30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sometimes The Stars Are Aligned

Another post inspired by a YouTube video.  This time it's a cover of Gotye's Somebody That I Used To Know:

Five people playing one guitar simultaneously.  Insane, right?  I really enjoy watching and listening to people cover different songs, but this video (actually... it was this video) totally blew me away.

A lot of YouTubers have amazing voices.  Others are super talented musicians.  These guys combined the two and added a twist, which (of course) made me start thinking about out of the ordinary athletes.

The first person that came to mind was Pat Venditte of the Oakland Athletics:

2009 Bowman Chrome Prospects Refractors #BCP94 

There's no shortage of switch hitters in baseball.  Heck... I've even hit from both sides of the plate in the same game before.  But switch pitchers?  They're definitely unique.

How unique?  In the last century, only Venditte and Greg Harris have thrown with both hands in a single MLB game.

2015 Topps Archives #WF10

bizarre occurrence took place earlier in the year when Will Ferrell played all nine positions for ten different teams over the course of one day.  That probably won't be happening again in the near future.  But Mr. Ferrell didn't accomplish his feat in an official MLB game. 

2002 Topps Archives Autographs #TAABC

However... Bert Campaneris did it fifty years ago.  That night he became the first MLB player to play all nine positions in a single game.  You've gotta be pretty well-rounded to pull that off.  Since then only three other MLB players have accomplished that feat in a MLB game.

2004 Topps Originals Signature #JA3

I'll wrap this post up with a guy who was born without his right hand, yet managed to defy the odds and pitch in the MLB.

Jim Abbott's story has been well publicized and rightfully so... which drove cards collectors to flock to his cardboard in the early 90's.  Unfortunately... these days most of his cards can be found in dime boxes, but his admirers know his accomplishments are much more valuable than his rookie cards.

Many people dream of one day pitching in the major leagues... but only a small percentage of very talent athletes accomplish that feat.  Abbott did it with one hand... and he even managed to pitch a no-hitter against the loaded lineup of the Cleveland Indians back in 1993.

And just in case you're wondering... he also managed to hit two singles during his MLB career:

No doubt about it... Abbott was special.  Heck all of these guys were in their own unique way.

It's your time to shine...

Who are some of your favorite unique athletes?  What makes them so special?

Happy Wednesday and sayonara!


  1. I'm jealous about that Venditte autograph. I've been looking to add his Bowman Chrome autograph (Chrome Is King) to my collection for eons but the stars never aligned for me. Maybe one day though.

    As for unique athletes, Melissa Mayeux probably? If she can make it to the majors or minors, she can make history.

  2. Great video! Great Athletes and Actor! Great cards! Great post!

  3. Great post Fuji. My son, whose situation is very close to Jim Abbott's, became an all-league first baseman and led his district in rebounding as a power forward. He's also a better golfer than his ol' man. He's my favorite 'unique' athlete.

  4. Several athletes have came back from cancer. Rizzo and Lemieux come to mind right off the bat. Then you have some of the athletes that served active duty like Ted Williams.

  5. You probably know that one of the 2016 Topps insert sets will celebrate Abbott and others. http://mlb.nbcsports.com/2015/10/21/topps-to-release-a-pride-perseverance-card-set/

  6. As a Type 1 diabetic, I've always admired diabetics who have played in the Bigs. Also kind of admired Dave Dravecky who came back to pitch after having part of the muscle in his pitching arm removed due to cancer.

  7. zippy - was bummed to see the blue jays picked him up off waivers. best of luck. they typically sell for under $10 on ebay. as for mayeux... i hadn't heard of her. but i'll be on the lookout for her
    first baseball cards.

    daniel - thanks!

    commish - that's awesome! have you ever had your son come to your school and speak to your classes? sounds like he'd make an excellent motivational speaker.

    matthew - great guys. i've wanted to add a rizzo auto to my collection for awhile now.

    gca - thanks for sharing. had no clue... but i definetely want that set.

    jeremy - dravecky's story is awesome! i'm on the hunt for either a signed copy of his book or an autographed card.