Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Plaschke, Thy Trade Is Awesome

I'm always surprised by the cards that aren't mentioned in a trade. The one card that I did trade for, the 2010 Allen & Ginter Gordon Beckham card, completes that team set for me. The others are just gravy, but unlike real gravy, these don't contain a bunch of empty calories.

When I reached an agreement with Greg of Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle (one of the most original names I've seen for a card site in a long time), I knew there were a handful of White Sox cards thrown in, but I had no idea what. I could wax poetic about Gordon Beckham, but I'll choose to focus on a few of the throw ins.

Few people realize that Bob Wickman started out in the White Sox organization. I still think it was a mistake to put Bob Wickman in a trade with Melido Perez and Domingo Jean to the Yankees for Steve Sax. Sax really did nothing to warrant the hefty price, while he was on the Sox. Wickman had a long career after leaving the Pale Hose. It's always strange to see Wickman in a Sox uniform. It leaves me pondering what could have been.

Dave Stegman is funny to me because my White Sox loving friend, who is in a garage band with me is named Dave Stedman. It cracks me up when I run across one of Dave's White Sox cards. I don't think I would have the stones to not sign three times, when drafted, and wait until a team picked me in the first round. Considering how Dave's career panned out, he's got the biggest pair I've ever heard about.
The rest of the package contained Ozzie Guillen, Greg Hibbard, Lance Johnson, Bobby Thigpen, and a few others that I grew up watching. I might not have needed every single card, but I definitely appreciated them.

Thanks, Greg! I think our first trade was a complete success. I look forward to trading again in the future.

Friday, November 26, 2010

3rd Anniversary Swag: Night Owl Cards

Between my mysterious leg pain and a long time friend's hospitalization for his own leg pain (not related pain, but in the same leg), posting has been erratic. Come to think of it, when is it not on this blog? The holiday also played havoc with the blog.

Two packages arrived in the past week. The first to arrive was a package from Night Owl. It was chock full of goodness!

The first card to capture my attention was a minor league card of former White Sox phenom, Dave Gallagher. I noticed it because he was in a Maine uniform, which I did not recognize as a White Sox minor league association of the mid-eighties. It turns out that this card was a minor league All-Star card from 1985 and that Maine was the AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. This isn't a card that I would ever seek out for myself, since it isn't a White Sox affiliate and doesn't fit into a player category, but the card itself is so cool, that I am really proud to have it in my collection.

Even that was trumped by the card of the package; a 2010 Topps Carlton Fisk short print card! That finally completes my team set! Yay!

An interesting array of cards followed. Many shiny cards and tricky parallels were beyond. Even a small cache of Tom Seaver Pacific cards. Really top notch stuff!!
Thanks, Greg! These were awesome! Someday, when you least expect it, there will be cards from me in your mailbox.

Card Spotlight: 11-26-10

2008 Topps 50th Anniversary All Rookie Team #AR55 - Magglio Ordonez

Try saying that card's title five times fast. It's certainly a mouthful to say!

I've been a Magglio fan since I first saw him play in 1997. He was a rookie with a tremendous upside and he lived up to those lofty expectations. Since he left Chicago for Detroit, his reputation has tarnished a little bit. The senseless public war of words with certain individuals left a bad taste in many mouths. It left a bitter taste from both sides of the argument. There have also been allegations of steroid use. A power hitting outage and injuries added another layer of sediment on top. Although, to be fair, Magglio also had a knee injury when he was with the White Sox.

The feuding has faded. The injuries have hopefully healed, since he hasn't played since July 2010. Magglio is a free agent this offseason. It's still unclear exactly where he'll be playing in 2011. Maggs will be 37 before Spring Training starts. Will he find a rejuvenation like Jim Thome did in the last few years or will he end up as another player hanging onto the game too long? I'm betting it will be the former rather than the latter. Hopefully, he won't follow the path of Jermaine Dye from last offseason.

It was a pleasure to watch Magglio with the Sox. It was still fun to watch Magglio with the Tigers, except when he happened to be playing against the White Sox. It will be interesting to see where Maggs ends up.

This card always reminds me of Ordóñez's humble beginnings in the White Sox organization. It seems like a lifetime ago. then again, so does the World Series the White Sox won due, in part, to Magglio's departure.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

WSC Birth Years: Pablo Ozuna

Card #80 - Pablo Ozuna

Born: August 25, 1974

During his four seasons with the White Sox, Pablo had a knack for getting into the game. He could play all four infield positions and all three outfield spots but he usually played at third or second base.

Ozuna's best known game was during the second game of the 2005 ALCS against the Angels. He pinch ran for A.J. Pierzynski, after his controversial dropped third strike, and ended up scoring the winning run by stealing second and coming home on a Joe Crede double. That one play shifted momentum to the ChiSox, who went on to win the rest of their playoff games.

Pablo's contributions to the Pale Hose might have been greater had he not been injured in 2007. It was a struggle after the injury and in July 2008, Ozuna was designated for assignment.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Top Of Topps White Sox: 1991 - 2000

1991 - Carlton Fisk
One of the best shots ever put to cardboard.

1992 - Frank Thomas
A classic posed shot with all the right elements, including a winning smile.

1993 - Bo Jackson
Something that no one could fathom a few years prior. Bo's still here and ready to kick some butt!

1994 - Ozzie Guillen
Ozzie looking large and in charge.

1995 - Lance Johnson
Lance taking off for first. Poetry in motion.

1996 - Robin Ventura
Robin giving his all.

1997 - Tony Phillips
An odd and intimate shot of a ball in play.

1998 - Albert Belle
The powerhouse in his last productive years.

1999 - Frank Thomas
The Big Hurt at full speed. A terrifying thought for the infielders.

2000 - Magglio Ordonez
The sweet swing of Maggs.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Card Spotlight: 11-19-10

1958 Topps #138 - Earl Torgeson

A quick one for today. I ran across this Earl Torgeson card on Google pictures and had to make it the card of the week. Maybe it's the stare. Maybe it's fifties look of Earl. Whatever it is, this card really stood out.

There's really not much to say about the card. It comes from a set that rarely gets appreciated. That probably has something to do with the solid color background and the static photos. Still, it's vintage and instantly recognizable. Not much to complain about there.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Stax Of Wax Pax Package

When Bryce of Stax Of Wax Pax contacted me about a trade, I didn't know what to expect. Things always sound good on paper, but you never quite know what you're getting until you actually see it. I saw it and instantly I was transformed into a kid.

There are so many highlights in the package, there isn't possibly any way to accurately describe them without leaving out details. Pictured are a few highlights.
In addition to these gems, the cards ranged from 1971 to 2010. Name like Buehrle, Thomas, Thome, Lee, and Beckham littered the package. I felt like a kid in a candy store! I think I even caught dayf's affliction for shiny, because those shiny cards sure are pretty.

Thanks, Bryce! These cards are awesome! I am working on a return package for you. I hope to get that out sometime shortly.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WSC Birth Years: Ehren Wassermann

Card #79 - Ehren Wassermann

Born: December 6, 1980

Ehren's unique delivery is more in tune with discus competitions than baseball, but it's this style of delivery that makes him an effective reliever. Wassermann made his debut in July 20, 2007, with the White Sox. He finished 2007 with a stellar 2.74 ERA in 33 games.

Things did not work out as well in 2008 for Ehren. His final totals included a surprising 7.78 ERA in 24 games. Wassermann did not return to the parent club in 2009. By the 2010 season, he found himself in the Philadelphia Phillies organization. To date, his last game was September 26, 2008, right in the thick of a pennant race that went down to the wire.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just A Hunch

Whoever just unlocked the 1980 checklist must be feeling gypped. Unless that's the one card that they needed to complete the set.

Somehow, I doubt that feel good scenario.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Tops Of Topps White Sox: 1981 - 1990

Beginning in 1981, there were more card companies. A trend that would continue to grow over the next few decades. More competition led to more releases by each company. There were some iconic cards in the traded set, but this list sticks to the base sets.

1981 - Harold Baines
An iconic rookie card.

1982 - Carlton Fisk
His first year in the Topps regular base set as a White Sox features this awesome diving card!

1983 - Tom Paciorek
A mighty swing by Wimpy and a thoughtful portrait make this card the perfect juxtaposition.

1984 - Ron Kittle
Nothing optimizes eighties baseball cards quite like Ron Kittle's aviator glasses. They were so fashionable, that I had a prescription pair.

1985 - Harold Baines
1985 Topps was all about the historic subsets. This awesome early picture of Harold was my chase card as a kid.

1986 - Ozzie Guillen
Ozzie's infectious smile dominates this card and elevates a boring design.

1987 - John Cangelosi
This posed shot calls back to a simpler time. A true classic photo on a throwback wood grain design.

1988 - Harold Baines & Carlton Fisk
Fleer may have dominated the superstar cards of the eighties, but they didn't get better than this collaboration. This is a card that would have sustained many a White Sox fan during the dark times.

1989 - Robin Ventura
For a White Sox fan, this was the holy grail of 1989. It was always priced out of range back then, and always in high demand.

1990 - Frank Thomas
When you think of 1990 Topps, this is the card you picture. It was hot from its debut and still holds strong. It was enhanced further by a genuine printing error on a select few cards.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Card Spotlight: 11-12-10

1974 Topps #501 - Eddie Leon

One of the runner-ups for the top 1974 Topps White Sox card was Eddie Leon. In this card, you see shades of seventies greatness. There are powder blue uniforms, a confusing uniform color combination, gigantic shadows in unfortunate places, and an infielder who looks like a pitcher at a quick glance.

This could have taken the top spot, but I was more intrigued by two different players on the same team, at the same position, having the same body position in an unstaged odd picture, two decades apart. When I think of cards from 1974, or the early seventies in general, I picture odd framing and strange body contortions. Eddie Leon's card is no stranger to these qualities, so he gets this week's card spotlight.

Eddie's card is especially deceptive. It looks like a normal card, until you realize that he is a shortstop and he is at his normal position. It is a routine play, but captured with a camera, this becomes a unique offering that looks extraordinary.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Alexei Wins A Silver Slugger

Congratulations to Alexei Ramirez on his Silver Slugger award!!!
Yes. I'm aware that there is nary a bat in sight of Alexei on this card.
Thank all the people who voted for Derek Jeter's Gold Glove.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

WSC Birth Years: Jason Bourgeois In Action

Card #78 - Jason Bourgeois - In Action

Born: January 4, 1982

A bonus card based on the In Action subset from the 1982 Topps card set.

WSC Birth Years: Jason Bourgeois

Card #77 - Jason Bourgeois

Born: January 4, 1982

Jason was picked up by the White Sox after the Seattle Mariners released him near the end of 2006. Bourgeois would make his MLB debut on September 9, 2008, in the middle of a pennant race, in the first game of a double header against the Blue Jays.

He managed to get one hit in three at-bats, during the six games that he played for the White Sox in 2008. Jason has the distinction of being the last player to get his first hit in the original Yankee Stadium. That hit, a double, came on September 18, 2008. Bourgeois became a free agent after the 2008 season and signed with Milwaukee.

The Top Of Topps White Sox: 1971 - 1980

1971 - Jerry Crider
This card captured my interest so much I had to find out who Jerry Crider was.

1972 - Bart Johnson
Leaning to the right, Bart seems unsure of what lies beyond the camera.

1973 - Johnny Jeter
There's no crying in baseball, but apparently hard bowel movements are just fine. This card has been scaring children for nearly forty years.

1974 - Bucky Dent
A card so good that Topps chose the same action shot for Robin Ventura nearly twenty years later.

1975 - Bart Johnson
The best slumber party ever!

1976 - Jerry Hairston
Those pajamas look awfully comfortable!

1977 - Chet Lemon
"Yeah, I got the rookie cup. What are you gonna do about it?"

1978 - Steve Stone
"Uh.. so look uh, if you're date don't work out tonight for any reason uh, there's a motel up on the interstate, uh maybe we could say uh meet.. around uh midnight?"

1979 - Bob Molinaro
"Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! I'm headed to first!"

1980 Topps - Ralph Garr
The roadrunner is a complete bad-ass!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

White Sox Cards Turns Three

On a cool, crisp November afternoon in 2007, White Sox Cards was first posted. November 9th, at 3:04PM, to be exact. Thank you everyone for your support over the years. I appreciate all those who stuck with me as this blog continued to expand and grow. I started this thinking that no one else would read this and found constant surprises along the way. Although I've only met a handful of you (probably less than that), I consider many of you to be great friends that I have been lucky to find on this journey.

Like in actual life, people have come and people have gone. Some people have stuck around. No matter how you've stumbled upon this blog, and no matter how long you've stayed, I've appreciated all of it. I've been read, commented, contacted, traded, bipped, gifted, and many other actions because of this blog. Thank you.

Oddly enough this is starting to sound less of a celebration and more of a sign off. Rest assured, that is not the case. I usually get in a reflective mood around anniversaries and such. I'm looking forward to finding out what surprises await in the fourth year of this blog. Thanks for tagging along.

Buehrle's Second Straight Gold Glove

Congrats to Mark Buehrle on winning his second Gold Glove award!! After Opening Day, the competition had absolutely no chance.

The Tops Of Topps White Sox: 1961 - 1970

1961 - Nellie Fox MVP
There are plenty of candidates here, but Nellie's MVP card stands out on top.

1962 - Al Smith
It's almost as if this design was made for Al's pose.

1963 - Ray Herbert
Very few cards make great use of the space provided in this design. Ray has the lanky follow through in the circle and a great close up in the main picture.

1964 - Al Weis
I'm coming down to your level. Wait! What's that behind you? And why is this trophy almost as big as I am?

1965 - Bill Skowron
The scowl of Skowron! For a fun loving guy that tells amazing and entertaining stories, he looks like a complete bad-ass!

1966 - ChiSox Clubbers
Power hitters galore! They helped drive the teams of the mid-sixties behind a powerful pitching staff.

1967 - Smoky Burgess
Nothing says the "Summer of Love" like cemetery baseball.

1968 - Jerry McNertney
Those eyes will penetrate through your very soul.

1969 - Wilbur Wood
A picture so good, that they used it in the 1968 set too!

1970 - Walt Williams
Walt Williams... COMIN' AT YA!
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