Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
All of the baseball cards that I use to illustrate my posts are from my personal collection, which includes every regular-issue Topps set dating back to 1979. The first complete set I ever owned was the 1987 set. It remains one of may favorites both because of its nostalgic significance to me, and because of its appealing design and fine photography. With the recent quasi-retirements of Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds (the latter of whom was pictured on the first card in the first pack of 1987 Topps cards I ever bought, his .223 average prompting me to think he was some skinny slap-hitting nothing), the last remaining active player who had a card in the 1987 set is Jamie Moyer (Moyer's then-teammate Greg Maddux is the only other active player from the 1986 season, but his first Topps card was a 1987 traded card). I had written Moyer off as a scrub in the early '90s. He was released by the Rangers after the 1990 season and spent most of the 1991 and all of the '92 seasons in the minors, and I figured he was just another anonymous face on a baseball card that I'd never see again.
Instead, Moyer quickly resurrected his career with the Orioles and, after a quick layover in Boston, emerged as an unconventional star with the Mariners just before the turn of the century. Last October, I found myself at his locker in Citizens Bank Park, interviewing him about Coors Field in anticipation of his Game 3 NLDS start, and now, 21 years after I pulled his rookie card out of a pack I bought on a trip to the mall with my mom, he's starting his first World Series game at the age of 45, and I'm writing about how he could cost the team he grew up rooting for a chance at its second championship, for SI.com. I guess we've both come a long way.
Incidentally, the sight of Moyer in a Cubs cap on this card reminds me of the ex-Cub factor, a theory which was popularized in the 1980s stating that the winner of a playoff series could be determined by finding out which team had fewer former Cubs on its roster. The 2001 Diamondbacks (and the 2003 Cubs, who actually won a playoff series themselves) blew a hole in the theory, but for yucks, Phillies Moyer, Matt Stairs, and Scott Eyre outnumber the Rays' lone ex-Cub, Cliff Floyd, three to one.
Finally, here's the factoid from the back of the pictured card: "Jamie pitched 3 consecutive No-Hitters at Souderton Area High Scool, Souderton, Pa. in 1980." Yes, 1980.
Jazz Tokyo, JL and others - i'm still on this crazy Blue Note binge. went to another coupla stores today and bought more RVG titles. sifted thru some jazz vinyl, as well. i saw MJQ have an old John Lewis tune entitled "Baseball" - i'm not sure if that was mentioned on a somewhat recent thread where Cliff was mentioning Rock 'n Roll and baseball tunes, etc...
GO PENN STATE!!! : )
carlos pena two out walk
i love baseball lots
no ones at the banter now
Gotta wonder how many more years Moose might have if he was motivated to play. Moose has much better stuff the Moyer.
pennsylvania takes the lead
phillies and penn state
Good thing for the Rays they had those 2 slick defensive plays.
8 i have been reading your SI columns, but more skimming than reading thoroughly. i'm glad your excellent writing and analysis is being picked up by some mainstream outlets. you should be a major force in MLB, as far as i'm concerned! : )
Navarro threw out 38% of baserunners this year. It hurts to see him in the World Series with another team. The first Randy Johnson trade was a disaster.
We Are...PENN STATE!!!
happy for JoePa : )
Rays gotta get that run back, they're getting a bit too close to Madson/Lidge.
i'm totally cool w/ the Phils winning tonight. and the whole Serious.
hey, while it's kinda dead here - you still dabbling in playing some music, cliff? hope so!
i really don't care for pitchers hitting...
28 i hear ya, man. you have a drumkit in the basement?
wow, upton steals successfully even on the throw over. that kid has mad skillz.
whew! longoria flies out to the warning track. that was close. moyer at 86 pitches. i say send him out for the 7th to face crawford, but have the pen ready for backup...
Oh, that's a back breaker for the Rays. They don't get the two-run jack and the Utley hits one to pad the lead? Game over.
37 what's up, man? up from your nap?! ; )
46 chase is a monster. hope cano is watching...
is that it for garza? 102 pitches. he could come back out, but who knows. i still think moyer should definitely start this inning and face crawford. if he gets him out, go batter to batter. he's been baffling the rays and if they go straight to the pen, tampa might feast on some fastballs, instead of meatballs...
51 how 'bout some "Philly" Joe Jones?!?! : )
Wacky hop on that double. They need a hit, not a productive out here, get both these runs in.
that's it for moyer. good job, guy! i hope you get the W, you deserve it...
60 remember when Bobby Valentine kept calling him Clifford during the A-S Game? i think it might have been '01. there was some kind of controversy between the two of them not getting along...
1-run game. madson/lidge await the 8th/9th...
65 i was glad for the philly-tampa match-up, coz i thought there'd be really good baseball games being played. 3 games in and i'm not disappointed...
if tampa ties it here or wins, i'll be seething over that crawford call at 1B...
man, 1B ump coulda had some karmic realignment with that call right there...
nice leadoff walk for werth. 4 pitches. he's a 20-20 guy. how's howell at holding runners? good thing Balk-A-Day Bob isn't behind the plate! ; )
i don't see this inning ending well for tampa...
This is just the fifth time a player has stolen three bases in a World Series game. Lou Brock did it twice, Willie Davis once, and Honus Wagner the other time.
ooh, i knew werth would go. i hope the Phils pull this out! i'm pretty positive i'm in the minority 'round here - minus Mike C - but i'm stickin' to my guns.
The ol' knee buckler got the best of Howard.
well if dobbs is up for feliz, my 98 is outta the window.
106 you're right, bruntlett had a late jump.
maddon doing his "unconventional" thing again...
i will say that Charlie, no...Von...Hayes will catch the last out of this Series at one of the corner infield postions! ; )
Fifehole or SwisCheeze.
This seems to have 7 games written on it.
114 i think so, man, i think so...
Now to write up tomorrow's preview . . .
rays will probably win tomorrow and even it up. King Cole will win Game 5. it'll be interesting back at The Trop and everything will probably hinge on Hamels and a Game 7. great Serious!!!
i wish he got the win...
looking forward to Game 4! ooh, i don't think hamels will be available for a Game 7...
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