Tag Archives: Houston Astros

I Was a Teenage Prospector: Eric Anthony

Anthony UD

1990 Upper deck

Man, this guy looked like a monster in 1990. I was vaguely aware of his existence leading up to the release of this card, but seeing it and reading about his exploits on the back sealed the deal for my love for him. The late 80s and early 90s were all about big power guys for me, and Anthony was the prototype, with that monster shot he hit in the Astrodome.

But the main memory I have of Anthony has nothing to do with his career. It’s all about sitting in a musty old library in a musty old middle school that didn’t have air conditioning in the May sun. Four of us sat around a table right before class started, each with a stack of his own cards, divvying up offers and throwing down some lopsided trades. I was not the richest kid in the world, so trading was my biggest outlet for picking up players that I wanted; I would stack up cards of superstars of the day and offer them for the prospects, sure I was the one taking the other guy to the cleaner with my superior knowledge of player scouting and development.

Well, it didn’t quite work out, but I certainly remember getting this beaut of a card. It was probably my fourth or fifth copy of the card, but I could never get enough of the Sure Things, and Anthony was about as sure as it got. Too bad it never worked out that way.

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Morning Coffee and the Blog Roundup 11/5 – Biznass Edition

It’s going to be one hectic day, that’s for sure.

Went with a friend to see Paranormal Activity 2 last night; she really wanted to go, we hadn’t seen each other in awhile, and I was open to the idea, even though I hadn’t seen the original. From how everyone described the first, it seems that the second was an improvement. It wasn’t blow-you-away great or anything, but it was a decent enough way to pass a couple of hours. Sounds like the first had some terrible acting, which might be worth checking out on its own merits.

Received the 1991 Score Rookie and Traded set in the mail yesterday, and what an odd little set that is. I can see why I didn’t bother with it back then. 1991 seemed like a transitional year for Score, anyway, and I never really cared for that design. I’ll be glad to get past it. It’s nice to add more Bagwell and Rodriguez rookies, though. Can’t go wrong with two sure hall-of-famers. Shame about it being in the midst of the junk wax era. Next up, I think, is the Leaf set.

You know, I didn’t even realize Jay Gibbons was back in the majors, much less with the Dodgers. So learning that he had re-signed with them was a shock. God, he was so infuriating to watch as an Oriole. Oh, I also guess Rick Ankiel and Lance Berkman saw their options declined. Glad to hear that about Berkman. I’ve always liked him, and it was frustrating to watch him on the Yankees.

Music Friday!

All right, let’s see what everyone else was up to…

Have an awesome weekend everybody!

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The 1989 Project Day 5 – Jim Clancy

Donruss Traded

This has to be my least-anticipated entry of the entire project, but who else was I going to choose for the Astros? Barely anyone made the sets that year, but of course, the 1989 Astros weren’t too bad, and they were stuck in between Biggio and Bagwell/Luis Gonzalez’s debuts. And Clancy was a thoroughly pedestrian pickup.

Fleer Update

Clancy signed with the Astros in December 1988. It was a three-year contract worth 3.45 million, or 1.15 million on average (he’d actually make 900,000 in 1989, a respectable sum for that time). He’d had an okay year in 1988 with the Blue Jays, going 11-13 with a 4.49 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. Sports writers, being sports writers, asked whether he was being signed to fill the shoes of Nolan Ryan, who had departed to join the Rangers. Clancy brushed it off, of course, as the two pitchers had nothing in common. He did, however, say that he could go out and pitch 200-250 innings a year for the Astros. His IP total in 1989? 147. And that would be his high for the years there.

Score Rookie and Traded

So tell me if this rotation sounds like a recipe for success: Clancy, Mike Scott, Bob Knepper, Bob Forsch, and Jim Deshaies. If you answered no, congrats, and you’re smarter than then-GM Bill Wood. Scott was a 20-game winner, and Deshaies was good, but Knepper went 4-10 with a 5.89 ERA, Clancy went 7-14 with a 5.08 ERA, and Forsch ended up in the pen for the year. But hey, Clancy did lead the team in Intentional walks. And his first outing with the Astros was a good one – he had 8 strikeouts in 8 innings against the Padres, including two each against Roberto Alomar, Jack Clark, and Garry Templeton. Astros fans had reason to be optimistic, but it was all downhill from there.

Topps Traded

Clancy stuck around for 89, 90, and part of 91, getting dealt at the 91 trade deadline ahead of free agency. He seemed happy to have been dealt – he knew it was coming, and he knew people in Atlanta. Not to mention he’d been something of a bust for the Astros. He was traded for Matt Turner and Earl Sanders, neither of which would suit up in Houston, so the whole Clancy thing was an overall bust. Clancy finished out 1991 as a reliever for Atlanta, and his career was done.

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Trade Bait

I don’t think I’ve ever done a proper trade bait post, so let’s take a look at what I have available. Listening to any and all offers…

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Finds From The National Part 8: The Throwbacks

As always, I’m a sucker for old-school style revivals, and I came across some that I had never seen before during The National.

Not sure how I feel about this. There are some pretty significant changes to the 1989 design, and they’ve thrown some foil on it. It’s also a lot glossier than the original issue. So it’s not really true to the original, but the set still seems worth having. Just a note, this is the second A-Rod 1989 design card I have, each with a different team. Now they just need to make one in a Yankees uniform and I’ll complete the trifecta. Oh, and I got one other card of this set:

Now that’s a sweet card.

I also found some cards that I was blissfully ignorant of: chrome versions of old Bowman cards! I scooped up every copy I found, which wasn’t much. Anyone know more about these and how many there are?

I also picked up a few 2002 Donruss Originals for my set, short prints, but I haven’t gotten to scanning them and they’re already in the binder with the set. Oh, well. Their time will come on the site.

Okay, only one more entry to go! I thought this might end up taking the whole week, and it looks like it will. Stay tuned…

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The 1988 Project Day 6: Craig Biggio (Relevant Rookie Now)

Well, let’s take a look at the first of some future and current Hall of Famers in the 1988 Update sets. I’ve always had a strange fondness for Craig Biggio, despite him being an Astro. Something about him seemed like an underdog; he was small and unheralded, at least among my friends, and I liked the way he played the game. Unfortunately, he only made it into two update sets that year.

1988 Fleer Update

If you look up “baseball card” in the dictionary, I swear you see this. I’ve racked my brain for something interesting to say about it, and I’m just coming up empty. It’s just kind of there. Though it does feature the awesome 80s Astros uniform, so I can’t down on it too much. Back in the day, this was kind of the definitive Biggio XRC, as I’ve said before that the Score set was completely out of reach for us. So, while this card is completely unremarkable, the sight of it brings memories rushing back for me. I vaguely remember trading my copy of it, but I’m not 100% certain that happened back then.

1988 Score Rookie and Traded

Man oh man did I want this card back in the day. It was pure gold. And hell, I still like this card. I was more than excited to see it when I first went through the box. As for the card itself…I still think it’s excellent. I love the shot, as it captures the tension of Biggio waiting for a pitch, especially with the expression. I’m also a sucker for the double-flapped helmet for some reason, so I like this just for that. The color balance is excellent with those orange borders matching up nicely with his uniform. I’d love to know who that is in the background, but there’s just not enough information. Ah, well.

So two classic cards from a surefire hall of famer. My next choice is possibly borderline, but I think he’ll make it in. We’ll look at him soon.

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