Final Post

10 Apr
1992-93 Upper Deck - Doug Gilmour

How cool was Doug Gilmour?

Well, you know what they say… all mediocre things must come to an end.  So, this is the final post at Sorting by Teams.

It’s been a blast for me here the past few years, but I needed a new format for what I’m doing here.  I’m going to keep doing a lot of the same stuff, and might even recycle some material in a bit of a different way, so don’t get mad.

That said, I also wanted to have some flexibility to do some new things, and to be honest, I kind of wanted a new name too.  It’s just time.  So, my new internet home is going to be at  Outlawing AstroTurf.  Just like Crash Davis wanted.  This game’s fun, ok?  Fun, goddamnit.

If you enjoyed this website, check that one out. You’ll see some similarities.

If you didn’t enjoy this website, well, I don’t have words for you.

Keep it real.

Fantastic Fashions – The Pittsburgh Penguins & Yellow

15 Feb
2012-13 O-Pee-Chee - Mario Lemieux Vintage Rookie

2012-13 O-Pee-Chee – Mario Lemieux Vintage Marquee Rookie

Lately, the Pittsburgh Penguins have jumped aboard the retro train a fair bit, but for the most part, they’ve rocked the blue jerseys (light blue and dark blue) from their earliest days in the NHL.

Currently, they don’t have a third jersey, but there’s talk of one reappearing for 2014-15.  What I’d really like to see is a bit more yellow, sported for a couple years in the early 1980’s.  The image above is brought to you courtesy of a young Mario Lemieux.  Now, this uniform would only be complete with the yellow helmet and classy screened-on numbers (see the shine on the 66?), but I’m pretty sure this is something the Penguins can do.  Are you listening, Pittsburgh?

Out of Place – Jarome Iginla

10 Dec
2013-14 O-Pee-Chee - Jarome Iginla

2013-14 O-Pee-Chee – Jarome Iginla

So, here’s the thing.  Jarome Iginla played for the Calgary Flames for a long time, and he was pretty good at playing hockey for them.  That’s the way everyone should remember him.  Tonight, their fans all got to stand up and cheer about how much they loved him, and they played an emotional video and all that stuff.  It was actually kind of good.

Sure, he was drafted by Dallas (Calgary got him and Corey Millen for Joe Nieuwendyk, who was also pretty good) and now he plays in Boston, where they have a pretty good team.  But most people will probably remember him playing for the Flames, and leading them to within a few inches of the Stanley Cup in 2004.  The thing people might not remember is him playing with the Pittsburgh Penguins, for 13 regular season and 15 playoff games in 2012-13.

The weird twist to the Pittsburgh story is that everyone thought he’d been traded to Boston, including, in fact, the Boston Bruins (and quite possibly the Calgary Flames).  But then, when the dust had settled, he was on his way to Pennsylvania to join Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  The Pens ended up losing to those very same Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference Final.  Then, in the offseason, the Bruins signed Iggy as a free agent.  Make sense?  Not really?  Well, the point is, he played for Pittsburgh for a while and I don’t think many people will remember that.  Try to pay attention.


Manly, Magical Mustaches – Pat Borders

19 Nov
1989 Donruss - Pat Borders

1989 Donruss – Pat Borders

So, we are now well into Movember, and a lot of people look creepy.  Pat Borders, the 1992 World Series MVP, is something of a mentor – a legend, if you will – for anyone with a creepy mustache.

A few things you might not know about Pat Borders, besides the fact he thought he looked really, really good in the photo for this baseball card:

-Played for six different teams with whom he played just one season with 150 or fewer at-bats.  Dude got around.
-Won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.
-Was still playing Major League baseball (well, he was playing in Seattle, so Major League is up for debate) in 2005 at the age of 42.

Movember, keeping ordinary people away from toy stores and elementary schools in November for over a decade.

PS. donate to Movember.

Names I Can’t Believe Aren’t Famous – Buddy Biancalana

9 Nov
1986 Topps - Buddy Biancalana

1986 Topps – Buddy Biancalana

As it turns out, the name Buddy Biancalana actually was famous – albeit for only a short time in the mid-1980’s, and mostly because David Letterman made fun of him for being bad at hitting a baseball.  That said, he also ended up finishing second in World Series MVP voting as his Kansas City Royals won the championship in 1985.  That was not as a joke – that was mostly because of his .435 OBP in the seven game series.

If you don’t remember when Buddy Biancalana was famous, you’re certainly not alone.  I just thought he had a funny-sounding name, which is why I started this post.  If you want to have a full grasp of Biancalanamania, read this article from People Magazine, originally published on November 25, 1985.  That was 28 years ago, if you don’t already feel old. 

Also – White Wool?  Is that really what it means?

Badass Beards – Mike Beard*

5 Nov
1976 Topps - Mike Beard

1976 Topps – Mike Beard

Come on man.  Your name is Mike Beard.  It was the mid-70’s and you couldn’t just humour the world by growing a little facial hair?  Maybe something like this?  It’s just so disappointing, nay, wasteful.  The Atlanta Braves drafted you twice, and they’re still waiting for the beard.  Just put the razor down.  Earn it.

* – does not have a real beard, just a wildly misleading name.

Fantastic Fashions – The Philadelphia Blazers

4 Nov
2007-08 In the Game - Bernie Parent

2007-08 In the Game – Bernie Parent

The Philadelphia Blazers are a fairly interesting case study in the World Hockey Association.  Now, I’m not going to get into a whole thing about the WHA, although it really is fascinating.  If you want to know more about it, read The Rebel League by Ed Willes.  If you want to read a half-assed piece of nonsense about one of the league’s franchises, stay here.  The following are a few reasons why you should care about the Philadelphia Blazers:

-They were born as the Miami Screaming Eagles but never played a game there – they moved to Philly before the WHA’s inaugural 1972-73 season.
-They didn’t stay long in Pennsylvania.  They moved west to Vancouver for 1973-74 and 1974-75 before becoming the Calgary Cowboys for two seasons.
-They once made Derek Sanderson the highest paid athlete in the world to play a total of eight games for them.
-After playing two years in Toronto, Bernie Parent’s return to Philadelphia wasn’t with the Flyers, but with the Blazers.  Then he went back to the NHL the next season with the Flyers, and he won a couple of trophies.

And, above it all, they wore those uniforms.  That much orange and that much yellow, mixed with so much creativity in the logo design… you might have missed it, but they made the L into a hockey stick.  I know, your mind is blown.  Go Blazers.

Philadelphia Blazers (WHA)

Newsworthy: The Islanders-Sabres (Questionable) Trade

28 Oct
2012-13 Score - Matt Moulson

2012-13 Score – Matt Moulson

2012-13 Score - Thomas Vanek

2012-13 Score – Thomas Vanek

So, today, the New York Islanders made a very questionable trade.  They traded a soon-to-be 30-year-old scoring winger who wears number 26 who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year to the Buffalo Sabres for a soon-to-be 30-year-old scoring winger who wears number 26 who will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year.

The scoring winger that they traded has 118 goals in 304 games since the start of the 2009-10 season.  The one that they are getting back has 110 goals in 280 games since the start of the 2009-10 season.

The main difference in the trade is that the New York Islanders also traded a first-round pick in 2014 and a second-round pick in 2015 along with Matt Moulson to acquire Thomas Vanek.  Vanek wasn’t going to stay in Buffalo, but I’d argue that there’s no way he’s going to stay on Long Island, either.  Or Brooklyn, in the non-hockey arena they’re going to be playing in soon.

To me, there is no way this trade makes sense for the Islanders.  In honour of this, I’d like to remind you that the New York Islanders have had some of the worst uniforms in NHL history.  See Miroslav Satan and Lubomir Visnovsky looking just absolutely ridiculous in the images below.  Yes, I’ve talked about this before.  I like picking on them.  They look stupid.  I’m not sorry.


2007-08 Upper Deck Artifacts - Miroslav Satan

2007-08 Upper Deck Artifacts – Miroslav Satan

2013-14 Score - Lubomir Visnovsky

2013-14 Score – Lubomir Visnovsky


Then & Now – Ron Washington

30 Sep
1989 Upper Deck - Ron Washington

1989 Upper Deck – Ron Washington

2013 Topps Heritage - Ron Washington

2013 Topps Heritage – Ron Washington

Back then, in 1989, Ron Washington was just a young, old-looking guy staring off into an uncertain future as his playing career wound down, not really sure what was next for him.  Well, I’ll tell you, Wash from 1989: some cocaine, and being one of the “old school” guys with Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s (see around the 0:58 mark).  Then, you’ll come close to winning the World Series, and nobody will be sure whether to credit you for getting the Texas Rangers there, or blame you for them losing.

Now, in 2013, Ron Washington is an old, young-ish-looking guy staring out at the bullpen, looking completely unsure about how to use it (probably because he is completely unsure – that’s where the pitchers sit, right?)  But hey, he’s cool, he’s unique, and people like him.  Sometimes, a lot.

On This Date: Nolan Ryan Struck Greg Myers Out

17 Sep
1990 Topps - Nolan Ryan 5000K (Tex)

1990 Topps – Nolan Ryan 5000K (Tex)

On this date in 1993, Nolan Ryan struck out the 5,714th and final batter of his Major League Baseball career.  The batter was Greg Myers of the California Angels.  Greg Myers was a catcher (see below) and played for a few teams – Toronto, California, Minnesota, Atlanta, San Diego, Atlanta again, Baltimore, Oakland, and Toronto again.  He started and ended his career with the Toronto Blue Jays, somehow hitting .307 with 15 home runs in 2003, 16 years after his debut in 1987, and a few points above his career average of .255.

1992 Pinnacle - Greg Myers

1992 Pinnacle – Greg Myers

Interesting fact about Nolan Ryan: of the four teams he pitched for, he had his highest K/9 inning rate with the Texas Rangers (10.1) from 1989-1993, when he was 42-46 years old.  Maybe he was doing something right.  He never had Tommy John surgery.  Everyone has Tommy John surgery now.  Except Matt Harvey.  But he will soon, don’t you worry your pretty little head.

One more thing about Nolan Ryan: his 5,714 strikeouts put him 839 ahead of Randy Johnson, who sits second overall on the career list.  That would be like someone beating Barry Bonds’ home run record of 762 with a total of 892.  Or, if you aren’t into Barry Bonds’ record being legit, it would be like someone beating Hank Aaron’s record of 755 with a total of 883.  Those are some pretty staggering numbers.

But ya, he struck out Greg Myers on September 17 once.

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