Every year the Durham Bulls make the playoffs.
Every year the Durham Bulls win in the playoffs.
This year the Durham Bulls lost in the playoffs.
It's the first time that has happened since 2019. It was an unexpected end. They were playing the Norfolk Tides in the International League Championship and were favored to defeat the Orioles Triple A squad, who reached the playoffs by having the best record during the first half of the season. I forgot that cruddy feeling you get when your favorite team is not the one celebrating at the end of the deciding game.
Anyway, I have worked on finding cards of several players from this year's Durham Bulls team over the past several weeks. I probably should have been looking all year, but I procrastinated. The new editions are all scanned and ready to share. Feel free to write down a few names, a few of these players are going to be in the Majors soon.
First up, outfielder Niko Hulsizer.
Niko reminds me of Tyler O'Neill, except he's not on the injured list every other week.
This is a sticker autograph, which appears to be slightly crooked. Still like the action photo on this card. Probably a home run, since he hit the ball. All his other at-bats are either walks or strike outs.
You a White Sox fan?
The next player actually got traded to the White Sox a few months back, but I am still collecting his cards. The Rays don't make many bad trades, but I feel like this is one of them. I have also posted other Luis Patino cards on here before, just adding a new one to the collection.
Imagine Jose Altuve with a really violent swing and a more likable personality.
Sometimes pictures on cards are deceptive, or you can't quite tell what someone looks like based on the picture. Ronny Simon is listed at 5'7, but that feels like a made-up number. I bet he's 5'7 if he's wearing shoes and standing on a phone book for a major U.S. city. Ronny is also listed at 150 pounds, which also feels a little high. Ronny also has a huge swing with 13 home runs, 25 doubles, and almost 150 strikeouts.
Guess who was on the injured list for the Durham Bulls the entire season?
Brendan was a top prospect a few years back. Made it all the way to Durham and then things went sideways. I think he was overused while he was at Louisville (the junior college) and his shoulder is now completely shot. He's going to end up being a "what could have been" type player, but those guys are still fun to collect. Especially when you can find their autograph on a Topps Tek card. Love these cards, but I did not scan both sides of it. Know you can see the autograph on the back of the card.
I am upset McKay's career is likely not going to work out, but also upset that someone let Louisville into the ACC. Their sports teams always showing up around here, like Friday night they played NC State in football. NC State lost, because of NC State. Louisville did not really do anything to win.
I could have made that same type of throw.
It was not a good weekend for sports.
A few more cards.
Three dollars for two autographs of a Triple A backup catcher makes me feel better about my sports teams losing. Did I mention the Cardinals game on Friday night? It was like a Bengals-Rams game. Wait, the Rams moved. It was like a Clemson-NC State game where State got a safety as their only points.
One more player, because he is local and his high school has an amazing mascot.
Greg Jones was the Rays first round selection in 2019 out of UNC-Wilmington. He actually went to high school in Cary, North Carolina, which is one of the large suburbs of Raleigh. There are many high schools in Cary, but Greg went to THE Cary High School.
Cary High School is noted for four things:
1. The Cary Water Tower
2. Their annual band contest
3. Overcrowding all the local fast food restaurants in Cary, because their campus has open lunch every day
This is another 2020 autograph of Greg Jones. This one is from Bowman's Best and features a nice on-card signature. Greg is a toolsy player. He's fast, has some pop in his bat, and also is versitile. The Bulls played him around the infield and also in centerfield. Buy his cards, put them in a box, and thank me in two or three years when you run across them.