Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 Stadium Club

After some misguided starts in the past decade, it looks like Stadium Club might finally be back on track. Here's the thing... the sets almost always look fantastic, but little things like set identity confusion and sky high price points made the last few sets not sell well. Thankfully, there are no gimmicks like short-printing and serial numbering every third card and the price is more reasonable this year.

Are there parallels? There sure are. Inserts? You betcha! Sadly, this has been the norm for quite some time now and I do not see it going away. Some people chase parallels like chasing the dragon. It's fun and exhilarating, but you will never catch the dragon and you will never chase them all down. There are choices in life and I choose sanity.

Luckily, there is more to this set than just rainbows of color to collect and trashy gimmicks. There is the photography to marvel at. There is the player selection to awe at. There is the simplicity of design to ponder. There is a Hall of Fame cameo on a Hall of Famer card. This is truly a grand spectacle of modest proportions.

The White Sox have nine cards in the set.

69 - Chris Sale
112 - Paul Konerko
121 - Luis Aparicio
129 - Adam Eaton
152 - Jose Abreu
164 - Carlton Fisk (with Tom Seaver cameo!)
180 - Adam LaRoche
229 - Dayan Viciedo
256 - David Robertson

The only puzzling part of this is the inclusion of Dayan Viciedo. He is with his second club since leaving the White Sox. Melky Cabrera or Jeff Samardzija weren't better options here? Despite that little speed bump, this is a set that is a must have. There is a healthy mix of current and classic players and no crazy gimmicks designed to set it apart from other releases. This set stands on its own merits.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Dan Jennings

Card #179 - Dan Jennings

Born: April 17, 1987

Dan made his MLB debut with the Miami Marlins on April 30, 2012, after being selected in the ninth round of the 2009 amateur draft. Jennings crafted a reputation as a solid middle reliever with the Marlins. On August 7, 2014, while pitching for Miami in relief, Dan was struck by a line drive in the head in Pittsburgh, suffering a concussion, but returning to the mound less than a month later.

Jennings was traded to the White Sox on December 11, 2014, in exchange for Brazilian pitching sensation Andre Rienzo. Dan has had his share of success with Chicago, but he has also been plagued by a few bad outings, including a horrific 40.50 ERA in his ChiSox debut.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Micah Johnson

Card #178 - Micah Johnson

Born: December 18, 1990

Micah was drafted by the White Sox in the ninth round of the 2012 amateur draft. Johnson has steadily climbed the ranks in the minor leagues until he broke camp with Chicago in 2015.

Making his MLB debut on April 6, 2015, Opening Day, Micah went one for three. Johnson appeared in twenty-seven games before being sent down to AAA in mid-May. During that time, Micah batted .270 and stole three bases. Johnson's downfall was his defense. In the last seven games before being sent down, Micah committed three errors. A little more seasoning in the minors may build on this taste of the majors.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Sunday, June 7, 2015

WSC Birth Years: Matt Albers

Card #177 - Matt Albers

Born: January 20, 1983

Matt graduated from a high school near Houston, Texas in 2001. The Astros took him in the 23rd round of the 2001 draft. Albers made his way through the Houston farm system until he made his MLB debut with the Astros on July 25, 2006. He switched back and forth between the bullpen and the starting rotation for his two years with the Astros and his first year with the Orioles in 2008. Matt spent three seasons with Baltimore, before spending time with the Red Sox, the Diamondbacks, the Indians and the Astros for a second time.

Albers signed a minor league contract with the White Sox on February 13, 2015. He features a sinkerball thrown in the mid-90s and offsets that with a hard slider and a curveball. Matt appeared in four games with the Pale Hose before suffering a broken finger in a brawl with the Kansas City Royals on April 22, 2015.
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