Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Cards in my mailbox

Time to post a couple of trades I got in the mail. First off, I did a deal with blog reader Steve. He said he had cards I needed for the super set. After some dealing, we found out I don't have the cards he was looking for. I in turn sent him a small donation of currency. Normally I don't like to buy my cards, but whatever it takes to get a deal done. I did get some nice Donruss, Fleer, Score, and Upper Deck form Steve. Thanks again Steve.

Next came a small trade I made with Cam of Collectable Cards. I sent him a small pile of Astros and he Sent me what else, Mariners. Some were ugly: what can be said about 1991 Fleer.

Cam also sent a hit to the Prime 9. The 2010 UD Ryan Rowland-Smith is in my greedy little hands. Thanks for the deal Cam.

Thanks again to both guys for the trades. Any one that has Mariners cards you want to get rid of, feel free to get a hold of me. Thanks!!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 6/27/10

We look again at a former Mariners player. Today's guy didn't spend a lot of time with the team, but was a big part of the first playoff team and was traded for one our best past pitchers. Today, we look at former outfielder Darren Bragg. Darren grew up and went to high school at Taft HS in Watertown, CT. After graduation, he would attend Georgia Tech and play as a member of the Yellow Jackets baseball team. In his senior year of the 1991 season, he would be teammates with future Mariner prospect and Red Sox captain Jason Varitek who was a freshman. Darren would be drafted by the Mariners in the 22nd round of the 1991 draft.

Darren would spend 1991 and 1992 with the Peninsula Pilots in high A ball. He would move up to the AA Jacksonville Suns in 1993. The 1994 season would see Darren start the season with Mariners. He would get his first start April 12, 1994 as the DH against the Minnesota Twins. He would go 1 for 4 in the game. Unfortunately at the end of April, Darren would spend the rest of the year with the Tacoma Rainiers. Starting in 1995, Darren would spend the first half of the season with the Mariners. At the all-star break, he would spend the next month and a half back in Tacoma. Darren would come back up in September, in time for the playoff push. He would be on the roster for all of the 1996 season, until he would be traded to the Boston Red Sox for Jamie Moyer. Darren would become the regular center fielder for the Sox in 1996 and 1997. He would play on a consistent basis in right and center field in 1998.

After the end of the 1998 season, the Red Sox let Darren go, and he would sign and spend 1999 with the St. Louis Cardinals. Darren would again move in 2000, this time to the Colorado Rockies. He would see his time end with the Rockies in late July. In early 2001, Darren would sign with the New York Mets. He would start the season with the Norfolk Tides and come to the Mets in early May. The Mets released Darren on June 12th, and he would stay in the city, signing on with the Yankees. He would only spend two weeks with the big club, spending the rest of the season with the AAA Columbus Clippers. Darren would re-sign with the Mets before the 2002 season, but would be released before the beginning of the season. He would sign with the Atlanta Braves the same day.

Darren would start the season with the Richmond Braves. In the end of April, he would make it back to the majors, staying on with the Braves through the 2003 season. 2004 would see Darren sign again with the Yankees, playing again with the Clippers. After being released by the Yankees organization on July 2nd, Darren would sign on with the San Diego Padres for two weeks. It would take about two weeks for Darren to find a new team in the Cincinnati Reds. After a week and a half with the AAA Louisville Bats, Darren would return, this time with the Reds. Darren would spend his last season as a player with the Nashua Pride of the Atlantic League in 2005.

Upon retiring, in 2006 Darren would team up with former MLB pitcher and teammate from the Nashua Pride Brian Looney. Together, they would start The Hit Club in Thomaston, CT. It is a baseball training facility for young players. In the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Darren would also spend his time as the hitting coach for the single A Dayton Dragons of the Cincinnati Reds organization. Since 2009, Darren has devoted his full time to being an instructor at the Hit Club.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Old scholl or new school?

I'm really not sure which Mariners team showed up last night. The names of the players sound like players from 2010, but the uniforms and the play looked like 1982. I wanted to give a thank you to the Brewers for getting the 1982 throwbacks right, right down to the double-snap, no belt retro pants. Now if only the players would have worn the old school stirrups.

The M's looked good for a few innings, like the team that won 6 in a row. Then the fourth inning came, and we looked like we have all year, lousy! Let's hope the pitcher with the greatest last name can help right the ship tonight. Go get 'em, Mr. Fister! This team drives me crazy, but I still love them.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Awesome, baby!!

I know that all the baseball "experts" are saying that the Mariners will have to trade him soon. I really want to hold on to him until the end of the year. If we were to make any kind of run in the next couple of months, we will definitely need him. Look at his numbers: 11 starts, a 6-3 record, 86 2/3 innings, a 2.39 ERA, and a 76 to 4 walk to strikeout ratio. He has also thrown 4 complete games, and a shutout. I'm sorry, but unless you are trading me Lincecum, Pujols, and Heyward for Cliff Lee, I'm not interested. I do know that trade would never happen, but I can dream. Here's to hoping Cliff stays round for a while. Let's go M's, beat those Cubs today with "King Felix" on the mound.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Post before the Big One...

Here we sit at post number 99. The next will be a milestone. I don't think I've ever to something this long. I have really been contemplating post #100. I decided to leave it up the people. Do you have any thoughts on what you would like to see for the momentous occasion? I have a thought in mind, but it's kind of dull. I'm going to leave this open to comments for a couple days. Let's see what kind of ideas you readers have for me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 6/20/10

Time again to look back at the Mariners of the past. Today's spent a short time with the team, but made an impact while he was here. He helped the pitching staff make the run to win the 1997 AL West title. He would spend much time in the majors after leaving the Mariners.

After playing for the University of Mississippi, Jeff Fassero was drafted in the 22nd round by the St. Louis Cardinals. Jeff would slowly work his way through the minor leagues in the Cardinals system. 1984 would see him in the rookie league in Johnson City. The next year he would move up to A Springfield. 1986 brought a move to advanced A ball at St. Petersburg. From 1987 to 1989, Jeff would pitch with the AA Arkansas Travelers. Late in 1989, he would move up to AAA with the Louisville Redbirds. After the '89 season, he was drafted  by the White Sox, but was released before the 1990 season. At the start of 1990 season, Jeff was signed by the Indians and spent the season in AA at Canton/Akron. Before the 1991 season, he would sign with the Montreal Expos. 1991 would see Jeff start in AAA Indianapolis. On May 4, 1991 he would make his first appearance in the Majors. He would pitch the final two innings against the Padres in Montreal and take the loss in the game.

Jeff would stay with the Expos bullpen for 1992 and 1993. Expos manager Felipe Alou would move Jeff to the starting rotation in 1994. He would stay in that capacity through 1996. After the 1996 season, Jeff was traded with Alex Pacheco to the Mariners for Trey Moore, Matt Wagner, and Chris Widger. After going 16-9 and helping win the West in '97, he would go a decent 13-12 in 1998. Jeff had a disastrous year in 1999, going 4-14 in 24 starts. Those ugly numbers would get Jeff shipped to the Texas Rangers in August of 1999 for minor leaguer Adrian Myers.

After 1999, Jeff would start the carousel of teams in the Majors. In 2000, he was a member of the Boston Red Sox, mostly in the rotation. Jeff would become a big part of the bullpen for the Chicago Cubs in 2001. In late August of 2002, the Cubs would trade Jeff to the St. Louis Cardinals for minor leaguers Jared Blasdell and Jason Karnuth. Jeff would spend the 2003 season with the Cardinals, and start to look like a 40 year old pitcher with fairly dismal numbers.

Before the 2004 season, Jeff would sign on with the Colorado Rockies. After pitching for the Rockies last on September 13th, he would be released by the Rockies while they were in Los Angeles on September 29th. That same day, he was signed and pitched an inning for the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix. Before the 2005 season, Jeff would sign on to pitch in the San Fransisco Giants bullpen. Jeff would remain with the Giants until May of 2006, looking very much like a 43 year old pitcher. The Giants would designate him for assignment, making room on the roster for Noah Lowry.

Jeff would try to work out for the Angels in the off-season before the 2007 season. The Angels opted not to sign him. He announced his retirement in February of 2007. Jeff would give baseball another shot late in 2007. In the fall of 2007 and winter of 2008, Jeff would pitch for the Mayos de Navojoa in the Mexican Pacific League. During 2008 and 2009, Jeff served as the pitching coach at Brophy College Prep High School in Phoenix. It is the only Jesuit high school in the Phoenix area. His oldest son Trevor, was a first baseman, and left handed pitcher for the varsity baseball team there. As of December 2009, Jeff was named to be the pitching coach for the Northwest League Boise Hawks of the Chicago Cubs system. The Hawks have just started their season this past Friday.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Trades Galore!!

I know I've off the map for a few days, this has been one of those weeks. I've recently got three different trades in the mail, and thought I would share some of the beauty. First off came a trade from Roger at I don't know...3rd base. Roger saw my selfish plea for Series 2 cards. He sent me a package that had almost all the Mariners in Series 2. If anyone has an extra #377 Felix Hernandez, or #421 Doug Fister card, let me know.

Roger was also kind enough to send some extra series 2 cards to wet my appetite for trying to complete the set. He even sent me some "Yo Momma" cards. The best was the reprint of the '83 Topps of Mr. Padre. That will be going into the Gwynn collection. The Jackie Robinson went to my son. For his All-Star team this year, he went from #24 for Willie Mays to #42 to honor Jackie.  Thank you Roger, you made me a very happy Mariners fan. I will be getting some Tigers cards together for you, sorry for the delay.

Next up, came a trade from a reader of the blog, Ron. I sent Ron some of the left over inserts I had from my Series 1 cards, and a small stack of Mets and Yankees. He in turn sends me a 400 count box stuffed to the gills with M's! He sent me some cards to work down the super set. The box also contained all kinds of cards from all kind of years. That box was more than I could have asked for. Ron, you are very kind. Thank you so much.

Lastly, came a package from Ron who writes Section 36. This is a great blog from a Red Sox perspective. I'm hoping to make it to Fenway this year for my son's 12th birthday. He had on his blog a wantlist for some 79 and 81 Topps Red Sox. I was happy to oblige him with what I had. He in turn sent me a couple of older M's cards off the super set. He also sent a boat load of newer Fleer, and Upper Deck to help get the wantlist even smaller.

Ron also saw my desire to collect a few players. He saw that I have an affinity for "Pops" Stargell. He sent these four beauties to add to the collection of Pirates black and gold beauty. Thank you Ron for the cards, I hope the Sox cards help. I will let you know if we make it to Fenway, I'll love to say hi to you.

All in all, these three fine gentlemen helped knock 96 cards off the wantlist and put some other Mariners beauties, and player collection cards in my book. THANK YOU GUYS!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Retro Mariner Sunday 6/13/10

Time for another trip down the Mariners memory lane. I think today's player is one that many people should be familiar with. Yes, I know he had much more popularity with another ream, but more on that later. He started his career as a Mariner, so he is our player, not yours.

Constantino "Tino" Martinez was drafted by the Mariners in the first round of the 1988 draft out of the University of Tampa. After the draft, the summer of '88 saw Tino, and other future major leaguers Jim Abbott, Robin Ventura, Andy Benes, and Charles Nagy win Olympic gold in Seoul, South Korea for baseball. Tino would start his professional career in 1989 with the AA Williamsport Bills. The next year, Tino would be moved up to the AAA Calgary Cannons. In August of 1990, the Mariners brought Tino up the big club. Tino would get his first start on August 20, 1990 in Arlington, Texas. He would go 2 for 4 in a Mariners 6-5 walk off loss. For the month of September, he would split time with Pete O'Brien at first base. 

Tino would again spend most of the season in Calgary with the Cannons in 1991. Due to his numbers, he would be named the MVP of the Pacific Coast League for 1991. In mid-August, he was again called to join the team. He would play most everyday at first base in September of 1991. Starting in 1992, Tino was to stay with the Mariners. He would split time at first base and designated hitter again with Pete O'Brien.

 Starting in 1993, Tino would become the everyday first baseman for new manager, Lou Piniella. He would be replaced by Greg Pirkl after a season ending injury in August 1993. Tino would make his first All-Star appearance in 1995 in Arlington, Texas. Tino replaced teammate Edgar Martinez as the DH in the bottom of the 8th inning and got a single to right off future Mariner Heathcliff Slocumb. After the miracle playoff run of '95 by the Mariners, Tino was traded to the Yankees with Jeff Nelson, and Jim Mecir for Sterling Hitchcock and Russ Davis. Tino was replaced at first base by free agent Paul Sorrento.

Tino would win the first of four World Series titles with the Yankees in 1996. He would make the all star team again in 1997. He would take part in the home run derby that year at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, Ohio. He would out-slug Larry Walker of the Rockies in the final to win the title. After spending six winning years with the Yankees, the team decided to sign free agent Jason Giambi to play first base allowing Tino to become a free agent. Tino would sign with the St. Louis Cardinals as a free agent  for the 2002 season to replace aging star Mark McGuire.

After two years with the Cardinals, Tino was traded to his hometown team. The Cardinals sent Tino and cash to the Devil Rays for Evan Rust and a player to be named later(John-Paul Davis). Tino would have a fairly productive year in 2004 under manager Lou Piniella. He also was very important as a mentor for the young players in Tampa. After the 2004 season, Tino would sign with the Yankees for a second tour with the team in 2005. This time, Tino replaced Giambi at first, with Jason moving to the DH spot.

Before the start of the 2006 season, Tino decided it was time to retire. He received an offer from ESPN to do broadcasting on the Baseball Tonight show. He would do the same in 2007. Tino also spent time in 2007 as a volunteer assistant coach with the University of South Florida for coach Lelo Prado.

Tino took a position with the Yankees in 2008 to be a special instructor to work with the first basemen on defensive skills in spring training. At the start of the season, he was named as a special assistant to General Manager Brian Cashman. With the start of 2010 season, Tino moved into the broadcasting booth with the YES Network as a color commentator. He would be replacing former Yankee David Cone. His first regular season game came on April 9th in Tampa Bay against the Rays.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weekend Update

I won't be near the computer this weekend. My son has the first tournament of the year coming up. This is his second year playing on the all-star team. I will still have the Blackberry to look at blogs and comment. I'm trying to do a Retro Mariner Sunday and pre-date it. No guarantees I can make it work.

Good luck to all the boys on the Mt. Rainier 11U All Star team this weekend! Let's hope for some good baseball and some wins!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

No pulling out of this nosedive...

I'm not sure it can get any worse. Can you hit the panic button in June? When can I ask for a do over? This team has got to the worst I've seen in a long time. I'm not even sure the 2008 stinker was this bad. You have lost 6 out of 7 and in those games, you've been outscored 60-17. THAT'S A 43 RUN DIFFERENTIAL!! I wish we had another sport right now to get into. I guess I will have to watch the World Cup or something. On To San Diego to let the butt kicking continue.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Free cards anyone???

Our good friend at BA Benny's Baseball Card Buffet is having a group break. The great part is you can win cards for FREE! No need to send money, just free cards! Head over now and get in the good stuff.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A selfish plea...

With everyone and their brother posting about what they are finding in Topps series 2, I'm jealous. All the big stores around me, and even the two local cards stores anywhere near me, don't have any cards yet. If anyone out here in the blog universe that has busted packs, or boxes, or cases of Series 2 has extra Mariners cards let me know. I'm sure we can work out a deal that will help me get my greedy little hands on some Mariners series 2 cards. I know you guys and gals will come through, you all have been amazing so far.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Reliving the Alternate

I decided that after wearing the '95 throwbacks Teal jerseys on Saturday, I wanted to look back in my Topps archives and see how much it was represented. Surprisingly, Topps has did many cards with the teals. Most were done on the road with gray pants. I think the teal would be a great Sunday alternate. If other teams can do powder blue or some other alternate, why can't the Mariners? MLB would love the extra revenue, I'm sure.