March 5, 1976
Most people don’t think of the Reds when they think of Paul Konerko. He started his career as a Dodger, and only played 26 games for the Reds before they sent him to Chicago for Mike Cameron. Konerko has a borderline case for the Hall of Fame, but in my opinion falls a little short. He was a six-time All-Star who hit 439 home runs with 1412 RBI and a .279 batting average in an 18-year career. His lifetime WAR, however, is only 27.6, which is considerably less than the average Cooperstown resident.
It has been a disappointing year for Reds fans. After a late first-half surge that made it appear that the team would be contenders, they simply fell apart after the All-Star break. Between injuries, slumps, and season-long poor performances, the team struggled to even stay above the Cubs at the bottom of the division.
Outside of the Cincinnati world, two fine players are wrapping up their careers. Of course, nearly everyone is talking about Derek Jeter, the sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer (why even wait five years?), who is playing his final games at Fenway Park this weekend. But there is another, lower-profile player who is just as classy as Jeter even if his stats don’t reflect the same talents.
Paul Konerko will be playing his final games for the White Sox at home this weekend against the Royals. Paulie has had a solid career: 439 home runs, 1412 RBI, and a .279 batting average (at the time of this writing). Probably not a Hall of Fame career, but certainly one to be admired.
I’ll be wrapping things up over on TWJ cards on tumblr this weekend as well, at least as far as the “base set” goes. There may be a handful of postseason cards, and will likely be awards cards down the line, but as far as the “regular set” goes, it will end with card #260.
The final card is scheduled to appear around 8:30 tomorrow night, and then two more “highlights” cards will follow.
Want to see all the TWJ cards that have featured players from your favorite team? Just type in your browser’s address bar: http://twjcards.tumblr.com/tagged/los-angeles-dodgers, replacing los-angeles-dodgers with whatever your favorite team is. You will see everything that has appeared over the past three seasons.
I’m still working on organizing the 600+ photos taken at Camden Yards last week, so give me a few more days to upload some from the O’s/Marlins game that I attended. But here are a few of the photos from the Nationals/White Sox game on Father’s Day that I attended with my 10-year son.
statue of Josh Gibson
Gordon Beckham turning two over Nyjer Morgan
Freddy Garcia can’t beat out the throw to Adam Dunn
starting ChiSox pitcher Freddy Garcia
no game would be complete without Ozzie Guillen arguing with an umpire
(Greg Gibson in this case)
golden boy Stephen Strasburg
I also made some cards for the 2010 Goose Joak set using these and other photos.
I was looking for tickets to Saturday’s game against the White Sox, but wasn’t really willing to pay the scalpers’ prices on them. So I decided to forgo the series. I’ve already seen the ChiSox a couple of times (once at Old Comiskey in 1989, again at New Comiskey in 1992). But as I was leaving work a couple of mornings ago, a co-worker asked if I wanted tickets to Friday’s game. I asked the question, of course, “How much?” His answer: “Free.” My answer: “Of course.”
My son had a baseball game tonight, so I knew I wouldn’t make it to the whole Reds game. As it turned out, I ended up umping the little leaguers because the high school kid they hired didn’t show up. I’m a terrible ump, and the little league game took about two hours to play. TWO HOURS FOR FIVE INNINGS. I was exhausted, but I knew we could still catch a few innings of the Reds game, so I dropped off my son, picked up my wife, and we were on our way…
We got to the game during the top of the seventh inning, just in time to see Jim Thome bat!
He ended up popping out I think. But hey, it was pure luck that we saw him at all…he was pinch hitting, and it turned out to be his only plate appearance of the night.
We also saw Jermaine Dye ground out…
…and Paul Konerko hit a long shot…
And some other stuff. I’m not sure. I was exhausted, still sweating from my umpire duties, but kept clicking away. Here’s a few of the other shots I took during the game…
Oh, and there was some dude standing down the first base line…I think there is some other blogger that thinks this guy should be a Hall of Famer or something…
One last thing. For those who are interested…THE REDS WON! Eat it, Steve. 🙂