Archive for Kerry Wood

Rookie / Prospect Card Six Pack #3

Posted in Rookie Card Six Pack with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2014 by Cardboard Icons

IMG_69801997 Bowman Chrome Mark Mangum, 1994 Bowman Jamey Wright, 1997 Bowman Jermaine Van Buren, 1991 Score Rico Brogna, 1997 Bowman Chrome International Refractor Kerry Wood, 1962 Topps Dan Pfister (RC), Bo Belinsky (RC), Joe Bonikowski (RC), Jim Bouton (RC), Dave Stenhouse (RC)

Kerry Wood was the American Dream

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , on July 3, 2011 by Cardboard Icons

Once upon a time there was a young pitcher from the state of Texas who took the baseball world by storm.

He stood tall and had poise on the mound.  He had a lightening-quick fastball that made most batters silly. He had a curveball that buckled knees.

He was a proud American.  He was a Cub.  He was the future of baseball.  He also was the poster boy for the Bowman Chrome hype machine.

Meet our good friend Kerry Wood.  Oh, you laugh all you want.  If you were a card collector in 1998, you know all about Kerry Wood.  You wanted a piece of his Chrome rookie, and to own the card you see pictured here, the International Refractor (aka. THE Kerry Wood rookie card), was only a dream. The desire of many to own a Wood drove the price of packs — and ultimately every other card in the set — through the roof.

While Wood could not live up to the legacy that he seemed to be building with his seam-throwing rocket launcher of a right arm, his impact on the hobby will not be forgotten.  And it is the memories of what could have been that has kept this card in the minds of many collectors.

On another note, the aesthetics of this card alone make this a must own.  Topps really nailed the design of the “International” flavor with this parallel set, something I think the company has struggled to recapture over the last 14 years.  I just don’t feel the newer parallels which feature a map-like background with the hometown of the player pinpointed.  These 1997 cards featuring the flag of the players’ national country of origin give the owner a sense of pride. And when they are displayed as a refractor, they are simply gorgeous. Just look how awesome that American Flag looks today, Independence Day 2011.

He sure as hell aint no Nolan Ryan …

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , , , , on October 21, 2009 by Cardboard Icons

You’d be hard-pressed to find a pitcher from the 90s who didn’t spend much of his youth looking up to Nolan Ryan. And who could blame them. Ryan was the epitome of a power pitcher. He’d throw you in high and tight, and then break you off with a fastball on the outside corner. Kerry Wood loved him. Todd Van Poppel thought he was his son. And Roger Clemens tried to pattern his career after the Ryan Express, and to some extent he was better that his idol.

But what about Rick Helling?

Whomever decided to let Helling wear "34" should have been fired.

Whomever decided to let Helling wear "34" should have been fired.

On his 1993 Score card — which is NOT his rookie, see 1991 Topps Traded for that — Helling is touted for hurling a 91 mph fastball and a “nasty” slider. But what intrigues me the most about this card is that Helling is pictured WEARING RYAN’S JERSEY NUMBER. What the Helling is up with that? Don’t the people in Texas know that number is sacred. I don’t care if Helling is supposed to be the second coming of Walter Johnson, good ol’ 34 is not to worn by anyone, especially if the originator of “34” (Ryan) is still playing with the ball club.

Helling may have had a low 90s fastball and a “nasty” slider, but he sure as hell aint  no Nolan Ryan, and his career numbers showed that. Helling did wound out with a pair of World Series rings and managed to play with six ball clubs throughout his 13-year career, but posted an ERA near 5.00 while doing so. So what is Helling up to these days? He’s a special assistant to Major League Baseball Players’ Association leader Donald Fehr.

Thrift Treasures Part III: Bang for your Buck

Posted in Thrift Treasures with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 25, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

3treasuresguillenMonday’s are always tough for me. That’s usually when I get the itch to buy some new cards. But this week I did good. Instead of blowing my hard-earned cash on some blaster with astronomical odds, I headed back to the thrift store in search of some bargains. So here we are, Part 3 of Thrift Treasures. Again, 20 cards, $1. Continue reading

Card of the Day: 1997 Bowman Chrome Promo Sheet

Posted in Card of the Day with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 1, 2008 by Cardboard Icons

OK, so technically this is a promo sheet and not a card. Sue me. Mario over at Wax Heaven got me thinking the other day about the popularity of Bowman Chrome — a topic that I’m sure has been covered ad nauseum throughout the blogosphere — but I figured this would give me an opportunity to drag out the original promo sheet for the inaugural product and add my two cents. Continue reading