Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dinged Cardinal

I live on the west coast and I work nights. I'm also, as has been documented here, a fairly serious St. Louis Cardinals fan. As a result, I tape every game and watch it after work. About an hour ago, I finished watching last night's game against the Phillies in which Rick Ankiel made a spectacular catch in center field and promptly drove his entire body head first into the wall at full speed. It was really painful and quite sickening to watch. (Don't say that I didn't warn you. At least the picture is small.) I can't really think of a great segueway here, so I'll just let on that Ankiel's shiny 2009 Heritage refractor card was the buried treasure in a great package sent to me recently by the excellent Dinged Corners blog. This makes the second time I've received an unsolicited bunch of cards from Dinged Corners, so I had best get on the ball and send them over a thank you gift or three.

Here's J.D. Drew, "Rookie", in his Pacific best. I wasn't a fan of the no-number-on-the-front Cardinals uniform era and I'm still not.

I think I either wasn't aware or should just declare ignorance of the fact that there were other Cardinals cards besides Albert Pujols in the truly forgettable inaugural Upper Deck X set. I guess this means that there's parallel Ankiel cards to go after now, too. Ugh. I was such a huge fan of Ankiel's when he came up as a pitcher and to this day I seem to get irrationally interested in anything related to his baseball career.

I have been a big fan of the 2K Sports video game series going back to the very first release of NBA2K for the Sega Dreamcast back in late 1999. Eventually I got hooked on the baseball equivalent, and all I remember about Chris Widger was that he was the backup catcher for one of the first few baseball games in the 2K lineup. Mike DeFelice was another one of those guys. I don't really think I remember seeing him on the field. I love Topps Total, and I think this is a pretty amusing photo in which Widger appears to be trying to sell the umpires on a call where the runner has already passed him by.

Speaking of injured/troubled players that I have an irriational affection for, here's Chris Carpenter. What's great about getting this card is that it's also from my beloved and hardly even close to completion 2008 Heritage set and this is my first Carpenter copy.

Great looking card from a legendary player in a retro-themed set I know nothing about.

There are a smattering of bird teams in MLB, so occasionally I get a few cards that were probably not necessarily meant to be sent to me. That's okay, of course. I normally wouldn't even bring it up, but Mr. Garcia here is shown in presumably one of his last moments as a New York Met. If need be, I will certainly send this card back to Dinged Corners Central where the Mets past and present are more heralded than here.

The Ankiel trauma immediately brings back a flood of memories from another game I recorded and watched after work, when Juan Encarnacion's baseball career was ended tragically on a foul ball that caught Juan in the face and completely messed up his eye socket. Yadier Molina also had a scary moment last season. Scary stuff all around. I also scanned this card to mention how similar this year's Upper Deck First Edition cards were to 2007 (I don't like either set because of the ugly gold.)

As is well documented and probably not surprising, I don't like J.D. Drew at all. But this is a great looking card and a great example of the best parts of the Stadium Club line. And, hey, look... J.D. is actually working on his game! There's hope for this world just yet.

Thanks again to Dinged Corners!


Cuyahogabend said...

We were there last night. It looked horrible from the stands and, based on how his teammates sprinted to him while the ball was still in play, from the field and dugout as well. Latest update is that he left the hospital this morning and will be day to day for now.

IkesCards said...

Actually... we were there for the Encarnacion game as well!

Dinged Corners said...

You're very welcome. That Stadium Club shot is a favorite.