may be for naught in a few years. For those of us without the benefit of clairvoyance, it is impossible to know if we are looking at a success like Ken Griffey Jr. or a flop like Brien Taylor. For every Harold Baines, there is a Shawn Abner or a Danny Goodwin. Strasburg is what's driving this set right now. I hope that there is more than just him hidden in plain sight.

There are eight base cards for the White Sox.

19 - Jake Peavy
32 - Mark Buehrle
57 - Alexei Ramirez
110 - Gordon Beckham
138 - Carlos Quentin
144 - Alex Rios
210 - Tyler Flowers
220 - Daniel Hudson

There are four prospect cards.

BP17 - Stefan Gartrell
BP54 - Charlie Leesman
BP69 - C.J. Retherford
BP73 - Joe Serafin

There are also four chrome prospect cards.
BCP17 - Stefan Gartrell
BCP54 - Charlie Leesman
BCP69 - C.J. Retherford
BCP73 - Joe Serafin

It's a pretty standard fare for Bowman. Six veterans, two rookies and four prospects. Nothing ultimately stands out for the White Sox. Gartrell, Leesman and Retherford made impressive showings in the spring, but nothing that would make them close to breaking with the club.

There are no surprises in the veteran cards, except that A.J. Pierzynski isn't among the veterans, which is a bit surprising, since he found a way to sneak into the set last year.

A rather unimpressive design and an overall blah showing makes this set the same Bowman set that's been issued the past 15 years. The set will rise and fall based on that Nationals pitcher.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

WSC Vintage: Babe Towne

Card #17 - Babe Towne

Jay King Towne, whose nickname was "Babe" before a certain home run hitting pitcher/outfielder ruined it for anyone else, had incredible luck.

Despite only playing one season in the majors (1906), and his contract not being purchased from Des Moines of the Western League until July, Babe was part of the winning team of the 1906 World Series. Towne made his MLB debut on August 1, 1906. He appeared in 14 games with the Hitless Wonders and sported a .278 average with 10 hits (all singles) and 6 RBI. Babe even managed 7 walks.

Perhaps Babe's greatest thrill came on October 10, 1906, during the third inning of Game 2 of the World Series. The White Sox were down 4-0, when Babe Towne pinch hit for Doc White. Babe proceeded to ground out to the second baseman, Johnny Evers, but it was his only appearance in the World Series. I would imagine that it's still quite a feeling, no matter what you do.

Babe Towne bounced around the minors until 1916, eventually splitting duties between managing and catching, with the occasional stop at first base.

Head Games

Daylight, alright
I don't know, I don't know if it's real
Been a long night and something ain't right
You won't show, you won't show the real deal

No time ever seems right
To talk about the reasons why the ball's short on flight
It's high time to draw the line
Put an end to this game before it's too late

Head games, it's you TCQ
Head games, and I can't take it anymore
Head games, I don't wanna play the...
Head games

I daydream for hours it seems
I keep thinkin' of homers, yeah, thinkin' of hits
These daydreams, what do they mean?
They keep haunting me, are they warning me?

Daylight turns into night
We try and find the answer but it's nowhere in sight
It's always the same and you know who's to blame
You know what I'm sayin', still we keep on playin'

Head games, that's all I get from you
Head games, and I can't take it anymore
Head games, don't wanna play the...
Head games

So near, so far away
You fly out so much 'cause you're swingin' away
It's so clear, I'm sorry to say
But if you wanna win you gotta learn how to play

Head games, always it seems, TCQ
Head games, 'till I can't take it anymore
Head games, instead of winning games
Head games, ooh

Head games, always it seems, TCQ
Head games, 'till I can't take it anymore, no more
Head games, instead of winning games, we play
Head games

Head games, in the first degree
Head games, yeah, always it seems
Head games, why do you do it TCQ?
Head games

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Roll Out The Sox Cards

A lot of things have been put on the back burner lately around here. Before it gets any later, I wanted to give a big thank you to Ed at Roll Out The Barrel for sending over some White Sox cards.

Included in the stack were some 2009 T206 mini cards, a few parallels and some assorted goodies. Some great cards came my way and I hope to get something in the mail to you in return by the end of the week.

Thank you, Ed, for knocking a few more off my want lists! I've already picked out some cards off of your lists and I'll be checking out the remainder of your lists before I seal them up and ship it out.

Monday, May 10, 2010


There were 14 valid entries put into the randomizer. Sorry, Kevin, since you won the board game, your entry for the computer game was ineligible.

Winners of Strat-O-Matic board games.
1. Chris (address confirmed)
2. Kevin (address confirmed)

Winners of Strat-O-Matic computer games.
1. Johngy (address confirmed)
2. zman40 (address confirmed)
3. Don (address confirmed)

Thank you to everyone who participated! Winners, please send me your mailing address, if you haven't already done so.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Contest For The Final Board Game!

Contest sponsored by Strat-O-Matic.

The first person to correctly answer the question below will win a 2010 Strat-O-Matic board game.
What flash in the pan Major League pitcher ended his long professional career by fielding a triple play?

Hint: It happened in the twentieth century. And the Conan O'Brien card has nothing to do with the answer. Just thought I'd throw it out there.

Good luck!

Don't forget! There's still time to enter the random contest!

Congrats to Kevin who answered Bruno Haas.

In 1946, at age 55, after making a one game MLB debut in 1915, Fargo-Moorhead Twins manager Bruno Haas put himself in the game one last time to pitch the ninth inning. He gave up two quick singles and walked a batter to load the bases. Haas got the batter to ground towards third and Bruno made a diving a stop. He fired home to Rae Blaemire to nab the runner there. Blaemire threw to first to force the batter, then first baseman (and fellow old-timer in for a last thrill) Lynn King saw the runner who had been on second head home; King's throw home was in time to complete a dramatic triple play to end Haas's playing career.

Please e-mail me your address, Kevin.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Cards That Never Were #25

1991 Upper Deck - Jim Palmer

When Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer announced his comeback in 1991, a buzz swarmed around Orioles Spring Training camp. Could someone who has been enshrined in Cooperstown pitch another big league game?

After two innings of mixed results, the answer was ultimately no. Sparked by jealousy of Nolan Ryan still pitching, Jim thought that if Ryan can pitch at his age, he would have no trouble picking up where he had left off. After all, Palmer had been working out the past few seasons with the Orioles.

Expectations were high, at least in the romanticized version the public saw. Just as quickly as the attention peaked, it dropped just as fast and is now considered one of the worst comeback attempts in sports history. Not so much for the failure, but the heightened expectations of Jim succeeding led to this being regarded near or at the top of sports comeback flops.

For a relatively new company looking for any type of hobby buzz and media attention, this would seem like the ultimate opportunity. Win or lose, Jim Palmer's comeback could have made Upper Deck the hot product of 1991. Upper Deck already had a special insert card of Michael Jordan in a White Sox uniform. This could have been another chase card or the only base card of the Hall of Fame pitcher that year.

For whatever the reason, Upper Deck chose to bypass Jim Palmer, like all the rest of the card companies. This would have been the type of gimmick that I would have expected from Upper Deck in 1991.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Card Spotlight: 5-7-10

1995 Upper Deck Special Edition #22 - Roberto Hernandez

It is very difficult to tell from the scan, but the background is actually a bright and vibrant looking mirrored foil. The scanner just doesn't want to pick up foiled objects very well. Roberto Hernandez, however, pops out as the only part of the card front that doesn't have that effect.

When these cards originally came out, I was disillusioned with baseball cards and baseball in general. I wasn't collecting. I paid attention to baseball, more out of habit than an enjoyable necessity. The '94 strike took a lot of enthusiasm out of the sport for me. I still watched, but I had better things to occupy my time.

I still followed my favorite players and I still followed my favorite team. It wouldn't be until 1997, when I went back to a game. I was still a bit hesitant, but the atmosphere soon overcame me again. I found myself enjoying the game again. Then the White Flag trade came and soured that experience. One of my favorite players on the Sox was traded away and the Sox, who were so close when the trade happened, never recovered. It wouldn't be until midway through the 1998 season, where I started listening again. Baseball needed to earn my trust back. It eventually did, but it was a long process with many ups and downs.

I didn't actually see a 1995 Upper Deck Special Edition card until this year. I had heard about them, but I never knew what they were. I figured they were some parallel with a slightly different color or a foil signature, like the Collector's Choice parallels. I was quite shocked when I stared down at a few of these cards and wondered what they were. That's one of the dangers of leaving the hobby for a long stretch of time. You are always playing catch up.

Cards That Never Were #24

1967 Topps - Robin Roberts

As news of the death of Robin Roberts started to reach everyone yesterday, I looked over his career stats, like most people did, and discovered that he never had a Cubs card. I made it a top priority to make one.

The task turned into a monumental one, when the only picture I could find of Robin in a Cubs uniform was about the size of a postage stamp. I tried to make it work, but it just did not look good.

I figured that some entrepreneur would use eBay to cash in on his death and I would eventually run across a usable Cubs picture. Sure enough, when I checked late into the evening, there was an autographed picture of Robin in a Cubs uniform, with an autograph in blue straight across the chest.

I try to refrain using eBay for pictures, but sometimes I have absolutely no choice. I had made the 1967 Topps Cubs card template earlier in the day, so all I had to do was drop the picture in and I'd have a completed card.

Easier said than done. First I had to get rid of the autograph, only to put another one on instead. There were three problems with the original autograph. It was in a spot where it might be obscured by the Cubs name. The autograph was a bit too small in relation to the picture size for the card. Most troublesome... the autograph was originally blue.

So I painstakingly removed the autograph, only to put another one on in its place. It sounds like a lot of work for nothing, but it really does make the finished product look much more authentic.

Rest in peace, Robin. I only wish that I was able to do this one before you passed. At least we now have a Cubs card to commemorate every stop in your Major League journey.

The Baseball Card Bandit Has Struck Again!

At least that's what everyone in my household said today, as someone else found a plastic case full of cards somewhere on the porch this afternoon.

When mysterious packages of cards show up after the mail already arrived, there can only be one person responsible... Johngy! Unless I have a team of Keebler elves dropping of assorted vintage cards and other neat card surprises on my doorstep, I think I have the mystery solved. Then again, if the Keebler elves can convince Judd Hirsch to build a weapon to use against Snap, Crackle and Pop, they are capable of anything.

In one fell swoop, another good chunk of 1970 Topps disappeared from my want list. So did a good portion of 1972 Topps. The 1978 Topps and 1982 Topps sets came to completion. Plus, some more 1992 and 1993 Topps Gold cards vanished from the list.

Thank you so much, John! This was a great unexpected surprise!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cards That Never Were #23

1993 Topps Traded - Dale Murphy

The last few years of Dale Murphy's career weren't exactly the stuff of Hall of Fame candidates. Marred by injuries, he latched onto the newly formed Colorado Rockies in 1993. Unfortunately, the change to Colorado didn't revive his career and he retired in May 1993.

This far removed from his playing days, most people don't even realize that Dale played with the Rockies to finish out his career. Once a sure fire Hall of Fame candidate, Murphy's skills and playing time decreased after his first full year in Philadelphia.

Due to these factors, Dale likely didn't merit a final card in the traded set. It just goes to show that sometimes, no matter how beloved a player is and how much of a star he was, if they aren't doing much, they won't get the cardboard love.

A career worst .143 average an no home runs did not make his case a good one for card inclusion. Couple that with a retirement in May and it spelled doom even for a player with Dale's career caliber, which included over 2,000 hits and 398 home runs. It should be noted that Dale did get a few cards of him on the Rockies with a few mid-season releases which were already in production and/or shipped by the time he retired.

Trading With Flywheels

I could have gone with a scan of any one of the standouts or names in the 2009 Charlotte Knights team set. I could have used Cole Armstrong or Donny Lucy. Ehren Wassermann was a good possibility. So were Randy Williams and Jack Egbert. I could have even pulled out a Brent Lillibridge or a Carlos Torres.

In this set rests the only card that I'm aware of of John Van Benschoten in a White Sox uniform, albeit a minor league affiliate uniform. I admit that I don't keep up with the minor league teams as much as I should, but when did former Cub, Daryle Ward get into the White Sox organization? Maybe it has something to do with his father, Gary Ward, being the hitting coach.

I could have even chosen manager Chris Chambliss or pitching coach Richard Dotson, the former for Yankee involved MLB headlines and the latter for the White Sox ties.

No, I chose Bacon, because, well, you know, he brings the bacon. Plus, he has the biggest vocal supporters of any of the players or coaches in the 2009 Charlotte Knights team set. There may be riots in the streets if I don't show Gordon. I wouldn't want to be held responsible for the widespread panic and devastating destruction that might result.

Thanks to Flywheels, who runs Cardboard Collections! Also thrown in were a smattering (I find myself using that word a lot lately) of random White Sox cards. Most I already had, but are nonetheless cool. Among the cards that are new to me is an Upper Deck Ticket To Stardom (who's stealing from who, Topps?) of John Danks.

I'm compiling a return package for you that should be mailed out shortly. Thanks again!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cards That Never Were #22

1964 Fleer - Maury Wills

Wait. There wasn't a Fleer set in 1964. If that's what you said to yourself, you are absolutely right. Until 1966, Fleer held the contract rights to many players, which meant that unless Fleer put out a set or a regional set came out, you weren't going to see that player on a Topps card. In fact, with the exception of an obvious cameo in a World Series card, Maury didn't have a Topps card issued until 1967, with the Pirates. Until then, Maury Wills fans would have to settle with a 1963 Fleer card and a smattering of food and team releases.

How do you create a design for a baseball card set that never existed? You draw inspiration from other designs that came out from the company. There is only room for speculation when it comes to a design for a possible 1964 Fleer set. Unlike 1956 Bowman, I haven't heard of any prototypes that came out for 1964 Fleer.

This particular design came from Fleer's 1963 football set. The same basic layout is used for the Maury Wills card, only the colors have changed. I went with a muted yellow color because yellow is a color that Fleer seems to always come back to. I would theorize that Fleer would have used this color to differentiate this set from the football set. The lettering color was chosen as an homage to the original football set's main color.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Random Contest!

This contest sponsored by Strat-O-Matic games.

Strat-O-Matic’s award-winning baseball sim is an amazingly flexible, yet powerful, game. It combines all the strategy options of the board game, with the ease and speed of the computer. No game offers you more ways to customize play to your liking. No game offers you such a dazzling array of statistics, also tailored to suit your preferences.

Use the game’s preset lineups for each team, or create your own. Play against a human or the clever computer manager. You can play “face-to-face” with anyone in the world through our Netplay feature! Or let the computer play both teams in seconds to test the vast “What-if” potential in Strat-O-Matic computer baseball. You can even give the computer instructions on how you want your team to be managed – ideal for internet leagues and season replays.

When playing the game yourself, a single keystroke commands most offensive strategy (swing away, steal, bunt, hit-and-run) and defensive strategy (set the infield depth, pitch around this hitter, hold that runner). Then watch the at-bat play out. If you love the Strat-O-Matic board game, purchase the Card Image add-on. Then tell the computer to show you the card images of batter and pitcher, which will display the result in such a way that you know the wisdom of your strategy decisions. Or you may prefer to watch the dramatic animated flight of the ball. Either way, watch it all against the colorful backdrops of every Major League stadium.

After the game, the unique Strat-O-Matic box scores can be customized to show you a score sheet, a detailed play-by-play and even a newspaper-style write-up of each game! The stat-report options for leagues, teams and individual players will satisfy even the most demanding numbers freaks.

Find out why so many gamers think Strat-O-Matic computer baseball rocks. Join thousands of them in online communities offering each other tips, memories and fellowship.

There are three 2010 Strat-O-Matic computer games up for grabs!

Everybody is free to enter, but anyone who wins a Strat-O-Matic board game will automatically be disqualified to win a Strat-O-Matic computer game. Sorry. One prize per person and/or household.

So what do you have to do to enter?

Leave a comment on this post only about your favorite player statistic in Major League baseball. How would you use this to your advantage if you were a manager?

Example: John Paciorek's career only lasted one game, but he went 3 for 3 in that game, leaving him with a career batting average of 1.000. Based on this one game performance, I would give him a start again in the outfield the next game.

No duplicate answers will be accepted. If you discover you have duplicated an answer, please leave a different one to be entered into the contest. The John Paciorek statistic is not eligible, since it was used as the example.

Deadline: Entries must be timestamped by Sunday, May 9, 2010; 11:59PM

All eligible entrants will be entered into a randomizer. The first three names after randomization will win a copy of the 2010 Strat-O-Matic baseball computer game! It's as easy as that!

Contest Time!

Contest sponsored by Strat-O-Matic.

The first person to correctly answer the question below will win a 2010 Strat-O-Matic board game.

Who are the first two Major League players to hit at least 400 home runs and steal home at least ten times?

Good luck!

Congrats to Chris, who knew that Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth were the first two Major League players to hit at least 400 home runs and steal home at least ten times!

For your awesome knowledge skills, you win a Strat-O-Matic 2010 board game. The downside? This makes you ineligible to win any other fabulous Strat-O-Matic game prizes. The upside? Everyone else has a better chance at winning! It's a win/win!

Look out for another opportunity to win another opportunity to win a Strat-O-Matic board game, later in the week.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Cards That Never Were #21

1986 Fleer Update - Jack Perconte

Jack came to the Sox in the great lost season of 1986. The team was going in a downward spiral and one season GM wonder, Hawk Harrelson, was trying anything to right the ship, without leaving the golf course.

In April 1986, the Mariners released Perconte. By May, the Sox had signed him. Jack didn't get into a game until August 25th. At that point the Sox were on their third manager of the season.

With a svelte .219 batting average and a .990 fielding percentage, the White Sox ended up releasing Perconte at the end of the season. Jack was picked up by the Dodgers in 1987, but he never played for the parent club.

Jack has since opened a Sport Academy in Naperville, Illinois, written books on hitting instruction and writes at

2010 National Chicle White Sox In Pictures

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