Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Minor League Jimmy Ballgame

I have been expanding out my Minor League card collection of late trying to find some cool cards with players beyond the Durham Bulls.  This past week I had the chance to pick up a few cool Minor League oddballs of some of my favorite former Cardinals players.  Really there was one card in the lot of Minor League issues that stood out as I was trying to arrange a trade......


Love this card from the Midland Angels 1 Hour Photo & Portraits Team Set.  

I mean Jim Edmonds kind of always looks the same appearance wise, just the uniform changes from time to time.  I believe Angels fans coined the nickname "Jimmy Ballgame" which has stuck with him throughout his career. 

The design and background of the card are the real winners on this card for me.  First the design.....

There are several Minor League team sets that I have run into over the years that have been put together by some local photo/camera shop.  The cards generally have a photo or postcard format, but also always seem tough to find.  Whether they are giving out one at a time, week by week, over the course of the season, or some other route, they are almost never given out as a set.  So much about this card reminds me of the Bob's Camera Richmond Braves cards......



Same era too with the Deion card coming from 1991 and the Edmonds being from the 1992.  The Deion card is tighter showing only a little bit of the background that is The Diamond in Richmond.  It's a pit.  Which brings me to my second like on this card......

The Edmonds card takes in much more of the stadium which looks every bit the part of a Minor League stadium from yesteryear.  Five rows of red seats and a whole bunch of bleachers.  I am not seeing any kind of overhang either which means that in the middle of summer those metal bleachers were probably an incredible place to watch a Double A Texas League baseball game.  

Most Minor League baseball stadiums these days are fairly nice.  Even the Midland Angels have a really nice looking field.  This is what current stadium looks like today......



Yes there are still dives.  Did you click the Richmond Braves link?  No matter the situation there are many things that still make Minor League Baseball Stadiums unique.  The Durham Bulls have the bull......


The Burlington Royals have all the retired jersey numbers of the former Burlington Indians in urinal stalls on the third base side of the stadium......


and there are dozens over other examples that I could post, but let's not drift too far off topic here.  The point is that Minor League baseball has many things that make it unique including the stadiums and fields.  Some are good, some are bad, but it is something that makes this side of professional baseball a little bit different than the Majors.   It's really cool to get a little bit of that flavor on a baseball card like the Jim Edmonds.

The grass isn't perfect and it's going to be hotter than hell at watch the game.  If I lived in Midland, Texas in 1992 I would have been all over it.

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