Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Binder #19: New York/San Francisco Giants (Vol. 1)

I've decided to change up my "binder" posts a little bit. Since most of my favorites from each of my binders are predominately vintage (I'm a sucker for vintage), I decided I'll create separate posts for them in the future.

The binder posts from now on will still feature the "Short Term Stops" and "Cardboard Fun" cards. Other than those, they'll just feature some odds and ends and some of my personal favorite non-vintage cards with no specific themes to them. I'll also be featuring more cards per binder post from now on (always thinking of the fellow reader!). Hope you like them!

"Cardboard Fun":
2005 Topps Chrome Update Black Refractors #UH-5 Mike Matheny /250
2011 Topps Update #US-204 Brian Wilson AS
2010 Topps Gold #220 Randy Johnson /2010

I'm glad Mike Matheny landed the managerial job in St. Louis. I've always heard his name come up in discussions of former players who could become great managers in the future, and he's getting the best opportunity you could possibly get with the Cards. This refractor of Matheny is probably my favorite card of his, I'm glad that Topps decided to bring back the black refractors for this year's Chrome issue.
Brian Wilson's beard is in full swing in 2011 Topps Update. One of my professors this semester noticed that I was a baseball fan, and the first question he asked me was, "I saw a Taco Bell commercial the other day with a guy from the Giants [it's Brian Wilson], is that guy's beard real?". I told him that, yes, indeed it was. It's just heavily dyed. I guess I can understand why some fans aren't huge on Wilson and his quirkiness, but I love watching him. It's almost like getting to see a rebirth of Al "The Mad Hungarian" Hrabosky, who I would've loved to see pitch in person.

This Randy Johnson card could've ended up in the "short term stops" portion of this post, but I decided to place it here because of the picture. That shot is from the game which the "Big Unit" collected his 300th win. Can you blame a guy for playing one year long than he probably should've to get to 300? He was only five short at the end of '08.

2007 UD Masterpieces #82 Tim Lincecum RC
2001 UD Hall of Famers "Class of '36" #C-3 Christy Mathewson
If Lincecum keeps pitching the way he is now, he could very well go down as one of the best pitchers in Giants history (and I've got his rookie card if he does!). However, I don't think anyone will ever top Christy Mathewson. He's arguably the best pitcher ever to play the game, and certainly the best in Giants history. The guy had 373 career wins and a 2.13 career ERA! Even for the dead-ball era, those are off the charts.

I'm not exactly sure on the specifics of this one. It's one of those "Dover" reprints, but I've got no idea on a year. What I do know is that I love this card. The story of Fred Merkle is among the most fascinating in the rich history of organized baseball. Forever criticized for something that wasn't really his fault. The last week or so of the 2011 season was amazing, but even that had nothing on the wild 1908 season. Just read the book Crazy '08 if you don't believe me.

2000 Bowman Chrome #63 Ryan Vogelsong RC
2011 Topps Update Cognac Diamond Anniversary #US-94 Ryan Vogelsong
I still can't believe what Ryan Vogelsong did in 2011. He came out of baseball oblivion and probably would've won the NL Comeback Player of the Year award had it not been for Lance Berkman. And he didn't even make the team out of spring training. A lot of people forgot that he started his career with the Giants in 2000. He'd be traded to the Pirates midway through the '01 season. After some unspectacular years there, two Tommy John surgeries, and some time in Japan, his career came full-circle back to San Fran. 

On a different note, I'm loving the way my scanner shows those 2011 Diamond Anniversary cards. I may have to scan some more...

2011 Topps Diamond Anniversary #282 Buster Posey
2011 Topps Update Cognac Diamond Anniversary #US-58 Tim Lincecum AS 

...right now! Hopefully Posey gets back on track after that nasty ankle injury he suffered in 2010.

"Short Term Stops" (Part I) :
1997 Fleer #760 Keith Foulke RC
2000 Fleer Tradition Update #U52 Ben Weber RC

A lot of collectors aren't big on Fleer's mid-90's issues. I personally like them a lot, especially these '97 ones. They're very "back-to-basics" and have the "older" card stock like older Topps issues. Foulke pitched in 11 games for the Giants in '97 before being traded to the White Sox at the trading deadline that year.

I'd venture a guess that I'm the only person on the face of the planet that collects baseball cards of Ben Weber. He gets forgotten now, but he was probably the most reliable relief pitcher the Angels had in their 2002 championship season, as Weber posted a 2.54 ERA in 78 innings that year. He spent the first nine games of his career in San Francisco in 2000 before being claimed off waivers by the Angels in August of that year.

"Short Term Stops" (Part II) :
1986 Donruss #35 Steve Carlton HL
2007 Sweet Spot Classic #107 Waite Hoyt /575

Steve Carlton played for three teams in 1986. In between stints with the Phillies and White Sox, he pitched briefly for the Giants. A rare 1/3rd-of-a-year card! Carlton only recorded 18 K's in his short time in San Francisco, but one of those just happened to be the 4,000th of his career. 

Waite Hoyt began his career by pitching in one game for the Giants in 1918, for a total of one inning. However, I'm guessing this photo was taken during the second half of the 1932 season, where he'd pitch in 18 more games as a Giant. He'd sign with the Pirates for the 1933 season.

And thus ends the Giants binder (Vol. 1). More posts to come tomorrow!

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