Are baseball cards back?

When I was growing up, I collected baseball cards, as many kids did in the ’80s and ’90s. I remember Topps, Bowman, Fleer, Upper Deck, and Donruss. I remember reading Beckett magazine and looking up card prices. I remember collecting baseball cards of my favorite player, Andy Van Slyke, and organizing them into a binder that held 100 Van Slyke cards. Trading cards with someone else, buying a complete set, looking for lucrative rookie cards like a Twins Scott Erickson card that I valued…these are all memories that I have.

Alas, like so many others, I have no idea where…


A sci-fi, world building epic

https://www.amazon.com/Saga-Compendium-Brian-K-Vaughan/dp/153431346X

I was an English major and have been a high school English teacher for 15+ years, but until the past couple years, I hadn’t really read too many graphic novels. They weren’t really assigned to me much in school, and they just weren’t something I encountered a lot either as a student or teacher. Two years ago when I started working at a new school, I was assigned to teach a course called Critically Reading Graphic Novels, and it was like a whole new world opened up to me that I that I had been missing out on.

If you…


The best graphic novel I have read in 2021

https://www.hmhbooks.com/shop/books/the-secret-to-superhuman-strength/9780544387652

Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel memoir The Secret To Superhuman Strength is one of my favorite books that I have read in recent years, right up there with Tommy Orange’s There There. The key aspect for a book to really stay with me beyond the reading is that it needs to connect with me personally in some way or change how I see the world. This is definitely the case with Bechdel’s book, as I connected with it over and over, perhaps more so than any other book. …


https://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/article/Alameda-County-agrees-to-sell-its-share-of-14928431.php

When I was growing up, my hometown Philadelphia Phillies played at Veterans Stadium aka The Vet. Going to games at The Vet is a lasting memory for me especially from my high school years. Cheap tickets in the 700 level, rowdy and passionate fans supporting mediocre Phillies teams and the occasionally magic one like the ’93 Phillies, and the proliferation of Phillies fan groups, starting from the Wolf Pack and spawning to groups like Padilla’s Flotilla and Person’s People. …


https://chicago.suntimes.com/2021/3/14/22330747/la-russa-leaning-to-yoan-moncada-in-middle-of-white-sox-lineup

2021 has been a fun season of baseball so far:

  • Shohei Ohtani being legendary
  • Tatis Jr. dominating
  • The Vlad Jr. breakout
  • Wander call-up
  • deGrom channeling ’68 Bob Gibson
  • The surprising SF Giants
  • The Dodgers being mortal
  • Castellanos and Winker
  • Many, many no-hitters

There have been some rough parts too: Acuna Jr. out for the season, Trout’s injury, Trevor Bauer, the whole sticky stuff controversies, but overall baseball has come back strong after last season’s empty stands.

The MLB All-Star Game is tonight in Coors Field, and we were treated to an epic home run derby last night, featuring an exciting…


https://www.si.com/mlb/2021/06/26/fernando-tatis-jr-three-home-runs-padres

At least we had some baseball last year, but compared to 2020’s truncated 60-game season, this year’s season is much more exciting with its full slate of games, plenty of controversies (namely sticky substances), and fans back in full force in the stands. Last year’s season makes it that much sweeter to return to the ballpark or even just listen to a game on the radio.

As we move into July, we’re nearing the mid-point of the season and the All-Star Game, so let’s rank the 5 most compelling and exciting players so far this season. …


One of the best apps I have discovered recently for language learning is called Clozemaster. You can download it for your phone or play on the website on your computer. I look at Clozemaster as a cross between Duolingo and Anki.

Like Duolingo, it’s a gamified, free app to study a language. However, I view it as more of an intermediate level where I see Duolingo as more for beginners. In Clozemaster, you see sentences where a word is missing, and you need to input the correct word. …


https://www.amazon.com/Instructional-Playbook-Translating-Research-Practice/dp/0578578204

I was hooked for the book by the title. Imagine a playbook that can serve as an everyday guide for teachers and instructional coaches. Think about the intensity and passion for a big sports game, and imagine if that same level of excitement, care, and dedication was brought to every school day, every class.

The Instructional Playbook by Jim Knight, Ann Hoffman, Michelle Harris, and Sharon Thomas presents the rationale and philosophy for using playbooks for school leaders, instructional coaches, and teachers. An instructional playbook is a “lean and clean” guide to various important elements in schools, such as instruction…


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35959740-circe

Homer’s The Odyssey is frequently taught in high schools; with its iconic monsters, divine interventions, and Odysseus’ complexities, it makes for epic reading, from classical times to today. Madeline Miller’s Circe (2018) provides a compelling alternative perspective on the male-driven Odyssey and could function as either a companion to The Odyssey or as a replacement to the canonical text. For those Percy Jackson-loving students, Circe can provide further exploration into the classical Greek world from a new perspective. Here are some areas you could explore in teaching Circe:

Greek Mythology Revisited

Greek mythology has always been a weird place, but there is a…


https://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=bat&lg=all&qual=y&type=8&season=2021&month=0&season1=2021&ind=0&team=0&rost=0&age=0&filter=&players=0&startdate=&enddate=

Tuesday 6/23 was an exciting day for MLB, most notably for Wander Franco’s long- awaited debut:

That was very exciting to see from the much-anticipated #1 prospect in MLB, especially if you are a Rays fan or someone who has been holding patiently onto Franco in fantasy, especially dynasty leagues. In addition to his home run, Franco showed excellent plate discipline in his first MLB at-bat, working a walk from an 0–2 count, similar to a classic Juan Soto at bat. …

Michael Sunderland

Oakland, CA. Teaching, learning, sports, and storytelling.

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