Daily Archives: January 22, 2009

Mike Mussina Autograph TTM Success

 ‘The Moose’ sent 2 beautiful autographs in just 13 days!!!

Mike Mussina finished his last season as a major league pitcher just a few short months ago.  I admire several things about Mussina.  His work ethic and competitiveness are Hall of Fame caliber.  But the more I think about it since his retirement has been made public, I also admire how he left the game – ON TOP!!!  Oftentimes we get to see our favorite player’s skills diminish as they stay in the game too long either waiting for a chance to win a championship or they have a desire to get one more paycheck.  Mussina did neither and left the game after the first and only 20-win season of his 18 year career.  And for that act alone he deserves quite a bit of respect.

Then there are the stats: 270 wins with 153 losses.  2,813 K’s.  Career ERA of 3.68.  17 straight seasons with at least 11 wins.  9 Top 6 finishes for the Cy Young Award.  5 All-star appearances. 

One hell of a pitcher and one hell of a guy.  Thanks ‘Moose’!!!! 

mussina3

Duke Snider Autograph TTM Success

‘The Duke’ delivered a beautiful autograph in just 13 days!!!

Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980, Duke Snider had an incredible 18-year career in major league baseball.  Beginning his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Snider had to share New York’s baseball fans with 2 other wildly popular players – Mickey Mantle & Willie Mays.  Snider did more than hold up his side of the state’s trio of center fielders…

With a career batting average of .295 alongside 2,116 hits, Snider was a solid contributor to the Dodgers line-up.  And with 407 home runs, 1,333 RBI, and 1,259 runs scored, his presence on the field was felt daily.  ‘The Duke’ was a 8-time All-star and ranked in the Top 10 for the MVP award 6 times.  Snider won 2 World Series titles with the Dodgers in 1955 with the Brooklyn team and then again in 1959 with Los Angeles.

Thanks Duke!!!

duke

1997 Headline: “Don Mattingly Retires From Baseball”

On this day in 1997 the above headline, or something very close to it, appeared on every sports page across America.  Don Mattingly, ‘Donnie Baseball, was retiring from the national past-time.

Don Mattingly gave us 14 years.  14 wonderful years.  14 years of memories that will last and be passed down  from generation to generation.  Never the most talented player on his team, Mattingly was without question the leader of his New York Yankees team.  His incredible vision and skill as a contact hitter were remarkable.  And for a few years in the mid-1980’s he thrilled us at the plate as his batting average hovered close to .350 season after season. 

But Mattingly was not a 1-dimensional player.  When needed, he was able to hit for power and do it well.  Mattingly blasted 222 home runs in his career and hit 30 or more homers 3 times.  And then there was the 8-game streak in 1987 in which Mattingly launched a homer in each game.  A truly amazing feat by this great competitor!!

And to round out his play, Mattingly was a dominant defender at 1st base.  A 9-time Gold Glove winner, ‘Donnie Baseball’ could do no wrong when taking the field.  In 1,634 career games at 1st base, Mattingly committed just 64 errors.  That’s just 1 error per 25 games played and just 6 per year.  INCREDIBLE!!!

The Hall of Fame debate about Mattingly always makes for interesting conversation.  He won the MVP award one time, and finished in the Top 10 for the award 3 more times.  He has been to 6 All-star games, won 3 Silver Slugger awards, and has 9 Gold Gloves to his credit.  Whether he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame is an argument that could go on forever, but he will certainly go down as one of the best, if not the best, 1st baseman to play baseball in the 1980’s.

mattingly

“31 in 31” – The 1970’s – Card #10

“31 in 31” – The 1970’s – Card #10

Rich “Goose” Gossage – 1973 Topps – #174

Rich Gossage doesn’t have the numbers of some of the other pitchers on this list, but his performance during his 22-year career is extremely impressive.  With 124 career wins and 310 saves to his credit, ‘Goose’ managed to perform at All-star levels both as a starting pitcher and a reliever.  Gossage has 1,502 career strikeout and an ERA of 3.01.  His dominant pitching performances landed him in the top 6 for the Cy Young award 5 times and in the Top 17 for the MVP award 5 times. 

‘The Goose’ participated in 3 World Series match-ups.  In 1978 he played for the Yankees, 1981 for the Yankees as well, and in 1984 as a member of the San Diego Padres.  In 3 series’, Gossage won 1 title as a member of the 1978 Yankee team.  In 8 post season contests, ‘The Goose’ has a 2-1 record with 8 saves.  His dominance can be measured by his 2.87 ERA with 29 strikeouts and only 7 walks.

gossage1