Pirates Prospects Daily: What Baseball Gift Would You Want to Receive?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from everyone at Pirates Prospects!

For those of you checking in today, we’ve got a special Roundtable, where I asked everyone to fill out their holiday wish lists. I asked for tangible items, so the idea of a winning season for the Pirates, while atop everyone’s wish list, is not eligible for this article.

If you could receive any baseball item from any moment in time as a gift, what would it be?

JOHN DREKER

I might already own my holy grail of baseball items. I bought the 1909 uniform of Dots Miller five years ago. It was a World Series winning year and it has the iconic PBC logo, along with the fact that it’s my hometown player.

Before I knew that uniform existed, my top baseball item I wanted is an 1887 Kalamazoo Bats team card of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys. I already collected 1887 cards from the Old Judge set before I ever saw an example of the Kalamazoo Bats card. I have cards of every player shown on that team card, multiples of some of them. However, just seeing the earliest team photo available on a card makes it a dream item.

The photo shows ten players in full uniform. That’s not the entire team in the photo, but it’s not far off. The club only used 16 players all season in 1887, and that’s with one of their starters (first baseman Alex McKinnon) passing away mid-season. They had another player make the team out of Spring Training and not play a game before he was sent to the minors, but other than that, the only other players they used were on tryouts in a postseason exhibition tour. Imagine 16 players doing all of the work now? The Pirates used 18 players on Opening Day this year!

This card is my current baseball dream item to own.

DAVID HAGUE

As an avid baseball fan and a member of the media this questions is a hard one to answer. My office definitely has a good amount of sports items and most of it is baseball related. So, the idea of adding any baseball item to it really had me thinking: Do I go with a classic item like the ball from Clemente’s 3000th hit or what about a historical item like the bat Joe DiMaggio used for his 56-game hitting streak.

Those all are great but I prefer items tied to a personal memory, and that is why I would have to pick the ball that Johnny Cueto dropped.

That game and moment is such a core memory for me for many reasons. It was my first MLB Playoff game and I was working the game for Pirates Prospects. I was photographing the game from the photo well that was behind the Pirates on-deck circle. Clint Barmes had me blocked where I could see the moment the ball dropped but I saw him picking it up.

I have never been in a stadium so loud as that whole evening but especially the ball drop and the results of the very next pitch. That game was a fun night at ball park and that piece of memorabilia went home with a lucky fan in the left field bleachers.

ETHAN HULLIHEN

I’m jumping into the future—as opposed to the past—for my answer.

I have never really been one to wax poetic about baseball. I don’t get worked up about the crack of a bat or the snap of a mitt. The closest I’ve ever come to transcendental experiences like that are probably when I visited The Field of Dreams—as pure of an experience as I can remember, which is why I find it so upsetting the commercial route they are undertaking—and getting to sit behind home plate at PNC Park for my 21st birthday.

We actually went to the game where the Mazeroski statue was unveiled, so that was cool, and I got to meet Bob Nutting at this event (but we won’t go there). I’ll never forget the feeling of walking out of the tunnel and getting to experience the field and the cityscape from that vantage point, as if I was taking the field myself—my mom says she wishes she could have captured the look on my face as it was happening. It’s always something I’ve wanted to do again, but have yet to have the opportunity, mainly due to the prohibitive cost.

So maybe I could go with that, but what I really want is the 2022-2026 Collective Bargaining Agreement, even if I may be living too in the moment. Despite being one season in already, it has yet to be put to paper and released to the world. I basically check every day, and there’s nothing I want more than to have it available so I can save it to my computer and dive into the new rules and regulations that I love and enjoy so much.

ANTHONY MURPHY

The first thing that came to mind was either an autograph from one of my favorite players, like Ken Griffey Jr. or Randy Johnson. Even maybe a home run ball from Griffey or even Jason Kendall (even though those were few and far between).

Then I really thought about, and how those were probably just as easily accessible through eBay or Amazon, and looked to something more personal.

With me finally being able to put together an office for me to write, I’ve started collecting some things here and there to go with it. Having that in mind, if I could really truly get any one baseball related item, it would be the first glove I ever had as a kid, just as a reminder of where it all started.

I think ever since I can remember I have always wanted to do one thing, talk about baseball. The hours I spent playing catch with that glove, I think having something like that in the place where I continue to build my writing career, would be a great reminder of everything I’ve done and how far I’ve come.

WILBUR MILLER

I’m just going to go full-on fantasy. I’d like a DVD of the 1909 World Series. Wouldn’t even have to be Blu-Ray. Baseball was a very different game then, starting with the fact that games typically took less than half as long. (No batting gloves.)

I’ve always wondered what it’d be like to see a game unfold. I think I could even tolerate the bunting. And triples!

And of course that World Series was the first title for the Pirates. It involved a bunch of the franchise’s all-time greats – Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, Vic Willis, Babe Adams, Tommy Leach, George Gibson and Deacon Phillippe, the first three being Hall-of-Famers.

RYAN PALENCER

I would say that the one item I’d like for Christmas would be a game ball from Game 3 of the 2013 World Series. It’s the one World Series game I’ve ever been to.

Going to a Fall Classic contest has always been a bucket list item. I knew I was going to propose that winter, and the series was in St. Louis that year. I mean, it would be difficult to find two teams I dislike more than the Cardinals and Red Sox, but that didn’t matter.

What was also cool was getting to see something in baseball I’d never seen before. The game ended on a walk-off obstruction call. Additionally, I got the chance to talk to Jim Joyce about the call for a later project.

That one game will always be special in my heart. Here is a Sports Illustrated magazine that my dad got both players to sign from that final play.

JEFF REED

I’m honestly stumped on this, and hadn’t been able to decide on anything specific.

My first thought was maybe something autographed. Maybe a jersey from a favorite player of mine when I was growing up, such as Ken Griffey Jr. Or, it could have been a glove he used.

After more thought, I decided I would want something that I’d find hilarious. With that said, the one baseball item from any moment in time that I would like is the base that Lloyd McClendon famously stole.

It would be hilarious every time someone asked about the item and I could chuckle, “That’s the first base that Lloyd McClendon stole against the Milwaukee Brewers in 2001!”

TIM WILLIAMS

I’ve never been a big autograph person, or a memorabilia person. I’ve owned a few jerseys in my life, and definitely got a lot of autographs as a kid.

I did like collecting the Starting Lineup action figures, especially the Cal Ripken ones where he was laying out for a ground ball. I probably have one of those somewhere in my baseball stuff, so I’ll leave that as an honorable mention.

I decided to dive into the video game realm, since that was my favorite way to experience the game of baseball — outside of watching the actual game. My gift would be a working Sega Genesis and RBI Baseball 94.

This isn’t a difficult thing to buy today. In fact, I feel a bit like Kevin from The Office when he stole the foot bath that he wanted, instead of taking the more valuable iPod. I should be listing Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run ball, which I could sell for every baseball game ever made, along with every other video game ever made.

I’m sticking with video games and highlighting RBI Baseball 94 as one of the best all-time titles. I loved the ability to play with real players, and to play a season. The simplicity of this game is why I picked it over more dynamic options like MVP Baseball 2004, or anything recent from MLB The Show or Out of the Park Baseball. I feel like RBI walked so MVP could jog so The Show could run, and OOTP is just in a different universe.

RBI gave you 800 players and 28 teams, back in a time when there were no Tampa Bay Rays or Arizona Diamondbacks, and when it was uncommon for MLBPA licensing. The fact that you could take over any team, with their real roster, and play to a championship was incredible at the time. The gameplay is very simple, and adds the fun mystery of never knowing what will happen to the ball once it leaves the infield.

You could probably get a copy of this for like $3 on eBay, and a working Sega Genesis would be the bigger expense. However, I would spend the most relaxing weekend playing a season of this with any of the retro-90s rosters.

Although, it is cheating if you pick Seattle.

Highlight of the Day

Pirates Prospects Daily

**In this week’s Pirates Winter League Report, John Dreker features right-handed pitcher Brad Case, along with the weekly rundown of winter league action.

**Minor league Rule 5 pick Josh Palacios picked up a pair of hits. John Dreker has the latest Pirates winter league updates.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony Murphy looked at Alexander Mojica’s unique situation going into 2023.

Song of the Day

Pirates Prospects Weekly

John Dreker talked with right-handed pitcher Brad Case, who is working on adding a new swing-and-miss pitch.

Pirates Winter Report: Brad Case Adds a New Pitch with the Hope of Missing More Bats

Ethan Hullihen will have an offseason payroll update in the latest Pirates Business update on Sunday.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

David is the Pirates Prospects photographer for Pirates and some minor league. David attended California University of PA where he was a student photographer in the sports department. Upon graduation he stayed on as the team photographer for the Cal U Hockey Club and in 2013 joined Pirates Prospects. Since the mid 90’s David has been a Pirates fan and has traveled to all 30 ball clubs.

A longtime Pirates Prospects reader, Ethan has been covering payroll, transactions, and rules in-depth since 2018 and dabbling in these topics for as long as he can remember. He started writing about the Pirates at The Point of Pittsburgh before moving over to Pirates Prospects at the start of the 2019 season.

Always a lover of numbers and finding an answer, Ethan much prefers diving into these topics over what’s actually happening on the field. These under and often incorrectly covered topics are truly his passion, and he does his best to educate fans on subjects they may not always understand, but are important nonetheless.

When he’s not updating his beloved spreadsheets, Ethan works full-time as an accountant, while being a dad to two young daughters and watching too many movies and TV shows at night.

Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.

Ryan has been following Indianapolis baseball for most of his life, and the Pirates since they became the affiliate in 2005. He began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2013, in a stint that ran through 2016 (with no service time manipulation played in). Ryan rejoined the team in 2022, covering Indianapolis once again. He has covered the Pirates in four different big league stadiums. Ryan was also fortunate enough to cover the 2015 Futures Game in Cincinnati.

Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.

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mpg43952

One last catch with my dad & oldest brother, both have passed. And a seat next to my wife’s grandfather at game 7 in ’60 – maybe I could keep him from losing his car keys in the bedlam!

GrantB

Was a/f/k all day yesterday (there’s a term that came and went pretty quickly in the big scheme of things), so I’m a day late…

If there are no limits here I will also go the non-physical-item route and wish for a CBA closer to those of the other sports. Give me a cap and a floor defining a reasonably narrow payroll window so that all the GMs are bringing the same tools to the table, and the owners implement whatever means and level of revenue sharing it takes to support that.

If a team consistently struggles, let it be because of too many bad management moves, not because its GM is constantly facing down M16s, bazookas and tanks but has to do so rocking a nerf gun.

Merry Christmas all. Now log in and throw down a Benjamin on “Pirates World Series ‘23” on your favorite sports book and make next Christmas super merry! 😁

Last edited 1 month ago by GrantB
tom2125

I would go back in time to 2013 and go to the wild card game. I had season tickets that year, but sold every ticket late in the season when I learned my fiancée was pregnant with our first child. The few hundred bucks I got for that game prob wasn’t worth it lol.

steve_zielinski

I would go back in time to shake Clemente’s hand and thank him.

1979andCounting

Christmas Day is meant for dreaming. I love Wilburs suggestion, I love watching the old school black and white game clips. Tim, I’ve got that working Sega Genesis too! But my dream today would be to have the 1960 ticket stub from Maz’ Game 7 ultimate victory. The reason…..my dad was there, after giving up his game 6 tickets to other family. He was not going to miss game 7. I sure wish that stub turns up some day.

docdon385

Reading articles like this one reminds me how young all of the writers are at least compared to myself. I started following the Pirates mid season 1958 and was a true fanatic for the following few years until my attention drifted during my teenage years. Nineteen fifty-nine and sixty were prime years and probably led to my near addiction to the team.

Numerous things worth having from 1960 stand out, but if I could pick only one thing to have now it would be a film, kinescope or video of the Harvey Haddix perfect 12 innings in May 1959. The only way to “watch” most of the games then was by listening to Bob Prince on the radio and allowing your imagination to draw the pictures. I listened to that game from the start to the finish and still remember how crushing it was when Don Hoak made the error that gave Milwaukee it’s first base runner in the 13th and then the truly unreal ending.

I remember Prince asking during a different broadcast a week or so later if anyone had recorded the first half of the game because they had’t started recording it until later when it appeared something special might be happening. The game was not broadcast on TV so no video of it exists as far as I know, but if it did that would be my ask.

My old baseball card collection from those days would be nice to have too, but my dad moved it from my bedroom to an outbuilding after I was drafted into the Army and mice got into it so I know that’s long gone.

john_fluharty

My dad’s baseball card collection. I don’t even know it was in it but I want it because it was my dad’s. He sold it instead of giving it to me. That really made me sad when I was a kid.

robertkasperski

I have a collection of cards mainly from the 1960’s. Giving it to my son or grandson, depending on who decides they want it,

voteforpedro

First choice would be to get the ball cueto dropped and Russel Martin deposited in LF.

Very distant second choice would be $1.4 billion to buy the team.

mikeschalke

A winning team would be my Christmas request.

Danatural08

Great article & answers, some are really creative.

Since theres no unrealistic limitations to this, mine would be getting ownership stock in the Bucs. Since its so profitable, i could retire from working! Since id own the team, i could do what i want & would take batting practice daily with the team & travel with the team, hanging with the players. Would eat at the home plate club b4 home games (which is really good the 2 times ive done so), watch the games in the box suites, then go into the locker room after to celebrate wins with the guys. Might create a grievance, but i would sneak in a AB late in the season when the standings no longer matter. Lol. Its kinda cheating that i had this answer already figured out since its the top thing on my mind everytime ive played the powerball lol

postal911

The greatest gift of all for any Pirates fan, would be an owner that actually cared about baseball and competing. Happy Holidays everybody.

robertkasperski

Merry Christmas Y’all!!!! 🎄🎄🎄🎄

AdministrativeSky236

Happy Holidays everyone! I think id either want the ball russell martin hit into the seats off cueto or a ticket to game 1 of our next playoff series

leefieux

I’d like another World Series Championship! But, Wilbur has a better chance at getting his DVD!

bianco599

Bucs n Pucks have to admit the first thing I thought was the “stolen base”. Then a Bonds fitted hat just so I could get an official size to that massive dome of his. Merry Christmas to all.

Zack

Merry Christmas to all you Scallawags, Scoundrels, and Old Salts! Here’s to flying the Jolly Roger more than they expect in 2023!

My wish would be for a Josh Gibson worn Grays jersey.

John Dreker

Wilbur leaving Dots Miller off of his list of players is like fighting words on Christmas Day. It is a great idea though, but still…

SouthernBuc

I’ll go 2 routes – I really liked Wilbur’s back to the future idea knowing that the DVD doesn’t exist so somehow he goes back in time with the technology (I am stretching his wish). I would go back to being in Forbes Field for the Maz homerun and then in the city throughout that day.

For ‘real’ things. I have all the Clemente cards other than the rookie card (My daughter just bought me my last needed non-rookie card – literally early XMAS present this year). So I’ll list the rookie card as my wish.

Merry Christmas to everybody!

Last edited 1 month ago by SouthernBuc
ricramer

Merry Christmas all and remember the reason for the season, eh?

leefieux

Amen! The Best. Gift. Ever!!

emjayinTN

Merry Christmas to all.

Pirates sign Bryan Reynolds to 5 Year/$106 mil contract extension. $3 mil signing bonus, $14 mil in 2024, $17 mil in 2025, $20 mil in 2026, $23 mil in 2027, $26 mil in 2028, Club Option ($26 mil) for 2029 with a $3 mil buyout.

b mcferren

Would like 1974 Dave Parker rookie card

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