Friday, April 29, 2022

Mount Rushmore - Jays Unsung Heroes

 I saw this on Chronicles of Fuji today. A Mount Rushmore of Unsung Heroes from your favourite team.

Obviously, me being me I start to overthink it. Because my team is the Jays, do I limit to those not in Cooperstown? Meaning no Alomar, Halladay, Molitor, or Winfield.

Or, because there's the Canadian Baseball Hall, do I include players there as being off limits? If I do it that way, luminaries like Stieb, Olerud, Carter, Fernandez, Henke, and I'm sure I'm forgetting others would be excluded. 

I think if I do it that way, it would definitely bring out names  people might have forgotten. Or I could stretch it to two posts and do one sans Cooperstown, and one sans Cooperstown and St. Mary's.

You know what? It might be the most fun to do it excluding both Halls..

Probably not a name anyone would expect. He was a solid catcher for the Jays as a part of the platoon with Whitt.. Whitt is a member of the Canadian Hall, so he was disqualified. Only other option would be Pat Borders.

Willie Upshaw was a big part of the early growing pains Jays right up to their first AL division championship. With guys like McGriff and Olerud coming behind him though, he was expendable. McGriff did more elsewhere. Olerud and Deglado are both CDN BBHOFers.

He's really here for one moment. His time in Toronto was only a few seasons, but the first ever game, he hit two homers to help the team win their first ever game. He also managed a lot in the system and with the Thunder Bay Whiskey Jacks.

Jim Clancy did as much as Stieb to bring the team to legitimacy, mind you with less drama and slightly less raw talent. He's 3rd all time for wins on the team with 128. Stieb and Halladay both have more, and both are members of at least one HOF. Clancy started the second most games for the team and actually leads the team in career losses. Of course, he was with the team for the lean years, 1977-1988. 

So there it is.. 
I think without the Canadian BBHOF restriction, it would look much different.


So dear reader, if you had the same restrictions I put on myself, who would you choose for the Jays?

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

A Few Carters

I had a couple dollars sitting in my COMC account, so I took a look to see what inexpensive Gary Carter Expos cards I could find. I just grabbed the cards I bought from the site and will wait to ship. 

Those amazing powder blues... Miss those uniforms.. Don't want to see them on the Nationals again.. 

I wonder if this picture was from his first go with the Expos, or his second in 1992. 

Who doesn't love Diamond Kings?

This was an accidental pickup. I didn't zoom in enough on my phone to see it was a Met card

Panini.. Oh logoless Panini... (why does that sound like it could be a weird LOTR elf name?)

Upper Deck before they were exiled to Hockey

All in all a few Carters coming my way when I finally ship. I did see more that I want and hopefully will still be available when I have the cash.. 


Sunday, April 24, 2022

Lester B Pearson

 Today I want to talk about something a little different. Don't worry, it does involve cards and has a baseball component to it.. 

But as the title suggests, I want to talk about Lester B Pearson. 

He was the 14th Prime Minister of Canada who also had a lot of influence elsewhere. 

As mentioned above here, he was a part of a peacekeeping taskforce to diffuse the Suez Crisis, winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He was seen as turning his back on the British Commonwealth as a result, but there were larger factors that slowed the British. 

As Prime Minister, he brought in Universal Health Care with the help of Tommy Douglas, the Premier of Saskatchewan at the time, the Canada Pension Plan, and the Canada Student Loan Program. He also had a hand in creating the Maple Leaf flag we all know and love. 

When he was in school he played rugby, lacrosse, hockey including being on the team that won the Spengler Cup in 1923, and baseball. 
He played in the Intercounty Baseball League, a semi-pro league in Ontario, for the Guelph Maple Leafs (Now Royals)

Pearson has a fair number of buildings named after him. Pearson International Airport in Toronto being the most known. 

Now I hear you saying "What does this all have to do with sports cards, specifically baseball??"

Well, he did have a trophy named for him in the NHL, given to the best player voted by the NHLPA. It has since changed to the Ted Lindsay Award.. 

And he is a Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame member. He was an honourary president of the Montreal Expos for the first few years of their existence. He was such an avid baseball fan sometimes he would interrupt parliament to receive baseball scores. 
Then, when the Blue Jays came along, we got the Pearson Cup.

The Pearson Cup games ran from 1978 to 1986, and were used to raise money for minor league baseball in Canada. The games were exhibition contests, occurring when both teams had a day off. 
In 1997, it returned until 2004 with Interleague Play. 
Overall, the record between the teams ended up being 3 wins 3 losses and 4 ties. Two ties from the exhibition era, and two ties in Interleague Series. 

I hope this departure from the norm wasn't too offputting. The reason I did this post was due to the fact I recently added the 52 Topps and UD Masterpieces to my COMC order..

Friday, April 15, 2022

Jackie Robinson Day

 Today is the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's MLB debut. I have two separate angles I look at this from. 

First, and most important for this blog, from a Canadian Baseball perspective and second, from a Douglas Adams fan..

I'll explain both

First. The baseball and Canadian connection.. 

I'm sure by now everyone knows the story of Robinson signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers and being assigned to Montreal of the International League to see if he could handle "white" ball and the treatment he'd receive at the time. 

Montreal was chosen because it was one of the more progressive cities at the time. The fans welcomed him. His teammates welcomed him, and those that didn't were brought into line. 

His one season with Montreal, they won the Junior World Series, the championship at the time. Fans were so overjoyed they rushed the field to celebrate and to be able to congratulate Robinson. After the celebration was over, fans waited outside the clubhouse for one final chance to touch Jackie before he went to Brooklyn. 

A writer at the time said "This is the first time a white mob chased a black man not out of hate, but out of love" 

Robinson enjoyed Montreal, calling it "paradise"

The three cards above are my Robinson collection. The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inducted him in 1991 for his contributions to baseball in Canada. Obviously having played one season, it's the overreaching significance of the colour barrier but just try to tell me he doesn't look good in those Montreal Royals unis...

The other point I mentioned is the Douglas Adams thing. Well, it's to do with 42. In the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. 

Anyway, enjoy the games tonight. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

A little Birthday Pickup

So I went on COMC to pick myself up a few cards for my birthday. I'll be shipping them out later, but I wanted to show what I bought.

Bo Naylor. Canadian playing for Cleveland.

A Two-for-one with Bret Lawrie and Michael Saunders

One to add to my Charlie Simmer supercollection

Bo's brother Josh, who also plays for Cleveland

Justin Morneau

Matt Stairs. I'd love to get an auto of him as a Jay but this will do.

Finally, a Paul Quantrill as a Jay. 

Decided on getting some Canadian autographs for my collection.