Friday, July 30, 2010

"Tales from the Dugout" #2: Don Mossi

Continuing on with the “Tales from the Dugout” series, here is a tale about the legendary (looking) pitcher Don Mossi. Enjoy!
Don Mossi is one of those players that fans of the baby boomer generation remember most fondly. Mossi was a pretty good left-handed pitcher who compiled a 101-80 lifetime record over 12 seasons, mostly with the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers, but it wasn’t his record that endeared him to us. It was his face. An angular face made unforgettable by bushy eyebrows, a perpetual five-o’clock shadow, and a pair of ears that seemed attached to the sides of his head like the handles of a loving cup trophy.

Although Mossi had no Cincinnati connection, he became in the mid-1970s the focal point of a huge, long-running Cincinnati Hot Stove League baseball party hosted by two Cincinnati Reds front-office employees, Tom Jackson and Doug Bureman. Here is Jackson’s account of how Mossi’s cult status in Cincinnati came to be.

“The whole thing started in November of 1974. Doug and I were young bachelors in our late twenties at the time, and we tried to party every chance we got. We were sitting around one day looking at some baseball cards tat were on the coffee table, and a card of Don Mossi just stood out from all the rest. We saw that his birthday is January 11, so we figured why not have a birthday party on that day in Don’s honor? It turned out that the coming January 11 fell on a Saturday, so it worked out perfectly.

“We had the party at Doug’s split-level town house, and about 80 people showed up. Some of the girls made a cake that accentuated Don’s most prominent facial features, his ears, and at the height of the evening’s festivities we called Don at his home in Ukiah, California, to wish him happy birthday. At first he didn’t believe we were having a party in his honor, but we told him it was for real. It turned out to be a pretty crazy party, and it just took off from there. We wound up having our Don Mossi party for 12 straight years, and from the second year on we moved the party to a rental hall. The attendance peaked at over 340 people a year, two years in a row.

“The whole thing got to be pretty elaborate. We printed up admission tickets, made up T-shirts that we sold at cost- one showed Don in a cowboy outfit and said, ‘Mossi’s Posse’- and one year we even had a Don Mossi ice sculpture. We charged people three or four bucks to get in to help pay for the ‘all-you-can-drink’ beer we served, and each year the highlight of the evening was the long-distance phone call to Don. We gave out door prizes, and the best prize, which three people won each year, was the privilege of talking to Don for one minute.

“The party started out mocking Mossi, but as it went on year after year he became a hero, sort of a folk hero. We found out that he is a very decent guy, a real dedicated family man. Eleven out of the 12 years we called him to wish him happy birthday, he was at home, just sitting around the house with his wife and two daughters. He’s never been to another major league baseball game since he retired, even though he lives only a hundred miles north of San Francisco. He likes to hunt and fish, and he works as a supervisor in a Masonite factory. Don’s also a very, very quiet guy. He never says much at all. I actually visited him at his house in 1979. In the 20-minute conversation I had with him, I must have all the talking for 18 minutes, and I’m a terrible conversationalist.

“In Don we picked the perfect guy for our party without knowing it beforehand. A lot of guys would have gotten mad and blown us off, but to Don it was no big deal. He even sent us stuff for our Don Mossi Museum, which was on display at the party each year. He sent us game-worn caps from all four major league teams he played for, some Don Mossi photos, an autographed baseball, and an instructional pitching film he ‘starred in.’ The film was woefully outdated- it just showed Don throwing off a mound for five minutes or so- but we showed it each year, and people went wild. Since we worked in baseball, we were able to obtain some legitimate Don Mossi items ourselves from the Indians and Tigers, but we also had some gag items in the Mossi Museum: Don’s World Series ring- a cigar band- and his scrapbook, which was completely empty.

“One Don Mossi occurrence I’ll never forget involved a guy named Brian Hunterman, who came to Cincinnati in 1979 to work for the Reds. Brian had no previous contact with any of us nor any previous clue about the party, yet when someone told him about the party and asked him if he wanted to go, he reached into his back pocket for his wallet and then pulled a Don Mossi baseball card out of it- providing that Don was a legend independent of our party. Needless to say, Brian became a regular at the parties.

“The twelfth party was our last. It was a heck of a lot of work to put on, and we got a little tired of it. We rationalized that it was appropriate to stop after 12 years because 12 years was the length of Don’s major league career. We had wanted to fly Don in for an appearance at a party, but we could never convince him to come. He was just too modest to do it. Our only regret was that Don never came to Cincinnati to meet his adoring public. Other than that, our Don Mossi parties were nothing but a whole lot of laughs.”

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner

When I woke up this morning (alright, afternoon), I never expected to win a contest. However, when I checked My Past Time… I Love It! to read his latest post, it turns out that I did win a contest. The generous and wondrous Wicked Ortega was giving away an autographed Dan Uggla picture to the person that correctly guessed the number that would be pulled out of a hat. I guessed 68 because that’s my football number (and the number of times I’ve been rejected to homecoming in the past 3 years, but who’s counting?). Turns out the number pulled was 71 so the Uggla picture is mine! Thanks to Wicked Ortega for the great prizes. He’s not done however; check out My Past Time… for more contests and chances to win cool prizes. I probably won’t enter again except for the two Yankees autographed photos that look extremely nice.

Now onto another contest. The final days of the Rookie Card Challenge are approaching. So far we got some nice entries and there’s still time to include more. Clink on the link for more details. The winner will receive some nice stuff to add to their collections, so definitely think about entering. The last day for entry is the last day in July 31. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Cards Grande from Nachos Grande

Recibí un montón pesado de tarjetas de Chris sobre en Grande de Nachos. Permítanos la zambullida en y vea lo que el buen hombre envió.

2008 Topps Allen y Ginter #56: Chien-Ming Wang El único UN & G que me hará feliz es Yankees UN & G. Todavía necesidad Tira más de los 2006-2009 conjuntos.

2010 Topps Allen y Ginter #113: Billy Butler La tarjeta final que necesité para el completo 2010 Allen y Ginter Royals equipo. Esto puede ser la última vez que toco UN & G un rato.

Chris mandó a algunos Yankees del 2008 conjunto de Goudey. Yo todavía necesito el resto de los Yankess de este conjunto, tan si usted los tiene que sabe donde enviarlos.

Gracias a Chris del Grande de Nachos para el lío agradable de Tirones y desea. ¡Vea ya perras posteriores!

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Can't Think of a Title for This Post

2005 Donruss Greats isn’t considered a “fan favorite set”, but there can be a strong case made to call it such. The checklist has an abundance of Hall-of-Famers such as Roberto Clemente, Bob Gibson, Al Kaline, and Willie Mays and a heavy chunk of modern players such as Alex Rodriguez, Jason Bay, Ichiro Suzuki, and Chipper Jones. So why am I calling it a fan favorite set? The rest of the checklist includes names such as Terry Pendleton, Minnie Minoso, Dwight Evans, Tony Oliva, and Marty Marion. To the average major league fan… who the hell are they? But to Braves fans, Twins fans, and White Sox fans, they were solid players that didn’t dominate the headlines but put their team in a good position to win a ballgame every night. They often have a charming and pleasurable personality to go along with their talents, a very rare combination in sports. These players are often regarded as “fan favorites”. For Yankees fans, Nick Swisher is considered a fan favorite because despite having to play in the shadow of Jeter and A-Rod, he puts up good numbers while retaining his great personality to the fans. What team wouldn’t want that?

Fan favorite sets are usually quite popular among the hobby. Collectors get a chance to pick up a card (or an autograph/relic) of a favorite player that sometimes wouldn’t be featured in a regular set. And for people who (gasp) sell their cards, there’s always a market for them. 2005 Donruss Greats gave us another great aspect of fan favorite sets; autographed cards of these players we love! Good Lord, I miss Donruss.

So when this baby popped up on the Bay, I knew it had to be in my possession.

Donruss Greats Signature Gold HoloFoil #35: Harold Reynolds The inscription had me skeptical at first, all the other autographed cards of Reynolds had nothing but his signature. However, the seller pointed me out to a few other auctions that had autographed cards of Bobby Doerr and Kent Hrbek with inscriptions.

Harold Reynolds was a solid second baseman for the Seattle Mariners. He led the league in stolen bases in 1987 (which the inscription indicates) and won three Gold Gloves for his superb defense. However, many know him now as an analyst and commentator for MLB Network, and a previous analyst for ESPN Baseball Tonight. He was fired from the network because of an alleged sexual harassment lawsuit filed by a female co-worker. A whole mess ensued with the ordeal; Reynolds claims it was a misunderstood and sued ESPN for money owed to him for his contract and for the network failing to keep the matter “behind the scenes”. Reynolds’ “departure”, in my opinon, led to the downfall of Baseball Tonight as an entertaining and informative broadcast to a joke of a show (much like the entire ESPN network). Reynolds was by the far the best commentator on the program and always outshined his peers (although it’s not too hard to outshine John Kruk). I’m glad he’s back on the tube with MLB Network where he can display his great baseball mind.

Wow, that was a long rant. I just wanted to show you guys the card. My bad.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


... is why people should be worried about security at the National.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Larry Walker's Rear

Card backs. The most overlooked and underrated aspect of a baseball card. A well-designed and thought out back can make or break a card. And while some people chose to ignore it, others embrace it (see Owl, Night). I fall under the latter category.

Mark of Stats on the Back was giving away cards, literally. He sent me a huge stack of Larry Walkers, and its some good stuff. I’ve always liked Larry Walker; he was an incredible athlete. He could hit for a high average, blast 30+ homers, steal 15+ bases, and give you great defense in the outfield. He should get some consideration for the Hall of Fame… but the chances of him making it are as slim as Kate Moss. You never know, the writers have screwed up before. Instead of boring you with the front of the card, why not keep with the theme of card backs? Let’s check out the rear of the card and read the unintentionally hilarious blurbs.

1993 Triple Play #42
Some interesting information I can pile away and save for a rainy day. I’m chop-full of useless trivia for celebrities. Did you know Coolio is an avid snow globe collector?

1997 Topps #461
“During a team slump, he offered cash rewards to them… ranging from $20 for every hit and $200 for complete games.” If I were a pitcher on that squad, I sure as hell would give it my all every night.

Let’s take a break and examine two card fronts, shall we?

1994 Pinnacle #310
1994 Score #376 I’m convinced these two pictures were literally taken the same play. The ‘94 Pinnacle has Larry tracking the ball and the ‘94 Score has him waiting under it. Look at the similarities. Both cards are from the same year and from the same company. Larry has the same angle, not to mention the same sunglasses and same wristband. And do you see the light blue mark on the wall? And I thought Topps was lazy.

1992 Studio #59
Studio is always known to include interesting (a.k.a. useless) tidbits about players. So reading that Larry’s favorite movie was Ghost and that he would most like to meet Mariah Carey kinda confused me. This is a burly Canadian for God sakes… he should never be near a Patrick Swayze film or a Mariah Carey album. Oh, dear Larry.

1993 Studio #123
“Might have been a lumberjack if he hadn’t been an athlete.” Okay, I still laugh when I read this. I can’t picture Larry Walker as a lumberjack, despite having the build and look for it. Try picturing it, it’s harder than it looks. Does anyone else think Larry’s face creeping in is sort of disturbing?

1997 Topps #221Check the list. Besides Piazza, how many of those players have been linked to steroids? And those are some ridiculous numbers.

A big thanks to Mark once again for the generous pile of Larrys. You can never have too much Larry Walker, even if his favorite movie is Ghost. (By the way, if the title of this post attracted you to read, you are a sick man.)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Did Somebody Say...

...eBay purchases?

2008 Upper Deck Heroes Emerald #3: Chris Young (Numbered to 499)

2004 Fleer Tradition Diamond Tributes Game Jersey RH: Roy Halladay

2009 UD A Piece of History Stadium Scenes Jersey Red SSRH: Roy Halladay (Numbered to 180)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Confession

May I make a confession? I have yet to purchase a pack of 2010 Allen & Ginter. May I make another? I don’t think I’ve purchased a pack of Allen & Ginter from any year. Yes, I know that may make me a loser in the hobby, but it’s true. To be honest, I’ve never been interested in the product, and I find it extremely overrated. The cards look and feel nice year in and year out, but other than that there is really nothing else to justify putting down big dough on boxes of Allen & Ginter. The design is the same every single year. The minis are annoying. Cards of dinosaurs and Greek mythology should never, ever be included in my packs of baseball cards. The obscure and insignificant “celebrities” take up valuable space in binders. The relic and autograph checklist is a joke. The multiple variations are a pain in the ass. I may be pessimistic, but that’s because I’ve listened to too many optimistic people.

Now, just because I refuse to put down $90+ on a box of this overrated product, I won’t mind spending some change on group breaks where I can pick up some Yanks. However, I don’t mind picking up a few Royals now and then, which is exactly what I did in Carl Crawford Cards’s monthly group break. I love participating in Paul’s breaks; the prices are great and he’s just a swell guy. Great communicator, fast shipper, and overall a great guy in the hobby. Thanks man!

Here are all the Royals pulled from the 5 boxes busted. I got the entire team set, along with inserts, except for one card… Billy Butler. Go figure. I have four copies of Joakim Soria, and no Butler base. Crazy. As hinted before, there are a lot of dupes in the stack, so let me know if you need some of these cards. The Spinosaurus and the Helio minis, along with the “celebrities” no one cares about, are up for trade as well.

Betancourt is an SP.

Zack Greinke is the A and G Back variation.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

R.I.P. George Steinbrenner

The Boss. He did whatever it took to win, and did he win. There wasn’t an owner like him before, nor will there be an owner like him after. Thanks, George, for everything you've done for the Yankees and the city of New York. You'll never be forgotten.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Lacking Collection

My Halladay collection was lacking. Until I saw how my A-Rod collection had been shaping up recently. It’s in a dismal state, no new additions except for base cards since 2009! And then I realized what else was lacking from my collection… game used cards! I changed that quickly.

2002 Topps Chrome 5-Card Stud Jack of all Trades Relics 5JAR: Alex Rodriguez This beauty has quickly become one of my favorite cards. It looks fantastic in person. Nice chunk of bat, nice shine, and a fun design. I like it.

2002 Upper Deck Diamond Connection Bat Around Quads TROJ: Jim Thome/Alex Rodriguez/Magglio Ordonez/David Justice Jim Thome, one of the most likable sluggers to ever play the game and a future Hall of Famer. Alex Rodriguez, one of the greatest hitters and all around players in the history of baseball. Magglio Ordonez, perennial playoff hitter and anchor in a potent Detroit Tigers lineup. David Justice… uh, gosh… um… oh boy… uh… it’s a nice card.

1994 Upper Deck Electric Diamond #24: Alex Rodriguez Another false advertising card. If its not his rookie card, don’t put “star rookie” on the front dammit! Regardless, it’s a sexy-lookin’ card.

All these bad mofos are courtesy of capncush, who has an extensive Photobucket album filled with his PCs and cards for trade. While these cards kick ass, I still need more to add to the A-Rod collection. Thank God no one likes A-Rod, so it should be easy to find and trade for his stuff. Peace y’all!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

One Lonely Ticket Stub

Bad Wax needs ticket stubs. Now!
And no, I didn’t go to this game; I was much too young. My father got these tickets through business and went with a few of his friends from work. They broke the sacred rule of leaving the game early and missed the big comeback in the 9th inning and Scott Brosius’s walk-off homer in the 12th. He was definitely kicking himself the next morning. (On another note; they don’t have Brosius’s walk off homer on Youtube? Or any clip from Game 5 on Youtube? This must be changed!)

Those three games in New York were possibly the most important games in Yankee history. The team from the Bronx brought the spirit back to New York by coming back to win two night in a row and lifted a broken city that was decimated by everything from terrorist attacks to anthrax scares. It’s a shame they didn’t win the series and I’ve been a D-Back hater ever since. And for all the Arizona fans that are still bragging about their victory, let’s recap at what the team has done since the 2001 World Series.

The Diamondbacks have had four winning season since 2001 and haven’t advanced past the NLCS since their World Series victory. Their front office is in shambles. They’re ranked 18th in attendance. Their best pitcher is Ian Kennedy. Tell me who got the better end of the deal.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Love Prospecting

Especially if it nets me a nice chunk of cash.

Will I regret selling it? Probably, particularly if he becomes the All-Star player that everyone projects him to be. And if he sustains multiple injuries and never plays a major league game again? I’ll do a little jig. That’s the risk with prospecting and selling cards in general… you never know if you’ll get a steal or get screwed. Then again, isn’t it just like online dating? Anyone, anyone, no?

Regardless, I’m now 63 bucks richer and I’m gonna save that money and invest in some set needs. Or a fancy hat. One of the two.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Buffet of a Trade Post

When a blog name includes a buffet, you know you’re gonna get a hefty helping of cards in a trade. BA Benny of BA Benny’s Baseball Card Buffet sent over a healthy stack of America’s favorite mix… Yankees and Halladay! Let’s take a look at what’s hot in today’s buffet.

1995 Topps #199: Derek Jeter An early card of Captain Dreamboat to add to my small collection of pre-2000 Jeter cards. And for future reference Topps, when I see the phrase “future star” on a card, I assume it’s their rookie card. Rookie cards, especially ones of future Hall-of-Famers, get me pretty excited. But if it’s not their rookie card, you just hyped me up for nothing. All a big tease. So, Mr. Topps Executive, when you’re about to nail your wife and she falls asleep before you slip off her dress, remember when you teased all of us with this “future star”. Karma’s a bitch.

2010 Topps Cards Your Mother Threw Out #20: Thurman Munson Good ol’ Thurm. R.I.P. But why was this insert extended into Series 2? Now the checklist is over 90 cards. Like what the hell Topps? Strike two for you guys today.

2008 Topps Trading Card History TCH45: Hideki Don’ttouchmytushi A card in Japanese?! Strike three, Topps, you’re outta there!

2007 Upper Deck Elements Elemental Autographs AU-HE: Sean Henn (Auto) And to think I was done with chemistry this year. These are nice lookin’ cards, and the sticker auto is barely noticeable. I looked up the checklist for this particular set and it has a lot of variety. You could pull a great auto of Derek Jeter or Cal Ripken Jr., or could be stuck with Joe Blanton or Rich Hill. Definitely hit and miss. You still are better than Topps, UD.

2007 Topps Own the Game OTG25: Roy HalladayI love me some Own the Game, especially if it’s of the Doctor himself. Send me your Own the Game inserts! No seriously, do that.

Thanks to BA Benny for the voluptuous pile of Yanks and Halladay! Also, check out his new site BA Benny’s Pack Rip Café. Adios!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I'm Baaaaack

Yup, I returned home early this evening from a sweltering vacation up in New York. And trust me; I could not escape the heat. I got a whole slew of mail days to highlight along with other posts of interest coming up shortly.

However, tonight I’d like to remind everyone of the Rookie Card Challenge that is rolling in full force as we speak. It’s not too late to enter; the challenge ends at the end of July. It took a while for word to spread, but now it’s caught on across the blogosphere and I’ve read some great stories behind favorite rookie cards. I’d like to extend a hearty thanks to everyone that’s participated so far! It’s much obliged. For those who still wish to enter, please leave a link to your entry in the original post I’ve linked earlier that way I don’t miss anyone. And hey, since I’m in a good mood, I’ve decided to up the ante… along with the cards, the winner gets a year’s subscription to Playboy.
See ya at the mansion suckas!

Saturday, July 3, 2010


Hello, foolish mortals.

I’m on vacation until Wednesday, so posts will be minimal or non-existent. In the meantime, enjoy this picture.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Highlights from 1989 Donruss (If That's Possible)

Here are some of the highlights of my box break of 1989 Donruss. Nothing too exciting came out, except for some rookies and subset cards.
The Randy Johnson is a bit miscut and beat up, but it’s still Randy Johnson.

Along with these cards, I got a slew of Warren Spahn puzzle pieces. The puzzle will be the first puzzle I’ve put together in about 5 years. So the 36 packs yielded some rookies of successful players, nice Diamond King and MVP subset cards, puzzle pieces, and a ton of firewood for the winter. Oh, and this.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I'm a Bad, Bad Man

I couldn’t help myself.

I went to D&A in desperate need of supplies and snagged this on the cheap. I’ve always been a fan of the Diamond King subset and one of my goals is to complete one of these bad boys. I’ll post the highlights morrow. Good day, sirs.