Saturday, June 17, 2017

Jumbo World Series Hero

It seems like every Postseason there is some sort of player who unexpectedly comes out of nowhere and has a huge impact on the outcome of the World Series.  Last season Cubs fans watched Kyle Schwarber come back from what was supposed to be a season ending knee injury to bat .412 in the World Series.  His presence in the line-up seemed to give the Cubs a little extra.


Pretty good hitting there for a guy who was supposed to not even appear in the Series.  

As a Cardinals fan I have seen players make similar contributions to the team's postseason runs in recent years.  Matt Adams hitting a three run home run off of Clayton Kershaw, Matt Carpenter battling through long at at-bats, Michael Wacha pitching shut outs, the entire line-up in the 2012 NLDS against the Nationals including light hitting Pete Kozma getting the series clinching hit....




and every Cardinals fans favorite hometown hero from the 2011 World Championship winning team, third baseman, David Freese.  He actually had an incredible playoff run throughout that postseason including the series against the Phillies and the Brewers.  Everyone just remembers the 9th inning on in Game 6....


and what of the Cardinals playoff run in 2006?  Many remember the Tigers throwing the ball all over the field littering the box scores with tons of errors and cold bats after clinching the AL Pennant and sitting around for a week.  Many also remember the final out of the series being recorded by long-time Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright when the normal closer Jason Isringhausen went down with an injury.....



I often feel like the player from that 2006 squad who often flies under the radar is pitcher Jeff Weaver, who was picked up by the Cardinals in a trade with the Angels after he lost his job to his brother Jared.  Weaver's regular season with the Cardinals was not much to write home about, but he excelled on the postseason stage that fall for the Redbirds.  He saved his best performance for the World Series clincher in Game 5 when he pitched 8 innings with one run, 4 hits, and 9 strikeouts.  


One of the better single season turn arounds in the history of the franchise.  There aren't many baseball cards to remember Weaver's brief stint with the Cardinals by, but a few of them are really sweet cards.  My favorite up to this point has been his 2007 Topps World Series Relic card.  


This Weaver card was put out at a time when Topps did not make a Postseason relic card for every single team that made the playoffs.  They have done that the last few years and they have made them pretty common cards.  The older versions, starting with the White Sox in 2005, are really tough finds.  
Which brings me to my latest Jeff Weaver card.  I still like the World Series better, but this is a nice card too.....


This card is from the 2009 Topps Unique set, which had a terrible base set, but a great set of relic cards.  I picked up a Anthony Reyes jumbo relic card from this set early this year, but I did not have a Weaver card.  A very nice patch piece too which is the top of the L......


the top of the s and the tail feathers of the Cardinal sitting on the bat.  I am sure there are probably better patch pieces out there, but I am also sure that most of those have made there way into collections and they are not coming back out.  




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