Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blind Pull

So this Blog is new. Every now and then I am going to blindly pull a card out of my collection and share my thoughts about the player and card. So here it goes......................................

1991 Donruss Mitch Williams #312

Wow, how anti climatic. But I remember Mitch well. Right off the bat, I remember he had a chip on his shoulder. Mitch's glove is very blue in this photo, that is the only thing that really stands out, other than his mullett which is blending in with the stadium seats. Though he does look like one of El Guapo's sidekicks in the movie The Three Amigos.

Mitch played 11 seasons in the Majors with the Rangers, Cubs, Phillies, Astros, Angels and Royals. Mitch is 43rd in all time saves in the Major Leagues. He gave up the game winning home run to Joe Carter in Game 6 of the 1993 World Series while he played for the Phillies. I guess Mitch and Curt Schilling are not on the greatest of terms and bad feelings between the two still exist because of the Carter home run. I take Mitch's side in this argument, Curt should have his teammates back in these kind of instances. Mitch also had a career ERA of 3.65 and 660 Strikeouts. Mitch also earned the name Wild Thing for his occasional erratic pitching and his high intensity of play.

Mitch is now an analyst for the MLB Network and I could not be happier for him. Check this out.... Mitch is also a Food Mogul and has produced Wild Thing Southpaw Salsa! He was serving heat in the 80's and 90's, and is still serving heat today through his Salsa!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Shake N' Bake

Bake McBride, a man's man. The who's who of great names in the Baseball World. Who did not love Bake McBride? Everyone who collected in the 70's and 80's can definitely reminisce about his afro protruding out from his baseball cap. He looked more like a Black Panther than a Major League Baseball Player. I would bet $100 dollars Bake had the telephone numbers of Richard Roundtree and Isaac Hayes on speed dial.

Bake McBride was born with the name first name Arnold. I would look for a cool nickname also if my parents named me Arnold or Gene. I just wonder how he got the name Bake? Wiki says it is short for Shake N' Bake. Was he at a High School dance where he busted several dance moves, thus his friends started calling him Shake N Bake. Was he the second half of a Shake N Bake team? If so who was Shake?

Bake had a very good Career Batting Average of .299 over a 11 year span, not to shabby. He had speed (physical kind) and won bling bling in the 1980 World Series with the Phillies.

I am sorry to hear that Bake retired in 1983 only to end up on the senior circuit and playing for the Orlando Juice in 1990. Seriously, the senior circuit? Bake, say it ain't so. I feel bad for Bake, he was a cardboard legend and you can tell he did not want to this photo to be taken of him. His eyes look lost, the bat looks tired on his shoulder.

I would of loved to watch the senior circuit play. Pulled hamstrings, bad backs, 50 mph fast balls and hard candy being passed out in the stands. It would have been a fun event to attend and reminisce with the players about their glory days. I do not remember how I stumbled upon 50 or so Senior Circuit cards, but even when I look at the Bake senior card, I block out his depressed look, and picture a smiling young Bake with his Afro popping out of his ball cap.

Surviving the Spoke

Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, the Indians are my team of choice. This is the first card I vividly remember having in my collection. 1977 Topps #393 John Lowenstein aka Dracula. This card sat on a shelf in my garage for a good 10 years. I likely brought him down to the garage to clip onto the frame of my Huffy with a clothes pin to make motorcycle sounds. For some reason I always used my favorite player for this task. Luckily the Cleveland Indians in the 1980's were not that great. So I am sure many Brook Jacobys, Andre Thorntons, Chris Bandos and Pat Tablers got the spoke to the face treatment. I must of never gotten around to using John Lowenstein because he survived the wrath of the Huffy's spokes.

When we moved from our old house in 1995, I remember finding him in the garage and placing him in a box of random cards. It was then I realized that the background of this card is a wall and not a mad roaring ocean. Growing up, I can remember thinking, "why did they take a picture in front of a dark blue ocean?" Not until I was 18 did I finally realize that is not an ocean, but likely some wall in Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Could of fooled me, did fool me for over 10 years. Johnny's pale face, thick black mustache and hairdo make him a dead ringer for Dracula. That was the attraction.

I didn't spare John Lowenstein because he was a Cleveland Indian. I spared John Lowenstein because he was Dracula standing by the Ocean in an Indians Uniform. This card still gives me the "willies" but none the less it stands on my office shelf for all to see my first vividly remembered baseball card of my collection.

John was born in Transylvania AKA Wolf Point, Montana in 1947. Lowenstein played 16 seasons in the Major Leagues for the Indians, Rangers and Orioles. John had a career Batting Average of .253 and 116 Home Runs, his nickname was Brother Lo. In 1984 John got himself some bling bling being on the winning World Series Team the Baltimore Orioles. He metamorphed into a John Holmes lookalike around 1982, but the tinted sunglasses are just re-affirming my beliefs he has Dracula DNA in his bloodline.

New Kid on the Block

Welcome to my little corner of the World Wide Web known as the Surviving the Spoke Blog. What am I about? Just the 74,438th person to start a blog about their sports card collecting hobby. Born in 1977, started collecting in 1985...took a couple breaks during high school and college, then back to hoarding these fantistic rectangular card board cut outs.

A lot of people say collecting is not what it used to be. Either are cars, restaurants or monetary value. Everything changes physically, but the mentality of card collecting will always be the reason for me and hopefully others. I still scrounge money for a pack of Topps like I did in 1988, well now I scrounge to buy a whole box. Buying an entire box of cards when I was 10 was unimaginable, you had to be rich. I have found out you just need a job and less expensive gas bill.

Surviving the Spoke will share my life experiences of collecting, what made me stuff all these little rectangular cutouts into boxes.

So if you don't enjoy this blog, you may find more luck with the 74,439th blog about sports cards, but of course then you would be in the standing room only section at the Old Cleveland Munipal Stadium.