Friday, March 29, 2024

Opening Day and the Jays

 Hello Friends!

Yesterday was Opening Dy across baseball and today I was pondering. After realizing the 2016 Cubs win was the first time the Cubs won in Wrigley, I started thinking about Opening Day win/loss records and Home Opener Win/Loss records.. 

Specifically for the Toronto Blue Jays. So.. I decided to look into it. After a quite messy method, I got my answers.

Of course, to log the Opening Day record, we have to go back to the first Opening Day for the Jays. 1977. April 7 had a nice blizzard blow in before the game, but the team was determined to have the game played. I'm sure many have seen the videos of players clowning around using shinpads as skis and bats as ski poles, etc.. After getting the Zamboni from the Maple Leafs to clear the infield, the game was underway..

We know the Jays won that fateful game 

But how about Opening Days after? 
To find my answer, I combed through Baseball-Reference and the box scores page for the Jays for ever year from 1977 to 2023. 
Originally I was going to just focus on Opening Day but then I also decided on Home Openers as well.. 

My methodology is this.. If it was an Opening Day game in Toronto, it counts as both Opening Day and Home Opener.. If they started the season on the road, The record would be recorded in Opening Day only. For the Home Openers, unless it was Opening Day, they were logged separate. 

As we know, Doug Ault was the hero of the day in 1977 with two homeruns..


In Opening Day games, the Jays were 26-21
In Home Openers, they were 30-17

I find it funny that a lot of the Home Opener wins came when they were either horrible, or mediocre.
Most of their Opening Day losses came on the road. Of course, we know they won last night, but I didn't add it to the data, since the Home Opener is April 8.. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

Canadians in the Majors: Tyler O'Neill

 Hello Friends!

Today I'm going to make this one focus on Tyler O'Neill..

Tyler O'Naill was born June 22, 1995 in Burnaby, British Columbia

He currently lives in Maple Ridge, British Columbia

He was taken in the third round of the 2013 draft by the Seattle Mariners. He worked his way through the Mariners system including a season that won him the Southern League MVP in 2016. The Jackson Generals won the Southern League Championship. 

On July 21, 2017, he was traded to the Cardinals for Marco Gonzales and continued working at the Triple A Level, this time in Memphis. In 2017, the Memphis Redbirds won the Pacific Coast League Championship. The resulting win meant O'Neill was part of two consecutive championship teams, in two leagues for two different organizations. 

After the 2017 season he was added to the 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
His time in St Louis has been riddled with injuries, with him having one season where he accumulated more than 500 at bats. He did win two Gold Gloves for his defence. 

On December 8, 2023, he was traded to Boston for Nick Robertson and Victor Santos. 

He's an avid weightlifter and piano player. For his weightlifting, he was given the nickname Popeye in the Southern League. 

He has played the piano to entertain his teammates from time to time. His favourite song to play is O Canada. He's also played the Lord of the Rings Theme. 

His father was named Mr Canada, an honour given to the Nation's best bodybuilder, in 1975. 

I do hope he is able to stay healthy because I'd like to see him have a good career. That said, since he's on Boston... I'm of two minds on it. 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

2024 Topps

 Hello Friends!

Yes, I know I'm very late to the party of talking about 2024 Topps. I didn't want to say anything until I had some in my grubby little paws.. 

Thanks to Cardsoncards, AKA Kerry, I have some 2024 Topps now. 

It started out him having some cards he wanted to get rid of, and mentioned Tyler O'Neill. Well, being a collector of Canadian born players, I jumped at the chance to widen my collection of his considerably. It also came at a time where I'm dreading the task of going through my collection to ensure what it says I have on TCDB is actually in my collection. I also know there's a considerable amount not there.. 

Anyway.. Here are the 2024s I got

Josh Naylor. One of two Naylors on the Guardians. Josh's brother Bo is a teammate of his. Their younger brother was drafted by the Oak Vegas A's 

Joey Votto! In what could be one of his final Topps cards (Let's see how many sets they cram him into this year) he's currently in the Jays camp. He doesn't expect to be with the team when they go north, but does hope to make it to Toronto this season. 

Cavan Biggio. 
So we have a horizontal card and I don't hate it. I feel that in the not so distant past, Topps would have cropped it so close that Biggio's arm and the baseball wouldn't be visible.

One sign that baseball is back.. Spring-er has sprung!
I do like the design this year. Do I like it enough to try to collect the set? I don't know. If I do I would be sacrificing some other sets I haven't really been overly enthused about. 

Jordan Romano! The Cheese Man. Again I think the horizontal orientation works best for this one. 

The Bouncing Boys in Blue Jays Blue..

Hey look! It's Tyler O'Neill.. 
It'll be interesting to see how he does in Boston this year. It'll also be interesting to see if he stays healthy this year.

I like this card though I think I need to do some reading up on Spencer to see who he is.. 
I just hope his homerun celebration isn't the Barry Horowitz self-back-pat....

Ah here's Bo Naylor. 

Finally two more Jays with Kevin Gausman and Danny Jansen. 

The cards are really nice. I think tomorrow I'll be going through mt plan to set up the computer in the card room and go from there. 

Monday, March 4, 2024

Delorimier Stadium Custom

 Hello Friends!

Today I'm back with another custom card I made up. Ultimately, I'm looking at this ending up being a set of stadium cards

Today, as the title mentions, it's Delorimier Stadium that was in Montreal, Quebec. 

So, before the Expos were in Montreal, the city had minor league teams called the Royals dating back to 1897. Starting in the Eastern League (Not the same one as current) the Royals followed along as the League changed names in 1912 to the International League. It was a Double A league until 1945 when it became the current version, Triple A..

From 1928 to 1960, the Royals played in a stadium in a residential area called DeLorimier Stadium.

It was located at 2101 Ontraio Street in Montreal

The block in the middle of this map from Google shows where the park sat. 

When the park opened, the Royals were a co-op team until 1933 when the Athletics selected Montreal as a farm team for two years. (1933-1934)
From 1937-1938, the Pirates sent prospects here. 
Then.. From 1939-1960, the remainder of the lifespan of the Royals and the park, the Brooklyn Dodgers had this as one of their Triple A homes.
From 1946-1960, the Dodgers had Two Triple A teams. The Royals, and the St. Paul Saints. 1949 and 1950 had the Hollywood Stars join them as a third Triple A team. 1958-1960, St Paul and Montreal were joined by Spokane. 
By time 1960 rolled around, the Dodgers were in Los Angeles and wanted to keep their Triple A players closer to the team, making the Royals expendable. The team ended up being sold and moved to Syracuse to become the Chiefs. 

When the Expos were being welcomed into Major League Baseball in 1969, there was talk of using Delorimier Stadium as their temporary home. However, at 20000 seats, it was too small. Its location meant it could not be renovated or expanded. Instead, the Expos moved into a hastily expanded Jarry Park, and Delorimier Downs, the place where Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in Organized Baseball, met the wrecking ball. A school went up on the site. 

The Dodgers affiliation meant that many great players, including several Hall of Famers, passed through Montreal on their way to Brooklyn.
Walter Alston, Ed Barrow, Roberto Clemente, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Jocko Conlan, Don Drysdale, Burleigh Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Rabbit Maranville (Manager) and Duke Snider. 
Other great managers and eventual Hall of Fame managers that played here include Gene Mauch, Joe Altobelli, Tommy Lasorda, Sparky Anderson, and Dick Williams. 

The Royals won 7 Governor's Cup trophies as the Winner of the International League Playoffs and won 3 Junior World Series. 

So, here is the custom card I created for Delorimier Downs. 
What do you think? 
Also, did you enjoy the little stadium writeup I did with this card? It kind of combines the Stadium Series I've been working on and the custom cards I've been working on.