Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Dinged Corners new year's baseball card questions

I haven't gotten involved in one of these blog question and answer posts - but I'm trying to do something in involve myself in the hobby. One of those ways is answering questions to give you a chance to reflect and share a little about what makes you a collector.


1-If I didn't collect baseball cards, I'd collect - books about baseball, its players and its history.

2-My baseball heroes include one you probably wouldn't know from my blog or comments, and that person is - Ichiro

I don't know if I consider baseball players heroes, but then I guess I like the idea of this Ichiro fellow - I kind of got swept up in the bandwagon in 2001, wondering if this 'cat' was going to stick and through 2008, it doesn't look like he is slowing down.

I still put this guy up on a pedestal because of a number of reasons - he is one 200-hit season from cracking the 2,000 hit mark [he already has over 3,000 hits if you combine his Japan totals and his Major League Baseball totals] and has an outside chance of getting 3,000 hits. He plays for an organization that has crumbled over the last four or five years but for better or for worse, he continues to put up some decent numbers.

3-Every New Years I resolve to - organize my collection since it is my Achilles' heel.

Over a given year, cards get piled on top of each other and while there is some organization in place - cards are sorted out for a number of reasons and I get lazy to put them back where they came from.

4-If I could spend a day with one person from baseball history, it would be - Babe Ruth; you want to know everything about living large, then you have to spend a day with the Babe.

ROUND TWO: Here are Lucy's questions for you:

1-What is your favorite kind of dog? Any kind of dog.

2-Who is your favorite baseball player? Tim Salmon, because he was the first Halos' top prospect who came up through the early 1990s and established himself as a franchise star.

One of my baseball card collecting 'games' back in the day was trying to pick out players' cards who were going to be future stars - I wasn't Billy Beane or nothing with Moneyball, but I'd pick out some cards out of the commons box of a friend perhaps [I thought most cards I found were rookies, but they could have been second year cards of young players with minimal stats lines on the back] and see if there was a player who was going to star when given a chance [I remember Paul Sorrento and Ed Sprague].

As Salmon started to put it together as an elite prospect back in the early 1990s, I traded for his 1991 Bowman rookie card - it was only worth a quarter [and probably is still only worth a quarter today], but I figured he was in an Angels' uniform.

Salmon made his Major League debut in 1992 for a cup of coffee and won the American League Rookie of the Year the next season - he was the face of the team through the late 1990s and despite battling injuries and down seasons, had a prominent role in helping the Angels win a championship in 2002. He is held in highest regards by Angels' fans.

3-What is your favorite team? Los Angeles, California, Anaheim, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Angels; my two Little League teams were the Angels and the A's. The Angels are the 'hometown' team to this day, though back in the early 1990s, there was some 'team envy' when you had Dave Stewart, Jose Canseco, Dennis Eckersley, Mark McGwire, Dave Henderson, Rickey Henderson among others flexing their muscles for the A's in the American League West. The Angels of the early 1990s seemed like 'pretenders' compared to the A's.

4-What is your favorite baseball movie? Bad News Bears or Mr. Baseball; there was something authentic about Bad News Bears and it wasn't really just a sappy,feel good baseball movie for kids. Mr. Baseball dwells on the fictionalized experiences of the 'Gaijin' [or foreigner] ballplayer thrown into a different culture and it is kind of a poor man's Bull Durham as far as the nuts-and-bolts baseball action is concerned.

5-What is your favorite baseball book? Ball Four by Jim Bouton; it was a radical book and something frowned upon by the baseball establishment. Despite being blackballed for putting out the book, Bouton gave readers an opportunity to see what ballplayers were really like as opposed to sugarcoated accounts written up by ghostwriters or reporters who still believed they could enjoy relationships with the superstars they lavished glowing praise on.

6-What is your favorite card? 1985 Topps Mark McGwire #401; I don't know if I have a definitive card to talk about but I picked up a card like the one pictured for $5 at the 1996 National in Anaheim. Fast forward to 1998 and a professionally graded version [maybe a PSA 10 or BGS 9.5] of this card was going to pay for part of someone's college education at a community or state college perhaps. The Tiffany version may have paid for someone's college education at decidedly better schools.

Having this card back in 1998 sort of made me feel like I had a little piece of the home run chase between McGwire and Sammy Sosa - this card is only a $5 card once again, but for a while it was the key rookie card of MLB's premier steroid taking Paul Bunyan-esque home run hitter and I was riding the wave like everyone else. People were either talking about McGwire or Sosa's daily performance and/or saying they had their rookie cards.

For the questionnaire, go to Dinged Corners

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