Monday, March 20, 2023

Around The Card Room, Take 4

Most of the early 2000s Cardinals bobblehead giveaways were connected to players winning various awards. In 2003, the team did an Edgar Renteria bobblehead day against the San Diego Padres for winning the 2002 National League Gold Glove at shortstop. My parents had season tickets, but were often willing to give up their tickets on bobblehead days. The lines to get into the stadium tend to be long and certain fans are rather aggressive.  

I was willing to play along for an Edgar Renteria bobblehead, which doesn't really sound interesting until you hear about what happened during the game. It was a rarity in a Hall of Fame career.  

First, the bobblehead.  

It's a solid bobblehead. I like the Gold Glove and the Cardinals always do a nice job of making good figurines of their players.  The piping around the front of the jersey has faded a little over time, but that's to be expected.  

The back is nice as well. 

Now, about the game. The Cardinals were playing the Padres. The previous night, the Cardinals had won the game on an Albert Pujols home run in extra innings. It was actually his first career walk-off home run. The video is below, notice Albert does not run when he first hits the pitch and Padres catcher Gary Bennett lingers around home plate as the Cardinals come out of the dugout to celebrate.  

In the postgame write up, Pujols said he did not run, which angered Bennett, because he thought he got under the ball, he hit it towards the end of the bat, and left fielder was actually tracking the ball like he was going to catch it.  In summation, it was either a fly out to the left fielder or a home run.  

Fast forward to Edgar Renteria Bobblehead Day. Albert Pujols comes up in the first and Padres pitcher Adam Eaton hits him with the first pitch. Gary Bennett got in his face and Albert pushed him out of the way. No video of the fight, but there is an AP Wire photo.  

Pujols was replaced with reserve outfielder Orlando Palmeiro.  

This was the only time in Pujols career that he was ejected for fighting. I actually had an interaction with Gary Bennett on Twitter a few years back about this fight. Believe it or not, but Gary thinks baseball players should put their heads down, play, and not celebrate.  Hard to believe.  

Gary wants you to know that it was a curveball and the pitch hit Albert on the shoulder.  


  1. If I was Pujols... I would have done an epic batflip (and this is coming from a Padres fan). I'm all about respecting the game... and being a good sport. The thing is... you can achieve this and have fun at the same time.

    1. There is a balance between the two and baseball is really bad at not being fun.

  2. Too bad that you couldn't have been at the previous game.

    1. That would have been fun! Walk-offs are the best.


Around The Card Room, Take 17

I got my first job was pushing in carts and bagging groceries at the Dierbergs in Manchester, Missouri during my junior year of high school....