Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Some Cards in the Mail

 Hello Friends!

I know I've kind of gotten away from doing these "Look what I got!" posts.  A long time it was due to being stuck in the hospital. After that it was not really having the setup I wanted. Well, I still don't have the setup I want. But I've found ways to take pics on my phone. 

ANYWAY.. Frequent commenter and fellow Canadian Ron Easton and I are in the process of completing a trade on TCDB. I have the cards pulled, but need to send. There are a couple others I need to pull. I got two of what will likely be three envelopes from Ron today.

In these envelopes, I got a bunch of OPC and a bunch of 1992 Fleer Ultra. Today I'm going to show off 5 cards I received. 

Interesting fact.. Jesus Alou didn't actually play for the Expos. He was drafted by the Expos in the expansion draft, then sent to the Astros in January of 69 in the deal for Rusty Staub. Of the Alou brothers, only Matty had zero ties to the Expos. 

Reggie Cleveland in 81 Donruss and the1980 All Time Tigers card of John Hiller. 

Finally, this Mother's Cookies Terry Puhl. Absolutely love this card.

Thanks Ron! I hope the last envelope arrives soon and that we can trade again!

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Signature Sundays - May 28

 Hello friends!

Today's signature card:

Aaron Sanchez.. Or, as he was nicknamed in Toronto, The Sanchise!
According to the internets, he's currently playing in St Paul for Minnesota. 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Stadium Saturday - Mile High Stadium

Hello friends!

Today's stadium was short-lived in MLB, but it was also used in Minor League Baseball and the NFL.

Of course, it's Mile High Stadium

Fun fact.. TCDB only has one card listed under Mile High Stadium's checklist. It reads as two because one is a parallel.. But there are two distinct cards. 

1993 Triple Play has a card of Mile High. The one listed on TCDB is the 1994 Score and Gold Rush parallel. 


Mile High was originally known as Bears Stadium and was built in 1948 for the Denver Bears minor league baseball team. 
The stadium was built on the site of a former landfill and consisted of a single 18000 seat grandstand. 

Bob Howsam, the person behind getting Bears Stadium built, was part of the group trying to get a third Major League going in the late 50s. That league would have been the Continental League. If I recall, it's how the Mets came into being, as the CL was going to place a team in New York, so MLB awarded the Mets expansion franchise. However, that's for another episode..

Howsam was told that he would need to expand the stadium to be MLB worthy, so expansions started. Because Denver was not given a team in that round of expansion Howsam was left with a lot of debt. His solution was to try to get into the AFL. 

The expansion done at the time was to triple deck the west sideline. Debt forced Howsam to sell in 1961. In 1966, Denver was told that in order to be part of the AFL-NFL merger, the stadium needed to be upgraded to 50 000 seats. The city of Denver bought the stadium in 1968 and renamed the place Mile High Stadium. 

The Broncos kept selling out their games in the 70s, causing more and more expansions. The largest of them is the set taking place form 1975-1977 where the capacity was raised to 75000 by expanding the the upper deck along the north side and building moveable grandstands for the east side. 
This meant the stadium could be in a horseshoe shape for football and the usual configuration for baseball. 

The moveable structure was 450 feet long and 200 feet wide and weighed 9 million pounds. Movement was done through hydraulics. Water bearings would be filled with water, lifting the grandstand up. A sheet of water 1/3 of an inch thick formed, allowing engineers to use hydraulic rams pushed the stands at a rate of two feet per minute. The average time to move the stands was 6 hours..

The Rockies began play in 1993. They blew attendance records out of the water because fams were excited for MLB and the team offered low ticket prices. The Rockies would only stay here until 1995 when they moved to Coors Field, but people made their way out to the Park in those early days. 

After the Rockies moved to Coors, the Broncos remained as tenants here until 2000. After moving to their new home, Empower Field, Mile High was demolished and the site turned into a parking lot for the new stadium. A miniature Mile High sits on site as well. 

So.. Tenants of this place throughout its history:
Denver Bears (WL) 1948-1954
Denver Bears/Zephyrs (AA/PCL) 1955-1992
Denver Broncos (AFL-NFL) 1960-2000
Denver Dynamos (NASL) 1974-1975
Colorado Caribous (NASL) 1978
Denver Gold (USFL) 1983-1985
Colorado Rockies (MLB) 1993-1994
Colorado Rapids (MLS) 1996-2001


Sunday, May 21, 2023

Signature Sundays - May 21

 Good day friends!

It's another installment of Signature Sundays. I'm moving it from Saturday to Sunday. 

Anyway. Today's is a nice one.

Marquis Grissom!

I believe this is from one of the Tek sets. I'm not 100%  sure though. I just know I stay away from them because they're confusing AF, as the kiddies say these days...

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Stadium Friday - Arlington Stadium

 I know... It's Saturday.. 

Anyway. I'm feeling less beat up and burned out today so I'm writing up my normal post on Stadium Friday! *cough cough* Saturday Edition

Today is actually a stadium I only have one card of.. It's Arlington Stadium, the original place the Texas Rangers played 

The stadium started out as a minor league stadium, called Turnpike Stadium. It was named that for the Dallas-Fort Worth turnpike. 
The Fort Worth Cats and Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs played here previous to the Rangers. 
As with stadiums of the era, it was designed to be upgradeable to MLB standards for the time. There were 10000 seats, but was able to be bumped to 50K. 
The way the stadium was built, the Dallas Cowboys would have been able to play here as well, but they were uninterested in this stadium. 

The stadium was set into a natural bowl, so little excavation was necessary. 
When the Senators Part 2 moved to Texas and became the Rangers, Arlington Stadium was the sixth stadium to make the leap from minor league to Major League. 
The other stadiums being Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, Seals Stadium in San Francisco. and Sick's Stadium in Seattle.

Before the upper deck was built in 1978, fans could enter the top of the stadium and just walk down to their seats. 
One of the insane things about this place is the absence of a roof or covering of any kind for the fans. As a result, games were scheduled for the evenings most of the time. Something that continued to their next home. 

The stadium was replaced in 1994 with The Ballpark in Arlington. George Brett got the last hit in Arlington Stadium in 1993. Originally home plate and the foul poles were moved to the new Park but were later changed out. Some bleachers were also ported over. They were painted green, but blue showed through if the paint chipped. 

Some of the interesting things about this place: 
There was a scoreboard shaped like Texas. 
They played Cotton-Eye Joe during the 7th Inning Stretch instead of Take me out to the ballgame
Nolan Ryan threw no-hitters here.
Mike Witt had a perfect game here
Nolan Ryan also happened to use Robin Ventura as a grappling buddy here.. 

When this place was demolished, part of the site was used for the new Cowboys Stadium and for a parking lot for a convention centre. 

I just find it interesting that both Texas teams had a stadium that was slap-dashed together when they first came into existence. Both looked about the same. Both had no relief from the elements for fans. Only difference is Houston moved into a dome in a few years, while it took the Rangers until the last couple years to get a dome. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

1972 OPC

 Some more cards I got from CrazieJoe that was totally unexpected!

1972 O Pee Chee..

Now, this design is undoubtedly 70s. The cinema marquee/disco style lettering for the team names... 

I'm sure other people can describe them better than I can. So how about I show them?

Hey what do you know? Ron Taylor! 
Bateman's last season was 72. He split the year between Montreal and Philadelphia. 

Ron Woods finished his career in Montreal in 1974. 
Ernie McAnally played his MLB career with Montreal, from 1971-1974. 

Manager card! 
Stan Swanson only spent 1971 in the Majors. He was another one who was done at 28 years old. 

Ron Hunt, the human bullseye.. Lead the league in Hit By Pitch for 7 straight seasons including 50 in 1971. (OUCH!!)
Gary Sutherland was on the Astros for the 72 season. Between 1972-1973, he played 21 games in the Majors. In Detroit, he went to 149..


It may be a stretch, but yeah...

Monday, May 15, 2023

1975 OPC

 I recently got a bunch of Expos cards from CrazieJoe. Not a Cliff Floyd Ted Williams in the bunch lol 

However, I did get some nice Expos OPC cards from the 70s and 1980.. 

I want to show the 1975 OPC cards today. I'm sure this post will be Night Owl approved.. 

Balor Moore also ended up pitching for the Jays in the 80s. 
I think these pics are taken in West Palm Beach at Spring Training.

Dale Murray had two stints in Montreal and also played in Toronto. 
Mike Torrez is kind of interesting. After his 1974 season in Montreal, he went to be a 20 game winner in Baltimore in 75.. Then Oakland, Yankees, Boston, Mets, Oakland from 1976-1984.

Finally, Steve Rogers. 
I'd be interested to find this out.. If he were pitching today, would he be known as Captain America? Obviously, the whole thing with Marvel would stop him from being able to use that in say.. Players weekend, but it makes me wonder.. 
Of course, the funny thing about it is Captain America would have spent his entire career playing for a French Canadian city... 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Signature Saturday - Sunday May 14 edition

 Hello friends!

I'm almost tempted to move the Signature posts to Sundays here on out. Anyway

Today's Signature is 

Thomas Hatch.
He's currently in Buffalo for the Jays

Friday, May 12, 2023

Stadium Fridays - Wrigley Field

Hello friends. It's Friday. Time for another Stadium Friday post.

I've briefly mentioned the Wrigley Field in Los Angeles. There was also a Wrigley Field on Catalina Island when the Cubs did Spring Training there.. Now today is the lasting Wrigley Field..

Of course, we're talking about the Wrigley Field in Chicago. 

I'm sure it's common knowledge now, but the Cubs weren't the team this park was designed for. 

No, this beautiful piece of architecture was commissioned by Charles Weeghman for his Federal League team, the Chicago Whales. 
Weeghman had a number of lunch counters in Chicago. The success of these allowed him to first try to purchase the St Louis Cardinals, but was unsuccessful. He bought the Whales and when the Federal League closed, he bought into the Cubs. The park was named after Weeghman until 1920.
William Wrigley bought the Cubs in 1921. The park was renamed Cubs Park until 1926.

A little interesting fact I didn't notice until just now.. The "first Game" listed on the back of these Fleer Stickers is the first MLB game. The park hosted the Federal League, an outlaw Major League from 1914-1916.

The Park has undergone many renovations and updates over the years. In the early days 

Wrigley Field 1935. Chicago Collections

In the early days it was a Square for lack of better terms. In this configuration, you can tell it was capable of hosting football as well, going from left field to centre/right.. After looking it up though, it was actually angled from Home plate area to left field and they put bleachers down in right. 

Anyway, in 1926 the stadium was double-decked and the playing field was lowered. The now iconic ivy was planted in 1937 by Bill Veeck. Over that time we also had the current outfield configuration come into being. 

The next big thing was in 1988 when Wrigley became illuminated. There were originally supposed to be lights installed way back in 1942, but Phillip Wrigley donated the lights that were to be used on the field to the war effort. 
Temporary lights were used in 1943 for an All American Girls Professional Baseball League game.
In 1984, had the Cubs made the Word Series, a plan was set in place. Detroit would host the night games during the week and the Cubs would have three day games over the weekend. So games 1,2, 6, and 7 would be in Detroit, while 3,4, and 5 would be in Chicago on Friday Saturday Sunday.
Obviously, the Cubs failed to beat the Padres so it was a moot point.
By the late 80s, the league was saying that any postseason "home" games the Cubs would have would be in St Louis if lights were not installed. As a result, lights were added in August of 1988.

In 2014, another set of renovations occurred. In this set, bleachers were extended and a new scoreboard was installed. Also done was improving the Cubs locker room and facilities. The outside also got a freshening up with some terra cotta work being added. 
In 2013, the club agreed to National Landmark status. 

The Ivy was specifially mentioned in the Landmark registration. MLB made a change in the rules to require padded fences. The ivy covered wall was grandfathered in. 
So many things around the park have become legendary. The rooftop seats across from the park for example. Originally started as a way for the building owners to make a little cash, they became more regulated by the city and eventually the Cubs came calling for their share of the pie.. The rooftop seat owners worked out a deal where the Cubs got 17% of the revenue. 

Aside from Baseball, Wrigley has been used for football and soccer. Concerts have also been held here. Winter Classic hockey games have been hosted here by the BlackHawks. 

Tenants of Wrigley: 
Chicago Whales (Federal League) 1914-1915
Chicago Cubs (MLB) 1916-present
Chicago Tigers (APFA) 1920
Hammond Pros (NFL) 1920-1926
Chicago Bears (NFL) 1921-1970
Chicago Cardinals (NFL) 1931-1939
Chicago Sting (NASL) 1977-1982, 1984

This would be the football configuration. 

The grand old Yard has been around for over 100 years now. I want to say 110 now, but I don't know. Depends on the system, I guess lol

On a side note: I know I intended these to show cards of the stadium and some history. Do the extended things with some external pictures or historical pictures bother anyone? Or is this format enjoyable? I enjoy doing the deeper dives. Plus is gives me more fodder if I ever get a chance to actually work on creating custom cards 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Canadians in the Majors - Ron Taylor

 Today's edition of Canadians in the Majors covers a guy who had a rather distinguished career in baseball.. And another in medicine. 

Today is abour Ron Taylor. He played for eleven seasons in the Majors for Cleveland, St Louis, New York Mets, Houston, and San Diego. He won two World Series as a player. One in 1964 as a Cardinal, and one in 1969 as a Met. 

The earliest card I have of Taylor is as a Met. His rookie card is in the 1962 set and is a high number. So it can get a little pricey. 

Interesting fact about this.. He was purchased by the Expos from the Astros in October 1971, and was released by the team at the end of March 1972. He signed with the Padres on April 20. 
So there are cards of Taylor as an Expo when he never actually played for them.. 
Thanks to the always awesome CrazieJoe, I have this card in OPC form as well now. 

So.. To give some background on Mr Taylor. He was born in Toronto. He was brought to Cleveland for a tryout. The team was reluctant at first but after they saw him throwing they had him throw again. Before he went back to Toronto, he was signed to a minor league contract. He wanted to finish his engineering degree, which he did in 1961. 
During the Vietnam War he volunteered to do a tour with the USO. Because he wasn't an entertainer like Bob Hope or the like, he was brought to hospitals to talk to wounded troops. This tour inspired him to return to school to become a physician. He got his medical degree from the University of Toronto in 1977. 

In 1979, he returned to baseball, this time becoming the Blue Jays' team physician. He worked with the team for three decades, including the 1992 and 1993 seasons. He also had a private practice. He retired from there in 2014. 

He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985, the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1993, and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. He also received the Order of Ontario in 2005. 

His sons created a short documentary about his life and career

You can watch it up here. 

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Signature Saturdays - Sunday May 7

 I'm back with my Signature Saturday post.. On a Sunday.. Again... lol

On one hand I'm upset with myself that I can't keep myself to this simple schedule.. On the other, I know that doing it a day late is better than saying "F it" and not doing it at all.. 

Anyway.. I have a nice one today.. 

And by a nice one, I mean three.. 
1978 team card with Tim Nordbrook, Doug Rader, and Jim Clancy!
The sticky note on top was helpfully provided by the person who sent me this to let me know who signed it. 

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Stadium... Saturday? (Just for this week)

 As I posted yesterday, I was not in the headspace to do much of anything.. As it is, I just rolled my carcass out of bed not too long ago to have something to eat and make this post.. I feel better than yesterday but depression is a BITCH!


I've covered Exhibition Stadium, or the Canadian Mistake by the Lake. 

Today I'm going to cover the place they moved into partway through the 1989 season, the SkyDome, or as it's called now.. The Rogers Centre (but people still call it SkyDome, or The Dome)

This view is so nice they STILL use it on cards 

So, building a dome in Toronto had been a thought since before they even had the Jays. It was thought of when they lost out to Montreal to host the Olympics in 1976. The location of the stadium would have been where Maple Leaf Stadium was, at the foot of Bathurst St below Lakeshore Drive. Of course, since they were going to use it for the Olympics, it would have been an 80 000-100 000 seat venue. 
Obviously, that didn't come to pass. 
More recent calls came after the 1982 Grey Cup game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Edmonton Eskimos..  (Now Elks) The game was played in a heavy rainstorm that left the field and fans drenched. 
The original design was going to be an air supported dome like BC Place, or the Metrodome.. A few different options were floated as to where they would place it too, between the same site, York University, and other places. Finally, CN Rail sold some of the railway lands for the Dome to be built at its current location.

They kept the roof design simple to not run into the same issues that Olympic Stadium had with their roof. Originally, the Big O's roof was supposed to be retractable, but it never worked properly. 
Other things like ground contamination, archaeological finds, and having to move functioning buildings all complicated the construction of the Dome. Included in the construction were bridges and other pathways to get to the Stadium. An elevated walkway called the SkyWalk was built at the base of the CN Tower to the Dome over the tracks. 
The stadium became the SkyDome as a result of a name the team contest. Other options were the TowerDome, HarbourDome, or The Dome. The winner got lifetime seats.

Originally owned publicly, original numbers showed the place needed to be booked 600 days a year in order to be profitable. in 1994, the stadium was sold to a consortium that included Labatt's brewery. In 1998, the stadium filed for bankruptcy protection.
In 1999, Sportsco bought the stadium out of bankruptcy protection. 

In 2004, Rogers Communications bought the Dome from Sportsco. The deal did not include the hotel, which was sold to Renaissance.
Rogers started refurbishing the stadium almost immediately. 
The Argos had leases that would lock them in place until 2019, but the idea of natural grass going into the staduim and locking it into baseball only caused them to move to BMO field in 2016. 
Over the years there have been different phases of renovations and refurbishments. Most recently, this offseason the Stadium had the wall configuration changed and the addition of multiple social areas. Other things that may be coming would be a change in the roof and renovating the outside facade. 

Courtesy Wikipedia

Other than baseball, the SkyDome has hosted the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Argonauts, A series of games from the Buffalo Bills, Canadian University Football, (the championship game was held here) and the International Bowl from the NCAA was here four times. 

Soccer games have also happened here after the FieldTurf was installed. 

Of course, motorsports and concerts happened here as well. Motorsports not so much now that the FieldTurf is in.. 
The Dome held WrestleMania 6 and X8
The acoustics were poor in the stadium, so concerts moved over to ScotiaBank Arena. 

There have been some instances in the hotel rooms looking over the field of.... Guests getting a little... Frisky??
This lead to the place getting the nicknames of SexDome, or Exhibitionist Stadium. Now hotel guests have to sign a form stating they will not perform lewd acts by the windows. 

So this is my little thing on the Rogers Centre.. You might be interested to know one more thing.. Ted Rogers, the owner of Rogers Communication before his death, was going to call the Stadium Rogers SkyDome, but a pencil pushing subordinate talked him out of it stating "People would just call it SkyDome"
Well.... He's right... But people call it that regardless..

Apologies for this being a day late. I appreciate the support you all give me. 

Friday, May 5, 2023


 Sorry friends.. I can't do a Stadium post tonight.. I'll do that tomorrow and move the Signature post to Sunday.. 

Honestly, today my head is not in a good place. I had a weird dream last night that's been affecting me all day. I hope to get some sleep and feel better tomorrow. I'm sorry about not having anything today and I hope you all understand.