Thursday, May 17, 2018

#81 Aaron Nola - Philadelphia Phillies

Player: Aaron Nola (Baseball Reference) (Wikipedia)
Card Number: 81 (Trading Card Database)
Division: National League East
Position: P
Jersey Number: 27
RC/Future Stars/Topps Rookie Cup: No

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 26: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park on May 26, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Reds won 5-2. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Game Date: May 26, 2017
Opponent: Cincinnati Reds
Stadium: Citizens Bank Park
Home/Away: Home
Game Outcome: Reds 5, Phillies 2
Win/Loss: Loss
Player Game Line: 6 IP, 6 Hits, 5 Earned Runs, Loss
Photographer: Hunter Martin (Personal Website)
New Team/Photoshopped?: No

Birthdate: June 4, 1993
Birthplace: Baton Rouge, LA
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB Service Years: 3
Social Media Handles: (Twitter) (Instagram)

This is Nola's third consecutive year as part of the Opening Day set beginning in 2016.

Nola had the same card for Series 1 and the Phillies Factory Team Set but also had a short printed photo variation in Series 1 as well.

Something I learned because of this card: Yesterday I noticed a couple of Tennessee connections but with Aaron Nola it was that he attended Louisiana State University, which has come up a couple of times already as well. Mikie Mahtook and Andrew Stevenson, two guys I've already profiled also attended and I see two more on the list coming up. College was not something I was tracking, but I might add it in.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

#124 Nicky Delmonico - Chicago White Sox

Player: Nicky Delmonico (Baseball Reference) (Wikipedia)
Card Number: 124 (Trading Card Database)
Division: American League Central
Position: OF
Jersey Number: 30
RC/Future Stars/Topps Rookie Cup: RC

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 16: Nicky Delmonico #30 of the Chicago White Sox homers during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 16, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the White Sox 5-4. (Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Game Date: August 16, 2017
Opponent: Los Angeles Dodgers
Stadium: Dodger Stadium
Home/Away: Away
Game Outcome: Dodgers 5, White Sox 4
Win/Loss: Loss
Player Game Line: 3/4, 2 Solo Home Runs
Photographer: Rob Leiter (Website)
New Team/Photoshopped?: No

Birthdate: July 12, 1992
Birthplace: Knoxville, TN
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
MLB Service Years: 1
Social Media Handles: (Twitter) (Instagram)

This is Delmonico's first appearance in the Opening Day brand.

As mentioned in the Stats post about rookies, Delmonico has a different photo than the one used in Series 1. The one above was also used for the White Sox Factory team set.

Something I learned because of this card: I didn't realize Tennessee was such a hotbed of baseball talent. I think Delmonico is the 3rd or 4th guy I've profiled already from TN and now I wouldn't be surprised if there were a couple more by the time I'm finished.

Nicky's dad, Rod Delmonico was the head baseball coach at the University of Tennessee's from 1990-2007 and also coached the Netherlands national team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

#69 Jacob deGrom - New York Mets

Player: Jacob deGrom (Baseball Reference) (Wikipedia)
Card Number: 69 (Trading Card Database)
Division: National League East
Position: P
Jersey Number: 48
RC/Future Stars/Topps Rookie Cup: No

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 30: Pitcher Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches in an MLB baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 30, 2017 at CitiField in the Queens borough of New York City. Mets won 2-1. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Game Date: June 30, 2017
Opponent: Philadelphia Phillies
Stadium: Citi Field
Home/Away: Home
Game Outcome: Mets 2, Phillies 1
Win/Loss: Win
Player Game Line: 7 IP, 3 Hits, 1 Run, 1, BB, 12 K's, Win
Photographer: Paul Bereswill (Website)
New Team/Photoshopped?: No

Birthdate: June 19, 1988
Birthplace: DeLand, FL
Bats: Left
Throws: Right
MLB Service Years: 4
Social Media Handles: (Twitter)

This is deGrom's four year appearing in the Opening Day brand, and 5th base card overall including the short printed photo variation in 2015.

There is no deGrom card in Series 1, so this might be a Series 2 preview. The same card was used for the Mets Factory Team Set.

Something I learned because of this card: I vaguely remember the story, but I was reminded that deGrom cut his trademark long hair this past offseason. I also learned from his Wiki entry that deGrom has a Morkie as a pet, which is a crossbreed of a Yorkshire Terrier and a Maltese. I found this interesting because I myself have the same breed, one named Ivy.

Monday, May 14, 2018

#108 Marcus Stroman - Toronto Blue Jays

Player: Marcus Stroman (Baseball Reference) (Wikipedia)
Card Number: 108 (Trading Card Database)
Division: American League East
Position: P
Jersey Number: 6
RC/Future Stars/Topps Rookie Cup: No

TORONTO, ON - JUNE 28: Marcus Stroman #31 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the first inning during MLB game action against the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on June 28, 2017 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Game Date: June 28, 2017
Opponent: Baltimore Orioles
Stadium: Rogers Centre
Home/Away: Home
Game Outcome: Blue Jays 4, Orioles 0
Win/Loss: Win
Player Game Line: 7.2 IP, 5 Hits, 1 BB, 8 K's, 0 Runs, Win
Photographer: Tom Szczerbowski (Website) (Instagram)
New Team/Photoshopped?: No

Birthdate: May 1, 1991
Birthplace: Medford, NY
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
MLB Service Years: 4
Social Media Handles: (Twitter) (Instagram)

This is Stroman's third Opening Day appearance and second consecutive.

Stroman was omitted from Series 1 but this horizontal card was in the Blue Jays Factory Team Set. It'll be interesting to see which card Topps uses for Series 2.

Something I learned because of this card: I didn't pay much attention to the World Baseball Classic but he helped bring home the gold medal for Team USA as the Classic MVP. Also, as a shorter guy myself, I found it interesting that Stroman is listed as one of just 6 pitchers under 5'10" in the 21st century to start a game.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Supplemental Sunday - 1998 Opening Day Page 2

As I mentioned two weeks ago, I'm revisiting the inaugural Opening Day set on the occasional Sunday to help supplement the Stats posts. This week we have binder page 2 of the 1998 set.

The names aren't very legible on some so here they are individually.

Matt Williams was a multi-time All-Star, Gold Glover and Silver Slugger over his career and went to the World Series with all three teams he played for (1989 Giants, 1997 Indians and 2001 Diamondbacks).

Carlos Baerga is sporting the "all-white" alternates, including a white cap that was only used in 1997. Their main home uniforms have pinstripes. They've also worn the all white uniforms with combinations of black, blue and orange caps. Baerga was a 3x All-Star and 2x Silver Slugger with the Clevelenad Indians.

Mo Vaughn was a 3x All-Star and earned MVP votes in six consecutive years from 1993-98, including winning the award in 1995.

I remember there was a fuss over Chan Ho Park in the collecting world just as I was exiting the hobby the first time in the mid-90's. I didn't realize he pitched all the way into until 2010, which was about a year or so before I came back. Weird to think I missed just about his entire career.

The only Hall of Famer on the page is the Big Hurt, Frank Thomas. A 5x All-Star, Thomas was also a back-to-back MVP winner in 1993-94. He smashed 521 home runs over 19 seasons despite never leading the league. Although it did help him lead the league in walks four times, probably a lot of intentionals. Or even the unintentional intentional.

The Brewers had three cards in the 1998 set and one of them went to John Jaha, who played just 46 games for the 1997 squad and 73 in 1998. Interesting choice with plenty of players who played in more games and were returning the next season. 

Steve Trachsel was an All-Star in 1996, but continued to play for an awful Cubs team in 1997. His record reflected that, going 8-12 before bouncing back with 15 wins in 1998 as the Cubs went from worst in the National League to the Wild Card.

Never been a fan of Jeff Kent. No further commentary here.

How old is this set? Scott Rolen was a Topps All-Star Rookie here following his 1997 Rookie of the Year season and he's already been on the Hall of Fame ballot after being being a 7x All-Star and 8x Gold Glover. Unfortunately for him, he only received 10.8% of the votes which is a long way from the required 75% minimum. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Opening Day Stars #ODS-AS Antonio Senzatela

Player: Antonio Senzatela (Baseball Reference) (Wikipedia)
Card Number: ODS-AS (Trading Card Database)

CLEVELAND, OH - AUGUST 09: Colorado Rockies pitcher Antonio Senzatela (49) delivers a pitch to the plate during the first inning of the Major League Baseball Interleague game between the Colorado Rockies and Cleveland Indians on August 9, 2017, at Progressive Field in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Game Date: August 9, 2017
Opponent: Cleveland Indians
Stadium: Progressive Field
Home/Away: Away
Game Outcome: Rockies 3, Indians 2 (F/12)
Win/Loss: Win
Player Game Line: 5 IP, 5 Hits, 2 Earned Runs, 3 BBs, 5 Ks, No Decision
Photographer: Frank Jansky (Personal Website) (Twitter)
New Team/Photoshopped?: No

Senzatela has a base card in the Opening Day set so we'll dig more into the demographics and other things I track when I get to that post.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Team Traditions & Celebrations #TTC-YD Y.M.C.A Dance

Team Traditions & Celebrations: Y.M.C.A. Dance
Card Number: TTC-YD (Trading Card Database)
Division: American League East

Baseball: View of grounds crew members singing YMCA song on field wearing No 42 t-shirts to honor the final home game for New York Yankees Mariano Rivera (42) during game vs Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Bronx, NY 9/26/2013 CREDIT: Porter Binks (Photo by Porter Binks /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images)
Photo Date: September 26, 2013
Photographer: Porter Binks (Website)(Instagram)

I have never been to Yankee Stadium so this team tradition was new to me. I believe infields are generally dragged by the grounds crew at most stadiums after the third and sixth innings to keep that dirt light and fluffy. I feel like most teams are doing something on the jumbotron or maybe some mascot shenanigans to divert attention from this task but I guess the Yankees have embraced and make the grounds crew a part of the show. After twenty plus years, this tradition probably isn't going anywhere anytime soon.