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Archive for May, 2010

Classic Sports Card of The Day

20 May

This is a card of legendary  goaltender Gump Worsley, from late in his career when he was with the expansion Minnesota North Stars. Yeah, he probably looks like your 70 year old grandfather in this card but this is what you end up looking like when you play your entire career, spanning 20+ seasons, without a mask. Actually he did wear a mask but was one of the last holdouts, wearing one for only the final 6 games of his career. His coach once accused him of being out of shape and having a beer belly, and Gump replied, “Just goes to show you what he knows. I only drink Johnnie Walker Red”.

 

MLB – Dodgers on a roll

19 May

This was supposed to be a disastrous season for the Los Angeles Dodgers, with their owners going through a nasty divorce which is impeding the team’s ability to fortify its’ roster. Luckily, they made a wise decision a couple years ago and brought in Joe Torre to manage the team after his tenure with the Yankees ended. Despite the ownership distraction, Torre has the team on a major roll, having now won 9 games in a row. Young stars Andre Ethier, James Loney, and Matt Kemp have fueled the winning streak, along with some timely contributions from Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake, among others. Catcher Russell Martin has made some of those offensive contributions, and has also done a terrific job handling a mostly anonymous pitching staff.  The Dodgers will need Manny to pick up his game to stay ahead of their NL West competition, since the San Francisco Giants, with their top 3 starters being among baseball’s best, and the San Diego Padres, with their surprising young roster, look like they will be in the race for the long haul.

 
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Classic Team Logo of The Day

19 May

The logo of the old New Orleans Jazz, who operated in the NBA from 1974 to 1979 before relocating to Utah. If ever there was a need for a team to change its’ name after a move, this was it. Utah? Jazz? Huh? Sort of the same situation as the Los Angeles Lakers.

 
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Classic Sports Card of The Day

19 May

From CheckOutMyCards.com, the 1962 Topps card of Chicago Bears’ legend Mike Ditka. Ditka was the first tight end elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and coached the “Super Bowl Shuffle” Bears to an NFL title in 1986. He was born to be a Bear and even resembles the bear in the team’s logo (especially in his coaching years when he grew some hair).

 
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NBA – Lakers, Celtics open with convincing wins

18 May

The conference finals in the NBA opened over the last couple of nights, and the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, the league’s two most storied franchises, were impressive in registering victories in their respective series openers. The Lakers dominated the surprising Phoenix Suns behind Kobe Bryant’s 40 points and a workmanlike performance from the rest of the squad, with the other main offensive contributor being Lamar Odom. The Celtics, in dispatching the overrated Cleveland Cavaliers and stealing the home court advantage from Orlando in their opener, have been the most impressive defensive team in the playoffs. They are healthy and having won the NBA title just 2 years ago have the experience to roll to another championship. However, in an earlier post I had said that Orlando would defeat either team that survived the Boston/Celeveland series, so I’ll stand by that pick. Although Boston’s work on Dwight Howard was stifling, I feel the loss was more a result of the Magic being rusty from the long layoff after they swept their previous series over Atlanta. I still look for them to find their bearings and rebound to win a long, tough series.

 
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Classic Team Logo of The Day

18 May

The World Hockey Association was formed in the 1970s to compete with the National Hockey League, and one of their teams was the Indianapolis Racers. This was their logo. The team played from 1974 until 1978, when they folded 25 games into the season. They are best known for being the first professional team that Wayne Gretzky played for. The Racers signed the  17 year old phenom  (the NHL had an 18 year old age rule then) to try to attract fans. A little known fact is that the Racers were also the first pro team that Mark Messier played for. He played 5 games for them in the 1978-79 season, failing to register a point before being released.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

18 May

This a 1955 Bowman card of Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts, who recently passed away. He pitched most of his career for the Philadelphia Phillies and was part of the “Whiz Kids” Phillies’ team in the 1950s. The television frame on the 1955 Bowman cards make them very unique.

 

NFL – NFC East in 2010

17 May

Handicapping the NFC East division for the 2010 season is difficult because the division has undergone a lot of changes in the off-season. The division pretty much consists of 3 unknowns, and the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are usually the choice to win the division and the fact that they got the playoff victory “monkey” off their collective backs last season makes them stand out as the team to beat. I feel that they are good enough to finish second in the division and contend for a wild card. The Philadelphia Eagles have been undergoing a youth movement for a couple of seasons now, adding explosive new weapons like DeSean Jackson, Brent Celek and LeSean McCoy to their offense while also turning over much of their defense to younger players. They made the ultimate commitment to youth this off-season by trading QB Donovan McNabb to Washington and deciding to go with Kevin Kolb. This is probably, at least for this year, going to be a boom or bust decision for the Eagles. My opinion is that despite Kolb’s obvious upside, the Eagles are going to find out just how much McNabb has meant to their success over the years by tumbling to the bottom of the division standings this year. The Redskins will go into this season with high expectations with the additions of McNabb and new coach Mike Shanahan, and they will improve enough to overtake the Eagles and finish third, showing measurable improvement as the season goes on and fueling hope for 2011. That leaves the New York Giants as my choice to win the divison. The Giants, after starting last season 5-0, did an unbelievable tank job and fell completely off the map by season’s end. The defense was atrocious and this team, only 2 years removed from winning the Super Bowl, out-and-out quit on the coaching staff in the last few games. Coach Tom Coughlin is the type of person who will right this ship, and made one major hire to help achieve this by bringing in Perry Fewell to coordinate the defense. Fewell did a great job of infusing some energy into a lifeless Buffalo team when he finished the season as their interim head coach, and is the perfect hire to run the the Giants’ defense. I see the Giants “D” being a dominant unit again, and Coughlin doing whatever he needs to do to weed out the quitters, putting the Giants back into position to be Super Bowl contenders again.

 
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Classic Team Logo of The Day

17 May

On the left is the logo of baseball’s Cleveland Indians when they last won the World Series – in 1948. It was the team’s primary logo from 1940 through 1950. On the right is an alternate logo initiated in 1953 and used until 1972 for merchandising purposes. The “merchandising” logo features Chief Wahoo gleefully peering up at his crown (from the ’48 series win). Ironically, except for an A.L. pennant in 1954 (they were swept by Willie Mays’ New York Giants in the World Series), the Indians never won another “crown” , and the logo was discontinued in ’72.

 

Classic Sports Card of The Day

17 May

Two for McAdoo!! That was the cry for fans of the old Buffalo Braves basketball team in the 1970s. McAdoo was NBA Rookie of the Year in 1973 and Most Valuable Player of the league in 1975. McAdoo was the premier player and leading scorer on a Braves’ team that made the playoffs in only its’ third season of existence in ’73.