Today's entry is a guest post by Avenger-In-Chief, the brains behind Avenging Jack Murphy. Check his blog out and don't forget to follow him on twitter. Thanks again, Mike!
Last March TTG tweeted a 2006 Upper Deck baseball card of Joe Randa. I was inspired and knew that a guest post at Friars on Cardboard was in order. I thank TheThinGwynn for acquiescing. I know what you’re thinking and I can see the look on your face right now as you think. You are wondering how Joe Randa, the engine of the 2005 Padres, has received so little coverage on this blog. And your face is painted with delight as you slowly scroll down this page savoring the accolades heaped upon the man who the Madres voted as top newcomer in 2005.
I also know that you’re thinking, “Lord, Joe Randa looks glorious in road Sand!”
But here’s what I was thinking on March 11th, 2011: “In which ballpark was this picture of Joe Randa taken and during which game? And which inning?”
I think of those things. Because I’m weird.*
Do you know which park this photo was taken? In hindsight I think I should have known. Any guesses?
Here’s the rundown for 2005 Padre games played on the road during the Randa Era: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington, Florida, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Colorado, and Arizona. I combed through pictures of each one of these ballparks and determined that . . . You guessed it; the game was played at the home of the San Francisco Giants, AT&T Park! At least that’s what it was called in 2005.
What gives it away? The corporate branding of Yahoo! on the left centerfield wall makes an abbreviated performance in the Randa card in the form of, “o!”.
This should have been more obvious to me but I think I was a little thrown by the lighting in the card. The billboard comes off as a shade of red in the baseball card whereas we clearly know the Yahoo! sign to be purple, as evidenced by the picture above. The miserable San Francisco fog probably affected the lighting in the card.
Looking at the Randa Card also prompted me to believe I was looking more towards right centerfield (the angle threw me off leading to extra research).
Now that we have narrowed down the ballpark to AT&T, which game was this iconic baseball card captured? The Padres played a three game series in San Francisco from September 12th through September 14th and Joe Randa started and finished all three games. September 12th On a chilly 58 degree Monday evening, with Adam Eaton on the hill, Joe Randa fielded a pop fly from Randy Winn to leadoff the 1st inning. It would be the last time he touched the ball. Unconfirmed reports suggest that he was even left out of the around-the-horn tosses after San Francisco’s 7 strikeouts.
A cold night, indeed as the Padres dropped game one, 4-3. September 13th The next night was equally cold and according to baseball reference, overcast. In the bottom of the 2nd inning Joe Randa would have receive his next chance. After a double by Mike Matheny, Giants pitcher Noah Lowry hit a groundball to Joe Randa, which was fielded and thrown to first baseman, Xavier Nady.
With Brian Lawrence dealing, Randa fielded another pop fly by that man Randy Winn in the bottom of the third and did not touch the ball again until the bottom of the 6th when Clay Hensley coaxed Pedro Feliz into an inning ending 5-4-3 twin killing. The image of Randa leaving his feet to field the ball in the baseball card seems to eliminate this play as it’s unlikely a double play could have been turned on that particular play.
Joe Randa didn’t receive another chance and the Padres fell to the Giants, 5-4.
If Mike Matheny had made it into the photo as a base runner during the 2nd inning play, the experiment would have ended. While this play is still a possibility, we must press on to the Wednesday night game.
September 14th On another overcast evening, Woody Williams took the ball in game three of the series and quickly served up an opportunity to Joe Randa in the bottom of the second inning. On a 1-2 count Pedro Feliz grounded to Randa and he threw to first baseman Robert Fick for the second out of the inning. Did he leave his feet for the ball? Baseball-Reference and retro sheet make no note of this.
In the bottom of the fifth, Pedro Feliz led off the inning with a foul pop fly to Randa and he would not have another chance that evening.
Trevor Hoffman saved his 38th game in the 10th inning and the Padres took game three, 5-4.
So did the play happen on September 13th in the 2nd inning when Noah Lowry hit a ground ball to Joe Randa or was it September 14th in the 2nd inning when Pedro Feliz grounded-out to Joltin’ Joe Randa? No notations have been made of whether Randa left his feet to make a play but I’m inclined to believe** that the play probably occurred on the Feliz groundball as Mike Matheny would have appeared as a base runner on the Noah Lowry grounder.
Conclusion: The photograph used by Upper Deck in their 2006 set was taken at AT&T Park on September 14th, 2005 in the 2nd inning when Pedro Feliz struck a ball to Joe Randa at 3rd base.
** I also examined every play to the left side of the field which may have began with a deflection off of Joe Randa’s glove, which baseball-reference would note in their play-by-play section. No play like this appears to have occurred. It’s also worth noting that Joe Randa played this three game series error-free***.
Here's the Padres' new hitting coach back in his playing days rockin' what I once heard Joe Nuxhall refer to as "some kind of haystack hairdo". Plantier is the latest through the revolving door at that position. His predecessor managed to last two seasons, lasting one more than I guessed he would when he got hired. Since I've been on some sort of idiotic haiku kick lately, here's one just because...
Our new hitting coach Nice job if you can get it Check back in a year
Last week I asked a trivia question on twitter, something to the effect of "in one 2006 game, one Padre tied the all-time record by walking five times in a nine inning game while a teammate struck out in all five of his plate appearances, also tying a record. Name them." That's not verbatim but I'm too lazy to go back and look it up. A few people correctly guessed that the walking man was Briles but nobody got the second guy. I said I'd reveal the answer here the next day but, yeah, you know how I am. Anyway, it was that guy who looks like a rat.
I don't have a lot to say about Kevin Higgins as he's pretty much just another footnote in a sad timeline. I do get some perverse kick, though, from seeing Friars immortalized on cardboard in a moment of failure, be it a fly ball going over Jerald Clark's head or this guy missing a tag; they're all apt. Instead, I'll focus on the background. Since September 10th, I've been jotting down random thoughts, quotes, sketches and notes to self in a large, green, hardbound sketchbook an acquaintance gave me for my birthday. I've had many a sketchpad and written all sorts of gibberish but never combined the two; frankly, I feel like a seven-year-old girl with a Hello Kitty diary. I do enjoy the quaintness and immediacy the medium provides. The whole thing comes off as I expect a rough draft of a Henry Rollins travelogue does- ongoing missives of anger, self-doubt, alienation and general disgust for nearly all that I see. If ever relevant, I may co-opt some entries for inclusion here or at the still-existing P 'n' E... but for now, it's just quotes in the background.
Earlier this week I read Boomer's book Perfect I'm Not about eight years after I should have and it definitely gets my endorsement. If you know anything about David Wells, it's about what you'd expect. His co-author did a fine job of letting Boomer's voice and attitude shine through. As I mentioned the last time I wrote about Wells here, I've always been a fan of him, even when he wore pinstripes; I find him so relatable. As a young adult, he experienced periods of homelessness, a situation I've been in a few times in my life. As it turns out, I'm there again. The day I began reading this, I had a home; the next day when I finished it, I did not. As is the case with most of the less than desirable scenarios I find myself in, this one was of my making- or at least mostly. One of my roommates, a disgusting, loudmouthed, self-centered ogre who I had grown to hate more than life itself decided it would be a good idea to talk a bunch of mess behind my back and when confronted on it be a snotty smartass. I just left at that point. When I came back later that night after a few adult beverages and a lot of stewing, all it took was one little cutesy remark to set me off on a year's worth of angry, hateful ranting. I said some things that a human being should never say to another, regardless of how true they are. I guess I threw the term "drug-whore" around a good bit and concluded the whole thing with something to the effect of "Every morning, I wake up and want to die! Well, now I have a reason to live. I want to live as long as it takes so I can one day piss on your grave!" Yeah. Not pretty stuff. Needless to say, that was the line-crosser and I promptly found myself out on my ass. Like Boomer before me, I was provided shelter by my friends. I really do have the best of friends, both those here whom I've known most of my life and those across the country that I have yet to meet in person. I love you guys; without you, there would be no me.
It's been nearly two weeks since I've written anything on this humble little nerdblog, due mostly to laziness. However, no amount of laziness can keep me from commemorating Tony The Gwynn's birthday. Last year, I posted nineteen of his cards for his fiftieth. I won't be doing that this year due to the aforementioned laziness but since it's Tony's fifty-first, it seemed only right to include his old sidekick #51 in the festivities. It's been a rough year for The Gwynn. He battled cancer and a variety of other physical ailments in addition to giving up tobacco and seeing his only begotten son be thrown out of the comforting confines of San Diego and becoming a damned dirty, dreaded Dodger. Through it all, even when he was physically unable to smile, he never lost that famous Gwynn laugh that we all know and love. Happy birthday, Tony; may your fifty-second year be smooth sailing.
So far, the homecoming is going swimmingly for San Diego native and Aztec alumnus Aaron Harang. After yesterday's win over the hapless and harmless baby bears, Harangutan is 4-0. Now, I'll be the first to say that pitcher's wins is the most meaningless statistic in the history of statistics (Can I get an 'Amen!', Dustin Moseley?) but it looks good in print. All of his numbers that matter look good, too. After Harang had his fill of domination for the day, Ernasty Frieri took over where he left off, striking out two in a scoreless seventh. Next out of the gate was another bounce-back candidate picked up by Jedi on the offseason, former Asstro and D-Bag Chad Qualls. He too struck out two in his inning of work; unfortunately, he also put up a few other twos- hits, runs and earned runs- as he attempted to single-handedly keep Harang 3-0. Once he worked his way out of the eighth with the lead, a hold and all of my fingernails, it was time for Heath "The Second 'H' Is Silent" Bell to do what he does- and we all know what he does. Padres win!
On this date twenty three years ago, the Giants were visiting the Murph. Eddie Lee Whitson went seven and gave up four hits, one of which was a first inning solo shot to right by Will Clark. The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Giants until the bottom of the seventh when Tempy tied it up by tripling in the late Chris Brown. Still tied at ones in the bottom of the ninth, Larry Bowa called on John Kruk to pinch hit for Carmelo Martinez. Kruk mashed the second pitch far beyond the wall in left center. Ballgame.
Poor Mitch Canham. He switched organizations a couple weeks ago and nobody noticed. When I bought this card on St. Patrick's Day he was still on the San Antonio roster. When I was looking at Minor League rosters last night, he was nowhere to be found so I googled him. Turns out the Pads gave him his walking papers and he latched on with the Oakland org; he's a Midland RockHound now. I mentioned this on Twitter today and in a weird coincidence, about an hour later, MLBTradeRumors mentioned just that we'd released him. I guess some news is just meant to fall through the cracks. Mitch has yet to live up to the promise he once showed. Originally a catcher, he has since branched out to play all four infield and outfield corners as well. If that doesn't work out for him he can always fall back on his mic skills.
Yesterday I was lamenting that I don't have any cards of Everth Cabrera since it was jodes's birthday. Sadly, his season doesn't begin until tomorrow evening. Sadder even still is that it begins in Colorado Springs as a member of the brand-new Tucson Padres. They actually didn't get their uniforms until today. True story. The roster is full of other familiar names like Aaron "Sneaky Pig" Cunningham, Luis Durango, new prospect Anthony Rizzo and retread Greg Burke. I remember Burke wore number 40 when he was with San Diego in '09. It was coincidental that every time he pitched I felt the need to drink a 40. Not a big fan of the guy; I'm pretty sure he will never not make me nervous. Anyway, this group will be managed by former Friars backstop Terry Kennedy. He's pictured above on his '84 Donruss.
This card was released right after X was traded to the Mets for Cammy II. I regard Padres nicknamed Cammy like I regard musicians named Hank Williams: I'm a huge fan of both the first and the third but when it comes to the second, naaaaaah. Anyway, back to Nady. He never really got a chance from Boch and since then injuries have kept him from living up to his promise although he was decently above average in his one full season; he put up a 127 OPS+ in 148 games between Pittsburgh and the Yankees in '08. He missed all but 7 games in '09 and basically sucked ass last year for the Cubs. Now he's in Arizona, another one of KT's stockpile of former Friars along with Geoff Blum, Sean Burroughs, Henry Blanco and Russell Branyan. Also pictured on this card is fan favorite and current club employee of some sort Dave Roberts. I don't think I have any cards of Doc as a Pad; I need to fix that. On a side note to a side note, I always liked that both Bip and Dave Roberts wore number 10. I'm gonna shut up now.
So, a couple of weeks ago, I asked on Twitter whose card I should profile next and threw a few names out there; Brad Ausmus was the consensus favorite. The ladies especially seem to love him. I never got around to posting this because I'm an asshole. Well, that's not entirely true; I mean, yes, I am an asshole but the actual reason it took this long is because I'm lazy, forgetful and easily distracted. All in all, I'm a pretty horrible person. But I digress. Ladies and gentlemen (but mostly ladies), with no further ado, I give you Bradley David (well, maybe a little more ado) Ausmus:
(note: This picture is from a couple of months ago. I didn't get a haircut and bring back the brown.)
Out of the seemingly endless parade of brands and lines that exploded in the early 90s, I think Studio was my favorite. They always had a posed, portrait style picture of each player along with really cool backgrounds, be it an action photo or the player's locker.I always especially liked this credit card style design; I think I've already profiled Tony and Bip's.
I, like pretty much everyone else is, am glad that Trevor is back with the organization. I just kind of wish they would have announced a date for the retirement of his number by now.
Man, Rickey is awesome. Always was and always will be... and Rickey knows it, too. In my opinion, Rickey's the greatest player in the history of baseball. Once, while Rickey was still playing, Bill James was asked if Rickey was Hall Of Fame worthy. He replied that if one could cut Rickey's stats in half, you would have two Hall Of Famers. Rickey.
For five years I had a stepdaughter. She was and is one of the coolest, smartest, funniest, most amazing people in the world. Her favorite player was Khalil; she would always come up while I was watching the games and ask how he was doing. My marriage to her mom was in its final death throes around the time he went to St. Louis and I haven't spoke to her in nearly two years. It's a gap in my life that will remain there until I eventual have a kid of my own; she felt like my own daughter. She'll be turning 14 this year which is amazing to me; she was already a miniature adult when her mother and I split for good. Though I may never see her again, she will always have a huge place in my heart. Otter, if you should ever happen to read this, just know I love you.
I got those party hats on my favorite person ever's birthday and snapped this pic with a card of birthday sharer and one time Padre Ron Gant. She and I were watching an episode of How I Met Your Mother a few weeks later and she spotted them rocking the same ones. Nice! When I think of Ron Gant, I tend to think of him getting into a four-wheeler accident that effed him out of what would have been the most lucrative contract ever. That incident was, of course, the first thing I thought of when '09 first pick Donavan Tate did pretty much the same thing. He didn't screw himself out of any money but he did miss out on development time and kinda dicked over the organization. It's not necessarily the end of the world, though.
I'm a big fan of Heath Bell but this is my first card of him. I like his outspoken nature and child-like enthusiasm but most of all I love that he has publicly stated that he'd be willing to take the famed "San Diego Discount" to stick around. I got this card out of my first pack of 2011 Topps (see below). One neat detail on the backs is that along the right side it tells you in very small print who appeared on that card number in a random year. For instance, this one informs collectors that in 1996, card #178 was Otis Nixon.
Gene Richards is an underrated part of Padres history. His career was a short one but he did his fair share of damage in seven years in brown and gold before bowing out after a season in San Francisco- I think a season in San Francisco would make anyone give up on their passion. His last season with the Pads and the penultimate season of his career was '83; talk about being so close! Before then he stole 56 bases in his rookie season and led the league in triples in '81. His .291 career average was a San Diego high water mark until some guy named Tony came along and rewrote everything. Richards was also the last guy to wear #19 before T.
Sorry for the lack of content lately. Since I'm in a hurry and have to be at work in 24 minutes, I'm just throwing up another birthday card. Mike Pagliarulo's old ass is turning an old ass 51 today. I don't think very highly of him since apparently he was one of the a'holes along with Jack Clark that talked mess on Tony The Gwynn way back when... and NOBODY talks mess on Tony The Gwynn. So, Mike Pagliarulo, have a good time doing whatever the hell the Mike Pagliarulos of the world do on their birthdays.
It's only been ten days since my last Ben Davis post but today's his birthday so here we go again. He turned 34 today. Thirty four! For some reason, I thought he was older than that. I'm pretty sure that every time I've put a card of his on here, I've mentioned the time he broke up Curt Schilling's (Schilling?!?!) perfect game in the eighth with a bunt single. That was the best thing ever and it was made even better by Schilling and all the other D-Bags getting pissy about it. Ben hasn't played in the Majors since '04 but he's still trying to make it back, albeit now as a pitcher. That would be pretty incredible if he managed to pull that off; I guess he has more time to do it than I thought.
Today is Benito Santiago's birthday. I remember getting this card when it came out and thinking about how weird it would be to see him wearing a different uniform since he'd been a fixture with the Friars since my first full season as a fan. He would go on to wear many, many more uniforms before he finally hung up his syringe. I think I mentioned this before in a Bip post but either way, man, I thought those portrait wristbands were the shiz back in the day. All the big stars and big egos had 'em and I definitely drew them when I made baseball cards of myself.
Today's Tony Gwynn isn't actually a card at all; instead it's a can of '98 Pinnacle Inside. I remember when these came out. It was fairly radical packaging even back then when everything in the card market was seemingly in a contest to be more ridiculous than last week's die-cut, reflective and 3-D abomination. Still yet, I was 15 at the time so I was sold and bought quite a few cans. The local card shop even had a can opener behind the counter if you wanted to open them there- I always did since I always ripped at least a few packs there at the counter each visit; the lady that owns the place genuinely enjoyed seeing what everybody got and showing you her new pulls. Anyway, for whatever reason- maybe they were distributed regionally- my card store never got the Tony cans so I was relegated to getting cans of Chuck Knoblach and the like. I had forgotten about this product until about a month ago when I got this unopened cylinder of awesome from reader ABY. Even though I'm slightly curious what cards are encased within, I will never know.
I know I just posted a Mark Grant card but oh well, both of you reading this can deal. I'm so eager for baseball season and one of the best parts of watching 162 Padres games is listening to Mud. He's been a fixture for years and no matter who he's paired up with, his personality shines through. I mean, the man can even make listening to the beacon of obliviousness that is Dick Enberg tolerable. Oh, and unrelated but last week I made my first box break video. It's pretty awful and awkward; if you haven't seen it yet, here it is so you can have a laugh at my expense:
Look at those stirrups. That's how baseball socks are supposed to look. I remember when Jim Thome debuted with the Indians back in the early 90s, he became one of my favorite non-Padres because he rocked 'em the right way. It's become slightly trendy on a small scale in the past ten years or so for players to wear their socks high although most who do so favor the solid sock- it's not ideal but it's definitely better than the pajama pants look.
(I bet you thought I was gonna write about him breaking up Schilling's [Schilling?!?!] no-hitter with a bunt, didn't you? God, that was awesome.)
This seemed like a good idea for a running series that I'll soon abandon. Every now and then, I stumble across a card of a guy I had no idea was ever a Padre. Harold Reynolds was one of those; Rick Wise was another. If you're anything like me, you remember Rick Wise for two things. One, he was traded for Steve Carlton and two, he gave the greatest single game performance in Major League history. On June 23 of 1971, Wise no-hit the Reds and hit two home runs in the same game. Nobody had done it before and nobody has done it since. One thing he does have in common with many before him and since him is that he ended his career in San Diego barely getting by on fumes. He pitched poorly in 1980 and '81 and gave up two runs in two innings in his sole game of 1982. The Padres released him April 16th, six days after Colt Morton was born and seven after Chad Reineke was born.
In the only running theme here at Friars On Cardboard that has stuck so far, today, February 10th, is Bip Roberts Day. There's no rhyme or reason behind it, just that I posted a Bip card two years ago as a shoutout to my friend and former brother-in-law Corey who is a big Bip fan and then did it again 365 days later. Well, 365 more have passed so here we are again. Since this has become a yearly event, I went all out this go-'round (that's the way we talk in these parts, tell you what), I went all out and posted five cards instead of the customary one and, in addition to This Year In Bip Links like I did last year, I've gathered together ten (of course) Bip facts you may or may not know. First the facts:
1. Bip was picked from the Pirates system by the Padres in the 1985 Rule V Draft. After spending the obligatory full 1986 season with the big league team, the organization sent him back to the minors for all of '87 and most of '88. 2. Bip is currently employed as an analyst for the Giants. Ugh! 3. In addition to his familiar number 10 that he wore in San Diego, Cincinnati and Detroit, Roberts wore 2 as a rookie and later went on to wear 1 with the Royals, 6 with the Indians and 3 with Oakland. 4. He was traded by the Padres to the Reds for "Nasty Boy" Randy Myers following the 1991 season. He promptly made his only All Star team. 5. The second time he was traded by the Padres, it was for another player who would go on to be a San Diego fan favorite. He was sent to Kansas City before the 1996 season for Wally Joyner. 6. Bip played every position in the Majors except pitcher, catcher and first baseman. 7. In 1997, Roberts was second in the National League with 107 singles. The only man with more was of course his teammate, Mr. Padre himself, Tony The Gwynn. 8. Bip maintained a blog for a little over a month last season. If he's anything like me, he'll come back to it at some point, fire off a flurry of posts in one week and then go back to neglecting it for a while. He can also be found on Twitter. 9. His uncle Roy Shivers played for the St. Louis (now Arizona) Cardinals from 1966 through 1972. He had the NFL's longest kick return of 1966, a 94 yard run. 10. In Pedro Martinez's famous near-perfect game in 1995, it was Bip who broke it up in the tenth inning with a double.
Speaking of Padrographs, five days ago he featured nine Bips. His entire blog is particularly Bipcentric as you can see from the eight pages of results that come up when you search "Bip" there. He has also cataloged all of his Bips in one spot.
Well, I think that puts a bow on yet another successful Bip Roberts Day. Make it a good one!
From An Unlikely Source! is just another nerdy baseball card blog. I collect a handful of players but my main focus is Joey Cora cards. You have too many of them and I'd be glad to help you out with that.