Monday, February 28, 2011

Collecting the Lost Mariners

I recently got an e-mail from AJ at the Lost Collector. He had my 2011 Jose Lopez I needed. He said he might have a few cards for the Super Set. I was more than game for a trade. I sent him some Yankees cards and a bunch of Tino Martinez's. It seems we were thinking the same way because we kind of sent each other some of the same Tino's. He did send me some Tino's, and a few more for the set.

Also included were some early Tino cards and a cool credit card looking card.

I was pleasently surprised to find this 1969 beauty of a Pilots card too!

While I did already have Larry's card, I do know of a certain Heartbreaking blogger that might be interested in this one. With the nice little package from AJ, I'm officially 10 cards closer to finishing the Super Set. Big thanks to AJ, go and read his blog today and show him some love!

Another king is gone

As we all know by now the Duke of Flatbush has left us. Duke Snider passed yesterday at the age of 84.

He was one of the three kings of the Big Apple. Along with Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle, the three were the toast of the town. We now have lost two of the kings. Let's hope Willie is here to stay.

I was going to put the video for the song about Willie, Mickey and the Duke but I can't find it on youtube. Anybody know where it went? We will miss you Duke!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Teaching you a lesson

As you have noticed lately, I have been trying to showcase old faces in new places.There are former Mariner players all over the major and minor leagues. Some are still playing at a decent level or just trying to hold on to the dream. Some guys have hung it up and moved into the coaching ranks. I went through the major league rosters and found 33 former players, coaches and managers on big league rosters.

  1. Bob Melvin- Scout for the Mets
  2. John McLaren- Bench coach Nationals
  3. Don Wakamatsu- Bench coach Blue Jays
  1. Rick Adair- Bullpen coach Orioles
  2. Sam Perlozzo- 1B coach Phillies
  3. Bryan Price- Pitching coach Reds
  4. Ty Van Burkleo- Hitting coordinator Astros
  5. Alan Cockrell- Hitting coordinator Diamondbacks
  6. Mel Stottlemyre- Pitching coordinator Diamondbacks
  7. Jeff Pentland- Batting coach Dodgers
  8. Rafael Chaves- Pitching coordinator Dodgers
  1. Shane Monahan- Scout for the Padres
  2. Ron Roenicke- Manager Brewers
  3. Jerry Narron- Bench coach Brewers
  4. Dale Sveum- Batting coach Brewers
  5. Thad Bosley- Batting coach Rangers
  6. Jim Presley- Hitting coach Orioles
  7. Dave Magadan- Batting coach Red Sox
  8. Torey Lovullo- 1B coach Blue Jays
  9. Joey Cora- Bench coach White Sox
  10. Tim Belcher- Pitching coach Indians
  11. Bruce Fields- Hitting coordinator Indians
  12. Orlando Mercado- Catching coordinator Angels
  13. Spike Owen- Defensive coordinator Rangers
  14. Keith Comstock- Rehabilitation coordinator Rangers
  15. Leon Roberts- Hitting coordinator Braves
  16. Lee Tinsley- Defensive coordinator Cubs
  17. Bud Black- Manager Padres
  18. Bill Plummer- Catching coordinator Diamondbacks
  19. Glenallen Hill- 1B coach Rockies
  20. Rick Honeycutt- Pitching coach Dodgers
  21. Dave Hansen- Special coach Dodgers
  22. Henry Cotto- Base running coordinator Giants
I do know that some former guys have also moved to the broadcast booth, and are coaches and managers in the minors. I'm slowly working on putting that list together too. I'm sure most of you couldn't care less about old Mariners, but I feel like if I put it out there someone might want to know about where some of our guys are now, and I might give you the desire to look up your former players.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's time, boys and girls!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the time that we all have waited for since November has come. At 10am my time, 1pm for all you in the East, we will have Spring games. I unfortunately will have to wait. The Mariners play a charity game tomorrow, but don't officially kick off until Monday.

 I know that there won't be much to watch the first two weeks or so as pitchers only get a couple innings and starters are out quickly. I like to watch spring games to see the kids that won't make it yet but are the future. You know a guy won't make it yet when he come in in the 7th or 8th inning and is wearing #96. There still is something to seeing youth playing a meaningless game with all the passion of a World Series game. Here's to everyone enjoying seeing their team play for the first time in too long.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Old faces in new places #4

Another former short time Mariner has popped up. This time it is first baseman Bryan LaHair.

Bryan spent some time up and down with the Mariners in the abysmal 2008 season. He would spend 2009 at AAA Tacoma, before being released to free agency. Bryan signed with Chicago Cubs after 2009, but proceeded to spend all of 2010 With the AAA Iowa Cubs. Bryan is a Non Roster Invitee with the Cubs in Mesa in 2011. Unfortunately for Bryan, I think it's another year in the minors with Carlos Pena holding down 1B for the Cubs this year.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Old faces in new places #3

While doing a little looking around again, I found another former Mariner. Today we look at Mr. Flatbrim himself George Sherrill. George has signed on with the Atlanta Braves this year.

After being part of the Bedard deal that took George to Baltimore, it seems that his career has gotten off track. After having an All-Star season in 2008 with the O's, they traded him to the Dodgers at the deadline in 2009. He had a great rest of '09, but for some reason bombed in 2010. After becoming a free agent in December, he signed on to work in the Braves bullpen this season. Good luck George.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

West Coast Shocker

In the Mariners camp this year is a former Wichita State player. Former Shocker Pitcher Nate Robertson.

Nate's on the mound with the bubble
I'm hoping for good things from Nate this year. From the sounds of a recent interview with Nate, he might a good mentor to have this year. Nate did play for a Tigers team that lost 119 games and was in the World Series a few years later. It looks like Nate really got a rough deal in 2009 with the Tigers, and spent 2010 going from the Tigers, to the Marlins, and to the Phillies organizations. Here's to hoping former Shocker Eric Wedge can find room for Nate if he can have a good Spring Training.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Captain Comeback?!

It looks like we may have a new left handed possibility in our rotation. Look who's back ladies and gentlemen...

According to all reports so far, he is looking healthy. He has been taking regular turns in the bullpen sessions in Peoria. I also hear that he is being great with the media, answering questions and actually being nice and having fun.

Could we have a potential lefty that can throw on our team and we didn't have to make a deal? I surely hope that Erik can stay happy and healthy this year. I would like to see a year out of him similar to his years in Baltimore. I need some proof of why we sent four players to the Orioles for him. Good luck to Erik in the upcoming Cactus League.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day

Today is a day to remember all the men(whether you like them or not) that have held the highest office.

I commend all these men for the work they did. While some I don't agree with, they all put in the hard work to make this country proud. For those of you that are off, enjoy the holiday. For some of us it's off to work today.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Local kid looking good....

While I'm not a big NASCAR fan, There's not much else on TV right now. I like the way our local kid is looking so far today. I have lived in the same town that Kasey Kahne grew up in for the last 17 years. He is kind of a local hero around here. Here's to hoping that maybe he can finish high today, or maybe even win?

Old faces in new places #2

I was bored yesterday and decided to look at other rosters and NRI lists. I found former Mariners all over the place. I can't find any pics of them on the web yet. One former Mariner that was well loved here, that I did find pics of is this guy:

Former closer and All-Star JJ Putz. JJ left Seattle after the 2008 season in the first big blockbuster deal for Jack Zduriencik. By shipping JJ to the Mets, we in return netted Franklin Gutierrez. Unfortunately for JJ the time was not good in the Big Apple. JJ lost a chance to be the closer for the Mets when K-Rod came to New York also. After becoming a free agent after 2009, JJ signed with the White Sox. JJ was the set up guy for closer Bobby Jenks. The White Sox decided to let JJ go after last season, allowing JJ to sign on with the Diamondbacks. I would assume by looking at their roster, new manager Kirk Gibson will be firmly planting JJ into the closer's role. Good luck to JJ in the desert, and D-Backs fans I hope you like AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" because that's JJ's intro song.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I got Sand in my shoe

As you all may or may not know I've decided I'm tired of chasing cards. I have bought packs and packs of Topps the last few years. I get a bunch of cards I don't want anymore. I decided with the Update set last year and Series 1 this year to beg you guys for the Mariners I need to make my Super Set. Well the first blogger to step up was (...Joe) from The Sandlot. Joe sent me a worthless shortstop, and a guy that's with the D-Backs now:

Also he sent me a nice righty, lefty combo that I expect good things from this year:

And of course there is this horizontal card of the 200 hit machine. We really need to get back to the postseason for this guy:

Big thanks go to Joe, and read The Sandlot, it's great.

With these 5 beauties, I'm down to finding 2 cards from Series 1. I need this card of a guy who's in Colorado now:

And a card of The Condor in full extension:

Could you help me feed my Mariners addiction. There is no rehab for my habit, except more M's cards.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Old faces in new places

I was recently reading the Seattle Times online. One our better sports reporters is doing his yearly trip around the Grapefruit League. While in Phillies camp in Clearwater, he found an old familiar face.

That would be former Mariner Ryan Feierabend. It is amazing how injuries can take two guys down different paths. Ryan is now 25, the same age Felix will be in April. Ryan has had many injury issues including having Tommy John surgery and missing the 2009 season. We had seen Ryan at times in the 2006, 2007, and 2008 seasons but he could never quite stick with the big team. Ryan was only able to have a 2-11 record and a 7.22 in 25 games, starting 19 of those for the Mariners. After having a 5-8 year in A, AA, AAA ball last year the Mariners let Ryan go. Former Mariner exec Benny Looper told Ryan to talk to the Phils.

While I don't see Ryan challenging the Big 4 in the rotation, I hope that he can stay healthy and get back on track with the Phillies. Good luck Ryan.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Topps 60 you'll want

As we all know Topps is celebrating their 60th year. Blah, blah, blah. One of our great fellow bloggers is making up his own Topps 60. It will come in the form of a contest. Ted the great writer of Crinkly Wrappers want you to leave him a comment and follow his blog. If you don't, you should, he's good at what he does. Plus I have love for him because his Blue Jays came in the same year as my Mariners. His set that he is giving away is one card from every year of Topps. How awesome is it to know you will own a real life '52 Topps? Go here now, sign up and hope the Great Randomnator picks you. I hope it's me instead.

A little old school Jays love for Ted---

What would you do?

I was think yesterday after the "self-imposed" deadline passed for the Cardinals to make a deal with Albert Pujols. Here is the hypothetical question for you: You are the Owner/GM for your favorite MLB team. Your have the authority to make the trade to get him this year. What would you be willing to give up from your team(the price is going to be steep) to obtain Albert and sign him to a long term contract?

I wonder what will happen with him because most of the big money teams have a high priced first baseman or don't have the finances to make the 10 year/ $300 million deal. As for me, they could have anything from the team, but The King.

This kid is staying on my roster.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Big Whooptie Doo

I know this will sound like blasphemy to some, but should I be excited that Ken Griffey Jr. is coming back to the Mariners? Here is the press release from the Mariners yesterday:
SEATTLE, WA - Seattle Mariners President & Chief Operating Officer Chuck Armstrong announced today that Ken Griffey Jr. has accepted the position of Special Consultant to the franchise, effective immediately. "Ken has been steadfast in his desire to continue his relationship with the Mariners since his return to Seattle in 2009," Armstrong said. "We have designed a position that will allow Ken to continue to help the franchise succeed on, and off, the field by consulting with a variety of departments here at the Mariners."
"I'm looking forward to staying very involved with the Mariners, working with the players throughout the organization, staying involved with the community and assisting in other areas of the organization," Griffey said. "It's an exciting time and I'm appreciative of the opportunity." Griffey will be involved in numerous areas of the Mariners franchise including, but not limited to, Major League Baseball Operations, player development, our minor league system, marketing, broadcasting and community relations. Griffey is expected to join the club in Peoria, Arizona, for a portion of Spring Training working in both Major League and minor league camp. He will make trips to Seattle during the 2011 season, as well as visiting most or all of Seattle's minor league affiliates during the year.

I really don't know what he has to offer to the young kids? The last time times got tough here last year, he packed up and quit on his team.

He is arrogant, and thinks he is better than everyone else. I guess he can do community relations because people still gush over him. Ken decided that 12 years ago he didn't like Seattle anymore. He strong-armed a trade to Cincinnati. Then before the 2009 season no one wanted him, but the Mariners needed something to get people to come back to Safeco Field. Enter the White Knight. We will see how this goes, but I for one could care less.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Nothing could be finer--

Than to be in Arizona in the morning! Here it is ladies and gentlemen, the day we have waited for since October. I like the direction that Eric Wedge is taking this. Everyone needs to know their role, even media and coaches. I don't see us winning it all, but I can dream. Happy Spring Training everybody.

Monday, February 14, 2011

An offer you can't refuse...

The Don over at My Past Time...I Love It! has moved over to Blogger. Go check him out and all his cool stuff.

Also, on this day I will be spending my 20th Valentine's day with my wonderful wife!!

And, as a small side note, Today is the first anniversary of Emerald City Diamond Gems. I can't believe I stuck with it for a year.

Enjoy your Monday everybody.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I'm king of the Card world!

As we all know, Stale Gum recently asked us all this question for the Blog Bat Around:

Michael Eisner has just fired the entire Topps Product Development staff and chose to hire you to take their place. Mr. Eisner has given you carte blanche to do whatever you want with Topps Baseball -- as long as you keep it under $2/pack. If you were in charge of Topps, and based upon what you've seen of 2011 Topps Baseball Series One, what (if anything) would you have done differently?
I don't think some of my ideas are going to be very popular, and I might get blackballed for my thoughts, but here we go.

  • EVERY LAST INSERT IS GONE!!!!!! Of the four rack packs I bought, instead of the 36 cards it states, I got 26, 27, 28, and 29 base cards in the four packs. I feel like I got short changed. If you are trying to built a set, it will cost you. Give me my 36 base cards! No more Twinkle cards, no more Gold and Black parallels. I guess the Diamond parallels are fine for one time to mark the 60th anniversary. If you want to do the Million card(Diamond giveaway) code cards, great. Don't short me on a regular card though. No more 60 years of Topps, or cards your mom threw out. Leave out the Kimball Minis too please.No more Topps 60, or Diamond Duos. No History of Topps, vintage before Topps reprints, and NO MORE TOPPS TOWN CARDS!!!
  • If you want to do the Target throw back, or the WalMart black background parallels fine. Put them in a separate CLEARLY MARKED blaster so people don't feel cheated.
  • There will be a 10 year moratorium on Mickey Mantle. No more will we have to waste card #7 every year. To end the confusion if his card is a short print or not, he won't be in the base set. Also, the SP's of old players on the same card number as a base card are gone too. NO MORE GIMMICKS!
  • The size of the set will go back to what it used to be, 792 cards and a 132 card Traded set. You can do the main 792 as one set like the 80's, or you can do two sets of 396. I like the break down of all teams have 25 cards for the roster. There would be 30 cards that are team cards like the 70's and 80's with a team photo on the front, with the manager's photo. The back of the team card will have a checklist of the card #, player name, position, and uniform #. Ten of the last 12 cards would be the league leaders in Wins, ERA, Home Runs, RBI's, and stolen bases. The last two cards would be the league MVP's. As far as the 132 card Traded series, it reverts back to what it was. Guys that came up in the season, or players who were traded to new teams. No airbrushing, or photo shop PLEASE!
  •  The card stock would go back to what we all love-CARDBOARD! Goodbye white, goodbye slick cards. The back of cards would have stats, not a bunch of trivial crap. If the guys haven't had much time in the majors, we get their full minor and major league stats. I liked cards that would have sevens years of minors stats and one line of majors.
  • Since we are going back to the way cards used to be, FOIL IS GONE TOO!! That's right, we didn't have foil when we were kids. It has run it's course for the last 20 years, time to go.
  • Topps will go back to doing what it does best, a base set of cards. The only other set we will make is Heritage. This is a way to get the younger collectors to know what the older set looked like. Sets like Opening day, Chrome, Gypsy Queen, and A&G will all be gone. Too many different things to try and collect. Our Bowman cards will be made as one set. It will only contain prospects that have not made it to the Major Leagues yet. It will be similar to the Pro Debut set from last year. If you like we can re-name Bowman to Pro Debut. There will be no big leaguers in this set, and there will be NO CHROME!
  • The size of a pack of cards will be increased to what it once was. I think 17 or 18 cards in a pack should be a good number. Quality control will do a better job of insuring that collation of cards is to higher standards also.
  • We will have a whole new team working on our website. They will be more up on the news of the collecting world. We will ask bloggers to write guest commentaries. We will have checklists that are full and accurate before cards come out. NO MORE TBA's ON A CHECKLIST. We will also have complete checklists from all previous years sets.
  • Topps will discontinue the production of manufactured relics. No more hat patches, no more simulated gloves, no abortion cut signatures. Sticker auto's are a thing of the past. No more jersey pieces that may or may not have actually been worn, or aren't even from that player's era.
  • Topps wants to give collectors a reason to try and seek out their local card stores. In hobby boxes only, there will be a pack of cards that won't be base will be on card autos from cards that are at least 25 years old. We work with living players to have some of the leftover cards that don't ship from the Topps Million Card Giveaway to sign these for us. Collectors will go to LCS's and buy Hobby boxes knowing they will get their autos.

There you have a run down of the things I would like to see changed if I was king of the Card world. Let me know what you think. I know some ideas are pretty radical, but I want this hobby to go back to what it was and made me love it as a kid.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Welcome home Bob!!

Recently Chris at Vintage Sportscards held a contest for getting his 50th follower. I was one of the lucky winners. I said I would win this card, and look who showed up in the mail yesterday.

I have wanted this card for a long time. It is sad that it came out after Roberto's death, but it shows him with the great mark of 3,000 hits.

I could care less of it's condition, it is a 1973 Roberto Clemente, Hall of Famer! I had liked Roberto as a player from films I've seen, but after reading this book about him a few years ago I had a new found respect for him.

Roberto was a part of two World Champion teams in 1960, and again in 1971.

Speaking of World Champion Pirates, we need to say goodbye to the leader of my first favorite team, the 1979 Pirates. Former manager Chuck Tanner passed away yesterday at the age of 82.

Chuck played from 1955 to 1962 with the Braves, Cubs, Indians, and Angels. He was a manager for the White Sox, Athletics, Pirates, and Braves. Rest in Peace Chuck.

Chris was also great enough to send me this great 1982 Donruss of Tommy Davis, some '86 Donruss cards, a couple '82 Fleer's to finish that set off, and a couple '83 Fleer's to help that one out too. Every few cards continue to help dwindle the number down. Can you help out with the Super Set too?

Thanks again to Chris for holding the contest, and sending me probably the greatest 1973 card Topps made that year!