Daily Archives: June 29, 2013

TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!!!!

TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!!!!

Tonight, my wife and I will be attending the Miami Marlins / San Diego Padres baseball game.

But, this is no ordinary game.  Not at all!!!

We are going to be the special guests of a certain former player that happens to be the one I cherished the most as a kid and value the most as an adult – Hall of Famer, Andre Dawson.

We will be his guest for batting practice as well, and I am very excited about the prospect of seeing that part of the event as I have never been to a BP session before.  I cannot wait to see Giancarlo Stanton in the cage as I have heard that he puts on a show!!!

Andre is also supposed to take us to our VIP seats and hang out with us for a few innings in which we can chat it up and get in some quality time.

Dawson VIP Experience

I have been counting down the days to this event in the same manner that a 15-year old counts down the days to the magical 16th birthday.

I will have a full report on the game and event tomorrow so please check back for the story and pictures.

Also, follow me on twitter @30YOC as I may be able to snap a few pictures with my phone from the ballpark as they occur.

Have a great night everyone.  I’m pretty sure that I will as well!!!!

1990 HEADLINE: Two No-Hitters In One Day!!!

1990 HEADLINE: Two No-Hitters In One Day!!!

I can recall this day like it was yesterday…

On this day in 1990, both Dave Stewart of the Oakland Athletics and Fernando Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw no-hitters.

I remember checking the box scores the day after these two no-hitters and thought how cool it was to see two on the same page of the paper…

Let’s look a little closer at these two ‘No-No’s’:

Dave Stewart – On the road and in front of a crowd of just under 50,000, the A’s were in Toronto to battle the Blue Jays. Stewart pitched a gem while striking out 12 batters ang giving up just 3 walks. He threw 115 pitches during the game it took just 147 minutes for his A’s team to beat the Blue Jays 5-0.

Fernando Valenzuela – At home and facing the Cardinals, Valenzuela was awesome as he and his Dodgers teammates beat St. Louis 6-0 in 161 minutes. Valenzuela was brilliant – allowing just 3 base runners while striking out 7 batters. For the game, he threw 119 pitches. He also went 1-for-4 at the plate.

2 great pitchers. 1 amazing accomplishment. Baseball history!!!

1969 HEADLINE: Today Is ‘Billy Williams Day’!!!!

1969 HEADLINE: Today Is ‘Billy Williams Day’!!!!

While an event of this caliber is usually reserved for a player in his final year or final home stand as a member of the home team, I guess that the Cubs organization thought so much of Mr. Williams that they chose this day to honor him.

So, 41 years later I will carry on this tradition. Today, I will celebrate the main player that brought me back to the hobby of collecting baseball cards – ‘Sweet Swinging Billy Williams’!!

The below pin was handed out to all in attendance at Wrigley back on June 29, 1969.

Happy Birthday Pedro Guerrero!!!

Happy Birthday Pedro Guerrero!!!

Pedro Guerrero turns 57 years old today.

Guerrero was a solid contributor to both the Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals teams that he was a part of for fifteen seasons.

A 5-time All-Star with a knack for delivering power at the plate. In his 15 seasons in the big league, Pedro collected 215 home runs while driving in 898 RBI. In four seasons, he hit at least 27 home runs with his highest tally coming in 1985 with 33.

Guerrero also finished in the Top 4 for the MVP award on four different occasions. He was a steady and consistent hitter from the time he made it to the big leagues in 1978 and throughout the course of his playing days.

Happy Birthday Mr. Guerrero!!!

Happy Birthday Harmon Killebrew!!!

Happy Birthday Harmon Killebrew!!!

Harmon Killebrew was a baseball superstar that played in a city that never quite got the attention of other major cities. And because of that, Killebrew was kind of like a secret.

But what was not a secret was the fact that Killebrew could slug home runs at the same rate, and oftentimes greater, than the sport’s best sluggers.

Amazingly, Killebrew seemed to get better with age as he collected more home runs in the second half of his career than he did in the first half. In 22 years, the Hall of Famer hit 573 round-trippers. He currently sits in 11th place on the all-time list.

Happy Birthday Mr. Killebrew!! Rest In Peace.

Atlanta Braves Retire Chipper Jones’ #10

Atlanta Braves Retire Chipper Jones’ #10

From FoxSports.com

ATLANTA — Tom Glavine admits he was skeptical when he heard the talk about the wiry switch-hitter the Braves had taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1990 draft. The belief was the kid would make a major and immediate impact.

“It’s kind of that ‘OK, we’ll see when he gets here,’ kind of thing,” he said.

Chipper Jones more than proved he belong, spending an entire 19-year career in Atlanta that reached its pinnacle Friday night. His No. 10 was retired, added along the facade on the third base line with his former teammates, Glavine, Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, and manager Bobby Cox.

“It still doesn’t seem real,” Jones said. “I play baseball. It’s not like I cure cancer or anything. It’s almost embarrassing to be getting all this attention, all the accolades and whatnot. It’s so humbling.”

Jones sat on a stage behind the Turner Field mound before the night’s game against the Diamondbacks joined by his family, current second baseman Dan Uggla and an assortment of luminaries from the franchise’s past. It was a moment, he said, that makes “the hair on the back of your neck stand up. You get chill bump.” Three oversized baseballs bearing his number were on the stage, while a massive No. 10 was mowed into the centerfield grass behind them.

“He’s a winner. He’s a champion and few players have ever made such a profound impact on one franchise,” team president John Schuerholz said.

Jones took the podium, and in a speech in which he thanked his parents, sons and former teammates, he also mentioned a long-forgotten player that would ultimately paved the way for Chipper to become synonymous with the franchise.

“I want to thank Todd Van Poppel tonight,” Jones said, laughing.

It was Van Poppel whom the Braves wanted to take with the top pick in ’90. Cox, then the general manager, had spent a weekend in Texas trying to convince the high-schooler to sign. But Van Poppel was adamant that he would not become a Brave and if they took him he would instead go to college and play for the Longhorns. Atlanta was instead forced to go with Plan B.

They went with Larry Wayne Jones Jr., a shortstop out of Bolles High School in Jacksonville, and the results, by every measurable standard, are the stuff of Cooperstown.

“He was born to play the game,” said Atlanta pitcher Tim Hudson. “He was born to hit. His career showed it.”

Jones was the 1999 National League MVP, an eight-time All-Star, a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner and the only switch hitter in history to own a career average over .300 (.303) and hit at least 300 home runs (468). He has more RBI than any other third basemen in the history of the game.

His OPS of .903 is the highest of any Braves player, 0.0019 points better than Hank Aaron and 0.0881 higher than Dale Murphy.

“You lived it for two years, but then you see John Schuerholz talking about passing Lou Gehrig (on the all-time hits list) and all the great third basemen,” said manager Fredi Gonzalez, who was with Jones in his final seasons. “And you don’t realize all the great stuff that he’s done and who he’s passed. You can sit there and 10-12 years down the road and tell your grandkids, ‘This guy played for me for two years.'”

Jones won’t appear on the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot until 2018, an honor Glavine and Maddux are eligible for next year and Smoltz in ’15. It was those players, along with Cox, who Jones could one day be enshrined alongside that he says set the standard for him.

“I watched greatness,” Jones said. “The four guys that are up on that side with me (Cox, Glavine, Maddux and Smoltz), I watched them. I knew what greatness was all about and those guys were truly great and they helped me be great at times and I’m extremely thankful for them.”

These days, Jones spends his time hunting and tweeting — he said of his 300,000-plus followers, “it seemed like 100,000 of them were coming to the game (tonight)” — but he and baseball aren’t through. They’re simply taking a break as he waits to rekindle the flame.

“I think it will come back,” he said. “I’m not in a hurry. When it does come back, I’ll make a phone call and say I’m ready to do this or that and hopefully there’s a spot for me somewhere.”

Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train,” Jones’ longtime walk-up music, blared as Jones was driven around the filed, sitting on the back of a white Camaro as he waved to the fans. The car passed the just-unveiled No. 10 sign and above it, the section of fans all held aloft white signs emblazoned with his number.

He had been away for months and the Braves have moved on. His old spot in the lineup now belongs to Chris Johnson and he’s no longer the face of the franchise. But this was a moment that seemed to signify the official end of an era as the team honored the last major piece of its run of 14 straight division titles and 1995 World Series title.

“After Chipper you’ve got to look around now and you wonder when the next one’s going to be,” Glavine said. “It might be a while.”

Chipper Jones

1/2 THROUGH – Milestones To Look Forward To During The 2013 Major League Baseball Season

1/2 THROUGH – Milestones To Look Forward To During The 2013 Major League Baseball Season

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Well friends, we are amazingly 1/2 through with the 2013 baseball regula season, so I thought we should go back to the list of milestones I was going to track this season and see how these players are progressing.

For this 1/4 update all notes wil be added to the original post in GREEN.

For this 1/2update all notes wil be added to the original post in RED.

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I had a great time doing this prior to the starts of the 2011 and 2012 baseball seasons, so I thought I would give it another go as we prepare for the start of this upcoming campaign.

So, without further ado, I bring to you some of the milestones I will be looking for in 2013…

Ichiro’s push towards 2,800 career hits in the major leagues. He starts the season with 2,606.

37 games in and Ichiro has 32 hits – Not great, but not horrible either. As other Yankees return to the line-up, he should be helped.

Ichiro has 70 hits in 71 games and is well short of the numbers he would need to get to 2,800.  2,750 is more likely at this point.

PHOTO ICHIRO

Todd Helton marches towards 2,500 career hits. He starts the 2013 campaign with 2,420 hits.

Helton only has 18 hits in 23 games. 2,500 is still a strong possibility but it may not happen as soon as it should have….

Helton now has 40 hits in 53 games.  He is still on track and needs just 40 more hits to reach 2,500!

PHOTO HELTON

David Ortiz looks to capture the 2,000th hit of his major league career. He will start the season with 1,863 career hits.

Ortiz has 28 hits in 22 games and has been hot since returning to the Boston line-up. He needs 109 to reach 2,000.

Ortiz has 73 hits in 61 games.  He needs 64 hits to reach 2,000 this season.  If he stays healthy, he will do it.

PHOTO ORTIZ

Albert Pujols looks to join the ‘500 HR Club’. He will start his 13th major league season with 475 homers on his resume.

Pujols has only clubbed 7 home runs this year. He needs 18 more to reach 500!

Pujols will do it, but not anywhere close to as quickly as I expected.  He has 13 HR’s this season so far.  12 to go!

PHOTO PUJOLS

Ryan Howard looks to drive in the 1,000th run of his big league career. He will start the season with 920 RBI.

Hoawrd has only driven in 22 runs in 38 games. He is going to have to step it up to get to 1,000 by the end of the season.

Near the half-way mark of the season, Howard has 41 RBI.  He needs 39 more to reach 1,000.

PHOTO HOWARD

Ryan Braun looks to add another 30/100 season to his resume. He has done it for the last 5 seasons. Can he make it six in a row?

Braun has 8 home runs and 26 RBI in 35 games. If he can remain healthy, he is on pace to hit the 30/1000 milestone again.

Braun has been sidelined for most of the season.  He has just 9/36.  This streak is over…

PHOTO BRAUN

CC Sabathia looks to lock up career victory number 200. He will start the season with 191 career wins.

CC has 4 wins so far and is well on his way to 200 career victories. I’d like to see him do it before the All-Star break if possible.

CC is one win away fro 200 career victories – Go Get ‘Em CC!!!

PHOTO SABATHIA

Matt Cain is out to capture career victory #100 – he is currently sitting at 85.

Cain has 3 wins in 9 starts this season and is not off to the same pace he had in 2012 when he won 16 games. He’ll have to step it up if he wants to reach #100 this season.

Cain is 5-4 in 16 starts this season.  He has 90 career wins and can still make a run at 100, but the Giants are struggling right now.  #100 may have to wait until next year…

PHOTO CAIN

Justin Verlander is approaching 1,500 career strikeouts. He needs just 46 to hit the mark.

DONE!!! This guy is a beast and he is well on his way to 1,600 and beyond.

PHOTO VERLANDER

Tim Lincecum is nearing 1,500 career strikeouts. I’m still unsure of what his role may be this season, Lincecum needs 183 K’s to reach the mark.

Lincecum is faring well so far in 2013. He has 52 strikeouts in 48 innings of work. If he can stay on this pace, he will do it!!

Lincecum has 93 strikeouts in 95 innings of work this season.  He is 90 K’s from 1,500 and still has a good chance of reach the magical 1,500.  Hopefully he remains in the Giants’ starting rotation.  

PHOTO LINCECUM

So there you have it – These are some of the baseball milestones that I will be tracking as the 2013 season gets under way. Just like in previous seasons, I will offer up recaps of these possible baseball milestones as the season progresses – please stay tuned for that.

What are you going to be watching for this year??

See you around the 120-game mark!!!!

Thanks for reading!!!