Author Topic: Favorite Baseball Cards  (Read 13873 times)

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albrecht

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Re: Jim Walewander: 1988 Topps
« Reply #105 on: September 01, 2018, 09:19:30 PM »
I've always loved the Topps 1988 Jim Walewander card. 

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It's not an action card but shows a clean cut, very serious young man.   Which is ironic because Walewander was definitely a free spirit - of the Frosted Flake
variety.  A middle infielder in the Detroit Tigers organization, he very easily have become depressed, as he had the great Lou Whitaker and Alan
Trammell ahead of him.  Fortunately, for the City of Detroit and the world in general, not too much bothered Walewander,  He became a bit of a
sensation late in the 1987 season.   Sparky Anderson used him mostly as a pinch runner as he ran the bases well and had very good speed. 
He scored some key runs against the Jays in the magical late season drive where the Tigers caught and passed Toronto to make the playoffs.

It really wasn't for his play that he became a minor sensation.  His first big league at bat was against awesome curveballer, Bert Blyleven.  When asked
after the game by reporters on how he found Blyleven. Walewander said "From the dugout, I went into the On Deck circle and then when it was time
I went into the batters box.  When I looked up, there Blyleven was on the mound".   The Detroit press went banana's........  Finally a guy that wasn't
going to say "I'm just here to help the team"  Word got out  about Walewander's apartment.   He used Aluminium Foil as shades because it was
 "Great at keeping the Sun out".   He had a giant stuffed fish on his wall and when asked why he had such a grotesque thing, he said simply:
 "I keep my spare change in it's mouth so it won't get lost in the couch cushions".   

Then there was The Dead Milkmen.  Jim Walewander was probably the biggest Dead Milkmen fan in the world.  When they were playing in Detroit,
Walewander looked them up and invited them out to Tiger Stadium the next day.   In a surreal moment, Sparky Anderson met the Milkmen and
yes indeed,  There is a photo taken before the game.

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Sparky dutifully wrote Walewander's name on the Lineup Card and Walewander came through.  He hit his only Major League home run ever that day.
After the game, the press asked him if the Dead Milkmen gave him inspiration.  Walewander said "No.  They gave me a T-Shirt".   Asked what else he
remembered about the homer he said:  "It was a righthander," he says. "A white guy. I hit it off a white righthander."   When asked about his
childhood heroes he said "Ayn Rand and Thoreau. They had a kid and it was me."

Before long he had both a book and a song called "Jim Walewander Blues" by a local band - pretty amazing for an obscure utility infielder with less than
250 career at bats.............
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Walewander got an MBA from UCLA after his MLB career was over.   Not sure what he is doing but I am sure what ever office he is working
in is not a boring place with the 'Wales' around.    :)

Great stuff!! So funny about Dead Milkman n Sparky. And thing I find myself doing n liking college ball (not metal) but cause the kids are clean cut n more disciplined. Sorta. But good stuff, keep them coming!

Walks_At_Night

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Aurelio Lopez: 1983
« Reply #106 on: November 24, 2020, 06:44:44 PM »
This card brings back some special memories for me. We'll get to that in a bit, but for now the man of the hour is Aurelio Lopez, El Lanzallama, Señor Smoke, the rotund, rubber armed reliever for the Detroit Tigers.

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Lopez never made the Major Leagues until he was almost 30 years of age. Prior to that he pitched in the Mexican League where he was very successful - winning a championship and a league MVP. The records seem to be incomplete regarding his stats in the Mexican League so who knows how many innings he pitched there but I'd imagine it was a ton. The Cardinals bought him in 1978 but traded him to Detroit for Bob Sykes after the 1979 season. It was a great deal for Detroit, Sykes would never amount to anything much and Lopez would be a very valuable asset for the Tigers. He could close out a game or act as setup man.

He had an unusual presence on the mound. He was a gum chewer and he would champ away like mad between pitches. He was considered grossly fat for the time, now days I don't think any one would give him a second thought but the players were more fit then and he stuck out.  Then he had this weird little leg kick he did with his left leg - almost like a shiver. Very distinctive - I'm not sure that I've ever seen anyone else quite do that before or since.
 
His best year in the Majors would be 1984. That was the year the Tigers won the World Series. Lopez would win 10 games against only one loss while saving 14 as the setup guy for Willie Hernandez who was absolutely dominant that year. Lopez would have an unforgettable moment in the World Series. A clip of it is below. Note the gum champ and the leg kick. Scully and Garagiola make the call.



After his time in the majors he returned to his hometown in Mexico. He would become Mayor after beating out the local political machine but he would sadly end up dying in a traffic accident at the age of 44.

So all of that leads to this little story. I pitched in High School. Not particularly well but good enough that the coach kept sending me back out there. Our coach was an old guy named Ochylski. Tough mother. Definitely old school. Ex-Marine - WWII, Korea and Vietnam vet. Whom after  surviving all that would end up teaching Industrial Arts and coaching ball. He knew the game inside and out and was a very good instructor.  Not exactly the most humorous person though.  No one ever saw him laugh and I think the only time I ever saw him smile was when an opposing pitcher hit our big, dumbass first baseman in the head. "Look at that. He might have knocked some sense into Yakimovich's head".

Bright young lads that we were, we decided that we could make Coach Ochylski laugh. One day before practice, all of the pitchers shoved towels down the front of our uniforms so we would have beer guts and loaded up on Bubble Yum.  So we trotted out and did our best Aurelio Lopez impressions. Champing away at the bubble yum, doing that funky little leg kick and yelling "ándale", "ariba", "Quatros" or whatever random Spanish word we could think of. Coach O had a conniption. When he asked us just what the hell we thought we were doing, "No habla ingles" was not the right answer. He wind sprinted us from foul pole to foul pole until half of us were barfing. I thought I was gonna die. I'll give him credit though - he was right there keeping pace. He most have been about 65 at the time, Not an ounce of fat on him, beady little eyes gleaming as he screamed demeaning things at us without ever using an obscenity.  That ended the Aurelio Lopez impersonations and the attempt to make Coach O laugh.   

Bart Ell

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Re: Aurelio Lopez: 1983
« Reply #107 on: November 25, 2020, 04:42:56 AM »
This card brings back some special memories for me. We'll get to that in a bit, but for now the man of the hour is Aurelio Lopez, El Lanzallama, Señor Smoke, the rotund, rubber armed reliever for the Detroit Tigers.

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Lopez never made the Major Leagues until he was almost 30 years of age. Prior to that he pitched in the Mexican League where he was very successful - winning a championship and a league MVP. The records seem to be incomplete regarding his stats in the Mexican League so who knows how many innings he pitched there but I'd imagine it was a ton. The Cardinals bought him in 1978 but traded him to Detroit for Bob Sykes after the 1979 season. It was a great deal for Detroit, Sykes would never amount to anything much and Lopez would be a very valuable asset for the Tigers. He could close out a game or act as setup man.

He had an unusual presence on the mound. He was a gum chewer and he would champ away like mad between pitches. He was considered grossly fat for the time, now days I don't think any one would give him a second thought but the players were more fit then and he stuck out.  Then he had this weird little leg kick he did with his left leg - almost like a shiver. Very distinctive - I'm not sure that I've ever seen anyone else quite do that before or since.
 
His best year in the Majors would be 1984. That was the year the Tigers won the World Series. Lopez would win 10 games against only one loss while saving 14 as the setup guy for Willie Hernandez who was absolutely dominant that year. Lopez would have an unforgettable moment in the World Series. A clip of it is below. Note the gum champ and the leg kick. Scully and Garagiola make the call.



After his time in the majors he returned to his hometown in Mexico. He would become Mayor after beating out the local political machine but he would sadly end up dying in a traffic accident at the age of 44.

So all of that leads to this little story. I pitched in High School. Not particularly well but good enough that the coach kept sending me back out there. Our coach was an old guy named Ochylski. Tough mother. Definitely old school. Ex-Marine - WWII, Korea and Vietnam vet. Whom after  surviving all that would end up teaching Industrial Arts and coaching ball. He knew the game inside and out and was a very good instructor.  Not exactly the most humorous person though.  No one ever saw him laugh and I think the only time I ever saw him smile was when an opposing pitcher hit our big, dumbass first baseman in the head. "Look at that. He might have knocked some sense into Yakimovich's head".

Bright young lads that we were, we decided that we could make Coach Ochylski laugh. One day before practice, all of the pitchers shoved towels down the front of our uniforms so we would have beer guts and loaded up on Bubble Yum.  So we trotted out and did our best Aurelio Lopez impressions. Champing away at the bubble yum, doing that funky little leg kick and yelling "ándale", "ariba", "Quatros" or whatever random Spanish word we could think of. Coach O had a conniption. When he asked us just what the hell we thought we were doing, "No habla ingles" was not the right answer. He wind sprinted us from foul pole to foul pole until half of us were barfing. I thought I was gonna die. I'll give him credit though - he was right there keeping pace. He most have been about 65 at the time, Not an ounce of fat on him, beady little eyes gleaming as he screamed demeaning things at us without ever using an obscenity.  That ended the Aurelio Lopez impersonations and the attempt to make Coach O laugh.

I appreciate the use of champ.
HE GOT IT RIGHT IN THE CANARY!

JayGab

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Re: Favorite Baseball Cards
« Reply #108 on: November 25, 2020, 10:22:57 AM »
Grown ass men collecting sports cards.  It's just fine when you're 9 but after a certain age you're just collecting PICTURES OF MEN???
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ShayP

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Re: Favorite Baseball Cards
« Reply #109 on: November 29, 2020, 05:39:49 PM »
Thanks for that story. @Walks_At_Night   8)  I remember Lopez.  I had his '82 Fleer card.  (From the only set I completed pack by pack)  I also recall having a card when he was with the Astros.  He didn't even look like a player.  He was just standing there wearing a jacket.   ;D

PB

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Re: Favorite Baseball Cards
« Reply #110 on: November 30, 2020, 12:10:14 AM »
Thanks for that story. @Walks_At_Night   8)  I remember Lopez.  I had his '82 Fleer card.  (From the only set I completed pack by pack)  I also recall having a card when he was with the Astros.  He didn't even look like a player.  He was just standing there wearing a jacket.   ;D

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ShayP

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Re: Favorite Baseball Cards
« Reply #111 on: November 30, 2020, 05:35:25 AM »
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Ha!  Yep, and I think there was a Topps one too.  He looks like a 'super fan' instead of a player.  ;D