Saturday, March 7, 2015

Two of My Favorite Pitchers

Josh, from Royals and Randoms, sent me an e-mail and then magical things happened.  My unwanted Royals somehow turned into two of my favorite pitchers of my lifetime.  Isn't the blogosphere great that way?

Alright folks, let's strap in as I drive down memory lane here a bit and give you a little explanation as why the following to gents are two of my favorites.

I was a sophomore in college during the spring of '98.  Kerry Wood was one year older than myself, but we had the same body type, played the same position, and he played for my favorite team.

I, on the other hand, was pitching for Eureka College, a Division III baseball program.  Even though we were only a year apart in age, we couldn't have been farther apart in the baseball world.

That summer I lived vicariously through Kerry Wood and when he mowed down twenty Astros in his fifth start of his career I was jumping up and down in my dorm room.  What a game!
Later that same spring I had to go under the knife to clean up my elbow and Kerry Wood followed suit half a year later.  I was just finishing my rehab when he was starting.  Lots of parallels!

As you can tell I'm a big fan of Kerry Wood.  The cards Josh sent over my way were all new to my collection of KW cards, which now stands at 376.  Thanks, Josh!  

It was the fall of 2003 and I was making the 2.5 hour drive to Chicago to visit my girlfriend.  I had a ring in my pocket and I was pretty nervous.  But, the Cubs were on the radio and they had already won game one of a doubleheader against the Pirates.  I loved timing my trips to visit Laura with the start time of the Cubs' game.  Traveling on long stretches of highway is much more entertaining when the Cubs are on ... and winning!

Matt Clement was mowing down the Pittsburgh hitters and before I knew it I had arrived at my destination right when the Cubs won the game and clinched a playoff spot.  I was in such a great mood.  My team was in the playoffs and my confidence soared.  The nerves were gone and the ring in my pocket would find the finger of my wife later that evening.  (I talk a good game, but I got the jitters again shortly after dinner, but she still said YES!)

So yeah, I see a Matt Clement baseball card and I remember September 27th of 2003 like it was yesterday.  So yes, Matt Clement and his weird facial hair growth thingy is one of my favorite pitchers.  Go figure!

Thanks for the trade, Josh.  And thanks for the trip down memory lane!
 P.S. - Thanks for using blue tape!

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