Friday, June 12, 2009
Why I'm showing this card again
Scout Larry Pardo responded to my post here. He didn't like it very much. I can see where he's coming from. I called this one of the worst cards of 2009. He thought it was indictment of the scouting profession. He stuck up for his job. He belittled my blog. (Don't worry. Working in newspapers, I'm used to this stuff).
You might want to go back and read the comments. But if you're lazy, let me just say, like I did in the comments, that I have nothing against scouts or the scouting profession. Being a scout sounds like a great idea, just like sportswriting sounded like a great idea to me as a youngster. Unfortunately, much like sportswriting, scouting doesn't pay much, it involves long hours, and requires endless travel and time away from family. When I was around 12 or 13, I read Roger Angell's article titled "Scout," in which he followed around a scout for the Angels, Ray Scarborough. That article stayed with me. And since that time, I have had the chance to talk to scouts while covering various levels of baseball.
My post was simply a criticism of yet another series of non-player cards in a set of cards featuring baseball players. That's all. Mr. Pardo says he's honored to be in the 2009 Bowman set. I understand that. Perhaps if I wasn't pulling cards picturing microwave ovens or Fidel Castro out of packs so often, a scout card wouldn't bother me. It's all a matter of perspective.
You also might be interested to know that Mr. Pardo says he did indeed get Ryan Braun drafted and signed by the Brewers. And the 2005 game mentioned on the card back, in which Ryan Braun fielded a ball hit by Juan Pierre, actually did take place. It was a spring training game in which Braun's University of Miami team played Pierre's Florida Marlins. (The confusing reference to "UAB's Juan Pierre" apparently was added after the fact. Mr. Pardo says some of his copy was edited).
So, yes, we do need to give Larry Pardo some credit for getting Ryan Braun to the big leagues. I'm sorry I compared his profession to ticket scalping, although it was done completely in jest. I hope he called me a moron in jest (but he probably didn't).
I'm not removing the card from the "Worst Card of 2009 Candidates" because it still is, in the eyes of this collector, not the reason I pay good money to buy cards. But at least Mr. Pardo helped me look at the card a little bit differently.
And, yes, it's a fine photo. Now, folks at Topps, can I get an autographed card of Ryan Braun?