Skip to main content

Awesome night card, pt. 269: RIP ... again


I haven't done much with my Awesome Night Card series the last two months. It's not easy spinning a post off of a single card. And while I get inspired periodically to produce something meatier than "hey check out this night card!", it usually doesn't get much play because I'm guessing the readership thinks, "oh, here's just another night card again."

So I've moved on and nobody seems to mind.

But it's taken something awful for me to return to why I do these things in the first place.

As you likely know, Royals flamethrower Yordano Ventura was killed in auto accident Saturday night in his native Dominican Republic. He was 25. This is happening far too often.

Ventura was a controversial figure in baseball. He was animated, some would say combatant, and not afraid to provoke. Sure, he could be considered over the top, but basically, he was my kind of player.

As you know, I like pitchers. I like pitchers who are confident in their stuff and are not afraid to actually pitch. I like pitchers who don't care what batters think. I like pitchers who think they're the boss of the pitcher-batter relationship. I like pitchers with style as long as they don't take it too far.

Ventura had style. His pitching motion ended with a high, swinging leg kick. He probably took his bravado too far, provoking in certain situations, although in some cases if he was ignored we wouldn't have the on-field fights we do. But everyone has to pay attention to every little "slight" today.

It's a fact that Ventura's talent helped the Royals win a World Series. He had many fans in K.C. and his native country. They liked his energy. He was one of those beloved people who could draw people to him. It's those kinds of people who can achieve great things.

It's also a fact that Ventura's style made great baseball cards. The above card is one of my favorites of all of 2015. If Stadium Club hadn't been around that year (Ventura has another nice card in that set), I would have been tempted to crown it card of the year.

Strangely, I never dedicated an Awesome Night Card post to it although I have shown the card at least four separate times and praised it just about every time.

So, now, it's an Awesome Night Card, headed to the night card binder.


And so is this card, as miscut as it is.

I don't know the details of Ventura's accident, other than to look up the rate of auto accidents in the Dominican Republic, which is alarming (former player Andy Marte also died in an auto accident the very same day). I hope I'm wrong, but there seems to be an even greater sense of immortality among the young these days. More and more youngsters think they're a superstar. Live fast, die young. As much as I admired Ventura's swagger, the ego is a double-edged sword.

The online community has flipped out about the rate of deaths of celebrities in the last year or so. I can't help but notice that if famous people would take care of themselves a little better, famous people wouldn't be dropping on us as quickly. (Same goes for non-famous people).

We need a few more Tom Hanks. Or at least pay attention more often to the Tom Hanks.

Living slow and dying old is cool, too.

RIP, Ace Ventura. Too young, too young.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Night Card Binder candidate: Yordano Ventura, 2015 Topps, #78, 2014 Topps, #265
Do they make they binder?: They do.

Comments

AdamE said…
Everything I have seen about him away from the field says he was a great kid. I didn't see him as having a big ego, I just saw competitiveness on the field. (and maybe some little man syndrome)

With you being a 70s guy and music lover I can't believe you didn't mention a certain Billy Joel song.
Dave said…
What took me back was Ventura was one of the first to honor the death of Oscar Taveras, who also died of an auto accident in the DR. I remember Ventura in Game 6 of the 2014 World Series pitching with "RIP OT 18" on his cap.
Jamie Meyers said…
I met Ventura after a Wilmington Blue Rocks game in 2012. He was pretty friendly. It appears as though he lost control of his car while driving through a thick fog. While I've never been to the D.R., I have been to other Latin American nations and can easily picture some twisty, difficult to navigate road in poor visibility. Relatively lots of people die in similar mishaps down there.

Popular posts from this blog

This guy was everywhere

It's interesting how athletes from the past are remembered and whether they remain in the public conscious or not.

Hall of Fame players usually survive in baseball conversations long after they've played because they've been immortalized in Cooperstown. Then there are players who didn't reach the Hall but were still very good and somehow, some way, are still remembered.

Players like Dick Allen, Rusty Staub, Vida Blue and Mickey Rivers live on decades later as younger generations pick up on their legacies. Then there are all-stars like Bert Campaneris, who almost never get discussed anymore.

There is just one memory of Campaneris that younger fans most assuredly know. I don't even need to mention it. You know what's coming, even if Lerrin LaGrow didn't.

But there was much more to Campaneris than one momentary loss of reason.

A couple of months ago, when watching old baseball games on youtube hadn't gotten old yet, I was watching a World Series game from…

Some of you have wandered into a giveaway

Thanks to all who voted in the comments for their favorite 1970s Topps card of Bert Campaneris.

I didn't know how this little project would go, since I wasn't installing a poll and, let's face it, the whole theme of the post is how Campaneris these days doesn't get the respect he once did. (Also, I was stunned by the amount of folks who never heard about the bat-throwing moment. Where am I hanging out that I see that mentioned at least every other month?)

A surprising 31 people voted for their favorite Campy and the one with the most votes was the one I saw first, the '75 Topps Campy card above.

The voting totals:

'75 Campy - 11 votes
'70 Campy - 4
'72 Campy - 4
'73 Campy - 4
'76 Campy - 4
'74 Campy - 3
'78 Campy - 1

My thanks to the readers who indulged me with their votes, or even if they didn't vote, their comments on that post. To show my appreciation -- for reading, for commenting, for joining in my card talk even if it might …

Return of the king

(If you haven't voted for your favorite Bert Campaneris '70s card in the last post, I invite you to do so).

So you've been away for a few years and want everyone to know that you're back.

How do you do that?

Do what The Diamond King did when he returned to card blogging last month: Bombard readers with contests and giveaways! Well, you've certainly gotten MY attention, sir!

I'll start with the giveaways first. Since he returned, the Diamond King has issued multiple "Diamond King 9" giveaways, straight out of the chute and rapid fire in the last month-plus. As I've said before, I am very slow to get to these "first come, first serve" giveaways. I used to think "I spend too much time on the computer" and now I realize "I don't spend enough time on the computer at all!"

But I was able to nab two cards out of the many giveaways.


I won this key 1981 Fleer Star Sticker of The Hawk. I have since acquired several more &#…