Thursday, June 14, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Gordon Beckham has made a new fan

There's something magical about attending a ball game. It doesn't matter the playing level either. The sound of balls cracking off bats, the uninterested whines of kids, and the cat calls of the vendors is enough to distract you from any worry. While I was sitting in my seat watching batting practice it didn't even register that I'm an unemployed college grad, sure I have a part time job, but no way do I want to stay where I'm at with barely enough money to buy a six pack of Oberon. It didn't register that I no longer have to cram for an exam in order to get the passing grade so I can piss away 3 years attending law school and burying myself in even more debt. I pray that the inevitable social collapse will happen within that time period so my debt will be forgotten as the financial institutions smolder and sirens wail. Enough ranting.
I attended a Tigers game when they played the Whitesox which I mentioned in an earlier post concerning my Felix Hernandez ball. After bar hoping in Greektown we stumbled over to Comerica park well before the game started. My girlfriend bought us great seats. 5 rows back from the third base line. I hurried down to the field to catch the Tigers wrap up batting practice in the chance they would stop and talk to fans...spoiler alert they didn't. I was even the creepy guy surrounded by little kids and their dads. Dejected I walked up and spent the 18 dollars for a beer (it wasn't $18 but it was damn close). I walked back down figuring I'd watch the Whitesox take batting practice.They were a lot more interesting to watch. Konerko cracked off home run after home run over the bull pen. It was awesome to see the little kids in hte outfield scrambling over seats. Adam Dunn who made Inge look good last year followed suit. Anyway I heckled the infielders enough that Gordon Beckham threw me over a practice ball. Sure I might have spilled my beer reaching over to grab it, but it was worth it.

The Tigers came back on the field for warm up stretches. Needless to say they still didn't greet any of the fans. Cabby gave an acknowledging hat tip and a wave, and Fielder ran sprints which made it look like time was going in reverse. Out of the Tigers lineup I have to say AJax was probably the coolest giving away warm up balls to the little kids and taking pictures. Raburn was also a nice guy carrying on conversations with fans and promptly signing everything handed his way. It's funny how those are the players that are the coolest. The game was great complete with your typical Tigers at bats. I don't think I saw 18 gidps so that was good, and Peralta hit a walk off home run which was awesome to see. I'll be going back soon, but this time I'll probably stick to trying to meet Andy Dirks and Drew Smyly since the big guys typically ignore everyone.

Friday, May 18, 2012

JV > Weaver

For those of you not in the Detroit area Verlander just pitched a great game, and was 2 outs away from a no-hitter. It would have been his 3rd. He's certainly made my time in Michigan enjoyable. Hopefully he'll continue to dominate this season. Repeat Cy Young perhaps?

I reached a King Felix goal!

Earlier this month in celebration of my graduation I attended a Tigers game. I'll blog about the actual game and what not soon since I've got something really sweet to show off. Anyway The week before I knew the Mariners were in town so I was hoping they would have some memorabilia left over from the 3 game series (which the Tigers lost I might add). I took a look at some reasonably priced gear such as batting helmets, bats, hats, etc. I glanced over at the game used balls and wasn't disappointed. They had an Ichiro foul ball which was way more than I wanted to pay, at $100. If it was a hr then maybe. Right below was a King Felix pitched ball. I had to have it. After shooting the shit with the guy I got a pretty good deal on it. It pays off to be a fan of a mediocre team! Here it is. It's hard to tell in the picture, but it's pretty scuffed up. I'm not sure if it's nail scratches or if it was a ball in dirt. Anyways it looks great up on my shelf.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Guess I have to change the blog name

Not really, but a few months ago I finally pulled a relic. It only took spending $1,000,678.34 at target before it finally happened and the pack wasn't even from there! Anyways I was going through my Christmas stocking, man it has been awhile since I've blogged, and my brother picked me up a couple Topps update packs. My first thought was man this is a large pack. As usual I figured it was a dummy card.
Sifting through Marlins, D-backs, and Gio Gonzalez I found this.

Shitty cell phone picture aside it's a pretty cool card. I know a lot of people think he's a cheat but whatever. It's a nice looking card. I would have been more happy with a JV relic or Mighy but beggars can't be choosers.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Catfish Hunter childhood swag

Most of my baseball memorabilia from when I was good was left at home when I moved away for college. I had a decent size collection of mainly Mariners players, but I remember I had several signed balls that resided on my shelf until we moved to Korea. Since then my parents have moved back to Germany, yet my baseball goodies remained buried away in some box.  Last year when I flew back home for Christmas I was on a mission to find them. Going through dusty boxes I found some of my old pennants, back from when the Mariners were good, and several from the Tacoma Rainiers. I have since lost track of where they have gone, but I did find the balls, and then forgot them.Last week when my parents came to visit my mom finally remembered to bring them so I'll begin to highlight them.

First up is my Jim "Catfish" Hunter ball which I've had several offers for. I believe I got this ball when I was 9 or 10. I'm not too sure on the story behind it. I just know my dad ran into him and he came home with this.

Catfish pitched in the majors from 1965 to 1979 for the Athletics and Yankees. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1987, and is technically my first HoFer. Throughout his lengthy career he amassed  a 224-166 win loss record, not too shabby. His career highlights are impressive: Cy Young in '74, 5x WS winner, 8x All-Star, and threw a perfect game! Holy shit...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blog pimpage

Hey guys I'm working on a new blog that focuses on the Korean Baseball Association. It's in the infant stages right now so it looks like crap, but that will change soon.
Check it out here: toomuch-kimchi

(Shout out to Dennis at toomanymarios for the blog name inspiration)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's that time of the year again.

It's that time of the year again. I dread this part of the season when the Tigers face the Mariners. As a Tacoma transplant living outside of Detroit I'm commonly asked which team am I going to root for? This is like asking me if I like like Black Flag with Henry Rollins or Henry Rollins by himself? It's not an easy decision. I grew up with that Mariners playing in the background to my childhood.
I witnessed the collective gasps of an entire city when Griffey slammed into the outfield wall and broke his wrist. I've seen the hopes of a city reach staggering heights when Edgar stepped up  to bat in the 11th inning. I've seen Judas accept money worth more than an entire team, how's that feel Texas fans? Speaking off Judas I met him as kid when my elementary school got to tour Tacoma Rainiers ball park. A-Rod actually seemed like a nice guy, he signed something of mine which I have since lost. That's life when you're six.The team in the 90s is definitely not the team today. My childhood heroes have since retired. No more free admission for shaving your head on Jay Buhner day. No more Griffey wowing fans with his perfect swing. No more Edgar stepping to the plate in clutch situations.
That's life, the Mariners have gone through their ups and downs and I've sat back and watched the team wallow in their mediocrity for way too many seasons. Luckily there is hope for the future. Felix Hernandez, though losing velocity, is a pitcher every team pines for. I know many Mariners fans will disagree, but I believe we should trade or sell him while his value is high. Maybe we can actually get a someone that can hit, whose name doesn't begin with an I. This isn't the 2000s anymore Ichiro's abilities aren't what they use to be. A stellar pitching staff just need the offense to get them the wins.
Since moving to Michigan almost 5 years ago I fell in love with baseball culture out here. Even in 90s when the Tigers were godawful they still had fans coming out for games at old Tigers Stadium. Recent years they under performed with such a talented lineup. I know many fans want Leyland out and I don't blame them. The man puts Inge into the everyday lineup and then  finds convoluted reasons as to why it had to be done. I understand Inge is the Tigers mascot he was with the team at their absolute worst and at their best. It's the nostalgia, which brings me to the point of this post. I'll always have an affinity for the Mariners, but the nostalgia of the my childhood wont make up for the years of watching awful baseball. Just like the nostalgia for Inge wont make up for his .056 batting average (or whatever it's at now) I hope the Mariners put up a fight against Tigers, but for the next 3 days I will taking off my Mariners cap and cheering for the Tigers.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Recent pick up

It's weird getting back into writing for fun, and on a topic not related to democratizing countries. As you know Valentine's day was only about 2 months ago, but I received an awesome gift, from my awesome girlfriend. A sports memorabilia shop finally opened up in downtown  Ann Arbor. For the most part the merchandise was Michigan Wolverine related. I mean the owner had football programs dating back to the 20s. Unfortunately I'm not much of a football collector. There were baseball goodies there too, much to my surprise. Digging through antique gloves and signed pictures of Denny McClain I found this gem:
(Don't mind my hipster end table or my Tin-Tin comic book.)
Seriously though how awesome is this?! I would have never have thought I'd find an Ichiro bobble head all the way out here in Michigan. He makes a nice addition with Judas(A-Rod) next to him. I really need to start buying some shelves for my expanding collection.
Losing Griffey was tough. I grew up watching him, Edgar, and Buhner putting Seattle on baseball's radar. As a consolation prize Seattle signed some Japanese superstar. We somehow managed to replace the man with the best swing in baseball for one of the best hitters since Pete Rose. It definitely lessened the blow.
I was grateful when my girlfriend picked this up for me when  had my back turned, and made Valentine's day that much better.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Quick update and a graduation gift

Hey guys I apologize for disappearing these last few months. I took a research position which ate up most of my free time, but the opportunity was too good to turn down. Classes are wrapping up and I'll soon be an alumni from one of the greatest universities in the world; the University of Michigan.

Anyway one of my good friends, William from over at Foul Bunt, wanted to get me a gift in celebration. I told him he didn't have to get me anything since he's been sending care packages of all of his Tigers and Mariners cards throughout the semester. He certainly didn't disappoint.
I couldn't believe it when I looked into the box. The Kaline ball was a great addition to my Tigers collection. He also sent me a huge stack of Johnny Damon cards which I'll highlight soon.

Thanks again Will! Let's hope we can work out a deal for Ethier too my team is taking a beating with offense.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pineda to the Evil Empire

At least it's not Felix right? Right?

So I'm sure many of you have read by now that Michael Pineda has gone to the Evil Empire in deal that brought a catcher that can't catch to Seattle. Jesus Montero can crush the ball at the minor league level and in a hitter friendly major league ball park. I hate to see Pineda leave after a year for the Mariners, but the Mariners' brass being the cheap asses they are swapped a young pitching prospect for a hitting prospect to win the fans over. We were never in the running for Fielder, it was all smoke and mirrors. Even if we were gonna make a push for him why would Fielder want to come play for a mediocre team that has consistently squandered talent? Our biggest goal each season is to not finish below the Athletics.  Maybe hitting will pick up this year; a healthy Smoak, Ackley, and Montero could give the Mariners a line up that isn't the joke of the American League.
I guess Mariners fans can rejoice in the fact that hey at least we're not the Pirates.