Tag Archives: mike piazza

1998 HEADLINE: Blockbuster Trade Sends Mike Piazza To The Florida Marlins!!!

1998 HEADLINE: Blockbuster Trade Sends Mike Piazza To The Florida Marlins!!!

In 1998, the term ‘fire-sale’ and the Florida Marlins were linked like peanut butter and jelly. Coming off of a World Series championship the prior season, the Marlins management team was dumping all of the players and salaries that took them to the pinnacle just a few months prior.

And on this day in 1998, the Marlins made a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mike Piazza was traded by the Dodgers with Todd Ziele for Manuel Barrios, Bobby Bonilla, Jim Eisenriech, Charles Johnson, and Gary Sheffield.

Piazza’s stay in Miami was short-lived as he was dealt just 8 days later to the New York Mets.

Piazza’s time as a Marlins’ player included 5 games in which he tallied 5 hits and 5 RBI in 18 at-bats.

Did You Know…

In the history of the Dodgers baseball franchise, Mike Piazza is the lone player to hit at least .350 and slug 40 home runs in the same season.

Piazza

Hall Of Fame Debate: Assessing Mike Piazza’s Vote Tally From His Second Ballot

Hall Of Fame Debate: Assessing Mike Piazza’s Vote Tally From His Second Ballot

Let me preface this post by saying that I am not a Mike Piazza fan.  No, he did not do anything personal to me to make me feel this way, I just never got on board with him.  It may be the fact that he played for ‘my team’ for just 5 games back in 1998 or it could be the fact that when with the Mets he crushed ‘my team’ pretty regularly.

While I don’t care for him, I absolutely respect him.  His offensive game was unreal, and he was more than fair behind the plate.

It does seem that the BBWAA does not respect him though.

On his first Hall of Fame ballot, Piazza accumulated 329 votes which was good for 57.8% of the vote.  And then in 2013, he pulled in 355 votes while earning 62.2% of the vote.  I would have given him my vote on both ballots.  And I think that he should have been selected for enshrinement in 2013.

This improvement in votes captured shows that Piazza is heading in the right direction.  But based on the percentage change from 2012 to 2013, he is still 3-4 years away from getting to the needed 75%.

What is taking so long??

Isn’t Mike Piazza often tagged as the ‘Best Hitting Catcher Of All-Time’???

His offensive numbers are certainly Hall-worthy:  .308 batting average, .377 on-base percentage (mostly from the clean-up spot), 2,127 hits, 344 doubles, 427 home runs, 1,048 runs scored, 1,335 RBI, and 3,768 total bases.  All of this screams ‘Hall of Fame’.  He also raked in six 30/100 seasons and narrowly missed the number during three more seasons.  So, his production was strong – and very consistent.

Why the slow collection of votes??

Is it the ‘pretty boy’ image?  Is it the lack of superior play behind the plate?  The lack of postseason success?

Mike Piazza is a former Rookie Of The Year.  He was a 12-time All-Star.  He won 10 Silver Slugger Awards during his career.  Piazza never won an MVP Award, but he finished in the Top 9 during seven different seasons.

Of all of the eligible offensive players on the ballot, I would select Mike Piazza as a Hall of Famer before any of them.  Before Craig Biggio, before Jeff Bagwell, and even before my beloved Tim Raines.

Am I missing something??

Mike Piazza Photo

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, And Frank Thomas Elected To The Hall Of Fame

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, And Frank Thomas Elected To The Hall Of Fame

From MLB.com

NEW YORK — One of the most majestic induction classes in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame was set on Wednesday with the announcement that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected by eligible writers of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America the first time they were on the ballot, all of them by big margins.

On the ballot for the second time, Craig Biggio, who had 3,060 hits in 20 seasons, all with the Astros, did not get the necessary 75 percent, falling 0.2 percent shy of induction and missing by a scant two votes.

The newly elected trio will attend an 11 a.m. ET news conference on Thursday at the Waldorf Astoria New York that will be simulcast on MLB.com and MLB Network.

Also to be inducted in July are three of the greatest managers of all time — Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa — all selected by the Expansion Era Committee last month. They rank third, fourth and fifth in managerial victories in Major League history, each winning more than 2,000 games.

The Braves trio of Maddux, Glavine and Cox will be front and center in this, the 75th anniversary of the museum, during the ceremony behind the Clark Sports Center on July 27.

“It’s very humbling to go in with these guys,” said Maddux, who combined with Glavine to win 660 games. “It’s just icing on the cake. It’s going to be a special day and I’m going to be able to share it with special people.”

Thomas — who batted .301, hit 521 homers and amassed 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons, 16 of them with the White Sox — is the first Hall of Famer to have played a majority of his games as a designated hitter. He appeared in 2,322 career games, with 1,351 coming as a DH and 971 at first base. Paul Molitor, who was elected in 2004, played more of his games as a DH than at any other position, but still just 44 percent of his total games played.

“This has been a stressful 48 hours. I am so excited that I’m in the Hall of Fame,” Thomas said. “This is something that I will have to sit back in the next three or four days and figure it out, because you can only dream so big, and this is as big as it gets for me. I’m a Georgia kid. Going in with Glavine, Maddux and Bobby Cox means a lot to me. The whole state of Georgia is going to be there, and I am just so blessed that I’ll be able to be there with these guys.”

 

That means six living members are heading toward one of the grandest Induction Weekends, from July 26-27, in Cooperstown, N.Y. The results of this year’s BBWAA vote were in stark contrast to that of last year, when the writers didn’t elect anyone.

Maddux and Glavine, a pair of 300-game winners who pitched the bulk of their careers for the Braves, were the favorites, but the 571 voters outdid themselves by also adding Thomas and coming so close on Biggio. It was the first time since 1999 — when Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan and George Brett were elected — that the writers put three first-time eligibles into the Hall.

Maddux, who won 355 games, the eighth-highest figure in Major League history, had 97.2 percent of the vote, failing to appear on 16 of the 571 ballots cast.

Glavine, who won 305 games, fourth-most among left-handers, was at 91.9 percent, and Thomas finished at 83.7.

Jack Morris, who won 254 games during his 18-year big league career and World Series titles with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays, didn’t make it in his 15th and final time on the writers’ ballot. He actually lost ground, falling to 61.5 percent from last year’s 67.7. Morris, who will be eligible for the Expansion Era Committee consideration in the fall of 2016, is only the second player in history to amass in excess of 60 percent of the vote at some point over his 15 years of eligibility and not make the Hall via the writers’ ballot. Gil Hodges is the other.

Maddux and Glavine are the only first-ballot pitchers to be elected together since Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson were part of the inaugural class of 1936 along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. They are the first living pair of 300-win pitchers to be elected in the same year and only the third pair in Hall of Fame history. The last starter to be elected by the BBWAA was Bert Blyleven in 2011, his 14th year of eligibility.

“It’s something I’m still trying to figure out how I feel,” Glavine said. “I’m just really humbled by the whole experience so far. I’m really excited about this whole process and this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it all. The opportunity to go in the Hall of Fame is one thing, but the opportunity to go in with two guys who were a very big part of my career means a lot to me.”

The Hall hasn’t inducted as many as six living baseball greats at the same time since 1971. Eleven were inducted in 1939, the year the red-brick museum opened its doors on Main Street, but they were from the first four classes, elected beginning in 1936. Last year, the three inductees elected by the Pre-Integration Committee — Yankees seminal owner Jacob Ruppert, catcher Deacon White and umpire Hank O’Day — were all deceased.

Maddux also pitched 10 seasons for the Cubs and had brief stays with the Padres and Dodgers at the end of his career. Glavine spent 17 seasons with the Braves and five with the Mets, for whom he won his 300th game. Cox managed Atlanta for 25 seasons and the Blue Jays for four, finishing with the Braves in 2010. John Smoltz, the third prong for a decade in that Atlanta rotation and who played 20 of his 21 seasons with the Braves, is slated to be on the ballot for the first time next year and has a very good chance of joining the trio.

“It was obvious with me and Glav, because we both retired at the same time and the managers go in in a different way,” said Maddux about the chances of being inducted at the same time as Glavine and Cox. “As soon as Bobby got in, I knew it had a chance of it being very special. He was there for half of my career and taught me so much about the game. It was a special honor for me to work under Bobby and play half of my career with Glav as well. The only thing that split it up is that Smoltzy played one more year.”

The July 26 awards ceremony at Doubleday Field stands to be formidable as well, with former catcher and longtime TV announcer Joe Garagiola Sr. receiving the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, longtime magazine writer Roger Angell selected by the BBWAA as the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for a career of meritorious baseball writing, and Rangers radio play-by-play man Eric Nadel earning the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.

A year ago, when Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza — players whose careers spanned baseball’s era of performance-enhancing drug use — made their initial appearances on the ballot, no one was elected by the writers for the first time since 1996, and only the second time since ’71.

Writers again rejected those players, with Piazza leading the pack at 62.2 percent, up from 58.7 percent last year. Clemens and Bonds had their percentages go down marginally to 35.4 and 34.7, respectively, but Sosa, who blasted 609 home runs and is the only player to have hit at least 60 homers in each of three seasons, slipped to 7.2 percent, barely remaining on the ballot.

Rafael Palmeiro, who failed a Major League Baseball-administered drug test in 2005, fell to 4.4 percent and was among 15 players to drop off the ballot. Palmeiro, with 569 homers and 3,020 hits, is one of only four players in history to amass both 500 homers and 3,000 hits. The other three are Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray.

A player must draw at least five percent of the vote each year to remain on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years.

Bonds is the all-time leader with 762 homers in his career and 73 in a single season. Clemens had 354 wins, one fewer than Maddux, and Piazza hit 396 of his 427 homers as a catcher — the most of any player at that position in Major League history.

Maddux said Bonds was the toughest hitter he ever faced in his career, but hesitated to opine on his status. Thomas, always regarded as one of the clean players of the era, said he harbors no animosity.

“I don’t fault anyone, I don’t fault anyone for what they did,” Thomas said. “But I went about it the right way. It was more about my family teaching me the right things. When I look at their numbers, I go, “Wow!” but I think if I hadn’t been hurt for 3 1/2 years, my numbers would have been right up there with them.”

Biggio seems to be on a clear course toward a plaque. Of the 26 other retired players who amassed 3,000 or more hits, only two are not in the Hall, and both suffer from extenuating circumstances, Palmeiro having failed a drug test and Pete Rose, the all-time leader with 4,256 hits, is banned from baseball because of gambling and is not eligible to be included on Hall of Fame ballots.

In a statement, Biggio said he was disappointed to not get in, tying Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin of missing election in balloting history. But history is on his side. Traynor was elected in 1948. Fox was in his last year on the ballot when he fell two votes shy and was subsequently elected by the Veterans Committee in 1997.

“Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas,” Biggio said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed to come that close. I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully, next year.”

Biggio went from 68.2 percent in 2013 to 74.8 percent this year, right on the cusp.

“As surprised as I was last year that he didn’t get in, you almost feel heartbroken this year to be as close as he was,” Glavine said. “Craig was a tremendous competitor and had the respect of all of us who played against him. I think it’s just a matter of time before he’s in the Hall of Fame. I’m sure he’s disappointed today, having come so close, but I’m extremely confident that someday we’re going to watch him go through the same process.”

Glavine Maddux Thomas

Maddux, Glavine, Thomas Headline Stacked 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

Maddux, Glavine, Thomas Headline Stacked 2014 Hall of Fame Ballot

From MLB.com

The induction ceremony for the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., next July 28 could have a real Atlanta Braves flavor to it.

Former Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, each a 300-game winner, head a ballot stacked with superstar newcomers that will be studied by eligible members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for the next month. The results of the election for 2014 induction will be announced at 2 pm ET on Jan. 8 on MLB.com and MLB Network, with a news conference at the Waldorf Astoria New York the next day to introduce any elected players.

Former Braves manager Bobby Cox is already among 12 men — including four all-time great managers — on the recently released ballot handed to the Expansion Era Committee, which will announce its determination on Dec. 9 during the first day of the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla. Joe Torre, Tony La Russa and Billy Martin are also on that ballot.

Frank Thomas, Jeff Kent and Mike Mussina join Maddux and Glavine as other noteworthy first timers, making this one of the deepest BBWAA ballots in Hall of Fame history. Jack Morris, with 254 victories during his 18-year big league career and World Series titles with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays, is on the writers ballot for the 15th and final time. Former Astros second baseman Craig Biggio, who led last year’s voting by being named on 68.2 percent of the ballots cast, returns for a second try.

Maddux and Glavine, who combined to win 660 games, seem to have the edge.

“It should be without a doubt for either one of them [to be elected], especially with Greg,” said John Smoltz, who joined Maddux and Glavine to form the “Big Three” of the Braves’ rotation for a decade and will be on the ballot himself next year.

“I know there’s been no unanimous [electee] in the history to the Hall of Fame, but I think [Maddux] would be it if there is. I’m biased. I watched Greg and Tom pitch my whole career, basically. They exemplified the fact that over 162 games, they were better than anybody else in the league.”

A year ago, when Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza — hitters whose careers spanned baseball’s era of performance-enhancing drug use — made their initial appearances on the ballot, no one was elected by the writers for the first time since 1996, and only the second since 1971.

Chances are good a shutout won’t happen again this time. Maddux retired with 355 wins, 194 of them in l1 years with the Braves. Glavine had 305 victories, 244 in 17 years for Atlanta. Three hundred wins, like 3,000 hits, has long been a clear benchmark for eventually gaining entrance to the hallowed Hall. Biggio amassed 3,060 hits in 20 seasons, all with the Astros.

As in all Hall ballots, candidates need at least 75 percent of the vote to be elected.

Other first-timers also have fine credentials. Thomas, a first baseman and designated hitter, batted .301, hit 521 homers and amassed 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons, 16 of them with the White Sox. Kent hit 377 homers in 17 seasons for six teams, 351 of them as a second baseman — the most in history by anyone at that position. Mussina won 270 games and had a 3.68 ERA in 18 seasons with the Orioles and Yankees.

Add to all this the fact that Cox, during his 25 years managing the Braves, had 1,709 of his 2,001 career victories, plus 15 playoff appearances — including 14 division titles, five National League pennants and the 1995 World Series championship.

“I’m confident at some point in time it’s going to happen,” Glavine said about his Hall of Fame chances. “Whether it’s on the first ballot, I don’t know. We’ll see. There are a lot of good players eligible. Would I love to have it happen on the first ballot? Sure. If it doesn’t, I’d be disappointed. But we’ll gear up for the following year and hopefully it will happen the following year.”

Biggio fell 39 votes shy of election on the 2013 ballot, as he received 388 votes among the 569 ballots cast. Five of those ballots were left blank. He was followed by Morris (67.7 percent), Jeff Bagwell (59.6) and Piazza (57.8). Piazza, it should be noted, hit 396 of his 427 homers as a catcher — the most of any player at that position in Major League history.

Bonds, the all-time home run leader with 762, garnered 36.2 percent of the vote. Clemens, a storied right-hander with 354 wins, did slightly better at 37.6 percent. Sosa, the only slugger to bash more than 60 homers in three different seasons, totaling 609 in his career, had 12.5 percent.

None of the three ever failed a publicly disclosed Major League Baseball-administered drug test, but all of them were once involved in either court cases or congressional hearings about the use of performance-enhancing drugs. Bonds is fighting a felony conviction for obstruction of justice in an appellate court regarding grand jury testimony. Clemens was acquitted of perjury for statements he made at a congressional hearing, and Sosa was called before another congressional hearing to testify.

“For a couple of years now, I think the whole steroids thing has put a twist in it,” said Morris, who needs 42 more votes to make it this time or he can be considered again in three years for the Expansion Era ballot. “A bunch of us guys have been thrown under the bus because they didn’t know what to do with the other pile. That’s unfortunate. It is what it is and I’m not going to fix it.”

Morris, who had an American League-best 162 of wins in the 1980s, tops a list of deserving long-time returnees that includes, among others, Bagwell, Lee Smith, Tim Raines, Alan Trammell and Edgar Martinez.

Among the second-timers, Biggio still seems to be on a clear course toward a plaque. Of the 26 other retired players who amassed 3,000 or more hits, only two are not in the Hall, and both have extenuating circumstances. Rafael Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 569 homers but was suspended for a positive PED test in 2005, his last season in the Major Leagues. Most recently, Palmeiro was on 8.8 percent of the ballots. Pete Rose, the all-time leader with 4,256 hits, is banned from baseball because of gambling and is not eligible to be included on Hall of Fame ballots.

Clearly, though, Glavine and Maddux have the inside track. Both were crafty pitchers who were not overpowering but knew how to work both sides of the plate. In their decade together on the Braves from 1993 to 2002, before Glavine left to spend five seasons with the Mets, Atlanta went to the playoffs every season except for 1994, when the postseason was cancelled because of a players strike.

Maddux stayed until 2003, when he returned to the Cubs just the way he left Chicago for Atlanta — as a free agent. Maddux played 10 seasons in Chicago, including his first seven, finishing his career in 2008 after one short tour in San Diego and two stops in Los Angeles with the Dodgers.

Both were picked in the second round of the 1984 First-Year Player Draft and became mainstays of their improving teams. Maddux won 133 games for the Cubs. Glavine was a home-grown member of the Braves, and he returned to finish his career with Atlanta, getting his last two wins during 13 starts with the Braves in 2008.

Now, both of them are on the brink of immortality.

“When I retired, there was that talk of being a future Hall of Famer or whatever,” Glavine said. “Then I think as time went on, it became more a part of the conversation, whether it be every January, or as the calendar clicked closer and closer. Last year, there was a little more talk.

“Now that I’m officially on the ballot, there has been an increase in the conversation. So I think it comes in stages. When I first retired, I knew it was out there. But five years seemed like it was so far away. So in that respect, it’s hard to believe five years have gone by already.”

The remainder of the ballot consists of Moises Alou, Armando Benitez, Sean Casey, Ray Durham, Eric Gagne, Luis Gonzalez, Jacque Jones, Todd Jones, Paul Lo Duca, Edgar Martinez, Don Mattingly, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Hideo Nomo, Rafael Palmeiro, Tim Raines, Kenny Rogers, Curt Schilling, Richie Sexson, Lee Smith, Mike Timlin, Alan Trammell and Larry Walker.

Another Mike Piazza Marlins Card For My Collection – 1998 Fleer Ultra ‘Top 30′!!!!

Another Mike Piazza Marlins Card For My Collection – 1998 Fleer Ultra ‘Top 30′!!!!

Amazing purchase for your boy at ’30-YOC’!!!!  Another Mike Piazza baseball card featuring him in his old Florida Marlins uniform!!!

Check it out:

img141

 

This card comes from the 1998 Fleer subset tagged as ‘Top 30′.

The set features 30 cards and 30 players.  It was issued as a subset as part of the Series 2 release of Ultra in 1998.  The checklist is stacked with the best players from that time, and I have to say that after finally seeing one of these cards in person, the cards are very impressive.  I like the design a lot and the background theme of ‘Top 30′ with the player’s image sitting on top of it is a very nice touch.

A very neat card.  And officially card #2 of my Mike Piazza/Marlins collection!!!

Maybe #3 is around the corner…  I hope so!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #9 – My Very First Mike Piazza Florida Marlins Baseball Card!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #9 – My Very First Mike Piazza Florida Marlins Baseball Card!!!

You have no idea how excited I was to find this baseball card.  This is my first ever card of Mike Piazza while wearing a Florida Marlins uniform.

Sure, I could have found one online, but I purposely did not take this route.  I wanted the thrill of finding one of these in person to be a good one, an experience that a web purchase could not offer.  And now I have found one!!!

The card is a bit louder than what normally excites me, but I think that it looks great!!

SHOW 9

 

Don’t forget that Piazza only played in five games for the Marlins in between lengthy stints with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.

This card is such a neat one for my collection.  I am not sure how I am going to organize it within my cards as I am not a Piazza collector and it does not fit in my team set binders either.  But don’t worry, I’ll figure something out.

And now I want to see if I can find any more out there…

Happy Birthday Mike Piazza!!!

Happy Birthday Mike Piazza!!!

Mike Piazza turns 45 years old today.

Piazza was a solid offensive contributor for the teams he played for during his 16-year career.  One of the game’s greatest slugging catchers of all-time, Piazza was an offensive machine.  During his career he piled up some very impressive numbers: a lifetime .308 batting average along with 2,127 hits, 427 home runs, 1,335 RBI, 1.048 runs scored, and 344 doubles.  A true power hitter with a good ‘batter’s eye’, Piazza shined brightly when the spotlight was on him.

And during that 16-year career, Piazza picked up a nice handful of individual awards.  He was the 1993 Rookie of the Year, he was a 12-time All-star, and he won 10 Silver Slugger awards.

For his birthday I would like to give Mike Piazza two more years.  2 more years in the big leagues with a few statistical milestones within reach.  Most notably would be 2,500 career hits.  While I don’t think he was talented enough to join the elite 3,000 hits club I do think that he was solid enough of a hitter to be just 1 notch behind them!!

Happy Birthday Mike.  High Five!!!

Piazza

Hall Of Fame Debate: Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez VS Mike Piazza

Hall Of Fame Debate: Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez VS Mike Piazza

This week’s ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ is going to start a series of Player VS Player comparisons.

Ultimately, many if not all of the players being discussed and debated about are either presently in the Hall of Fame or more than likely they are soon to be elected.

So, with these head-to-head matchups, I think I am just asking you to rank them, 1 and 2, to see if and how we judge a player and their career achievements.

Sound like fun?  It does to me – so, let’s do this!!!

For this match-up, I am pitting Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez against fellow catcher, Mike Piazza.

Personally, I have always liked Pudge and I have never cared for Piazza.  But, I am capable of taking the emotions out of it and strictly base my debate on their merits.

So, now It’s Go Time – Ivan ‘Pudge’ Rodriguez VS Mike Piazza

Pudge Piazza

Here is a look at their career numbers:

  Rodriguez Piazza
Seasons 21 16
Games Played 2,543 1,912
Games at Catcher 2,427 1,630
Hits 2,844 2,127
Average 0 0
150-199 hit seasons 7 7
200+ hit seasons 0 1
Runs scored 1,354 1,048
Doubles 572 344
Home Runs 311 427
30-39 HR Seasons 1 7
40+ HR Seasons 0 2
RBI 1,332 1,335
100-RBI Seasons 1 6
30/100 Seasons 1 6
ROY - 1
MVP 1 -
All-Star 14 12
Silver Slugger 7 10
Gold Glove 13 0
Postseason 5 5
WS Titles 1 0

*

Two very solid and extremely productive players – and quite possibly two of the ten best catchers in the history of the sport.

Pudge Rodriguez compiled a ton of hits during his major league career and he was a threat to join the 3,o00 hits club for a long time.  Mike Piazza was an extremely consistent provider of runs for the duration of his career.  Both men offer multiple tools that you would seek in a catcher – both on offense and defense.  Pudge was clearly the better defender, and Piazza was the supreme run-creating engine.

A few stand-out points for me:
* Piazza had 4 more seasons that were extremely close to the 30/100 marker
* Pudge’s streak of 13 Gold Glove Awards in 16 seasons is unreal
* Piazza has a career .377 on-base percentage
* Had Pudge played more DH instead of catcher during his prime, he could easily amassed 20-25 more hits a seasons and truly come closer to 3,000

So, now the fun begins – who had a better career?  Which catcher would you choose for your team for a 15-season stretch?

For me, it always comes down to how many ways in which a player can help a team.  While Mike Piazza can help deliver wins with his mighty offensive skills and knack for driving in runs, he is not going to provide the anchor at catcher on defense that you may seek.  Pudge on the other hand will surely provide the leadership needed at catcher to both manage the pitching staff and lead the team’s defense – yet he is not going to scare the opposition with his ability to end the game on a single swing the same manner that Mike Piazza would.

And now my answer.  And it was pretty easy for me to come to…

I’m going with Rodriguez.  For me, the defense he offers is something that cannot be overlooked.  Managing the pitching staff, setting the defense, and controlling the base paths are skills that if mastered can make a player elite at their position from a defensive standpoint – and Pudge did all of this exceptionally well.  Offensively he may not have been the threat that Piazza was, but he was no slouch either.  A skilled hitter with the ability to put the ball in play, Pudge was agood source of offensive support and a solid complementary piece.

So, who you got????

Baseball Card Show Purchase #6 – Lot Of 2 1993 Topps ‘Top Prospects’ With Chipper Jones & Mike Piazza

Baseball Card Show Purchase #6 – Lot Of 2 1993 Topps ‘Top Prospects’ With Chipper Jones & Mike Piazza

I have yet to review these cards to see what they may be worth, but when I found them back-to-back in a ten-cent bargain bin, I made the small investment strictly out of curiosity.

I’m a fan of Chipper Jones and I really enjoyed watching his entire career.  As for Piazza, he was a Marlin for five game in between stints in Los Angeles and New York – I am not a fan, but for a dime, I figured I would let that pass this time around.

The cards are from the 1993 Topps set and both feature the headline of ‘Top Prospects’.

Check them out:

SHOW 6

An interesting fact from each:

- The Chipper Jones card has him as a Shortstop prospect
- The Mike Piazza card also features Carlos Delgado as a catching prospect

Pretty cool!!!