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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Can't Read Too Many Books February 2012

Here are the books I read this month.  Click on the book to see more at  If you have any recommendations please share them.  I'm not a big "genre" reader but as in my card collecting, I love variety in books.

Buzz Aldrin was the second human to step foot on the Moon.  This is his memoir of that time and his struggles through the aftermath up to today.  Not a bad read but nothing spectacular.
Rating 1-5

This is the best tennis book I've read since Rod Laver's "The Education of a Tennis Player".  It's also the best book I've read in a while, period.
Rating 1-5

I had high hopes about this one.  I vaguely remember when it came out but it came up again when I was reading about one of last month's books, Julian Barnes', "Sense of an Ending" which has some similarities to this one.  I found this story's meandering back and forth in time, via the main character's memory, a bit confusing.  Maybe it was the setting.  I don't know.  I just didn't love it.
Rating 1-5

It's hard to go wrong with anything by the two time Pulizer winning, David McCullough.  This is no exception.  I'll let him tell you about it:
 Rating 1-5

Blow Out the Candles February 29

1953 AL MVP Al Rosen is celebrating his 88th birthday today.
 1994 Ted Williams Co. #28
2005 UD Signature Decades #SD-AR
On being a Jewish ballplayer:

"I can only tell you this, there was anti-Semitism throughout my playing days, and it came from the stands, it came from the managers, the coaches and players. But as time went on, and particularly after the birth of Israel as a nation, I think that a new aura took over and people had more respect for Jewish athletes or Jews generally, because it showed once again that Jews were not to be taken lightly and that they could fight as well as be bookkeepers and accountants and that sort of thing. The kind of taunting and things like that that I heard personally from the benches softened a great deal after 1946."
Al and Larry Doby celebrating a win over the Baltimore Orioles April 1954
Athlete of the Year 1953

Would you like to see a great Al Rosen card collection?  Greg of
 has one.  Click here.

Gashouse Gang favorite Pepper Martin was born in Temple, Oklahoma on this date in 1904.
 Pepper and wife Ruby 1931
"I'm arresting you for speeding" 1931
Pepper Martin, Terry Moore and Joe Medwick, at training camp in 1936
Chick Hafey, George Watkins, Pepper Martin and Wally Roettger

Musician, Composer and Big Band leader, "JD", Jimmy Dorsey was born in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania o this date in 1904.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fan Pack Fun 2012 -- Carolina Hurricanes

The Carolina Hurricanes sent this fan pack.

 Pocket Schedules
 Small Stickers

I'm perfectly happy with whatever a team feels comfortable sending since I'm not paying them.  On the other hand, if something isn't going to fit in the envelope you're using, you might be better off not including it.  That's the case with the three pictures below.  They were clearly folded to fit.  It kind of made me feel negative toward the whole package.  

Blow Out the Candles February 28 - Lil Stoner

Pitcher Lil Stoner was born in Bowie, Texas on this date in 1899.

Ulysses Simpson Grant Stoner was the 17th of 18th children in his family which included brothers named Benjamin Franklin Stoner, William McKinley Stoner, Theodore Roosevelt Stoner and Washington Irving Stoner.  He got the name "Lil" from younger bother Ted who had trouble pronouncing Ulysses. 

Another nickname, the "Bowie Baker" came as a result of a job he took as a sixteen year old at a Fort Worth bakery.

1928 Tigers signed baseball

Here are some highlights from Lil's biography on

"On June 8, 1926, Lil became a part of baseball lore. Unfortunately, he shared the stage with Babe Ruth, who received top billing. Up to this point, Stoner had never surrendered a homer to the Sultan of Swat. That afternoon during the fifth inning at Navin Field, Stoner stood on the mound, with Lou Gehrig at second base. Lil stared at baseball's prolific home run hitter and pitched to him cautiously. The count was three balls with no strikes when Ruth found a pitch to his liking. There was no exact account of where the ball left the park, but judging from Harry Bullion's story in the Detroit Press it was somewhere in deep right center field. Ruth's home run received a two-sentence mention from Bullion. The writer did not seem enamored with the clout. In fact, he waited until the eighth paragraph before mentioning it. "For length, the first ride that Ruth gave the leather doubtless established a record for Navin Field or anywhere else." Later he would describe it detail, "the ball cleared the fence with plenty to spare, skimmed along the top of parked cars on Cherry Street, landing on the asphalt pavement and a boy in pursuit of the leather caught up with it at the corner of Brooklyn Avenue." The newspapers in New York City estimated a distance of 600 to 626 feet. They all agreed that it was Ruth's longest in the big leagues."

"Before the 1928 spring training camp for the Detroit Tigers, a picture and story appeared in newspapers across the nation. It showed Lil posed alongside an orange sponge cake. It was 3 tiers high, iced in white, ornamented with green icing, lavishly decorated with paper leaves and flowers. It had 45 candles. Stoner baked it especially for a friend who was celebrating his 45th birthday. Towards the end of Stoner's major league career, his cooking ability became well known. In fact, there were those who claimed that he might not be the best pitcher in the big leagues, but no one would argue his cooking ability! His eldest daughter, Jean, claimed that during the Depression, the Stoner family always had food on the table. She remarked that her father was a nutritionist before anyone knew what nutrition was."
Aside from cooking, Stoner became accomplished at growing irises. He was considered such an expert that he was asked to travel statewide to judge irises in flower shows. His proudest botanical accomplishment was his creation of a pink iris hybrid.
While most Texans tended to be Country and Western music fans, Lil's daughter Jean Harmon says that Lil was a devoted opera fan. His interest began while he was playing in Detroit. A teammate had tickets for the opera and gave them to Lil. Stoner attended and was forever hooked. According to Jean, her father had amassed quite a collection of opera records. Caruso was his favorite.

Ulysses Simpson Grant Stoner died in Enid, Oklahoma, on June 26, 1966, following a brief illness. He sat in his hospital bed, eating a meal, listening to a ballgame on the radio. At some point, he scratched his head and died. Lil was sixty-six years old. He is buried in Memorial Park Cemetery in Enid.
Lil Stoner had a career record of 50-58 with an ERA of 4.76 over nine major league seasons. He played with the Detroit Tigers and briefly with the Phillies and Pirates.
But when the "Bowie Baker" had all the ingredients, he produced a real delicacy!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Do It Yourself COMC Packs #10/35 Ted Williams Co.

I recently had 8 months worth of Check Out My Cards purchases shipped.  I divided the 153 cards into 35 groups.  I like to think of these as hand picked "packs".   I'm posting them in random order.  "Pack" #10, four cards, was $1.31 including shipping.

These four cards are from the two sets put out by the Ted Williams Co. in 1993-94.

Don was the shortstop on the Cubs teams of my youth.   He could really make the acrobatic throw from the hole.  He's one of the core group of 1969 Cubs that you don't see too often anymore.

Boog is one of my favorites from the great Orioles teams of the 1960's-70's.

Can't have too many cards of old timers.  Johnny is of course famous for his consecutive no-hitters in 1938.

 Maris still holds a fascination for most of us.  This is a cool rare photo of Roger from his days with the Keokuk Kernels in 1954.  A bit of trivia: Roger spelled his name Maras back then. He changed it after the 1954 season.

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