When I ordered a bunch of Padres commons last month it was with days like this in mind. I mean, how am I supposed to do a birthday card post about Michael Barrett without a Michael Barrett card?
Barrett's brief stay in San Diego was captured on a few cards. The one I have was the first to be released; it's from the 2007 Topps Update and Highlights set. I'm always criticizing Topps' airbrushing and Photoshopping, but they did a fairly decent job on this one. At a glance, one is liable to think it's unaltered. But since it's my nature to nitpick, here are the red flags:
- The wordmark on his jersey is misaligned. If he were standing perfectly upright, that would slant downhill.
- The logo on his helmet is also at a funky angle, and doesn't curve properly.
- The sleeve piping is far too wide.
- He's wearing a baby-blue sweatband on his forearm, signifying that this photo was taken on Father's Day.
In 2007, Father's Day fell on June 17, meaning this shot was snapped just three days before Barrett was traded to the Padres. That seems ridiculous to me. The Cubs lost that game, which was coincidentally against the Padres, by the score of 11 to 3. Barrett was 1-4 with an RBI double against former and future battery-mate Greg Maddux.[Edited, 11:58am] I did some looking, and it turns out that photo is recycled from Barrett's 2006 Topps card, meaning that it dates back to 2005. The Cubs lost 6-3 to the Yankees on May 19, 2005. Barrett was 1-4 in that game also, with a seventh-inning single off Mike Mussina.
- Below the baby-blue one is a Cubs-blue wristband which escaped the photo editor's eye.
I just flipped the card over and checked out the back, which I apparently had never done before. It notes that "Michael [is] the only player in baseball history ever to hit exactly 16 HRs in three straight years..." I knew that Barrett hit 16 homers in three consecutive years, but I didn't think about that being a record. Oddly, I made note of his home run redundancy about six hours ago, while I was poking around on his Baseball Reference page.
Khalil Greene HR by yr, 2004-06: 15, 15, 15 Michael Barrett HR by yr, 2004-06: 16, 16, 16— Joe Lies (@TheThinGwynn) October 22, 2014
In yet another coincidence, Greene's birthday was yesterday. 2007, the year the two became teammates, was the year that both of their streaks ended. Greene set a career-high with 27, and Barrett dipped down to nine. While their three-year stretches of consistent power came to a close, a more impressive one got more people's attention. That year, Adam Dunn hit precisely 40 home runs for the third year in a row; amazingly, he did it again in 2008.
But this isn't about Adam Dunn, it's about Michael Barrett. While this is my only card of Barrett, it's not my only memento of his 2007 season.
It's Michael Barrett's 38th birthday... I know what jersey I'm wearing today. pic.twitter.com/42ioYs02m7— Joe Lies (@TheThinGwynn) October 22, 2014
The reason I specify his 2007 season is that that's the only season he wore number 4. In 2008 he switched to number 8, which he had previously worn in Chicago. It was unavailable when the Padres acquired him, as it was worn by Terrmel Sledge.
...now, if only I had a Todd Sears jersey to wear tomorrow. Oh, well, at least I have a card of him.