Card of the Moment #57
December 13th, 2010 by slangon

So after a marathon travel schedule of leaving Newark to head to Minneapolis, getting waylaid in Kansas City and finally ending up in Michigan, the Giants are slated to finally play the Vikings tonight in Detroit. I’m sure most people have seen the footage of the Metrodome collapse ad nauseam, but here it is one more time.

That’s just crazy. That sound that it makes right before it actually falls in is just terrifying. It’s also pretty nuts that this is the 4th time the roof has caved in in the Metrodome’s history. You would think that they would’ve figured it out by now. Maybe they figured snow storms don’t happen that often in Minnesota and the first 3 times were flukes.

Anyway, I don’t have any foosball cards handy, so here’s a Card of the Moment, baseball style.

1959 Topps #484 Willie Kirkland

Although, I’m making a baseball card the Card of the Moment for today, Willie Kirkland is, in a round about way, an apt choice considering all the hullabaloo surrounding the Giants game tonight. First off, and most obviously, he plays for a team called the Giants, and although he is pictured as a San Francisco Giant on this card, he was drafted by them when they were still in New York. Hence, although he never played a Major League game as a member of the New York Giants (football or baseball) he did spend 3 seasons in the New York Giants farm system.

Willie is also tied to Minnesota, again in a round about way. Willie was not a spectacular hitter by any means, as his career .240 average will attest to. He did however, possess modest power, hitting 148 taters over 9 seasons, tying him for 447th place on the all-time home run list. That might sound like a crappy distinction, but in my opinion, to be in the top 500 of any stat in a game that has seen tens of thousands of players, it’s pretty impressive. Anyway, his tie to Minnesota doesn’t have to do with his home run total. It has to do with consecutive home runs. The Major League record for home runs in consecutive at-bats is 4, which has been done by a handful of guys. On July 9th, 1961, against the Chicago White Sox (Willie was playing with Cleveland at this point) he homered, homered, homered, walked and sacrifice bunted. That’s 3 consecutive at-bats with a homer, followed by 2 plate appearances that don’t count as at-bats. After this game was the All-Star break. His very first plate appearance of the first game after the break was another walk followed 1 inning later by another long ball. That long ball was hit off of Pedro Ramos of the newly renamed Minnesota Twins.

Finally, we see that the Motor City is where Willie called home for many years. He was born in Alabama, but moved to Detroit when he was young and went to high school and played baseball on the sandlots there.

So there we have it. A baseball player who grew up in Detroit, was drafted by the New York Giants, and made his way into the record books against Minnesota. All that on a day that the New York Giants will be playing a football game against Minnesota in Detroit.

Leave a Reply