21 December 2016

Senators Singles: Mad Max Ace Diamond King

Mad Max Ace Diamond King

I scanned this card late last month when I was scanning cards for my Max Awards 2016 post. I decided not to show it at that time. So now with just a little time left in December I'm posting it as one of those "quick fix make sure I have something for the personal quota this month" posts. Yes I"m being lazy.

This card is one of the 2016 Panini Diamond Kings cards. I am so-so on this set. I sort of like the painting-like images used, but they do repeat the same "photo" on the back. It is also one of those unlicensed sets. I wish the sports leagues would back off on the exclusives for trading cards and let he full names and logos of sports teams be used. Most people know what they are anyway so there is no serious attempt at disguising which team it is. The plainness and lack of names and logos makes even the most professionally made card look like it was done by cheap ass amateurs. Most collectors hate the plain look anyway.

 2016 Panini Diamond Kings Baseball - 88 Max Scherzer Nationals

29 November 2016

Max Awards 2016

2015 Topps Stadium Club 296 Max Scherzer

Well there were a few Nats up for some of the big end of the year awards. 2nd Baseman Daniel Murphy was up for NL MVP but came in second. He did, However, pick up a Silver Slugger award (his first) and the Player's Choice "Outstanding Player" Award. Catcher Wilson Ramos also got a Silver Slugger award a surprise first. Rookie Outfielder Trea Turner was up for the "Rookie of the Year" (ROY) but came in second and Skipper Dusty Baker was up for the "Manager of the Year" (MOY) but came in 3rd. UGH. Golden Boy Pitcher Max Scherzer came through with the NL Cy Young Award his second he won his first back in 2013 while with the Tigers. He is the 6th player to win it from both Leagues.

Here are some cards to look at starting with the back of the 2015 Stadium Club Max Scherzer card that is featured at the top of this short post.

2015 Topps Stadium Club 296 Max Scherzer (back)

Since it is his second Cy Young award here is another Max card this one is his 2015 Gypsy Queen

 2015 Topps Gypsy Queen 93 Max Scherzer
(Front and Back)

Silver Slugger Catcher Wilson Ramos.
 2011 Topps Update US295 Wilson Ramos
(Front and Back)

I don't recall the exact location of any of my Daniel Murphy cards so I didn't get a chance to scan any. I also didn't scan any Dusty Baker cards. I don't recall if I've gotten one of him as the Nats Skipper yet. Anyway the last card I'll show is the almost ROY Trea Turner. Here is his 2016 Gypsy Queen card.

 2016 Topps Gypsy Queen 64 Trea Turner
(Front and Back)

2016 Award Nominations for Nationals:
MVP - Daniel Murphy - 2nd
Cy Young - Max Scherzer - Winner!
ROY - Trea Turner - 2nd
MOY - Dusty Baker - 3rd

Silver Slugger: 
2nd Base - Daniel Murphy
Catcher - Wilson Ramos

Player's Choice Awards:
Outstanding Player - Daniel Murphy

Congrats Nats for the nominations and the actual wins. I was really hoping for Trea to get the ROY. Oh well he came in 2nd like Ryan Zimmerman did 10 years ago.

20 October 2016

Bryce Harper's First Career Grand Slam His 100th Home Run

I  don't believe I didn't post about this when it happened. I thought I did or was going to or had at the very least started my draft for the post. Nope I didn't. Silly me. I think I mentioned it in a forum post somewhere, but not here. Well here it is now.

On 14 April, 2016 Nats Outfielder Bryce Harper smashed his first career grand slam against the Braves. It marked his 100th Career Homer to boot. What a way to celebrate.

2013 Topps Tribute Baseball 49 Bryce Harper Nationals

Related Links:
MLB.com VIDEO - Harper Launches Grand Slam For Homer No 100
Review Journal VIDEO - Las Vegan Bryce Harper gets 100th MLB homer with grand slam — VIDEO

Then only 6 days later on 20 April Bryce hits his 2nd Career Grand Slam vs. The Marlins. The wonder kid smashes another one.

 2012 Bowman Baseball 10 Bryce Harper RC Nationals

Related Links:
Fox Sports - Bryce Harper crushes grand slam to help Stephen Strasburg pick up win
Washington Post - Bryce Harper’s grand slam highlights seven-run seventh as Nationals beat Marlins
Washington Times - Bryce Harper’s grand slam fuels Nationals’ power display in win over Marlins

14 October 2016

2016 NLDS vs Los Angeles Dodgers Results

2016 NLDS
vs Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers Won Series 3-2

Back in 2012 when the Nats took their first trip to the National League Divisional Series, I was too excited and then too depressed to do any sort of review post. Then in 2014 I was again depressed by the results. Well this year, the third year in five that the Nats have made the postseason, I decided that win or lose I'd do a post about the series.

The NLDS is a best out of five games series, and much like the Wild Card "play-in" game it comes and goes too swiftly. 3 wins and you move on to the Championship Series (NLCS). Lose those 3 and your season is over. The Nationals for this series won "home field" advantage by having the better season record 95-67 to the Dodgers 91-71. In the long run home field gets the advantage of an extra game and the homie crowd for one more game.. 

Game 1: Friday 07 October 2016 Nationals Park, Washington DC - Loss 3-4
The first game of the series was a real uphill battle. Unfortunately the Nationals lost. The first inning was soiled with a solo homer by LA's Corey Seager apparently he is their golden child this season. The first pitch he saw he knocks it out. Good thing he was the second batter and the lead off man had struck out. Things would only get worse from there. The Dodgers would tack on 3 more runs in the top of the third making it a 4-0 game. The nationals were able to cut the lead in half with a two-run homer by Anthony Redon that scored Bryce Harper and Jason Werth. The Nationals would then get their third and final run in the bottom of the 4th with a sac fly by Trea Turner to send catcher Pedro Severino home. The Nats would make a few more attempts to score but no love there.

Game 2: Sunday 09 October 2016 Nationals Park, Washington DC - Win 5-2
Game 2 of the series was rained out on its original Saturday game day 08 October then postponed for Sunday. This game started out much like the first Golden Boy Corey Seager knocked in a solo homer top of the first. Dodgers fans were wetting themselves with glee. The next scoring was again top of the 3rd this time just one run Josh Reddick singled and Justin Turner scored. That would be the final scoring by the Dodgers. The rest of the scoring would be ALL WASHINGTON starting bottom 4th with José Lobatón knocking a 3 run homer scoring the Brothers Dan Daniel Murphy and Danny Espinosa. Then next inning would be last year's wonder boy for the Mets Daniel Murphy hitting a single to get Trea Turner in. Then the bottom of the 7th Murphy would single again this time sending Jayson Werth home.

Game 3: Monday 10 October 2016 Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA - Win 8-3
For Game 3 the fun moved to the left coast. This time bottom of the 1st. Yep you guessed it Corey Seager bats, but not a solo homer but a deep double that scores LAs Mr. Turner (Justin). Move to the top of the 3rd it is Jayson Werth's turn to double and for Washington's Mr. Turner (Trea) to score. Game tied 1-1. Bryce Harper singles and Jayson Werth Scores. Anthony Rendón homers deep left center (412 ft.), Bryce Harper scores. 4-1 Washington. Bottom of 5th Carlos Ruiz homers deep left center Joc Paderson scores 4-3 Washington. Then all is quiet until the top of the 9th. Jayson Werth homers deep left center (5-3), Ryan Zimmerman doubles deep right sending both Daniel Murphy and Bryce Harper home (7-3) he advances to 3rd on throw. Chris Heisey hits a sac-fly to left scoring Ryan Zimmerman 8-3. Nats take lead in series 2 games to 1. And that Mrs. Lincoln is all she wrote.

Game 4: Tuesday 11 October 2016 Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA - Loss 5-6
Game 4 could have been a historic game for the Nationals. It SHOULD have been, but alas it was not. Top of the first Nats draw first blood Daniel Murphy singles to right Trea Turner scores (1-0). Bottom of the 1st Dodgers come back Adrian Gonzalez homers deep right also scoring Justin Turner. (1-2) Top of the 3rd Daniel Murphey does it again with a sac fly to center to plate Trea Turner (2-2). Bottom 3rd Justin Turner (Wrong Mr. Turner) singles to left center and Clayton Kershaw scores (2-3). WHAT? Their Pitcher? Oh yeah he did get on base Blah. Then with bases loaded Joc Pederson is hit by a pitch again Justin Turner scores (2-4). Bottom 5th Joc Pederson doubles to left scoring Josh Reddick (2-5). Top 7th bases loaded Jayson Werth hit by pitch Danny Espinosa scores Nationals turn for that fun trick (3-5). Daniel Murphy singles left center Trea Turner and Bryce Harper score tying the game 5-5. Bottom of the 8th Chase Utley (Huh? Haven't seen that troublemaker for some time) singles right center Andrew Toles scores go-ahead run (5-6). Big heavy sigh Dodgers tie series 2-2.

Game 5: Thursday 13 October 2016 Nationals Park, Washington DC - Loss 3-4
Game 5 the one that decided the whole enchilada. This was perhaps the biggest dramatic game of the series along with game 4. For the first 7 innings it was super, then the hour and a half long 7th inning turned sour. There was some hope near the end but it was quickly extinguished. The scoring got started in the bottom of the 2nd with the Brothers Dan. Danny Espinosa singled to right sending Daniel Murphy home 1-0. The score would stay that way for most of the game until the 7th inning. It didn't help matters that the bottom of the 6th ended with Jayson Werth trying to squeeze home. He was sent by 3rd base coach as the ball, hit by Zimmerman who doubled left, was about even with 3rd base. In the top 7th Joc Pederson knocks a solo homer deep left center 1-1. Carlos Ruiz singles shallow left scoring Ausin Barnes 1-2 with just one out. Then Justin Turner triples to deep center scoring Howie Kendrick and Carlos Ruiz 1-4. The top of the 7th alone ran for about 45 minutes and the Nats break a sad NLDS record of using 6 pitchers in just one inning. Bottom 7th Chris Heisey knocks in a 2 run homer deep left plating Danny Espinosa and bringing the game to within one run 3-4 with no outs. Sadly that would be the final scoring of the game. The Dodgers move on to the NLCS against the Cubs.

Series Results: Dodgers Win Series 3-2
Game 1: 07 October 2016 - Loss 3-4
Game 2: 09 October 2016 - Win 5-2
Game 3: 10 October 2016 - Win 8-3
Game 4: 11 October 2016 - Loss 5-6
Game 5: 13 October 2016 - Loss 3-4

Alyssa is Happy

Parody of Taylor Swift's Shake It Off by Keith Elgin (Video) 2016 Nats Playoff Theme It isn't great but it is a fun fan-made parody. He debuted the song LIVE at a restaurant Ben's Chili Bowl a DC area landmark. He also sang it live on local radio (WRQX "Mix 107.3") on the Jack Diamond Morning Show

To conclude this semi-sweet post. Thank you Nationals for an exciting season with an excellent run. Plus an exciting NLDS especially the drama of games 4 and 5. I wish this Post Season was not a repeat of the last two even year seasons (2012 and 2014). Sadly the Nationals post season record is much like the Capitals Post Seasons. Get to the first round then lose.

05 October 2016

Tony Two Bags First Career Grand Slam

On Tuesday 06 September 2016 Nats third baseman Anthony Rendon hit his first career grand slam. I was a bit surprised that this was his first. I tend to forget how many base runners are on the bags when one of our boys knocks out a homer, be they two, three runs or just solo homers. Good players hit a bunch of homers and get even more RBIs that I just assume they had gotten a Grand Slam early in their career.

2013 Topps Bowman Platinum: Top Prospects: TP-AR
Anthony Rendon Nationals

Related Links:
CBS Sports - Nationals' Anthony Rendon: Cranks grand slam
MASN Sports Network - Nats rally on Rendon’s grand slam (Nats win 9-7)
MLB.com - Rendon stays hot in grand fashion with 1st slam - Durable 3rd baseman continues post-break success

29 September 2016

Nats Win 3rd Division Title Within 5 Years: With 3 Different Managers

The Nats are going back to the playoffs!
On Saturday 24 September 2016 The Washington Nationals notched their 90 win of the season by beating the Pittsburgh Pirates. They were not quite in the playoffs yet, their magic number was down to 1, but only for about a half-hour. The 2nd place team the New York Mets last year's NL East Division Champs were still playing their game with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Mets were behind but were rallying for a comeback. They didn't succeed and so the Nationals celebrated their Division Championship Clinch, in the visitors locker room at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.
Hard to believe someone got them to stand still long enough for a group photo.
One again Bryce Harper wears interesting headgear for the celebrating. This year it was a Katie Ledecky USA Olympics Swim cap.
Sort of a repeat of the 2014 Division Clinch in Atlanta.
Harper's Headgear of choice was a Fire Fighter's Helmet.
The 2012 Celebration started an odd even year tradition in the Nation's Capital. Harper went with the standard backwards commemorative "Playoffs" hat like the rest of the team. He hadn't started his unique stylized trend yet.

When they won the division in 2012 it was the first time since 1933 a Washington Baseball team had been to the playoffs. The Nationals have won the NL East Division three times in the last five years.That is a mighty impressive achievement, although what makes it even more impressive is that they have done it with three different skippers at the helm. Davey Johnson, Matt Williams and Dusty Baker. Both Johnson and Williams won NL Manager of the Year the year they took the Nats into the Playoffs.

 2012 the salty dog Davey Johnson led the Nats to the stromy NLDS seas:
1975 Topps Baseball 57 Dave Johnson Braves

2014 saw the good ship Nationals sail into the rough seas of the playoffs with Matt Williams:
 1995 Fleer Ultra Baseball 247 Matt Williams Giants

This year 2016 the Captain at the helm is Dusty Baker:
 1981 Fleer Baseball 115 Dusty Baker Dodgers

The Nats need to start playing like they want to go deep into the playoffs. As of this posting there are four games left in the regular season and the Nats are only at 92-66. In 2012 they went 98-64 in the regular season and lost the NLDS 3-2 vs The Cardinals. 2014 they went 96-66 regular season and fell in the NLDS 3-1 vs The Giants.

This year even though they have the division they seem to have spun around and are backing into the playoffs. NOT GOOD. At least the other two times they seemed to be going forward into the post season.

Related Links:
ESPN (another blog post) - Another even year, another NL East title for Nationals
MLB - Nats jump on Bucs, wait out Mets, clinch NL East

31 August 2016

Hey Nook Its An Allen And Ginter Autograph

2007 Topps Heritage Baseball 442 Nook Logan Nationals

No that 2007 Topps Heritage card at the top is not the card I'm talking about in this post. I thought about making this one of my Senator's Singles posts but I didn't want this logo - 
- sitting at the top of the post. Besides the card I'm showing this post is technically not a Senators card. OK yes I believe there has been a time or two that I have used that logo for an Expos card or two which technically was Never a Senators card and for many of those guys never a Curly W or DC card. I think from now on I will limit this "Senators Singles" logo to only those cards that show the guys that played DC ball from before 1972.

The card I am spotlighting this post is from 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter's Baseball set. It is one of the certified autograph cards. The framed mini cards with an on card signature. I wish these types of cards were serial numbered, but autograph cards have gotten so mainstream now they often don't warrant a serial number. Yet a parallel something stamped with blue foil lettering is?

The player featured is Nook Logan who played outfield for The Nats in 2006-07. At the time I thought he was a super guy and a much needed slugger for the team. Well he was mostly just a spectacular outfielder and a speedster on the bases. He was with the Nats when they were mostly just trading around for speedsters that made occasional spectacular plays to impress the scouts, when they really needed power bats. His bat upon reflection, wasn't so hot as I thought it was. Do bats reflect? Aluminum ones for kids and the minor leagues Yes, Louisville Sluggers and Official MLB bats NO. I forgot that he injured his foot against an outfield wall on opening day 2007, spent over a month out on the DL and never really got his hitting back up. He was slumping near seasons end. I had forgotten that he had been in the Mitchell Report on players who had used performance enhancing substances. He had used HGH to recover from injuries he had in the minor leagues when was with in the Detroit Tigers system (2004-06). Enough of the sad contributions to ending a promising career you want to see a ding-dang card.

2007 Topps Allen & Ginter's Baseball AGA-NL certified autograph
On Card auto blue sharpie
Nook Logan Nationals
(Front and Back)

The main purpose for making this a one card post was simply to fill my monthly posting quota minimum of one post. 

31 July 2016

Nats First Triple Play

WOW! What a play!

On Friday 29 July, 2016 in San Francisco against the Giants The Nationals made their first Triple Play in Team History*

THE SETUP: It is the bottom of the 8th The Nationals are ahead 4-1. Oliver Perez Pitching. Lead off batter Denard Span (Was with the Nationals last year) hits a single to third. Second batter Angel Pegan hits a single to center. Buster Posey at bat, Nats switch pitchers to Blake Teinen, Posey Walks. Bases loaded Span at 3rd, Pegan at 2nd and Posey at 1st.

The Nationals make a rare Triple Switch, they bring in Sammy Solis to pitch, Danny Espinosa to Shortstop and Ryan Zimmerman to First Base. Brandon Crawford comes up to bat.

THE PLAY: With one strike against him Brandon Crawford hits the next pitch. A line drive directly at first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He catches it for out number 1, Runs to first base steps on the bag for out number 2 and launches the ball to third base.

Third baseman Anthony Rendon catches the ball and steps on third for out number 3. Base runner Buster Posey (at first) has too large a lead to get back to first base, he is still a little stunned. Denard Span base runner at third races toward home on contact, as Zimmerman is fielding the ball. Span would later say he thought the ball had one hopped before getting to Zimmerman.

I think Denard had the same expression Friday Night after the Triple Play.

The Nationals get their first Triple Play and end up winning the game with the same score of 4-1. It is also a historic play as it is the first 3-3-5 Triple Play in MLB History. Sadly the Nationals would lose Saturday's and Sunday's Afternoon Games allowing the Giants to split the four game series 2-2.

* Well since they have been in DC the Montreal Expos had made many Triple Plays in their history. At least 10 times with the last one being in 2002 vs. The Phillies.

Related Links:
Nationals Turn First 3-3-5 Triple Playin Major League History- CNSNews.com
Nats slay Giant threat with historic triple play - MLB.com
Nationals Unique Triple Play vs. Giants Was Historic For Many Reasons- nesn.com
Nationals turn first-of-its-kind  triple play to win against Giants- Yahoo.com

30 June 2016

State of the Blog: June 2016

JUNE 2016

OK lets see once again it is the very last day of the month and my damn procrastinating has got me fighting the very last seconds to get a post in on this month. I barely got my update for my regular blog done before the stroke of midnight. Right now it is a couple of minutes after. Dammit. FRACK!

OK real quick this is post number 6 for this year. That means a minimum of another 6 posts only 1 post per month. Sheesh this is barely even a dang calendar. ACK!

EDIT: This post was published approximately at 12:04 AM Eastern Time on 01 July 2016. I am attempting to Fudge it slightly to make my blog archive look balanced.

31 May 2016

Updating A Page Or Two

Updates for Apr and May 2016

OK so I did a little updating on a page or two in the last couple of months. My original date for this post was mid February Ouch. Here is what I have done that I remembered doing in preparation for this post.

Something that I should do more often and every time I acquire new Curly W cards is to update my Curly W Teams Checklists. 1950s | 1960s,

?What else have I updated? Not sure as I said I don't update as often as I should and I usually just do piddly little changes that don't amount to much. I also tend to abandon these update type of posts for weeks, months at a time and then have to edit and reedit them. I also need to stop my procrastination of posting til the end of the month. That makes for the dangerous going a month without posting anything.

Once again procrastination has forced me to do only one lousy post to this blog. I also haven't done much scanning. Including scanning an older yearbook I got way back in march that I haven't mentioned here or scanned. It has a cool article on Walter Johnson I was planning on mentioning, possibly reviewing. Dang it now I got to re-read that for a review. Big Heavy *sigh*

18 April 2016

Nats Gear: A Hat And A Shirt

Recently I made a purchase from the MLB.com Shop for some Nats Gear. I also bit the bullet for a custom Nationals jersey. I had been debating about it for sometime since I really didn't want to spend the amount that they charge for the custom jerseys let alone the prices for favorite player jerseys. This post is not about that it is about my other purchases. The custom jersey will have to wait for a later post.

The first is another hat to add to my Nats Hats collection. My total of Nationals and Senators hats now stands at 10 with 1 plastic "kids" batting helmet. I haven't made posts about those hats. A long time ago I had done a partial video about some of my Nats Hats Collection but the online service I had used deleted all my old videos there. I was really bummed. Anyway that is post fodder for some other time. For now let me get on with this post.

Here is my latest Nat Hat:
I wanted a green Curly W hat and really liked the Olive one. It is a darker Olive in real life than it originally looked online oh well. I think one of these days I might get a Kelly Green hat with the shamrock on the side as well. This hat is a fitted one, and has the MLB Logo on the back. I have some Nats Hats that are fitted but say "Nationals" on the back.

Next up is a baseball jersey/t-shirt J-Shirt? Shirsey? One of the 2/3 sleeve baseball jerseys.

Yes a retro Senators Shirt. I like both the blue and gray colors plus the old style Senators straight W logo.

The images I used are stock photos from the MLB Shop. I was too lazy to snap any pics on my own, plus the shirt is a bit too large to "scan" and scanning a hat doesn't work well either.

31 March 2016

Senators Singles: 1953 Topps Les Peden

1953 Topps Les Peden

Just in time to finally do a post for this month. Phew. OK got this card from a Sportlots auction back on 16 Jan 2016 for .75¢ + $1.99 shipping. I jumped at this one when I saw the auction, I think the seller called it a short print. I jumped on it for that plus I needed it. Sure I have the Team Reprint set. I need to scan the reprint and compare. D'oh!

1953 Topps Baseball - 256 Les Peden Senators
(Front and Back)