San Jose Municipal Stadium, 2008 – Sully Baseball Daily Photo at Noon for February 13, 2018


A great old fashioned minor league park in the middle of Silicon Valley. It is where I saw my first minor league ball game and where many Giants who went on to win the World Series played.

Rod Beck 1989 Best Card – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for March 17, 2017


Here’s another one of the San Jose Giants cards from 1989 sitting in a shoebox.

I already did a post for James Malseen. Click here for the image of his amazing fake slide to second.

But hey! Here is Rod Beck, aka Shooter, a pitcher who not only made it to the majors but made 3 different All Star Teams and played in three straight post seasons with three different franchises.

The late pitcher was named Rodney Roy Beck, which when you think of it would have been a great baseball name. Originally an A’s farm hand, he was traded to the Giants before the 1988 season. As the parent team was winning the 1989 pennant, Beck was doing well in San Jose and posed for this awkwardly staged card photo.

Beck made the major league squad in 1991 and by 1993, he was an All Star reliever. He was a throwback reliever who looked like he would have fit in with Rich Gossage and Bruce Sutter from another time.

He looked like a regular guy with a belly, big mustache and intense enthusiasm on the mound.

He struckout more than a batter per inning and in 1993 had a 6.62 strikeout to walk ratio. He finished in the top 10 for the Cy Young vote in 1994 where he was the Rolaids Relief Award winner.

His eye popping numbers began to drop but he remained not only a reliable closer but a fan favorite. Beck finally clinched a division title in 1997 and got his first taste of the post season.

Beck’s Giants career ended in the 1997 Division Series. Sensing his career was on the downturn, San Francisco let Beck walk to the Cubs. In the end, Beck saved 51 games for Chicago. The final save was a tie breaker for the NL Wild Card. The team he beat? The San Francisco Giants.

It was a sweet moment for Beck, who again saw his team get swept in the post season. But the end was coming. He suffered through injuries in 1999 before being dealt to Boston for their pennant run. Beck pitched well in his month with the Red Sox but let up Bernie Williams’ walk off homer in Game 1 of the 1999 ALCS. He had Tommy John surgery after his 2001 season in Boston.

Beck had a nice comeback which endeared him to his fans. While rehabbing with the Iowa Cubs, he lived in a mobile home next to the stadium and interacted with the fans. In 2003 he made a brief comeback with the Padres but his career was over after 2004.

Sadly the fun affable Beck was dealing with cocaine and heroin issues and was found dead in his home during the 2007 season.

Still loved by Giants and Cubs fans, Beck seemed like one of us on the mound and in the end was as flawed as many of us are. Overweight with vices, but loving baseball and excited to be on the mound.

Why is he still loved? Because we see ourselves in Shooter.











James Malseed 1989 Best Card – Sully Baseball Card of the Day for January 17, 2017


This is the first and possibly only minor league card that I will do in the 365 post series. I used to attend a bunch of San Jose Giants games when I was in high school. It was my first experience going to minor league baseball and I loved it. I even bought a set of baseball cards, one of of them ended up in the shoebox in my closet.

I went to the old crumbling San Jose Municipal Stadium (still in use by the way!) and saw some future big leaguers. I remember Russ Swan and Rod Beck were two who made it to the show. I also saw a San Bernadino Spirit outfielder named Ken Griffey Jr.

Most of the players never made the jump from Single A to Double A, let alone to the majors.

James Malseed (or Jim Malseed) was one of those players. He was an outfielder drafted in the 33rd round from Winthrop University, a school on South Carolina. In the end, he played 3 years of professional ball, including time with the Fresno Suns when they were an independent team.

The 1989 San Jose Giants were his last stop. He did not fare well and at age 24, he was done. Winthrop University has honored him in their sports Hall of Fame and now works for a sporting gear company.

But let’s take a moment to appreciate this card. Most people when they pose in a card will do the classic batting stance or fielding their position routine. We know it is fake, but it is a baseball card staple.

This is wonderful. Malseed is creating an action shot, sliding into second… except there is no motion, no inertia and no other fielders. It is just him lying on his stomach, looking up as if to say “Did you get it? Is this nightmare photo session over?”

And it also has a clear contradiction in the picture. There clearly was no reason to slide! No other fielders are around the bag. Call me risky, but I think he could have gone into second standing up.

Whereever you are, Mr. Malseed, I hope you have pride in your professional baseball career and still have this wonderfully loopy card that always cracked me up.