Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez just retired as one of the most decorated catchers in MLB history. Pudge was just a 165-pounder, according to this 1991 Classic Best card showing IRod as a Tulsa Driller. It's a pleasant card, showing an earnest catcher lifting his mask to the heavens. He spent 21 years in the Bigs with the Rangers, Tigers, Yankees, Nationals, Marlins and Astros. Great defense. Great arm. 2,844 hits. 311 home runs. 1,332 runs and 1,354 runs scored. First ballot HoFer in five years.
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Monday, April 30, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Check out this 1994 Pinnacle card and it's pretty obvious that Stevie Wonder would do a helluva job playing Barry Bonds in a Bonds bio movie. Forget about Bonds' steroid use and lies. The ultimate punishment is the fact that nobody talks about Barry Bonds' 762 home runs. Everyone knows Aaron's 755 and Ruth's 714, yet Bonds' 762 has been tainted not so much unjust but irrelevant. That lack of respect and relevance is the biggest punishment of all for Bonds. But at least he made the crazybaseballcards blog!
It seemed like the card companies had a lot of fun photographing pitchers doing tricks with baseballs in the past 20 years. Remember the David Cone split-fingered baseball card on this blog? Here we have Alejandro Pena in a 1993 Topps Stadium Club card balancing a baseball on his middle finger, kind of the equivalent of hoops players spinning a basketball on their pointer finger. Pena had a very respectable 15-year career, finishing with a 56-52 record with a 3.11 ERA, including a National League-leading 2.48 in 1984. He played for the Dodgers, Mets, Braves, Pirates, Red Sox, Marlins and I suppose is doing baseball-balancing acts in retirement.
Saturday, April 28, 2012
But the snapshot of Alou in my mind was his mini-tantrum following the infamous Bartman ball during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS between Alou's Cubbies and the Marlins. You recall Alou reached into the stands for a foul ball but came up empty because of ol' Bartman. After the game I thought to myself, what if Alou told the pitchfork-carrying masses not to blame Bartman, perhaps that guy with the earphones would have been able to lead a more normal life.
Nah, I don't think Alou rolls that way. He rolls with a towel on his head in this 1996 Donruss card.