When the time comes for 2015 Sportscard blog nominations, I trust that one of you will nominate this subject line in the “Most Dated And Arcane Pop Culture Reference” category.
…But hey, Series 4 is out! Yay!
When Tony Zych made his Major League debut on September 4th, be became the last player listed in the all-time baseball register. Zych pitched 18.1 innings this year, struck out 24 and had a 2.45 ERA
The “last player” was previously Dutch Zwilling, who held that title for over 100 years. Zwilling pitched from
2010 to 2016 1910 to 1916 for the Chicago teams in the American, Federal and National Leagues.
At the other end of the alphabet is former Braves pitcher David Aardsma. Aardsma took the 1st spot from Hank Aaron in 2004.
Unfortunately, Aardsma was released a few days before Zych made his debut, so they weren’t technically active at the same time. Maybe next year…
Blake Snell is a Rays prospect who was named the Minor League Player Of The Year by both Baseball America and USA Today.
Snell started the season with the class-A Charlotte Stone Crabs, moved up to the AA Montgomery Biscuits and finished out with the AAA Durham Bulls. His combined record for 2015 was 15-4 with a 1.41 ERA and 163 strikeouts in 134 innings.
Past winners of the Baseball America award include Kris Bryant, Mike Trout, Jason Heyward, Jay Bruce, Matt Wieters, Joe Mauer, Paul Konerko, Derek Jeter, Manny Ramirez, Frank Thomas, Jose Canseco and Dwight Gooden.
To be fair, past winners also includes Delmon Young, Rocco Baldelli, Jon Rauch, Derek Bell, Tom Gordon, Mike Bielecki, Mike Marshall and Ron Kittle… But the key thing is that everybody who won the award had some kind of Major League career. Not always a HOF career, but they all had more than a cup of coffee.
Anyway… here’s a new insert for Series 4: League Leaders. Every card company has done Leaders for Batting and Strikeouts and the like. Let’s pretend that I did that as well, but I also decided to do League Leaders for some of the secondary categories… Kind of like the awards shows that have a “pre-show” for “Best Sound Mixing For A Comedy Or Drama Series”.
…or “Most Dated And Arcane Pop Culture Reference”…
The first insert is “Holds”.
Holds are not an official statistic, but they are listed on the MLB website. According to baseball-reference.com, “A hold is granted to a relief pitcher who enters a game with his team in the lead in a save situation, and hands over that lead to another reliever without the score having been tied in the interim.” A player cannot get a hold if they get a win, save or loss. According to the little popup on the MLB.com Holds column, a player must also pitch at least 0.1 inning.
So there you go, your 2015 Holds leaders. Give ’em a hand!
There will be more of these cards. You have been warned.
Here’s another insert. I like Koji, I have a long-standing love for that mid-1970’s Red Sox cap, so this one was a natural.
I can’t even explain why I like this cap, I just always have. I used to own one when I was a kid, even though I’ve never been a Red Sox fan.
Since the subject line has a dated reference, I’ll throw in another. I’ve been waiting quite a while for this player to make his debut so I could make this reference:
ARE WE NOT MEN?
WE ARE DIFO!
Devo references aside, Wilmer Difo got a September callup by the Nationals after spending most of the season with AA Harrisburg. After the 2014 season, Baseball America named him the Nats’ #7 prospect and the best defensive 2B in the South Atlantic League.
To tie up the arcane references, I suppose I should elaborate on the subject line. It’s from the Monkees track “Zilch”… and while I found out that “Zych” rhymes with “sick”, it still looks somewhat like “Zilch”.
Next time, maybe I’ll make a “Zor And Zam” reference. Or maybe not. Yeah, probably not.