Tuesday, September 19, 2017

My First Football Set of 2017

I haven't been too active collecting football this year, mostly because of tight financial circumstances and partly because I've not had too many current sets calling out to me.  I have decided to put together the Prestige set again this year, so almost everything I have from 2017 is Prestige.  I used some Target gift cards to pick up 8 fat packs for a total out-of-pocket cost of $15.  No, I haven't completed the set yet--I'm still about 50% complete--but here are a few of the highlights of my pulls so far.  The configuration for each pack is 30 cards, with 4 inserts, 4 rookies, 2 Xtra Points parallels, and 22 veteran base cards.  I'll the 4 best veterans and the rookies and inserts from each pack.

Pack 1

The base design is simple and clean.  I like the borderless photo and the unobtrusive banner on the bottom.  I don't love the color scheme of the team color and white for each card; I'd like to see primary and secondary team colors on the banner.  For the rookies, I think Panini played to its biggest strength, ie. licenses for both NFL and NCAA.  I like the full college picture with the drafting team's logo.  The Xtra Points parallels are xtra shiny, and mine are red because they are Target exclusive.  WalMart has its own blue parallels.

I like the look of the Alma Maters insert, but the checklist wasn't too enticing for me.  Good players, to be sure, but overall I didn't care to collect the set.  I also like Banner Season insert, but I ultimately chose to chase the Phenomenal Athletes set.  It was an economical decision, really, as I ended up with one in every pack and therefore am closer to finishing it than the Banner Season.

Pack 2

I only intended to show 4 base cards per pack, but this was quite the pack for veteran base stars.  For me, personally, this was a great pack in general.  Two Packer base cards, new addition Martellus Bennett as a parallel, and an insert of Green Bay draft pick Malachi Dupre (since cut).  Throw in three of the hottest rookie cards available in Fournette, Cook, and Kizer, a Phenomenal Athlete to go to my set build, and a Banner Season of Kellen Winslow that will go in my All 1980s collection, and I love this pack. 

Pack 3

My best base cards in this pack were some good pass catchers, although three of them are often injured.  Tyreek Hill is one of the most exciting players in the game, and this is my first card of him since the sets I collected last year didn't include his rookie.  I can see Hill and Peppers being solid players.  The highlight in this pack is two Heisman winners for my parallels, both from Auburn.  What are the odds?  Both of these cards fit nicely with my Heisman collection.  From the inserts, I pulled another Phenomenal Athletes card.  The NFL Passport inserts make their yearly appearance, and DeShaun Watson is about the best player I could hope to pull.  However, the design doesn't do much for me.  The font is way too small and there is too much dead space.  I'm not a fan.  I'm also not a fan of the Hardwear set.  It's in Prestige every year as well, and I don't understand it.  The checklist is never great (seriously, why is Jeremy Langford representing the Bears after losing his job to Jordan Howard last year), it's always horizontal, and why produce a card called Hardwear without any memorabilia?  I know there is a helmet relic version of this set, but without the helmet, it doesn't make sense.

Pack 4

Interesting veteran base cards here.  The counterparts of the infamous Manning-Rivers 2004 draft trade appear side-by-side.  Now that their careers are starting to wind down, it's hard to say there was a definite winner.  Both quarterbacks have been solid in their careers.  Both have been turnover machines at times.  I think that Rivers is the better of the two, but Eli has two Super Bowl Rings.  Could the Giants have won those two Super Bowls with Rivers?  I don't know, but I'm sure they don't regret making the trade.  I kind of doubt that the Chargers regret it, either.  Then we have the Packers' two new tight ends in Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks.  It's interesting to me that Panini chose to Photoshop the Bennett card, but the not the Kendricks.  The rookies and Xtra Points are ho-hum, but I like the inserts.  Another Banner Season card that fits into a mini-collection, a Fournette insert that I will hang onto, a Connections insert featuring a Heisman player for my collection, and one card closer to completing the Phenomenal Athletes set.

I'll wrap up this post for now.  You'll get to see the rest of my Target Gift Card Prestige Haul later.  Thanks for reading!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

Football is Here!

I love baseball.  I really do.  I check scores and boxscores daily and my family gets tired of me dragging them to minor league games in the summer.  I follow the blogs and collect baseball cards in the summer.  But my passion is football.  Now that the NFL season officially starts tonight, I need to break my back-to-school induced blog hibernation for some football card celebration.

This year I got tired of playing in public fantasy leagues that fizzled out before season's end, so I got a group of my colleagues together at school, hoping that we could keep each other on track.  We had our draft last week, and I have to say it was the strangest draft I've ever been a part of.  First of all, I drafted second, which hate.  I had to wait 21 picks between my own picks and I just watched players that I was targeting fly off the board.  Second, there was little to no "conventional" draft strategy, so the mock drafts I did to test out my rankings and ensure the players I wanted would be available turned out to be useless.  For example, there was a run on quarterbacks in the 4th round, so much so that after I picked second in the 3rd round, by the time my next turn rolled around, I was the only team without a quarterback.  Eleven quarterbacks gone before pick #45.  I'm not very pleased with my roster, but we'll see how the season shakes out.  Here is my 2017 fantasy football team, the Myopic Chihuahuas.

QB: Andrew Luck

Yes, I figured he would be out for Week 1.  But I didn't have much choice at QB by the time I selected one.  I tried to pick up a Andy Dalton as a stopgap backup, but he went to the team right in front of me.  So I ended up with Tyrod Taylor for the time being.  What hadn't been released at the time of our draft last week was that Luck could miss multiple games.  At any rate, I drafted him to be my starter and all I can do now is hope that he returns soon and stays healthy.

RB: Le'Veon Bell and Doug Martin

Drafting #2, I was fortunate enough to land a player like Bell.  I'm anticipating a big year for him.  Martin is suspended for the first three games, but I drafted him to be my RB2 in the 9th round, so I think I got some good value for him.  While the rest of my league was stocking up on QBs in the early rounds, I was filling out my roster with other players, and I picked up Kareem Hunt to fill in while Martin is out.  I don't own a Hunt card that I can show yet, though.

WR: DeAndre Hopkins, T.Y. Hilton, Emmanuel Sanders

Receiver turned out to be the strength of my roster.  All the time I was waiting to pick, quarterback and running backs were disappearing from the board.  Some of the second tier running backs are guys that I don't trust, so I passed on them when I had almost back-to-back picks in Rounds 2 and 3. I opted for Hopkins and Hilton in those slots instead.  I picked up Sanders in Round 5 (after Hunt in the 4th), and then added Brandon Marshall later.  I took a flyer on rookie Corey Davis in the late rounds, and I think he could step up and have a big year.  I'm happy with my receiving corps.

TE: Tyler Eifert

I'm excited for Eifert.  I'll think he'll have a big year and be one of those tight ends who produces week in and week out.  I usually get frustrated with the position, but this year I think I have a player who I can just plug in and not worry about.

Defense: Cincinnati

Going back to the Bengals here, but not for long.  I selected Cincinnati because I thought they had the best Week 1 matchup of all available defenses.  I usually stream my defenses week-to-week, so who knows who will fill this slot by season's end.

K: Steven Hauschka

My kicker is Steven Hauschka, who is usually pretty reliable.  Except he's no longer a Seahawk; he calls Buffalo home now.  I don't stream my kickers as much because I usually don't find enough point difference between available kickers for me spend my time trying to prognosticate who will end up with one more extra point than the other guy.  I just hope Hauschka works out for me.

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills
Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs
James White, RB, Patriots
Danny Amendola, WR, Patriots
Corey Davis, WR, Titans
Brandon Marshall, WR, Giants

I'm not super happy with my team, but I should be okay.  Right now, I'm projected to make the playoffs, but just barely. That unexpected early run on quarterbacks may really hurt me unless I can pull off a trade.  At least I'm not my boss, who joined our league and drafted a team projected to finish 1-13.  Ouch.  Let the fun begin!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

National Baseball Card Day

Yesterday I wrote about my propensity to take my library books back late.  I'm going to keep myself from being too late today by writing up my National Baseball Card Day haul before it becomes a distant memory.  I missed NBCD last year due to complete ignorance.  I had no idea that you could go to a card shop and get some special cards last year.  Thanks to Bo for his alert, I knew about it this year.  However, I didn't know whether or not I was going to participate.  I was scheduled to attend a family reunion that day in a city that was the opposite direction from the LCS.  My wife wouldn't have been thrilled to have me travel 20 miles south, just to come back and head north to the reunion just to get some free cards.  As it just so happens, a last-minute invitation to take my sons camping with some friends solved the problem.  I packed up the gear and went camping on Friday night, knowing that I would have to leave the site early enough on Saturday to get cleaned up and go to the reunion.  While on the road, a realization came to me that the LCS was only about two miles from the mouth of the canyon.  So Saturday morning, as we came down off the mountain, I told my boys about National Baseball Card Day, and they were excited.  We pulled into the parking lot about 5 minutes after they opened, and we each picked out an item to purchase.  We made it home in time enough to get unpacked and bathed and were only late to the reunion by about 10 minutes.  Not bad, eh?

As for our actual purchases, my oldest boy took a grab bag of basketball cards.  My youngest boy chose a pack of Pokemon cards.  I opted for a grab bag of football cards, knowing that this shop owner puts a filler hit and a few unopened packs into each grab bag.  So on National Baseball Card Day, I got some football to bust.

I was surprised when I opened my grab bag.  Instead of a lot of loose cards with a hit and a pack, there were only a few loose cards with three unopened packs.  These mid-90s cards of mid-level players are pretty representative of the cards in the grab bag.

The three packs were 2 packs of 2016 Score and one of this year's Donruss.  Let's take a look.

The first Score pack featured a couple of Ohio State rookies and a great grab by Jaelen Strong.  I think Strong is the only keeper in this pack, and it will go in my miscellaneous cool cards binder.  The rest will be relegated to the trade bait box.

The inserts in this pack were better, with two parallels of inserts and and two inserts featuring two of the greatest QBs of all-time.  Not too shabby here.

Pack #2 contained another Ohio State rookie along with a hometown hero in Devontae Booker.  However, Booker played for the wrong hometown team and I'll be looking for a Ute fan who wants this card ASAP. 

The inserts in this pack also included two parallels.  Was that the standard insertion rate for a Hobby packs?  After seeing Tom Terrific and Peyton fall out of the same pack, these players don't create too much excitement, though they are great players in their own rights.  I guess it was just a tough act to follow.

The last pack was my first look at 2017 Donruss.  I like the base cards more than I thought I would.  The backs without full stats drive me crazy, the fronts look pretty clean.  One thing that has puzzled me for the last two years is the two different rookie card designs, which you can see on the bottom.  Please, Panini, either make them all Rated Rookies or make them all base cards, but please don't do both.  Personally, I would do them all as Rated Rookies so they were set apart.

This pack contained two inserts.  I've never heard of Carlos Henderson, but I like the Mariota a lot.  He's an exciting young player and I hope he continues to improve.

My hit for the grab bag was a J.P. Losman patch.  I know that the player isn't great, and nobody collects the Bills, but that's still a cool patch with some nice stitching showing.  It's numbered to 50, so it's not at all bad.

Enough of the football.  It's National Baseball Card Day, right?  All three of us got our free packs.  I have to say, my kids had much better luck.  My oldest ended up with a pack consisting of Bryce Harper, Kris Bryant, Corey Seager, Giancarlo Stanton, and Brandon Crawford.  Pretty good lineup, eh?  My younger son got Paul Goldschmidt, Bryce Harper, Chris Sale, Yoan Moncada, and Joey Votto.  Considering my kids love 4 players:--Bryce Harper, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo, and Kris Bryant-- and they got 3 of those 4, I was happy for them.  I think they fared better than I.

I collect Seager and I got the Trout, but otherwise, I don't have much interest in these other players.  Of course, I won't look a gift horse in the mouth and free cards are free cards, so I'm good.  But if you are collecting the set and could use any except for Seager and Trout, let me know.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Long Overdue (Trade Recaps)

I have a confession to make: I often have late fees at the local library.  I don't know what it is, but I can never seem to get a book back on time.  And the thing is, I never really realize how late they are until I see the fees when I go to check something else out and I think, "How did I rack up that much in late fees?"  It turns out that library books are not the only things that I have overdue.  I received two trade packages earlier this summer from fellow bloggers that have gone completely unmentioned on my blog.  Allow me to rectify that.

First, I completed a trade with Bo from Baseball Cards Come to Life.  Way back in January it seems, he posted about getting rid of some football cards and asked people if they wanted any.  I claimed a good amount, but then took a few months trying to put together a decent return package.  We finally finished the deal after a few months later, and now I'll finally post a little of what I got in return.

We'll start with some random set help.  I'm getting close to finishing the 1988 Topps, while the 1995 Collector's Choice is really close; I'm looking for Louis Oliver, Bam Morris, and Bryant Young to complete it after all these years.  I'm just over halfway with the 2012 Topps.

When I saw how many of the Domino's Quarterback Challenge cards Bo had, I decided to build that set, too.  I'm about 12 cards shy now, mostly thanks to the large chunk seen here.  I remember watching the Quarterback Challenge as a kid.  I remember Steve Young messing with one of the ballboys, shouting that he needed a left-handed football.  He sent the kid back for a new ball ("That's not a left-handed ball!") two or three times before he accepted one.

I've recently decided that Heisman winners should have a place in my collection.  Here are three running backs who had varying degrees of success at the pro level.

Bo had a lot of late 90s to 2010 cards that I didn't have before.  Anytime I can score a couple of great o-linemen, I'm good.

And, of course, I'll pick up Packers (say that 10 times fast) whenever I can.  What a sweet shot of Sterling Sharpe snagging a pass on the sidelines.  There's another good alliteration for you.

My second neglected trade package came from Adam at Infield Fly Rule.  Somebody pointed out to him that the Rising Stars insert set from 1996 Ultra used Coor's Field as a backdrop, and he decided to put the set together.  I had a few extras lying around, so I sent them his way.  He sent me a great package back.

Adam focused almost entirely on my All-Star MVP and Rookie of the Year mini-collections.  Most of the stuff he sent was needed.  Here we have some of the all-time greats that go in my All-Star binder.  I'm digging that Cal Ripken Gallery of Stars.  I just assumed it was a Diamond Kings card at first, but soon found out that it was produced by Donruss' Canadian counterpart, Leaf.  Nice looking card.

Jeff Conine was an All-Star Game MVP.  For some reason I can't explain, Conine is one of my favorite All-Star MVPs.  The funny thing is, if he hadn't spent most of his career with teams like the Royals and Marlins, I don't think he would have been an all-star.  As it so happened, he benefited from the rule requiring every team to have a representative.  Still, his career wasn't bad; he finished with a .285 lifetime average.  He just wasn't the type of guy to be an All-Star year in and year out.

Moving on to Rookie of the Year winners, here are three of the 80s best rookies featured on two cards.  All of them had highs and lows in their careers, and all of the them have had some problem with their names being tied to substance use of some kind.

Of course, as a Rockies fan, Adam had plenty of Rockies to send me, and I needed every one of these cards.  Walt Weiss is a cardboard hero in my book.  His cards always show him in some kind of interesting action.

Finally, Adam sent some guys that I collect in the form of one of my favorite Topps sets, 2005 flagship.  I love this design, especially the little picture in the corner that mimics the actual photograph.  It's so unnecessary and yet so cool.

Thanks for the cards, Bo and Adam.  I hope we can trade again some time.  I'll try not to let my trade post lapse in the future, but I can't guarantee it won't happen.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a library book to return.

Monday, August 7, 2017

All Bump and Run Baseball, 1st Team

A few weeks ago, I posted my (secondary) all-time favorite baseball players.  Now it is time to reveal a team of my favorite baseball players of all-time.  I had two rules for myself as I made this list: first, they had to have played during my lifetime.  Second, they had to be non-Cubs.  By this, I mean that they did not make their name or will not be remembered as a Cub.  Some of them may have spent some time on the roster, but they were not primarily Cubs.  I plan to make a Cubs team at a later date.

Well, enough of that.  This is it.  On to the team . . . 

Catcher: Jason Kendall


Why don't we start out with a bit of a surprise?  Jason Kendall is one of the guys who once played for the Cubs, but he was not primarily a Cub.  Kendall became a favorite of mine for one main reason: he was a catcher who could run.  For three straight years, from 1998-2000, Kendall stole over 20 bases.  My second team catcher, recent HOF inductee Pudge Rodriguez, stole over 20 bases once in his career.  In fact, if you remove all players who started their careers before 1920, Jason Kendall stole more bases than any other catcher.  His 189 steals beats the closest competitor, Carlton Fisk, by 62.  And Fisk played in almost 500 more games than Kendall!  While his running ability caught my eye, Kendall was no slouch behind the plate, either.  He ranks 2nd all-time (behind Pudge) in putouts by a catcher.  After he left Pittsburgh at the age of 30, though, he started to fall off, as catchers are wont to do.  Still, I think for a guy who spent 15 years in the Majors, he doesn't get enough credit for being the great player he was.

1st Base: Todd Helton


Now we get to the infield, where every player would probably be a Cub if I hadn't restricted myself.  Barring Cubs, Todd Helton is my favorite first baseman of all-time.  I have a soft spot for the Rockies, as they were the closest team to my town as soon as they entered the league.  Put that together with the fact that Helton played college football, and you have a player that I will likely follow.  Helton had two of the qualities I like to see in a first baseman, power and contact.  Helton may have hit a lot of home runs, but he was also a good contact hitter.  He posted 12 seasons with an average over .300, and even flirted with .400 in 2000 while leading the league with a .372 average.  Once again, I think I gravitate toward players that I feel are a bit underrated.

2nd Base: Chase Utley


As I mentioned in my 2nd-Team post, this position was difficult for me.  In the end, I decided on Utley because I have always admired his grit and tenacity while playing at a high level.  I know that this will be a controversial decision due to Utley's reputation as a dirty player, but I think he plays hard more than he plays dirty.  I know the blogs lit up a couple of years ago over Utley and his takeout slide on Ruben Tejada, and I know of some bloggers who defended him and some who took great personal offense over his actions.  Let me just say that yes, I believe Utley crossed a line on that play.  The slide was late and hard, and he caused a serious injury.  I don't believe his intent was to injure, but he was absolutely in the wrong.  That said, 13 years of scrappiness and 6 All-Star appearances before that play had already solidified Utley in my mind as a great player.

3rd Base: Chipper Jones


Chipper was kind of a no-brainer here for me.  This position could change in time, given the tremendous amount of talent at 3rd base right now, but Chipper is a big part of my adolescence.  I remember I had a friend in junior high who was obsessed with Chipper and the Braves.  I never became a Braves fan, but he piqued my interest in the player and I always respected the way he played the game.  There was no flash and fanfare--just a consistent "do your job" mentality.  He finished his career with a .303 average and just shy of 500 homers.  He should be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in a few years.

Shortstop: Cal Ripken, Jr.


Cal Ripken had the persona that was everything good about baseball to me.  As a kid, I admired his consistency and his great play.  I remember magazine articles about how he would spend more time than anybody else signing for kids before and after games, and he was always so nice about it.  I don't have any firsthand experience with this, unfortunately, but I do remember the impact it made on me to read it.  He is one of the main reasons the All-Star Game became a tradition in my family and that I decided to collect All-Star MVPs.  We were watching when he won the MVP in 1991, and it has more or less stuck since.  When Cal was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2007, he received 98.5% of the vote, the third-highest percentage ever received.

Left Field: Rickey Henderson


Purely coincidentally, my top three outfielders just happen to make up a pretty good outfield without playing out of position.   Rickey will take left field for me.  I remember distinctly when I first started to learn who some baseball players were, and Rickey Henderson was one of the first that I really liked.  One of my favorite mental images from my childhood is that of Rickey Henderson holding up the bag after breaking the stolen base record.  And though I've always admired guys who look like they're just out there having fun, Rickey seemed to me like he was all business.  I admire that too.

Center Field: Mike Trout


Trout is the youngest player on this team, and one of only a handful of active players that I considered.  My honorable mention list is filled with active players, but most of them haven't overtaken the older guys yet.  I have a couple of thoughts on why this would be.  My first thought is that they haven't proven themselves yet.  They are talented, but I don't know if I've seen enough of them to call them all-time favorites.  The second thought is that it's hard to beat nostalgia.  Whether I'm considering a player who I remember fondly from those days when baseball players were more than people or from the days of my early adulthood when I started understanding the nuances of the game better than I had before, I think those players have a leg up on the guys who are younger than I and play similarly to anybody else I've ever seen.  Mike Trout transcends all those thought processes.  I grew up hearing about how there were just a special few players in history who could do everything and do it well.  Ty Cobb was one.  Willie Mays may have been the best.  From all I've seen of Mike Trout in his relatively short career thus far, I believe that he could be the best ever.  He does it all, and better than most that I've seen.  Coming in after some of the haze of the Steroid Era, and after so many of its players had left, Trout represents a new generation to me, and I'm even more impressed that he is not under suspicion for using the PEDs that helped so many players of my childhood accomplish more.  Plus, he's just having fun, doggone it.  He is currently my favorite player, apologies to all my fellow Cubbie faithful and my boys in blue.

Right Field: Tony Gwynn


When I was in 7th grade, I gave up baseball.  I wish now that I had kept playing, but at the time I was super frustrated after having played 8 years from T-ball and up and having the same problem: I couldn't hit the ball!  I was a decent fielder.  I was tall for my age, so my reach gave me some advantage at first base, especially with all the errant throws of little league.  But I struggled to make contact consistently at the plate.  I was tired of batting 8th or 9th every game, and I "retired" with exactly zero home runs.  Why do I mention this?  Because it adds to the mystique of Tony Gwynn in my mind.  How could somebody make contact almost every single time?  He was the master hitter of my childhood.  He hardly ever struck out, it seemed.  Seriously, the man spent 20 years in the Majors and only struck out 434 times.  That doesn't even put him in the Top 1000 of career strikeouts.  After two decades!  To add some perspective, the newest member of the 3000 Hit Club, Adrian Beltre, reached Tony Gwynn's career strikeout total midway through his sixth season, almost 15 years ago.  I'm not saying anything against Beltre here; rather, I'm using his stature as a pretty good hitter himself to show just how rare it was to put Gwynn out on strikes.  The card above sums up feelings for Tony Gwynn completely: RESPECT.

Right-Handed Pitcher: Nolan Ryan


By the time I started to gain an interest in baseball, Nolan Ryan's career was winding down.  He was over 40 years old, but that didn't stop him from throwing a baseball harder than just about anyone and even pitching a no-hitter.  Plus, I had a card of him wearing a cowboy hat and working a ranch.  Now, I come from a rodeo family; my mother's brothers and sons were all professional bronc and bull riders at some point.  The point of familiarity with Ryan's lifestyle solidified my fandom.  In recent years, it has been re-fortified by the documentary Fastball.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend checking it out on Netflix.  Nolan Ryan's longevity, durability, and toughness are mind-blowing.  As the documentary points out, Ryan was pretty much his own reliever.  For decades.  The man is almost super-human.

Left-Handed Pitcher: Randy Johnson


I love two things about Randy Johnson.  First, I love the fact that he battled control problems early in his career and overcame them.   I like success stories like that.  Second, the bird.  Man, I don't know how many times I watched the video of The Big Unit just smoking that poor bird in one of the most bizarre cosmic coincidences I've ever seen occur on the baseball diamond.  By that time, I already recognized him as one of the top pitchers of my era, but a memory like that will stick in the mind of an adolescent boy.

Relief Pitcher: Dennis Eckersley


Eckersley was a Cub, but I never knew him as a Cub.  I don't think the Cubs are the first team many people think of when they think of Eckersley.  He was also a good starter.  But that was before I knew Dennis Eckersley.  When I first became aware of Eck, he was a dominant closer for the A's.  I loved watching him pitch.  He had that intimidating "don't mess with me" glare and a distinctive throwing motion that I really liked.  For me, he was the first closer that I knew, and he was good one to know.

Designated Hitter: Jim Thome


I mentioned before that I'm a National League guy.  I don't care much for the DH.  But, just as I decided to use it on this team so I could fit Frank Thomas on the team, I couldn't leave off one of the players that I respect the most.  Jim Thome was a model of consistency and quiet greatness.  For years he just did his thing and never garnered the accolades he probably deserved.  I remember in 2011 win he hit his 600th home run, and I couldn't believe that he had hit that many.  His final total of 612 currently sits at 7th all-time.  All the while, I would have never guessed that Jim Thome would have ended up in the top 10 by the end of his career.  Quiet greatness is an attribute I greatly admire.

So, there you have it.  The All Bump and Run Baseball 1st Team.  These may not be the best players ever, but they are all guys that I have seen play in my lifetime and admired for some reason or another.  Now it's your turn.  Who are your favorite players from your lifetime?