Cael’s Collection – Ramon Ortiz 2001 Bowman FGR-RO
The Cedar Rapids Kernels have been well represented at the Futures Games that have been held as part of the MLB All-Star game festivities each year since 1999. 15 Kernels players have been selected as members of the minor league showcase including two who have made appearances in multiple years (Ramon Ortiz and Jeff Mathis). This past season, three Kernels (Hank Conger, Luis Jimenez and Mike Trout) played in the game and Hank Conger took home the game’s MVP trophy. What does this have to do with Cael’s Collection? Topps has produced game used jersey cards of each of the games that have been included in their Bowman Draft Picks and Prospects sets and now more recently in their Topps Pro Debut minor league sets.
Today’s card has multiple stories to tell. The 2001 Ramon Ortiz game used jersey card FGR-RO was one of the earliest game used cards companies started producing to boost interest in the industry. Almost every new set produced now has versions of game used jerseys, bats, hats etc. to garner interest of the collector.
The second story is the one of warning. Ebay can be great for finding those cards that are tough to find. However, the postal service and Ebay sellers can often cause damage to the card while it is en route. This card wasn’t packaged very well and arrived with large creases on the back. Its tough to prove to the seller you aren’t a crackpot trying to take advantage of them and I figured it part of the deal utilizing Ebay to collect. This card cost less than $5 including Shipping and handling so I wasn’t out a great deal.
Ramon Ortiz was the first Kernels player to make the Futures Game roster. He was a member of the inaugural World team roster in 1999 and was selected in 2000 as well. Ortiz was the last Cedar Rapids pitcher to throw a no-hitter at Old Veterans Memorial Stadium when he shut down Quad City (12-0) on August 7, 1997. Ortiz posted a 11-10 mark and struck out 225 batters in 1997 leading the team with a 3.58 E.R.A. The Kernels finished with a 63-75 record under manager Mario Mendoza.
Ramon Ortiz has compiled a 85-82 record with a 4.93 E.R.A. during his 10 MLB seasons playing for the Angels, Reds, Nationals, Twins, Rockies and Dodgers.
Kernels Futures Game Representatives
1999 Ramon Ortiz
2000 Ramon Ortiz
2003 Jeff Mathis, Ervin Santana
2004 Jeff Mathis, Dallas McPherson
2005 Bobby Jenks, Brandon Wood
2006 Nick Adenhart, Howard Kendrick
2007 Freddy Sandoval, Rich Thompson
2008 Kevin Jepsen
2009 Trevor Reckling
2010 Hank Conger-MVP, Luis Jimenez, Mike Trout