The All Star Game is just a week away and it seems like this season has flown by. Well, actually as a Rockies fan it is lingering a bit. I can't wait for the trade deadline and hopefully some of the offseason mistakes changing uniforms, but I digress. This week on TuBalGo Tuesday, I am going to focus on the lone Rockies All Star this year, Carlos Gonzalez. CarGo will be making his debut in the All Star Game (which itself is a crock considering he was nearly the NL MVP two years ago) and will hopefully not be forgotten on the bench.
Let's take a look at the best player of the year for the Rockies (by a long shot).
TuBalGo PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Total Cards Owned = 102
2009 Upper Deck Goudey #145
Carlos Gonzalez was acquired from the Athletics in the Matt Holliday which basically bit Oakland in the ass coming and going. The Rockies got the far greater end of the first deal and Holliday turned it back on after he went to the Cardinals for scraps. I guess Moneyball "genius" Billy Beane isn't so perfect after all. This card is very strange to say the least. I expect some photos to not match teams after a trade, but a painting? Shoddy work to say the least from Upper Deck.
Card grade - D-
2010 Bowman Chrome #29
Card grade - A
2010 Allen and Ginter This Day in History #TDH-16
Carlos Gonzalez really cemented himself in minds of Rockies fans during the 2009 NLDS against the Phillies. In that series, CarGo hit a whopping .588 with a homer and two steals. Even though the Rockies lost the series in 4 games to the Phils, Gonzalez proved he was going to be something special. This card is one of my favorite aspects of the Allen and Ginter set, which I am not a fan of as a whole. I do, however, usually like the larger baseball-related insert set, such as the States from 2008 or the Hometown Heroes from 2011.
Card grade - B-
2010 Topps Opening Day #139
After an up and down 2009 season in which he literally went up and down between the majors and AAA, Gonzalez was the Rockies Opening Day center fielder in 2010. He led off the game with a single and he was not done there. He had an outstanding game going 4 for 5 with 2 runs scored in a 5-3 Colorado victory over the Brewers. Much like the previous card, this Opening Day card uses a different image from the flagship Topps set. Part of me likes the difference, but part of me doesn't. In a page, two different photos with the same design looks a little strange. I guess that is just a case of me finding a fault no matter what they do though.
Card grade - B
2011 Topps Ruby Red #THP12
2010 would turn out to be a breakout year for Gonzalez in Denver. He won the batting title with a .336 average and finished 3rd in the NL MVP voting. Of course, there were the naysayers that said his season was a pure product of Coors Field. To them I say, SHUT UP!!! There have been countless players in Coors Field that did NOT have the type of year Gonzalez had in 2010. If Coors Field was that big of a factor in a player, Derrick Gibson or Choo Freeman would have become All Stars too. Anyway, this card is one of the "hanger pack exclusives" from Target. I like this card a lot more than the Red Diamond cards that were also retail exclusive. It has character.
Card grade - A-
2011 Topps Lineage Stand Ups #15
During the 2011 offseason, CarGo was given an $80 million dollar contract extension through 2017 to remain with the Rockies. It was the largest contract ever given to a 3rd year player. I was a bit nervous when the contract was announced because of the chance of him becoming a flash-in-the-pan type player, but luckily for the Rockies it has been so far so good. This card is an insert from the one-and-done Topps Lineage set from 2011. The Stand Ups were originally done in the 1964 Topps set (and in Bazooka sets in the early 2000s), so we might be seeing these again next year with Heritage. Personally, I could take it or leave it.
Card grade - C
2011 Topps Tier One Purple #93 Serial Numbered 25/25
2011 proved to be a disappointment for both Gonzalez individually and the team as a whole. He started out very slow hitting only .228 in April and I was a bit worried about his future. But once May hit, so did CarGo. He ended up finishing 2011 hitting .295 with 26 homers and 95 RBIs. These were not the MVP-type numbers that he had the year before, but he was held down due to a second half wrist injury which caused him to miss over 30 games. This card is great and I wish I had every single Rockie ever in this design. Unfortunately only Gonzalez and Tulo were included in the high-end set. I do love those "Mike Singletary eyes" though.
Card grade - A+
2012 Topps Gold Rush Wrapper Redemption #11
The Rockies have been flat out horrible for the most part this year, but the person with least amount of blame has to be Carlos Gonzalez. He is in the top 6 in all three Triple Crown categories: 6th in BA, 4th in Homers, and 2nd in RBIs. On top of the that, he is currently leading the league in runs scored and total bases. A strong second half could get him close to Triple Crown-type numbers. The last NL player to win a Triple Crown was Joe "Ducky" Medwick of the 1937 St.Louis Cardinals. I'm not a big fan of this card and the Golden theme in general. It is just the very definition of bland in my book.
Card grade - D
I threw in a couple of pieces of non-Rockies trivia for you to impress your friends with as well. If it doesn't impress them, then it sounds like you need to find some new friends.
Thanx for reading.