Barnstormers vs. Skeeters – Bobbleheads, Tracy McGrady, & Alpacas

Baseball, bobbleheads, alpacas, and Tracy McGrady.  This sounds like the opening scene to The Hangover.  Oh no.  Its happened again!

The Lancaster Barnstormers are celebrating their 10th season this year.  On Saturday, May 31st, they were taking on the Sugar Land Skeeters.  The Barnstormers won 5-3.  Picked myself up a new 10th anniversary t-shirt, plus a lanyard.  I’m not scheduled to attend anymore minor league games until the end of August.  The State College Spikes are giving away a bobblehead of James Franklin on 8/28.  Then the Williamsport Crosscutters are having an Andrew McCutchen bobblehead night on 8/29.  Back-to-back bobblehead nights!

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The first 1,000 fans through the gate received a bobblehead of J.P. McCaskey.  The Barnstormers are known for making bobbleheads of historic figures from Lancaster.

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7x NBA All-Star Tracy McGrady retired from basketball last year, but signed a deal to pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters.  He was in the house, but not scheduled to pitch.

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Anyone remember Phillies prospect Greg Golson?  I think I still have an autograph of his from ’04 Bowman Chrome.  He’s bounced around from a bunch of teams, and is currently playing for Lancaster.

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Koby Clemons.  Bet you can’t guess who his dad is?

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Delwyn Young.

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For some crazy reason there were two alpacas outside the stadium.

Flashback Product of the Week: 1974 Nabisco Sugar Daddy

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You had to take a second look before biting into that Sugar Daddy or Sugar Mamma candy bar back in the mid 70’s.  If you didn’t, there was a good chance that you’d be eating one of these animated cards.  The 1974 Nabisco Sugar Daddy set consists of 25 cards and includes pro athletes from football, hockey, and basketball.  Each card features an over-sized photo of the player’s head on top of a caricature body.  These cards are tiny, measuring in at 1 1/16″ x 2 3/4″, as they were designed to be placed on a poster that you needed to send away for through a mail-in offer to Nabisco.  There are actually two versions of this set since they were printed at a few different times.  One set will have a 1973 date on the back (for those cards released in early 1974) and others won’t have a date at all.  Condition is everything and high-grade examples can sell for hundreds of dollars, but outside of that these aren’t in major demand.  The centering is terrible on some of these cards.  Complete sets can go for around $80.00.  Nabisco made a handful of different Sugar Daddy sets throughout the 70’s covering all types of sports.  They were produced in mass quantities, but are a nice throwback to the days when candy included cards.

Lunch With Former Penn State Running Back Mike Guman

This afternoon I had lunch with former Penn State running back, and LA Rams fullback Mike Guman.  Guman was the guest speaker at this week’s meeting of the Selinsgrove Rotary Club, which was held at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club.

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Mike Guman is most notably remembered for playing in the 1979 Sugar Bowl.  Penn State was playing Alabama.  You had two of the greatest football coaches in history going against each other – Joe Paterno and Bear Bryant.  Alabama was winning 14-7, and Penn State just needed to get over the goal line to score.  On Penn State’s last attempt Paterno decided to give the ball to Guman.  Unfortunately when Guman jumped the pile he was met by Alabama linebacker Barry Krauss and didn’t make it in.  Penn State needed to score a touchdown and only having to go such a short distance and not making it is one of those gut wrenching plays.  As the story goes, Krauss hit Guman so hard the rivets in his helmet came loose.  In 2002, ESPN ranked the 1979 Sugar Bowl as the Greatest Bowl Game Ever, and ESPN.com ranked the final play of that game as #6 on their list of 100 Moments That Define College Football.

Mike Guman is an excellent speaker.  He talked about life on and off the field.  He also provided us with his perspective on all the recent events that have taken place at Penn State.  Guman held back tears when talking about Paterno, and wishes the whole situation would have been dealt with better.  He got to sit down and talk to Paterno for about 30 minutes after these events unfolded.  Guman doesn’t like how Paterno has been vilified.  He wishes they would have let him retire at the end of the season.  Paterno said to him this was going to be his last year anyway.  Right now Mike Guman is Vice-President of Oppenheimer Funds.

I took my black and gold Penn State football with me and got him to sign it once the lunch was over.  Usually I get my photo with the athlete whenever I get an autograph, but this was not an official autograph signing, so I didn’t take the camera.

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As far as cards go, he doesn’t have that many.  Eleven to be exact.  His rookie can be found in 1981 Topps card #322.  I bet there would be a lot of college football collectors interested in seeing some modern day cards made of Guman.  Perhaps a Guman/Krauss autograph?

For lunch I had meat loaf, mashed-potatoes, corn, and a roll.

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