Daily Archives: December 3, 2008

I’m Crossing My Fingers For Andre Dawson…

While 99% of the attention(and rightfully so) regarding the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has gone to Rickey Henderson, I am crossing my fingers for Andre Dawson!!!

In 2008’s vote, Dawson got 65.9% of the votes.  In 2007, it was 56.7%.  Andre’s vote counts have escalated each year and it looks like election into the Hall of Fame in 2009 or 2010 will happen.

Personally, I feel that his election is long overdue.  I admit that I am biased on this topic as Dawson is my favorite player from the last 30+ years.  But, I do feel that he has done more than enough offensively and defensively to get inducted into Cooperstown, even if it is on his 9th or 10th ballot.

So, now my thoughts take a different turn.  Would I rather see ‘The Hawk’ get voted in during 2009 or 2010??  I don’t want to jinx anything, but my little blog cannot compare to the Sports Illustraded or Madden video game jinxes… 

If Dawson gets in this year, all eyes(well at least 99%) will be on Rickey Henderson.  But, if Andre doesn’t get the votes this year and finally does for the 2010 election, I would argue that he is the best player getting in that year finally giving him the attention he deserves.  While I don’t feel like being in Henderson’s shadow is a bad thing, the enshrinement into baseball’s Hall of Fame puts players on a very large pedastal and I want Dawson to shine as bright as he can.  In 2010, the only new players that may get serious consideration would be Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, and Fred McGriff.  I could easily argue that Dawson was a more productive and complete player than either of these guys and would take center stage if enshrined alongside either or all of them.

So, what do you think?  If Andre Dawson was guaranteed to be voted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 or 2010, which year would be better for him, for his fans, and for Cooperstown??

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Dave Winfield 1988 Score

Dave Winfield 1988 Score

I was a huge fan of the Score product when it hit the shelves in 1988.  I cannot say that it was my favorite card issue of the year, but I certainly had more of these than any other brand.  The design is very simple, and it works well.  The imagery used by Score in their very first release is commendable and I wish that their product lasted longer in the marketplace as I always enjoyed ripping open packs of their cards.

dw88s

What Ever Happened To Frank Viola???

Frank Viola didn’t take baseball by storm the way some other pitchers did during their first season in the majors.  Drafted out of college in 1981, Viola debuted with the Minnesota Twins in  the middle of the 1982 season and the next year and a half were a learning process for both him and the Twins team.

It was not until the 1984 season when Viola took off and began dominating hitters.  After going 11-25 in his first two seasons, Viola sparkled in ’84 when he went 18-12 while pitching 250+ innings.  In each season from 1984-1993, Viola had double-digit wins with the most being 24 wins during the 1988 season.

In 1987, Viola helped the Twins win the World Series and he earned the World Series MVP Award for his outstanding pitching performance.  Viola started 3 games against the Cardinals and went 2-1.  He displayed amazing control in a pressure filled series as he only allowed 3 walks in 19+ innings, while striking out 16.

The ’88 season was very special for Viola.  Not only did he go 24-7, but he also had the lowest ERA of his career at 2.64.  That year, Viola earned 27 of the 28 first place votes for the Cy Young Award.  

After 8 seasons with the Twins, Viola spent the last 7 years of his career playing for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and lastly the Toronto Blue Jays. 

With a career record of 176-150, Viola’s record does not stand out as an above average pitcher.  But, when you examine the kinds of teams he played for and their success you begin to see how valuable his efforts were as most of these teams had losing records.  With 4 Top 6 Cy Young award finishes, and 1 win of the award, Viola should go down as one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1980’s.

Viola has worked as a pitching coach for small baseball organizations and schools but is not currently involved with baseball today.

viola