Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Virtual Bike Tour of Baseball Sites - Oklahoma City

I rolled into Oklahoma City on my virtual bike trip. I'm doing pretty good at the gym. My plan is to go 5 days a week and get about 4 hours/week on the bike. That would about 40 miles a week. The weird detour north of Dallas as an attempt to get a few stops between Dallas and Oklahoma City. Not too many baseball players were born in Texas, north of Dallas it seems.

I've pretty much decided that I'll be turning eastward from here, toward Kansas City.Oklahoma City is the birthplace of quite a few ball players, including one Hall of famer, Johnny Bench. I have no cards of Bench from when he was playing.
The card above is from the 2003 Topps Shoebox set. I had bought this box set when it was new. It features reprints of player's rookie cards.
Also in 2003, I got this 2003 Sweet Spot Classic Patch Card. I actually pulled this from the only pack of this I bought. Bench was the 2nd round pick by the Reds in 1965 and played his entire 17-year career for the Reds. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1967, a 13-time All-Star, 2-time MVP, hit 389 home runs and appeared in 4 consecutive World Series (1973-1976) winning the last 2. No wonder this guy is in the Hall of Fame. And as everyone who has been following the baseball playoffs knows by now, the Big Red Machine was the last NL team to win consecutive World Series.
Don Carman was a not-so-great pitcher for those terrible Phillies teams of the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was a free agent signing by the Phillies in 1978. In 8 years with the Phillies he was 53-54, including a 5-15 year in 1989. This card is part of a set produced by Tastykake and given away at Phillies games. Tastykake is a snack company which mainly sells in the Philadelphia area (although you can get some Tastykake items here in the Houston Area). Their eclairs are to die for.
A somewhat better player than Don Carman is Joe Carter who was born in OC on March 7, 1960. He was the first round draft pick by the Cubs in 1981 but spent most of his 16 year career with the Indians and Blue Jays. Phillies fans will always remember Joe for the walk-off home run that won the 1993 World Series for the Blue Jays over the Phillies (get over it!). This card is a 1947 Fleer All-Star insert card.
1962 Topps Card of Don Demeter. Don was born in Oklahoma City on June 25, 1935. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956. In his 11-year career he played for the Dodgers (Brooklyn and Los Angeles), the Phillies (1961-1963), the Tigers, the Red Sox and the Indians. He hit 71 home runs and 260 rbis for the Phillies. I just got this card last summer at a card shop in the Philadelphia area when we were visiting in July.
1989 Upper Deck. John Russell was born on January 5, 1961. Although he was the Phillies #1 pick in 1982, he never became a full time catcher. The closest he came was in 1986 when he caught 93 games. But Darren Daulton took over the catcher spot in 1987. Russell also played one year with the Braves and 4 years with the Rangers. Of course, today he is the manager of the Pirates.
2009 Topps Target
1990 Upper Deck Checklist Mickey Tettleton. This is the third catcher from Oklahoma City. Mickey was born on September 16, 1960. In his 14-year career he played for the A's, the Orioles, the Tigers and the Rangers. He was a 2-time All-Star and a 3-time Silver Slugger. I can't say I know too much about him as a player.
1997 Finest Bronze Refractor Jamey Wright. He is the youngest player I'm featuring here, born on December 24, 1974. He was the Rockies #1 pick in 1993. In his 14-year career he has played for the Rockies, the Braves, the Royals, back to the Rockies, the Giants, the Rangers and is currently back with the Royals. His career record is 82-115. He used to be a started but seems to be mostly used in middle relief in the past few years.


Collective Troll said...

Great post! You got everyone I could think of named, too. I have biked OKC plenty myself, my son still lives there and he may be on his bike right now... My ex-grandmother in law taught Joe Carter in grammar school and they kept in touch. she introduced him to me while he was playing for the Indians, good stuff...

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Thats great.