Featured Card: 1991 Stadium Club Members Only Andy Ashby (unnumbered)
I’m well over a week late in making this particular post, but it was one that I just couldn’t let go. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t seem to find the time to get this particular card scanned. Actually, the real problem is that I have so many pet projects lying about the house that I sometimes find myself neglecting one or more of them for weeks at a time while I focus on other items. This situation existed for a long time before starting 14,000 Phillies back in the beginning of May, and I cannot help but wonder what the hell I was thinking when I decided to add yet another item, this blog, to the list of unending tasks that I never seem to gain traction upon.
In a way I haven’t fully rationalized, Juan Perez’s perfect 10th inning back on July 8 serves as an unwieldy metaphor for getting a job done as expediently as possible. Yes, he could have gotten three out on three pitches, but that would have required relying on the other players on the field assisting him in making those outs. Striking out the side on just nine pitches means getting the job done with no mistakes, no dawdling or wasted time. However, while you can plan ahead in regards to your task (or inning, in this case), things very rarely work out as smoothly as planned. In fact, they almost never do. This is the reason why Perez is just the second pitcher in nearly 130 years of Phillies baseball to accomplish this particular feat.
I doubt that Perez will receive a baseball card commemorating the feat, the way Topps honored Andy Ashby for doing so back in 1991. While a lot has changed in the baseball card industry over the past 20 years, the primary difference between the two pitchers is that at the time Andy Ashby was an up-and-coming pitching prospect. Although Topps was the only company to issue a card solely to celebrate Ashby accomplishment, the fact that he was a rookie probably had a lot to do with their decision to do so. At the time, all the major companies were fixating on getting rookie cards out for everyone who might make the majors and looking for any excuse to issue more of them.
Unfortunately for him, Perez — who has been out of the majors since 2007 and is 32-years-old — is no rookie, thus will be lucky to even appear on a Topps card this year. In fact, the only way I see him getting on any cards at all this year is if the Phillies issue an update to their current team set, or (heaven forbid) they issue a third different team set. Of course, Perez will actually still need to be with the team should either happenstance occur, and with the team waiting on the return of Ryan Madson and Brad Lidge, the chances of that are incredibly small. Still, for one night in July, he made the best use of his time and did something special.
If only we all could be so lucky.