Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Happy Birthday, Knucksie!

Today is knuckleball pitcher Phil's Niekro's 81st birthday. I wonder if every year, someone thinks it's funny to put those stupid candles on his cake that won't blow out.  Do they sing "April Fools Day to you"?

I'm usually late to the Fool's party, sometimes I don't show up. This is my first opportunity to post on what is one of my favorite days of the year. Only the Fourth of July, Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mardis Gras, my birthday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, Opening Day, President's Day, National Pie Day, Boxing Day, sick days and payday rank higher. There are a few others I like more but I want you to take me seriously.  Seriously, don't take me seriously. I always manage to make every post about me. Back to Knucksie...

Phil's 1988 Score shows full career stats - a sunset card:


From the days of overproduction, the card back is quite simple, with a nice little photo of his good side.  He began his MLB career the year I was born. Me. Me. Me.  When I graduated high school in 82, he was still a Brave. Not to brag but my senior grade point average was slightly higher than his 3.41 ERA.  Knucksie Phil pitched for almost 25 years.  I read somewhere his right arm was about one inch and three quarters longer than his left. He retired as a Brave at age 48.  I was 48 just a few short years ago.  The Braves retired his number 35 in 1984. I was 35 when I attended my first Braves' game at Turner Field!!  Knucksie and I have so much in common! It's creepy in a Lincoln/Kennedy kind of way!



I was never a fan of early Score, or any Score. This front side does have orange borders, perfect for a "Sunset" card. I am a big fan of sunsets in general, yet another coincidence?

So the truth is, I don't own this card. As  you may know, many of my posts are built around stolen internet images. Kleptomania at its virtual finest. Burgled by browser. Whatever you may call it, I lack any notoriety.  Phil's nickname "Knucksie" on the other hand, is a crossword puzzle clue. Answer: NIEKRO.

Have a great day everyone - and be well!


25 comments:

  1. I'm not a big fan of '88 Score either. I couldn't tell when or where you were joking in this post, and I don't want to be the fool, but you're spot on about the color of the border being perfect for a sunset card. Happy April 1st!

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    1. I'd say alternate facts would include crack about his arm and perhaps internet theft. ;) Have a great one!

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  2. Replies
    1. It's amazing how pitching arms in his day, and all those years prior, did not wear like today's pitchers.

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    2. Well, lots of pitchers back then had their arms blown out early in their career, and no Tommy John surgery etc either. We just don't hear about them.
      I've got some extras of this card - adding one to your trade pile. No one should be without an '88 Score Knucksie!

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  3. A great post about a great pitcher. Pitchers with his skill set are not around in today's version of baseball. It is a pitch that can make batters and catchers look like fools. Very appropriate for this day.

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    1. Hoping to start today off with a few smiles around the blogs. I'm actually at work right now with little to do. It's all part of being essential to my employer. Note the sarcasm. I am not on the front lines, nor in any relevant field that's fighting this virus. I would prefer to be at home, doing my part in isolation.

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  4. Hard to believe he's 81. And 88 Score is probably about the only Score product I like.

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    1. I'm hoping he makes it to 88 so I can reuse this post. I'll give a little on 92 Score because the catchers look good on the design.

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  5. Yippee a Brave, and another 88 Score Knucksie. LOL

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  6. Awesome post! I never realized you and Niekro had so much in common!

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    1. Until I reviewed his stats I had no idea either! What a great way to celebrate my fave day among many fave days!

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  7. 88 Score was plentiful in my neighborhood growing up, whereas Topps was harder to come by for some reason, I opened many clear plastic baggie "packs" of this stuff. Happy birthday to a legend!

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    1. clear plastics baggie - sounds less like cards and more like other addictive matter. ;p

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  8. What a coincidence! Julie, I just happened to "score" a special version of that '88 Niekro card. Check it out:

    https://stadiumfantasium.com/lucky-serial-number/

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    1. Nice pickup there, Knucklehead. I say that in all sincerity. ;p

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  9. I spent over an hour yesterday looking for a copy of this card in my collection. I ended up borrowing the image for my post as well. I'm not going to say that I stole it... because COMC can have the image back whenever they want.

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    1. You have been spotted by the internet police. actually, I ratted you out to take the suspicion off me. sorry Fuj. Hard times call for desperate measures!

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  10. NOT A FAN OF '88 SCORE???? Is this part of the April Fools joke?

    '88 Score is one of the greats.

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  11. '88 Score is probably my favorite Score set, and this is probably my favorite card from '88 Score. I guess that could very well make it my all-time favorite Score card (sounds a list I might have to compile soon!).

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    1. I have a 4000 count box full of them; part of a collection purchased last March. They are colorful for sure!

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    2. Yeah,I also love the 1988 Score cards,and have about 600 different of them,but I don't have this one.Phil was very good during the only year he pitched for the Indians in 1986.To win 11 games at age 46 is very good I think.And,he wasn't the only good knuckleball pitcher the Indians had that year,as Tom Candiotti also was and went 16-12,with 167 strikeouts and an ERA of about 3.50.Candiotti ended up with about 70 wins for his career as an Indian as well.

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