It’s Been A Long Time Coming…

I pulled this card out of a pack of 2015 Heritage, and it bothered me quite a lot.
2015 Topps Heritage Garces Cordier
Nothing with the card itself, it was just that something about Erik Cordier seemed familiar, but I didn’t know why. Frankly, it was bugging the crap out of me.

I thought maybe I saw him pitch in the minors, but I looked up his minor league career record — AZL Royals, Idaho Falls, Burlington, GCL Braves, Rome, Myrtle Beach, Mississippi, Gwinnett, Indianapolis, Fresno, San Jose, Sacramento — and it was just a long list of “Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Nope.”

Then I looked up his cards on COMC, saw his 2005 rookie card…
2005 Topps Erik Cordier
…and said “OH! It’s THAT guy!”

I keep a set of binders organized by 40-man rosters (as well as some “minor league depth” for each team), so I’d seen the 2005 Topps Cordier floating around those binders for years.

But that’s not why I’m telling you about Cordier.

Here are the nationally-issued cards which came between the two I’d featured above:

 

 

 

That, right, none.  No Bowman, other than his other 2005 rookie card.  No TRISTAR Prospects Plus.  No Just Minors.  No Upper Deck Future Stars.  No Pro Debut.  No Razor.  No Heritage Minor Leagues.  No Elite Extra Excellent Exemplary Extraordinary Elite Edition.

Nada. Nichts. Bugger all.

…Which is pretty noteworthy given that Cordier was a 2nd-round draft pick (picked ahead of Hunter Pence, Dustin Pedroia and Kurt Suzuki) who can hit triple-digits on the radar.  I guess it says a lot about the state of “prospecting” that it’s noteworthy when a guy makes it to the Majors without being in a dozen sets along the way.

A knee injury and Tommy John surgery caused delays in his early career.  Two missed seasons and four organizations later, he got a September call-up to the Giants last year.  He made 7 appearances, all in relief.

Since Cordier is making up for lost time, cardboard-wise, I’ll give him a virtual addition to his player collection.
2015 TSR #153 - Erik Cordier

Two Small Things That Warmed My Nerdy Little Heart Today

I keep my recent cards in binders organized by current rosters, and I just got finished updating some player’s rows with recently acquired cards.  Two in particular made me smile…

The first smile came when I put this card into the appropriate Blue Jays page in my AL East binder…
2013 Topps Erik Kratz_0001
…Erik Kratz was traded to Toronto in December…

It made me smile partially because I got to replace a hand-written placeholder with an actual card, but even more so when I turned the card over and saw this guy’s career:
2013 Topps Erik Kratz_0002
I like to see a guy who’s been around the block a few times get a baseball card… Yes, Kratz was on a Bowman Prospects card a few years ago, but it’s not the same.

The second smile came when updated the Jerome Williams row in my AL West Binder (he signed with the Astros as a free agent).
Jerome Williams row from AL West binder
Before I put this 2013 card into the far left slot, the entire row was occupied with 2005 cards… The 2013 Topps card ended up bumping a 2005 Heritage card out of the far right slot. I love it when a long-dormant row gets new life. Jerome Williams was a hot pitching prospect who ran into problems and ended up playing in the minors and overseas for a number of years, so he was absent from the “card scene” for a while. He did have a couple of cards in between, but I don’t own those cards.

By the way, at least two of the cards he had in between were Upper Deck cards… The fact that they would give cards to guys like Jerome Williams is one of the few things I miss about UD.

I thought it was also worth mentioning that Williams is from Honolulu and Baseball-reference.com describes him as Hawai’ian-Chinese-Portuguese-Spanish-Japanese-Norweigan-African-Filipino-American.

Photo Clichés #4: Arroyo’s Revenge

I recently pulled a 2012 Bronson Arroyo out of a pack, which reminded me that I haven’t done an Arroyo Photo Cliché post in a while. Topps was kind enough to give us a leg kick.
2012 Topps Bronson Arroyo

I’ve also got two other cards I ran across while organizing…

2006 Allen & Ginter is a portrait… How boring.

2005 Topps Total is a non-leg-kick action shot. Even more boring.

So here are the stats…

Leg Kick: 2006 Upper Deck, 2006 Topps, 2007 Topps, 2009 Topps, 2010 Topps, 2011 Topps, 2012 Topps

Posed/Portrait: 2005 Topps, 2006 A&G, 2008 Heritage

Action Shot without a leg kick: 2002 Upper Deck, 2005 Topps Total, 2009 Upper Deck

Leg Kick Average: .538 (7 leg kicks out of 13 cards)

I’ve got to track down the 2008 Topps card;  if that’s a leg kick, then Topps has done the leg kick on its base cards for 7 years running.

Let’s close things out with a review of the 6 leg kick cards I’d previously featured…

2011 Topps Bronson Arroyo 2007 Topps Bronson Arroyo 2009 Topps Bronson Arroyo 2010 Topps Bronson Arroyo 2006 Topps Bronson Arroyo 2006 UD Bronson Arroyo

Photo Clichés: The Return Of Bronson Arroyo

It occurred to me that I hadn’t posted any Bronson Arroyo cards lately, so like Leonard Nimoy I went “In Search Of…” Arroyo leg kicks.  Here’s what I came up with today:

2005 Topps:  No leg kick!  And just to emphasize the complete wrongness of it all, he’s looking shlubby in his Red Sox warmups while being photographed in Yankee Stadium.

2006 Topps:  Photoshopped leg kick!  Well, the uniform is photoshopped, not the leg kick.  …I don’t think…

Let’s see where that leaves us…

Leg Kick:  2006 Topps, 2007 Topps, 2009 Topps, 2010 Topps, 2011 Topps

Posed/Portrait:  2005 Topps, 2008 Heritage

Action Shot without a leg kick:  2009 Upper Deck

Leg Kick Average:  .625 (5 leg kicks out of 8 cards)