Friday, June 30, 2017

Caroline Newell Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Caroline Newell is a baton twirler, a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Liberty’s Outstanding Teen. She will be turning over that crown in just a couple short weeks. But, before she does, she agreed to visit with us to discuss her reign, her future plans, and the Red Sox. I’m awfully glad she did.

So, let’s see what happens when Caroline Newell visits Section 36!

1. What made you decide to compete for Miss Liberty’s Outstanding Teen?
I have been competing in the Miss NH Outstanding Teen program for four years and I love the organization. This is a great local title with an amazing director.

2. Your talent during the competition included baton twirling. How do you become involved in that activity?
I got involved in baton through my daycare. My current team came to my daycare and did a demo. Ever since then, I have fallen in love with baton. I am the feature twirler for Goffstown High School and perform at all the football games and school events. I also compete with the Ameri-Kids baton team of Auburn, NH.

3. What has surprised you most about your time as Miss Liberty’s Outstanding Teen?
The day after I was crowned I got to go on the LNH, NH’s Big Variety Show with Nazzy Naz. It was the first time I was ever on the radio and it was a lot of fun.

4. How did you decide on your platform, “Girl Scouts – A Lifetime of Opportunity”? 
I have been a Girl Scout since I was five years old. I want girls to consider joining this organization that will help them build skills and confidence for a lifetime. This summer, I am going to London with the Girl Scouts and will be camping with troops from around the world.

5. Your time as Miss Liberty’s Outstanding Teen ends much too soon. What are your plans after you turn over your crown?
I will be competing for Miss Goffstown’s Outstanding Teen and continuing community service.

6. This is the first Red Sox season in a while without David Ortiz. What’s your favorite Ortiz memory?
Anytime he got up to bat, but I liked how he talked to the crowd at Fenway after the Boston Marathon bombing. He is a true leader of Boston sports.

7. Who is your favorite current Red Sox player? Why?
Dustin Pedroia because he is consistently a good player.

8. If you can’t sit in Section 36, where do you (or where would
you) like to sit to watch the Red Sox?
I like to sit along the third base line.

9. How do you think the Red Sox will finish the 2017 season? 
They’ve pulled it out before and they could do it again. Keep the pitchers healthy!


Sounds like a great plan to me!

As usual, I want to give huge thanks to Caroline for doing this interview. I love being able to post these for everyone to enjoy. I also want to thank her for providing the pictures to accompany the interview. They definitely make the post more fun to read.

As Caroline wraps up her time as Miss Liberty’s Outstanding Teen, I encourage you to follow her on the official Facebook page. 

And, of course, I want to wish Caroline luck in the end of June as she competes for the Miss Goffstown's Outstanding Teen crown.

Thanks again Caroline, and good luck!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017


With his most recent over his head performance, Red Sox fans with irrational attachments to Travis Shaw have been talking about something a lot lately. 


They regret trading Shaw away. They assume the Red Sox regret trading Shaw away. When Dave Dombrowski doesn't express extreme regret, they assume he's a liar. Because they all regret the trade.

But, what does that really mean?

Apparently, regret is feeling sorrow over something you cannot control. I was actually surprised by the last bit of the definition. Does that mean Dombrowski can't feel regret because he can control it? But anyway, about the trade. Is there sorrow there?

Not for me. 

I don't regret the Red Sox making the trade. I regret Thornburg getting injured, sure. But I don't regret trading away your third option at third base who had only shown flashes of success. I don't regret using that chip to get a lock down reliever, to help solve a problem. The Sox had too many third basemen, and not enough relievers. Making a trade to fix that is a no-brainer.

I might regret the timing of the trade. It was too late. They sold low on Shaw. They should have moved him during the season before he cooled off. But, that's the way it works sometimes.

But the trade was still a good one.

The things that happen after a trade really shouldn't make you question the trade itself. Like the Bagwell trade, for instance. They traded a minor leaguer blocked at two positions by MVPs, All-Stars, or Hall of Famers for a reliever that helped them win the division. How do you regret doing that? Where was Bagwell playing for the Sox? They had Boggs at third, backed up by Scott Cooper. If they moved him to first, they had Mo Vaughn in the way. So, how can you not make that trade? Now, do the Sox regret the fact that Anderson didn't have another year with the Sox like they thought he was going to? Sure. But they can't regret the trade.

I'm not even able to regret not getting more for these players. (was that a double negative?) I'm assuming that the Brewers didn't offer Thornburg and three other players for Shaw, only to have the Red Sox counter with just Thornburg for Shaw and some other players. No. The Sox got what they got because that's all they could get. 

So, you can be annoyed that Thornburg got hut. Just like you can be annoyed that Smith did last year. You can regret the injuries.

I just don't see how you can regret the trades.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #11

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #11: One of your favorite cards from the 1970’s.

I’ve talked before about my evolution as a collector. I’ve even highlighted a card in this series that played an important role in that transition. Today I have another milestone card in that transition.

It was around 1986 or 1987 that I was trading cards with a new friend. While looking through his collection, I came across this beauty.

Look at that thing! The old vintage design was fantastic. Jim Rice was pictured wearing that goofy looking pullover uniform. That awesome red hat. There was a Topps rookie cup right there in the corner. I didn’t even care that there was a pinhole in the top of the card. I needed to have it.

Thankfully my friend was willing to part with it. The price? A 1984 Topps Darryl Strawberry. It was a no-brainer.

Of course, in the years to come, that decision looked a little foolish. The Strawberry card soared in value, while I was left with a damaged Jim Rice. While I wasn’t sure I “regretted” the trade, it probably wasn’t my best move.

But, then something happened. Strawberry dropped. His cards are worth a fraction of what they were before. Like a 1/100 type of fraction. I certainly don’t need to have a card like that in my collection.

But, I still have the Jim Rice. It was that realization that (along with the Gonzalez card mentioned earlier) helped push me to team collecting. With the Red Sox I could ride out the highs and lows. I’m always going to love having this Jim Rice. Or a Phil Plantier. I won’t always love having Gonzalez and Strawberry as they experience ups and downs. So, why would I collect them?

Looking back, the only regret is that I probably sold a little low on the Strawberry. But, if I could read the future of the card market perfectly, I would be rich. All that matters is that I was happy that I made the trade at the time, and I’m glad I made it now. I’ll ignore whatever happened in-between.

After all, just look at that card!

Friday, June 23, 2017

Nicolette Peloquin Visits Section 36!

Section 36 has another visitor! Nicolette Peloquin is a Red Sox fan, and the current Miss Rhode Island. In addition to following the
Sox, she'll be spending her summer preparing for Miss America in September. Thankfully she was nice enough to take time out of her busy schedule and visit with us to discuss her short time as Miss Rhode Island, Disney Princesses, the Red Sox, and much more. 

So, let's see what happens when Nicolette Peloquin visits Section 36!

How did you celebrate being crowned Miss Rhode Island?
Right after I was crowned Miss Rhode Island, I was immediately surrounded my friends, family, and mentors.  After years of competing (this was my third time), I had finally pulled through and brought home the gold for all those people that have been supporting me for YEARS.  There is so much time and energy invested in preparing for a pageant so I was glad I could make them proud! I would be remiss to not mention that I had lots of donuts that night too!!

What lessons from the Miss Rhode Island competition can you bring with you to Miss America?
I now know that I won this year because I was the best version of myself.  I was not worried about being better than the girl next to me.  I was most concerned with being the best version of the person I saw in the mirror.  In preparation for Miss America, it will be important for me to remain true to myself and where I come from while helping people along the way.

Which portion of the Miss America competition are you most excited about?
I am most excited about the interview portion of competition.  I feel as though this portion of competition allows for the judges to see who I truly am!  I have a bubbly, outgoing personality and always try to get the panel of judges laughing.  At Miss Rhode Island, I
Nicolette is flanked
by Carly Fisher (L)
and Alissa Musto (R)
had the judges laughing about a story that involved my late grandfather and it brought me comfort in one of the most important aspects of competition.

Last year your talent was singing while dressed as Rapunzel. What made you switch back to a tumbling routine for this year’s competition?
On the weekend’s, I perform as a Disney Princess where I do magic tricks, balloon animals, sing, and dance.  Considering it was something I practiced almost every weekend for work, I figured why not (and the costume was super cool)!  As I had said before,
when preparing this year for the competition, I wanted to remain true to myself.  My roots lie in all star cheerleading so I knew I needed to go back to a tumbling routine.  I was a competitive cheerleader from a very young age and had the opportunity to represent the United States at the USASF Cheerleading Worlds for a number of years.  I am so incredibly thankful that I have such an extensive background in tumbling, it made the talent portion of competition this year so much more enjoyable!

In addition to Rapunzel, as you mentioned, you’ve performed as Belle and Anna at various events. Which Disney Princess is your favorite? Why?
Being a 90’s baby, I am a huge fan of the classic princesses.  There are some really well developed characters in some of the newer Disney movies but I would still have to go with Belle from “Beauty and the Beast”.  Belle is introverted yet looks for the best in those who aren't necessarily the kindest to her; I think this is a message that should resonate with everyone!

How did you become involved with your platform, “Be the Match: The National Bone Marrow Registry?
I lost both my Nana Nancy and Papa Kenny to cancer.  While my Nana Nancy was undergoing treatment, I had an emergency surgery to remove a golf ball sized lymph node that was potentially Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.  Luckily, I came out unscathed and had a blood infection.  However, there are so many people who end up being diagnosed with a blood cancer.  When I went back to school (Salve Regina), there was a registry drive for Be the Match and I joined.  Within a few months I was called and told I was a match for a 60 year old stranger.  I knew what I had to do!  On August 9, 2016, the day after my 21st birthday, I donated over 360 million stem cells to a stranger in another country.  Just a few weeks ago, I finally found out that my match is healthy and doing well.  It is an incredible feeling to know I may have lost out on celebrating my birthday, but I was able to buy my match another birthday and more time with her family. If you are interested in joining the registry, click on the link: Use promo code : MISSRI

This is the first Red Sox season in a while without David Ortiz. What’s your favorite Ortiz memory?
My favorite Ortiz memory, by far, is not one that has to do with a fantastic hit.  When he took the microphone at the Red Sox game right after the Boston Marathon Bombing and spoke, what he said showed how resilient and united the city of Boston was, and always will be.  So many people were shocked by the lack of censorship but I respect that it was from the heart and embodied so much of what the city of Boston stands for!

Who is your favorite Red Sox player? Why?

Dustin Pedroia has showed an immense amount of commitment to the Red Sox organization.  So many athletes will bounce around from team to team, but he has stayed true to Boston.  Pedroia has been a consistent asset to the team and a leader.

How do you think the Red Sox will finish the 2017 season? 
Considering the fact that the Sox are tied for first with the Yankees…. let’s be serious.  We know they will end up on top!  New England sports teams are the best.  No need to knock on wood here.  Regardless, I am a proud Sox fan no matter what the outcome is this year!


Fantastic answer! Glad she'll always be a fan of her Sox!

As always, I want to send a huge thank you to Nicolette for taking the time to visit with us. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Another big thanks for supplying the great pictures to go along with the interview. They really make the interview much better than it would be otherwise. The fact that she sent a picture of three Section 36 visitors was just perfection.

If you'd like to keep up with Nicolette during her time as Miss Rhode Island, check out her official Facebook, and Instagram. You can also follow the Miss Rhode Island Organization itself on both Facebook and Instagram. Oh, and if you happen to be looking at some Barbara Gerwitt items over at Island Pursuit, you might recognize one of the models!

And, of course, I want to wish Nicolette luck at the Miss America competition in September! Last year Alissa finished in the top 15 after visiting Section 36. Hopefully Nicolette does at least as well as that.

Thanks again Nicolette, and good luck!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blog Bat Around: Why Do I Collect Who I Collect?

I’m not sure I’ve ever participated in one of the blog bat arounds before. Not really sure why (or if that’s the case) but I thought I should give it a whirl this time.

P-Town Tom of the wonderful Eamus Catuli blog offered the topic this time: What is the reason for collecting the players you collect?

It was an interesting question, one that I wasn’t sure I had an answer for. I think, like most people, that reason has evolved over time.

When I first started collecting cards there was no real organization involved. I kept my limited inventory sorted by team in the Topps Sports Card locker that my aunt gave me for my birthday.  Eventually the collection outgrew the locker, and moved into boxes sorted by set. But, when I started finding friends who also collected, and who wanted to trade cards, I needed to be better. So, binders were introduced pulling out star players that my friends might want to trade for. While the binders were now sorted by player, I wouldn’t call them player collections quite yet.

The only two players that somewhat stood out at that point were Jim Rice and Pete Rose. Jim Rice was the fading star of the Red Sox, and my favorite player at the time. Pete Rose was an “old time star” who was on his way to breaking the all-time hits record. Plus, he was a player-manager. That was pretty weird, and a unique feature to collect.

But, while those two players had their own pages in the book, so did lots of other players. I didn’t really do a lot to actively collect either one, and don’t actively look for either of their cards today.

Juan Gonzalez was the first player to really change that. I started to actively seek out his cards. He was a hot-shot rookie hitting all those home runs. He also had that fun Donruss error rookie card that looked fun when displayed. It was also during a boom in baseball cards shows. So I had lots of opportunities to easily add to a budding player collection. But, when he started to fade as a player, my desire to collect him faded as well.

He also faded because another player came to take his place. I mentioned that my Phil Plantier collection formed almost by accident. Sure, he was my new favorite player. But, it seemed like I didn’t even have to try to get his cards, Every pack of 1991 Donruss I opened, it seemed, had Phil’s card in it. Again it was the card show era, so hunting down more of his cards was fun and easy. I was getting everything I could find. It’s the first player I’ve mentioned whose player collection still resides separated from the team in its own binder. I’m also still adding to it as I find cards I was never able to track down back in the day.

After Phil left the Red Sox, player collecting hit a bit of a snag. Then, along came Nomar Garciaparra. If you were a Red Sox card collector in 1997 and didn’t have a Nomar player collection, you were doing it wrong. My collection was given one big boost to get it started. I pulled a rare Hideo Nomo card from one of those packs in the late 90’s with the million parallels. Can’t even remember which one at the moment. But, it was about $150 book value. For some reason, I agreed to trade it via the AOL boards for a stack of Nomars. Like 100 or so. Looking back, it was a ridiculous idea to trade one $150 card for 100 $1 cards. But, it worked out for me, and I don’t really regret it. Even if my Nomar player collection has since been resorted into the team binder.

Which leaves Pedro Martinez. He is the only other player with a separate binder housing his collection. (Well, technically he’s in the same binder as Phil Plantier but you get the idea.) The best pitcher in at least a generation was the highlight of the Red Sox at the start of the 21st century. He was something unique and special. Not only do I collect his cards, but he has his own shelf of collectibles. It’s a true player collection, even if it’s not as active as it could be. But after years of saying “Nomar’s my favorite player, unless Pedro’s pitching” or “Manny’s my favorite player, unless Pedro’s pitching” I realized that by saying that I was declaring Pedro as my favorite player. In the years since, his legend has aged like a fine wine. Time and again the Sox would have a star pitcher that would only prove how amazing Pedro was. Beckett’s amazing postseason, Sale’s dominating start? Bah. Pedro had an entire career better than those hot stretches. 

How could I not collect him?

Monday, June 19, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #10

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #10: One of your favorite cards from the 1960’s.

OK. This is pathetic. In the last challenge post, I lamented the fact that I only had three cards from the 1960's in my collection. Well, for this challenge I had to choose between two cards.


I have managed to accumulate two cards from the 1960's in my Red Sox collection? What's wrong with me?

Honestly, I sort of understand. For one thing, the Sox in the 60's weren't very good. Not a lot of desire on my part to gobble those cards up. Besides' the Yaz cards are expensive. In my case, that decade is a bit of a tweener. Not old enough to be "cool vintage" like a 1956 Topps. The players are too recent to be legends, but not recent enough to be players I was personally a fan of. When the 70's come around, there are at least players I've seen play. Plus, the cards themselves fall into the same trap. Take this card.

See what I mean? Not old enough to be a great painting from the 50's, but not new enough for a modern action shot from the seventies. Just a bleh mix of poor printing and boring pictures. 

So I forgive myself for not chasing any of these cards down. But, it's still fairly pathetic. Especially since there are several players from the Red Sox Hall of Fame who played in the sixties. Apparently I need to make an effort to gather their cards. I need them to round out my collection.

Because two cards covering ten years is just sad.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Section 36 Store Has a New Design!

And it's currently at a special introductory price! 

That's right, the Section 36 Store is growing! A new design has been added, and that means savings for you!  So, head on over to the Store right now, and check out this beauty:

Click here for t-shirts!

And, of course, I have to also offer a tank top for the wonderful women who are fans of the best Section in Fenway.

Click here for tank tops!

As always, there are lots more styles and colors available, for both men and women. Just use the drop down menus to find exactly what you want!

But do it fast! This introductory sale price only lasts three days!

Sale Price...that's funny right there.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Running Into Outs

The radio airwaves were filled today with people discussing the base running woes of the Red Sox. I assume it's because Dustin Pedroia made yet another boneheaded play on the bases, and the only way they could bring it up without actually pointing out a fault in the Great Pedroia was to make it a team-wide epidemic.

The Red Sox are too aggressive.

Of course, they went about their argument the completely wrong way. As usual. They kept bringing up the number of outs they've made on the base paths, and pointing out that it was the most in the league. That was a terrible argument for two reasons.

First, ranking means nothing to me. Someone has to be first, and someone has to be last. If the Red Sox had the most outs with 30, but the team with the least had 26, does it even matter?

The other fault is by going with number of outs. First I'll give them too much credit, and assume they're not including force outs. Those are really just a factor of having runners on base, and really a good thing. After all, you can't ground into a double play if you don't have a runner on first. But, even if they're only counting outs made trying to take an extra base...what is that number in relation to? How many times did the Red Sox have an opportunity to take an extra base? How many times did they succeed? Have they gone first-to-third 100 times, and been thrown out five? I'm OK with that. At one point Xander was leading the league in scoring from first on a double (I'll assume he led with a high number). Was he thrown out once or twice along the way to accomplishing that? 

Because, most anyone will tell you, proper base running requires making outs. If you're never thrown out, you're not talking as many chances as you should. Sometimes you need to make a good throw get you out, and just tip your cap.

It's about success rate. Most people agree taking the extra base works if you make it about 75% of the time. So, being thrown out 30 times while making it 100 times is perfectly fine. If you're thrown out 30 time and only making it ten, that's a problem.

But even that, I'll allow as a transitional period at the moment. This is a bit of a shift in team philosophy. They don't have Ortiz there anymore to hit a home run. Being in better scoring position is important. You're not in scoring position at first base anymore. (Unless, apparently, you're Xander.) So the team needs to figure out how to do this. How far can they stretch the aggressiveness? Especially someone like Hanley who doesn't have the speed to fall back on, or Benny Baseball who may not quite realize what his speed can accomplish against major league fielders. There's a feeling out period.

Which is fine, because it seems to be working. After all, they have the third most wins in the league, on pace for a 92 win season. Last year, if the Sox had 92 wins, they still would have won the division.

So, let's see where this aggression takes us. How many errors can the Sox force other teams into? How many extra runs can they score because of it?

How foolish will you feel for ever doubting it?

Monday, June 12, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #9

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #9: One of your favorite cards from the 1950’s.

While working on this challenge, I realized something. My collection of cards from the 50’s is SEVERELY lacking. In fact, I could only find three cards from that decade in my collection. How is that even possible? I guess those cards don’t just fall accidentally into your lap, and I haven’t had the desire to chase any down. But, I have been working on a collection of Red Sox Hall of Famers, trying to get a Red Sox card from their playing days of every player in the Red Sox Hall of Fame. Obviously this quest will never be completed. I feel safe saying that a vintage Babe Ruth Red Sox card will never be in my collection. There are also a few turn of the century guys whose card are pretty unattainable unless I can find I card ripped in half and glued to a scrapbook. But, this goal has allowed me to add some cards that make the 11-year old me very happy. Like this one.

If you told 11-year old me that he would one day own a card from the 1952 Topps set, he would have laughed and laughed and laughed. Nobody actually had those cards. I mean, a friend’s dad was rumored to have a few, including multiple Mantles. But even that was as much legend as anything I could confirm as being true. 

But, now, here I am holding an actual 1952 Topps card in my hands. (Ok. Ok. It’s trapped in that case, so I’m holding a case in my hands. I’m pretending it’s still the same thing.) My collection contains a 1952 Topps card. It’s still fun to think about.

Another nice thing about the HOF collection is that it makes me chase down at least good players. So, rather than a common ’52 I have Parnell here. Obviously he had a decent Red Sox career, including being an all-star in ’49 and ’51. But for this post, the real draw in the ’52 Topps card.

And the fact that I own one.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Voting for Visitors!

Technically, the Miss Massachusetts Competition doesn't start until June 30. But, the online voting is already going on!

You can cast your vote for People's Choice, right now at the Miss MA website! Just click the link, and follow the People Choice voting! Each vote is just a $1 donation, and you can vote as often as you'd like! Help send one of the contestants on their way to the Miss America Pageant!

I know what you're thinking. There are so many wonderful candidates, how on earth do you know who to vote for? Well, I can't give you the answer. But, maybe I can narrow it down for you?

As it happens, six wonderful women competing for the Miss Massachusetts title are also visitors to Section 36! So, why not pick one of those? Or, all six? After all, if they're amazing enough to appear on this blog, they must be worthy of your vote!

Remember who they were?

Sara Achorn - Miss Plymouth County
Summer Foley - Miss Brookline
Sherene Iskander - Miss Cranberry Country
Lyndsey Littlefield - Miss South Coast
Samantha McGraw - Miss Collegiate Area
Emily Thomas - Miss Cambridge

So, go pick your favorite (or your favorite six) and cast your vote.

And check in at the end of the month to see if another Section 36 visitor will take home the crown!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Drew Pomeranz, or Greg Maddux?

I'm not a major league pitcher. That should be pretty clear. I don't have a deep understanding of pitching nuances. So, I don't feel too bad about being a little confused.

I've always said that dominance from a power pitcher was easy to recognize. I knew when Pedro was having a good game. (That was easy, if he was on the mound he was having a good game.) You could tell when Josh Beckett was on fire. You know that Chris Sale is as dominant as they come. I can tell that Craig Kimbrel is on a roll. Those are easy. You watch the batter look completely overmatched. You see them flail about wildly. You see them walk back to the dugout dejectedly. You don't have to understand baseball to see how good they are.

It's different with the "pitch to contact" dominance. I've always said that I didn't realize that Derek Lowe had a no-hitter going until around the sixth inning. It's hard to pick up dominance from a series of ground balls to third. Or Koji. How was he dominating by inducing all those popups? Or Greg Maddux?

I understand the concept. If you throw the ball right down the middle, the hitters will hit it a long way. If you paint the corners, and keep them off balance, they'll still hit the ball, but it will be a weak grounder or soft pop-up. 

But, then, what do you do with Drew Pomeranz?

He had a game last night that I wouldn't call dominating. After all, he threw 120 pitches in 5 innings. But, he only gave up the one earned run. He struck out seven, and walked two. A pretty good line, actually. But, 120 pitches in five innings??

He threw a lot a pitches. He had a lot of long at-bat, which is why he had so few walks. So, the batters were fouling the ball off a lot. Which means, he was pitching to contact...but not enough contact?

Where is that middle ground? Does he need to throw the ball more towards the middle so the batters can hit it into fair territory? Does he actually need to be less effective? Does he need to put the ball closer to the plate? Is it fooling batters too much?

Because, like I said, he wasn't exactly wild. His strike percentage was better than Joe Kelly's. About the same a Craig Kimbrel. He was just throwing a lot of strikes. A lot of pitches.

So how does he find that line? Seven strikeouts is actually damn good for five innings. So, it's not like that's a problem. It's the other pitches. The ones that are too good to hit fair but not good enough to swing and miss. How does he fix that? How does he get them to ground out on the third pitch instead of the thirteenth? Does he need a better "out" pitch so that he's striking out more than 12.6 batters per nine innings? That seems like a lot to ask. Would a better out pitch get him to that point sooner? Do we want him striking out more batters than that? I don't know what the answer is.

So I really hope he does.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The 30-Day Baseball Card Challenge: Day #8

Tony, the wonderful writer of the “Off Hiatus Baseball” blog, started a fun activity based off the “30-Day Music Challenge” that Twitter users were taking. The list of challenges looks like this:

Today, we’ll continue with Challenge #8: A card that reminds you of a family member.

A comedian once did a bit about football parents. He talked about all the work a father puts in with his son to make him a football star. All the hours playing catch. All the hours running routes. Finally, the kid makes the NFL, scores his first touchdown, looks right into the camera and waves, "Hi Mom!"

I feel like that. Because even though my father was a much bigger part of my collecting upbringing, this card reminds me of my mother.

(yup, another Fleer Red Sox 100th)

You see, my mother grew up just down the street from Birdie. She was actually friends with his daughter. So, really, any Birdie Tebbetts card would remind me of her. This just happens to be the only one I own.

The key story that came from living a couple houses from a Red Sox player? My mother had several older brothers. Brothers at the right age where Birdie would bring home baseballs for them. Autographed by the team. Being boys about that age in the late forties, those baseballs weren't stuck on their shelf in an acrylic box. Nope they used them to play baseball. Good thing there weren't any good players on the Red Sox in the late forties.


Let's just say that I looked over every nook and cranny of my grandfather's house hoping that a ball would have somehow rolled into a hole behind a bookcase or something. No luck.

But, I suppose, if every kid who lived next to a ball player actually saved the dozen or so Ted Williams signed baseballs they had...they wouldn't be worth anything today.

So, that's why this card reminds me of my mother. And my uncles.

And why I cringe a little every time I see it.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Section 36 Store is OPEN!

I know what you've all been thinking. You saw all the pictures of people wearing the most amazing tank tops and thought, "How can I get one of those for myself?" Unfortunately, the answer was, "You can't."

Until now!

That's right. I heard your thoughts, as creepy as that sounds, and gave you exactly what you wanted. The chance to get your own tank top!

But, that's not all. No no no.

You can also get a standard t-shirt, and several other styles. It's almost too good to be true.

How am I doing this? I'm getting some help. The reason it took so long for me to offer the shirts again was the cost, and the inventory. So, I got the good people at Tee Public to help me out. I'll be selling the shirts through their website, directly to you! This allows me to offer more variety than I ever thought possible, while still keeping the costs as low as I can.

Which allows me to offer this beauty:


And, remember the variety I spoke of earlier?

Obviously, the plan is to add several more designs. But, for now we'll start with this classic. If you'd like one, click on this link. This one. Here

Of course, once you have your shirt, send me a picture wearing it! You can be added to the list of cool folk.

Can't wait to see them! 

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