One blogger whom I feel like I've gotten to know a bit this past year, though, is Peter from Baseball Every Night. He and I interact/converse on Twitter regularly about cards and beer and being in our mid-40s and all that kind of stuff. It's always a pleasure to hear from Peter, so getting cards from him is just an added bonus.
If there is one thing that Peter and I have bonded about, it is our mutual love and respect for David Ortiz. Peter recognizes the living legend that Ortiz is -- you can read about his almost fawning affection for Ortiz here. For me, of course, I truly think that Topps Now should have featured Ortiz's retirement year more than it did; I mean, Ortiz did more than enough in 2016. He should have had far more than just the 14 cards on which Topps featured him. Seriously -- did we need 13 cards for the Twins, or should we have had 27 Ortiz cards? I think you know the answer to that question.
In all seriousness, Peter sent me some cards in two different doses recently, so let's feature them here with some video highlights of our mutual friend, David Ortiz.
Yeah, the lines about our respect for Ortiz were complete bull. Y'all knew that about me, I'm sure. Not sure if you knew that about Peter though.
To celebrate Big Papi being a Big Jerk here -- and let's be clear, he got plenty of leeway to still be in the game to take strike three there, and with the close check-swing call, there's at least an argument that he got four strikes in that at-bat -- let's go gold. Peter sent me literally all the Topps Gold parallel cards from 2016 that I needed to complete my team set:
It almost seems weird to see K-Rod and Adam Lind as Brewers. It feels like almost years ago that they were traded away.
If only I could say the same thing about Matt Garza.
A second "Great Moment in Ortiz History" is the literal David versus Goliath story, but instead of Goliath it was a plastic telephone on the wall in the Orioles dugout in 2013. In an apparently successful effort to steal the telephone's soul and use that power for his own purposes, Ortiz was ejected from a game after a strikeout. The next game he played in, he went 4-for-4 with a homer.
I guess we wouldn't like Ortiz when he is angry.
In the late 1980s, rumor had it that the same could be said for Jeffrey "Hac-Man" Leonard -- that you would not like him when he was angry. As this Seattle Times article from 1990 notes, though, Leonard was actually a very private man who kept most people at arm's length. Leonard had fights with Giants teammates Dan Gladden in 1985 (supposedly about Gladden taking extra cuts in BP) and with Will Clark in 1987 after Clark allegedly refused to sign an autograph for Leonard's nephew and then followed it with a racial epithet (New Orleans native Clark said it was because Leonard picked on him constantly).
Leonard also hated the press, whereas Ortiz loves to use the press to push his own agenda. As that Times article quotes Leonard in response to the question of whether he trusts anyone, "Trust? Yeah I trust you . . . to get it wrong. It's not really a matter of trust. It's patience. I don't like to speak with the press because I get tired of the stupid or funky questions."
Ortiz? He went to the media in 2011 to blame them for him getting hit by a pitch -- but he always went to the media. In the last months of his playing career, he spoke regularly -- with SI (about steroids and retirement), at length with the assembled media after his last game, with USA Today (about Donald Trump and immigration and his legacy), with Esquire (about his post-career plans), on Late Night with Seth Meyers about his last trip to Yankee Stadium, even about his beauty secrets with Good Housekeeping.
You clicked that link, right?
Ortiz hopefully will stay retired. Then again, maybe he won't, and when he comes back, he'll say, "Maybe it's my ego. Maybe I crave someone who will never be my rival."
What do you think, Peter?
Thanks for the great cards!