Monday, April 13, 2015

4/13/2015 Columbus Clippers, Louisville Bats PPD

Louisville Slugger Field, Louisville, KY
Game 1 of 2

The game that wasn't a first visit of the season, and the first game I've ever attended that was rained out before the first pitch was even thrown.
Chihiro and I were all fired up and ready for based ball, and the weather really wasn't looking that bad...we've seen it a lot worse. The look on our faces above is primarily the result of what we are seeing happen on the field only 20 minutes before first pitch.
YUP...they're rolling out the tarp!
...5 minutes later came the rain, an hour later the game was postponed officially.

Of course, we had time to eat something and participate in the Mystery Rookie Card game for the first time of the 2015 season.

Chihiro picked a card that looks much nicer than mine, this 2008 Bowman Draft Prospects BDP36 Rich Thompson refractor. Rich (known by most of us as "Chopper") hails from New South Wales, Australia and was signed as an amateur free agent by the Anaheim Angels in 2002. 
He was a hero on the Australian Baseball squad of 2004 that defeated Japan to earn a Silver Medal, and seemed to be a consistent performer in the Angels' minor league system leading up to his MLB debut in 2007. Even though the High A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes worked him out as a starter in 2004 and 2005, he was primarily a reliever. He made appearances during the offseason with the ABL Sydney Blue Sox in early 2011, and at the time was a potential success story for Australian players in MLB.  His only considerable major league season would be 2011, the following spring the Angels placed him on waivers, when he was claimed by the Oakland A's and only appeared in 1 MLB game before being granted free agency. He signed with Toronto at the end of 2012, but never pitched for any MLB team or its affiliates since. Rich currently lives in Arkansas and is a personal trainer. He's also very active on twitter (@Chopper_54). You know how down I am with Australian Baseball, folks.

My pick brought a dry chuckle at first...this rustic 1988 Donruss 174 Ellis Burks card. I chuckled because I was sure I already had it; fact of the matter is, I don't.
Burks was the 20th pick in the first round of the 1983 Draft by Boston, and signed with them a few months later. He was with the Red Sox organization for 10 years, making his MLB debut in 1987 and only playing fewer than 130 games per season two times; despite shoulder surgery and, later, bad knees and back spasms plaguing him from time to time. Burks' OPS+ during his playing years in Boston was a rather impressive 116; he continued his success at the plate with the Chicago White Sox in 1993, and signed with the Colorado Rockies at the end of that year. His first season in Colorado was abbreviated somewhat, but from 1994 until the trade deadline in 1998 his OPS+ blossomed to an even more impressive 133 with a near 1.000 OPS; Burks was an MVP candidate and competed with the likes of Tony Gwynn for the batting title in 1996. At the 1998 trade deadline, Burks was sent to the San Francisco Giants for Darryl Hamilton, Jim Stoops and PTBNL Jason Brester. Burks continued to be bestial for the Giants, appearing in no less than 120 games again, despite his ever-increasing injuries. He was 35 at the end of the 2000 season, ripe and ready to finish his career as a DH in the American League, and signed with the Cleveland Indians, where he played in 317 games in 3 seasons (still bringing in the baconesque 133 OPS+), and ended his career where he started, with the Boston Red Sox, in 2004.

My scoresheets, stood up at the can still download the scoresheets for free HERE!

Official Program (featuring Donald Lutz) and Scorecard

Ticket (Dylan Axelrod)

Bat Chat and Gameday Stats

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