02 December 2012

Five 1962 Post Senators

 1962 Post Cereal 65, 66, 67, 71 and 72 Senators (Fronts and Backs)

From Ebay I got a Five Pack of 1962 Post Washington Senators. The cost was relatively cheap $8.44 + $3.95 shipping. They all have nice straight edges. At one point they might have been "trimmed" to make the edges even straighter. I don't really care that much I don't plan on selling them. I won't say much about them except for one of them and my concern about it and possibly the rest.

1962 Post Cereal 65 Dale Long Senators

 1962 Post Cereal 66 Chuck Cottier Senators

It is a little hard to see in the scan but there is an oddity with Chuck's card. If you look carefully on the upper right of his head  you can make out a sort of square shape, that is from a piece of yellowed cellophane tape attempting to hold the corner on to the cardboard backing. Sigh! Maybe that one is a fake. If it is then maybe all five are fakes UGH. But why would someone try to fake these? They don't seem to be worth it. If it is a fake then it was made sometime ago as the tape is yellowed and the tape stain on the back of the paper is also yellowed. I really hope if is not counterfeit but if it is OH Well.

 1962 Post Cereal 67 Billy Klaus Senators

 1962 Post Cereal 71 Gene Woodling Senators

1962 Post Cereal 72 Gene Green Senators

Senators Mentioned in this post:
Chuck Cottier
Gene Green
Billy Klaus
Dale Long
Gene Woodling

24 November 2012

Tis The Season: Awards 2012

Wow Congrats to the Nats on the very cool individual awards that have been received for the 2012 season. I'm getting to this about a week late or so because I was lazy with the scanning (plus I didn't have some 2012 cards of some of the players so I had to improvise) So without further ado and little pomp here they are:

First Baseman Adam LaRoche received his first Golden Glove Award:

 2011 Topps Allen and Ginters 167 Adam LaRoche Nationals

Adam also received his first Silver Slugger Award for NL first basemen:

Adam is the second National to double-dip the Golden Glove with the Silver Slugger. Back in 2009 3rd baseman Ryan Zimmerman double-dipped. Z-Man also got a Silver Slugger in 2010. This year for 2012 he was awarded the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award.

2012 Topps Heritage 494 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals

LaRoche wasn't the only Silver Slugger for DC this past season:

Shortstop Ian Desmond won his first Silver Slugger despite the injuries that kept him out for part of the season:
 2012 Topps Heritage 149 Ian Desmond Nationals

So they thought they'd shut him down huh? Well even with having a September Shut Down - September is supposed to be for Call Ups - Right-handed bullet slingger Stephen Strasburg won the Silver Slugger for Pitchers and yep it's his first ever.

2012 Topps Heritage 291 Stephen Strasburg Nationals

Hey even an Ex-Nat won his first Silver Slugger. Josh Willingham who is now on the Twins.

2010 Upper Deck Baseball Series 1 Season Biography
SB-132 Josh Willingham Nationals

The Nats also received two big big awards:

Not only did 19 year old Bryce Harper end up being a Rookie All-Star he won the coveted NL Rookie Of The Year Award:

2012 Topps Update WalMart Blue Variation 
US183 Bryce Harper Nationals

And Skipper Davey Johnson got the NL Manager Of the Year Award. It is his second MOY Award his first was 15 years ago for the AL when he was skipper for the Orioles.

2012 Topps Heritage 402 Davey Johnson Nationals

The 2012 Season saw the Nationals win First Place in the NL East sending them to their First Ever Playoffs in the NLDS (OK so back in 1981 The Expos went to the Playoffs and went as far as the NLCS but lost that one). Unfortunately they lost to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Related Links:
Two from MASN Sports Nationals Pastime Blog
Five Nationals Receive MVP Votes
Gonzalez finishes third in NL Cy Young voting

Nationals mentioned in this post:
Ian Desmond
Bryce Harper
Davey Johnson
Adam LaRoche
Stephen Strasburg
Josh Willingham
Ryan Zimmerman

22 October 2012

Screech Mascot Monday at CK42

At my regular card blog I posted my semi-regular Mascot Monday post this episode covers Screech (thus this cross-over post). You can view it at this link: Mascot Monday: Screech.

 2007 Topps Baseball Opening Day - 215 Screech Nationals (Front)

I am trying to make my MM posts a regular thing, but haven't been consistent yet. One of these days maybe I will. I am always on the lookout for Mascot cards. I also accept Mascot Postcards and team issued promo cards/photos of mascots.

01 October 2012

Almost there, but not quite

The 2012 MLB Season is almost over. Just 3 more games to play. The Nats have clinched a spot in the playoffs, and are hanging on to first place in the NL East, but they need just ONE win to clinch the division with the Braves only 3 games back.

I feel like the situation in the song "T-E-A-M (The Baseball Game)" from the musical "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown". All we have to do is win JUST ONE MORE GAME and the championship division is ours. (The video below I found on youtube and is from one of the cartoon specials)

In the Charlie Brown song the entire outcome hangs on Charlie Brown and of course things don't go too well for him. This season things have been going pretty good for the Nats due to the pitching and clutch hits and spectacular defensive plays from several of team. One of those players Michael Morse has made several clutch hits. Then there was this grand slam that was very strange:Micheal Morse Grand Slam rewind

All in all the Nats need to focus on the game. I was going to link to a video or even the music to "The Game" from the Musical Damn Yankees but I couldn't find the version from the movie [EDIT: UGH That is right that song was cut for the movie, not sure if it was ever in the script for the movie at all.] I found "Heart (You've Gotta Have)" from the movie but not "The Game". OH Well since I've talked about clutch hitting why not?

30 August 2012

Its Fun Being At Number One!

 To paraphrase Mel Brooks' movie "History of the World: Part I" - "It's Good to be number one!"

Something that has been absent from baseball's return to the Nation's Capital has been a Winning Season. Being number one in the division is something that hasn't happened for the Nationals except in the first half of the inaugural 2005 season, and maybe for one or two games at the beginning of some of the other seasons.

The 2012 MLB Season has been a very good one for the Washington Nationals. They have been first in the NL East for most of it. Since sometime in early August they have somehow managed to top most of the many internet "Power Ranking" lists, even when in a losing streak. On some of the lists they are still at number one but on a couple of them they have slipped down to number two or lower. The end of the season will tell all though. Many teams have enjoyed being on top all season long only to take a nosedive at the end of the season.

The current Montreal Expos franchise as the Washington Nationals has not had a winning season. The closest they have gotten was in the inaugural 2005 season when they went .500 with 81 wins 81 loses and last season 2011 when they had 80 wins and 81 loses with one postponed game that was never made up. Had that game been played and they won, which at that time of the season they were hot enough to win, they would have matched the 2005 season. The last winning season for the Franchise was 2003 (83 wins 79 loses .512 avg). As for Washington baseball history the Senators were in three World Series 1924, 1925, and 1933 but only won it in the 1924 Series beating the Then NEW YORK Giants, they would lose to those very same Giants in the '33 series and the Pittsburgh Pirates in '25. In all the rich history of DC Baseball there has been more losing than winning. You have to go back to 1969 for the Senators last winning season of 86 wins 76 loses.

From a Washington Post article earlier this year: "Even losing baseball was better than no baseball. This year marks the 79th year of major league baseball in Washington. In that time, area fans have been treated to just 18 seasons of above-.500 ball but only once in the past half-century"

So you can see that a winning baseball team in DC is a VERY BIG DEAL to the longtime area fans who went many years without ANY baseball. Forgive us if we are not very humble this season and remind you of Philadelphia Phillies Fans. Those fans are frustrated this year and should be humble because they are used to a winning team that is currently losing. They (The Phillies) have a slight chance of having another winning season so I guess that humility of theirs won't be around very long if they have it at all. The Nats on the other hand are almost guaranteed to have a winning season with only needing to win 4 of the next 33 games. So even if the Nats fail to make the playoffs, which is another subject completely, fans like me will be very very happy and proud of our team this season.

UPDATE: D'oh! I forgot to mention the biggest reason for this is that the Nats pitching this season has been phenomenal. The individual starters might not be the best five pitchers in all the league but the whole combination apparently is getting the job done. All season long the team has had the lowest runs allowed against them in the league, even with a few games getting away from them and being blown out.


Yahoo Sports Power Rankings (first power ranking list to have the Nats in first place this season): http://sports.yahoo.com/news/power-rankings-nationals-yankees-rangers-bryce-harper-manny-machado-roy-oswalt.html
ESPN Power Rankings Week 22: http://espn.go.com/mlb/powerrankings/_/season/2012/week/22

Related Links:

Images appearing in the photo collage are by Getty Images, AP, or Reuters except for image of Manager Davey Johnson by USPresswire, and the team photo marked DistrictSportsPage.

09 July 2012

Trio of Mini Autos

In recent weeks I've gotten some mini autos from a couple of purchases off of Ebay from a couple of card Bloggers. I found out about the sales on their blogs then I bid and thankfully won them. One of them took a few bids to win but fortunately I had the highest bid in the end. All of them are on card and signed with a blue sharpie.

OK first up is this 2009 Topps 206 mini auto which I got from Chris at Stale-Gum it was $5.00 plus $2.00 shipping. Luke Montz was drafted by the Expos in 2003 he made his Major League debut in September call-ups with the Nationals in 2008. He has since signed with the Marlins. Haven't heard much from him.

 2009 Topps T-206 Mini Auto Luke Montz Nationals
(Front and Back)

These other two are from 2001 Allen & Ginters and are current Nationals. Both I got for aprox. $12.00 each w/ $4.00 for combined shipping or there about. I got them from another Chris (didn't think about that till just now) at Nachos Grande.

First we've got power hitter Michael "The Beast" Morse. Who is one of the best things for the Nats since Adam Dunn. I think Micheal is a bit better for the team than Adam was.

 2011 Allen & Ginter's Mini Auto Mike Morse Nationals
(Front and Back)

Rounding out our trio of autos this post is one of the more consistent and winning starting pitchers for the Nats this season Gio Gonzalez. Since this is last year's card he is wearing the uniform of last year's team the Oakland Athletics.

 2011 Allen & Ginter's Mini Auto Gio Gonzalez Athletics
(Front and Back)

Nationals mentioned in this post:
Adam Dunn
Gio Gonzalez
Luke Montz
Michael Morse

05 July 2012

Bryce Harper - All-Star?

Bryce Harper All-Star? Clown Question?
(From April 2012 GQ Interview - modified)

First off let me say that Rookie Phenom Sensation Bryce Harper is super awesome for the Nationals. Ever since being the first draft choice expectations for him have been high, and so far he has lived up to them and excelled beyond them. At the beginning of the season when fans were discussing what to do about him, I was in the camp of "hold off calling him up til September" he won't be ready. I had a small amendment of if the DL was full and required early call-ups. I was WRONG Totally Wrong.  Bryce was called up early in late April when Ryan Zimmerman was put on the DL for a shoulder injury. Fortunately the injury wasn't too severe (unlike Jason Werth's broken wrist) Ryan bounced back.
(2012 Topps Archives - 241 Bryce Harper RC Nationals)
[On my Top Wants List]

Since his call up from his short "fast tracked" time in the Minor Leagues, Bryce has been unbelievable. Not only is he a hitting sensation, he is a super fielder. He just what the Nats needed in center field. heck the Nats needed a Center-fielder. I don't want to knock the guys who have been in center-field for the Nats before Bryce, but most of them were not the best match for that position. Another Rookie sensation has been Tyler Moore who was called up in early May a week after Bryce was called up. Tyler doesn't play everyday, but when he does 'Bang Zoom'.

Even though he was called up early Bryce was not up early enough to make the official ballot for the All-Star Game. He had to be a write-in by the fans. Apparently enough fans thought him worthy enough he is in the competition for the last roster spot.

(Getty Images - 12 May 2012 vs. Cincinnati Reds)

Bryce has certainly shown he is good enough to be an All-Star so it is not a question of his ability. It might be a question of "Should he be in the All-Star Game this season"? As a Nats fan I say that is a "Clown Question". Is it too soon? My biggest fear I guess is what if he doesn't make it (The All-Star Game) and then his career crashes into a downward spiral?  I don't think that will happen but it could.Is this his one and only chance? I don't think so. If he continues to excel in all areas of the game and avoids long-term serious injuries he could make many All-Star Game appearances during his career.

UPDATE: I just saw via facebook that the final All-Stars were: AL - Yu Darvish Rangers and NL - David Freese  Cardinals. BIG BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! Dang now my whole post is almost pointless. :(

Related Links:

MLB All-Star Rosters 2012: Why Bryce Harper should Be Voted in by Fans
Mike Trout, Bryce Harper Spur Debate
Bryce Harper is not getting many fastballs or strikes to hit
5 Holes in Bryce Harper's Game Heading into the Second Half
Is Baseball Ready For Bryce? (GQ April 2012 Interview contains some foul language.)

Nationals Mentioned in this Post:
Bryce Harper
Tyler Moore
Jayson Werth

30 June 2012

Couple of '54s Not-so Curly Ws

When I first started this blog I mentioned how Washington's Curly W didn't come around til 1963 during the reign of SSII (Second Senators Franchise Two) the franchise that would move to Texas to become the Rangers. Anyway these 2 pre-curly-w Senators cards I got earlier this year (02 April 2012) from sportlots.com. If I recall I got three 1954 Topps cards all in one lot the third card (Johnny Lipon) I mentioned on my other Blog CaptKirk42's Trading Cards. That card I ended up learning about a player getting bounced around a few teams in just a season or two. These cards I'm not going to analyze I'm just gonna show em so Enjoy.

 1954 Topps 97 Jerald "Jerry" Hal Lane
(Front and Back)

 1954 Topps 6 James "Pete" Edward Runnells
(Front and Back)

Senators mentioned in this post:
Jerry Lane
Pete Runnells

24 May 2012

Old Draft Post: MR. 500 RBIs Ryan Zimmerman

NOTE: I Don't know what I was waiting for to post this probably a picture to attach to it (now done). For some reason I had this originally in my post drafts on my regular Kirk's Knook blog from early April. Due to the format I know I was planning on cross-posting it here, but I don't know why I abandoned it other than I was neglecting my blogs around the time this happened. I am posting it here but not on my other blog. I should have posted this when it happened back on 10 April 2012.

Ryan Zimmerman 500th RBI from MSANsports.com video posted on MLB.com

HoooooYah! Ryan Zimmerman got RBI number 500 in Tuesday Night's game (10 April 2012) vs. The Mets on a sacrifice fly. He flied out to right fielder Lucas Duda, catcher Wilson Ramos beat the throw and scored. Ryan is the first Nat to get to 500 Ribbies and only the 7th player in the Expos/Nationals Franchise to achieve this career plateau. He joins Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Vladimir Guerrero, Tim Raines, Jose Vidro and Tim Wallach in the team's 500 club.

As usual The Z-Man was very humble upon the announcement. He wasn't even aware that he was that close to that level of accomplishment.

Note: Ryan now has 510 RBIs under his belt as of this update 24 May 2012.

Related Articles:
Zimmerman Notches 500th RBI in Nat's Win
NATS: Ryan Zimmerman Hits 500th RBI
MLB: Why the Washington Nationals Will Finish First in the NL East in 2012 - Optimistic article. Time and the rest of this season will tell if that prognostication will be fulfilled.

Expos Mentioned this post:
Gary Carter
Andre Dawson
Vladimir Guerrero
Tim Raines
Jose Vidro
Tim Wallach

Nationals Mentioned this post:
Wilson Ramos
Ryan Zimmerman

12 April 2012

Opening Day 2012 (The Home Edition)

On Saturday 08 April 2012 from a sportlots auction order I got the 2012 Topps Opening Day Base set of 220 cards (Now to find the Mascot set.) I got the set for 25¢ + 17.00 shipping. It only cost the seller $5.10 to send in a thin white bubble mailer envelope. The envelope got torn in my apt mailbox (which is the one the delivery person opens up the whole bank of boxes from) the set itself was safe in a small 400ct card box.

So to help celebrate the Home Opener (I missed the road Opening Day that was in Chicago 05 April) for the Nats Here are the Nationals cards that are represented in the set. From the top pic you can see the simple design they used with the player's name in the "surfboard" (as one blogger has dubbed this set) which actually looks similar to the graphic that MASN uses when showing the batter's name on the screen.

 Screen Capture from Video highight on MASN Sports Network 09 April 2012
Ryan Zimmerman on 2nd after first double of the 2012 season vs Mets in 4-3 loss

The colors used in the design use the teams dominant color matched with black and the players name in light gray. I don't have any of the regular issue cards yet, but from the blogs I've seen they swap out the gray with silver leaf which makes reading the players name more difficult on the regular issue.

The backs use the same color combination without the players name in white matching the card stock color.

OK so now onto the cards there are 8 Nationals represented in the set 4 of them pitchers including the official Opening Day Starter Stephen Strasburg who went 7 innings on Opening Day in the 2-1 Curly W Win vs The Cubs. He allowed 5 hits, 1 run and 1 walk plus 5 strike outs 82 pitches and a 1.29 ERA, however it was Tyler Clippard relieving in the 8th and throwing 14 pitches who was credited with the win and Brad Lidge with the save. Clippard and Lidge are not represented here, but Home Opening Starter Gio Gonzalez (I'm not impressed with him so far) is along with Drew Storen and Jordan Zimmermann.

First up shortstop Ian Desmond. One of the position players that makes some mighty spectacular plays. One of which seems to be shown in his card here, WOW what a picture.

 2012 Topps Opening Day 146 Ian Desmond Nationals
(Front and Back)

Next we have the starting pitcher for the Home Opener Gio Gonzalez.  So far from what I've seen of him I am not that impressed. I would have rather seen John Lannan in the rotation than Gonzalez. I don't know maybe he will work out I hope so.

2012 Topps Opening Day 76 Gio Gonzalez Nationals
(Front and Back)

Here is a big asset to the Nationals Micheal Morse at First Base. He is currently in rehab recovering from a right lat strain and is expected to return 10 April. I like action photos for cards in this one you can see his bat falling behind him it looks like a little wooden missile about to hit his rear, or a large wooden WWII German hand grenade.

 2012 Topps Opening Day 11 Michael Morse Nationals
(Front and Back)

OK now is the first round draft pick who is expected to be the wonder kid for the team for several years to come Opening Day Starter Stephen Strasburg. He did well Opening Day in Chicago vs. The Cubs as I mentioned above. If he stays healthy this will be his first full season following his Tommy John Surgery. The way he makes his delivery I always worry that he will blow out his elbow again which would most likely end his career.

 2012 Topps Opening Day 190 Stephen Strasburg Nationals
(Front and Back)

Now we have closer Drew Storen who will is out with an elbow injury and will miss the Opening Home Day.

 2012 Topps Opening Day 141 Drew Storen Nationals
(Front and Back)

Here we go with the only landscaped card of the Nats Team Set Right Fielder and Slugger Jayson Werth (I keep wanting to put an "A" in his last name). When Jayson was with the Phillies he was a big pain in the rear to the Nats, however since being with the Nats he really hasn't been that big a pain to other teams. It seems his best career years so far have been the ones with the Phillies. When we first got him I was really excited about his running/scoring ability and his decent fielding. He has been more of a let down, but he can still come through every once in a while. I just wish it happened more often. In the pic on his card it looks like he is trying to avoid a tag, but I don't see where the ball is. Maybe this was a scoring play? Or was it a "Hotbox" out?

 2012 Topps Opening Day 91 Jayson Werth Nationals
(Front and Back)

Now the face of the franchise for many years to come 3rd Baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Ryan makes many super spectacular plays that are difficult but he makes them look so easy. He also sometimes make really weird facial expressions, one of which is shown on this card. I don't think Ryan chews tobacco so maybe he's securing his bubble gum safely between his lower lip and gums.

 2012 Topps Opening day 217 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
(Front and Back)

Ah and now the last card of this Team set starting Pitcher Jordan Zimmermann. Jordan was on the mound for the 2012 season's first loss to the Cubs. The team made a valiant effort and tried to come back in the 9th, but they were always behind this game. Oh well at least the Nats took the series before losing 4-3 on Sunday. Jordan went 7 innings (I'm glad our starters are going deep into the game now) allowed 2 runs on 6 hits and struck out 4 gives him a 1.29 ERA.

 2012 Topps Opening Day 8 Jordan Zimmermann Nationals
(Front and Back)

Now to get the regular edition team set, and possibly the entire 2012 regular flagship set.

Nationals Shown or Mentioned:

11 April 2012

Trade Rumor: John Lannan on Trade Block?

 John Lannon 05 March 2012 - Getty Images
Since last weeks news about Left-Handed Starter John Lannon being optioned down to the minors it looks like a few other teams are interested in him if the Nats put him up for trade: Detroit Tigers among six teams interested in Washington Nationals' John Lannan. The other teams that have shown an interest in John are: The Orioles, Cubs, Red Sox and Astros. I only count 5 teams there, the article and the connected quotes I've seen list the Tigers twice weird.

The Nationals have sent him down to the Minors and replaced him as the fifth man in the starting rotation with Ross Detwiler. Detwiler was the winning pitcher (and the first starter to get a win this season the previous wins were by the bullpen) in the 10 April game vs. The Mets. The Nats won 6-2 it was New York's first loss of the season.

Lannan's initial reaction was to request to be traded just one day after being sent down to the Minors. The Nats don't want to trade him just yet supposedly. Even though Lannan being traded is just rumor apparently the Nats are talking seriously with the teams that are interested in him.

Related articles:
John Lannan Drawing Interest from Chicago Cubs - The Cubbies would trade Marlon Byrd. Byrd was on the Nationals 2005-2006.
Cubs interested in Nationals lefty John Lannan - 
Washington Nationals' Ross Detwiler vs The Mets; John Lannan Trade Chatter

National Players Mentioned in this Post:
Marlon Byrd
Ross Detwiler
John Lannan