Monday, September 12, 2016

Vogelbach Gets the Call

I've been following Dan Vogelbach's career since he was drafted by the Cubs in the 2nd Round of the 2011 Amateur Draft. I usually fall for the pitching prospects, but there is something really likeable about a guy who has his priorities in line, doesn't mind working hard, has a great sense of humor and possesses the potential to hit monster homeruns.
Bowman gave Vogelbach his first licensed card in 2011 within the Draft and Prospects set. Honestly, I barely noticed. I was just getting back into collecting and my blog had only been up and running for a handful of months at that point. I was too busy trying to ingratiate myself to the blogging community and didn't want to narrow my focus on any one player other than Ryne Sandberg, who I collected hard core during my middle school years.

I don't think I really focused the content of a post solely on Vogelbach until I learned the Cubs were moving out of P-town and up I-55 to Kane County. I was pretty heart-broken about the affiliation switch. Late in 2012, Vogelbach was featured prominently in the #1 position in my Should've Been A Chief series.

During the following summer I saw Vogelbach and the Kane County Cougars play in the Quad Cities and a nickname was born. The QC River Bandits posted a picture of Mike Wazokski, from Monsters Inc, on the score board when Dan Vogelmonster came to bat. At the time it may have been a good-natured jab by the River Bandits at an opposing player, but I thought it fit because he's a big man who can terrorize opposing pitchers. Baseball needs more nicknames and I jumped in on the ground floor with this one. I have affectionately referred to Dan Vogelbach as the VOGELMONSTER ever since.

Later that summer I attended a Cougars game in the Chicago suburbs and received my first in-person autograph from the VOGELMONSTER. I said my pleases and thank yous, but I was too nervous to really say anything else. Nevertheless, it was a great day!
 In the spring of 2015 the VOGELMONSTER was playing for the AA Tennessee Smokies and had just been handed TWO Southern League Player of the Week Awards.  I'm not one for poetry, but I was moved!
Fast forward to January of 2016 and I got to meet the VOGELMONSTER face-to-face for a second time during one of the autograph sessions at the Cubs Convention. I was actually able to get a few coherent words out and he inscribed "God Bless You" on a baseball card for me. I'm not a religious man, but it's the thought that counts.  And, that one counted BIG with me. To me that inscription reads, "Thank you for your support and following my career."

I will follow and continue to follow . . . even when he plays for a different organization. I was disappointed when he was traded to Seattle, but he wasn't really ever going to be given a chance with the Cubs. And heck, the Mariners' first baseman, Adam Lind, is a free agent after this year! Take that job and run with it, Dan!

I posted last Wednesday that the VOGELMONSTER had not been called up from AAA Tacoma, because the Rainiers were in the play-offs. I received a couple of nice notes today from Zippy Zappy and my sister alerting me to Seattle calling up the VOGELMONSTER. Again, it's the thought that counts, but I had been following Tacoma's play-off games more closely than the Cubs recently. I knew Today was The Day since early Sunday morning when I found out Tacoma had finished its season the night before. Quite a few Seattle based media outlets were reporting that three AAA players would get the call, and most of them listed Dan Vogelbach at the top of the list. made it official during the middle of one of my BC Calculus classes, but I checked when school was let out and I did a little happy dance on my way to the car. I'm sure a couple of students saw me, but who cares?

Man.  Wouldn't that be something else?  I would actually be forced to purchased my first Topps Now card if this came true!

ANAHEIM, Calif. — The build is part fullback and part fire hydrant. The batting eye is as discerning as an art critic. And the patience at the plate is akin to a kindergarten instructor. Daniel Vogelbach — the Mariners’ possible first baseman of the future — arrived at Angels Stadium on Monday, anxious and eager to appear in his first Major League Baseball game.
“This is a dream come true, isn’t it?” he said. “As a kid, this is what you dream of. It’s been a long road and I wouldn’t want to have changed it any way. I’ve learned a lot as I’ve come through the minors and I’ve grown a lot as a baseball player and a person. I’m just so happy to be here.”
I swiped the above from Seattle Times.  Great stuff!

Good luck to you, Dan Vogelbach, as you start the next chapter of your career. I hope you show the baseball world why I've been referring to you as the VOGELMONSTER all these years!