Monday, October 15, 2012

A New Approach

So, I was somewhat accurate on my prediction about Game 2 of the ALCS.  I said Kuroda would give up 3 to 4 runs in 6 to 7 innings of workmanlike pitching.  In the end, he gave up 3 runs in 7.2 innings, but it was anything but workmanlike. He carried a perfect game into the 6th inning, struck out 11 and walked none before getting yanked in the eighth.  Indeed, if it wasn't for some poor work by the bullpen, and a lousy call at second, he probably wouldn't have been charged with 3 runs.  The offense, however, remains anemic.  The supposed big boppers in the lineup (A-Rod, Granderson, Swisher, and Cano) have only managed 12 hits in 107 cumulative at bats this postseason.  I am pretty sure you could run any random sample of 4 AAA ballplayers out there and get more production than that.

Tuesday will see Phil Hughes take the mound against Justin Verlander.  Hughes is a good young arm but is prone to giving up home runs. In fact, only Ervin Santana threw more taters in 2012 than Phil. But, he is a gamer and while I expect he'll get tagged for one or two long balls, he'll keep the game close enough that the Yankees will have a chance if the offense wakes up.

But, the title of this post refers to something different.  I have never been really happy with my approach to blogging and have been wanting to make it more satisfying for myself and for my several readers.  I have fallen into the trap of my posts being all of the "look at what I got" variety.  Nothing wrong with that. I like seeing what you got.  But, I just don't get a lot of joy out of writing them.  And, having mostly eschewed most modern sets, my trading activity has dwindled to almost nothing. For several reasons, time is at a premium and if I am going to continue blogging, I need to make it more fun.

So, that is what I am going to try and do starting with the 2011 Tristar Obak box I got a while back. One of the things I like about Obak is that it is a quirky little set, of a manageable size, that is put together with some careful thought. Oh, it does do some of the up-and-coming minor leaguers, but generally never more than a handful.  What is unique about Obak, and why I love it so, is that it highlights noteworthy people in baseball history who, for the most part, are obscured by the bigger names.

Take for example, Cal Hubbard.

Hubbard is the only person to be a inductee of both the Baseball Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame.  And, for good measure, he is also a member of the College Football of Hall of Fame.  A significant achievement. Yet, I never heard of him until I pulled this card from a pack.

As a football player in the early days of the NFL, he was a top defensive player, making first team All Pro 4 times, while helping his team win 4 championships (NY Giants in 1927 and the Green Bay Packers in each year between 1929 and 1931.  He was among the inaugrual inductees when the Football HOF opened in Canton, Ohio in 1963.

While he was playing pro football, he began umpiring in the minor leagues during the off-season and and advanced to the major leagues by 1936, where he quickly became recognized as one of the best umpires.  His major innovation was to design, based on his football experience, a comprehensive system of positioning and responsibilities for umpires that is still used today. He was inducted into the Baseball HOF in 1976, about a year before his death in 1977.

What I am listening to:  The Passenger by Siouxsie and The Banshees.

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