Thursday, June 1, 2017

New Brewers Autos, Also Laziness

I'm sick and tired. 

Like, in the literal sense. After spending the entire winter working as a freelancer and on my next book project, I went back to work as a boat tour guide this month, leading trips along Milwaukee's rivers and Lake Michigan. I got way out of shape this winter, going from the very active life of riding my bike to work and working all day to mostly not even leaving the house. The transition BACK to riding six miles most days and standing atop the steel decks of a tour boat for six to eight hours a day while talk and pacing (I always pace) has kind of wiped me out. Add to that a real little bastard of a spring cold I can't seem to shake and I enter June as a wheezy and worn-out fellow. 

I have the next four days off and need to make them very productive. I've got a a slate of deadlines coming up for freelance stuff, I've got a trip to Madison next weekend I need to plan for (TO SEE PATTON OSWALD!) and a trip to New York the week with my wife to plan for. Long story short, I need very much not to a be a lazy bastard over the next four days, while every ounce of me wants to be THE LAZIEST BASTARD WHO EVER WAS. 

So, as a means of getting me off the sofa and away from all those amazing Rifftrax movies on Amazon, I'm going to do some card blogging... to prime the pump or whatever. 

First, the topic of my All-Time Brewers Autograph collection. I got a couple of TTM returns from former Brewers this week to put me at a total of 183 different signed Brewers cards of the 838 different Brewers who ever were (up through last season, Seattle Pilots included). To complete this set is a fairly pie-in-the-sky dream. It would include such ultra-rare sigs as Danny Frisella, who died as an active player in 1978, and Danny Thomas, the mentally troubled outfielder who committed suicide in jail in 1980. But for now, it's a fun and open-ended project, and I'll be working on another batch of TTMs just as soon as I can afford the stamps. 

This weeks haul:

I got pitchers Steve Woodard and Mark Lee on the same day. Woodard had an incredible debut for the Brewers in 1997. He had emerged as a prospect early that season while putting together a solid line for AA El Paso. After just one start in AAA, Woodard was summoned to the Big Leagues for a start against Roger Clemens and the Jays. Woodard was dominant in his debut, allowing just one hit and fanning 12 over eight shutout innings. Woodard's gem rated as a 91 according to Bill James' Game Score metric, the 6th highest such number ever recorded by a Brewer. Woodard's next outing was a nearly as impressive dud. He went just two innings and allowed six runs against the Mariners. Woodard spent three and half mostly mediocre years with the Brewers before being sent to Cleveland in the Richie Sexson trade. 

Mark Lee spent two years in Milwaukee as a short-relief lefty. He was effective in 1990, but was forced down to AAA after the 1991 season by a crowded Brewers pen. He reemerged in the Bigs in 1995 with Baltimore and recorded a 4.86 ERA. It was his last summer in The Show.

Matt Stairs attained a kind-of folk hero status later in his career with the Phillies. But when he came to Milwaukee in 2002 as a free agent, he was simply a low-cost alternative to the recently-traded Jeromy Burnitz. Splitting time between the corner outfield spots, Stairs managed 16 homers and a robust 118 OPS+ in 107 games before moving on to the Pirates.

That's all for now. I'll be back tomorrow with some additions to my All-Time Brewers card set... including my elusive white whale!


  1. When you are in NY check out the baseball card street vendor on 37th and 6th, weekday afternoons when its not raining.
    Also if you want to meet in the city in person for a trade I can knock off a lot of your recent Topps needs. Saves on shipping!

    1. God, I'd love to see this outdoor card vendor... but I'm bound for Long Island, where my wife is from. According to her, it takes about three days to get from Long Island to the city, so we probably won't be spending too much time there. Thanks for the tip, though!

    2. Hey I live on Long Island! Maybe we can still make a trade work . . .