Tuesday, February 12, 2013

February 12- Lake Elsinore Storm

I’m slightly rusty on when this hat came out, but I know for a fact that it was after the 2000 season. The reason for my confusion is that the only difference from the original hat and this one is that the bill is red on the original. To clarify even more; there’s a particular Web site that I sue from time-to-time that helps me date a few hats, but they only give a date range on the logo, not the actual hat itself. Sooooooo… since I can only see the logo and not the bill I’m in a bit of a state of confusion. Now, the reason why I know it’s post-2000 is because the Lake Elsinore Storm are a class-A California League club, and from 1999-2000 I saw their hats 10-12 times a season while doing my bat boy duties for the Bakersfield Blaze. For both of those years the team wore the red-billed caps, which I also own. Not to brag or anything.

Keeping with the theme I have decided to roll with the time frame of 2001-present, as that has been the time that the club has been the affiliate of the San Diego Padres; not to mention my post-bat boy days with the Blaze when they were still an affiliate of the Anaheim Angles.

I’ve been a huge fan of this hat since the first time I saw it in 1999. If you grew up in the 1990s you night remember a clothing brand called No Fear, which had a very similar logo. Like Stussy and Billabong, No Fear was pretty much the coolest thing you could wear outside of a “BO KNOWS” Nike t-shirt. But to be honest, I don’t really like to wear it that often. Nothing personal, it’s just an odd-looking hat when you put it on and look at yourself in the mirror. So, I wear it rarely and prefer the look of it on my wall with all of my other hats.

#15- You can pretty much chalk this one up under the “biggest mistakes in franchise history” list. Back in 2006 the Padres drafted a solid third baseman in the ninth round from the University of Alabama. In 2007 this kid made the 2007 All-Star team with the Storm and was the second ranked prospect in the Padres organization; however, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 2008 in exchange for Jim Edmonds. Yes, David Freese suited up for the Storm for one season and did a pretty stellar job for them going .302/17/96 in 128 games. Needless to say, Freese jumped to AAA in 2008 and then made his MLB debut for the Cards in 2009. But before he was the 2011 World Series hero as he’s known as today, he was merely little Davey in Lake Elsinore, California. I made the “little Davey” part up.

#22- This cat was so awesome that the Storm retired his jersey at the start of the 2008 season, despite only playing one season for them in 2001. It’s kind of funny to compare Jake Peavy’s numbers in 2007 for the Padres with his numbers with the Storm back in ’01. 2007- Peavy won the NL Cy Young and the pitching Triple Crown with 19 wins, a 2.54 ERA and 240 strikeouts. He also led the League with a 1.061 WHIP. 2001- Peavy wasn’t even the best pitcher on the team by a long shot. He went 7-5 with a 3.08 ERA and 144 strikeouts. Pitchers Andy Shibilo and Chris Rojas both won 10 games for the Storm that season; however, both players never made it past AAA. It’s kind of amazing to look at. Both of those pitchers were ranked at least 40 places higher on the prospect chart than Peavy, but it just goes to show that some guys have the stuff while others don’t. I tip my cap to you Peavy… but I really hate seeing you with the White Sox. (Sad face)

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