Daily Archives: April 28, 2010

Dear Mr. Rodriguez

Written By Michael Barry, of Baseball Underground

Dear Mr. Rodriguez,

I have been a fan of yours for a very long time.  I followed your rise to stardom when you broke into the major leagues with the Seattle Mariners.  I defended you when you stood by and chatted with your pal Derek Jeter during the Mariners-Yankees brawl in the 1990’s.  I cheered for you when you played with the Texas Rangers and came to your defense when you organized the trade to the Yankees.  While Yankee fans booed you from the rafters of the “House that Ruth built,” I sang your praises and told every Yankee fan that they had no idea the player they had.  When you tested positive for steroids, I came to your defense and refused to lump you with the likes of Bonds and McGwire.

However, last night, Mr. Rodriguez, I turned in my Alex Rodriguez Fan Club card.  I tore it up and flushed it.  Last night was the final straw.  Last night, you ran not around, not across, but over the pitcher’s mound, refused to acknowledge any idea that this was against baseball protocol, and attempted to demean a young, hungry, scrappy baseball player trying to make a name for himself in a game that has provided you a lively hood beyond even your wildest expectations by suggesting that he had no right to call you out because of the number of games he has won.  And then, to cap it off, you once again pleaded ignorance.  Mr. Rodriguez, shame on you.

The “unwritten rules” of baseball do not exist for sports talk radio or bloggers like myself.  They have evolved for over a hundred years.  Some are debatable (bunting during a no-hitter in a one-run game) and others are concrete (talking to a pitcher about a no-hitter while he’s pitching).  Mr. Rodriguez, since you don’t appear to know any better, it’s not a good idea to tell a pitcher he’s throwing a no-hitter while he’s still in the game.  That’s a no-no, in more ways than one.  It’s also a no-no to run across the pitcher’s mound, yell “boo” at an opposing fielder when he’s trying to field the ball and take a weak swipe at the ball when a player is trying to tag you.   These are all things you have done since joining the most fabled franchise in American sports and they demonstrate a pattern of “look at me” diva-istic behavior that is unbecoming of someone of your stature.  This behavior is why people do not like you.  It doesn’t take Nolan Ryan to know this behavior is wrong.  It’s called sportsmanship, and it’s something that’s taught by Little League coaches on fields across the country this time of year.  For you to suggest that you have never learned these lessons either speaks poorly of your coaches or of your personal feeling of entitlement.  Or, maybe you think us fans are just stupid enough to believe you.  Maybe you think we’re idiots who think someone as decorated as yourself must know more about baseball edicate than us mere mortals.  Maybe because you are such a decorated player, we should give you a pass (again).  Well, this is one fan who is not giving you any more passes.  I know the difference between right and wrong.  And you are dead wrong…again.

I hope the next time you face Mr. Braden, you again find an excuse to run over the mound.  Then, I hope Mr. Braden puts the next pitch right between the one and the three on the back of your jersey.  Because, Mr. Braden will not be plucking you for disrespecting him, he will be plucking you for baseball fans everywhere who are sick of you disrespecting us and the game we love.

Sincerely,

Michael Barry

Jim Palmer 1969 Topps

Jim Palmer 1969 Topps

Hey, another ’69 Topps card added to the ’30-YOC’ vault!!!

First it was Billy Williams.  Then came Fergie Jenkins.  And now, it’s Jim Palmer’s turn.  A pretty talented trio if you ask me…

Palmer’s career took an incredible turn during the 1969 baseball season.  A solid pitcher prior, 1969 was the year that turned Jim Palmer into a baseball superstar.

During that campaign, Palmer started 23 games, going the distance in 11 of them.  His record was 16-4, which gave him an incredible winning percentage of .800.  He compiled a low ERA of just 2.34, while allowing 48 runs in 181 innings of work.

A wonderful addition to my Jim Palmer collection!!!

Andre Dawson 2004 Donruss Playoff All-Stars

Andre Dawson 2004 Donruss Playoff All-Stars

I love the look and style of this card.  I actually own one of these that is a multi-relic card featuring game-used memorabilia from Dawson’s playing days.  You can view that card on my ‘Ultimate Dawson’ page.

This one, serial numbered 385/500, is the base version from the set.  Loaded with excellent color and design elements, this card looks even better in person.  Sharp details, great graphics, and bold colors make this a stand-out of Dawson’s modern card issues.

I am thrilled to have this one in my collection!!!

Happy Anniversary Frank Robinson!!!

Happy Anniversary Frank Robinson!!!

On this day in 1956, Frank Robinson hit the first home run of his major league baseball career.

Just 20 years old, and playing in his first full season in the majors, Robinson didn’t waste too much time in making an impact with the Cincinnati Reds.  At home and in front of a terribly small crowd of just over 4,000 spectators, Robinson went 2-for-4 collecting 2 RBI.  1 hit was a double, and the other was a 2-run home run off of Cubs’ pitcher Paul Minner.

And as they say, the rest was history!!  Home run #1 was officially in the books – and one of the game’s greatest sluggers was born.

Robinson ended his amazing career with 586 homers.  He currently ranks in 7th place on the all-time list.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Robinson!!!

Happy Birthday Barry Larkin!!!

Barry Larkin turns 46 years old today!

One of the most respected players from his era, Larkin was as classy of a player in the league as there was during the 1980’s, 1990’s, and into the 2000’s.  A 19-year veteran who spent his entire career in Cincinnati, Larkin was the centerpiece of the Reds’ team and their lone constant.

Larkin’s abilities were endless.  Solid hitter, great defender, base stealer, home run hitter…  Larkin excelled at each and every aspect of the game.  In his best season in 1995, he won the MVP award.  In that season, Larkin hit .319 while collecting 158 hits, 98 runs, 51 stolen bases, 66 RBI, 15 home runs and the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards.

Barry is up for round number 2 of voting for his election into Baseball’s Hall of Fame this year, and for his birthday I give him my vote!  I don’t think any other gift would be as fitting!!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Larkin!!! 

My Fergie Jenkins ‘Fab 5′ – Card #3

My Fergie Jenkins ‘Fab 5′ – Card #3

Now that my Fergie Jenkins player collection is complete I wanted to take the time to show off my favorite 5 cards from this set.

Card #3 – 1971 Topps League Leaders

I normally don’t put cards featuring other players in my ‘Fab 5’ lists.  But I will make an exception for these two guys.  Why??  Because it is a thrill for me to have a player that I collect memorialized with 2 of the greatest pitchers from not just the 1970’s, but of all-time.  While I still feel that Fergie Jenkins is completely under-appreciated by baseball fans and collectors, there is no mistaking the place of Bob Gibson and Tom Seaver in the sport’s history.

This card pays tribute to the top National League pitchers from 1970 and their incredible strikeout numbers.  During that campaign, the NL leader in K’s was Tom Seaver with 283.  Trailing closely behind were Bob Gibson and Fergie Jenkins, who each struck out 274 batters.

Classic!!!