2008 Upper Deck #395 Mark Buehrle SH
In my lifetime of experiencing Chicago baseball, I don't know that I've enjoyed watching any pitcher more than Mark Buehrle.
My favorite thing about him is that he works fast. When Buehrle is on the mound, you can't look away. You might miss a pitch or two. Plus, he's very Jamie Moyer-like in that he outsmarts the opposing hitters. He doesn't have an overpowering fastball, yet he retires batter after batter.
He does it all. He even throws no-hitters. (And perfect games as well, but that's for a different post.)
The basis for his '08 UD Highlights card was his no-no against the Rangers on April 18, 2007. (Wow, today is April 18th, the five-year anniversary of that game. What a coincidence. I swear I didn't plan that, I had the idea for this post a few days ago without even knowing.)
I'm not sure why, but I completely missed that game. I caught the highlights later on that night. One thing I do remember is that Buehrle faced the minimum 27 hitters that night, walking just one batter and then promptly picking him off first base.
That hitter was Sammy Sosa.
The design for 2008 Upper Deck wasn't the greatest, although this card is easily one of the highlights of the set. I can only imagine the looks of joy on Paul Konerko's and A.J. Pierzynski's faces when this shot was taken, but they're obscured. (Notice that Pierzynski's hand is perfectly in front of Konerko's face.)
I think Buehrle's smile says it all, though.
Eventually, I'll get used to Albert Pujols in an Angels jersey. I'll get used to Prince Fielder in a Tigers jersey.
However, I don't think I'll ever fully grasp the fact that Mark Buehrle now plays for the Miami Marlins. It felt odd just typing that sentence.
He'll always be part of the White Sox to me.