Monster Card Monday: 1916 Babe Ruth


Even in the midst of hosting the Greater Michigan APBA Baseball Tournament, Pastor Rich Zawadzki had time to forward this card to me.  Rich acknowledged that while I’ve posted plenty of Monster Babe Ruth cards before (he’s right, there are five), this one is worth a look. 

Indeed it is.  It’s Ruth’s 1916 card before he even played with the Yankees.   He was still with the Red Sox and his primary position was still pitcher though you can begin to tell he had a mean stick. 

What a season on the mound though!  Ruth went 23-12 with a nifty 1.75 ERA in astounding 323 innings pitched.  He completed 23 of the 40 games he started. 

Ruth never played in the outfield in 1916.  That “experiment” didn’t start until 1918.  However, it was apparent that the Bambino had an aptitude with the bat.  At the plate, he hit .268 with five doubles, three triples and three homeruns. 

First, his hitting stats of 1916…

1916 Totals 68 152 138 18 37 5 3 3 16 0 9 23 .268 .318 .413
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/9/2015.


and of course, his pitching stats…

1916 Totals 23 12 .657 1.75 44 40 23 9 1 323.2 230 63 0 118 170
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/9/2015.


This is first time that I have sat down and studied Babe Ruth’s pitching career as intensely as I just did.  He had a couple of really amazing seasons with the Sox!

Some baseball historians and other baseball experts posit that Babe Ruth should never have become an outfielder and he was more valuable as a pitcher.  It’s moot point but I agree that is possible that Ruth could have been a Hall of Fame pitcher in his own right.  I would argue though that he would not have fundamentally changed the way the game of baseball was played had that happened. 

If Babe Ruth not had hit his homeruns at the pace he did and forced the other teams to catch up, would the deadball era have been delayed for a few years?  Now whether or not you think that is a positive thing is entirely your opinion. 

thanks, Rich!

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Bob Gordon’s 1979 postseason: Oriole Flanagan overpowers Twins

On to Game 2 of the ALCS of Bob Gordon’s 1979 postseason replay.  -Tom

mike-flanagan-cardThe Twins are hoping to even up the series after the O’s broke a 2-2 tie with a 4 run 8th. Mike Flanagan (27-9, 2.56, 23 CG), who shared the Cy Young with teammate Dennis Martinez, goes against Dave Goltz (23-6, 3.27).

Bumbry works a leadoff walk from Goltz. One out later with Singleton batting, Earl Weaver calls the hit and run. Singleton drills a liner to Bombo Rivera in right – who promptly doubles Bumbry off first. Rivera leads off the Twins half of the first with a single. After Randall strikes out, Roy Smalley laces a single to left past a diving Kiko Garcia and in to left field. Rivera holds at second. Flanagan gets Landreaux to pop to Garcia and fans the dangerous Adams. The Orioles waste two singles in the second and the Twins strand Castino at first after his one out single.

Rick Dempsey drills a double to right center to start the Baltimore third. Bumbry hammers a double to left center to score Dempsey and the O’s grab an early lead. Goltz gets Garcia to pop to Smalley at short and fans Singleton. Eddie Murray knocks one over the wall in straight away center for a 2 run homer and a three run lead. Roenicke skies to right to end the third. Flanagan sets the Twins down in order in the third. The O’s waste a one out DeCinces double in the fourth. Adams singles with one out in the home half of the fourth – but Flanagan gets Jackson (still Ron, not Reggie) on a fly to Lowenstein in left and Castino grounds to DeCinces at third.

Bumbry gets things off to a good start in the 5th. He singles to left and takes off on the first pitch. Wynegar’s throw is late and Bumbry is in scoring position. Garcia pops to short and Singleton grounds out Jackson to Flanagan – Bumbry taking third on the play. Goltz just one pitch from getting out of the inning. Murray steps up – he’s grounded out and homered. And he hits one to deep left and that one is not coming back. 5-0 Orioles. Roenicke steps in with 39 regular season homers to his credit and one in yesterday’s game as well. So Goltz does the sensible thing. He plunks him in the ribs with the first pitch. Lowenstein then singles to left (that wasn’t part of Goltz’ plan) and manager Gene Mauch has seen enough. He brings in Gary Serum who gets DeCinces to ground to Randall at second and the Twins are out of it. Flanagan keeps the Twins off the base paths and gets his mates back to the bat quickly. He fans Norwood and Wynegar before Bumbry makes a shoe string catch on Rivera’s liner to center.

O’s back to work in the sixth. Dauer singles and the O’s have their leadoff man on for the fourth time today. Dempsey hits a shot under Jackson’s glove and down the right field line for his second two bagger of the day. Dauer holds at third. Now Mauch wants the left hand hurler Darrell Jackson to face Bumbry (and force Singleton and Murray to bat from the right side). Jackson fans Bumbry and Garcia. Weaver wishing Dauer had tried to score on Dempsey’s double…. But Jackson grooves one to Singleton and Ken’s drive finds a fan’s glove beyond the center field wall. The Orioles lead is 8-0. Flanagan retires the Twins in order in the sixth – and in the seventh and has now retired 11 in a row.

The Orioles bat in the eight against Mike Marshall. Marshall in his second inning of work. Dempsey reaches when Roy Smalley can’t find the handle on the roller to short. E-6. Bumbry grounds in to a 4-6 fielder’s choice and Garcia hits a one hopper back to the box. Marshall flips to Jackson at first for the second out as Bumbry takes third. Now Marshall is thinking he’d be comfortable on the bench instead of facing Singleton, if Smalley had only handled that grounder. Singleton goes the other way with Marshall’s offering. It has a chance…good bye! Home run number 2 for the game for Ken Singleton and Marshall gets his seat on the bench. Mauch brings in Roger Erikson to face Murray – who also has two homers today. Erikson wants no part of him, though, and walks him on four pitches. Gary Roenicke then launches a no-doubt-about-it shot to left and the Orioles lead is 12-0. Five homers on the day for the high flying Birds. Willie Norwood takes Flanagan deep to start the Minnesota 8th. Norwood hit just 6 home runs all year – and this one ruins Flanagan’s shutout bid. One out later, Rivera doubles to the gap in right center. But Morales, pinch hitting for Randall, grounds to Garcia at short and Smalley’s grounder finds DeCinces’ glove at third and the inning is over. The Birds get 9th inning singles by Dempsey – his third hit of the day – and Bumbry – who collected 3 hits, a walk and two stolen bases – but fail to score. Flanagan cruises through the 9th retiring the Twins in order for the fifth time today.

The Orioles, like the Pirates, go home needing just one win to clinch a Series berth.

Keep ‘em coming, Bob! 

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Abreu again goes first in Lame Duck Baseball Association draft

imageNeil Leininger of the Lame Duck Baseball Association sends us the first round results of their 35th rookie draft which took place on March 7th.

1. Abreu
2. Boegarts
3. Soler
4. Springer
5. D. Santana
6. Betts
7. Ventura
8. deGrom
9. Betances
10. McHugh
11. R. Castillo
12. Stroman
13. J. Familia
14. Tanaka
15. Polanco
16. A. Sanchez
17. Panik
18. Shoemaker
19. Baez
20. Hamilton

Seems to me Jose Abreu has been the conventional choice for #1 pick. 

thanks, Neil!!

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The best (and the worst): updating the IAL all-time leaderboards

Derek-JeterI’ve been seeing some posts on social media about Rich Zawadski’s Greater Michigan Baseball Tournament roll by.  It seems like Rich has really pulled off a fun event!  I really am sorry I didn’t go.  Next time, Rich! 

While I’m waiting for the full report from the tournament, I’ve been updating the Illowa APBA League’s all-time leaderboard.  Commissioner Mike Bunch sent me the standings and stats from our league going back to our first year in 1975 which have now been updated with the 2014 stats.  Since then, I’ve been sorting and filtering them by categories and finding out who what’s changed since last year.

The short answer:  There wasn’t a lot of movement since the 2014 season passed us by.  There was not one performance in 2014 that cracked the single season top ten in any category in either the hitting or pitching.  That’s the first time that’s the first time that’s happened since I’ve started doing this. 




There was some movement (both up and down) on the career charts, though.  The notable ones?  Well, Derek Jeter is only 30 hits away from 3000 hits now.  He will surpass that mark sometime this year.  Also, he will most likely pass Alex Rodriguez who is #2 in runs scored with 1736.  Jeter is only 17 runs away.  Finally, he is also only one double away from passing Ivan Rodriguez who is fifth all time in doubles with 525. 


image image


Also, Albert Pujols was knocked off the top ten career top ten hitting chart.  Relative youngsters like Joe Mauer (.302, 7th all-time), Buster Posey (.299, 9th all-time) are making their move now.  That’s ok with Albert because he is only three homers away from 500.  That’s good for ninth all time.  Pujols still holds on the #2 slot in slugging with a .576.  He’s right behind the guy he replaced at first base for the Thunderchickens.  Mark McGwire leads all IAL hitters with a career .592 mark. 


image image


There wasn’t much change on the pitching top ten lists except for interestingly, career ERA.  Usually, that list is reserved for old timers like Steve Carlton and Catfish Hunter.  They are joined now by newbies like Clayton Kershaw who is #2 all-time with a 3.07 ERA.  Jered Weaver makes a surprising appearance who now qualifies at #4 with a career 3.31 mark and Adam Wainwright is right behind him with a 3.38 ERA. 

The only other active player among the pitching career top ten is Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez who clocks in at #2 with 330 saves behind Mariano Rivera’s 461 saves. 

The IAL’s Worst


Now, I mentioned that no players cracked the top ten in pitching or hitting.  That’s true but only for positive stats.  There was an interesting trend in 2014.  A total of FIVE hitters from 2014 are now on the top ten list for the lowest batting average ever in the IAL.  Not only that, Elvis Andrus’ slugging percentage of .225 is now an all time low for the IAL.  Jose Altuve’s .281 slugging mark ranks #10, too.  To add to all of this, Matt Wieters .211 OBP from last year is the lowest of all time. 

All players noted qualified with at least 500 plate appearances. 

IAL all-time hitting leaders IAL all-time pitching leaders
IAL baseball registry IAL All-time worst

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Bob Gordon’s 1979 postseason: Pirates pull one out with the Cobra’s help

Bob Gordon continues with his 1979 postseason replay.  Back to the NLCS with Game 2.  -Tom

cobraGame 2 of the Senior Circuit series in Houston.  The Astros trying to bounce back from being shutout by Blyleven whilst being limited to just 2 hits.  Joe Niekro (20-12, 2.77) takes on Cy Young winner John Candeleria (25-8, 2.50).  Given the Bucs superior hitting, you have to like their chances…..

Moreno gets the Pirates started with a lead off single.  Foli follows with a single to right, Moreno cruises in to third standing up.  Parker promptly bangs in to a 6-4-3 double play, but the Bucs grab a one run lead.  In the home half of the second, Garner tries kicking Cabell’s grounder to Stargell at first and the Astros have their lead runner on.  Leonard moves him to second when his hit and run attempt goes Garner to Stargell in the more traditional way.  Landestoy’s base hit through the box knots it at one. 

The Bucs come up in the top of the third.  Niekro appears to have been settled in – having retired the last five he has faced.  He walks Garner to start the inning, and then gives up an RBI double to right center to Candeleria.  Moreno slaps one past Reynolds at short and the Pirates are suddenly up 3-1.  Foli is out at first on a weak come backer, and Parker hits a soft fly to Cruz in left.  Cruz drops it (!) and Moreno comes flying home for the third run of the inning.  Up strides Willie Stargell.  Willie was the NL MVP (.271, 48, 137), but is looking for his first hit of the series.  He finds it- a no doubt about it drive to right center and the Bucs lead 6-1.  Bill Robinson doubles to end Niekro’s day and Rick Williams gets two infield outs to end the inning. 

Candeleria goes out and to try and get the shutdown inning.  Denny Walling triples to left center to start the third.  He scores one out later on a Sac Fly to Parker in right.  Candeleria gets Cruz to fly to center to end the third.  He gets the Astros in order in the fourth and the first two batters in the fifth.  Walling walks with two gone and takes third on Reynolds’ single to right.  One out and the Pirates are out of the inning, but Cedeno lines one over Foli’s head in to left field for one run and Cruz atones for his error with a ringing double to the gap in left center. Two runs score and its 6-5 Pirates. Cabell pops to third and we go the sixth.

The Pirates wasted a single by Garner in the top half of the sixth. Chuck Tanner elected to let Candeleria bat and all he could muster this time was a grounder to third.  So after being given the chance to stay in the game, Candeleria walks the leadoff hitter.  Landestoy grounds to Foli and the Bucs get the lead runner.  Jesus Alou pinch hits for the pitcher and drills a drive over Stargell at first and in to the right field corner.  Landestoy scores to tie it up at six and Walling comes to the plate.  Candeleria whiffs him on five pitches – and finds a seat on the bench away from Tanner. 

The fourth Astros pitcher of the day – Bo Roberge (BW) – faces Foli to start the seventh.  Foli singles to left and swipes second on the first pitch.  Parker hammers one to center field giving the  Bucs a two run lead just like that.  Stargell hits the next pitch to right field and that one isn’t coming back!  9-6 Pittsburgh.  Roberge gets the next three batters and Candeleria trots out looking for a shutdown inning.  Garner boots Reynolds’ grounder for his second E4 of the day.  Cedeno hits a chopper back to the box – out at first, Reynolds in scoring position.  Cruz singles to Parker bringing Houston to within two.  Tanner calls for Enrique Romo and Candeleria leaves after six and a third.  Cruz takes off for second and easily beats Ott’s throw; runner in scoring position, one out.  Romo gets Cabell to sky to right and Leonard to bounce out 1-3.  9-7 Pirates.

Top of the eighth and Garner leads off trying to redeem himself.  Garner comes through, singling sharply past Landestoy and in to right field.  Tanner looks to John Milner to pinch hit. The Astros respond by going to their stopper, left hander Joe Sambito, to keep this close.  Milner doesn’t try to do too much with a heater and singles to left, Garner safely in to third in a cloud of dust.  Milner takes off for second on a 2-0 count, and beats Ashby’s throw.  Sambito comes back to fan Moreno.  Foli drives one to short center.  Walling charges in to make the catch and holds the runners.   Looks like Bill Virton made the right move bringing Sambito in early.  But Parker goes the other way for a two run single to left. The Cobra then swipes second.  He’s had a good day – 2-5, 2 runs, 4 RBI a steal and a homer.  The next guy has had a pretty good day, too.  Willie is 2-3, 2 runs, two homers, 3 RBIs and been hit with a pitch.  So after that build up, Sambito fans him on four pitches.  Grant Jackson and Kent Tekulve get the last six outs and seal the Pirates 11-7 win.  They go home to Pittsburgh needing just one win to move on.

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Weird Card Wednesday: 1973 Don McMahon


Joe Liss posted this 1973 Don McMahon card on Facebook recently.  Now, it’s definitely a Monster card with a total of eighteen hit numbers based on his 1 for 1 performance for the San Francisco Giants. 

To me, it’s also a little strange since the card has four nines.  Almost all cards have two nines unless it belongs to a typical bad hitting pitcher who will get just one.  On occasion, a low average slugger with a lot of walks may receive the 8-8-9 combination.  This is the rare instance when a card has more than two nines, though. 

McMahon’s card has a 62-9, 53-9, 45-9 and a 13-9. 

Don McMahon was a little before my time but looking at his stats, he has to be one of the under-appreciated relievers of his era.  In his 18 years in the majors, he pitched in 874 games all but two of them in relief.  He won 90 games and came away with a 2.96 ERA. 

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TBL World Series: Joe Auletta wins Game 7 in extras!

tblCongratulations to Joe Auletta!  His Brobdingnag Barbarians took the Transcontinental Baseball League championship two weekends ago.  It took some doing though.  His Barbarians had to defeat the Midwest Mongrels in Game 7 in a 12 inning battle. 

Below is Joe’s write up of Game Seven forwarded to me by Stephen Stein. 

Congrats again, Joe!


2015 World Series, Game #7

Midwest (J. Zimmerman) vs Brobdingnag (S. Strasburg)

Each team has won over 120 games in the regular season and playoffs to get this far. One game left. Fifty players striving for another championship ring. Both franchises knew the feeling of victory.

The visitor’s first went quietly. Victor Martinez, the most productive hitter in the series so far, earned a two-out walk after fouling off six straight 3-2 pitches, but Adam Jones struck out to end the half-inning.

The home first was anything but quiet. Zimmerman was a surprise starter on short rest, and his velocity was clearly off from pre-game warm-up on. Trout sat on a fastball that lacked zip and pulled it for a single. Mauer too two pitches low and away, and then with Trout running Mauer turned on another “fast” ball that wasn’t and singled to right, Trout taking third. That was enough, and Zimmerman was replaced after the shortest start of his career. Bret Cecil started the bullpen revolving door. Davis K’d but Hanley Ramirez blooped an opposite field double, Trout scoring and Mauer to third. Papi then walked to load the bases and there was a threat that this one might be over very quickly. Cecil handed the ball to Simon, the Mongrels playing the Righty vs Righty match-up against Jason Werth with only one out. Simon got ahead in the count 1-2 and tried to get Werth out with a curve ball, but the ball hung and Werth sent it into the left center alley for a two run double—anyone faster than a turtle would have cleared the bases, but that has never been Papi’s forte. Simon settled down and retired both Rios and Scutaro to strand a pair in scoring position. End of 1st, MID 0, BRO 3.

Three runs in this series has proven to be near insurmountable and there was a sense of urgency in the Dawg hitters. CarGo swung hard and sent a screaming fly into straight away center but Trout broke well and caught it running full speed towards the wall, a la Willie Mayes. Ryann Zimmerman swung from his heals and weakly topped a change-up to Scutero who retired him with a flip to Davis. With two out and no one on Carlos Santana abandoned his normal hitting approach and sat looking fastball all the way. He found one on Strasburg’s third offering, turned on it, and send the ball rocketing into the seats in the left field corner—just fair. Home run Dawgs. No further damage. The bottom of the second was a 1-2-3 inning for the now-coasting Simon. End of 2nd, MID 1, BRO 3.

Neither team’s hitters did anything in the third, and the middle of the visitor’s line-up was due in the 4th. Victor—again—started the damage with a lead-off double. That ended Strasburg’s day and brought in the lefty Bastardo. The first pitch was way inside and caused Jones to sprawl in the dirt, and resulted in a warning by the umps to both benches. Jones didn’t look comfortable the rest of the at bat, and wound up flailing weakly at strike three. Out with Bastardo, in with Parnell to face Gonzalez. Same result: a swinging strike out. Two out, Martinez still on second. Ryan Zimmerman sees a whole on the right side and aims for it, and a sharply hit bouncer finds the outfield grass, Martinez scoring to cut the lead to one run. Santana flies out to end the bleeding.

Simon, facing his 10th hitter and having thrown 49 pitches and having retired the last eight Barbarians, starts to fatigue and throws four straight balls to Werth leading off the bottom half inning. Simon—getting some polite applause for a good performance—gives way to hard throwing Rodney. Rodney pitches Rios away until the count reaches 2-2, then busts him inside with a 95 mph fastball on the hands. Rios, still looking away, checks his swing but hits it weakly to Rollins who turns two. Good thing for the Mongrels since Sutaro follows with a single that would have extended the lead. Machado ends the threat by hitting into a routine 6-4 force. End of 4th, MID 2, BRO 3.

Having climbed within one, Midwest moved no closer in the 5th as Parnell and Loup retired the three batters they faced. In the bottom of the 5th the Barbarians again played small ball, much to the Guru’s chagrin. Trout bunted for a single, stole second without a throw, and Joe “The Bunting Fool” Mauer sacrificed him to third with only one out. Perkins replaced Rodney to face the scary bats of Davis—blew strike three past him—and Ramirez—a lazy fly to left. More harm averted.

Both sides mounted mild threats in the sixth. A two-out single and stolen base by Jones was squandered when Gomez hit a warning track fly to Werth in right. Then a two-out single and steal by Rios was misspent when Scutaro hit a one-hopper to Rollins and over to Hosmer. End of 6th, MID 2, BRO 3.

In the seventh, up one, the Barbarians pulled Scutaro, Ramirez, and Rios for three superior gloves in Ackley, Cabrera, and Chris Young, added to the WS roster after the conference championship round. Defensive changes don’t always work as advertised. Tanner Roark, the RH set-up man all season, took the mound. He retired Zimmerman and Santana, then when Romine—who had been 0 for 2—hit a soft grounder to Ackley the inning looked over. OOPS! Ackley, the defensive sub, threw it into the dirt and Davis couldn’t scoop it. Romine was safe on first. Rollins looked fooled on a cut fastball that moved inside and was hit on the arm, pushing Romine to second and getting Roark ejected, even though it did not look intentional on Roark’s part. Neal Cotts, the LH set-up man for Brob, faced Hosmer and got him to ground out Cabrera to Ackley for the force. On to the seventh inning stretch.

Manny Machado led off the home seventh with a fly ball to left that caught the air currents and landed two rows deep, just past the leaping Cuddyer. The lead was two, Kimbrell was warming in the pen, and the fans were starting to celebrate. Chris Davis added a loud double later in the inning, but didn’t get past second. End of 7th, MID 2, BRO 4.

Six outs left for the Mutt-Men. Cuddyer was a routine out, 6-3, but then came the hot Martinez. He waited for an off-speed offering he could drive and hit another double just inside the first base foul line. Chavez ran for Martinez. Jones lined out to the pitcher, the Gomez who had hit the ball hard twice in the game with nothing to show for it, lined a single over Ackley and they sent Chavez. The throw was on line, but a fraction too late as Chavez scored and cut the lead again to one run. Zimmerman flied out to end the visitor’s 8th.

The home 8th started promisingly for Brob as Ortiz walked and shocked the stadium by stealing second—his second stolen base of the playoffs. But on the slide he twisted his ankle and Jose Fernandez ran for him. Non pitchers, the Barbarians only had back-up catcher Navarro still available. Fernandez never made it past second Greg Holland retired Werth, Young, and Ackley easily. End of 8th, MID 3, BRO 4.

Top of the 9th, three outs left, closer Craig Kimbrell (39 saves and a 1.85 ERA during the regular season) warm and ready, Cotts (7 saves and a 1.37 ERA) on the mound, and the best defensive team in the league in the field. They were feeling good and limbering up to rush the field. Santana struck out. The decibel level reached jet engine proportions. Barney grounded out, Cabrera to Davis. Two outs and Vlad almost started to smile. Rollins walked. Vlad stopped smiling. Sciame went to the mound and called for Kimbrell to face Hosmer. The first pitch was a called strike. The second pitch was a pitch-out, but Maure had to double clutch for the ball and Rollins beat the throw. Tieing run on second, but only one out left. Hosmer was 0 for 4 and had looked bad all night, so it wasn’t a shock when he topped a ball right back to Kimbrell—who threw it over Davis’ head for an error. Hosmer safe at 1st, and Rollins ran through the stop sign at third and scored. Game tied. Dead silence in the stands. Vlad very much not smiling. Kimbrell reached back and punched out Cuddyer, but the lead had been lost.

One more chance for the Barbarians to win it in regulation, but they never even got started. Holland was overpowering retiering Machado, Trout, and Mauer. On to extra innings for the second time in the series. End of 9th, MID 4, BRO 4.

Between innings Kinbrell could be seen turning a bat into splinters and everyone else gave him room. When they started the 10th, he took his frustration out on the Dawgs. Chavez never got close to any of the three pitches he say, swinging and missing on a 101 mph fastball to end his at bat. Jones, seeming to fear for his life, flied weakly to Young in left. Gomez checked his swing on a full count and walked, but was gunned down by Mauer attempting to steal. Holland gave way to Perralta who was not as dominating. Davis singled. The crowd started to get louder. Cabrera sacrificed him to second. Louder still. Navaro pinch hit for Fernandez in the DH spot and flied to Cuddyer. Werth walked—semi-intentionally—to face Chris Young. Young played good defense all season, but only hit .139 and it showed as he struck out, looking helpless as he did. Two more runners left on for Brob. The fans were starting to get a bit hostile. And scared? End of 10th, MID 4, BRO 4.

Kimbrell still had the tiger’s eye in the 11th, retiering the side 1-2-3 with a pair of Ks. Perralta struk out Ackley to start the bottom of the inning, but then Machado singled—his second hit of the game. When Trout beat out an infield hit to put two runners on, Chen—the game 4 starter—came in to face the lefties Mauer and Davis. Mauer hit a high, playable ball to shallow right, runners hold. Two outs. The Chen struck out Davis. The Barbarians had now stranded 11 runners and a few boos could be imagined among the general crowd noise. End of 11th, MID 4, BRO 4.

Derrek Holland was warm in the Barbarian pen, but Kimbrell could be seen arguing with the pitching coach, and apparently Kimbrell was convincing enough because he came out to open the 12th. This was his longest outing of the season, but he was still reaching the low-mid 90s on many of his pitches. Rollins grounded out for the first out. Then Kimbrell hit Hosmer on the hand, and after a consultation with the third base up, Kimbrell was not thrown out. Roberts ran for Hosmer. Cuddyer, 0 for 5 in the game, made it 0 for 6 as he grounded into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Bottom of the 12th. Cabrera bunted his way on. Navarro missed a hit & run sign and Cabrera was dead meat, thrown out at second by five feet. Navarro then compounded things by striking out. One out away from the thirteenth inning, and 3 minutes shy of 2 AM. Werth tried to check his swing but tapped the ball down the third base line. Zimmerman tried to one-hand it but couldn’t pick it cleanly. Werth safe at 1st, E-5. Chris Young the batter. Sciame looked up and down his now used up bench and shook his head. He called to the pen and told them Holland would start the next inning. Just as he was hanging up the phone, Young connected with a fastball. Up, up, and away it went into the left center stands for a two run walk-off home run. The Barbarians win the seventh game and their fifth World Series by the narrowest of margins over a very good, very tough Midwest team.


Midwest 4 runs, 6 hits, 1 error, 7 LOB

Brobdingnag 6 runs, 14 hits, 2 errors, and 11 LOB

WP: Kimbrell

LP: Chen

SV: None

HRs: Santana, Machado, Young.

Series MVP: No one stood out, it was lots of good pitching, lots of weak hitting. My vote would be for Victor Martinez who was the only hitter who seemed to actually know what to do with a bat.

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Terrible Card Tuesday: 1972 Bobby Floyd


After the recent Illowa APBA League draft weekend, Chuck took me to his place while I waited for the train to downtown Chicago.  We did what most APBA guys would do with 15 minutes to kill… we looked at APBA cards. 


While doing so, I ran across this 1972 Bobby Floyd card.  Floyd was a utility man who played for the Orioles and the Royals between 1968 and 1974.  Quite frankly, most of his cards probably look a lot like this.  Low average, no power and probably not much defense. 

In 1972, Floyd got the most playing time with 134 at-bats.  He still didn’t hit well with a paltry .179 mark.  He only hit three doubles and that was the extent of his power.  As is true with a lot of Terrible Tuesday cards, his run total (9) may be elevated slightly since he was used as a pinch runner. 

1972 Totals 61 140 134 9 24 3 0 0 5 1 5 29 .179 .209 .201
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/3/2015.


Bobby Floyd gets hit numbers 6-7-8-8-8-9-9-10.  That gives him a 31-13 and a 51-39 or “up top” as we say.

Because of his dearth of hit numbers, we see some fly ball result numbers where we normally wouldn’t see them.  Floyd has a 35-30 and a 46-32.

Ugly numbers: 31-13, 51-39, 35-30

Floyd did pick it up in limited play the next year.  In 1973, he hit .333 in 78 at-bats.  He even hit his first extra base hit that wasn’t a double with one triple in his career.

thanks Chuck!!  Let’s play a game next time!!

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Monster Card Monday: 1994 Frank Thomas

big hurt

I forgot who sent this sent in… Doug S?  Regardless, it’s a Monster as long as you don’t mind a butcher in the field.  Frank “Big Hurt” Thomas was given that 1B-2 for a reason. 

But Frank Thomas could produce.  There’s no question about that.  This card is from the strike-shortened 1994 season.  He played 113 games and had logged 399 at-bats.  However with walks and such, he adds up to 517 total plate appearances. 

That’s because MVP Thomas led the league in walks with 109.  He wasn’t all Mr Patient either.  Thomas hit .353 in ‘94 with 106 runs (leading the AL) and 101 rbis.  He hit 34 doubles and 38 homers. 


1994 Totals 113 517 399 106 141 34 1 38 101 2 109 61 .353 .487 .729
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/2/2015.

I’ve said before that one of the biggest factors for me for a Monster Card is non-out numbers where there should be outs.  Powers numbers are great and so are other hit numbers but when I see a 14 or even a 37 where an out number usually resides, that’s when I get tingly inside. 

Frank Thomas fits the bill.  He has a 26-14, a 46-41 AND a 24-37.  That’s a mark of card that will produce.  In total, he has seven 14s to go with his hit numbers 1-1-5-5-6-7-8-8-8-9-9. 

Fun numbers: 44-6, 22-5, 26-14

This may seem like a small thing but I just happened to notice it.  In addition to his two 31s, Frank Thomas’ 1994 card has a 36-12 and a 56-14.  No where else on his card did the cardmakers “make up” for the usual 33 on the 36 and put the it somewhere else.  That means Thomas does not have a 33 OR a 34 making him a little more valuable with the hit and run (especially for those of you playing with the old rules).

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Bob Gordon’s 1979 postseason: Game 1 ALCS

Bob Gordon continues his summary of his 1979 postseason replay  -Tom

83dauerGame 1 of the ALCS is in Minnesota.  Pre-season favorite California struggled to a fourth place finish – they lacked pitching past Frost and Ryan.  The Twins, meanwhile, found plenty of pitching.  Number 4 starter Paul Hartzell finished 22-8!  The dice loved this team….they finished second in the AL with a 296 team batting average.  The Orioles rode a fine starting staff headed by co-Cy Young winners Mike Flanagan (27-9) and Dennis Martinez (26-10) and timely hitting. Gary Roenicke and Ken Singleton both slugged 39 homers to pace the O’s.  Koosman (14-13, 4.06 ERA) draws Martinez for game 1.

Kiko Garcia reaches on a Wilfong error with one down in the first. Murray singles and the O’s have two on, two out and Lee May standing in.  Koosman draws on his playoff experience with the Mets and whiffs the Big Bopper to end the inning.  Top second, and Roenicke launches one over the wall in deep right for a 1-0 lead.  DeCinces walks, and Dauer singles and the O’s are in business again.  Koosman reaches back to retire the next three batters, striking out Garcia to end the second. 

That strike out got Koosman on a roll.  He struck out the side in the third and retired the side in order in the 4th – without a ball leaving the infield.  Twin batters were inspired – with one down in the fourth, Landreaux pulls one over the wall in right.  Landreaux hit 327 on the year with 14 HR and 119 RBIs, so they need him to get it going.  Adams (361, 18 HR, 117 RBI) follows with a double.  Martinez settles down and gets Powell (no, not Boog, Hosken) and Jackson (Ron, not Reggie) and we go to the 5th tied at one.

Martinez’ designated catcher Dave Skaggs, walks on five pitches.  Koosman then plunks Bumbry and the O’s have first and second, no out.  The runners take off and execute a successful double steal.  Earl Weaver is pulling out all the stops.  A surprised and rattled Koosman then balks, and the O’s have get a run without the benefit of a hit.  Koosman retires six straight after hitting Bumbry – and the Twins tie it up on Adams’ solo shot in the 6th.  Both pitchers retire the side in order in the 7th but the wheels come off for Koosman in the 8th. 

Ayala (batting for Garcia) bangs a pinch single to start it.  Belanger comes on to pinch run and play the field – his SS-10 rating moves the O’s to fielding one.  Singleton picks up his first hit of the series, a ringing double to the gap in right center.  Belanger scores easily giving the Orioles the lead.  Murray flies to Rivera to right and Lee May works a walk.  Roenicke grounds to Cubbage and both runners move up. Two in scoring position, but Koosman is one out from getting out of it.  DeCinces works a walk to load the bases for Dauer.  One pitch and Koosman is out of the inning. Unfortunately that next pitch sails over Wynegar’s outstretched glove and Singleton scores.  Dauer clears the bases with a double and ends Koosman’s day.  Pete Redfern gives up a single to Lowenstein batting for Skaggs. Powell’s throw to the plate nails Dauer, but it’s 6-2 Orioles. Martinez gives up a harmless two out single to Landreaux in the bottom of the eighth. He leaves after eight, 2ER, 7 hits, a walk and 4 K’s. 

The Twins face Tippy Martinez in the ninth, needing four to tie.  Tippy gets the left handed Powell, but Jackson doubles to right center and the Twins have hope. Jose Morales bats for Cubbage and drills an RBI single. Wynegar walks to load the bases and Weaver has seen enough.  He calls for Stoddard who led the Orioles in saves with 21. Tim gets Rivera to fly to Singleton and sneaks a fastball past Wilfong and game one is in the books. 

Thanks Bob!  Great writeup!

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