The SPORTS FAN Page!
1977 Topps #210 Fred Lynn 1971 Kelloggs 3-D #65 Pete Rose
Like those funny "Real Men Of Genius" Budweiser Commercials, this page is dedicated to YOU, the sports FAN! Fans are kind of like "Grunts" in the Army. You can kick 'em, piss on 'em, treat 'em like
shit and guess what. They keep coming back for more. What do they get for their lifetime of loyalty? A kick in the teeth. Favorite players going to the highest bidding team via Free Agency. Owners who
don't know their head from their ass. $12 beers and ticket prices that continue to rise so that the team can be "competitive." Give me a break. The fans deserve better. What we want is green grass, NO
TURF, NO DH, pitchers who can go 9 innings, an owner who really loves his team and fans (ala. Bill Veck, Walter O'Malley, Tom Yawkey, Art Moreno, Jerry Buss, etc.). We don't want no stinking
instant replay. Nothing in this world is perfect. In my dream world I want to see my favorite players come up thru the team's farm system and stay with the team for 20 years. Guys like Joe DiMaggio,
Ted Williams, Bob Feller, Mickey Mantle, Roberto Clemente, Sandy Koufax, Carl Yastrzemski, Bob Gibson, Cal Ripken Jr., Tony Gwynn... remember those guys? They played with the same team for
their entire careers! I want to pay a reasonable price for a beer. I want a hot dog that is grilled on the spot. I want affordable tickets. No water falls, swimming pools, or electronic signs that tell "fans" to
"MAKE SOME NOISE!!!" If your team can't get the fans to make noise, then maybe you (the Owner, GM, or whoever is in charge) needs to get that team fired up. How do you do this? In the "old days"
guys played hard because they knew if they didn't, there was some kid in the minor leagues waiting to replace him. Players today make bank; they say their incentive is to "Win a World Championship"
but is that really the reason for them playing? Or is it the big payday. I get the feeling in today's game that the later is the case. You may disagree. Regardless this is my tribute to sports fans everywhere
(especially CUBS fans). Here's to you! (I am hoisting an ice cold beer in your honor).
|1986 Topps Pete Rose #109 Head First Slide 1986 Topps Pete Rose #106 Collision At Home
E is for EFFORT. What fans want to see is effort! You get paid thousands of dollars PER GAME to play a professional sport, you damn well better be busting your ass. Of course not everyone is
Ted Williams, Willie Mays, Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky, or Mia Hamm. What we want to see is EFFORT. Pete Rose is a prime example. Pete Rose was not the best baseball player of all-time. He
wasn't a slugger like Babe Ruth and he never came close to hitting .400 like Teddy Ballgame. But Rose had something special. Rose was built more like a small football player, but played baseball
with everything he had. Why do you think he had the nickname "Charlie Hustle?" He would RUN all out even when hitting a routine ground ball to an infielder. He would try to get a hit or get on base
somehow, and then try to get himself in a position to score. And Pete Rose hit, ran, hustled, collided, charged, dived, did everything that told fans "hey I love this game and here is how you play it!"
Fans still love Pete Rose. They may not like what he did later on, the gambling, lying, whatever. Hey, none of us are perfect and yes some of us are assholes. That doesn't mean they should be excluded
from the Hall of Fame (in my opinion). But this is the kind of player fans love. You see that today with guys like David Eckstein, all 5'-6" of him. He is not Albert Pujols or Derek Jeter. But the guy plays
with everything he's got. See Eckstein foul off 10 pitches and then get a hit up the middle and bust ass to first base. That is how you play the game.
I normally do not post new or "modern" baseball cards but I am making an exception with these two 1986 Topps Pete Rose baseball cards. This is how the game is played.
F is for FAN FRIENDLY. Hey, you make millions of dollars a year to play a game. Is it so hard to sign an autograph? Sure I understand that there are idiots out there, usually adults who push aside
little kids to get a player's autograph. These are the same dorks who get players to sign something then immediately list them on eBay to make some money. BOOOO! YOU SUCK! Autographs
should be FREE and signed for kids if you are a current player, adults if you are a retired player. Retired players love to sign autographs because usually fans who request them grew up watching
them play. It is a relationship of love. My favorite player when I was a kid was Fred Lynn of the Boston Red Sox. I tried to get his autograph at a game once but he was busy before the game and he
politely said he was sorry but he would "get me later." I never thought about PAYING for an autograph. Fred Lynn was my favorite player. So wouldn't you know years later after his playing career
was over I send a letter to Fred Lynn at ESPN (where he was then working) and reminded him of that encounter. Wouldn't you know he signed a card for me and sent it back to me in the mail. Am I
going to sell the autograph on eBay and try to get some money for it? Hell no. And another thing about autographs; today's players for the most part "scribble" their name on a baseball or photo.
You can't even read these scribbles. THAT SUCKS. Take your time and sign a nice READABLE signature so years later little Johnny can see who signed his beloved bubble gum card. And if you do
get a scribble instead of a legible signature throw it back in the player's face and tell him to sign so you can read it.
The above photo shows the great Willie Mays signing autographs for young fans probably in the 1960s. Back then it was a simpler time. Autographs were not "worth" anything, baseball cards
were collected, studied, traded and played with. They were not "worth" money either. They were more important than that. Money has a way of ruining things. It ruins marriages, causes wars,
murders, and can lead you to the depths of hell. And yes, it has ruined the game of baseball to some degree.
This page is currently under construction! Check back soon! To return to the Home Page click HERE.
Aug. 30, 1976 AP Wirephoto Fidrych Autograph Session (Mark Fidrych)
What a great photo this is. In 1976, unless you were not of this earth, you knew or heard of Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. The lean and lanky Fidrych was nicknamed "The Bird" after "Big Bird" on
"Sesame St." Like Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 and Lee Strasburg (2010) after him, Fidrych was a rookie sensation PHENOM. He pitched lights out, throwing complete games and winning most of
them to thrilled baseball fans everywhere. Not only did he win, but he showed the kind of exuberance seen in only a select few players (Willie Mays, Ernie Banks, Ken Griffey Jr. come to mind). He
was colorful, eccentric, and fun to watch. Mark Fidrych would talk to the baseball, talk to himself, do his own groundskeeping, pump his fists, dart off the mound after getting the last out of an inning.
Look at the above wire photo from his rookie season; the Detroit Tigers were playing the California Angels in Anaheim and even though Fidrych was not scheduled to start, he held a free autograph
session for the fans. What player would do that today??? No wonder the fans, in every city he played, loved him. Fidrych finished his remarkable rookie season with 19 wins (only 6 losses), 24
complete games (led league), 2.34 ERA (led league) and was runner up to Jim Palmer in the Cy Young Award balloting. The flame burned out early for Fidrych; he hurt his arm the following year
and was never the same. He won only 10 more games in his career and was out of baseball by 1980. Fidrych died in a freak accident in 2009 but we still remember him!
The "Say Hey!" Kid, Willie Mays
"Charlie Hustle," Pete Rose
Nov. 1976 Baseball Digest Mark Fidrych 1977 O-Pee-Chee 115 Mark Fidrych RC June 6, 1977 Sports Illustrated (Mark Fidrych & Big Bird)
1970 Topps 630 Ernie Banks
"Let's Play Two," Ernie Banks
Mark "The Bird" Fidrych
Sept. 11, 1961 FANS STOP GAME (Jimmy Piersall in action)
Sometimes fans can be stupid (which is their right), like the above two "fans" who went onto the field at Yankee Stadium to accost Indians outfielder Jim Piersall. Big mistake, as you can see by
the above wirephoto. While I am sure this was highly entertaining for the fans in their seats (they actually gave Piersall a standing ovation), these two got punched and kicked by Piersall, no stranger
to conflicts and drama on and off the field. Nowadays the security guards or police will most likely taser you if you run onto the field. Enter at your own risk.
I am a lifelong Dodgers fan, having been born and raised here in Los Angeles. However, it is my opinion that the best baseball fans in world are Chicago Cubs fans. At one time you could make
an argument for Red Sox and White Sox fans. No longer, thanks to Bud Selig and the Wild Card format. Both teams were able to reverse the curse, albeit via the Wild Card route. The Cubs however,
still haven't won a World Series since 1908 (102 years and counting). They have not been to a World Series since 1945 (57 years and counting). Yet go to the friendly confines of Wrigley Field in
Chicago and you will see the place packed with Cubs fans. I went a couple years ago and I have never seen anything like it. It seemed just about everyone had some sort of Cubs gear on. Outside
before the game it was like a party atmosphere. And this was just a regular season game! Cubs fans will cheer you if you make a great play, but they will boo you, and rightfully so, if you don't put
forth your best effort. Cubs fans are among the most knowledgeable fans out there. But the fact remains the Cubs are known as "losers." I don't know if it is their organization, the "Curse" or what. But
the fans are not losers. They love their team even when the they lose, which is more often than not. That is true love. Fans here in L.A. are not the same. While of course there are "die-hard" fans for
every team, L.A. is now like the new "melting pot" and we have people here from everywhere. We have people here from everywhere and fans from Chicago or Boston who now live here have kept
their loyalties to their respective teams. Los Angeles is not a baseball, hockey or football town (we have no NFL team) unless they are winning (and the Dodgers have not won since 1988). We are
more into celebrity gawking, spending money like there is no tomorrow and being stuck in traffic. We do have the Lakers but it is not hard to root for a winning franchise. Try rooting for a loser the
last 100 years. So I tip my cap to you CUBS FANS out there! For more on the Cubs check out our CUBS PAGE!
Jim "Jimmy" Piersall
1958 Topps #280 Jim Piersall
1960's Wire Photo Pete Rose
|1964 Topps #125 Pete Rose 1971 Topps #100 Pete Rose
1963 Topps #68 Friendly Foes (Duke Snider, Gil Hodges) (Back view, with autographs)
Both Duke Snider and Gil Hodges were extremely accessible to the Brooklyn faithful during their playing careers. Hodges, unfortunately, died in April 1972 as Manager of the New York
Mets. His autograph is pretty scarce today. I had the good luck to meet Duke Snider on a couple of different occasions long after his playing career was over. I used to hang out in the Dodger
Stadium parking lot after games to try and get autographs and more than once I ran into "The Duke of Flatbush." He was always gracious and I still have the autographed tickets he signed for
me. The above 1963 Topps Friendly Foes (Duke Snider, Gil Hodges) card was autographed sometime in-between 1963 when the card was issued, to 1972 when Hodges passed
away. I picked this card up on eBay for super cheap. It appears the players tried to sign the front of the card first (with ball point pen) and either the pen ran out of ink or it did not take to the
glossy surface of the card. So the back was signed and both signatures are quite legible. Great card featuring two Dodgers greats.
Original 1982 Topps Photograph Fred Lynn
Oooooooooooooooo La la!!! and "HEY! PEANUT MAN!!!"
I took this picture (above left) of this fan at Dodger Stadium, probably a couple years ago. As Jim Ladd (KLOS radio Disc Jockey) would say, "Lord have Mercy!!!"
Part of the fun of going to games is getting some peanuts and keeping score at a game. I'd include having an ice cold beer, but the sad fact of the matter is that beer is way over priced at the ball
park. When you are paying $8 to $12 for one beer it is time to start your drinking in the parking lot. Which is what I do. Anyway the peanut guy in the picture on the right has been with the Dodgers
since their arrival in Los Angeles in 1958. They played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum from 1958 through 1961 until Dodger Stadium's Grand Opening in 1962. I wish I could remember
his name; if any of you Dodgers Fans out there know who this peanut man is, please let me know. He is on the field level, behind home plate. Pictured with him are Dodger fans Gary Born, Scott
Heidt, Peanut Man, and Jeff Pulcifer (my brother). I am not in the photo because I took the picture.
9/30/76 UPI Wire Photo (Brooks Robinson with young fans) 2004 Topps Fan Favorites Brooks Robinson
Look at Brooks Robinson's face on the above 1976 Wire Photo. Priceless. Look at how happy Brooks is. Keep in mind this was at the end of his career and he looks happier than the young fans
around him. This is what it should be about. Kids meeting their heroes. I had the great honor of meeting Brooks Robinson just this last Saturday (Feb. 26, 2011) in Anaheim and I was just like
one of these young kids again. I was nervous but Brooks was gracious and spent time to talk with me and my daughter Victoria and he signed this baseball card for me ("Tim, My Best, Brooks
Robinson, HOF 1983"). A really terrific ballplayer and person. Thanks Brooks!!!
9/24/75 UPI Wire Photo (Fred Lynn signs autograph for young fan)
For me, it doesn't get any better than this. This picture was taken on February 19, 2011 at the OC Dugout in Anaheim. Pictured is my daughter Victoria, yours truly (wearing a Mitchell & Ness
1975 Fred Lynn jersey) and my all-time favorite baseball hero Fred Lynn. I started this website as a tribute to my favorite player Fred Lynn and here I am getting my picture taken with him by Fred's
wife Natalie. What a thrill. Thanks Fred & Natalie!Tim