Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Feats of Youngblood

Something rather remarkable happened 37 years ago today:

A major-league baseball player named Joel Youngblood hit safely for two different teams on the same day.

If you're a baseball card collector, you might even have a card that documented the feat.


1983 Fleer Superstar Special #641

To briefly recount the story:

That afternoon, Youngblood and his New York Mets were busy competing against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. In the top of the 3rd inning he drove in a couple of runs on a single, and shortly thereafter—before the game was even over—he was brought into the locker room where he was told he'd been traded to the Montreal Expos.

Well, Mr. Youngblood decided to grab a couple of bats and his mitt and head straight to the airport, where he'd catch a flight and meet up with the Expos in Philadelphia. His new team was preparing to face off against the Phillies that evening.

He arrived in time to suit up, and was put into right field in the bottom of the 6th inning. In the top of the very next inning, he stepped into the batter's box with two outs and delivered a single. Quite the feat, and quite the introduction to his new teammates, to be sure.

As for the cardboard connection, I think the design of that 1983 Fleer Superstar Special card could have been a little bit better in a couple of ways. First of all, Fleer could have certainly picked a better image of Youngblood in a Mets uniform. Not sure what's up with the face he's making there. Secondly, I think the caption would have been better if it mentioned two hits for two teams in one day instead of just two teams in one day. So, I decided to make a custom card using a modified 1984 Topps Highlight template. (A 1983 Topps template would have been more accurate, but that year's set only had a Record Breaker design, and it was kind of plain. Besides, Youngblood's feat was more of a highlight than a record breaker.)







One additional piece of information that makes the feat even more special? Both of those hits came against future Hall-of-Fame pitchers. Youngblood singled against Fergie Jenkins in the afternoon, and against Steve Carlton in the evening. 

Not a bad day's work.

10 comments:

  1. Cool custom! I wonder how many other guys have even played in two games for two different teams on the same day... let alone collect a hit in each game. And to think I thought it was weird that the Reds let Puig continue to play after he had been traded last week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fuji! How cool would it be if another player matched the feat one day?

      Delete
  2. Fun post! I wasn't familiar the story, or the card... your custom is much better than the original BTW :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jon! It was fun putting it together.

      Delete
  3. Scrolling through the post quickly I thought that was a real card at first. One of the best customs I've seen.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I remember reading about this feat in one of my baseball books as a kid and thinking it was the coolest thing ever. I still do. (Not sure how I didn't know about that Fleer card before, although your custom blows it out of the water!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much, Nick! Can you even imagine preparing for a baseball game, playing a few innings and getting a hit, feeling the gut punch that comes with being traded, hopping on a plane, suiting up again, walking up to the plate, and getting another hit? Sheesh. Talk about a roller-coaster day.

      Delete
  5. That is an incredible custom. Amazing feat by Mr. Youngblood too.

    ReplyDelete