Friday, October 27, 2023

2023 World Series Tale Of the Tape

In 2017, the Astros and Dodgers met in the World Series. In every year since, one of those two teams has reached the World Series, until this year. We may have endured our 7th straight year of seeing the Astros in the AL Championship Series, but thankfully some new blood has reached the final stage, even if it's from the same state. The Rangers, who are only making their third appearance in the World Series, represent the AL. On the other side, one of the most surprising Cinderella runs in recent memory, courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

So who am I rooting for? I'm hoping for a great series either way, but I do tend to give preference to teams that meet certain criteria for me:

Former Red Sox Players

Diamondbacks: Tommy Pham
Rangers:  Nate Eovaldi, Martin Perez

2018 Topps Update #US51 Nathan Eovaldi
If I can't root for my Red Sox, I can at least root for the guys who used to play for them. Nathan Eovaldi was one of the heroes of the 2018 title team, and not resigning him last off-season was a big misstep for the Boston front office. Perez was a member of the Red Sox rotation for a couple of years, and provided stability if nothing else. 

The only Red Sox connection on the Diamondback is Tommy Pham, who was a questionable trade deadline pickup last year. He didn't really move the needle in his brief time with the team.

Advantage: Rangers

Shenandoah Valley Baseball League Alumni

Diamondbacks: Austin Adams
Rangers: none
Adams played for the Staunton Braves in 2011. Unfortunately, he suffered a broken ankle during the season and has not appeared in the postseason.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

University of Virginia Cavaliers Alumni

Diamondbacks: Jake McCarthy, Pavin Smith
Rangers: Josh Sborz
2023 Topps #312 Pavin Smith
Go Wa-hoos! Living a short drive from Charlottesville, I've gone to a few UVa baseball games. Both Sborz and Smith were a part of UVa's 2015 College Championship team. The speedy McCarthy unfortunately suffered an oblique injury during batting practice ahead of the first Wild Card game and has missed the entire postseason so far. (Geez...between him and about being *ahem* snake bit...)
Advantage: Diamondbacks

Championship Drought

Diamondbacks: 21 years
Rangers: 62 years - Never won a World Series
2004 Topps - World Series Highlights
#WS-LG Luis Gonzalez

The last (and only) time the Diamondbacks won a World Series, the heavy underdogs defeated the 3x defending Champion New York Yankees in one of the most exciting World Series ever. Ending a Yankee dynasty normally be worthy of bonus points, but not this time. The Rangers have never won a World Series in over 60 years of existence. They made back to back appearances in 2010 and 2011, but were unable to defeat the NL squads.

Advantage: Rangers

Personal Connection

Other than an appreciation of their former manager Ted Williams and a deep desire to see the team go back to the Stetson hat-wearing baseball logo, I've got nothing with Texas. As for wife lived in Tuson for awhile before I knew her. Does that count?

1975 SSPC 42 #19 Ted Williams

Advantage: Diamondbacks (I guess?)

Spring Training Adventures

Both teams hold their Spring Training in Arizona, so I never saw either team play during my few years of Florida fun. However, I do have a ball autographed by current Ranger Mitch Garver from when he was with the Twins.

Advantage: Rangers

Best 2023 Topps Base Set Card

2023 Topps
#422 Jake McCarthy (FS)
2023 Topps
#286 Ezequiel Duran (RC)
Since this is primarily a baseball card blog, I figured this post should have a card show-off! I decided to pick each team's best card from the 2023 Topps base set. No contest here, as McCarthy's almost straight-ahead vantage point as he slides into base is one of the best cards in the entire set, let alone just between these two teams. (Anyone else love how his foot fits perfectly in the space of "Future Stars"?)
Advantage: Diamondbacks 

Final Talley: Diamondbacks 4, Rangers 3

I won't be disappointed to see Texas wins it's first World Series trophy, but it looks like I'm embracing the chaos! Regardless of who wins, here's hoping for an exciting and memorable World Series!

Go Diamondbacks!


  1. My wife has some family in Phoenix, but I think I gotta root for Bochy to win again because I know he's still a Padre at heart, lol

  2. Yeah, I don't really have a dog in this fight either. If deGrom were healthy, I'd be rooting for him, but it's hard to get excited about him getting his ring for a series he can't pitch in.

  3. Arizona's farther west, so I'm rooting for the Diamondbacks. Wouldn't mind the Rangers getting their first though.