Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Quest For Jamie Moyer

I have a mission, and it starts with Jamie Moyer. Yes, that's right, Jamie Moyer, the quintessential soft-tossing lefty. He's 45 years old and still going strong, with numbers that are probably better than 2 or 3 of the starters in the rotation of your favorite team. It seems like he's led several lives throughout his career. He came up as a stuggling Cub of the 80s, was out of the big leagues by 1992, only to be reborn as an all-star and two-time 20-game winner in the early 2000s. He's now a rock-solid member of the Phillies rotation.

Jamie Moyer was also a Cardinal at one point, as evidenced by the blurry, Beckett-pilfered 1991 Bowman card photo above. I would have been in high school at the time and in the prime of my card-collecting days, but until sometime last season I had no recollection of him ever being on the team. I also did not have any cards of him in Cardinals uniform, which is the most important thing of all. From a look at Beckett's checklist, it appears he is only depicted in a Cards' uni in the 1991 Stadium Club set as well as the aforementioned Bowman of the same year. There also appears to be a 1991 O-Pee-Chee "Now With Cardinals" card where they took the same card as Topps, as per usual, and most likely added his new team status as a footnote in the corner somewhere on the front. I also need to own this card. He also appears to have made it into the 1991 Lousiville Redbirds team set. He would be released by the end of the year, having spent a good portion of it in AAA, not to return to the majors (for good) until 1993.

Moyer also was the starting pitcher for Seattle in the first Cardinals game I ever attended, a 10-0 trouncing of the Redbirds at Safeco Field. It would be notable for being So Taguchi's major league debut and not much else. But he isn't really the mission here. What I really am looking for is to accumulate as many unique Cardinals baseball cards as cheaply as possible. But it's best to start small and break things down into small, attainable goals, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Like Shooting Carp in a Barrel

As the midway point of the 2008 MLB season draws near, the injuries are mounting. The St. Louis Cardinals have 11 players on the Major League disabled list including 5 starting pitchers. Their off-season acquisition has yet to appear in a game. The de facto ace recently injured his finger and hit the DL while the Colonel, the man with some of the best numbers on the season, has missed two out of his last three starts with a balky elbow. Fans all across the land of Redbird believers* are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their savior, the man who was a first round draft pick of the Cardinals in 1987, the man who entered the rotation in just his second professional season, the man who made 13 career starts and last pitched in the majors in 1996...

In some alternate universe, I suppose, this is what I might have been thinking had I stopped paying attention to baseball around the time I stopped paying attention to baseball cards and then once again returned to paying attention to baseball games only recently like I did with the cards. Instead, we have have a post about 43 year old former pitcher who later became an original Florida Marlin, and the lamenting of the absence of a 33 year old ace who came to the Cards from the Blue Jays with lackluster numbers and a penchant for injuries and went onto win a Cy Young award and anchor two World Series teams.

Carp I was the #14 pick out of Georgia and joined the defending NL Champion Cardinals the season after he was drafted. He posted what appear to be decent numbers, but for some reason was moved to the bullpen for the duration of his career by 1988. I don't really have any memories of him other than the numerous late 80s and early 90s cards I have of him, especially his 1989 Topps card where he looks incredibly disinterested. Judging by the background, it appears that he's posing for a school picture or perhaps a driver's license photo. I think someone may have drawn the moustache on.

As for Carp II, I'm not holding my breath. At this time I could see him throwing a few innings out of the bullpen come September, but, playoffs or no playoffs, I'm not counting on him for much this season. That's the only way to be pleasantly surprised.

*(it should be noted that I refuse to ever use the moniker "[Team Name] Nation")