Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Mets baseball card of the week: 2011 Bowman Johan Santana gold version

(If you are seeing this card with rounded corners, it's because of how my blog's theme displays photos.)
(If you are seeing this card with rounded corners, it’s because of how my blog’s theme displays photos.)

Johan Santana signed a one-year minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles last week. He missed all of last season after having shoulder surgery, and isn’t expected to pitch again until June. There is some speculation that the Orioles may try to use Santana as a reliever when he does return, but I’m hoping that things work out whatever his role may be.

I spent part of Saturday afternoon cleaning up the piles of baseball cards that had been accumulating on my desk since last summer. This 2011 Bowman Johan Santana card was among them. I don’t remember where or why I got it – it may have been a throw-in from a trade package or gift, or I may have picked it up because Santana is one of my favorite recent Mets players. (I may even have had thoughts about putting together the gold version Mets team set.)

Whatever the reason, I  like the card. The horizontal design makes me think of the classic 1955 Bowman set, which showed the players inside of a border intended to resemble a television set. The 2011 Bowman design makes me think of the Star Trek bridge viewscreen more than a television set, but it’s a similar principle.

I miss the hybrid black Mets cap with the blue bill that Santana is wearing, even though it’s only been out of use for a couple of years. Five years ago, if you told me I’d miss any part of black Mets uniforms, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Two questions for you today:

  1. Do you think Johan Santana will find success with the Baltimore Orioles?
  2. Did you like the Mets’ predominantly black uniforms, and do you miss them now that they’re out of use?

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

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Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Paul Blair (1944-2013)

Autographed Paul Blair 1969 Topps baseball card from my collection
Autographed Paul Blair 1969 Topps baseball card from my collection

Former Baltimore Orioles and New York Yankees outfielder Paul Blair died suddenly yesterday. He was 69.

Blair’s wife, Gloria, told the Baltimore Sun that he collapsed while bowling.

“During a practice round, he threw two or three balls, then sat down and told a friend, ‘I feel funny’ and kind of collapsed. He lost consciousness and they called 911 and the ambulance took him to [Sinai Hospital], but the doctors there told me they never got a pulse. I was told he died around 6:45 p.m.”.

Blair spent most of his Major League career with the Orioles, where he won eight Gold Gloves and two of his four World Series rings. At the end of his career, he joined the Yankees and was part of two more Wold Series championship teams. Blair signed his first professional contract with the New York Mets organization in 1961, but was left unprotected and lost in the 1962 first-year draft without ever playing for New York’s National League team.

According to Baseball Reference, 88 other former Major League players passed away in 2013. Among them were Hall of Famer Stan Musial (Jan. 19th), original Met Ed Bouchee (Jan. 23rd), 1980 Met Mario Ramirez (Feb. 22nd), Virgil “Fire” Trucks (March 23rd), former Chicago Cub & Boston Red Sox Frank Castillo (July 28), and former Chicago Cub and Milwaukee Brave Andy Pafko (Oct. 8th).

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @PaulsRandomStuf on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.