Home Run Derby Facts w/a Focus on the Reds

Fewest home runs to win a home run derby:My favorite player of all time, Cincinnati Red, Eric Davis in 1989 and Chicago Cub, Ryne Sandberg in 1990. Both won with only 3 home runs. Sandberg is also the only second baseman to win the derby.

Inaugural Home Run Derby winner:Another former Cincinnati Red, Dave Parker won the event in 1985, which is also the year I was born.

In 1987 only 4 players competed in the Home Run Derby. Andre Dawson won with a total of 4 home runs.

1988 the Home Run Derby wasn’t played at all, due to rain.

Ken Griffey Jr. has won the Home Run Derby three times. No one else has won twice. He also has the highest home run total in derby history (excluding swingoff playoffs) (more…)

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“Historic” Purchase

Ok so I’m abusing the word “historic” here, but I as a collector like cards that have a history, but are new enough to have come out while I was alive. Like the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas NNOF RC, 1989 Upper Deck Griffey RC. In a lot of ways I’m the opposite of a prospector. A card blows up, goes through the roof and I’ll think “Man, I want that”. 5-10 years later the market may have died for the card completely but that’s when I come back to it and buy it for the memory of what it was. I recently bought several Griffey RCs graded in the 8s and 9s. Not because I think it’s a good investment, but because I remember looking through Beckett and seeing the outrageous prices graded RCs held.

Anyways on that note I just thought of a card, well a set, that made a huge impact in recent baseball card history. 1997 Upper Deck Game Jersey. (more…)

Sports + Charity + Wine?!?! Count Me In.

I am by no means a wine connoisseur, much less a sommelier (you can probably slap anyone who says they are) but I like wine and know a little bit about it and more importantly wine intrigues me. It has an intangible quality that can’t be found in other alcoholic beverages. Having a nice wine with dinner can be one of the classiest ways to enjoy alcohol. Playing slap-the-bag in a hot tub with a bag of Franzia White Zinfandel can be one of the trashiest ways to enjoy wine (albeit arguably more fun). So wine covers that whole spectrum. There’s hardly a classy way to drink beer, nor a trashy way to drink a vodka martini. (more…)

The Worst Graded Card Ever

A fellow baseball-fever.com member recently posted a picture of his new purchase. The first PSA graded card of his collection. And the worst PSA graded card I have ever seen.

Lavalliere 1888 Donruss PSA

Lavalliere 1888 Donruss PSA

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Art By Tim Carroll

Tim Carroll is not your regular artist. Rather than relying on an easel, palette, paintbrush and canvas his favorite medium is baseball cards. He’s also been known to use such items as rubber stamps, fake $100 bills, and black socks. His artwork usually portrays sports figures but he’s also done pieces on Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln.
Two of the cards he produced artwork of are cards that I mentioned in my blog on Rookie Cards. Neither of which are cards I own sadly. One is, of course, Mickey Mantle’s 1952 Topps card and the other is Ken Griffey Jr.’s 1989 Upper Deck RC. (more…)

The Rookie Cards

My baseball card collection centers around two things. Cards of anyone who have EVER played for the Cincinnati Reds and autographs. However, any good baseball card collector knows and appreciates the significance of rookie cards. They are usually the most highly sought base card of a given player and that is often reflected by their “book value”. “Book values” mean nothing to me as I rarely sell cards and because nothing sells at book, but the pull of the RC still inspires me to acquire cards of guys I wouldn’t otherwise collect. Here are some rookie cards I have, I want, and I’m never going to get. (more…)

This is news?

Manny Ramirez shoved a team traveling secretary to the ground in June and there was virtually no news about it and no response from fans. On Saturday, after hitting his 607th homerun, Ken Griffey Jr. made a throat slash gesture towards Jeff Brantley who was tucked safely away in his booth. Granted this was an on-field gesture and it was inappropriate but how does it get more attention than the Ramirez story? One reason is because Griffey has such a clean slate. But isn’t that sort of backwards? Shouldn’t we be able to forgive and forget easier since he has such a clean record? I think it’s more funny than anything else. No one was hurt. Sure he probably embarrassed himself but that’s at his own expense. I’m sure the Red Sox traveling secretary felt pretty humiliated when he got pushed to the ground by Manny. Manny’s actions held a level (albeit a small one) of actual physical violence. Griffey’s gesture could be perceived as a threat but… honestly? I see it as more of a “go to hell, Brantley” than any sort of threat. So while I do not approve of him doing it, I just don’t see why it’s such a big deal.