Just a couple days ago I was one of the many people who signed up for a contest the blogger Nacho Grande is having. This isn't just one of your typical sign up, and a randomizer picks a winner, and you walk away with a cool prize. No, this is one of those contests that takes some skill to win. Despite this major roadblock to me winning I decided that it would be fun to try. Thinking this would take every ounce of skill I had to go deep into the contest. I still just had to do this, and challenge myself to see what I can do.
Then Nacho threw all the names in the randomizer, and came up with groups. Our first groups were to see where we will be seeded in the first round of writing. Nacho posted the groups, and the cards for our inspiration. It didn't take long for the first participant to write about his groups card. Seeing what he had, and the results a drop of sweat fell from my forehead. He did a good job with a Carlos Lee card. Thinking I was doomed in only the first round I started going through the rules, and then down the listing of groups along with their card. Then I saw my name, and a surprise that put a smile on my face a mile wide. My card was...
A Seattle Mariner! All I could see was that sweet logo staring me in the face. Did I just get thrown a batting practice fastball in my first card? If you are any sort of a reader to this blog you know that the Mariners are my second favorite team. While the Rockies are my favorite the Mariners are a close second. Due to us living in Oregon, and all the Mariners things I buy you'd think my favorite was the Mariners.
Simply put I was in the batting cage, and the Nacho had just tossed me a fastball right in my sweet-spot to drill into the seats. I lined myself up, and was ready for the swing. Then reality began to set in. I gave the card a closer look, and that is when it hit me.
Who the heck is Franklin Gutierrez? My first thought was to go into the Mariners binder, and see if there was some sort of card for this Gutierrez guy. Going through what I had here is what I found.
Nothing! There has to be a card in here someplace. The scrambling began harder as I went through the few spare cards that aren't binder worthy. Still there was nothing. Maybe the Nacho knew I was a Mariners fan, and wanted to toy with my emotions. I know what happened I thought to myself. He just took some random minor leaguer, and created a Mariners card for the guy. This was some cruel joke he was playing on me. Well I will show him! I will dream something up, and still turn on that batting practice fastball.
That is when the wife walked over, and looked at the computer screen. Noticing the card she asked why I was writing about Guti? Fascinated I came back with a quick "He's a real player"? With most the lights out except for one that is when she started to tell me a story that flashed me back to being a kid. Back to the days when we would sit outside in the dark, and tell scary stories. Only according to her this story was real, but we used to say they were real when we were kids making them up.
WIFE::Not very long ago the Mariners had a player nicknamed 'Death to all flying things'. This man could track down anything hit in the air to the outfield
ME:: Ken Griffey Jr? I thought his nickname was 'The Kid'.
WIFE:: No, not Junior! This was a different player.
DAUGHTER:: Death to whatever! I bet he rode around on a horse using his baseball bat as a weapon, and had vampire bats all around him... LAME!!!
With that the daughter got up, and left the room shaking her head repeating "That is so lame" over, and over again.
ME:: So does he?
WIFE:: No! That would be stupid, and not real either.
ME:: I was just checking.
WIFE:: So do you want to hear about Franklin Gutierrez or not?
WIFE:: Then let me finish.. So, the Mariners had this centerfielder whose nickname was 'Death to all flying things'. When playing the field he could track down anything that was hit in the air. He was amazing to watch. His only problem was much like the guys on the current team he couldn't hit. Whenever he came up to bat most of his hits would be pop ups in the infield. It was sad too, because if he could have just hit the ball on the ground odds are he could have ran it out for a single. Then a couple years ago he started having stomach problems, and getting other injuries too. Since then he's just kind of disappeared.
ME:: That is spooky!
WIFE:: No! Disappeared as in he's always injured so he's always gone.
ME:: I knew that!
WIFE:: Right! So that is the story of Franklin Gutierrez. Such a shame too as he showed a ton of potential.
ME:: Sounds just a little to unbelievable to me if you want to know. Maybe I'll just e-mail the Nacho Grande blog guy, and ask him who that guy is, and where the card came from.