Daily Archives: December 20, 2008

1988 Fleer Rickey Henderson

The 1988 Fleer design is fun.  For a few teams with coordinating colors, like the Braves, Expos, and Cubs, it works very well.  For others, like the NewYork Yankees is doesn’t do anything for the card…

Rickey always moved faster than everyone else and in this picture he appears to be flying.  In this photo on the 1988 Fleer card, Rickey appears to be in mid-stride as he rounds 2nd base heading for 3rd.  Based on the direction his head is pointed, I am going to guess that he is watching something take place at home plate. 

88frh

What Ever Happened To Howard Johnson???

 The man known as ‘Ho-Jo’ had a cult-like following of fans during his playing days.  Known for his ability to steal bases and hit home runs, Howard Johnson was a very successful and popular baseball player during the 1980’s. 

On his first team, the Detroit Tigers,  Johnson’s best year came in 1984 which was the same year that the Tigers won the World Series.  Johnson played well but was used sparingly during the playoffs.  It wasn’t until he was traded to the New York Mets that ‘Ho-Jo’ was able to put everything together and he began to flourish.  The Mets won the World Series in 1986 and although Johnson did not get much playing time in the fall classic, the Mets liked what he had to offer and traded away the Series MVP, Ray Night, to give Johnson more consistent playing time.  After 2 years of being used as a role player, Johnson got the big break he was hoping for in 1987.   In the 1987 season, Johnson belted 36 home runs and drove in 99 runs while finishing the season as an MVP candidate.  He also stole 30 bases that season and became one of the league’s only 30/30 men.  Johnson was able to accomplish that feat 2 more times with the Mets – in 1989 and 1991 when he went 36/41 and 38/30 respectively.  Johnson’s reputation as a very solid all-around player earned him (2) Top 5 finishes for the MVP in each of these 30/30 seasons.

‘Ho-Jo’ finished his career with 228 home runs and 231 stolen bases – a true all-around ‘gamer’.  Johnson went on to play 1 season in Colorado and 1 final season with the Chicago Cubs before retiring at the age of 35 in 1995. 

Today, ‘Ho-Jo’ serves as a hitting coach for the New York Mets and is still a fan favorite in ‘The Big Apple’.

hojo