Our First Lineup Card

We got our first lineup card on September 26, 2014 at a Marlins @ Nationals game I went to.

The quick back story is that in the course of researching ballhawking, I had come across some accounts of people getting lineup cards after games.  I tried in September 2013, at a Salt Lake City Bees Pacific Coast League playoff game, but got shot down.  We again concentrated on collecting different baseballs during the 2014 season, and got some great ones.

2014 NYP and CA-Carolina ASG

My focus at the Marlins @ Nationals game that day had been to get a game ball and/or an umpire ball after the game.  I got neither.  After failing to get an umpire ball, I decided to take a shot at trying to get a lineup card from the Marlins bullpen as I had read that MLB teams often kept a lineup card in the bullpen.  I figured I’d have a better shot at that than getting the dugout lineup card, with many teams now selling them.

I headed down the third baseline and waited for Marlins bullpen coach Reid Cornelius to head in from the bullpen to the dugout.  When he got nearby, I politely asked him for the bullpen lineup card.  He started to head toward me, pulled a sheet out of his folder, and handed it to me.

Marlins-Nats (Sept 26, 2014)

I was pleasantly surprised to put it nicely.  While the design of the card is lacking – it is just two-color green-and-black, nothing like the dugout lineup cards MLB teams currently use – it is spiced up a bit by the different colors Cornelius used to indicate righties (black), lefties (red) and switch-hitters (blue).  It also has unmistakable names of “Harper,” “Span,” “Fister,” “Yelich,” etc.

I assume it was Cornelius who kept the card, and it is pretty straightforward.  He filled the line score through the top of the 8th inning – neither team scored in bottom 8 or top nine as the Nats won 4-0.  He kept track of both the pitchers and position players who left/entered the game.

Cornelius also kept track of who made the last out each half inning through the top of the 8th.  This is done by drawing a circle to the right of the player who made the last out, and writing in the number of the inning in the circle.  Once the team comes to bat again, he fills in that circle so as they are now on to a new inning, and does the same throughout the game.

So, for example, Jones made the last our in the top of the first.  He ended up making the last out in the top of the 4th and 7th innings, hence three filled in circles to the right of his name.

Again, as far as lineup cards go, this one was straightforward and not overly exciting, but it was still pretty cool that our first lineup card came from an MLB game!


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