Thursday, April 24, 2014

#223 Joaquin Benoit

Ok, so I took a much longer than intended break from posting. The season is under way. If you follow my other blog, Once a Cub, you ‘ll know there were a few new collection pickup s that needed sorting through. I should be back to posting fairly regularly now but I think going forward, this will be an evening time posting instead of earlier like my other blog.

#223 Joaquin Benoit
First impression of what’s going on: Another potentially great card almost ruined by a bad crop job. Great throwback uniform. Joaquin Benoit is working the high socks but the uniform seems a little too baggy to say it’s 100% accurate. But that could just be my perception as I wasn’t around back then. I spy an umpire cameo that I’ll be looking into as well.

DETROIT, MI - APRIL 27: Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Detroit Tigers pitches while wearing a Detroit Stars Negro League tribute uniform during the game against the Atlanta Braves 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: As usual, plenty of room to fit Benoit’s entire glove into the frame.  And I knew it going into this post, but this photo is from the same game as my last post, Kris Medlen’s card. So here’s the link again to the BOXSCORE and the same line score:

But now let’s see it from the Tigers’ and Benoit’s perspective.

Luckily, the Tigers were up by two when Benoit entered the game because he did end up giving up a home run to Justin Upton before the Tigers tacked on two more in the bottom half of the inning.

If Topps had cropped off Benoit’s feet, we would have missed a shot at some Free Advertising. Instead we get the New Balance logo on the tongue of Benoit’s cleat.

The background is too blurry to make out the advertisments on the outfield wall.

The umpire credited with working second base that game was Mark Carlson. According to his Wikipedia bio, Carlson has been umpiring in the Majors since 1999.

As I mentioned in the Medlen post, 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 probably should have spread these posts out rather than do them back to back since I’m using some of the same photos. Here again are the uniforms worn that day.

The Braves represented the Atlanta Black Crackers and the Tigers were the Detroit Stars.

And again, the high socks:

On to the back:

Rookie Fact: Joaquin won his first game on the day he was recalled, 5/9/2002.

That game went pretty well for Benoit. Six innings pitched, just one run given up.

But I want to go back to his first game, a season earlier. As you can see on the back of his card, it doesn’t look like it went well. I did notice that despite giving up six runs in five innings, Benoit didn’t suffer the loss. Did his team rally and save him?

Nope. On the contrary. The Rangers gave up 13 runs in the top of the 9th to Benoit’s future team, the Tigers.

I don’t know if it’s a normal thing for players making their MLB debut to give post-game press conferences, but Benoit would have had time to hit the showers and wait…and wait…and wait…

In this dream scenario, I wonder how long he would have waited before starting to think it was part of his rookie hazing.

Information I’ll be tracking:

Card Number: #223
Player Name: Joaquin Benoit
Team: Detroit Tigers
Position: Pitcher
Game Date: April 27, 2013
Opponent: Atlanta Braves
Stadium: Comerica Park
Division: American League Central
Home/Away: Home
Outcome of the game: 7-4, Tigers over the Braves, Win for the player depicted
Alternate/Throwback Jersey: Yes, throwback.
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Birthdate: 7/26/1977
Birthplace: Dominican Republic
Cameos by: Umpire Mark Carlson
Photographer: Mark Cunningham
Niche collections this card could fit into: Throwback Uniform, Free Advertising, High Socks

My Grade: The Kris Medlen card got a solid A. I do like the Stars uniform worn by Benoit better but not more than I liked the horizontal layout of the Medlen. Since it hit the same other niches, for that, it gets a slightly lower grade of A-.

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