One Day Closer To Real Baseball

With the second game of spring training yesterday (great days for Tommy Pham and Kevin Siegrist), we’re now settling into that familiar March pattern of having baseball in the afternoons and the chance to listen to most games as well. And every passing game obviously brings us that much closer to the ones that count in the regular season — which is now just Chris Carpenter days away.

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What better way to honor the fact there are 29 days until Opening Night at Wrigley Field than with the rare photo of Chris Carpenter smiling while on the field?

Of course, the fact his uniform number needed to be showing (my only self-imposed rule for this countdown series) meant that I couldn’t use either the ever-popular-Google-search-term-that-brings-people-to-AMF “shirtless Chris Carpenter” photo or my personal all-time favorite photo of him on the cover of Alive magazine. Nor any of the many other photos I have taken of him or others have taken for me through the years …

Ahem. Back to business.

As for other 29s in Cardinals history, even though I wasn’t a Cardinals fan back in the 1980s (instead following their Opening Night opponent at the time) I did always like their No. 29 back then: Cousin Vince.

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Along those same lines, have you been following the daily countdown at the Cards Conclave? Always a good way to learn a little bit more about current and past Cardinals.

This afternoon, Jaime Garcia will make his spring debut against the Washington Nationals and Stephen Strasburg with Kolten Wong batting leadoff and Randal Grichuk making his first start as well. You can listen on KMOX or online and, if you have MLB-TV, the Nationals broadcast will be live. The game also will be shown later today on MLB Network.

And while these games are certainly an enjoyable way to pass the time, they’re nothing like the real thing. Just 29 days until that!

 

 

Throwback Thursday: Vince Coleman’s First Home Run

When you think of Vince Coleman, you likely think of stolen bases. Or maybe the word “tarp” comes to mind.

Vince ColemanRegardless, home runs are certainly not something you associate with the man who as a rookie for the Cardinals in 1985 stole more than twice as many bases as the entire 2013 team total (110 vs. 45).

Yet Coleman did occasionally hit home runs. Very occasionally, anyway — he had 15 during his six years as a Redbird. But his first was during his Rookie of the Year season, on May 21, 1985.

It was his only homer that year (and his next wouldn’t come until Aug. 26, 1987).

The Cardinals were hosting the Braves at Busch Stadium on May 21. They were up 2-1 in the bottom of the third inning when Vince stepped to the plate with one out. He hit the first pitch from Len Barker deep to right field and … watch for yourself from this TBS broadcast.

Yes, of course his first career homer would be an inside-the-parker. And a stand-up one at that.

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