Monday, April 30, 2018

1990 Topps Minis #12: Bobby Thigpen

Resuming our series of detailing the entire 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, today we have Chicago (AL) closer Bobby Thigpen.
#12, Bobby Thigpen.
Thigpen was a premier closer of the time, winning the 1990 AL Rolaids Relief Man award, leading the AL in saves with 57 and compiling a 4-6 record (the Rolaids award was based on both the number of saves and the win-loss record).  If you're familiar with the 1987 Topps set, you know that Dave Righetti set the major league saves record in 1986 with 46, so those 57 saves by Thigpen in 1990 set a new record, which stood for a while but was eclipsed in 2008 by Francisco Rodriguez of the Angels.  His last good season seems to be 1992, when he put up 22 saves with a 1-2 record.  He reportedly was having back problems after 1990.
Card back.
This set chronicles the players' successes in 1989, and in 1989, Thigpen placed second in the AL in saves with 34.  The card back also mentions, in smaller type because (I think) this kind of stat wouldn't get you into the set on its own, that he finished tied for fourth in games finished with 56.

Next, we move on to Cleveland, with card #13 Joe Carter.  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Recent Acquisition: Sam Jethroe

I just bought this 1951 Bowman Sam Jethroe, graded PSA 7, for the PSA-graded portion of my collection.  My goal is to get about 60 PSA-graded cards to fill the box that I bought for them, and I'm at around 25 so far.
1951 Bowman Sam Jethroe, graded PSA 7.
Sam Jethroe was the 12th black MLB player, debuting with the Boston Braves on April 18, 1950, which was opening day for the 1950 season.  Jethroe debuted in 1938 with the Indianapolis ABCs, of the Negro American League.  He then played with Cincinnati and Cleveland of the Negro American League through 1948, before moving to Montreal of the International League (AAA-level minor league ball).  Montreal was famously affiliated with the Dodgers, and the Dodgers sold Jethroe's contract to the Boston Braves after the 1949 season. 

In 1950, he won the NL Rookie of the Year, hitting .273 and leading the NL with 35 steals.  He again led the NL in steals in 1951, again with 35.  He slumped in 1952, and was then sent back to the minors.  He returned briefly to the majors, playing 2 games with the Pirates in 1954, and then played several more years in the minors.
Card back.
The card back comments on his speed, his 1950 season, and his strong record at Montreal.  There's some kind of stain near the top, and a similar one at the bottom; I don't know how the old Bowman cards were packaged, but one would guess they are wax stains from the wrapper.

This card adds to my collection of early black MLB players, to my collection of PSA cards, and to my collection of NL base-stealing champs.  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Recent Acquisitions: Some 1971 Topps Supers

Some time ago, another cardblogger showed some old Topps Supers (sorry, I don't remember who).  They looked good to me, and I made a note to try to pick some up.  I have some 1981 Topps Supers that I've shown already, but I wasn't familiar with the circa-1970 variety.  The other day I ordered a lot of five of the 1971 Topps Supers from eBay, featuring Roberto Clemente as the main draw.
The Great One, Roberto Clemente.
I was surprised to see how thick these are.  I would describe them as more like cardboard coasters than baseball cards.  The condition of the ones I bought isn't awesome, but I think it's fine.  They all have a bit of curvature to them, and given their thickness and age, I don't see how that could be corrected.  In any case, I'm extremely happy to have another great Clemente card.  I have a hangup on Clemente cards, that I don't want any that call him "Bob," at least on the front of the card.  This card features his signature on the front, which works for me.
Roberto Clemente card back.
The text and stats on the back of the card are the same as his regular 1971 Topps card, but the picture is different.  I love the 1971 design, both the front and back, and already had his regular 1971 Topps card.  Having another version of the 1971 back for Clemente is another plus for me.
Amos Otis.
Alex Johnson.
I really bought the lot for the Clemente, but there were four other players included.  The only one I had heard of was Royals great Amos Otis.  He's young here, having made his MLB debut with the Mets in 1967.  He didn't start playing everyday, though, until moving to the Royals in 1970.  Otis was a 5-time All-Star and 3-time Gold Glove winner, and won the AL pennant with the Royals in 1980.  Unfortunately his career was over by the time the Royals won the World Series in 1985.

I don't recall ever having heard of Alex Johnson, but I like the card for the old Angels helmet.  When this card was made, Johnson had just won the 1970 AL batting title, hitting .329, finishing a fraction of a point ahead of Carl Yastrzemski.
Carl Morton.
Jim Northrup.
Carl Morton pitched with the Expos from 1969 through 1972, and then with the Braves from 1973 through 1976.  He was 1970 NL Rookie of the Year, going 18-11 with a 3.60 ERA and 154 strikeouts.  He didn't do as well with Montreal again after that, but had a couple of similarly strong years with the Braves.  Unfortunately he died young, having a heart attack in 1983.

Outfielder Jim Northrup was in the majors from 1964 through 1975, mostly with the Tigers, but also with Montreal and Baltimore.  He had good power, hitting 25 home runs in 1969, and another 24 in 1970.  He was a key element of the Tigers championship team in 1968, leading Detroit in hits and RBI.  This card is miscut a little, as the picture shows, and seeing pictures of other circa-1970 Topps Supers, it looks like it tends to be a common problem.

I plan to pick up a few more of these; I already have a 1970 Topps Super of Willie McCovey in my COMC account, and I'll be getting a couple more from 1970 and 1971 soon.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, April 20, 2018

One odd card + blog note

My posting has become infrequent; this started when I was sick for a couple of weeks, but now that I'm feeling much better, I haven't picked the pace back up.  That's in part just because I've lost momentum, but is also because I'm facing an intensely busy time at work for the next 3 months.  Until mid-July, I will be trying to push out as much work as I can, hosting any number of visitors, and traveling a fair bit myself.  So, I think posts will happen when they happen for the time being.  I actually thought about putting the blog on hiatus, but I think I can still get a post out here and there inbetween other obligations.

So, on to something about cards.  The following card is one of the oddest I have, I think.
Sports Cards: Tom Glavine.
The card is from 1991, which also happens to be the year Tom Glavine won his first of two Cy Young awards.  He had three straight 20-win seasons starting in 1991, going 20-11, then 20-8 in 1992, and 22-6 in 1993.   This was of course all part of the Braves gearing up to win the 1995 World Series, of which Glavine was the MVP.

I'm not sure why you would put "SPORTS CARDS" at the top of a sports card, although the back gives a hint.
Card back.
"SPORTS CARDS" is again in big letters on the card back, but this time there's some additional context.  It says at the top, Allan Kaye's Sports Cards News & Price Guides, and at the bottom the copyright includes "Sports Cards News."  There must have been a publication whose short title was "SPORTS CARDS" and whose longer title included the name of the guy behind it, Allan Kaye.  Never heard of it otherwise.  No idea in the world where I picked the card up, but I suppose this card, which is #32 from the set, may have been a promotion handed out in a show, or maybe even inserted in a publication I did read (like Baseball Cards magazine).

So, thanks for reading, even as my posts become a bit more irregular.  I do certainly enjoy cards and writing about cards, so I will try to keep up with the blog throughout this busy period.

Monday, April 16, 2018

1990 Topps Minis #11: Ivan Calderon

In our mission to explore the entire 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, so far we've seen the Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, and California Angels.  Moving through the AL in alphabetical order by geographic signifier, our next team is the Chicago White Sox.  We're at card #11, Ivan Calderon.
#11, Ivan Calderon.
Calderon played in the majors from 1984 through 1993, largely mirroring my period of intense interest in baseball.  In those years he started out with Seattle, played several years with the White Sox, spent some time in Montreal, had half a season in Boston, and ended his career with a brief return to the White Sox.  He hit 104 home runs in his career, with a high of 28 in 1987.  He had 444 career RBI, with a high of 87 in 1989.  Calderon made the All-Star team once, in 1991 with Montreal.
Card back.
Calderon earned his way into the 1990 Topps League Leaders set by tying for fourth in the AL in triples with 9.  The card back goes on to say that he was 8th in at-bats with 622 and 10th in doubles with 34.  In each of 1987 and in 1990, he placed 3rd in the AL in doubles, with 38 and 44, respectively.

Thanks for reading!  The next installment in this series will be card #12, Bobby Thigpen, also of the Chicago White Sox.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

As I Enter into the Trading Card Database

I've been working on entering my cards into the Trading Card Database; in one sense I'm about halfway done, since it shows I've entered about 15,000 cards, and I believe that I own about 30,000 cards.  But the majority of what I've done is low-hanging fruit, entering the complete sets that I own, such as the 1989 and 1990 Bowman factory sets, the 1990 Fleer factory set, 1988, 1990, and 1991 Donruss factory sets, a 1984 Topps hand-collated set, and a bunch more.  The longer work of going through all my boxes of cards has only just begun.  But, I have entered a few of these boxes, and I've unearthed a few cards of players that I've featured before, that I wanted to show.

(Note: this post originally published accidentally prematurely, without any text.  Sorry!)
1984 Fleer Oscar Gamble.
As you can detect from the cards I'm featuring here, I have recently entered a box of my 1980s Fleer cards into the database.  When Oscar Gamble died, I made two posts about him.  First, I showed the cards I could dig out of my collection on short notice, especially his 1979 Topps card from my complete set, but also his 1985 Fleer Update, and his Pacific Senior League card.  Then I purchased his iconic 1976 Topps Traded card, by purchasing a 1976 Topps Traded Yankees team set.  This 1984 Fleer was also in my collection but I wasn't aware; I see how having an electronic record of your cards can be helpful for putting together posts like this.  I've always liked the clean design of the 1984 Fleer set, and this is a nice shot of Gamble (and his smile) towards the end of his career.
1985 Fleer Dickie Thon.
I posted about Dickie Thon once before.  He had a promising early career, before being seriously beaned by Mike Torrez in 1984.  It was years until he played everyday again after that, but he did get a chance to be the starting shortstop for the Phillies for a few years circa 1990.  This 1985 Fleer card reflects the season in which he was beaned; the picturemust be from before the incident.
1982 Fleer Lance Parrish.
1986 Fleer Lance Parrish.
And then we have Lance Parrish.  I've featured him many, many times in the months that I've been writing this blog, although it never seems to be on purpose.  Parrish was, of course, an All-Star catcher with the Tigers before joining the Phillies.  There were very high expectations in Philly and he didn't exactly perform at the expected level, so he was routinely booed by the Philly sports fans.  Lance Parrish didn't like that, for some reason.  He moved back to the AL after two seasons with the Phillies and did better, making the All-Star team again and winning another Silver Slugger with the Angels.  These cards show him in his happier times with Detroit.  It's funny to me how you can see him grow up in the two cards, four years apart -- he looks much more younger in the 1982 card.

My posting for the past week or two has been almost nonexistent, as I've struggled to get over some small illness.  Having finally gone to the doctor, though, I am now feeling much better, and I think I can get the blog back on track.  Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

1990 Topps Minis #10: Devon White

We continue with our display of the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, today with #10, Devon White.
#10, Devon White.
White was one of many rookies in the 1987 Topps set.  As such, his rookie card is seared into my brain, since I spent so much time with 1987 Topps.  White played through the end of the 2001 season, winning three World Series, two with Toronto and one with Miami.  He put up career numbers of 1934 hits and 208 home runs.
Card back.
White made his way into the league leader set by coming in second in the AL triples with 13, and third in stolen bases with 44.  Despite a solid career, it looks like he never led the league in a single category, but he did place in the top 10 from time to time.

We'll continue this series next Monday with card #11, Ivan Calderon of the Chicago White Sox.  I'm hoping to get back to more regular posting soon, but am still feeling somewhat under the weather.

Monday, April 9, 2018

1990 Topps Minis #9: Kirk McCaskill

My posting is still on the slow side as I'm still recovering from my recent bout of the flu, or whatever it is, that has slowed me down.  But on Mondays and Wednesdays, I post cards from the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, and it's still a Monday for a little while.  So today we have card #9, Kirk McCaskill of the California Angels.
#9, Kirk McCaskill.
By some great coincidence, today, April 9, is Kirk McCaskill's birthday, and he has just turned 57.  Happy birthday, Kirk!  McCaskill was born in northern Ontario and moved around as his father played hockey professionally.  He was drafted by the Angels out of college (Vermont) in 1982, and debuted with them in May, 1985.  He played with the Angels through 1991, then with the White Sox until retiring after the 1996 season.  He put together a career 106-108 record with a 4.12 ERA, seven saves, and 1,003 strikeouts.
Card back.
McCaskill made his way into the set, like his teammates Bert Blyleven and Chuck Finley, by being near the top of the ERA leaderboard.  You may remember that Blyleven was fourth and Finley was second in the league; with McCaskill at fifth, it's a pretty strong pitching staff.  The Angels were actually second in the AL in team ERA with a combined 3.28, behind only 1989 World Series winners Oakland with 3.09.  As the card back goes on to say, McCaskill tied for second in shutouts with 4.  Times sure change; last year in the AL, only two pitchers had more than 1 shutout (Ervin Santana of Minnesota and Corey Kluber of Cleveland).

That's it for this time; thanks for reading.  On Wednesday, we finish with the California Angels, with #10, Devon White.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

1988 Pittsburgh Pirates Negro League Stars (Part 2 of 4)

I've been missing from the blog for a few days, a casualty of some flu or something.  I'm starting to feel a little more human again, so I think I can finish off this post I started last week.

Today we're taking a look at cards #6 through #10 of the 1988 Pittsburgh Pirates team-issued Negro League Stars set; we showed cards #1 through #5 previously.  The set celebrates players and organizers for the two Pittsburgh-area Negro Leagues teams, the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords.
#6. John Henry "Pop" Lloyd.
When I was in college (i.e., many years ago), I read a book, Only the Ball Was White, about the Negro Leagues.  One of the first things you learn is that most of the teams were named the "Giants."  John Henry Lloyd played for the Cuban X-Giants, the Philadelphia Giants, the Leland Giants, the Lincoln Giants, the Chicago American Giants, and several other teams.  These didn't include, though, the Pittsburgh-area teams.  The card back does make a Pittsburgh connection, though, saying that his play at shortstop was frequently compared to Honus Wagner; Wagner was reportedly honored by the comparison, after seeing Lloyd play.  Lloyd made the Hall of Fame in 1977.
#7. Oscar Charleston.
Center fielder Oscar Charleston played for many teams over the years including both the Grays and the Crawfords, and managed the Crawfords.  He led the Negro Leagues and the Cuban League in batting, home runs, and steals many times, and was a lifetime .351 hitter in the Negro Leagues and .361 in Cuba.  He made the Hall of Fame in 1976.
#8. Smokey Joe Williams.
Joe Williams appears to have been known as Smokey Joe Williams and also Cyclone Joe Williams.  He pitched for many teams from the Negro Leagues, including the Grays from 1925-1932.  He was considered one of the greatest pitchers of the day either in the majors or Negro Leagues.  He was older than Satchel Paige, and the two greats faced each other only once, at the end of Williams' career and at the start of Paige's; Williams was the winner.  He made the Hall of Fame in 1999.
#9. Judy Johnson.
Third baseman Judy Johnson has been featured on this blog several times, since I'm always happy to highlight Delawareans.  The back of the card quotes Connie Mack, saying that if Johnson were white he could name his own price and any MLB team would be happy to have him.  But of course he never got to play in the majors, but became a legend with Hilldale, the Grays, and the Crawfords instead.  He made the Hall of Fame in 1975.
#10. Martin Dihigo.
We'll close this out with Martin Dihigo, who was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1977.  Dihigo played in the Negro Leagues, including with the Grays, in addition to playing in Mexico, Cuba, and Venezuela.  Dihigo was primarily both a pitcher and a second baseman, but played every position except catcher in his career; he made a .307 average in the Negro Leagues and a 26-19 won-loss record.  Across the different leagues he played in, it was not uncommon for him to be both the pitching and batting leader.

That's it for now; thanks for reading.  I'll hope that I'm feeling better enough to be able to return to my regular blogging schedule from here on.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

1990 Topps Minis #8: Chuck Finley.

Since it's Wednesday, we're posting another card from the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set.  We're at #8, and it's Chuck Finley of the California Angels.
#8: Chuck Finley.
Finley had a long career, pitching in the majors from 1986 through 2002, and the majority of this time was with the Angels.  Otherwise, he was with the Indians from 2000 through mid-2002, and finished 2002 with the Cardinals before retiring.  Between 1989 and 2000, Finley made the All-Star team five times.  It looks like 1990 was his best year, with a 18-9 record, 2.40 ERA, and 177 strikeouts, as he finished 7th in the AL Cy Young balloting.  Baseball Reference rates him as being similar to Mark Langston, Mike Torrez, Tim Wakefield, Vida Blue, and Fernando Valenzuela, among others.
Chuck Finley card back.
To gain entrance into this set of league leaders, Finley finished 2nd in the AL in ERA with 2.57, and also placed third in complete games and eighth in strikeouts.  You may remember from Monday's post that teammate Bert Blyleven was 4th in ERA.  With all this talent, the Angels finished third in the AL West with a 91-71 record.  Today, that kind of record would get you into the playoffs, but back then, you had to win one of only four divisions.

Thanks for reading!  Up next, on Monday: Blyleven and Finley's teammate on card #9, Kirk McCaskill.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

1988 Pittsburgh Pirates Negro League Stars (Part 1 of 4)

I was fortunate to find this small set of Negro League Stars available on eBay recently.  The 20-card set was team-issued by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1988, in celebration of the Pittsburgh-area Negro Leagues teams, the Homestead Grays and the Pittsburgh Crawfords.  The cards are perforated, and appear to have been given out as a sheet at a game on September 10, 1988.

The set came to my attention while searching COMC for cards of Judy Johnson.  On COMC, cards from the set are kind of expensive, so I'm glad to have found a complete set on eBay.  The set wasn't listed on Trading Card Database, so I'm in the process of submitting it to them.

I want to do a reasonable job showing each card in the set, so I'm breaking the 20 cards up into 4 posts, showing 5 at a time today, this Thursday, next Tuesday, and next Thursday.
#1, Andrew "Rube" Foster.
Card back.
The front of the cards have a logo saying "A Celebration of History Saluting Negro League Baseball September 10, 1988."  The card backs have the Pirates logo, and show that they're copyrighted by the Pirates.  The text on the back is written by Rob Ruck, who is currently Professor of History at University of Pittsburgh, specializing in U.S. history, sports history, and Pittsburgh history, and author of several books.

Rube Foster was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1981.  Foster was a successful pitcher, with the Philadelphia Cuban X-Giants and the Philadelphia Giants, among other teams.  But he's really most important as an organizer -- he founded the Negro National League in 1920.  With the NNL in place, conditions improved for players, with higher salaries and better travel.  He had health problems starting around 1925, and died in 1930; the league wasn't the same without him, and fell apart by 1931.
#2, 1913 Homestead Grays.
Homestead is a town immediately outside Pittsburgh, most famous, I'm sure, for the Homestead Strike.  The Homestead Grays operated for 38 seasons, playing many of their games in Pittsburgh, and even somewhat moving to Washington, DC towards the end of their days in the 1940s.  They disbanded in May, 1951, after the integration of Major League Baseball.  When Major League Baseball honors the Negro Leagues, the Grays are remembered both by the Pirates and the Nationals these days.
#3, Cum Posey and the 1943 Homestead Grays.
Cum Posey was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006, under the auspices of the Committee on African-American Baseball.  I don't know anything about early basketball or segregated basketball, but he apparently was also a big figure there, and is also in the Basketball Hall of Fame!  Posey owned the Homestead Grays for many years, and with his leadership, they made it through the Great Depression and thrived.
#4, 1926 Pittsburgh Crawfords.
The other Pittsburgh team in the Negro Leagues was the Pittsburgh Crawfords.  The Crawfords operated from 1931-1940, in Pittsburgh from 1931-1938, then in Toledo in 1939, and in Indianapolis in 1940.  They had a comeback in Pittsburgh from 1945-1946.  Many great players played for the Crawfords, including Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, and Cool Papa Bell.
#5, William "Gus" Greenlee and the 1936 Pittsburgh Crawfords.
The owner of the Crawfords was Gus Greenlee, who founded the second Negro National League.  He built a stadium, Greenlee Field, for the Crawfords to play at; most Negro League teams didn't have their own parks.  He wasn't really a baseball guy, but was a businessman and racketeer.  He stayed with baseball while the business was good, but when most of his strong players left, he folded the team and razed the stadium.

Thanks for reading!  The next five cards will be posted on Thursday.

Monday, April 2, 2018

1990 Topps Minis #7: Bert Blyleven

With the return of Monday, we're looking at the next card in the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set.  We've completed the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox in the set, so we're on to the California Angels, starting with card #7, Bert Blyleven.
Bert Blyleven.
I'm generally a fan of Blyleven, as the Hall-of-Famer helped the Pirates to their 1979 championship, and I also enjoyed watching the 1987 Twins beat the Cardinals for their first World Series title (in Minnesota, at least).  In that 1979 World Series, Blyleven went 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in ten innings in two games.  In the 1987 World Series, he went 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts.  Blyleven is also fifth on the career strikeout list, behind only Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, and Steve Carlton.
Bert Blyleven card back.
To make it into the 1990 Topps Mini League Leaders set, Blyleven finished fourth in the AL in ERA in 1989 with 2.73, and first in shutouts with 5.  He also tied for sixth in wins with 17, as he posted a 17-5 record in his first year with the Angels.

We have several more Angels to go, so next up (on Wednesday) is card #8, Chuck Finley.  Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Delawareans: Some Recent Acquisitions

I've mentioned several times that I'm originally from Delaware.  It's a small state with a small population, so there aren't a lot of famous people or pro athletes from there.  When I was growing up, I knew that Judy Johnson was Delaware's only Hall-of-Famer.  That was before the internet, so if you hear something like that, it's hard to check.  Recently I tried to verify this and read somewhere that there were actually three Hall-of-Famers from Delaware; so, was I wrong to always think that Judy Johnson was the only one?  Who were these other two?  It turns out that Johnson was the only Delawarean in the Hall when I learned that fact in the 80s; the other two, Vic Willis and Bill McGowan, made the Hall in the 90s.
Vic Willis.
Pitcher Vic Willis was an early player, debuting with the Boston Beaneaters (the franchise that would become the Braves) in 1898.  He stayed with the Beaneaters through 1905, then moved to the Pirates, and in 1910 played with the Cardinals.  Willis led the National League with a 2.50 ERA in 1899, and pitched a no-hitter that year as well.  The Beaneaters were terrible after the Red Sox came into existence, and Willis went 12-29 in 1905 with only a 3.21 ERA, as he got terribly poor run support from the Beaneaters offense.  Moving to Pittsburgh in 1906, he posted a 1.73 ERA and a 23-13 record.  He continued to pitch well, including a 22-11 record with a 2.24 ERA in 1909 as the Pirates won their first World Series.  He died in 1947; the Veterans Committee put him in the Hall in 1995.

Needless to say, there aren't many cards of him.  When I went to COMC to look, I found that there are some old tobacco cards.  I don't collect tobacco cards, though, and am not really interested in starting.  There are also reprints of tobacco cards.  Not terribly compelling, in my view.  More up my alley is this standard-sized card, a 2012 Panini Cooperstown Bronze History card, of his Hall of Fame plaque, numbered 341/599.  This is still an outlier in my collection, since I barely have any cards post-1994.  With this (and another card at the bottom of this post), I now have exactly 20 cards manufactured after 1994 out of approximately 30,000 cards in my collection.
Bill McGowan.
Umpire Bill McGowan made the Hall via the Veterans Committee in 1992.  He worked American League games starting in 1925, continuing for 30 seasons, and umpired 8 World Series and 4 All-Star Games.  McGowan's Hall of Fame plaque says that he "introduced colorful style with vigorous, agressive gestures," and that he didn't miss working an inning for a 16-year stretch.  McGowan also founded an umpire school.

When I looked for a card of him, I found two options: the Conlon Collection, and the Panini Cooperstown Bronze History plaque card.  I figured since I was getting the Panini card for Willis, I should get something different for McGowan, and of course it's good to have a card with a photo of the guy, too.  There are a couple of different Conlon cards of him; this one, from 1993, explains that his nickname came from using an undersized chest protector.
Chad Kuhl.
Other than Hall-of-Famers, there are, of course, other players from Delaware.  Next Sunday I'll feature some cards of other Delawareans that have been in my collection for many years: Dave May, Chris Short, and others.  But this post is for these recent acquisitions, and other than Willis and McGowan, I picked up this card of Chad Kuhl recently.  Kuhl intersects my various interests, since he is a Pirate in addition to being a Delawarean.  In two seasons with the Pirates so far, Kuhl has put together a 13-15 record with a 4.30 ERA.  The Bucs have a shaky rotation, and there's some hope that the young pitchers, Kuhl included, will demonstrate some growth this season.  Kuhl's first start of 2018 is scheduled for later today, the night game of the double-header.  Here's hoping for a solid year!