Friday, July 10, 2015

Wallet Card in July

The Apes' star took a trip to Smith's Ballpark in Salt Lake City to watch the Salt Lake City Bees (Angels) take on the El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres). It's been several years since I've been able to attend a minor league game, but since I'm moving to the area I should be able to attend more.

A few observations:

* The little league players  must have really gotten a kick out of taking the field before the game. I would have given a few toes to be able to do that when I was that age.
* I wonder if players change their walk up music when they get in a slump. Former Giant Gary Brown had a Taylor Swift song and was batting .207. He went 0 for 2 but he had a sac fly and made a game-saving catch in the eighth inning.
* It was strange not seeing beer sold at the game, but the crowd (about 6000) was more pleasant.
* The card is showing some wear after being in my wallet for over six months, but it's still in one piece.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

1960 Fleer #36 - Mel Ott

  • This is my first PSA card. I got it off of eBay for a couple of bucks. I'm not sure if I like slabbed cards or not. It's nice that the card is authenticated. I once bought a 1957 Yogi Berra that looked really nice. I ran into financial problems several years later and tried to sell the card, only to be told that the card was trimmed. On the other hand, there's something impersonal about having cards surrounded by plastic.
  • Mel Ott is largely forgotten today. He was a Hall of Fame right fielder for the New York Giants. Mel led the National League in home runs five times. Until guys like Hank Aaron and Willie Mays came along Ott was the all-time leading home run hitter. Ott was an NL all star 11 straight times (1934-1944).
  • Mel Ott's SABR biography

Thursday, March 5, 2015

2015 Topps #67 - Hunter Pence

  • It was disheartening to see the blurb on my phone from Hunter Pence was hit in the arm by a pitch in the sixth inning of the Giants' third exhibition game. He's expected to miss 6-8 weeks due to a fractured ulna bone. At least it happened in spring training so he won't miss as much time when the games count. The Giants will have a tough time replacing him for the first part of the season.
  • This is a great shot of Hunter going after a ball in the outfield.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

1983 Donruss #605 - Guy Sularz

  • Guy Sularz was an infielder who played in parts of four seasons with the Giants from 1980-1983.
  • Sularz was drafted by the Giants in 1974. He played in the minors from 1974-1980. Guy's best minor league season was with AAA Phoenix in 1978. He batted .294 in 144 games and had a .370 on base percentage. Sularz was always good at getting on base - he had a lifetime .370 on base percentage in 11  minor league seasons.
  • Guy got his first taste of the majors as a September call-up in 1980. Sularz started 23 games at second base and batted .246 in 25 games. Guy didn't show much power -- his slugging percentage was only .292.
  • In 1981 Sularz spent most of the year in Phoenix. He was called up in September and batted .200 (4 for 20) in 10 games.
  • Guy spent most of the 1982 season as a backup infielder for the Giants. He batted .228 in 63 games.
  • Sularz was in Phoenix in 1983. He was called up in September, but Guy didn't get to play much. He batted .100 (2 for 20) in ten games.
  • Guy was in Phoenix for the entire 1984 season. After the 1984 season he was offered a contract to be a player-coach in Phoenix. Sularz turned down the offer and retired.
  • Sularz used some money he saved up during his playing days to enroll in junior college. He decided to become a firefighter and worked in Phoenix in the early 1990s.
  • Guy retired as the all-time Phoenix Giants/Firebirds leader in games, hits, doubles, and total bases.
  • Sularz returned to his roots as a fan and rooted for the Dodgers (ugh!) after he left the Giants organization.
  • Guy is now a real estate agent in Mesa, AZ.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Wallet Card - Standin' on The Corner... Winslow, Arizona!

I was driving on I-40 through Winslow and I figured I'd stop and get a picture with our favorite ape. There is actually a corner in Winslow that is fixed up complete with a statue of Glenn Frey.

Across the street there is a gift shop called "Standin' on The Corner." There is constant Eagles (or Eagles-connected) music being played on the outside speakers. There aren't many good pictures because it was really cold and windy that day. I jumped out of the truck, took a few quick pictures, and jumped back in so that I could go to Flagstaff to take a Praxis test. Arizona is so spread out that the closest testing site for me is 120 miles away.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Topps Baseball #139 - Gary Brown

  • Gary Brown has had his ups and downs since he was the Giants' first round draft pick in 2010. Brown has slid down the organization depth chart in the last couple of years. 
  • Gary was put on the postseason roster last year. He only got into one game, but he was there.
  • Brown's minor league stats are on the back of this card, but his major league stats were omitted. Gary was 3 for 7 (.429) in seven games with the Giants last September.
  • Gary will have a shot at making the Giants as the fifth outfielder this spring.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

2015 Topps #86 - Tim Hudson

  • Tim Hudson is the first Giants card I've seen this year. It was about the fifth card in the first pack I opened. It's a nice action shot of Mr. Hudson throwing a pitch. Which park is this?

  • Tim started off very well in 2014, but he tailed off at the end of the season. He was still a valuable part of the Giants' World Championship team. It was nice to see Hudson get his first ring.
  • Hudson is allowing more hits per nine innings nowadays, but he is walking fewer batters. He had the best strikeout-walk ratio (3.53) of his  16-year career in 2014.
  • Topps and the baseball reference site must have different ways of computing WAR. This card shows Tim with a lifetime WAR of 50.0, while baseball reference shows him with 56.5 lifetime WAR.