Let's start with a guy whom I'd never heard of before this year. He's burst onto my scene -- though, pretty clearly, there were a ton a people who knew him already -- thanks to his location in Georgia. I'm talking, of course, about Joey a/k/a Dub Mentality on Twitter and on his blog of the same name.
I forget what the occasion was for this package. Perhaps it was just, "Stop whining about Topps and take these cards." In any event, he sent some good stuff my way:
What a true olio of cards. There are two of your 2017 Brewers MVP Travis Shaw -- thanks, Red Sox! Glad you guys wanted to give Pablo Sandoval another chance! Have fun storming the castle!
The two Stadium Club cards are cards of infinite sadness. Villar's season was a huge step backward after last season, and Nelson got hurt on the basepaths and damaged his labrum severely enough that he's likely to miss time next year. If Nelson had stayed healthy, perhaps this season would be winding down with the Brewers looking down on the Rockies, rather than the other way around.
Then, there are the Bowman Platinum. Of course there is Ryan Braun. Trent Clark spent his age 20 season in High-A Carolina, where one website named him the 8th best prospect in the league on the strength of a .224/.361/.349 line with 21 doubles, 6 triples, 8 HRs, and 37 SB (on 42 attempts). He'll be in Biloxi next year. The other guy is Brandon Woodruff. Woodruff has found himself in the Brewers starting rotation in September with middling results. He's likely to start next year in the rotation at the age of 25.
Finally, there is Corey Ray. Now, Ray was named as the 4th best prospect in the Carolina League, but that is based on athleticism rather than performance. The club has to hope that he shows enough next year that he can be a good trade chit for pitching/whatever need arises, because it's looking more and more like Ray will not outdo Domingo Santana, Brett Phillips, and Lewis Brinson going forward, and Trent Clark may have passed him too.
Many thanks, Joey -- here's some Deftones for you!
Next up, I have thanks going out to another Twitter friend, RobbyT a/k/a Boobie Maine. Robbie collects Detroit Tigers cards, and he used to blog about them several years ago. He blogged three times this year for the first time in four years. Robby is a bit down on his Tigers these days, and so he changed his avatar on Twitter to the Astros logo. This makes sense, after all, with half the Detroit team that can still walk and does not have herniated discs traded to Houston.
At any rate, in response to my 1980s Baseball post on the Donruss Action All-Stars sets, Robby sent me complete sets of the Donruss Champions set, the 1984 Action All-Stars, and the 1986 Action All-Stars:
Brewers and Strawberry, baby. I have no idea why I decided to scan Darryl Strawberry instead of either Paul Molitor or Cecil Cooper (who are both in that set), but let's not ask too many questions right now. Maybe I'm just trying to get Peter's attention, even though it's not 1995 Fleer.
Since Robby likes 80s music, here's a little Funky Cold Medina to get him more chicks.
Thanks, Robby, for the great 1980s sets!
As an aside, I had a little fun this summer reliving 1989 by rapping this song with friends. I know the words, still, without any help.
I miss Spuds MacKenzie, though.
Finally, I got a single card PWE from my good friend Wes a/k/a Jaybarkerfan a/k/a Willinghammer Rising. Wes has decided to go dark on his blog for a while -- a decision that sucks for the rest of us but one I totally understand, what with my seeming inability to blog more than a handful of times per month as of late.
Anyway, Wes is making plans to hit up the National next year, and hopefully I'll be there too.
It's the first time in three years that I have the summer reasonably open, so it's a good opportunity. You can see the card that Wes sent my way behind the message, but it's in such great shape, you need to see it by itself:
Billy Bruton was always a favorite of my grandfather and my mom. Bruton was born in Panola, Alabama -- a now unincorporated town that sits barely in Alabama and about 20 miles from Scooba, Mississippi -- the home of Last Chance U's featured school the past two years, East Mississippi Community College.
Bruton got his chance in baseball thanks to scouting from the Negro Leagues. He had joined the Army for 6 months and, rather than returning to Alabama, he moved to Delaware instead. There, he got to play softball and sandlot baseball. It was there that his life changed.
Specifically, Negro League great Judy Johnson -- who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1975 -- got the Philadelphia Stars to sign Bruton. Johnson heard of Bruton on the recommendation of Johnson's youngest daughter. Bruton caught the eye of both Johnsons -- making Judy's daughter Mrs. Bruton.
Bruton lied about his age to get signed by the Milwaukee Braves, shaving two years off his 23 years to claim being 21. The Braves decided 21 wasn't young enough, so they called him 19. Only on his retirement from baseball did Bruton disclose his real age.
After retiring from baseball after the 1964 season at the age of 38 and after spending his last four years in baseball in Detroit, Bruton became an executive with the Chrysler Corporation. He spent 23 years there, working mainly in Detroit and rising to become a special assistant to Chrysler president, Lee Iacocca. He retired in 1988, and moved back to Delaware to life in his father-in-law's former home (Judy passed away on June 15, 1989). Bruton worked with charities there for several years before he suffered a heart attack while driving and passed away on December 5, 1995.
Apropos for Bruton, here's a brief video of him hitting a walk-off single in Game 1 of the 1958 World Series. Everything seemed so sedate in the 1950s...
Wes, many thanks for this card and for all the cards you've sent me through the years.