Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hide your kids, hide your wife, hide your husband...cause they're bippin' everyone up in here!

Well I'm officially moved in and internet-ed, so it's time to show off all the cards I picked up between early July and now. The very first package to arrive at my new address seems a good start, and in this case it comes from Justin of Justin's World, who took part in my Trade Bait Draft 2 and wanted to pay via snail mail. I had no problem with that as long as he waited until I moved to ensure the package didn't get lost (which he didn't), and I was very happy to see his mailer arrive several days ago since I knew that meant some monies for me. This package was not a safe one, however...as it also featured the return of...the BIP!
No sombreros were found but there was a note, nicely affixed to Tom Hume's 1987 Topps card:
Wait, did I say Topps? That actually says O-Pee-Chee...this appears to be a Great White North Bip!

Scary, eh? Well let's see what the rest of this package is aboot anywho, ya hosers! *

Bip #1 is a Mark Langston Bip of 4 cards. 4 remains a constant for this package, which I appreciate since I've been bipped pretty badly in the past.
Fun fact I never realized before reading this card: Langston led the American League in walks, strikeouts, and strike outs per 9 innings during his rookie season of 1984. A damn impressive rookie season (he also had 17 wins), but bested by an even better season by teammate Alvin Davis. More fun facts? Kirby Puckett was third that year, Roger Clemens was 6th (and all four of these guys finished appropriately based on WAR, especially since Kirby hit 27 less homeruns than Davis and had 81 fewer walks in 10 less at bats).

Next bip was Jim Presley, wearing some sweet goggles:
Presley was a pretty good 3B/one time All Star when this card came out **, showcasing 25 homerun power in the middle of the Mariners lineup. Low averages and walk totals led to him being replaced by future Mariners superstar (and DH) Edgar Martinez, and Presley's career ended with the Padres in 1991.

Bip #3 belongs to Bob Kearney (sensing an M's theme? ME TOO!):
Kearney played 24 more games with the M's in 1987 after this card came out, and then called it a career. His stats show him to have been a great defensive catcher who didn't do much on offense (but also never really received much opportunity). Anyway, you know it's bad when the card write up's only highlight is that you have a daughter.

The fourth and final bip is the best kind of bip: a Balboni Bip!
Balboni is another 80's masher who I never really knew, but it turns out I should have since he won a World Series with the Royals in 1985 while leading the league in strikeouts. He was also the semi-subject of an episode of the YouTube series Back on Topps, which I have never heard of before but which I am now extremely interested in. (I'll let you know if it's good).

Balboni made a helluva nice career for himself, but as sort of an experiment, guess Balboni's career WAR if you're someone who watched him growing up. He hit a lot of homers butlittle else, and he was a big 1B so you can probably predict bad defense. I'm just curious how close people will be...answer below. ***

That does it for Justin's package of O-Pee-Chee goodies. Four each of these cards have been added to my trade bait, so have at them if you want to add to that "Players with Daughers named Kearney" personal collection! And thanks Justin!

* Many, many apologies to all Canadian readers for my terrible impression of a Canadian.

** On an unrelated note, I think that Presley is one of those guys who, while probably decently known by people 10 years older than me who loved baseball as a kid, is hardly known at all to guys my age who grew up with 90's baseball. As an extension, I was wondering about this lately with movies, specifically The Matrix, in terms of how well will they be known by kids born in 1996-onwards? I assume The Matrix will always have a popular place, but I wonder if it'll be a ABC movie of the week place, or an every family owns a copy thanks to the parents and you watch it a bunch of times growing up place, or a "film classic" place where some people talk about how awesome it was for its time but its not as well watched. I wonder which it'll be...there's a pretty big number of times watched gap between occasional TV presence and "Film Classic,"and I don't want to be the only guy screaming "Morpheus is fighting Neo" every time I enter a room ten years from now.

*** A whopping -0.8. 181 lifetime homeruns are nice, but a .229 batting average is low and a .293 OBP is crazy low. Add in a bunch of errors and poor range and you've got yourself a guy with a career below replacement level. Even crazier? He was decent in 1985 (1.4 WAR of offense) but then had three straight years with negative OFFENSIVE WAR. 76 homers over those three years, but with a .224 batting average and an OBP in the 270's. Sort of like Mark Reynolds, only Balboni never took many walks and didn't have the speed to hit any doubles or triples like Reynolds does.

And I mean no ill will by pointing out that negative WAR...more just food for thought.


  1. Wonder where I saw those cards before???

  2. That is an awesome song you referenced in the title.