When you are a baseball fan stuck on an island in the Pacific, and especially if you enjoy collecting autographs, Spring Training is best–and worst. The good news is that Baseball Season is almost here–and the first one that I get to experience with my new son, though I doubt that he is going much more than smiling while I yell at the TV. He is still trying to figure out his hands, so I am safe having to explain the infield fly rule for six or so more years.
Its kind of a bummer as well though, since I get to see some of my collecting friends getting autographs out the wazoo in Arizona while I am forced to write letters through the mail to my favorite players–80% of which never get answered and I am thinking get tossed straight into the recycle bin.
But man, this return made me just so happy.
So without going into it too much I am a big Jeremy Guthrie fan. I was very happy when the Indians drafted him back in 2002 out of Stanford. He was a great pitcher in college, with a 13-2 record and 2.52 ERA over his 20 Division I starts, and was expected to be a polished pitcher who would move fast through the system. But with the Indians he scuffled a little. His stuff was always good, but he just had trouble finding a groove. He would pitch just 37 innings over three seasons with the Tribe before being put on waivers, where he would get plucked by the Orioles in January 2007. I was bummed. But Baltimore fans were thrilled with the pitcher that they got, since over the next three seasons he would be one of their best starters, winning 47 with an ERA+ of 107 and a 1.273 ERA.
|162 Game Avg.||11||13||4.23||36||32||1||0||210||217||60||125||102||1.319|
Since then he has been a dependable starting pitcher in the Majors, putting up excellent numbers and playing no small role in why the Royals were finally able to make it to the World Series in 2014.
The only game of the World Series was the one that he pitched, and was thrilled to see him get the win. I kept a box score of the game, and decided to take a chance and send a copy of it to him in the mail to sign…and bam! It came back in less then a week, signed.