Saturday, March 29, 2014

#66 Kris Medlen

After yesterday’s “uncorrected error” disappointment, I wanted a palette cleanser. So the streak is over because as far as I can tell this card isn’t connected in any way to the Andre Rienzo.

#66 Kris Medlen
First impression of what’s going on: When I said palette cleanser, I meant something that I looked at and immediately thought it was awesome. While this isn’t necessarily the best of the remaining cards, it’ll probably be among them. The crop is a bit too tight, cutting of his foot in the upper right, It doesn’t necessarily take away from the photo but it will probably keep it from getting a A+.

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 27: Kris Medlen #54 of the Atlanta Braves pitches while wearing a Atlanta Black Crackers Negro League Tribute uniform during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 27, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers defeated the Braves 7-4. (Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
The Reality of the Photo: With all that extra space, there’s no reason the crop needed to be that tight. This caption is actually pretty thorough as we get the teams involved, the date of the game, score, and which throwback uniform Kris Medlen is wearing. But let’s check out the BOXSCORE anyway.

As the photo caption said, the Tigers won 7-4. It looks like Medlen probably gave up the first five runs and ultimately suffered the loss.

Yep. Giving up five runs is one of those things that could go either way in the win/loss column. Some of the better teams can overcome that but the perennial contender Detroit Tigers held the Braves off. Maybe I’m just used to cubs pitching but the innings didn’t seem particularly bad for Medlen; the Tigers just kept chipping away.

A single followed by a home run accounts for two runs in the bottom of the second.

After the Braves battled back to take the lead, Medlen gave up three consecutive singles that plated a run.

And then one of those pesky walks was followed by another home run in the bottom of the fourth.

Let’s get back to the positive stuff, the niches.

Starting with the free advertising, we see two Nike swooshes. One of his shoe and one on his undershirt.

We can also see a Rawling logo on Medlen’s glove.

On to the uniform. Last season, the Tigers hosted the 11th Annual Negro League Weekend for their series against the Braves. Here is a link from the Tigers website that talks about the weekend festivities. The Saturday game was the only one that featured the throwback uniforms though.

I’ll admit I’m way undereducated about the Negro Leagues but here’s a link I found interesting regarding the Atlanta Black Crackers.

And done properly are the high socks. Nice!

On to the back:

Rookie Fact: Kris, a righty, held left-handed hitters to a .183 Batting Average.

I couldn’t find anything (with minimal effort) that broke it down but holding any group to a .183 batting average is pretty impressive, depending on the sample size.

Unfortunately for Medlen, it looks like he’ll be out for the entire 2014 campaign.

Information I’ll be tracking:

Card Number: #66
Player Name: Kris Medlen
Team: Atlanta Braves
Position: Pitcher
Game Date: April 27, 2013
Opponent: Detroit Tigers
Stadium: Comerica Park
Division: American League Central
Home/Away: Away
Outcome of the game: 7-4, Tigers over the Braves, Loss for the player depicted
Alternate/Throwback Jersey: Yes, throwback.
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Birthdate: 10/7/1985
Birthplace: California
Cameos by: N/A
Photographer: Mark Cunningham
Niche collections this card could fit into: Horizontal, Throwback Uniform, Free Advertising, High Socks

My Grade: After filling in the Information I’ll Be Tracking portion of this card, I did find a link to Andre Rienzo from yesterday. Both pitchers were on the losing end of a 7-4 game. But I am officially done with the streak. Going random for a little while.

I also really wanted to like both cards, but what separates today’s card are the niches it fits into. The throwbacks are awesome. While researching them, I learned a little about the Negro Leagues which is an intangible part of this grading system. And I've already express my love of horizontal card and in spite of the crop, this was an excellent use of the format.

This card gets a solid A.

1 comment:

  1. I love the throwback uniform on this one, too. I wish they would have kept his right foot in the frame.

    It's too bad Medlen won't have a card in 2015 (TJ surgery), but at least he's got a nice one for '14!