Saturday, June 1, 2013

What's the 411?

I was aimlessly wandering through my blogs the other day. It's the only way I can explain how I discovered this.

I was looking at the stats of my completed 1975 Topps (it's far out, man) blog, which have been pretty consistent at 50 or 60 views a day as I haven't posted anything there in a year-and-a-half.

I noticed a monstrous spike in viewership that occurred on Wednesday. Since spikes like this are unusual on dormant blogs, I investigated a little and noted that the spikes could be attributed to folks clicking on the entry for George Mitterwald, a forgotten catcher for the Twins and Cubs in the '70s.

Normally this means some wildly popular website has linked to an entry of mine for whatever quirky reason. But that was not the case this time.

No, the reason that people were reaching my blog of random facts and personal musings was because of the Cubs game against the White Sox that day. Dioner Navarro, a former Dodger, hit three home runs that game to become the first catcher in Cubs history to hit three home runs in a game since George Mitterwald.

And this caused a whole bunch of youngsters (because who could possibly not know who George Mitterwald was unless they were a youngster?) to suddenly start googling George Mitterwald. Who the heck was George Mitterwald?

It turns out that if you do google Mitterwald, my '75 Topps blog entry on him is the fifth thing listed. It's right after Mitterwald's baseball-reference entry, his wikipedia entry, an images listing (in which the '75 card I scanned is featured), and some Facebook thingy.

That kind of alarmed me. I'm the fifth guy in the world that you check when you need to know something about George Mitterwald? Isn't there somebody in Chicago that knows something more about him?

Good thing I mentioned Mitterwald's feat in that post. (I also linked to a report in which he said he had a hangover when he did it).

But back to the alarmed thing.

When I do these blog posts, I try to research them a little bit and I try to make sure the information is accurate. But I have no intention of it being "The Definitive Record" of baseball facts. I'm not the New York Times. (I realize that the world is different now and there may not be any media source that is considered the most reliable anymore). I'm just a guy who likes baseball cards and tries to make sure the facts are kind of correct just because that's my job in real life.

But maybe others look at these blogs as a daily paper, a place to go to get information that they can trust.

Such responsibility.

That doesn't mean I'm going to change things. I'm not going to start religiously checking and rechecking and triple-checking information like I do in my job. I don't have that kind of time and these blogs still aren't paying their way. So I suggest that if you really, really want to know something, go to a few different places besides one of my nostalgic blogs.

Oh, and in a bit of serendipity (or is it synchronicity?), here is the card number for the Mitterwald that everyone was clicking on:

I'm just filled with information.


  1. Not only is the card numbered 411, but the photo shows George Mitterwald wiping away a tear of joy at all this sudden attention.

  2. Great cartoon.... a banjo hit. Only one I ever heard use that term was my Uncle Ralph. Usually in reference to a Mark Belanger single.

  3. On top of that, I'm reading this in the middle of Ohio Amish country,on a hotel computer,while on an anniversary retreat with my wife.

  4. More than half of my blog hits are based on a Mount Rushmore photo I used a couple of years ago.