Can I interest you in Cy Young’s padlock?

There have plenty of weird finds on eBay of tangentially-related-to-baseball memorabilia. Cy Young’s coffee pot, a Mr. Peanut costume that hung out with Reggie Jackson, Lefty Grove’s tax returns, and, of course, STAN MUSIAL’S WALLET AND IT’S CONTENTS!

And to this, we add another piece of memorabilia that has been touched by a Hall of Famer: a padlock owned by Cy Young!

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Yes, for the low price of $149.95 (plus shipping), you can own this padlock that was owned at one point by the winningest pitcher of all time. Of course, you may “need a locksmith to open it,” says the listing, but how can you say no to  “a rare piece from the Pitching Legend.” I mean, never mind that it had nothing to do with baseball whatsoever and is probably like countless other padlocks around the world… Cy Young’s fingers touched this thing. And that’s gotta be worth almost 150 dollars, right?

Right?

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Happy Birthday, Pablo Sanchez

Today, August 18, is an important day, as it is the birthday of the greatest baseball player of all time: Pablo Sanchez. Yes, Pablo Sanchez. The Secret Weapon. You remember him, from back in the day, that Mexican-American wonder-kid who couldn’t speak a lick of English (or so he claimed), but could speak the language of baseball like nobody else. He could throw a no-hitter (although pitching wasn’t his main strength), hit the ball 723 feet, and was also a great multi-sport athlete who also played soccer, hockey, football and basketball.

To this day, it is said, if you find a sandlot, close your eyes, and think of him, you can still hear his song drift through the wind, reminding us all of the legend.

Feliz cumpleaños, Pablo. We know you continue to fight the good fight.

 

(Oh, and I guess I should take the time to wish a happy birthday to my sister as well.)

(Blogathon ’16) Michael Clair: An (Abbreviated) People’s History of the World Through Baseball Cards

This guest-post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer are not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

In the beginning, there was nothing. Just a swirl of atoms and gasses mixing about in a sort of cosmic stew. Perhaps there were some Lovecraftian elder gods with tentacle faces flitting about but honestly, that’s all just conjecture.

And then, for some unknown reason, everything smashed together. This was the Big Bang.

From there … everything was set into motion, like when you’re playing Mouse Trap and you flip the switch that starts the aforementioned trap. Eventually, single celled organisms had to combine into fish who had to crawl out of the ocean and onto land.

Those things then turned into dinosaurs. I think.

Of course, Carl Everett may disagree with that.

Humanity eventually showed up, evolving from apes. Somehow,like Leo DiCaprio in “The Revenant,” they survived against the cold and the dark and the ancient beasts that wandered the world. After stumbling around, smashing rocks into things, the first farmers showed up about 8,500 years ago to plant crops.

It was at this time that animals were first domesticated, too. Little could these wild and violent creatures have imagined what would one day become of them:

With our faithful Labradoodles by our side, humans were safe to grow and learn. 5,000 years later, the first signs of writing appeared. Some say this was the first thing a homo sapien ever scratched out:

Flash forward to 800 BC and not only do we see the very first Homer, who is busy penning the Odyssey (side note: I can’t believe Topps has never come out with a Homer’s Odyssey line of cards, with dinger gods receiving Grecian-style prints), but, fittingly, that’s also when the Iron Age began.

Jacked bros will tell you that it’s never ended.

A few hundred years later, alchemists got busy looking for the philosopher’s stone that could transmute base metals into gold. They generally dressed like this:

Then in the 5th century King Arthur and his McKnights of the Round Table showed up. If you’re trying to tell me that Lancelot did not look like this, then you clearly haven’t been attending many Ren Fairs.

Soon enough, the Renaissance was upon us, ushering in a new world of emerging thought and, most importantly, art. A new understanding of human physics and how to depict them made humans look almost lifelike. Almost.

But the Renaissance would eventually be swept away under the coal-fueled wheels of the Industrial Revolution. Soon, the repeatable precision that came from factories and cameras forced man to become machine and art to change its very definition.

Soon after, the Wright Brothers would get tired of riding bikes all the time and they discovered flight. Sadly, it left poor Sean Lowe without a purpose any longer.

After some of the worst wars man had ever seen (shockingly, not a whole lot of World War I baseball cards featuring the poetry of Wilfred Owen), man discovered nuclear fusion and the world would be plunged into a new terror.

That fear would force humans to look to the stars. And if you believe the “official story”, we walked upon the moon. Yeah, right. Wake up sheeple.

Not much happened after that until the internet was created. Finally, people could send letters without having to write anything down, while also doing sex stuff without ever leaving their houses.

And cell phones were invented. And people could do more types of sex stuff without leaving their houses.

What will the future bring? Will we soon walk amongst the stars? Will we discover the purpose of existence? Will we be able to order pizza through emoji? Humans may have no idea, but baseball cards do.

(Image sources: Baseball Card Bust, eBay, Trading Card Database, Stunning Purple, This Card is Cool, Garvey Cey Russell Lopes, and probably more.)

Michael Clair writes for MLB.com’s Cut4 and will likely one day suffocate under his baseball card collection. Follow him @clairbearattack.

This guest-post was part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page. Also, please note that the opinions and statements of the writer were not necessarily those of the Baseball Continuum or it’s webmaster.

(Blogathon ’16) CONTINUUM CLASSIC- The time I wrote an obituary for the 2012 Baltimore Orioles’ playoff hopes. Whoops.

This piece from the blog’s archives is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

The Playoff Hopes of the Baltimore Orioles passed away last night at the age of 89 games, dying shortly after a 19-7 trouncing at the hands of the Minnesota Twins, who sometimes don’t even seem to score 19 runs during a single month. Although Hopes, who had not been seen this late since 1997, is still technically alive, doctors confirm that the prognosis is extremely grim and that it is only a matter of time before it is overtaken and destroyed by the American League East and the tough competition for the AL Wild Card spots due to a lack of starting pitching.

The Orioles’ Playoff Hopes leaves behind it’s brother, fellow Baltimore native Michael Phelps Olympic Hopes, as well as it’s distant cousin, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ Playoff Hopes.

Services are the rest of the season. In lieu of flowers, send quality starting pitchers.

This piece from the blog’s archives has been part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

(Blogathon ’16) Songs of October (Post-2015 update)

This post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

For the far-too-late update on what happened in 2015, go to the bottom of the post after the jump.

In 2013, there was a sensation that spread across the nation: Mups. Their spread was unstoppable, to the point where some like the “Cespedes Family BBQ” and Jesse Spector had begun to engage in a “#Mupwatch”. But some wondered: What was a Mup? Were they some sort of Muppet? Were they dangerous? And why were they being lit on fire?

Well, the answer lay in the commercials that had been playing in the lead-up to and during the post-season, featuring Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”. Here is an example of such a commercial. While officially they were saying “Light ’em up”, it sounded, especially during the echoing segments, like they were actually talking about things called “mups”.

And thus continued a long tradition of October songs that have graced our televisions and infected our ears, whether we liked them or not. And, usually, if we DID like them at the start of the postseason, we ended up being sick of them by the end just from hearing them so many times.

And, what’s more, these songs and how they have become memes aren’t from a universal source. Most of them, for example, have been part of TBS’ coverage, but others, including the Fall Out Boy song, have actually been of MLB’s doing. In 2013, for example, TBS was using a different song*, and MLB Network itself also had a different song for the commercials for it’s two games**. Rarely if ever have they been actually about baseball, usually selected more for their choruses or imagery.

*Using Google searches of the lyrics I was able to decipher, I’ve figured out it’s 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Do or Die”.

**Again using Google, I’ve found that the commercials use the chorus from Papa Roach’s “Still Swingin’“.

Still, with that out of the way, here’s a history (after the jump) of the Songs of October:

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30 Teams, 30 Posts (2015): Alex Rodriguez’s arrival at Yankees camp, in the minds of some people (SATIRE)

In 30 Teams, 30 Posts, I write a post about every MLB team in some way in the lead-up to the beginning of the 2015 season. Today, I talk about Alex Rodriguez and the Yankees by showing you an alternate world where Alex Rodriguez’s arrival at Yankee camp was as horrific as some people thought it would be or make it out to be:

We all feared this day would come. We told ourselves it was just a bad dream, a prophecy that would never be fulfilled.

But, alas, that bleak day happened. Alex Rodriguez, baseball’s greatest monster, arrived at Yankee Spring Training on Monday, coming days early by way of an ominous Zeppelin of Doom, powered by the tears of orphans and the death-cries of starved kittens.

After all, that is what Alex Rodriguez is all about. Himself. Some would move with the flow, be one with the team. But not Alex Rodriguez. Everything about him is looking out for number one. And yet, he is one of the ones who he has failed, right alongside his family, his team, his sport, America, and, indeed, all of mankind.

And, yet, he doesn’t even seem to know what, exactly, he has done wrong. Not today, not yesterday, not ever.

“Some of the mistakes.”

“Would not elaborate on what they were.”

Oh, and he said that while drinking the blood of a hapless victim. But that’s now important: he wouldn’t elaborate.

How could you not elaborate, Alex? Perhaps it is because of all of them. After all, your many crimes may include some of the following:

  • Lying
  • Getting caught with steroids
  • Using steroids in the first place
  • Kidnapping a young damsel and tying her to train tracks
  • Assassinating Archduke Franz Ferdinand and indirectly starting World War One
  • The ending of Man of Steel
  • Misplacing Thurman Thomas’ helmet in Super Bowl XXVI
  • Slapping at Bronson Arroyo’s glove
  • Tricking Howie Clark
  • Global Warming
  • Selling the rights to the X-Men and Fantastic Four to FOX Studios, thus depriving the world of seeing The Hulk fight The Thing and Wolverine hanging out with Captain America during WWII.
  • The Union’s defeat at Bull Run
  • The throwing of the 1919 World Series
  • The Lego Movie not being nominated for Best Animated Feature
  • The demise of MVP Baseball
  • Ken Griffey Jr.’s injuries
  • The episode of Lost about Jack’s tattoo
  • The disappearance of Flight 19
  • Centaurs

That’s a lot of potential things you could have possibly done, and the fact that most of them you had nothing to do with has nothing to do with that, A-Rod. You are a disgrace, a fraud, and a poo-poo head. Please go away.

In reality, of course, nothing interesting happened and amazingly nobody went quite this over-the-top with their blistering hot-take thinkpieces. Although we did get this picture of  journalists trying to catch a peek of his workout from a distance:

Do you want to be a racing mascot? Well… GOOD NEWS!

There is good news for those of you who aim to win athletic glory while wearing a big-headed mascot uniform: the Oakland Athletics are hiring for just such a position! Yes, you can be a racing mascot, defeating your foes and amusing the masses while in a caricature version of somebody like Rollie Fingers, Rickey Henderson or Dennis Eckersley. Wait… no Connie Mack? No Jimmie Foxx? No Reggie Jackson?

Jeez, Athletics, are you even TRYING in this racing mascot thing? Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make due. Let’s see what this requires….

• Prior experience in promotions, performing in costume and customer service preferred.

Well, two out of three isn’t too bad, although one of those two I wasn’t a professi-… wait… preferred? Ha! That means it isn’t required! I’m good!

• Must be comfortable performing and interacting with fans in front of large crowds and on camera.

Full disclosure: When I was like eight, I jumped on top of a dugout and danced on it. Everybody thought it was hilarious except for my parents and the security guards. Tough crowd. So… I’m good!

• Must be reliable, punctual, courteous, have good listening skills and ability to multi-task.

Standard stuff, I’m good!

• Must have high energy, enthusiasm and excitement to promote the A’s brand.

I wrote an article on how the A’s brand should survive even if they move to San Jose! That’s total promotion and excitement about the brand! I’m good!

• Must have strong ability to work well with all employees in a team environment.

Okay, this may be a problem, because I think of myself as something of a method actor. If I’m in the costume, I am the costume. So, it’s entirely possible that I’d start referring to myself in the third person or something, which would be weird. Still, I’m sure I’d be able to manage it, so I’m good!

• Must have ability to run a minimum of 250 yards in a 50 pound costume. Running skills will be tested.

It wouldn’t be graceful at all, but I’d probably be able to handle it. So I’m good!

• Must have ability to perform and entertain while wearing a 50 pound costume for extended periods of time.

See above.

• Must be able to lift and carry items up to 50lbs.

Shouldn’t be too much of a problem, hopefully.

• Must be available to work during all A’s home games and outside appearances as needed, including days, nights, weekends and holidays, throughout the 2015 baseball season.

Hey, if they are willing to get me to Oakland, I’m willing to…

• Must have reliable transportation and live in or close to the Oakland area.

CRAP.

 

Well, maybe one day I shall win glory as a racing mascot. Maybe one day….