Friday, June 9, 2017

i was in colorado 11 years ago, but missed what i really wanted to see

sometime in early 2006, i made plans to meet up with my dad and some friends in denver over a june weekend, choosing that particular weekend because the dodgers were going to be in town, too.  as it turned out, i was riding high on the matt kemp bandwagon when my plane landed in the mile high city, as kemp had made his big league debut about two weeks earlier, and was hitting well over .300 in his young career.  i was looking forward to seeing what he might do in his first visit to coors field.

the first game we went to was friday night, june 9th.  kemp didn't play in that game, unfortunately, as grady little went with an outfield of andre ethier, kenny lofton, and jd drew.  brad penny pitched well, going 8.1 innings, and nomar garciaparra hit a pair of doubles as the dodgers won 3-0.  the win put them into first place, which was nice, but i had wanted to see kemp hit some dingers!

we returned the next night for another game, and this time, kemp was in the starting lineup playing left field.  he had an rbi single in the first and an rbi double in the third, but that was the end of his cycle chase that day as he was held hitless in each of his last three at bats.  this game was more of what i had expected at coors, with the final score being 12-9 in the rockies' favor.

sunday, my dad and i visited some relatives and headed to the airport instead of the ballpark.  it's too bad, because on that day (june 11th), kemp hit two home runs as the dodgers won the game 6-5.  telling that story is a long way to go to get to this card that i recently acquired - a 2008 upper deck baseball heroes purple patch card numbered to 5
that commemorates kemp's first multi-homer game which came in the only game of the series against the rockies that i did not attend.  it figures.  later that month, the dodgers visited minnesota and i attended all three games of that series, and then a couple of days after that, i was out in southern california and got to see kemp again, this time in anaheim against the angels.  unfortunately, he didn't homer in any of those games, either.  i did finally get to see a matt kemp home run in person in 2011, thankfully, when the dodgers returned to minnesota and played in target field for the first time on june 27.

these days, kemp is playing for the braves, and he is doing very well so far this year.  he had a three-homer game against the brewers earlier this season, and is hitting for high average.  i still look for new-to-me dodger cards of his from time-to-time, and you know i could not pass up this 2014 topps triple threads red number patch card
i like the red number very much.

i haven't been to a game yet this year (i was supposed to go to a twins game a couple of weeks ago, but work got in the way), but i do have my eye on a weekend series in washington dc in september when the dodgers visit the nationals.  i wonder how many homers i will see cody bellinger hit that weekend...

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