Monday, 16 January 2017

74 - Vinny Castilla

Front photo: Fielding the ball.

Back photo: Running the bases.

Better photo?: Easily the back photo, since you can see the distinctive wall of Wrigley as well as a player making a defensive play as Castilla heads to third.

Ties to my personal collections: When I bought a box of Hometown Heroes to send to the Super Traders, Castilla was the only player I ended up sending out, as the rest of the players were on unclaimed teams.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 16

Wiki-facts: "In 2008, he was a player-manager for the Naranjeros de Hermosillo in the Mexican Pacific League." His entry might have the worst photo on it for a notable player.

Google it: Nothing interesting on the first page.

How was his stike shortened 1994? .331 AVE with 3 HR and 18 RBI over 52 games.

Birthday boy:  July 4, 1967. Vinny Castilla may have been born on that particular 4th of July, but nobody else in the *-reference sites was. Over in wikiland, Canadian TV personality Andy Walker (G4Tech TV) is the most familiar name to me listed on that date.

Up Next: 75 - Andujar Cedeno

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

73 - Cris Carpenter

73 - Cris Carpenter

Front photo: Pitching.

Back photo: Pitching.

Better photo?: Pretty much a draw here. But if they are from the exact same pitch, that's an interesting pairing.

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 4

Wiki-facts: "Cris Carpenter now works at Gainesville High School, in Gainesville, Georgia as a social studies teacher."

Google it: Only one of the options on the first page refer to fellow Cardinals alum Chris Carpenter.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Went 2-5 with a 5.03 ERA. Would not play in the majors in 1995, but would finish his career in 1996 with a one month stint in Milwaukee.

Birthday boy:  April 5, 1965. Nobody at any of the *-reference was born on that date. The only person at wikipedia's April 5th entry that was born that date was Turkish soccer player/manager Aykut Kocaman.

Up Next: 74 - Vinny Castilla

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

72 - Ken Caminiti

Front photo: Sliding in, dirt flying, and beating the tag with the ball visible at the side of the photo.

Back photo: Casually throwing the ball.

Better photo?: Beautiful framing on the front to getthe baseball visible - an easy victory for the front.

Ties to my personal collections: None.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 15

Wiki-facts: Died the same day as actor Christopher Reeve.

Google it: I'm going to link to a video of this defensive gem, since the rest of the stuff on the first page dealt with his death.

How was his stike shortened 1994? 18 HR and 75 RBI with a .283 average. He'd be off to San Diego for the next season.

Birthday boy: I don't write this up for players who have passed away.

Up Next: 73 - Cris Carpenter

Saturday, 3 December 2016

71 - Rob Butler

71 - Rob Butler

Front photo: Heading towards first.

Back photo: The follow-through of a swing.

Better photo?: Nothing too spectacular for back-to-back posts, although both give the vibe of coming from the exact same plate appearance. A slight nod do the front photo.

Ties to my personal collections: Pictured as a Blue Jay - would also fit into my mini-collection of MLB Canadians.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 8

Wiki-facts: Spent 5 seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Inter-County baseball league's Toronto Maple Leafs.

Google it: Runs a baseball academy in Ajax, Ontario. That's just a little bit east down the 401 from Toronto.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Batted .176 with 5 RBI over 41 games. Those were his last games with the Jays until 1999.

Birthday boy: April 10, 1970. That wasn't a good day for Beatles fans, as Paul McCartney left the group, effectively breaking up the band. NFLers J.J. McCleskey and Sean Gilbert were born that date as well. No NBAers were born that date, but NHL tough guy Enrico Ciccone was.

Up Next: 72 - Ken Caminiti

Friday, 25 November 2016

70 - Brett Butler

70 - Brett Butler

Front photo: Against the Wrigley ivy.

Back photo: Doing the running man.

Better photo?: Close, but the ivy is always a good tie-breaker. Both also give a nice look at the '52' memorial patch for former Dodger Tim Crews.

Ties to my personal collections: Would go on to play for the Mets.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 19.

Wiki-facts: In May 1996, Butler learned that he was suffering from squamous cell carcinoma of the tonsils, a type of cancer which only rarely involves the tonsils. (...) he returned to the Dodgers' lineup in September of the same year—defying the predictions of those who had speculated he would never be able to play again.

Google it: 9 out of the 10 results on the first page refer to the comedienne. I don't think the baseball Butler ever allegedly said Walt Disney's last words were "Whatever you do, don't let the Jews get the place."

How was his stike shortened 1994?

Birthday boy: June 15, 1957. Nobody in baseball history matches up, although Wade Boggs would arrive in this world exactly one year later. The only person in the *-reference world to share that birthdate with Brett Butler is Frank Pollard, a running back for the Steelers in the 1980s.

Up Next: 71 - Rob Butler

Saturday, 19 November 2016

69 - Jeromy Burnitz

69 - Jeromy Burnitz

Front photo: Casually fielding a ball.

Back photo: At the plate.

Better photo?: A rather bland competition. I guess the relaxed fielding photo is somewhat rarer.

Parallel: Silver Signature

Ties to my personal collections: Is a Met. Had an autograph in a recent Archives Fan Favorites set, but was a Brewer there.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 6

Wiki-facts: During a slump in May 2006, he held an interview in order to apologize for failing to run out a grounder, then joked about the challenges that his team would face during the rest of the season, saying, "I'm your Highest-Paid Free Agent. That, in and of itself, should tell you the big picture that the team's in.". I must say, if it were May and I heard a player on a team say that, it wouldn't inspire me to buy tickets the rest of the way through the season.

Google it: Hit a walk-off homer in the first interleague game at County Stadium in Milwaukee.

How was his stike shortened 1994? Batted .238 with 3 HR and 15 RBI over 45 games. He'd be off to Cleveland for 1995, but return to the Mets in 2002.

Birthday boy: April 15, 1969. No other MLB alum were born that date. In hockey, Jimmy "Let's trade Hasek" Waite was. In the NFL, Mike Jones was born that date. He's best known as the guy who made the game-saving tackle of Kevin Dyson to give the game to the Rams, and is forever immortalized in the famous photo(s) of the Dyson's failed stretch to the end zone.

Up Next: 70 - Brett Butler

Sunday, 6 November 2016

68 - John Burkett

68 - John Burkett

Front photo: Pitching.

Back photo: Pitching.

Better photo?: It looks like he's smiling in the front photo, so I'll vote for that one.

Ties to my personal collections: Was once part of a trade that included Ryan Dempster, who makes numerous appearances in my CanCon collection.

Paragraphs in wikipedia entry: 3

Wiki-facts: "Burkett is also a part-time professional bowler, and has 12 perfect games to his credit." His bowling acumen was also featured on a 1992 Pinnacle card.

Google it: His twitter avatar is that 1992 Pinnacle card.

How was his strike shortened 1994? Went 6-8, but his ERA was a respectable 3.62, down .03 from the 1993 when he picked up 22 wins.

Birthday boy: November 28, 1964. Craig Wilson (the Cardinals guy, not the Pirates early 00's OFer) was born that date. NBAer Roy Tarpley, who sadly had basketball career derailed by drug and alcohol addiction, before his death in Jan 2015 was born that date as well. No NFL or NHLers were born 11/28/64. Outside the sporting world, the Mariner 4 spacecraft was launched on its way to Mars.

Up Next: Jeromy Burnitz