Posted in Baseball

Monday news & notes: Andrew McCutchen, Vic Black, Hisanori Takahashi

Here’s a few things that caught my attention over the weekend:

Andrew McCutchen makes an impression

Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen warms up before an exhibition game between the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark in 2010 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Pirates OF Andrew McCutchen warms up before an exhibition game between the Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Ballpark in 2010 (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

During the course of the Major League Baseball season, most teams send their players on visits to various children’s and veterans’ hospitals. And to those of us watching the clips on the news, it sometimes seems like those events are just photo ops to get positive publicity for millionaire athletes and their teams. But that overlooks the impact those visits can have on the people in those hospitals.

Continue reading “Monday news & notes: Andrew McCutchen, Vic Black, Hisanori Takahashi”

Posted in Autographs, Uncategorized

Spring training autographs, part 4

This will be short & sweet, because I only got one envelope back since my “Part 3” post.

2015-03-17 10.09.06

RHP Vic Black, 26, was originally drafted by the New York Mets with a late-round pick in 2006 but did not sign. The Pittsburgh Pirates used a supplemental pick at the end of the first round of the 2009 draft to select him, and he began his pro career with the State College Spikes in the New York-Penn League that season.

The Mets acquired Black in August 2009 along with 2B Dilson Herrera for OF Marlon Byrd and C John Buck, one of the best trades Sandy Alderson has made as the Mets’ general manager.

Continue reading “Spring training autographs, part 4”

Posted in Uncategorized

Baseball card of the day: 2010 Topps Pro Debut Victor Black

Vic-Black Vic-Black-B

While I was sorting a box of baseball cards this weekend, I ran across a familiar face… Mets reliever Vic Black.

Black wasa originally selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates with a supplemental pick at the end of the first round of the 2009 draft. He began his professional career with the State College Spikes in the New York-Penn League that year, so he’s one of a handful of players Topps chose for their inaugural “Pro Debut” minor league set who was actually making his pro debut.

Late in 2013, the Mets acquired Black and second baseman Dilson Herrera from the Pirates in exchange for Marlon Byrd and John Buck.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Will Ike Davis be on the move again this winter?

Ike Davis during a public appearance after his rookie season with the Mets. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
Ike Davis during a public appearance after his rookie season with the Mets. (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

Former Mets first baseman Ike Davis is likely to be the subject of trade rumors again this winter, according to Daily News baseball columnist Andy Martino.

While Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington publicly maintains that the team sees Pedro Alvarez as a third baseman, many believe the Pirates will move him to first base because of a throwing problem he developed this season. And that makes Davis expendable.

After being acquired from the Mets in April, Davis, 27, hit .235 with a .343 on-base percentage, 10 home runs and 46 RBI.

Davis earned $3.5 million this season and should expect some kind of raise through arbitration, so it’s possible that Pittsburgh will simply non-tender him. He could still be attractive to a team looking for a platoon player, and Martino mentions the Miami Marlins as one possible destination.

I’m not sure how I feel about seeing Davis play in the National League East again… while he didn’t do much against his former team this season (2-for-18, one run scored, two RBI), I’m afraid it might not continue to work out that way if he plays on a team that faces the Mets 18 or 19 times a season.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Autograph collection additions: Gene Clines & Jamey Carroll

Clines-and-Caroll

Last month, I asked you to help me organize my baseball cards by making trades that let me clear out some of my unneeded ones. Gary sent me a pair of autographed cards in exchange for a stack of Oakland Athletics.

Gene Clines spent 10 years in the major leagues, but his playing career was before my time. He is probably best remembered for his time in Pittsburgh, where he won a World Series ring in 1971. Clines also played for the Cubs and Texas Rangers in addition to the Mets. In 1979, Clines retired as a player and immediately became the Cubs’ first base coach. He’s remained in baseball since then, taking coaching jobs and front office positions with the Astros, Mariners, Brewers, Giants and Dodgers.

Jamey Carroll spent parts of 14 seasons in the major leagues despite not making his major league debut until the age of 28. Carroll started at second base in the Montreal Expos’ last game in 2004 and was part of the original Washington Nationals team in 2005. He also played for the Colorado Rockies, Cleveland, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals. Carroll went to spring training with the Nationals this year, but did not make the team.