Posts Tagged ‘giants’

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Ozzie Virgil

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I’ve never flown a model airplane – unless we are talking the paper variety in second grade religion class. I made some model airplanes, but mostly got bored when I had to glue all the little pieces together — logistics weren’t my thing. Still, I can think of two scenes that involve flying model airplanes and I imagine you can think of more.

The first is in Rushmore when Max first meets Margaret — maybe I’ve seen that movie too much – but it’s a poignant and understated scene. The second is from the hilarious Modern family when Jay rams Phil in the face — good comedy includes violence — trust me.

Anyway, I feel like Virgil would have enjoyed the later. He’s a stout dude (6’1 180) who caught for part of 11 seasons in the majors (mostly for the Philadelphia Phillies) and was a two-time all-star. Over a two-year span (from 1984-1985), he’d catch 272 games, post a respectable slash line (.254/.330/.433) and hit 37 HRs. In 1987 he hit 27 dingers for the Atlanta Braves.

He would finish his career as a more productive player than his father, Ozzie Virgil, Sr. who would finish his nine-year career with a .231/.263/.331 slash line. Regardless, here’s hoping they shared a few chuckles about the pitchers they caught while flying model airplanes.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Max Venable

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As you likely know, this series started because I bought a bunch of cheap 1987 Topps packs off the internet, opened them and found good cards but, more importantly, interesting nuggets of info on the backs. Let’s just say it’s a good thing I didn’t start with the 1986 set. Man it is totally George Blanda — if there is info, it is usually such-and-such ballplayer collected his first hit on such-and-such date – yuck.

Occasionally there are some “Talkin’ Baseball” sections which seem to be the precursor to SCOOTER, i.e., they are inane. The one you see on the back of Venable is actually not the only one to reference player’s names and palindromes – apparently that was a set-wide motif.

So why did I choose this one out of the myriad of boring palindromes captured forever in the 1986 set? Because Max just happens to be Will Venable’s father. Will got his first full-time action this year for the San Diego Padres in his age-27 season and performed kind of well. In fact, I believe he had a truly bizarre, yet effective season. Sure his 0.1 WAR would suggest otherwise, but he did hit 13 HRs and swipe 29 bases. Maybe he is more of a roto, specifically h2h, player, then real-life, but I see a guy who, if he could stay healthy for 162 games, would put up a 20-30 season. His average and OBP aren’t great, but they aren’t as bad as some other regulars people trot out there.

Still Will will likely have a shorter major league career than his pops. Max played in parts of 12 seasons, finishing with a .241/.302/.345 slash line predominantly for the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants. He only once played in over 100 games and would hit just 18 HRs in his career.

The oddest thing about the father/son combo? They both drew the attentions of the Baltimore Orioles but never played for the organization. In February of 1988, the Orioles signed Max, but released him in March of the same year. On June 7, 2004, the Orioles drafted Will in the 15th round, but would not sign him.

As for old palindrome Eddie Kazak? He’d play parts of five seasons, mostly with the St. Louis Cardinals before being traded to the Reds along with Wally Westlake for Dick Sisler and Virgil Stallcup. Talk about some interesting (old-timey) names. Kazak would appear in just 13 games for the Reds and bat .067. Those were the last hacks he took in the big leagues. Oddly enough, Dick is the son of baseball legend George Sisler.

Baseball is often described as the great bridge between fathers and sons. It’s also a game where just showing up can land you in the (obscure) record books…just ask Kazak who was a Red for 13 games.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Dale Murphy

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This card reminds me of that annoying, yet funny, GEICO commercial with Andres Cantor. I know people like chess, gamble on chess, play chess, etc. but to be enthusiastic about chess? That’s usually reserved for hoity toity intellectuals, not professional ballplayers.

Then again, Dale Murphy was a heckova special ballplayer. Murphy won back-to-back MVP awards in 1982 and 1983. From 1980-1987, Murphy averaged 100 runs, 161 hits, 33 HRs, 96 RBIs and a .284/.374/.517 slash line. That’s a pretty darn good peak. Of course, starting in 1988, he would never bat over .245 for the rest of his career, which ended with a whimper in 1993.

If only he would have petered out like an Eddie Murray, we’d be looking at a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Unfortunately, he didn’t. Through 1987 he accumulated 40.7 WAR, he’d finish his career with 44.2 – tied with Carlos Delgado. He isn’t that far behind Nellie Fox or Kirby Puckett and is ahead of Thurman Munson and Phil Rizzuto, but his peak precluded something greater.

That’s the thing about baseball, you never really know. Murphy did make nearly $20 million in his career. Here’s hoping that bought a really nice chess set that can take his mind off of what might have been.

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Dan Schatzeder

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Of all the interests in all the world, Mr. Schatzeder’s numero uno would be home video. I get that video cameras were a big deal back then, that’s not what surprises me.

I just think it is bizarre that this dude is super into shooting home videos. To be honest, that mustache makes me wonder what kind of home videos Mr. Schatzeder was making.

While his hobby might be a bit weird, there is nothing weird about his career. He played 15 seasons in the majors, basically becoming a psuedo-LOOGY. However, while he would post a 2.31 K:BB against left-handed batters and 1.40 against righties, he’d actually be more successful, over his career, against righties. For his career, lefties would bat .270/.322/.382 against him and righties would bat .247/.317/.392. He’d finish with 1,317 IPs, a 3.74 ERA and 1.31 WHIP. Not too shabby at all.

What will be most remembered about his career is game six of the 1987 World Series. He entered the game in the fourth inning, allowed one run and pitched two innings to pick up the victory for the Minnesota Twins as they clawed back into the series against the Cardinals. Ultimately, the Twins and Schatzeder would win that Series. Here’s hoping he had a video camera going during their celebration!

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.

h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: September Edition

h2h Corner ~ I’m a Believer: September Edition

Welcome to September’s “I’m a Believer” column. Yes, I got the name from a Monkees’ song. And yes, I like the song. Did you know that Neil Diamond wrote it, as well as many other songs by the Monkees? Isn’t Neil Diamond cool (Red Sox fans)?

Like the song teaches us, this column attempts to be a fun, quick read, mostly focused on what performances we can/can’t believe in.

Without further ado, I’m a believer that:

While Ryan Braun ranks in the top 30 players this year, he has had a disappointing season. Who has been the biggest disappointment on your roster? Post below! Continue reading

h2h Corner ~ Katy Perry (Hot ‘N’ Cold) All-Stars

Players get hot and cold over a seven-day period, it’s as sure as the samples are small.

That is why Katy created the Hot ‘N’ Cold All-stars.

In case you haven’t heard California Girls, I’ll provide ample links. In case you were living under a rock, I’ll let you know that “Katy Perry is on course to be the big hit of the summer in the US.”

It’s all well and good (especially the song and, well, everything about her), but the summer really only started. Similarly, we are just passed the half way point in fantasy baseball. While it’s great to be atop the standings right now, you have a ton of work to do. Take the All-star break to assess your categorical weaknesses. See which waiver wire darlings can fill those weaknesses and pounce. There is a reason they call late July/August the dog days – it gets hot, bodies break down. This isn’t the time for timidity, but rather bold moves.

So, which waiver wire gems should you be adding to your arsenal? Who should you give a little rope to? Read (below)! Continue reading