Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Put them In the Hall

The Hall of Fame ballots were published today and many of the stars of my generation appear for the first time: Bonds, Clemens, Bagwell, Biggio, Sosa, McGwire.  Players I immortalized and have been shadowed with controversy.

I do not have a vote.  My father-in-law did.  He covered the Detroit Tigers, among other Michigan teams for close to 30 years for the Flint Journal.  He took great pride and diligence in his selections.  He had his own unique system.  From what I could piece together, he took great stock in how they fared during their career in MVP voting, All-Star selections, career numbers, and the question "Were they dominant for their position when they played?"

I asked him his thoughts on these players before he passed away this past August and he simply replied "Put them in".  They played during an era when most, if not all, were doing something to get an edge, it was not illegal by MLB rules, and the arguments go on and on.  If Dave says put them in, put them in.

It could be a great year for my Detroit Tigers with Morris the likely favorite and #3 Alan Trammell inching closer as well.  I am a homer, but it would be nice to pack the family for my first trip to Cooperstown to see Trammell go in.

I rooted for the Killer B's in Bagwell & Biggio.  I was a little league catcher and appreciated the versatility in which Biggion played (and the guy is the career leader in bean balls, come on, that has got to count for something.  Bagwell was the second coming of McGwire for me.  Power! Power!

As a teacher of Social Studies, I view the Hall of Fame as a historical institution as well.  How can baseball ignore it's history?  It has embraced the Negro Leagues (to a small degree) and the integration of baseball.  Black Sox, Pete Rose, etc.  Let the fans decided what was right and wrong.  You're going to tell me that not only is the All-time hits leader not going to be in the Hall of Fame, the All-Time HR leader for Catchers (Piazza), but also the All-Time Home Run Leaders and Pitchers?  Let's be real.

I will look forward to early January when the BBWAA announce their selections and just hope they do the right thing.

Thanks Dave.

Keep it hot on the corner.


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Trading Tuesday

How many people jump at the chance to add a Don Kelly parallel to their collection?

This guy!

A genuine offer turned into another great trade with Robert at $30 a week Habit.

I sent over some 1986 Topps and all my Blue Jays laying around the desk.

And he sent these among others.

 Hank Aguirre 1964 Topps, insane!  What a deal!

Thanks Robert!

I am going to be cleaning my desk even more of some parallels and other cards that need good homes.

Keep it hot on the corner.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

2,511 Tigers on the wall +18

This week in collecting was like a caffeine induced, door busting, shopping craze.

It started all out with a simple Ebay auction win for a Gene Lamont/Lerin Lagrow 1971 Topps Rookies.

Then it was north to Traverse City to Nothing But Sports and got my fill of some 1962 Topps All-Star Detroit Tigers, along with some other 1970s Topps to fill out my collection

Big pick up for my taste was a Cameron Maybin Co-Signer Auto & a Kyle Sleeth Refractor Auto RC

Then it was back home to Extra Innings for a raid on pages which helped me fill out my 1980s inserts and updates including some Fielder, Lou, Parrish.

What is a week without some Trammell?  2004 Topps on Ebay came in to garner my first Trammell manager card and another Kyle Sleeth RC.

Lastly, I found some unopened 1986 Donruss All-Star packs in the basement which bumped up the collection by two with Sparky and Jack Morris.  A Jimmy Key was also inside the packs which will head out to Robert over at $30 a Week Habit next time round.

Now that holidays are right around the hot corner, I am sure my additions (addictions) will (have to) die down to a slow burn.

After some double checking, I added 18 cards that I had not recorded, bumping it 2,529 Tigers and counting.

Keep it hot on the corner.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Trammell of the Week #1

Each Saturday, I will breakdown a Trammell card that was either added during the week or one that just stood out among the others.

I added the 1986 Fleer....

I had this card as a kid, but it had been very well worn, plenty of creases and rounded edges.

The choice here for Trammell of the week is that it completed the 1986 Fleer team set and upgraded my Trammell card collection.

Fleer had a nice team friendly color surrounding the silver border. Fleer also added more detail to the backside of the card with the stats and trivia than your standard 1980s Topps card.

1986 was not a stand out year for Trammell as he hit 21 HRs and batted around .270

Keep it hot on the corner.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I am thankful I didn't go in the ditch on the way home tonight after about a predicted 1-4" snowfall in northern Michigan.

I am thankful for my wife and two wonderful sons, my huge extended family and a wonder dog named Wendy!

I am thankful for the Detroit Tigers, good and bad, thick and thin, through Palmer, Juan Gone, Higgy, Fick, Lima-Time, Shelton, back to back MVPs, 1968, Kaline, Ernie, The Bird, 1984,Sparky, Bless You Boys, Willie, Gibby, Morris, Cecil, Pudge, Maggs, Prince, Verlander,  Sweet Lou,

and #3 Alan Trammell.

I am thankful that my interests brought me back baseball in 2003 and back to collecting in 2012.

Thanks to Trading Card Database for adding a "History" section on their collection reports upon my recommendation.

Thankful for trades completed with other bloggers and trades yet to be completed, and those to made in the future!

Thankful for all of my readers!

Keep it hot on the corner.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2,272 Tigers cards on the wall

I have made some big hauls in the last two weeks.

Late last weekend I wrote about how I raided the card shop of pages from the early 1980s to beef up my Donruss, Fleer, and Topps Tigers from that era, that boosted me up to about 1,800.

A 300 card auction win ramped things up even more for the early 2000s with some Upper Deck Vintage and other smaller teams sets to get crossed off the board.

Included was a 1958 Billy Hoeft.  My oldest card to date, the variation at the bottom with the yellow triangle has this nice looking card valued around $25 (which was more than I paid for the entire lot!)

Another auction of 1982 Topps Traded. (Can you ever have enough Chet Lemon?)

Finally, I have been bringing in some 1970s Topps from a guy out in Oklahoma that has been really exciting to see the front end of my collection grow bit by bit.

With some trades pending and deciding what to do with the 2012 Topps Heritage High Number series, my goal now is to hit 3,000 by the New Year.

Wanted and Items for Trade have been updated.

Keep it hot on the corner.

Thursday, November 15, 2012



Miguel Cabrera completes a dream season with the Triple Crown.

AL Central & AL Champs

and the Most Valuable Player in the American League

As I have written before, I grew up in the waning years of Trammell, Whitaker, Morris, Parrish, and Sparky and suffered through adolescence and early adulthood with the 100+ loss season, the squandered farm system of the 1990s, the Juan Gonzalez disaster, I could on.  I am quite content right now with what we have in Detroit.

Thank you Mr. Illitch for spending the money on the Tigers starting with Pudge Rodriguez.

Thank you Mr. Dombrowski for scouting Cabrera when you were with the Marlins and trading to get him.

Thank you Mr. Cabrera.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

It Keeps Getting Better...

BREAKING NEWS: Torii Hunter signs with the Detroit Tigers.

Wow, great clubhouse guy, will hit for a higher average than automatic double play Delmon Young, Will be a leader for the Motown Kitties.  And instead of him robbing HRs from us the past 14 years, he is going to help us bring a banner back home to the D!

BREAKING NEWS: "Daddy you have a present!" 

ME: What is it?

"It's a box from Topps!"  (2012 Topps Heritage High Number Series, finally!)

Not sure what I am going to do here, I have been waiting on this since Nov 3.  Yes, they included a Tigers insert (Not sure if this was random or not, but I will take it).  I want to tear into it and see what kind of AUTO card is in there, or save it to see if it can pay for Teddy & Luke's college tuition (probably not).  Maybe I will use the singles as trade bait.  Who knows, let me know what you think. 

I should have taken on Robert's idea on how to spend $100 better on cards in my collection.  Oh well.

BREAKING NEWS:  Justin Verlander Back to Back AL Cy Young awards!

Well, I guess you can't get what you want all the time.  David Price takes home the AL Cy Young this season.  20 game winner playing in the tough AL East.  I get it.  Maybe I am bit (read: more than a bit) of a homer here.  It would be the best end to the day if we sweep the awards again, but it was not to be.  Verlander is the face of the franchise and had a great year.  Looking forward to more from JV.

Tomorrow is a big day, AL  MVP = Miguel Cabrera.  I can feel it.

Keep it hot on the corner.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sparky -- Manager of the Year

Award Week continues with Manager of the Year, this year's recipients were ---

What a great post-retirement job, to get to manage the best talent coming up in the NL for Manager of the Year Davey Johnson.  It's not a bad job when you have talent to work with in Zimmerman, Desmond, Werth, the Zimmerman pitcher, oh yeah, a guy named Strasburg and another guy named Harper.

Tip of the cap to former Tigers player, 2012 AL Manager of the Year and current A's Manager Bob Melvin.  What a great job with another group of young players.  Loaded with rookies and no - namers and a couple of former Tigers in Inge & Sizemore.

Manager of the Year in 1984 & 1987 was George "Sparky" Anderson.  In my mind the best man a person could aspire to be.  A quote I commonly use of his to my students is "It doesn't cost a dime to be nice".  I always admired his demeanor and his class.  I read his book Bless You Boys from cover to cover, studying each box score and moment of the 1984 championship season.

My wife and I headed down to Comerica the night the Tigers were to honor the 25th year of the '84 title.  It was a cold, rainy day and the game was eventually postponed.  However, they got all the players out with umbrellas and out comes Sparky and gives a rousing speech to "Bring Detroit Back, and believe in the city". What a motivator!    Here's the video and a Trammell Tuesday tribute....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Awards week --- R.O.Y Great Duo

Well, it's is upon us....MLB Awards week.  The first awards announced today was for AL & NL Rookie of the Year.  This year's winners were Mike Trout of LA and Bryce Harper of Washington, a great duo.

These two will be lighting up the field with great plays and impressive hitting.  My wife calls Harper the next coming of Charlie Hustle.  Trout is just everything short of a firecracker.   They can both do it all. This is just a fun time to be watching young stars come on up.  Well deserved for two and in such a deep field.

Speaking of great duos.....who do you call when you need seats?  Well the 1978 Rookie of the Year of course, Sweet Lou!  Check out 30 Year Old Cardboard for more info on Sweet Lou and his 1978 ROY

AL/NL Manager of the Year tomorrow.

Keep it hot on the corner.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Beckett Tiger Love

Thank you Beckett for putting  Miguel Cabrera on the cover this month (hopefully to reign in his MVP award later this week) giving him the national love he deserves. Nov 17... MVP, here we come!

Tiger Mania!

I hit over the 2,000 mark today while going through all my singles of Tigers and adding some team sets from the local card shop (and with some eBay deals, it's going to grow)

I added 1981 Fleer with a Kirk Gibson rookie....

What's an afternoon without adding some Trammell (over 110 now)

(found an interesting post looking for this card)

Big Shuffle in the Top 10 All-Time Standings

1. Trammell 2. Whitaker 3. Jack Morris 4. Kirk Gibson 5. Lance Parrish 6. Cecil Fielder 7. Frank Tanana
8. Dan Petry 9. Chet Lemon 10. Mike Henneman

BOLD --- moved in

Dropped Out: Verlander & Cabrera

Always in need of some Tigers singles, please check out my WANT list.

I am still waiting on the 2012 Topps Heritage High Number Series in the mail, I should have passed on the Kool-Aid....keep it Hot on the Corner!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Trading Tuesday

The mailman popped by my place of work yesterday and let me know he had delivered two parcels to my home.  Nice!  Luckily, I was able to zip home ( I live a three blocks away ) and tear open my new cards.

First, I made a trade with Robert of $30 A Week Habit of Tigers for Blue Jays.

I was a little reluctant to trade this rare Jack Morris, but it didn't fit my guideline and I figured it would be good for the trade.

What I got back was sheer Tiger-Mania!

Plenty of Verlander, Granderson, a large portion (update: 59) of the era (1995-2010) I had been missing along with a hefty set of 2012 Topps Update to get my set closer to being finished.

One of the last cards I found in the Tigers stack

None other than a Diamond King

Thanks Robert!

Keep It Hot on the Corner!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Collecting Guidelines

I have written before about how I have a scatter brain syndrome.  This has led to peaks and valleys in my hobbies.  Video games, VHS/DVD collecting, pro/college football taping, and yes, card collecting.

So as not to overwhelm myself with trying to collect everything, I have come across other blogs and suggestions and I have decided to stay in this for a longer period of time to set some clear guidelines.

1) Collect Alan Trammell

This should be easy.  All-Time favorite player, almost 100 individual cards in collection, how much more can be accomplished?  Well, accroding to Trading Card Database , I have about 8% of all of Alan Trammell's cards.  A small feat, challenge accepted.

See Google search of Alan Trammell baseball card images:

2) Collect Detroit Tigers Team Sets

A bit more financially daunting.  I have almost 1,600 Tigers with most of them coming in the boom years of 1983-1995 years of all sets, sizes, flavors (you get it).  So in order to collect these it may come at a slower pace and at a steeper price.  I am going to work at both ends of the candle from 1982 and work up from 1995. We'll see.  As another collector found, the fun is in the chase.

3) Collect sets of interest greater than an 8 out of 10

This is what has led to the burn out.  Collect everything that is a baseball card.  I found myself diving in this summer.  1990 Topps boxes for $3, why not get 10? After 5 box breaks later I have the full set, another 3,200 count box full and five fresh wax boxes for trade (read: trade Tigers to me please!), and shelf space taken up.  Am I glad I have the 1990 Topps set, yes.  Am I proud I hand collated it together and made sure I had NM/MT cards, yes.  Can I keep up the momentum after doing the same arduous task with 1990 Donruss, 2000 Topps Series 1, 1986 Topps, nope.

Can I withstand doing this for every set I wish to collect and meet goals 1 & 2?

Probably not.

So, to borrow a How I Met Your Mother rule.  I am only going to collect sets that give me a WOW! or importance factor of 8 or higher. 2012 Topps Archives & 2011 Topps Hertiage gave me that.  2012 Topps Heritage, maybe not so much...or even regular old Topps for that matter.

Every successful enterprise needs goals to be re-evaluated from time to time, so I will give myself ultimate authority to amend the rules, however, like the Constitution, there is going to have to be a legit, two-thirds approved, reason for me to open them up.

Keep it hot on the corner!