Thursday, September 29, 2016

1999 Topps #499 Mike Kelly

Mike Kelly was the #1 overall pick in the 1991 MLB draft by the Braves after winning the Golden Spikes Award at Arizona State University. He made his debut in 1994 with the Braves and played with them on their 1995 World Championship club. He spent 1996 and 1997 with the Reds, and 1998 with the Devil Rays. His final season was in 1999 with the Colorado Rockies. He never fulfilled the potential of a #1 pick, but did hit 22 Home Runs in a 6 year career as a reserve outfielder.

Mike only got 2 Topps card in his career, a '94 Topps Traded card, and a '95 Topps card. He is missing cards from the 1996-2000 Topps sets. This card covers the '99 set. I also made a Draft Pick card of Mike as part of my other blog, Completing the 1992 Topps Set. I don't know why he was left out of the '92 set, as most of the picks in the first round of the '91 draft were included in the 1992 set.

Today is the big day when we attempt to move everything into the new house. We closed yesterday, and in an interesting twist, I got promoted to full-time at work today. All I can say is it's about time. I put a lot into my work and it's nice to know that I will be able to make a little more money for my family. Thanks for checking out the latest card.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Coaches Center Part 11: 1999 Topps #498 Rick Williams Coach

Rick Williams never made it to the Majors as a player, but he did as a pitching coach. Rick, who is the son of Hall of Fame Manager Dick Williams, was the pitching coach for the Florida Marlins from 1995 to 1996. After his time in Florida, he became the pitching coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during their first season in 1998. He held the position until the end of the 2000 season.

Rick doesn't appear on any Topps cards, so he needs ones in the 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, and 2001 sets. This custom for his first year with the Rays knocks out his 1999 Topps card.

Our softball team lost again tonight, 15-5. I went 1-2 at the plate, hitting a bloop single in between third base and the pitcher in my first At-Bat. I got to second when the next hitter singled, but was thrown out on a close play to 3rd on the next play. In my 2nd At-Bat, I hit lefthanded (I normally hit righty, but we had a runner on 1st, and I wanted to pull the ball towards first so I could try to at least advance the runner). I fouled off 2 pitches, so I was in the hole 1 ball and 2 strikes with no fouls left. The pitch came in and looked a tad high, and inside, and I froze and decided not to swing. The pitch nicked the corner of the plate, and the ump called me out on strikes. It may have been a ball, and the ump didn't give very distinct strike calls, so I was unsure if I was out or still alive for a second. A few of my teammates thought the pitch was a ball, but the ump didn't, and I am no longer batting 1.000. I still haven't scored a run, and have only come to bat once with a runner on base. Clearly we need to hit better.
I also played an inning in Right Field. A lefty came up in the 1st Inning, and hit it to me. I started drifting back towards the fence, and the ball kept carrying and I couldn't see it very well in the lights, and it went over my head a few feet. Don't know if I could've caught it if I ran faster, but it did allow a run to score. That was the only inning I played the field, and I was ok with that. We needed our best guys out there. A few guys made some nice catches, but we also had some close calls that were missed, and ended up giving up a Grand Slam because of 2 of them.

My wife and I are both off tomorrow, and I hope to pack the last of our stuff tomorrow afternoon and evening, maybe give the dogs a bath, and load up our van with as many boxes as will fit. That way, late Wednesday when the house finally closes, we can get right to dropping boxes off, and maybe even getting the U-Haul and starting on furniture. If not, Thursday and Friday will hopefully have enough time to do that.  We also have a 3-D ultrasound on Wednesday, and I'm excited to see what our first son will look like hopefully. We toured the hospital where my wife will give birth today, and it seemed pretty nice. Not exactly what I expected, but what do I know, I'm not a doctor or anything.
On a kind of sad note, I'm sure all of you know that Arnold Palmer passed away on Sunday. The hospital we will be delivering at is Winnie Palmer Hospital, and Arnold Palmer Hospital is right next to it. It was kind of eerie going there and knowing that the person who the main part is named after passed away yesterday. I expected to see flags at half mass, and maybe something about it on the random TV screens that we passed by, but for some reason, we didn't see anything. I didn't see any flags, and I'm sure they were half mast. Maybe the hospital didn't want to dwell on the sadness that Arnold had passed and were trying to keep it low key. It is sad to see such a legend go, and also sad to see a young life like Jose Fernandez snatched away too quickly. You never know when your last day is, so don't hesitate to be at peace with your Maker and be at peace with those in your lives.
Thanks for checking out my latest post.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

1999 Topps #518 Matt Ruebel

Matt Ruebel pitched for 3 seasons in the Majors. He came up with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1996, played with them in 1997, and then signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as a Free Agent in early 1998, and spent his final season with them. It is interesting to note that he signed with the Diamondbacks as a Free Agent in December 1998, never made it back to the Majors with them, but  his profile picture on his Baseball Reference page shows him with a Diamondbacks cap on.

Matt appeared on 1 regular Topps card, a 1996 Pitchers Prospects card. He is missing cards from the 1997, 1998, and 1999 sets, and this custom gives him his sunset Topps card. Matt appeared in the 1996 Bowman's Best set, as well as the 1997 Stadium Club set.

My last softball game(s) got rained out on Monday, which sucks, because we had a doubleheader. The good news is that my Batting Average stays at 1.000 for another week. Everything is lined up for the house to close on Thursday, and if the sellers are ok with us moving our stuff in the garage, I think we might just be able to get everything out of our apartment by the time the lease expires at the end of the month. Between all that and the baby shower on Sunday and work, I'll be ready for a few weeks of hopefully not much stress before the baby comes in November.  I'm almost done with the 1999 Rays team set, just a few more cards, and then some fun ones coming up (including 2 of a minor league pitcher named Steve Sharts). Thanks for checking out my latest custom.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Customs from Richard Part 3

Recently, I got an e-mail from Richard with a ton of customs he made for me. It knocked a bunch of cards off of my ever-growing Master Checklist. He is helping my on completing the 2001 Topps set, as well as other sets on the list, and does a great job. On many of the newer Topps sets, there weren't allowed to be Draft Pick cards, and it has always been a challenge on how to add the 'Draft Pick' designation to the basic design. It is always nice to have another brain to help out with this problem, and Richard has helped make these Draft Pick cards that never were seem like they belonged in their designated sets. He also has found some nice photos, like the '84 World Series photo on the 1996 Kirk Gibson. 

As always, if you want to help make any of the cards on my list, feel free to. Thanks for checking out the newest additions.