Nolan Ryan--1989
Ready, set, hut-hut.

It is kind of funny how trends come and
go in baseball. I remember the days of
the 1980's and 90's when footballs found
their way onto the baseball diamond.

During early moments of batting practice,
pitchers would long toss with footballs;
running post patterns for each other,
occasionally spiking the ball in an
imaginary touchdown against San
Francisco's Ronnie Lott.

It was a method of conditioning
developed by then-Texas Rangers
pitching coach Tom House. According to
House's bio on Wikipedia, Ryan credits
his former pitching coach with helping
him extend his career, as the site posts
an excerpt from Ryan's Hall of Fame
induction speech:

During Ryan's induction into the Baseball
Hall of Fame on July 25, 1999, he
credited House as a positive influence on
his career, saying:

"While I was [with the Rangers] I was
very fortunate to have a pitching coach
by the name of Tom House. And Tom
and I are of the same age and Tom is a
coach that is always on the cutting edge.
And I really enjoyed our association
together and he would always come up
with new training techniques that we
would try and see how they would work
in to my routine. And because of our
friendship and Tom pushing me, I think I
got in the best shape of my life during
the years that I was with the Rangers."
(Wikipedia, Tom House)

However, somewhere along the line the
practice came to be abandoned in years

Well, here at
Cardboard Gods, we will
start tossing around the football cards
(and some hockey and basketball cards
too) beginning on some weekends in
December and January... so don't be
surprised. Though like House's training
program, it won't last forever.