Sunday, July 24, 2011

Daily Conlon: 181 through 189

Here are today's Daily Conlon cards numbered #181 to #189. The most notable player here and possibly our countries most unsung hero is Moe Berg (located on the niddle row, far left).

Moe wasn't much of a offensive ballplayer, but he sure could catch. Still, it was a better life than a potential career as a lawyer. Per his SABR biography:
"He encountered Dutch Carter, an eminent lawyer who advised him to keep playing professional baseball. Carter had wanted a baseball career himself, but his family had persuaded him to follow the law, and he still regretted it. He told Berg that he would have plenty of time to practice law after his baseball career was over. "
He spent most of his time as a backup catcher in his 15 year Major League career. Batting for a career average of .243, he started out his career in Brooklyn in 1923, but was sent down until he finally stuck with the White Sox in 1926. No doubt, his skills on the diamond is not what makes him notable. Moe Berg was "the strangest man ever to play baseball " according to Casey Stengel, and possibly the smartest man to ever put on a uniform. He was thought to be fluent in 12 languages and would regularly read 10 newspapers a day from all over the world. Moe Berg also work as a spy for the United Stated during and after his career in Baseball. This story is often told when speaking of Berg.
In 1934 Berg's career took the turn that made him the stuff of legend. Now a member of the team of Americans that took baseball to Japan, he presumably walked the streets of Tokyo dressed in a long black kimono. He entered St. Luke's Hospital carrying a bouquet of flowers intended for Ambassador Joseph Grew's daughter (Mrs. Cecil Burton), who had recently given birth to a daughter. He introduced himself as a friend of Mrs. Burton but instead of going to her room went up to the roof and using a motion picture camera shot the skyline and other important parts of Tokyo. He never visited Mrs. Burton.
He would later work for the Office of Strategic Services which would become the CIA.

True Blue Kuroda?

I've often wonder if a player today is so loyal to their first team that they would be willing to be traded (seemingly to help the club get some prospects), but return to their home club the next season. In our days of frequent player movements, strained budgets and free agency it just didn't seem likely, but here we are staring at just that.

Per MLB Trade Rumors, they share a tweet from CBS sports writer Danny Knobler who lets us know a little bit about what may be going on in the mind of Hiroki Kuroda.

So Kuroda may be the clearest definition of a rental player. He would agree to play elsewhere, but intends on playing only in LA if he steps out onto the mound in 2012. I gotta tell ya, I'm lovin' this guy more and more.

Also, according to MLB Trade Rumors, the Indians have already made inquires to the Dodgers for Kuroda's services. Maybe we cantake this opportunity to get Carlos Santana back?

Mailbag: A Billingsley Win

Here is another recent eBay win, and I got it for under a buck (just $3.49 delivered). This is a 2009 Topps Unique "Solo Shot" autographed card of Chad Billingsley. Hopefully, this win will translate into a Dodger win with him on the mound tonight.
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