Tuesday, November 1, 2016

4 Innings In April

I am going to go for a player who is a little bit off the beaten path tonight, but one I was excited to see finally end up in a baseball card set.  Well, at least one that was not in a team issued set sold in the team store at a Minor League Ballpark.  Not really a player of note, in fact, you probably know his wife Sara Walsh from ESPN better than him.

If you don't know Sara Walsh.....

she is on an abundance of different ESPN shows, but I do not watch any of them.  I am not really into writing about ESPN anchors though unless they have a baseball card.  Sara Walsh has no baseball cards.  

I first ran into Matt Buschmann as a member of the Durham Bulls during the 2013 season.  Truth be told, he actually appeared in 2 games during the 2012 season for the team, but I apparently missed them.  At the time Buschmann was a 29 year old who had spent seven years, at that point, shuffling around the minors for the Padres and Rays.  If you spend enough time in Triple A ballparks you can find quite a few players who have similar stories as Matt Buschmann.  

Buschmann ended up having a great year for the Bulls during the 2013 season.  In 18 games, 17 starts, he posted an 8-2 record with more than a strikeout per inning and helped Durham reach the Governors Cup finals for the International crown where the team defeated Pawtucket.  Throw in 11 starts made in Double A Montgomery that season and he ended the year with 14 wins, a 2.86 ERA, and 167 strikeouts.  All great numbers for a year in the Minors.  

The past few years Matt Buschmann has bounced around the Minors with stops in the Reds and A's systems, a brief return to Durham for a few starts in 2015, before landing as a minor league free agent with the Diamondbacks.  Surprisingly, after ten years in the Minors the Diamondbacks brought Matt Buschmann up for the start of the season.  

He pitched in three games in April.  In a total of 4 innings he did not figure in any decisions.  He did get a write up ESPN.  I like seeing the former Bulls players I watch locally make it the Majors, and I like finding their cards, but I did not give much thought to a Matt Buschmann card until there was a Matt Buschmann card in my hand.  

I was surprised.  

I have spent time on my little blog in the past harping on Topps for putting players in sets months after they are released or sent back down to the Minors.  In this case I feel like I have found an exception to something that normally is a little irritating.  After ten years in the Minors, even though the appearance was brief, it is cool to see Matt Buschmann get a baseball card in a Major League uniform.  

Not the card I was expecting to find in my packs of Heritage High Numbers this year, but I think it sets a cool precedent for card companies to include players with similar career paths.  I am sure that it wouldn't add too many cards onto the existing sets and I am also pretty sure that the cards would be well received.  

In fact, as surprised as I was to find one Buschmann card, I was equally amazed to see him also appear in the Topps Update set.  

No, I did not buy a single copy of Matt Buschmann's Update card.  I opened a box, I haven't posted it yet.  Good things came out of it.  Again, really impressed to see Buschmann get a little bit of love on cardboard after years riding buses around in the Minors.  

I usually do not plug things on my blog, but if you are interested in helping a good cause, please continue reading below.  

My wife and I both work in the same line of work in central North Carolina.  A few years back I worked with a former University of Michigan baseball player.  We were right across the hall from each other and spent a good deal of time talking sports.  Sometime later he switched jobs and ended up working with my wife.  I still run into him from time to time and we still talk sports and the whatnot even if it's via social media.  

Anyway, one of his teammates at the University of Michigan was former Major League pitcher J.J. Putz who appeared for the Mariners, Mets, White Sox, and Diamondbacks.  He has retired from playing baseball, but has taken a job working for the Diamondbacks.  

This week the team's charitable outreach, DBacks Care is holding an event, Driving Out Domestic Violence, in Phoenix to benefit victims of domestic violence.   Specifically the funds for this event will go to Chrysalis which provides shelter and assistance services.  

The event supports a great cause and as collectors we can help contribute in two different ways.  First, there is a great list of items up for bid if you click here.  Doesn't matter what sport you collect or follow, there is something for everyone.  If the auction items are a little out of reach, you can always click on the donate button make a donation to the charity.  

Again, it's a great cause.  Thank you for reading my schpiel.  

1 comment:

  1. Always nice to see guys like Buschmann get love from the card companies - since the essential monopoly by Topps came to be, we've seen far less of these bottom-of-the-roster types in checklists. Personally, I feel like everyone who makes the Bigs should see their face on a "real" baseball card, but I guess that why I don't run the zoo.