Sunday, September 1, 2013

Goodbye Young, Hello BlueClaws

2013 Bowman Platinum #38
Cubs 4, Phillies 3
Game 136 - Saturday Afternoon, August 31st in Chicago
Record - 62-74, 4th Place, 21 1/2 games behind the Braves

One Sentence Summary:  The Cubs came from behind twice to down the Phils, 4-3.

What It Means:  The Phillies will try for the series win this afternoon and then head home for a series with the Nationals.

What Went Wrong:  Cliff Lee struggled through his five innings of work, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits while walking three.  Zach Miner allowed the Cubs to take the lead for good on the second pitch he threw in the sixth when Starlin Castro homered to center.

Michael Young had three hits and a costly error, which serves as a perfect microcosm of his Phillies career.

Featured Card:  When I woke up on Sunday morning, I learned that Young had been traded away to the Dodgers.  Last night, we learned of John McDonald's departure (to the Red Sox) from Vin Scully while listening to the Dodgers game driving home from the Lakewood BlueClaws game.  I'll have more on the BlueClaws game below.

Young hit .272 in 125 games for the Phillies this season and to say his defense at third was shaky would be extremely favorable.  Still, his presence on the team did gain him a few fans - most notably my wife and my six-year-old son, Doug.  Both were sad when I informed them this morning that Young, with McDonald, were now ex-Phillies.

With the exception of Topps Archives, Young had Phillies cards in all the major Topps releases this year.  This is perhaps his final Phillies card, from the Bowman Platinum set.

2013 Brandt Lakwood BlueClaws #5, #9, #17 and #31
Doug and Art Charles

Field Report:  We packed up the boys and made the 90-minute trek to Lakewood, NJ on Saturday night to take in a Single-A Lakewood BlueClaws game.  An inning into the game, I was telling my wife that we definitely need to go to more minor league games.

Our seats were awesome, the food was good, the tickets were cheap, the players were nice and the boys had fun.  On top of that, we got to see some good baseball and get more familiar with players who could be appearing in Chachi sets by 2015 or 2016.  In particular, this year's first round pick, J.P. Crawford, looked fantastic on a few plays at short.

I bought Doug a BlueClaws team set and he had fun before the game tracking down autographs of several BlueClaws players and former Phillie (now coach) Aaron Fultz.  Art Charles, Larry Greene, Jr., and Chace Numata were very accommodating with their autographs and they helped to make my son's night.

We'll be going back to a game next season as the 90-minute drive was definitely well worth it.


Section 36 said...

My favorite memory of minor league games as a kid was getting autographs. Since I could recognize not a single player on the AA team, I'd just hand them the team set. They would flip though the stack to find their card and sign it. Worked great!

Jim said...

That's an awesome story.

We'd scout ahead and look for the player's name on his back. I'd then quickly find his card and hand it to Doug. As long as we could see the player's back, the system worked well!