Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Post #100 Contest Results: 6 Different Winners!

Thank you to those of you who entered my Post #100 contest.  I'm thinking I will probably wait a while -- maybe until the offseason! -- for another contest.  For some reason, devising rules that I thought were fair for the contest was more stressful that coming up with more random material to write about.  I mean, it's relatively easy to come up with a theme for a trade post, I think, but trying to be fair is incredibly difficult.

So, I had two drawings.  The first drawing was for people who have commented on the blog before, have traded with me, and/or have followed this blog and who claimed their entry through commenting on post #100.  I ran that list of people through the Randomizer 5 times, and here were my results:
Congratulations to the first commenter on Post #100, Swing and a Popup!  Send me an e-mail with the item from the Treasure Chest that you want.

Next up was my music-loving pal Stealing Home from All Trade Bait, All The Time.  Your e-mail to me should have a list of two items in it so that you get one you want.

Finally, Keith G. of the new blog The Home Run Apple came in third.  Keith, please send me an e-mail with three items on it from the Treasure Chest so that you get one you want.

The second drawing had more entries thanks to the additional ways that people could earn chances to win.  I got randomization-happy and hit the randomizer button 25 times for this giveaway. Here's how that came out:

Our winners here:

Alex Markle from Chavez Ravining finished first, which is fourth really here, but you are a winner nonetheless.  So, please send me an e-mail with a list of four items from the Treasure Chest so that you will definitely get one.

Mark Hoyle is a new reader, and I'm glad to see that one of my two new folks finished "in the money," so to speak.  Mark has reached out to me already to discuss trading, so I'm hopeful that this will be the beginning of another great internet-based trading friendship -- sort of today's version of Bar Room Buddies.

Oh no, that's a cue for a musical interlude -- one featuring Clint Eastwood, of all people!

Welcome back.  Mark, please shoot me an e-mail with a list of 5 items from the Treasure Chest so that I can make sure you get one, and please also send me your address.

Finally, Gavin a/k/a defgav from the excellent Baseball Card Breakdown blog gets to choose an item from the Treasure Chest.  I'm pretty sure you can figure out what my instructions will be at this point, so, well, please do it!

Thank you to everyone who participated.  Special thanks go out to the new blog I am now reading that is run by Prowling Cat.  I hope you will e-mail me so that we can work out a trade as well.

Take care and thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Trade with S.Mack Talk and Hot Corner Cards Trade #2

Tornados are nothing to trifle with.  Thankfully, I did not take the photo above.  Hopefully, I will not be seeing a similar sight overnight tonight or tomorrow.  We've had some rough weather here in Georgia -- though nothing like what our brethren in Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee have seen in the past few days.  I'm not looking forward to any kind of hunkering down tonight with storms, and I hope that it does not come to that.  

On a far, far lighter note, I have received a couple of PWEs in the past couple of days that put a smile on my face.  The first one came from an unexpected source -- Jimmy at S.Mack Talk Cards.  Jimmy is a Shane Mack super-collector.  He contacted me by e-mail when I put up my sidebar on the cards I needed to complete the basest of the 2014 Topps base sets (no short prints) and said that he had the cards I needed. The tough part was trying to find cards I had that he needed.  Thankfully, I found a couple of Opening Day mascot cards I could share with him, and we worked it out to where he sent me what I needed:  


Thank you, Jimmy, for the trade!

The other PWE came from Pat from the Hot Corner.  His note warned me that it was a "Super PWE", and that note was 100% correct!  It was all Heritage Brewers, all the time!


All of those are excellent, but the Jean Segura refractor serial numbered to 999 was definitely the best of the bunch.  All that for some purple card from Toys R Us?  Pat, you are truly amazing.

Thank you to both of you for the trades, and thanks to all of you for reading.  

Monday, April 28, 2014

Memorabilia Monday: A New Entry Into my Favorites

There is a saying that there is no zeal as strong as the zeal of the newly converted.

It is most frequently applied in the realm of religions; indeed, a group called the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life found the statement quantitatively true -- at least slightly -- through a survey performed in 2007.  Similarly, though anecdotally, the Australian Broadcast Company has a link to a YouTube video showing a woman who became a zealot against climate change after watching a documentary on melting glaciers.  So, it's not just religion that can bring about such feelings.

The obvious place this is going is for me to look into the mirror.  With a zeal reserved in life for those new or rediscovered loves, I have been attacking eBay with nearly reckless abandon -- searching for items for my Robin Yount collection or my Brewers collection or my Paul Molitor collection.

In that search, I found a new item that immediately became one of my favorites:

This is the 2004 Yearbook for the Hall of Fame induction for Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley.  It had a cover price 10 years ago of $10, and I got it for not much more than that.  It has the short biographies of all the members of the Hall of Fame as well as a three-page discussion of Paul Molitor's career.

I have a bunch of Molitor autographs.  Of all the top stars from the 1980s Brewers, Molitor was the most approachable and most likely to be appearing for autograph signings.  Kids loved him so much that Pepsi and the Brewers named him the "Honorary Captain" for the "Milwaukee Brewers/Pepsi Fan Club" -- which gave away such wonderful hats as this one:

No, I don't have that any more.  But, as a kid, I was a member because for the low price of $8 and two Pepsi proofs of purchase, you got 6 tickets to Brewers games.  And, you could upgrade them to better seats at a cut-rate price.  It was awesome.

That's it for today's Memorabilia Monday.  Apparently, we are going to be taking cover from severe storms for the next day or two here in Atlanta, so I can't guarantee I'll post tomorrow.

Please enter my 100th post contest -- I really want to give away a bunch of stuff if I can, but I need your help to do it.

Thanks again for reading.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Post #100: This is it, so let's get it out of the way

I've got all kinds of things that I want to post about at this point.  Yet, this will likely be one of my shortest posts.

It is post #100.

I know, it's such a minor milestone in the grand scheme of blogging.  You've got Fuji with his 1000th post, after all -- he's a full decimal place ahead of me -- and he's running a contest that far outpaces mine (and, let's be clear, his blog is far better than mine too!).

But, I see how contests get folks to various blogs and following.  So, a contest it is for blog post 100 -- which comes in just 10 weeks after post 1.

Here are the rules:

As I mentioned in my post teasing the contest, there are two groups of people up for prizes -- the "veterans" and the "new folks".

But, the more I thought about it, the more I decided that it's more fun and fairer to run two drawings.  The first drawing will be based solely on what you did before you ever knew there was a contest -- in other words, it's a retrospective contest based on the number of comments you have left, the fact that you are following this blog and/or the 1982 Topps Blog, and that you have traded with me.

EDIT:  To be clear, if you've commented before here or on the '82 blog, if you've followed this blog or the '82 blog, or you've traded with me (and I'll count in progress trades), you are eligible for the "Veteran" drawing.

To enter that drawing, you need to comment on this post before TUESDAY, APRIL 29, 2014 at 11:59 PM.

The bonus there is that the top three finishers will receive first crack at the treasure chest.

Okay, got that?

The second giveaway will be to get new followers but also possibly to reward folks who have been reading for a while.

It's really not different than other contests:  you get 1 entry by commenting below, 3 entries more for putting up a post on your blog about this contest (and putting the link in your comment), and then an additional 2 entries for referrals who mention you when they comment.  Also, if your referral starts following the blog, you'll get an additional 2 entries as well.

The top three finishers in that random generator will then get to select from the treasure chest.

Simple, right?

Please note -- you can claim your "old-timers" entries through your comment for the second contest.  Just say that you are doing that.

Remember, no purchase necessary, void where prohibited, see store for details, supplies are limited, comment now, etc.

Thanks again to all of you for reading, following, and trading.

What's that? What's the treasure chest?

Well, take a look at the trade bait tab.  It's been updated and is the treasure chest.  Each winner, in order, will get to select one item that is listed in that tab.

So get commenting!

Gems from the Dime Box

A couple of weeks ago, Nick of the Baseball Dime Box wrote his paean to repacks, calling his post "The Repack B-Movie."  In the post, he expressed his love for the repacks -- a love I strongly share because you get such fun randomness from those Fairfield packages.

In his post, though, Nick mentioned how much he really liked both the Conlon Babe Ruth set and the set that Pacific released around the Eight Men Out movie back in 1988 and, in addition, how much he liked that movie.  Since he already owns the movie, I offered to send him as many of the cards that I could find laying around here from that movie that I had picked up in repacks.  I also sent him a few of the Conlons as well -- also in my collection thanks to the repacks.

In return, Nick surprised me with some cards I really needed and really liked.  I'm finding that I like trying to write trade posts around themes -- they are more fun for me to write than, "hey, see what I got.  Okay, later."  So, here are a few B-movies to introduce the cards I got from Nick.

The Amazing Colossal Man
This is a movie recommended on a list by Chris Nashawaty, a movie reviewer on the Huffington Post.  The basic gist of the movie is that radiation causes a man to grow to 70-feet tall and start wreaking havoc on Las Vegas.

I'll take the movie name more seriously and use this to introduce the two cards that Nick sent to me that portray the Amazing, Colossal catcher, Gary Carter:

I especially like the Ted Williams set card of Carter since it was during a time when logos could still be used, though the Cooperstown card does not look horrible or out of place for not having logos.

It Came From Outer Space
This is an anomaly in horror films, in that it is a G-Rated Horror film from 1953.  It's a black and white 3-D film, and it strangely enough stars none other than Russell Johnson.  Those of us who grew up on UHF reruns of Gilligan's Island know that name better as the actor who played The Professor.

All these weird confluences are appropriate to introduce a sparkly blue serial numbered card from the 2014 Opening Day set of a player who, in many respects, is a bit of an anomaly himself: Jean Segura.

Elephant Parts
A movie that one website called "so goofy that it feels like you just exhaled your third monster bong hit of the night."  It stars former Monkee Michael Nesmith, and it is essentially an hour of weird comedy sketches and music videos.

The name of the movie -- and its goofiness -- are appropriate for a Wal-Mart Prince Fielder:

Eight Legged Freaks
The most recent of the B-movies on this list, this movie starred David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, and Scott Terra fighting what calls "a variety of horrible poisonous spiders [that got] exposed to a noxious chemical that causes them to grow to monumental proportions."

The cards Nick sent have nothing to do with spiders, David Arquette, or noxious chemicals (though sometimes I do notice a strange smell around the 2014 Topps base set cards from their printing process); it's just that Nick knocked off 3/4 of my 2014 Topps Series 1 Base set needs!

Many thanks to Nick for this great PWE of cards from the Dime Boxes of Illinois.  The best thing for Nick is that I have found a few more of those Eight Men Out cards!

Thanks again, Nick.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Trade with Swing And a Pop-Up Boston Style

About a month or so ago, Mr. Swing and a Pop-Up (Boston) wrote a post about how he only needed two cards to complete the 2008 Goudey set -- Alex Gordon and Max Scherzer.  I seem to be a magnet for Max Scherzer cards -- even short prints like the one I sold to Brent and Becca on eBay earlier this year -- so of course I had the Scherzer.  I also had a bunch of cards from his want lists from the the late 70s or early 80s, so I shipped those off to New Hampshire.

In return, he sent me a very nice return package of granite from the Granite State.  I love rocks, so it was a great trade.

Of course he didn't do that.  Since all I ever ask for from people is basically to send me Brewers, I got an envelope embossed with LIVE FREE OR DIE filled with Brewers.

Since I'm kind of digging the New Hampshire theme to this post, y'all are stuck with it now.  Let me stress up front that some of these posts will stretch to fit the cards I received.  That's part of the fun with themes.

In fact, let's begin with one of the stretches:

The Franklin Pierce
The only U.S. President to hail from New Hampshire is also known these days as one of the worst presidents in history -- Franklin Pierce.  During his time in office, he strongly supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a law proposed by Stephen Douglas of the Lincoln-Douglas debates fame.  This act created Kansas and Nebraska as states, and it provided that each of these states would have the right to vote on whether slavery would be allowed in each state.  An unintended consequence of this Act was the influx of both pro- and anti-slavery factions who fought with one another, leading to death and mayhem generally in Kansas and helping to lead the United States down the path to the Civil War.  As an aside, the anti-slavery faction were known as "Jayhawkers"; it is unknown whether these original Jayhawkers in fact Rocked Chalk.

That's a long introduction to led to a card of a player whom may be one of the worst free agent signings in Major League Baseball history: Jeffrey Hammonds.  Exactly why Bud Selig and his cronies believed that Hammonds would be a great signing for 3 years and $21.75 million before the 2001 season -- which, keep in mind, was by far the largest contract that the Brewers had given at that time...for a guy who, to that point in his career, had never played more than 125 games in any season and was turning 30 years old...I mean, you explain that type of move.

Anyway, TL;DR: Jeffrey Hammonds was a bad free agent signing.  But, this is a cool card!

The Adam Sandler
While Sandler was born in Brooklyn, he moved to Manchester, New Hampshire and spent the time from the age of five through high school there.  That's good enough for him to count here for me.  Sandler is a very funny man -- sometimes through childish humor, sometimes sappy, and not always for everyone.  I liked him on SNL a lot, and, while a bit stupid, his early movies are those that I have watched and enjoyed.

Like Sandler, then, I liked and enjoyed Dan Plesac's early career as a Brewer.  Once he left and joined other teams like the Cubs and hung on and hung on -- and then went "sappy" with the MLB Network -- he's been less entertaining to me.  But this Fleer Ultra card of Sac is right in my wheelhouse:

The H. H. Holmes
Herman Webster Mudgett a/k/a Dr. Henry Howard Holmes was, as Wikipedia puts it, "one of the first documented American serial killers in the modern sense of the term."  Holmes/Mudgett was born in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, but he achieved his notoriety in Chicago in the early 1890s.  If you're interested in finding out more about him, you should check out the "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast about him.  It's fascinating and frightening all at once.

Holmes achieved a medical degree from the University of Michigan, and, from all appearances, was a bright, successful man who had a great future in front of him.  In reality, he was a depraved psychopath whose abilities were channeled toward newer, greater, more psychotic conquests.

Now, I'm not saying that the player on this card is any of those things other than being a bright, successful talent who had a great future in front of him.  In reality, he was a horrible bust -- like many of the Brewers draft picks during the 1990s.  It's none other than Tyrone Hill:

The Robert Frost
Frost attended Dartmouth College in Concord, New Hampshire, and later settled there for several years in and around Plymouth, New Hampshire, and, later, in Franconia.  Indeed, the first of Frost's four Pulitzer Prizes came for a book called New Hampshire: A Poem with Notes and Grace Notes.

While he's hardly Robert Frost, and, to be fair, his career is nowhere near done nor as prolific as Frost's was, but Ryan Braun is still approaching being one of the more highly decorated Milwaukee Brewers.  The fact that I really like this card helps push me toward saying that this card deserves the designation named for one of America's finest poets ever:

The Dan Brown
Look, I've got nothing against Dan Brown generally.  I read The Da Vinci Code, and it is a page turner.  I just fear that a lot of people are fooled by the book's undertones related to the Priory of Scion and think all that stuff about Jesus having a daughter are somehow historical fact.  Maybe it is.  Maybe it isn't.  People can argue all day about it and whether it has any value to be discussed in our society.

A similar discussion goes on these days among Brewers fans as to whether Rickie Weeks has any value to the Brewers organization these days.  We look to his past, what he was capable of, and we wonder whether that was true or not, or if there is some secret reason why he is failing other than the injuries catching up to him.  Yes, this analogy is a major stretch, but this is such an excellent card that it needed to be shared:

SAAPU sent a number of other cards as well -- many of which I needed for my Brewers collection, some of which were condition upgrades.

I fear I've stretched my analogies here so far that the rubber band has broken, so I'll close by saying "Thank you" earnestly to Swing and a Pop Up for the trade.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Post #100 is coming up...

I'm just a few posts away from #100.  I'd estimate my over/under on words I've typed on this blog to be probably around 12,000 or so, since I'm incredibly verbose and start nesting clauses and phrases inside other clauses and phrases.

And yet, there are at least a few of you who come and read this stuff regularly.  Or at least, you make an effort to wade through my dissertations on how Robin Yount's bubble perm was the reason why the Berlin Wall fell.

To thank you guys, I'm going to do a contest.  Also, to get more readership, I'm going to do a contest.

Basically, the contest will have two groups: people who have commented/followed/traded with me already, and people who have not.

The winner or winners (haven't decided that one yet) will get first choice on a prize, followed by winner or winners of the "new" folks group.

Then, there will be one additional prize for the person who is responsible for the most new people coming here and commenting.

I'll post the specific rules in my 100th post, but hopefully y'all will participate.  I mean, after all, who doesn't like free stuff?

Especially when the free stuff could include these:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Breaking Down a Trade with Baseball Card Breakdown

Fellow bloggers last year voted Baseball Card Breakdown as the Best New Blog of 2013.  As I was just getting into the blogosphere at that point, I am not sure what the criteria for that vote were. But, I'm pretty sure that the award was deserved under whatever criteria were used.  Gavin is a very good writer, he is creative, and he's generous to a fault.

He and I exchanged trade envelopes after he posted a Nyger Morgan Sliding Stars card from the Gypsy Queen set that I did not have.  Here's that card:

Along with this card of the departed Tony Plush -- who used to be a great character on Twitter when Morgan's baseball career was going well; now, it's just a photo of Morgan with his hockey gear on (and yes, he played at a pretty high level once) -- Gavin included a number of great Brewers cards including the 1991 Topps Traded Brewers team set:

A lot of folks forget that Dante Bichette was a Brewer before the Rockies selected Kevin Reimer from Texas in the expansion draft and then traded him immediately to Milwaukee for Bichette.  Bichette became a Brewer by way of a trade with the Angels for Dave Parker, of all people.  All four of these players are probably better known for playing elsewhere -- Stubbs as a Dodger, Maldonado as a Giant, and Randolph as a Yankee (though later as a Brewers manager).

The next fun card from Gavin was this super shiny, rainbow-ish card from Pacific of Dave Nilsson which takes its place immediately in my player collection of the Australian catcher:

Nilsson teamed with Graeme Lloyd to form the first all-Aussie battery in major league baseball history back in 1994.  Nilsson was also the first ever Australian to be named to the All-Star team in 1999 -- and then, at the age of 29, he quit major league baseball to focus both on playing in the 2000 Sydney Olympics (back when baseball was still a sport in the Olympics and skateboarding was not) and owning an Australian baseball league.  It didn't hurt that his knees were nearly shot already after years of catching, but he was a guy who left major league baseball a bit too soon -- and it certainly couldn't have hurt that Bud Selig was successfully running the Brewers directly into the mantle of the Earth by that point.

I'm digressing a bunch here, clearly, so, in light of my short attention span and the fact that I can't wait to get to the highlight of this entire trade, let's get to the highlight of the entire trade:  Gavin sent me a Robin Yount 1 of 1:

I don't know that anyone could top this card in any trade.  I mean -- a personally drawn glow-in-the-dark card?

This is as good as my photography skills could get with getting the effect of the glow-in-the-dark card to show up on camera.  It gives a feel -- but doesn't do full justice -- to the hard work that Gavin put into this awesome card.

I know there will never be another like it -- thanks Gavin!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Memorabilia Monday: The 1970 American League Red Book

Back when eBay was reasonably new, I was also reasonably new to the workforce.  I was single, living in the city, and had a fair cushion for expendable money -- at least when I wasn't spending it on alcohol and women.  That differs from today because I have a mortgage, and by getting married I have no cushion for expendable money any more.  I exaggerate.  Slightly.

I got it in my head maybe 10 years ago that I wanted to collect baseball books rather than baseball cards.  The books went well with my living alone -- I could pop open a bottle of wine after a long week of work, throw on some music on my old XM Radio, and I would get totally into a zone reading whatever book it was.  Indeed, I tried collecting the books that Bill James cited to frequently in his Revised Historical Abstract.  To be fair, that didn't last long, but Christy Mathewson's Pitching in a Pinch is a pretty decent book for being a ghost-written book from 1909.

Anyway, I'd be on my patio in the heart of Midtown Atlanta with this as my view:

And this too
And that brings me to the memorabilia tonight.

Back in around 2002 or 2001 even, I made a purchase on eBay of a number of the American League Red Books and National League Green Books.  If you don't know what these are, they are essentially media guides issued by the league offices back then.  Here's what the cover of the 1970 one looked like (and apologies -- my copy is in a little rough shape on the covers):

On the cover of the 1970 Red Book was American League MVP Harmon Killebrew.  What a lot of people don't know -- or what many of us old enough to remember sometimes forget -- is that the AL and the NL were two separate legal entities until about 14 years ago or so.  In many respects, they acted as competitors. This book only mentions the National League as part of providing a complete Spring Training schedule.

To be clear, this is not a page turner.  It is filled with lists of team records for career stats, seasonal stats, team rosters, and various rules that would be helpful to people in the media.  The book does feature one slick magazine paper page containing color photos -- color by Raphael, as the page notes.  Here are those two pages:

My favorite photo might be the one in the upper row middle below -- Richard Nixon greeting Washington Senators manager Ted Williams. 

Of more interest to me as a Brewers fan, though, is this yellow insert sticking in the middle of the book:

Since Bud Selig and his group of financial backers purchased the Seattle Pilots after discussions late in 1969. Final approval for the sale and relocation did not come until March of 1970 -- meaning that the Red Book had to be revised to account for this.  

Here's the inner sheets from this insert:

For you aficionados of Gordon Lightfoot, you may be surprised to learn that Edmund Fitzgerald was not just a huge freighter that sank in the big lake called Gitche Gumee. 

Okay, I gotta put that in here:

That freighter was named for the father of this Edmund Fitzgerald.  That man was the chairman of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.  Fitzgerald Jr. of the Brewers only passed away last September at the age of 87.  Even in Young Ed's obituary in the Los Angeles Times, the freighter was the focus of half the story and of three of the first four paragraphs.

The second page in this insert is above.  An item here that caught my eye was the list of hotels at which opposing teams stayed when visiting Milwaukee.  The Pfister is still in downtown Milwaukee, and has the feel you would expect for an old-school-style hotel -- it feels very much like a Midwestern version of the Waldorf Astoria in New York.  It has lots of brass, Oriental rugs in the lobby, and lots of marble.  The Schroeder Hotel is now known as the Hilton Milwaukee City Center and, in the 1980s, was called the Marc Plaza Hotel.  Again, very much an old-school, upper crust hotel.

I guess those hotels wouldn't let the White Sox stay there, so for them it was off to the Holiday Inn.

The final point of interest I saw was the League providing the home residence phone number for the Brewers Director of Public Relations, Bill Sears.  I am not surprised that they would provide his direct line at the ballpark, but one would think that the guy's home phone number would have been off limits.

The final fun part of this book was in a pocket in the back of it:

I took the liberty of redacting the name of the person to whom this envelope was sent.  But, on May 15, 1970, the American League "RUSH!" mailed out updated rosters for all the teams in the league to the people who purchased the book or otherwise were on the AL's mailing list for such materials.  

It's a strange, cool time capsule into what both baseball and America were like 44 years ago to see this type of memorabilia, and I hope you enjoyed seeing it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Trade with Hiflew

Johnny a/k/a Hiflew from Cards from the Quarry has been very quiet lately on his blog, but I know he is reading blogs and commenting.  That is a good thing -- don't give up on writing, though!

Anyway, I got a nice little PWE in the mail from him a couple of weeks ago, and I'm just now getting around to posting on it.  I owe Johnny a return envelope (trust me, I'm getting to those.  Really, I am.) of Rockies in their natural, Purple Toys R Us environment (along with some other stuff to surprise him), but I wanted to post these cards now.

I make fun of Prince Fielder for being a big dude who is a vegan, but that's only because he left Milwaukee. I have to admit that I have loved this card in its natural, un-refractored/chromed state since I first saw it.  It is just a celebration of pure joy of a team having fun and winning.  This is a refractor, so it scanned weirdly, but it was a nice addition to the PF player collection.

A couple of nice Goudey cards to add to the Weeks player collection and the stack of Bill Hall cards that I'm wondering whether I should have them morph into a player collection.  Probably not, but I have gotten a lot of his cards.


It's sort of sad to see how injuries have sapped so much of Rickie's power from his wrists.

Now that he's on the wrong side of a platoon with Scooter Gennett, I'm starting to feel like he's become a 2014 version of Cecil Cooper.  Cooper was a great player in his prime -- a fixture in the lineup at first base with one of the most mimicked batting stances and pre-pitch preparations in all of Milwaukee by the kids in my circles and me.  By the time 1987 came, though, he had a contract only through the end of that year and frankly didn't have the ability he used to have.  In fact, during Paul Molitor's 39-game hitting streak, Cooper had a streak of his own:  he did not play -- not even as a pinch hitter -- after the All-Star break.  Not even as a late inning substitute.  It was a sad end to his time in the majors, because a guy who did so much for so long for Milwaukee deserved better.  I fear the same is happening to Weeks -- he'll be gone after this year, certainly, and I can envision a point where he is frozen out completely in Milwaukee.  Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

Okay, I digress, but sometimes, Rickie Weeks deserves more than just a "hey, nice card."  Sort of like how Hiflew deserves more than simply, "thanks!"  But, all I can say right now is, "Hiflew -- thanks!"