Wow, 15 days between "The Other 29" posts, way to go me. Like I said earlier, I guess I just prefer writing about the Padres. That, plus the release of Topps Heritage and the end of the grading period craziness at school have slowed the countdown.
Anyways, I have a little down time on vacation, since all of the little cousins are playing at gymnastics class, and I'm watching Scooby Doo with my oldest niece. On with the show!
When I think of Pittsburgh, I think of The Boss Vic Koss in That Thing You Do. Maybe that's just me.
DO I LIKE 'EM?
As much as you can like a team that only has one player you can name.
SHARE MY FEELINGS?
I feel very sympathetic towards the Bucs, as they've been suffering through some pretty tough years. I know the Padres aren't a dynasty by any stretch, but compared to the Pirates, they might as well be. The last time Pittsburgh had a winning record was 1992. The Padres have been to the playoffs four times since then, and have had seven winning seasons. The Pirates have suffered through some bad ownership decisions and players that didn't pan out. From the looks of it, they have a few great draft picks that will hopefully pan out for them.
One of the most recent trades involving the two teams was one that sent Ryan Ludwick to the Steel City, for a player to be named later and cash. After a few minutes of searching, I am still unable to find out who the PTBNL was or how much money was exchanged. I also have a card of an obscure prospect named Trey Beamon who was drafted by the Pirates, and played 43 of his 95 career MLB games for the Padres (the first 24 were with the Bucs).
Former: Tim Wakefield
Current: Andrew McCutchen
LEAST FAVORITE PLAYERS?
Former: Barry Bonds
Current: A.J. Burnett
While known primarily as a Red Sock, Tim Wakefield started out his career as a position player for the Pirates. I'm not sure how many cards there are of him as a Pirate, but I've got four of 'em, and as of right now, they're the only Wakefield's in my binders.
These were the Pirates of my youth. Drabek's son Kyle is pitching in the majors now for the Blue Jays. Van Slyke's son Scott is an outfielder who made his debut for the Dodgers last year. Both proud parents, I'm sure. Of course, 1992 Pinnacle is my favorite set of all time, and '92 was the last time the Pirates had a winning record. Coincidence? Yes.
As a kid, I seemed to always get cards of Jose Lind. Despite having a career .254 batting average and jacking nine homers in nine major league seasons, Jose had some decent cards. I love him jumping over Spanky Lavalliere on the back of his '91 Upper Deck card, and wielding a sword on his '92 Studio card? Awesome. BTW: google search "Jose Lind Studio sword", and the first link is to a post of my first trip to a card shop since I was a kid.
The McKenry card from last year's Topps is a cool shot. I have no idea what game Trey Beamon is playing on, or why Upper Deck decided to have this be the pose for his "Star Rookie" card, but it gets an "A" for uniqueness. Stan Belinda was the first player I ever was aware of that shared my birthday (albeit eighteen years before mine).
This last card I got in my first purchase of 2013 Topps. Pretty slick looking card of "Pops" who, according to the back of the card never swung a bat with his name engraved on it, preferring instead to use his teammates.
Here's hoping that the Bucs can break the cycle and finish above .500 this year. Not having the Astros to beat up on will hurt their chances, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that they'll finish in the middle of the pack in the NL Central at third place. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if all of their "potential" was finally realized and they finished higher, or if the "Dumb Luck Bucs" hit the skids and finish in dead last.