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Thursday, March 27, 2008

Baseball Card Tournament: Second Round -South Regional

First round's over, time for these cards to prove they belong in the Sweet Sixteen. Make sure you vote for the best cards, you will decide which cards make it to the Finals.

South Regional

Little Rock

#1 1959 Topps Hank Aaron
David from Indians Baseball Cards. Always. found this for me, and I'm still a little weirded out that I actually have it. I could actually complete the team set now if it weren't for those dang high series cards.
The 1959 high series cards aren't the toughest ones to find, the 1963 high series is tougher, the 1961 high numbers are nasty and the '52s are impossible. They are unique in that they can be distinguished the easiest by the now familiar black ink on the back. The Braves for some reason don't have a single base card in that high series. However, there are no less than five Braves in the high series All-Star Subset, making the team set a real pain to collect. There's Manager Fred Haney, pitcher Warren Spahn, catcher Del Crandall, outfielder Wes Covington and of course, Hank Aaron.
vs.
#9 1993 Ted Williams Gene Benson
In 1945 Gene hit .370 and was Jackie Robinson's teammate on a touring team, but he just missed being able to play in the Major Leagues. Info is scarce on Gene, but there's a good bio here.
1993 Ted Williams is one of those sets I never quite got around to collecting for some reason. The packs were outrageously priced when they first hit the shelves at my local shops, then dropped off the face of the earth shortly after. You'd think I would have picked up a box once it had hit the bargain shelf at K-Mart, but there was just too much other stuff out at the time and I never did. I regret it now, for some reason I see 1994 Ted Williams packs all over the place, but no 1993. Maybe a run on POGs caused the boxes to dry up.


Denver

#12 1974 Topps Rich Hand
This card reminds me of the Bugs Bunny cartoons where Bugs runs completely off the film and you see the sprocket holes on the side of the screen.
Since Fast Times at Ridgemont High got this card to the second round, I guess I better give the people what they want.


vs.
#13 1977-1978 Topps Dan Bouchard
Dan was my absolute favorite player on the Flames when I was a kid. I think it was because the goalies looked so cool with the big-ass stick, huge pads and Jason masks. To this day though, I don't know how to pronounce his name. BOW-chard? Booo-SHARRd? No clue.
I went to a bunch of Flames games as a kid and they were a blast. It was interesting to see a bunch of southerners going nuts at a hockey game. I remember some fool waving a giant Confederate flag at the games in the middle of a bunch of New York transplants there to see the Rangers play. The games sold out, the team had a few nice players, they went to the playoffs every year, then...... Gone. Sold by a short sighted owner off to Calgary.


Anaheim

#11 1973 Topps Jim Breazeale

What inhuman monster told poor Jim that those glasses looked good???
This was one of the first older Braves cards I owned and a big reason why to this day I don't like plastic frames on glasses. I really hope he lost a bet or it was some rookie hazing or something and he didn't actually wear those things in public. They don't fit right either, notice the lopsided nostrils from where they squash his nose. Other than the companion O-Pee-Chee card and 3 minor league issues, this is Jim's only major issue trading card. I kind of want to track down one of those minor league cards just to see what he looks like without those specs.
vs.
#3 1968 Topps Roberto Clemente All Star
That's Roberto, not Bob. This would be a #1 seed if it's weren't a subset card, but then again I probably wouldn't have it at all if it weren't a subset card.
You gotta love vintage All-Star and highlight and league leader cards just for the ability to get legends that would normally be out your price range cheap. The only vintage Mantle card I've managed to scrape up is one of the checklist cards with Mick's disembodied head floating up in the corner. I got Bob's card for only a couple of bucks, and the '68 set has a pretty nice looking horizontal All-Star design. The back isn't that great though as it is the bottom left corner of a puzzle, and just shows someone's hand. Orlando Cepeda or Pete Rose, I think.

Little Rock

#7 1981 Topps Rickey Henderson
If you were Rickey, you'd talk about Rickey in the third person too.
Man, oh man I wish the Braves had taken a flyer on Rickey Henderson a few years ago when he was bouncing around the league to prolong his career. Just one game and I could have claimed him as a Brave forever. Hell, they picked up Julio Franco out of nowhere and we could have used an outfielder who could lead off at the time but it just wasn't meant to be. Someone like Rickey Henderson is like kryptonite to the Jon Schuerholz/Bobby Cox system. Bobby doesn't like to steal and Schuerholz hates players who make waves. That match probably would have been a disaster, although to this day I still believe Rickey would have helped the team.
vs.
#15 1985 Topps Boardwalk Baseball Owen Wilson
No, not that Owen Wilson, I'm talking 'bout Chief. You know, the guy who is the all time single season leader in triples.
Forget about Brady Anderson hitting 50 home runs, how the heck did a tall, lumbering Texan triple the number of triples he hit in 1912 to set a record that may be as hard to beat as Cy Young's 511 wins? Granted, it was the Dead Ball era and triples were more common, but no one has even come close. Curtis Granderson had the most ridiculous triple hitting season in 80 years or so last season, and he still came up thirteen triples short of tying the Chief. So how did he do it? Two words: Forbes Field. Four hundred and sixty two feet to center field. A cavernous ballbark and a little luck goes a long way when creating untouchable records.

Final Scores:

Hank Aaron 7, Gene Benson 0
Rich Hand 4, Dan Bouchard 3
Jim Breazeale 3, Bob Clemente 4 (ot)
Rickey Henderson 4, Chief Wilson 2

8 comments:

Kevin said...

Aaron, Hand, Breazeale (gotta have an upset), and of course, Rickey.

ernest said...

ditto. Aaron, Hand, Breazeale (gots to get me a pair like that), Henderson.

suterb said...

Aaron
Hand
Clemente
Henderson

--David said...

Looks like the Aaron card got there just in time! :-)

Brian said...

and btw, that's a 78/79 Topps Dan Bouchard... not a 77/78...

your resident canadian historian...

MMayes said...

#1 Aaron. He had a hammer.

#12 Mr. Hand. "Bouchard, your hair is long like Spicoli's. Since you took my time in class, I'm going to come and teach you in the penalty box."

#13 Breazeale. Normally, I'd vote for Clemente because he was a great player to watch. However, on www.sportscollectors.net, a collector who got an autograph of Breazeale said he's recently had a heart attack and having trouble meeting medical bills. Therefore, I'll vote for the sentimental choice.

#15 Wilson. His triples carry him over Rickey. Rickey had the game in hand, but it all went to heck for him when he tried to snap-catch a fly ball and muffed it. Rickey, Rickey, Rickey.

Rich said...

Aaron
Bouchard
Clemente
Henderson

DaveH said...

Aaron
Bouchard
Clemente
Wilson