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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blow Out the Candles Dec 31

1994 Baseball The American Epic #9

Hall of Famer, Mike "King" Kelly was born in Troy, NY on this date in 1857.

French artist Henri Matisse was born on this date in 1869.

La Lit Dans La Glace 1919

La Joie de Vivre 1905-06


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pack Break -- 2009 UD X

My In-Laws got me some cards for Christmas. This is my one and only pack of "X".

#49 Prince Fielder

#35 Hanley Ramirez

#4 Chipper Jones Diecut

#X-TL Tim Lincecum Xponential

#100 Derek Holland Rookie

#54 Jose Reyes

No Cubs in this pack but it's not bad. All good players with the exception of Holland. The Lincecum Xponential card is pretty cool.

Blow Out the Candles Dec 30

1964 Topps #200

Dodger great, Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax turns 74 today.

March 4, 1963

April 12, 1964

If you want a good read about Sandy Koufax I highly recommend this one. It alternates biography with an inning by inning account of Sandy's perfect game against the Cubs on Sept. 9, 1965.

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Last week was brother Frank's birthday, today it's Lester Patrick, born in 1883. Like his brother, Lester is also a member of the Hall of Fame.

Half of the pre-fab four, The Monkees, share a birthday today.

Michael Nesmith turns 67

Davy Jones turns 64

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Topps All-Time Fan Favorites Favorites N-P

Topps put out 150 card sets of retired players in 2003-2004-2005. Players are pictured on card designs from their playing days but with different photos than were in the originals. Here are my favorites, alphabetically.

2003 #67

1956 design. Boys of Summer pitcher Don Newcombe. Don was 27-7 in 1956.

2003 #92

1969 design. If Phil's pitching that's a balk. (I know, he not even on the mound). Phil was 23-13 in 1969.

2004 #8

1966 design. This is a very "clean" looking card. Lots of blue!

2004 #138

1962 design. In 1962 the Cubs made Buck the first African-American coach to coach in the major leagues.

2003 #17

1963 design. Who doesn't like Joe Pepitone?


1967 design. Nice card overall of The Big Red Machine's popular Tony Perez.

2005 #97

1952 design. The 1952 backs actually gives you the players hair color. Pesky's is brown. 1952 saw Johnny traded to the Detroit Tigers on June 3 along with Walt Dropo, Fred Hadfield, Don Lenhardt, and Bill Wight, for Hoot Evers, George Kell, Johnny Lipon and Dizzy Trout.

2003 #73

Another 1956 design. Great design, interesting guy. Jimmy hit .293 in '56 with 40 doubles.

2005 #84

1955 design. Another of the Boys of Summer, Brooklyn pitcher Johnny Podres was World Series MVP in 1955. He beat the hated Yankees twice, in game's 3 and 7.

2003 #28

1970 design. The 60'-70's Orioles are still one of my favorite teams and in 1970 Big Boog was the AL MVP, smacking 35 HR's and driving in 114. He hit 2 home runs in the World Series win over the Reds as well.

Blow Out the Candles Dec 29

Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers linebacker Ray Nitschke was born in Elmwood Park, Illinois on this date in 1936.

Ray at the University of Illinois

Actress, Mary Tyler Moore is celebrating her 73rd birthday today. Mary is unusual in having had tremendous runs in two different sit-coms, first as Laura Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show and then as Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. It always seemed like two different actresses to me, though the roles were not that far apart in time. Maybe the characters were just so different or the change from B&W to color. ???

Sam "Mayday" Malone on Cheers, Ted Danson turns 62 today.

Ted received 11 consecutive Emmy nominations for his role on Cheers.

Ted as himself on Curb Your Enthusiasm

Monday, December 28, 2009

Blow Out the Candles Dec 28

HOF White Sox pitcher, Ted Lyons was born on this date in 1900. "Sunday" Teddy won 260 games. His #16 was retired by the White Sox.

Ranger great and Hall of Famer Harry Howell turns 77 today.


Harry Howell and Andy Bathgate had their numbers retired earlier this year

Hall of Fame goaltender Terry Sawchuck was born on this date in 1929.

Sawchuck died at age 40 from injuries sustained while scuffling with a teammate in the home they were sharing.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

SHORPY Shot of the Day --- Football

(Click to Enlarge)
November 14, 1925. "Georgetown-Centre College game." Georgetown University takes on Kentucky's "Praying Colonels" at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C.

Blow Out the Candles Dec 27

Singer/songwriter Karla Bonoff turns 58 today. Her most well know song is probably Someone to Lay Down Beside Me which appeared on Linda Ronstadt's album Hasten Down the Wind.

Writer, humorist and sometimes actress, Sarah Vowell turns 40 today. I admit I didn't know anything about Sarah until I was given the CD version of her latest book, The Wordy Shipmates. Only Sarah Vowell could make a book about the Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Puritans so much fun. Since then I've gone back and read the rest of her books.

Sarah was the voice of Violet Parr in the animated film, The Incredibles.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Charlotte Hornets Were Out of this World

This has got to be one of the more unusual team pictures you'll ever see.

1991 NBA Hoops #276

Blow Out the Candles Dec 26

1983 Topps # 20

Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk celebrates birthday number 62 today. A fan favorite both in Boston and Chicago, the durable Fisk was Rookie of the Year (1972) and an 11 time All-Star.

1984 Topps #130

Another fan favorite and Hall of Famer celebrating a birthday today is "The Wizard", Ozzie Smith, who is turning 55. Maybe the best defensive shortstop ever, Ozzie won 13 Gold Gloves and was a 15 time All-Star.

1973-74 Topps #148

One of the greatest centers ever, Hall of Famer, Norm Ullman is 74 today. Playing most of his career in Detroit and Toronto, Norm was an 11 time All-Star.

Puppeteer Caroll Spinney is celebrating his 76th birthday today. Caroll is the man behind Sesame Street icons Oscar the Grouch and Big Bird.

Friday, December 25, 2009

One More Christmas Post --- David Sedaris

From NPR:
In our Christmas tradition, writer David Sedaris is back for another holiday storytelling of his life as Crumpet the Elf. The not-so-secret alter-ego of Sedaris was a Santa's little helper in a Macy's department store. Sedaris recounts the tale from his memoirs The SantaLand Diaries.

"Santo" Claus

This was on the Cubs web page.

'Santo' Claus has gift for giving

'Santo' Claus has gift for giving Cubs analyst thinks of others during holiday season

12/24/09 10:00 AM EST

CHICAGO -- Ron Santo still remembers a Christmas photo of him at 3 years old holding a brand new baseball glove.

"We only got one present a year," said Santo, the Cubs' radio analyst, who turns 70 in February. "We couldn't afford any more."

This holiday season, Santo becomes Santa Claus for his two grandsons, Sam, 10, and Spencer, 4. And young Spencer had a special request: He wants some baseball gear, just like grandpa. Under the tree on Christmas Eve, young Spencer will get his wish, all kid-sized.

Spencer also is a huge fan of "Star Wars." That's a galaxy Santo isn't too up-to-date on, but he said he was able to find something Luke Skywalker would be proud of.

"This Santa Claus takes very good care of my family," Santo said.

It will be a special holiday for Santo, who recently signed a three-year contract extension with WGN Radio to do the color commentary on the Cubs broadcasts with partner Pat Hughes. The negotiations didn't take long at all.

"I love what I do, and it keeps me alive, as far as I'm concerned," Santo said from his Arizona home. "When I go in [to negotiate], I could say I'm looking for a two-year [deal] and they'll say, 'Why don't you take a three-year contract?'"

He has taken time off in years past for health reasons. Santo has had both legs amputated below the knee because of diabetes, and there are times when road trips wear him out.

"There are certain perks [WGN Radio] gives me," Santo said. "They also know I go crazy when I can't go [with the team]. As long as I'm feeling good, meaning I know my sugars have been good and I'm feeling good, I'll go. If I start to feel like I'm not feeling that great, I'll take a road trip off."

Santo annually hosts a walk-a-thon to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation. He was diagnosed at 18, shortly after he had signed his first pro contract. At the time, life expectancy of someone with Type 1 juvenile diabetes was 25. Santo never told the Cubs about his disease. He has beaten the odds and is a hero for his resiliency.

"I can't tell you how much it means to me," he said. "I'm very proud to be able to be an inspiration to a lot of people. I get a lot of letters, and my son opens them. When I get one from somebody who has lost a leg and is a diabetic, instead of me writing back, I call them. It means so much more to them. I've helped a lot of people who have lost limbs."

Santo often refers them to his prosthetist, Ray McKinney. The two of them have established a foundation to help people with diabetes.

Imagine the surprise when someone picks up the phone and hears Santo's recognizable voice.

"They say, 'You're kidding?' but a lot of them listen to me and know my voice," he said. "When I fly from [Arizona] to Chicago or Chicago to here, you can't believe how many people come by on the plane to say 'Hi' to me."

Santo picked Arizona for the offseason. He has had enough of Chicago winters.

"I spent all my winters in Chicago when I played," he said. "When the kids got out of college, Vicki and I decided to come to Arizona. Everybody puts up their lights down here early in December, and it's really gorgeous. There's a lot of good Christmas feeling."

Which means decorating the cactus and palm trees and not having snow to shovel. Santo and his wife, Vicki, have four children, and they get together Christmas Eve to celebrate. Before dinner, the kids can open one gift and the rest wait until after the plates are cleared.

"Every year, I get a big gift [for the grandkids]," Santo said.

Just in case Sam and Spencer are reading this, we won't reveal what "Santo Claus" has planned.

"I'm Santa Claus here," Santo said. "Well, at least one of them believes in Santa Claus. I don't talk about it, but I know [Sam] knows."

There is one present Santo would like to see under the tree with his name on it: a Cubs' World Series.

"I'm always excited for the season," he said about the Cubs. "Every year, right after Christmas, in January, I start to get the itch."

He has been sticking to an exercise program this offseason to help keep his blood sugars at a good level. He works out every other day, including riding a stationary bike for 40 minutes and doing about 50 sit-ups on a specially designed chair.

"Exercise has a lot to do with controlling your sugars," he said. "When I leave here, I'll be in the best shape I can be in."

Not bad for a 69-year-old former third baseman.

Does Santo miss Chicago's snow?

"No -- are you kidding?" he said, laughing. "It's going to be 72 [degrees] here today. We've got the Christmas tree up and lights out in the back. It's really great."

Blow Out the Candles Dec 25

Hall of Famer Pud Galvin was born on this date in 1856.

1959 Topps #479

White Sox great, Jacob Nelson Fox was born in St. Thomas Township, PA on this date in 1927. Nellie was a 12 time All-Star, 3 time Gold Glove winner and was the AL MVP in 1959.

Practicing the double play with shortstop Chico Carrasquel

1970-71 Topps #45

Hall of Fame fullback Larry Csonka turns 63 today. Larry, a member of the 1972 perfect season Dolphins, was a 5 time Pro Bowl selection and won 2 Super Bowls. He was elected to the Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Butch and Sundance : August 7, 1972

Super Bowl VIII January 13, 1974

I'm guessing Jimmy Buffett really celebrates his birthday. Today is number 63.

Scottish singer Annie Lennox turns 55 today.

Today also marks a birthday for Ken of Field of Cards. Ken's blog is new to the blogosphere but I predict great success ahead. Ken likes baseball, baseball sim games, baseball books, baseball cards, baseball documentaries and baseball blogs. (And they say there are no renaissance men left!) He lives somewhere in the Northwest (hiding?) but is a HUGE Baltimore Orioles fan. Happy Birthday Ken, wherever you are. <;)

Santa Claus Cards of the Day

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

SHORPY Shot of the Day --- Christmas Eve Edition

Christmas 1920

Norman Rockwell Saturday Evening Post Christmas Cards

These Christmas covers from the Saturday Evening Post are part of a set of Norman Rockwell cards put out by Comic Images in the 1990's.

Santa Claus Cards of the Day

Yeah, it's real!!

This too!

Blow Out the Candles Dec 24 Your Birthday?

I couldn't find any birthdays to highlight today. Maybe one of you is celebrating today?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

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