Monthly Archives: June 2009

Senators #18: John Stone

Stone 1934

John Stone
1934 Goudey #40
Bio/Summary: John Stone is the oldest Senator player that I have to date. I would like to work my way back into the past of the team, as I’m reading a fascinating book about the history of DC baseball, but unfortunately, those cards all get way too expensive too fast. On the topic of Stone, however, he joined Washington in 1934 after years in Detroit (and yet this counts as his rookie card!), and continued to be a great hitter, as he had been in Detroit. His OPS+ numbers from 1934 to his last year in 1938 are 125, 117, 142, 125, and 85. It’s hard to gauge how powerful he was, given the era, but those numbers speak for themselves.
How Did I Get It?: Won it on eBay.
Did You Know?: Stone was so highly regarded that the Senators sent Hall of Fame outfielder Goose Goslin to the Tigers in an even trade for Stone. Goslin went on to help the Tigers win back-to-back pennants in 1934 and 1935, while the Senators dropped from 1st place to seventh place in 1934.
Rating: 9/10 – I’m blinded by the historical relevance of this card, I have to say. But I like it!

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Couple Days Off

Hi all,

I’m having some severe stress in my life right now and am trying to figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life…as such, I’m going to need to take a few days off and clear my head. I’ll be back…hopefully.


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Failed Prospect #19: Dave Wainhouse


Dave Wainhouse
1992 Stadium Club #885
Position: P
Wainhouse was one of those weird rookies that showed up in 1989 Bowman and confused the hell out of me (along with Johnny Ard and Royce Clayton, among others). I had no idea what to make of him, as he never really seemed to be a viable prospect, and his time in the majors showed it: he had a career 7.37 ERA with a 2-3 record, 1.819 WHIP, and 66 ERA+. Yiiiick.
How Did I Get It?: Bought a box of Series 3 1992 Stadium Club.
Did You Know?: He was the first Canadian ever selected in the first round.
Rating: 5/10 – 1992 Stadium Club is weird; some of the photography is good, but it all feels so dark. I don’t know if it was the process or what – and of course this is just a Spring Training shot, so it knocks it down a notch.

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Filed under Expos Failed Prospects, Failed Prospects

Memory Lane #20: Brad Wilkerson

Wilkerson Bowman Chrome

The first emotion that comes to my mind when I see this card is hope. The hope of those heady early days of the Nationals, when  it seemed like Brad Wilkerson and Livan Hernandez were enough. When Wilkerson was hitting for the cycle in the first days, and it looked like he was going to be the face of the franchise, handling things like local ads for my bank. I was bummed when he was traded away, but then watched him decline and falter in his time with the Rangers. What the hell had happened?
Even though I was following the Nats more than Wilkerson, I still kept an eye on him as he bounced from organization to organization and, finally, ended his career earlier this year. Thanks for the great times, Wilkie. We’ll always have ’05.

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2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day 2/2


John Patterson
2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #2
Nationals Star
Position: SP
Bio/Summary: John Patterson is another Shawn Hill story: had that one great year, then just fell off the radar because of injuries. I sometimes wonder about the Nationals’ training staff…we’ve lost quite a few promising pitchers to injuries. I’d still like to see Patterson catch on somewhere, but I know it’s just not going to happen.
Rating: 7/10 – Pretty cool shot. Is that his high school uniform? I like getting a glimpse at something like that.


Jon Rauch
2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #4
Category: Nationals Lynchpin
Position: RP
Bio/Summary:  I miss Jon. He was a great sight coming out of the bullpen, and pretty reliable. Sure, he wasn’t a star or anything like that, but he was a solid presence out there in the bullpen. I’m bummed to see he’s not doing as well in Arizona.
Rating: 7/10 – Hahaha, can you believe a guy that big was once so much smaller than his mother? Yikes. Fun picture.


Brian Schneider
2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #1
Former National
Position: C
Bio/Summary: Schneider, of course, is catching in New York these days, but I guess he was considered something of a team leader way back when. I think that’s the term they give to someone who’s not that great at much of anything, but sticks around. And you know what? It’s hard to talk smack looking at that picture.
Rating: 8/10 – Look at that kid. He hasn’t change much in the years since then, has he? Absolutely adorable shot.


Ryan Zimmerman
2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #7
Nationals Star
Position: 3B
Bio/Summary: This card actually has some significance. Ryan’s mother has MS, and has been in a wheelchair since 2000, so this is obviously pre-diagnosis, which gives it a bit of a bittersweet feeling.
Rating: 9/10 – My second favorite in the set – the emotional impact does it for me.

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Nationals Auto: Elijah Dukes

Dukes Auto

Elijah Dukes
2009 Upper Deck Inkredible #ED
Category: Nationals Lynchpin
Position: OF
Bio/Summary: I think I’ve admitted that I was a skeptic when the Nationals picked up Elijah Dukes, given that horrific history of his, but he’s been a decent player. Unfortunately, he seems to have lost his ability to take a pitch in 2009, but I wonder if that has something to do with having to play out of position? Could it be messing with his head? To date, in 2009 he’s .242/.307/.423, a 91 OPS+. Not too bad for a centerfielder, except his defense in center is pretty bad. I wish we could get him into a corner outfield position.
How Did I Get It?: Won it on eBay.
Did You Know?: Elijah hit a home run against the New York Yankees in his first MLB game, April 2, 2007.
Rating: 7/10 – Nice big picture (even if it’s not very interesting). A sticker auto that’s a bit off-center, but I like the card overall.

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Expos Auto: Shawn Hill

Hill Auto

Shawn Hill
2004 Upper Deck Etchings #150
Category: Former National
Position: SP
Bio/Summary: Oh, Shawn. You had such potential. I really thought he was going to put it together at some point, but the injuries were just too much for him. I’m glad he’s at least gotten some time in San Diego, but it doesn’t look like he’s done much out there, either, going just 1-1 with a 72 ERA+. He’s probably too injured to get back to where he once was. It’s a shame.
How Did I Get It?: Won it on eBay.
Did You Know?: On July 4, 2004, Hill was the winning pitcher in  the final game between two Canadian Major League Baseball teams, as the Expos defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 6-4. Ironically, the game was played at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Rating: 8/10 – I love the look and feel of this card. Its a sticker done right – fits in with the etchings theme. Very nice.

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Memory Lane #19: Marquis Grissom 1995 Fleer

Grissom 95 Fleer

This is one of those collecting secrets you usually want to keep in the closet: I thought 1995 Fleer was a cool idea when it was introduced. Different groups of base cards for each division? Different designs within a set?? It made so much sense. Of course, the reality was a godawful mess: rather than coming up with one high-quality design, they threw all their ideas out there and picked the best of that group. So we saw designs that never would have made the light of day normally. And it’s telling. I think this design is one of the worst atrocities of the set, in fact.
So what was the impetus for not only wanting to collect the main set, but the master set? I think the answer is inserts. I had finally succumbed to insert mania, and this set was the embodiment of it. Every single card was an insert, with no clear base in sight.
Ugh. No wonder I stopped collecting shortly thereafter.

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2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #1/2


2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #9

Category: Former National
Position: OF
Bio/Summary: This was when Ryan Church was in the middle of his on-again, off-again flirtation with the starting lineup in Washington. I may not have been crazy about him at times, but I certainly think he deserved to start and got jerked around by the organization. That’s why it’s kind of heartwarming to see him with his mother. In 2007, his only real full season to date, he OPS+ed 117. Not bad at all.
Rating: 4/10 – This is obviously an odd set. I’m not crazy about the red stars, but the concept is pretty cool. That said, this picture is a bit washed out.


2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #3

Category: Nationals Star
Position: RP
Bio/Summary: The Chief was fading from his prime as a National when this was issued, falling off to a 1.387 WHIP and 37 saves. But damn what a cute kid!
Rating: 9/10 – Just adorable. My favorite in the set.


2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #6

Category: Nationals Lynchpin
Position: OF
Bio/Summary: I’ve written at length about Austin…I like the guy, he seems like a decent dude, but man…he just never blossomed. It’s a shame, too, because he’s a great defender.
Rating: 6/10 – Hahaha, check out mom’s hair. I mean, she was a cutie, but wow. Takes me back to the late 80s.


2007 Nationals Upper Deck Mother’s Day #5

Category: Nationals Also-Ran
Position: OF
Bio/Summary: 2007 was the year that Manny Acta (or SOMEONE) had the idea to give Nook Logan a starting role in the Nationals outfield. And good lord was it a tragic error. He went 265/304/345 with a 72 OPS+ and some incredibly dense defense. Still, I guess he could be fun to watch at times.
Rating: 7/10 – Nook looks to be about the same age as he was when he was a player. Guess it falls in the Ryan Church category.


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Expos Stars: Javier Vazquez #3

Vazquez 02 Authentics

2002 Donruss Originals #326
How Did I Get It?: Pack of Donruss Originals in a repack box.
Rating: 8/10 – I love this set, and I keep meaning to get more of them. Revisiting the classic designs of Donruss is such a nostalgia trip, and I always love to see new players in a different light.

Vazquez Platinum

2002 Fleer Platinum #132
How Did I Get It?: Pulled from a box of 02 Fleer Platinum.
Rating: 7/10 – Love the set for copping from my beloved 1987 Fleer, but the shot is kind of dull. I wish they had more of an action shot or something – though hey, it matches well with the original.


2002 Upper Deck #352

How Did I Get It?: Pack of 2002 Upper Deck in a repack box.
Rating: 7/10 – I kind of like the 02 Upper Deck design, but it’s hard for me to say just why. I think it’s the clean design with the large photo at the top. Regardless, this is a pretty decent shot on a good design. Good job, UD. What happened to you?

Vazquez Guerrero

2004 Playoff Prestige Connections #20

How Did I Get It?: Pack of 2004 Playoff Prestige in a blaster box.
Rating: 4/10 – Busy, busy, busy. I do like getting two stars for one card, but ick. There’s just way too much going on here.

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