Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Best Friends to Have

Some people live the right way and, as a result, good things happen to them. Others -- like me -- go to law school and end up with the karma that we deserve.  It's only fair.

Now, I don't know this for sure myself, but I'm pretty sure that Brian -- the Play at the Plate Dude (and I'll call him PATPdude, like his Twitter handle) -- is one of those people who must live right and reap the benefits. I mean, how great is it for him that he has a good friend who used to own a card store and still looks for good deals to purchase cards? 

A few months back, PATPdude bought up some 5000-count boxes from his LCS buddy. They were jammed full of cards from the 1990s, including a lot of Ultra, Fleer Tradition, and Upper Deck products. PATPdude decided to play Santa Claus and sent these out to folks who requested teams or players. He was kind enough to package up a huge stack of cards to me as well.

Because these cards came from the late 1990s, I'm calling it the Geoff-pocalypse. Geoff Jenkins cards of all kinds and varieties got added to my player and team collections. 

Of all of these, I have to admit that the 1971 Topps knockoffs that are Fleer Vintage are among my favorite cards of all.  It's probably for the fact that they are 1971 Topps knockoffs. I have to think that these Upper Deck Vintage sets from the early 2000s are part of the reason that Topps had done a lot of recycling of card designs lately -- if only to reinvigorate their copyrights over the intellectual property contained within the design.

See what I mean about lawyers.

Anyway, Jenkins was not the only PC that saw additions. I included only two cards here, but there were a few Jeff Cirillos as well.

Outside of those two guys -- and yes, there are more PC additions later in this post -- there were a lot of very random cards. It wasn't that they were random for being included, but more like they were random because the Brewers employed a ton of less-than stellar players in the late 1990s and early 2000s.  

It was like they felt the need to act like an expansion team in the wake of changing to the National League or something. Here are a few of those guys.

Henry Blanco became Greg Maddux's personal catcher later in Maddux's Atlanta career, and then did the same in Chicago when Maddux went back there. I personally did not realize that Blanco stuck around until 2013 with the Mariners and Blue Jays before he retired at the age of 42. He's older than me!

Jamey Wright looks like he should be a dominating strikeout pitcher at 6'6" tall and 240 pounds. In an other "I didn't realize" moment: I didn't realize that Jamey Wright pitched in 61 games for the Dodgers this year. It was his second time around with the Dodgers, which is disappointing because that means he's stuck on 10 teams in his 19-season career.
Milwaukee had tons of catching prospects roll through town, it seems. Cancel came up with the Brewers in 1999. He then appeared next in the major leagues in 2008 with the Mets. 

I always like Mike Myers for his side-winding pitching style that looked like Dan Quisenberry from the left side. He wasn't bad in Austin Powers, either. But damn, don't stop by his house on Halloween.

I'm always happy when a player pans out. Sanchez apparently just needed an opportunity with Arsenal.

That's what Google Images tells me, at least. Don't tell them that the Arsenal guy is Alexi.

Bob Wickman falls into the "local boy done good" category for the Brewers. Born in Green Bay and raised in Oconto Falls/Abrams, he played his college baseball at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (which is now an NCAA Division III football powerhouse, having won 5 of the past 7 championships and having appeared in 8 of the last 9). Wickman left for Cleveland when the Brewers traded him as part of the Richie Sexson deal. If only the Brewers had kept the PTBNL in that trade -- Marco Scutaro.

Speaking of Halloween.

That Scott Karl card -- did Fleer lose its license in mid-printing?

It was like there was a new rookie catcher every year in Milwaukee. And look -- it's Ronnie Belliard before he gained 60 pounds!

As I mentioned above, PATPdude also hit the other player collections that fell within that late 90s/early 2000s period, such as Ben Sheets. That Donruss Originals with the 1988 Donruss design looks super sharp. Or is that just me?

Any late 1990s Brewers sets would be incomplete without David Nilsson. I really like this Stadium Club card from 1999 (I think). It does look a lot like the current version that is out now, doesn't it?

Jose Valentin always gets the best photos.

I think Fleer intentionally used the same photos for its 1999 Fleer Vintage '61 insert set in the Fleer Tradition set. Otherwise, I would expect the retro-blogosphere to be up in arms about this Jeromy Burnitz pair.

Woo boy that's a lot of that chin.

I like how Ultra featured Cal Eldred on the mound pitching for the Brewers rather than rehabilitating in the minor leagues (unless they were photoshopping some minor league photos). Arguably, he did an equal amount of both during his Brewers years.

Finally, there was one unexpected addition to one of my "old" guys from the 1982 Brewers. This Cecil Cooper card was part of the 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game set. That set included cards for Paul Molitor, Gorman Thomas, Cooper, Robin Yount, and Ben Oglivie. So, it was much like the 1982 Brewers team -- all hitting!

PATPDude/Brian -- thank you very much for sending the massive stacks of cards to me. I featured only a few of them here because I didn't want to crash browsers every time I load up this post!

I promise you that I'll come up with some cards to send your way soon.


  1. The Bill Pulsipher card was easily my favorite and the card of Hank White made me smile. Um, I mean the card of Henry Blanco... I guess I forgot he played with the Brew Crew!

    1. There are plenty of guys that even *I* have forgotten played with the Brewers!

  2. I liked Burnitz while he was a Brewer, but his Pirate tenure left a bad taste. He was awful.

    1. I have a feeling that Burnitz was taking Vitamin S while he played in Milwaukee....know what I mean?

  3. Scutaro was in the Brewers organization? Didn't know that.