Thursday, January 29, 2009

Your Support is Appreciated!

There are only 14 days left until pitchers and catchers report to Phoenix, AZ for Brewers spring camp...adding to the excitement is the consolation of knowing that Eric Gagne will not be one of them.

The recent wave of 2009 budget cuts has affected my card collecting more drastically than anticipated, and coupled with the entire LACK of trades recieved thus far in '09 I've been forced take a page from Jerry Lewis' book of fundraising (i mean, card-raising?) If you enjoy reading this blog and would like to continue to enjoy our educational, informative, and entertaining programming, consider donating to the "Cheese and Beer 2009 Card-a-thon".  I'll trade you some Angels, Royals, Astros or Mariners cards (or any team for that matter)  for any cards showcasing my beloved Brewers. If you are interested, just leave a comment and I'll get in touch with you soon! 

Until then, you'll be forced to sit through hours and hours of mindless, low-budget entertainment periodically interrupted by celebrity requests for further support and this case, I'll be forced to dig deep into the vault for some true gems in painful, one-at-a-time fashion. So pick up those phones, and make your pledge today.

2001 Bowman Draft Pick #BDP96 Mike Jones

 Something immediately jumped out at me with this card, and I'll give you a quick second to figure it out...

Get it? Well, just in case you are a bit slow, or sleepy-eyed, I'll help you out. You see, this card lacks the facsimile autograph that traditionally graces this series of card. In my OCD world this will just not do, so I am immediately sending this card in the mail in hopes that a TTM auto will complete it. 

Not only do baseball cards give us something to barter with, becoming somewhat of a currency among young boys, but they also allow us to expand the mind, feed the monkey of knowledge from time to time.  In this case, it was no coincidence that I happened upon this card last night while searching for today's blog fodder.  I was meant to find it - for the story I am about to tell you will reveal to the world, should it not shake you at your core, that you are not truly human.

Mike Jones (of Phoenix Arizona fame, not of "281-330-8004" fame) was a standout pitcher in high school, and was named to the 2001 AllUSA Baseball Team by USA Today. Who else was on this list? You may have heard a few of the names: Joe Mauer, Cretin-Derham Hall, St. Paul MN. David Wright,  Hickory High School, Chesepeake VA.  Casey Kotchman, Seminole High School, Seminole FL.  J.J. Hardy, Sabino High School, Tucson AZ. Gavin Floyd, Mount St. Joseph High School, Baltimore MD. (Previous teams' members included Josh Hamilton, Mark Texeira, Laynce Nix, Corey Patterson,  and Matt Holliday, among others).

Mike Jones never went to college - though he planned on attending Arizona State to play baseball, he was drafted right out of high school by Milwaukee and began his career playing for the then-Rookie ball affiliate Ogden Raptors. In 2002 he was bumped up to low A ball in Beloit where he pitched for the Snappers, posting a 3.13 ERA.  The Brewers then moved him up to AA Huntsville, and he went 7-2 with a 2.41 ERA in 2003.  Jones pitched in Huntsville for 2004 as well, but was sidelined later in the season and had major shoulder surgery. Recovery from this surgery kept him out for the entire 2005 season. In 2006, Milwaukee started him out in A+ ball down at Brevard County. During that summer he was on and off the DL for his shoulder, both in A+ and AA ball at Huntsville.  He began to have problems with his pitching elbow, and in 2007, after 6 starts for Huntsville, he and the Brewers elected to get him in for Tommy John surgery in June.  

Following the 2007 season, Jones was designated for assignment, finding himself truly "munsoned" as the Brewers attempted to free up some room on their 40-man roster for catcher Eric Munson, recently acquired from Houston. Milwaukee would end up signing Jones to a 1-year minor league contract a week later.

Jones pitched for Brevard County and ended the season in Huntsville last year. The Brewers still have a lot of hope for this prospect, should his shoulder and elbow stay healthy this year he'll find his way through the minor league season and perhaps find himself an invite to big league Spring Training next year. 


Spiff said...

Replied to your email about a Rangers/Brewers trade. Hope I can help you out.

Nicholas Hardesty said...

Blogger said you linked to my blog so I clicked on it and was brought to this post of yours from '09. Weird. Anyway, while I'm here, I do have a question. Wouldn't a baseball card without the requisite autograph make it more valuable? I thought little oddities like that made a card more valuable to collectors. Am I wrong?