And So It Starts
October 27th, 2010 by slangon

As we all know, the World Series starts tonight with the Texas Rangers facing off against the San Francisco Giants. I wonder if the Texas fans are still stinging a little after another team called the Giants came in and pretty much put the last nail in coffin of the Cowboys season. I also wonder if back in March you had put a $100 down on the Rangers and Giants to be the participants in this years Fall Classic, how much moolah you’d be raking in now?

Either way, tonight seems like it could be a pretty damn good match-up, pitching-wise. The Giants are sending 2 time Cy Young Award winner Timothy LeRoy “The Freak” Lincecum to the mound.

Timmy has had a pretty good post-season so far. He pitched a complete game shut-out against the Bravos in the NLDS and then won a game and lost a game against the Phillies in the NLCS. Keep in mind, however that both games he started, he was going up against Roy Halladay, so I’d consider the split to be pretty good. He also pitched a slightly shaky 1/3 of an inning in relief in the final game of that series. Anyway, he’s been pretty good this post season, but not quite Cy Young good.

Speaking of Cy Young good (at least when it comes to post-season performances), Texas will be countering with a well-rested Clifton Phifer “Mr. Automatic” Lee. (Not to be confused with old-timer Clifford Walker Lee.)

I don’t think I need to get into what Lee has done in this post-season. I will however say that he made me a very happy man with his exploits against the Yanks in Game 3 of the ALCS.

As I pointed out in my initial discussion of who I would be rooting for this post-season, my money is on the Rangers to win the World Series. After a brief perusal of the interwebs, it seems as if I’m not alone in my choice of winner.

All this World Series talk has got me thinking about one of my favorite aspects of vintage Topps sets – the World Series recap cards. Although I don’t have a ton of them, I have been lucky enough to pick up a few here and there over the years. To me they’re a really awesome way of capturing a specific moment in baseball history, and given the importance of the games they depict, more often than not, they show some pretty damn heroic moments. They’re also usually a great way of getting cards of Hall of Fame players without having to sell your kidney.

Anyway, here’s some cards showing various Game 1’s throughout the years.

Although I love the design of the 1960 Topps set in general, the World Series cards from this year is one of my all-time favorite card designs. I think a lot of why I love these old World Series cards also has to do with them being some of the few cards in those older sets that actually showed action shots. This particular design leaves a nice big chunk of real estate for the photo, which is great. The one thing I find a little strange about this card is that they chose to highlight Charley Neal’s steal of second base in the 1st inning, but the White Sox won 11-0. Wouldn’t you think that the highlight should be of a player on the team that won the game? Like how about Ted Kluszewski going deep twice? That would make a pretty nice highlight, don’t you think?

This is easily one of my favorite cards in my collection. First off, it’s the only Sandy Koufax card that I own, including modern cards. Secondly, just look at it. Have you ever seen a more perfect example of a Condition: Poor card in your life? I also love the crowd shot behind Sandy.

The 1970 World Series cards obviously hold a special place in heart since they depict the Mets first World Series Championship, even though this particular card happens to show the one game they lost that series. By the way,  I was just looking up the 1969 World Series, and interestingly all 5 games lasted between 2 hours and 13 minutes and 2 hours and 33 minutes. And that 2 hour 33 minute game was 10 innings. How long do you think the games will last this year?

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