Thursday, July 29, 2010

My latest Strasburg card

I sure do write about this guy a lot, don't I?

Hopefully, this is the last time.

While everyone is talking about Strasburg on the Million Card site or in a complete 2010 Topps set or in Topps U&H or whatever, I went the simple route and bought the Syracuse Chiefs team set for a rather inflated 10 bucks.

That's 33 cents per card. Or maybe it's 5 dollars for the Strasburg card ...

... another $2.50 for the Drew Storen card, and 9 cents each for 28 scrubs.

This Strasburg card is staying with me. Not that it's rare or anything. There were more than a few being sold at the Syracuse Chiefs' game last night. And here was the vendor's chant as he walked up and down the aisles:

"Get your scorecards and baseball cards.
Strasburg right on top."

And Strasburg is. They've got all the other cards in alphabetical order, except for Strasburg, who is conveniently out front.

That was the highlight of my pregame purchasing. Once the players took their positions, I was focused on the game -- Indianapolis Indians at Syracuse Chiefs. Yes, I likes to keep score.

It was a good thing that I was paying attention, because I witnessed the most action-packed top of the first inning that I have seen in person in my entire life. Here is my meandering play-by-play:

Jason Marquis was on a rehab start with the Washington Nationals. My first impression of him is that he is shockingly short. He's listed as being 6-foot-1. I don't believe it.

The first batter was someone by the alias of Brian Friday (I had a hard time believing anything that happened in this game). Friday -- if that is his real name -- walked.

The next batter was "whatever happened to Akinori Iwamura?" Well, he's batting second and playing third base for the Indianapolis Indians.

Or, at least he was.

Iwamura hit a high chopper between the mound and first base. Both Marquis and Syracuse first baseman Jason Botts charged after the ball. Botts grabbed it, twirled and tossed to late-arriving second baseman Chase Lambin. Since Lambin was late, he had to leap to his left for the throw. He proceeded to leap directly into Iwamura who was crossing first base. Lambin bowled over Iwamura, lost the ball, and I thought for 15 seconds that Iwamura was dead. He lay there on his back absolutely still. The only thing that made me think that he wasn't dead, and maybe just paralyzed for life, was there were only 5 people surrounding him instead of both teams. A couple minutes went by and Iwamura was sitting up. A couple more minutes went by and he was standing up. Eventually, he walked back to the dugout, but didn't return to the game. I think he must've gotten knocked out. Quite the collision.

OK, men on first and second. The next batter, Alex Presley, gets hit by the pitch. Violence everywhere. Bases are loaded. Rehab start is not going well for Mr. Marquis.

The next batter is Brandon Moss, and Moss did what any good clean-up hitter does. He hit a grand slam. Don't let his dorky running gait on this OPC card fool you. That ball was scalded to center field. Very impressive. And Marquis is hating this rehab start with a vengeance.

The next batter is Jeff Clement. Yes, the same Clement whose autographed card I pulled in A&G. If I had known I was going to see him so soon, I would have suspended my rule about 40-year-olds flagging down autographs of players half their age to get my AUTOGRAPHED card AUTOGRAPHED. That would be cool. Do people do this? I'm sure they do. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because I mailed this card to Heartbreaking Cards a mere couple of hours before I left for the game.

So Clement proceeds to line a missile OFF OF MARQUIS' FOOT. Marquis turns to face me -- or my general direction -- lets out a gasp of pain and crumples to the ground in front of the mound. More player-surrounding ensues. I don't think Marquis is dead this time, just unable to walk because his foot is shattered in 8,000 pieces. My daughter, by the way, never wants to play baseball ever, thanks to this game.

Shockingly, Marquis is helped to his feet and stays in the game.

The next batter, Jim Negrych, bunts. What a sweetheart. Marquis lurches off the mound, but the third baseman gets to it first and throws out Negrych, and justice prevails.

Marquis responds by striking out the next two batters!

Marquis started the second inning with two more strikeouts and lasted until the sixth before being taken out. A rather impressive comeback.

The Chiefs also came back in the eighth inning.

Pete Orr started a two-out rally with a triple to center field after his foul pop was dropped in a collision between the catcher and third baseman. This guy is the definition of a career minor leaguer. But he's so gosh darn likeable.

Then Lambin, after knocking Iwamura out of commission, clobbers a tying two-run home run.

We didn't see the home run, but heard the roar of what remained of the crowd as we headed back to our vehicle. It's the first time I ever left a game early, but it had been raining hard since the sixth inning (we pleasantly waited out the first rainstorm in the second and third innings) and lightning was going off everywhere. We watched two innings from the concourse until the bugs ate us alive.

We reached the parking lot and that was when I discovered my car wouldn't start. You know that car commercial when the woman hammers her steering wheel as rain comes down all around her vehicle? That was me, complete with swallowed swear words because there was a youth in the car.

Fortunately, we got the car going before the game ended and the crowd got out. I thank Indianapolis for that. They scored two runs in the ninth to stretch out the game and we were out of there.

Oh, and we got a free taco. Because the designated Taco Bell loser, or whatever they call him, struck out, which he must do if everyone in the stadium is to get a taco. You would not believe how much people in the stands want a free taco.

All in all, not a bad night. Certainly interesting.

I even got a close look at Kevin Mench and promptly evaluated whether "Shrek" has the largest head in baseball.

Verdict? Yup.

After a long journey home, I signed on to my favorite blogs, made a quick run through a few of them and discovered a new acquistion for my favorite team:

Hello, Scott Podsednik.

Can you pitch?

Or, possibly just as important, can you catch?

(Goodbye, Lucas May)


  1. O Shrekie! We miss your big head down here in Texas! Sounds like you had a good, if soggy, time.

  2. Sounds like a pretty good game, minus the rain.

  3. thanks for posting - I wasn't aware Syracuse's team set included him. I bought Harrisburg thinking that would be his only minor league card set.

    I'll have to pass on the syracuse set - it's $5 more than my Triple-A team charges for its team set plus the image is the same as the one used in my 2010 International League Top Prospects set. IMHO, it's the most visually appealing Strasburg card image I've seen to date.

    BTW, are you collecting the hottest PCL prospect, Rojo Johnson? His rookie card can be found in the PCL Top Prospects set. ;)