Friday, December 28, 2007

Was Stan Conte One Of The Good Guys?

Some interesting stuff has been coming out about the Dodgers head trainer Stan Conte and his time as trainer with the San Francisco Giants. LA Dodger Talk has the full transcript taken directly from the Mitchell Report.
During spring training, Conte met with Giants general manager Brian Sabean to express his concerns about the presence of Anderson and Shields in the clubhouse, weight room, and other restricted areas. Conte felt strongly that personal trainers should not have such access, particularly where, as here, he viewed the trainers to be unqualified.

Sabean told Conte that if Conte objected to Anderson and Shields being in the clubhouse, Conte should order them out himself. Conte said he would do this if Sabean would support him when Bonds complained, which Conte believed would be the result of his actions. Sabean did not respond to this request for support, leading Conte to believe that Sabean would not do so if Bonds protested. Conte therefore decided to take no action to deny Anderson or Shields access to restricted areas.


Conte recalls that during this series (in August 2002 against Atlanta) a Giants player asked Conte about anabolic steroids. Conte refused to identify the player to us, citing athletic trainer privilege. According to Conte, the player told him that he was considering obtaining steroids from Greg Anderson and wanted to know the health issues associated with the use of steroids. In response, Conte explained at some length the health hazards of steroid use and lectured the player about the unfairness to other players posed by the illicit use of steroids. Conte believed that it was “a good lecture” and that he put considerable doubt in the player’s mind.

Conte stated that he reported the incident to general manager Brian Sabean within an hour of its occurrence. He told Sabean he was concerned that Anderson might be distributing steroids to Giants players. While he refused to identify the player who had approached him, Conte otherwise described the conversation to Sabean in detail. Sabean suggested Conte confront Anderson and Bonds about the matter, which Conte refused to do. In Conte’s view, it was not the responsibility of the athletic trainer to address such an issue.

A culture of corruption within the Giants management? As Mark with LA Dodger Talk says there appears to be no doubt why Conte left the team.

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Collection: Victorian Trade Cards- Tobin Lithographs

Below is one of the rarer and most sought after Baseball trade cards around. They are plainly named Tobin Lithographs after its manufacturer, and were produced in 1887. These cards feature cartoon like pictures of actual ballplayers from the period. This is one of the few trade card sets that actually refers to a specific player. Some of the greatest players from the 19th Century are represented. Players include Smiling Mickey Welch, Tim Keefe, Big Dan Brouthers, Mike King Kelly, Jack Glasscock, Cap Anson, Charlie Ferguson, Ed Andrews, Paul Hines and Jim McCormick.

Collection: Victorian Trade Cards- Baby Talk

19th Century Victorian trade cards with Baseball themes are my favorite type of memorabilia to collect. First of all, they can be very difficult to come across. So the challenge of completing a set is great. More importantly, though, is that these cards can have some of the most charming or slapstick hilarious pictures on them. I've seen cards where they show a team gang tackling an umpire to cartoons of a player getting hit in the face with a ball.
From my story I wrote in September 2006:
Trade Cards are one of the more interesting hobbies to crop up in American history. It originally started in the late 1870's and thrived throughout the rest of the century. It became one of America's early fads and collecting crazes. They started out as business/ advertising cards given away to customers. The name of the establishment would be printed on the front with a simple design around the edges. Soon the designs became more ornate and customers started collecting them to put into scrapbooks. This started the age of Victorian scrapbooking in America.
Baseball themed cards represent an infinitesimally small amount of total trade cards in existence.
The set I'm highlighting from my collection is called H804-1A Baby Talk Black Borders. This is one of three different sets that exist under the Baby Talk genre. It was produced in 1880's and is complete with a total of 10 cards. As the name of the set suggest the cards have titles on the bottom left of the cards that represent the spoken word of children. There are phrases like "Tum on, ets' p'ay ball!" and "No, I Didn' stike at dot!" Most collectors consider it complete at 9, but there is one card, that has no writing on it, (on the bottom right below) that I'm convinced belongs to this set.

Wax Attack: 2006 Topps 1952

This is a card set that uses a classic design with some modern touches. Over the past several years card manufacturers, like Topps, have been going through their archives to develop new sets based on designs from the past. This set below is based on Topps first Baseball set from 1952.

Since the '52 set is one of my favorites I knew I would immediately like the look of this modern set. Within my pack I received a refractor of future Hall of Famer Tom Glavine (below left), but didn't get much of anyone else. Not even a Dodger. The other cards I got include Willie Eyre, Anthony Lerew, Ramon Ramirez, Josh Kinney, Josh Johnson.