Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Denny McClain, Denny McClain...

there will never be another like Denny McClain---Ernie Harwell

Over the summer Denny McClain made a stop at a Chas Riverdogs game to sign and sell copies of his new book, I Told You I Wasn't Perfect. I'll review the book later on. McClain seemed like a nice enough guy, but the book really complicated that picture. At any rate, let's say I did a lot more reading about him this summer than I otherwise would have. The night of the game I was simply excited to meet the game's last 30-game winner with my dad, who reared me on stories of McClain's '68 season. Somehow the quick flameout thereafter never came up, but I digress.
I had to place an emergency COMC order to land this card since I called virtually every card shop in driving distance that I knew of and all of them said they had no Denny McClain cards. I then took a trip to the local (30 minutes away!) and, lo and behold, there were a few of these hiding out. I ended up with 4 of them and gave some away to the kids with me in line who had no McClain cards. Anyway, it's a great 1970 addition to  my Topps All-Time Project. 

McClain was sensational back in the day, something that gets overshadowed by the 30-game-winner memory and, well, lots of other things. 9 Shutouts is insane.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day 2: Who is this guy? Contest

Day Two of the Contest over here.

Chunter has a great tip: it IS at a Chas Riverdogs game.

Leave an answer over on the original post.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Rain Delay Contest: Who Is That?!

Going on a trip after a long, worked-filled, awesome summer. 

Funny thing is, I ended up in no less than 7 rain delays, including last Friday and Saturday. The Saturday game was supposed to be a day/night double header, but ended up being a rain-shortened 1st game and a cancelled 2nd. Booo.

Well, not really. One of my favorite things is scoring games, which allows me to be pretty myopic about what I pay attention to once the anthem has been sung and pitches are being thrown. Rain delays give me an opportunity to explore other goings on in the park. I almost always have a blast.

There will be a more expansive post on the park next week once I'm re-settled, but until then, who is this guy?
I know, and at least two bloggers I've been corresponding with lately SHOULD know (keep quiet!), but I'll throw it out to the rest of you for fun. Winner will get something cool TBD.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Throwing (Through) Smoke: Lowell Palmer

On my final trip to the LCS (a site that rendered much more affordable once the guy told me the prices on the cards were 1/2 of the sticker), I grabbed this cool looking Lowell Palmer card.

Now, I'm not the first guy to make such a discovery. The Fleer Sticker Project has produced the definitive post on this card and all-thing-Lowell-Palmer not once, not twice, but three times. ESPN the Magazine even linked to one of his meditations on this card's awesomeness.

As evidenced by a lifetime K/BB ratio that approaches 1 (239/202) and the fact that he plunked 23 batters in 106 lifetime appearances, Palmer had something of a control problem. Despite what you might think based on the photo this is not, apparently, because Palmer was MLB's first blind pitcher.

I'd like to think the sunglasses point to our own inner fears, in this case Lowell's being all of 21 and finding himself on a mound in the big leagues. Like the nut jobs you see wearing sunglasses at poker tournaments, Lowell's shades try to cover up the fact there are moments when he's scared sh!tless. A deception that all the more points out the state of scared-sh!tlessness. He looks awesome, and that's the point. Behind the awesomeness is a guy who's struggling to get the ball over the plate.

If you've seen the film Bang the Drum Slowly, there's a moment where the pitcher Henry Wiggin tells his catcher Bruce Pearson about how he gets through days when he knows he doesn't have his best stuff. Perason tells Wiggin that Wiggin has a confidence in his own abilities that Person himself lacks. Wiggin responds that's nonsense, on those days "It's pure bullshit gets me through."

Whether it's the fictional Henry Wiggin or the actual Lowell Palmer, there's a lot of truth in that.

Have a good one everybody and goodnight Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

CC went all "Pete Rose versus Ray Fosse" on some dude

I finally grabbed a copy of the 2012 Topps CC, a card that still gives me chills every time I look at it.
I mean wow. CC is absolutely blowing up the catcher for the Royals on a classic play-at-the-plate. And let's not forget, CC was a big-time football prospect coming out of high school, apparently to the point that ESPN produced an article conjecturing whether or not CC going to Nebraska could have ultimately saved a former coach's job there. I know: ESPN articles full of wild conjecture are about as rare as Area 51 UFO conspiracy websites. Point taken. All the same, dude knows how to lay the beat on someone, and it's amazing everyone walked away from this.

CC's been turning it up a bit after a slow start back from an extended trip to the DL (now at 284/314/506), but he's taken quite a beating from a number of folks in the interim. Bobby V says CC doesn't need TJS. CC was called a racial slur at a minor league game for which the heckler, a cop, was eventually fired

At any rate, need any proof CC is a guy who leaves it all on the field? Thanks, 2012 Topps.

Have a good one everybody and good night Pumpsie Green, wherever you are!