Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Things I Remember

This is my post for Round 1 of the contest being run at the Nachos Grande blog.  The contest is a bracket style post runoff that has readers vote on their favorite posts pertaining to a specific baseball card assigned by Chris at Nachos Grande.

My assigned card is a '97 Collector's Choice Ken Caminiti.  The Collector's Choice sets always add some superb photography.  The sets were cheaply priced and I used to pick up packs of those sets at a local CVS in a great little town named Richboro,PA.  The Caminiti card above depicts the uniqueness and wackiness that a Collector's Choice set included.

Back in the 90s, when I was a boy in age and in mind, I wasn't as into baseball numbers as I am now.  Now I am a man in age with a boyish mindset and baseball statistics matter a lot more to me.  The internet wasn't at the height of greatness as it is in 2013.  I wasn't online for hours a week looking up stats on ballplayers to better understand the game that I love.  I judged baseball players by the old fashioned "eyeball test" which I find somewhat outdated nowadays.

I remember some things about Caminiti as a baseball player.  These notions may be completely false right now, but I believed them to be true at the time.  Some of my remembrance of him may have been proven wrong through statistical analysis as baseball fans evolved into intelligent beings.

I will list out some of the things that I remember about the former slugger.  No more paragraphs for you to skim through and now for an easy to read list format for the folks with short attention spans.

Here are the things that I remember about Ken Caminiti:

  • He was scary.  The boy version of Spiegel was frightened by the sight of this bearded, ripped and mean looking monster.
  • Caminiti may have been an actor on the old HBO dark comedy, OZ.  I still believe this to be true.
  • Caminiti was a beastly defender at third base.  He had a rocket of an arm and was always covered in dirt from the old Jack Murphy Stadium.  He was also always covered in Jack Murphy dirt when playing on the road because the San Diego Padres were too cheap to afford a washer.
  • The above point about Caminiti being a great defensive player may be untrue with modern saber metrics.  He won some Gold Gloves but, we all know now that the Gold Glove award is kind of a sham.
  • Caminiti was the NL MVP in 1996.  I remember that.  The award was probably tough to hand out back in '96 because every major league ballplayer hit over .300 with over 30 jacks.  
  • I even remember Wilton Guerrero hitting 31 homers in 1996.

Those are a handful of things that I remember about Ken Caminiti and a little tidbit about Wilton Guerrero thrown in just for fun.

What do you guys remember about Caminiti the ballplayer?  Do you remember the era when all baseball players looked like freakish body builders?

Also, please don't leave any comments about his life off the field.  Those incidents were just sad and should only be spoken about after several beers in a dark dive bar when being a jerk is acceptable.


Stealing Home said...

LoL on the traveling SD dirt.

Backstop Cards said...

Fielding sabermetrics v. the eye test - I saw the guy dive into foul territory and throw out a guy from the seat of his pants.

Took me a while to get over the dark side of Cammy, but I've gotten past it and appreciate what he brought to the Padres in the late 90's.

But totally agree with you about the scariness factor - he was one bad looking dude.

Laurens said...

I remember reading being sickly or dehydrated when the Padres played in Mexico.

Play at the Plate said...

I think he was always dirty in Texas too.