Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Classic card of the week


Phil Nevin, 1999 Stadium Club

This is, to my knowledge, the only card I own that features such unmitigated, untamed, and unrelenting action. How does this play end? You’re simply going to have to rent the movie. That is all I can tell you. The movie is called: “I Should Have Stayed At Third: How the ’98 Baltimore Orioles Defied Convention and Captured the Hearts of No One in Particular.”

Also worth mentioning here is that Stadium Club is pretty freakin’ awesome. Sure, this particular card is sort of weird in that it highlights a random play more than the player –- it would take the uninformed viewer some time to determine which player was Phil Nevin –- but still. Compare this card to this, and you see that Stadium Club was the HD of tiny pieces of cardboard.

More stuff of note: I think we are all familiar with the perception that fans of baseball often care more about baseball than actual baseball players. If you subscribe to this theory then I present to you: Exhibit A. Check out that front row of fans, quite literally on the edges of their seats and at least one of them on top of the dugout in anticipation of what is about to happen. Please contrast this with the scene in the Angels’ dugout. You would think a beach ball had just blown onto the field and a 76-year old man was chasing it down with a walking stick. Now, granted, the circumstances here are unknown. It could be a 13-1 ballgame in the bottom of the eighth inning. Plus, the fans are most likely drunk, especially the lady who is screaming what is assumed to be profanity, and who is three more sips away from falling headfirst into the Angels’ dugout, which may or may not elicit a reaction from anyone in said dugout. But hey, geez –- it’s a play at the plate, guys. Arguably the most exciting play in baseball! Are you so jaded? Yes? Okay then.

Anyway, enough nonsense. I know what you are all thinking. What you are all thinking is this: What is the bottom line when it comes to Phil Nevin?

First I must say to you: That is an excellent question. What IS the bottom line on Phil Nevin? Let’s get past all the messy and suspect personal information. Forget about family, politics, and religion. Tell me something about Phil Nevin that, when I hear it I will say, “Stop right there. That is all I need to know about Phil Nevin. From this information I can draw all necessary conclusions about Phil Nevin as a baseball player and also as a human being.” Tell me that.



THE BOTTOM LINE
In 276 career ABs vs. LHPs, has hit .279 with 12 HRs.


And there you go. Wikipedia mentions –- as did Buster Olney’s “Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty” –- that Phil Nevin was selected 1st overall by the Houston Astros in the 1992 MLB Draft, which was five spots ahead of Derek Jeter, and which was a decision that caused Astros’ scout Hal Newhouser to quit his job. But this is not the bottom line on Phil Nevin. It is like…the fourth line from the top or something.

Did you know?
In the aforementioned '98 Orioles major motion picture, Brady Anderson is played by Ian Ziering.

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