Last week I was a little short on custom cards as I was not feeling well. This week I wanted to make up for it and I got a little crazy. Call it belated Olympic Fever.
I got Olympic fever!
I like to ‘Lympic down!
I got Olympic fever!
I hear it’s going around…
If you weren’t around in 1976, ignore the previous lyrics. If you were around, then I apologize.
We’ll start with Laurie Hernandez, who won Silver in the Women’s Beam and gold in the Women’s Team All-Around. She was at CitiField on Saturday, throwing out the first pitch in gymnast style.
She did a flip that one would call a somersault if she’d put her hands on the ground. I forget what this type of flip is called. How about “impressive”?
On the same day, Madison Kocian, who got Silver in the Women’s Uneven Bars and was on the same Gold-winning all-around team, threw out the first pitch at the Rangers game.
Aly Raisman, who won the team Gold and also silver in both Floor Exercise and Individual All-Around, threw out the first pitch at the Red Sox game back on August 26th.
Before throwing her first pitch to David Ortiz, she him to hold her medals.
…But she wasn’t the first to do that. Two days earlier, swimmer Katie Ledecky, who won 4 Gold and 1 Silver, threw out a first pitch at a Nationals game (I featured this one last week)…
..and got Bryce Harper to watch her medals for her.
OK, that’s it for Olympic first pitches. Moving on to some actual baseball stuff…
Coco Crisp was traded to Cleveland just before the August 31st deadline, but he didn’t get into a game until yesterday. Coco went 3 for 5 and scored 3 runs as the Indians’ DH.
I was also going to make a custom for Carlos Ruiz, who got traded to the Dodgers… but I couldn’t find a photo I liked, so I went with A.J. Ellis instead, who went to the Phillies in the same trade.
Researching A.J. Ellis made me realize something; there are a lot of A.J.’s in the majors. Aside from Ellis, there’s Pierzynski, Pollock, Griffin, Ramos, Reed, Cole, Schugel, Achter and Morris… and then there’s Astros manager A.J. Hinch and former pitcher A.J. Burnett.
I’ve got two “Notable Newbies” today, one at each end of the hype spectrum…
Dansby Swanson was the first overall draft pick in 2015 and was a key piece in the trade that sent Shelby Miller to Arizona. He made a quick rise through the minors this year, going from Hi-A to AA to the Majors.
Swanson is one of the top shortstop prospects in the game, and given the talent at that position, that’s not a small honor.
Just because, I’ll “reprint” his draft pick custom from last year.
In looking for another rookie to feature, I started looking at the listings for the 2016 Rookies of the Month, and San Diego’s Ryan Schimpf, who won in July, jumped out at me… because I know very little about him.
The only cards of his I could find were one minor league card, a Topps Now card and two Topps Bunt cards. No Pro Debut, no Bowman, not even Elite Extra Enhanced Extraordinary Edition (or whatever that set is called)
Schimpf was a member of the 2009 College World Series-winning Louisiana State University team, a team that also included current major leaguers D.J. LaMahieu, Anthony Ranaudo and Mikie Mahtook. Schimpf was drafted by the Blue Jays and spent 7 years in the minors before becoming a free agent. The Padres signed him to a minor league deal and gave him a shot with the big club in June.
During July, Schimpf batted .269 / .387 / .705 with 9 homers (a Padres rookie record), 17 runs and 17 RBI. His numbers dropped off a shade in August, but are still impressive… but since he’s in San Diego on a last place team, he gets no attention.
To wrap up this post, I’ll share a goofy card that I had intended to include in last weeks post before I found a mistake in the card. No, I’m not going to tell you what the mistake was.
I hope everybody’s enjoying their Labor Day weekend!