30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Remember Brandi Chastain?

I've said it before... I don't follow soccer on a regular basis. But over the years, I've slowly warmed up to the sport.

Last summer... I dove head first into the 2010 FIFA Men's World Cup hoopla, cheering for Team USA and the Blue Samurai of Japan. Sadly... both teams were eliminated in the 2nd round.

But that didn't stop me from watching the rest of the tournament, which ended in Spain winning. By the time the tournament was over, I had learned several key names... a few rules... and even discovered my favorite player: Keisuke Honda.

But today's post isn't about him... or men's soccer. It's all about the ladies of futbol.

On Sunday... the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup will kick off in Germany. And just like last year... I'll be pulling for The Yanks and Nadeshiko Japan.

I'm a little embarrassed to say this... but I've been a fan of women's soccer longer than men's soccer. I've been living in theBay Area my whole life... and in 1999... the Women's World Cup craze arrived. Several games were played in Spartan Stadium and the semi-final game involving Team USA was played at Stanford Stadium, so it was impossible not to get swept up in the hype.

The USA vs. Brazil semi-final game in Palo Alto was the first time I ever watched a full soccer game. But that's not the game most Americans remember.

It's the USA vs. China Final's match that most people remember... and more specifically... it's Brandi Chastain scoring the deciding goal in the penalty shootout to win the game for Team USA, then pulling off her jersey in celebration. And although she was already a huge name in soccer... this event made her a household name in the states. The memory was captured on numerous magazines and newspapers throughout the country, including Sports Illustrated:

But... I actually was a fan of Brandi... long before that historic day. I went to high school with her brother Chad and remember seeing her name in San Jose Mercury News since her days at Santa Clara.

Sadly... my only soccer card of her is this 1999 Roox U.S. Women's Soccer card that I picked up a few months after they won the cup.

Then a couple of months ago, I picked up this gem:

It's an autographed Nike soccer ball authenticated by Steiner Sports. If you follow my blog, you might remember my Ryan Miller puck purchase in April. It was part of a 3 autographs for $99 promotion. Well... this Brandi Chastain autograph was the second item in the deal.

I'm currently looking for a reasonably priced soccer ball display, so I can put it up on one of my bookshelves in my office.

Okay... moving on to the contest. Here is today's Question of the Day:

Brandi ChastaText Colorin... along with James Jones (of the Green Bay Packers), Dave Stieb (former pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays), Andre Carter (of the Washington Redskins), and Mark Grieb (of the San Jose Sabercats) are all hometown heroes.

Who are some of your hometown heroes?

Oh... and I almost forgot. I promised to add another prize this week... and here's what I have for you guys.

It's a complete set of 1999 Roox U.S. Women's Soccer cards. The set contains 19 cards and features Mia Hamm, Brianna Scurry, Kristine Lilly, Julie Foudy and of course... Chastain. I'm sure it's not for everyone... but the worst case scenario... you use it as trade bait.

I'll cut off the comments for Monday's post right now... but I won't have a contest update until later on this evening.

Well... I'm off to work. Happy hump day and sayonara!


  1. Really only three guys from my hometown made it to big stages. Stevie Woodard was a pitcher in the late 90's for a couple of teams. He had a pretty good debut against Roger Clemens. Gary Redus was in the bigs for quite a few years. Most recently is current Raiders player and UofA alum Rolando McClain.

  2. Here is the baseball digest that had a small blurb about Woodard's debut performance:http://books.google.com/books?id=6S4DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA22&lpg=PA22&dq=steve+woodard+debut+against+clemens&source=bl&ots=W55V-RbOHC&sig=NPVdSNGkH_nIuA6fzmrMvTT9UHM&hl=en&ei=G_8BTs6HFo_UgQeL9JWCAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=steve%20woodard%20debut%20against%20clemens&f=false

  3. let's see.... we have Jimmy and Joe Watson, winner of two Stanley Cups each with the Flyers. Ron and Rob Flockhart, Alan Kerr, and most recently Dan Hamhuis of the Canucks.

    I grew up next door to the Watson's parents so it was a big thrill growing up watching those two.
    Not bad from a town of 3500 people.

  4. Well, I don't live in California, so it's pretty limited on the "hometown stars" front.

    From where I grew up, most famous athlete is probably Johnny Logan, player for Boston Braves in '50s.

    From where I live now, there is Rick Carlisle, head coach of Mavericks, Jimmy Howard, goalie for the Red Wings, Brian Leonard, running back for Bengals, Trevor Scott, defensive end for Raiders, and the Powell brothers -- of the most famous lacrosse family.

    Former athletes from my area: Craig Conroy, hockey player; Jim Deshaies, baseball player.

  5. Chad Chastain...now that's a name!

    As for my hometown, decent amount going on. Brian Ryder (Yankees 70's-80's minor leaguer) is from my town, as is Lance Zawadzki, who has bounced around the major leagues the last few years. Zawadzki was actually at my high school while I was in high school, which is neat, but he was a douche to a friend of mine which isn't.

    For bigger names, Ron Darling went to my high school way back in the day. And Tanyon Sturtze grew up in the town over, went to my high school rival's school, and then attended a community college one minute from my high school girlfriend's house. I used to collect him but he was a douche post career and started a fight with some friends of mine over their girlfriend...so now I don't!

    Our true claims to fame (Shrewsbury, MA): The birth control pill was developed between us and Worcester. We almost had the first president of the United States (Artemas Ward). And we have up and coming comic Mike Birbiglia (who also went to my high school). So there's that!

  6. I went to High Schools with Scott Kazmir, meaning I was a senior when he was a freshman and we had no idea who the other person was.

    Even though I live in Houston, my parents live in Fargo, ND, so I still will claim Rober Maris, even though it's their hometown instead of mine.

  7. Part of the problem with growing up in New York City is its very hard to claim anyone as a home town hero. There are so many people you don't really feel the connection. Athlete's like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar were raised is a New Yorker, but I don't have real home town pride about it.

    I even checked my grade school but no one of note is an alumni.

  8. My area has produced a ton. Currently in the MLB: David Wright, Justin Upton, BJ Upton, Scott Sizemore, and Michael Cuddyer. For football: DeAngelo Hall, Darryl Tapp, Bruce Smith, Ace Parker. Basketball: Alonzo Mourning. There are others that I'm probably just not thinking of.

  9. being from a small town there are not many famous people from my town. There are actually 3, two baseball and one singer. I collect both baseball players, Bill Virdon and Preacher Roe. I don't like country music (especially old country music) so I'm not a fan of Porter Wagoner who is from the town also.

  10. With two hometowns, I suppose I have two hometown heroes. Living as a younger boy in the bay area, I was a big fan of Jose Canseco and Rickey Henderson. Eventually I learned what it meant to be a prick and for a while despised what the A's of my childhood stood for, but have since come back around.

    When I moved to Georgia, the Braves became big. I remember staying up late and watching Sid Bream come chugging around 3rd to score the winning run in the 1992 NLCS, and later emulating Greg Maddux on the mound when playing baseball with my friends.

  11. From the one road that is my town, next to Blackburn, Lead singer of Yes Jon Anderson & Monkeys man Davey Jones although Wikipedia has Jones' birthplace 40 miles out!

    I also enjoyed a night entertaining a few swedish footballers during the 2005 Womens Euro Championships as they were based in Blackburn & staying at the next bat/hotel to the one I worked at!

    They were very nice girls!

  12. My home town is more known for its music than its sportsman.
    However we do have a bunch of Soccer players and rugby players, none of which you would have heard of, hell I hadnt heard of half of them!
    I guess the biggest name to come from my neck of the woods is the boxing champion Joe Calzaghe. 46 fights, 46 wins with 32 knockouts.

  13. My hometown actually has more notable names than I had previously thought.

    Jack Black, Drew Barrymore, Michael Richards, Jeff Fisher, Helen Hunt.

    I also went to high school with Michael Bumpus, who spent some time with the Seahawks. I believe he was a senior when I was a freshman.

  14. Entertainment wise Corpus Christi is known for Selena and Eva Longoria and also Farrah Fawcett and Lou Diamond Phillips. Sports wise Terry and Bobby Labonte are probably the most prolific sports heroes. Brian Leetch was actually born in Corpus Christi too, but I don't think he lived here too long.

  15. I had this whole witty comment ready about the only cool thing to come from my area were two of the white guys from Hootie and the Blowfish (Mark Bryan and Dean Felber).

    Then I decided to check out wikipedia so I didn;t look like a tool for not knowing anything about my hometown.

    I found a professional eater Juliet Lee, a Go-Go Gina Schock and a rock band Clutch.

    Oh did I forget to mention HOFer Walter Johnson. Ok, he didnt grow up there, just retired there after baseball. That counts.

    Also found that we were featured in a few episodes of the "X-Files" and in the video game "Fallout 3".

    Way to go Germantown.

  16. Spankee and I grew up in the same town so I'll have to second his post. The only thing I could add is that I went to school with Alonzo. He was a freshman in my senior year of high school.

  17. I went to high school with three current pro athletes -- MLBer Luke Hochevar, his sister Brittany (beach volleyball), and rodeoer Wade Sumpter.
    NFL Hall of Famer Dutch Clark was born in my hometown.
    Finally, anyone who's traveled through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, or the Dakotas has probably seen a "Loaf 'n Jug" convenience store, the first of which was opened in my hometown in 1973.
    Not too shabby for a town with one stop light.

  18. Stuart Slater pro soccer player for West Ham and Celtic comes from Sudbury Suffolk. Lived in my street and played in the same youth team as me. I would like to nominate myself on the basis of saving three penalties in one amatuer soccer match. The only other notable person from our wee town is Thomas Gainsborough the world famous portrait painter.
    Not forgetting Sudbury Town FC who reached the final of the FA vase (sort of amatuer FA Cup) three times and lost every time.

  19. Cool stories... I appreciate the great responses. I've said it a bunch of times... I love reading everyone's comments.

    jaybarkerfan - whether or not you win a prize in this contest... i found something for you. i'll send it when i ship everyone's prizes out (early august).

    nightowl - remember that great year deshaies had in 86? i invested heavily in his 87 topps card. one of many reasons i don't collect for investment purposes anymore.

    spastik - darling was one of my favorite pitchers in the 80's... then again that whole met's starting roster was pretty fun to watch.

    dawgbones - do you have your senior yearbook? that would be one sweet piece of memorabilia... alonzo mourning's freshman yearbook.

    Sorry I didn't get a chance to respond to more of your comments. I'm going to try and finish off tonight's post... so that you'll have a couple of days to respond.

    Which means... this particular post's comments are closed in regards to the comments. I should have an update within the hour. Thanks for participating.