“31 in 31″ – The 1970’s – Card #2
Mike Schmidt – 1973 Topps – #615
I am treating this card the in the same manner that I am treating the Molitor/Trammell rookie card. This is classified as a Mike Schmidt rookie card only. Ron Cey had a wonderful career and is a personal favorite of mine, but to be fair it is very clear that the hobby sees this primarily as a Mike Schmidt rookie card.
Mike Schmidt’s credentials are as impressive as any player to play the game in the last 50 years. If you were to look up the definition of a ‘power hitter’ and ‘defensive specialist’ you could very easily see a reference to Mike Schmidt in both sections.
Schmidt played for 18 seasons with the Philadelphia Philles and was and still is the face of the franchise for many baseball fans. His raw power at the plate drew fans to the ballpark as he put on incredible displays of power while launching ball after ball into the outfield stands. With 548 career home runs, Schmidt blasted 30 or more home runs in 12 of his 18 seasons in the majors. And with 1,595 RBI, he certainly took advantage of have players on base when he was at bat. Schmidt has a career batting average of .267 and hit .300 or better just 1-time. But his job was to produce runs and that is exactly what he did – and at an unbelievable rate too.
And then there is the defense… Schmidt was a 10-time Gold Glove winner at 3rd base. His range, cannon of an arm, and desire to scoop up every ball hit in his direction made Schmidt the most dominant 3rd baseman during the 1980’s.
Elected to the baseball Hall of Fame in 1995, Schmidt was a 12-time All-star. Schmidt may also be the most highly decorated player from the 1980’s as he won 3 MVP award – in 1980, 1981, and 1986.
Mike Schmidt competed in 2 World Series match-ups – 1 in 1980 and 1 in 1983. His Phillies team in 1980 won the title in 6 games but lost in 7 games in 1983 to the Baltimore Orioles. During their drive to the title in 1980, Schmidt amazed the baseball world while hitting .381 with 2 home runs and driving in 7. These impressive stats led to him being votes the World Series MVP of the 1980 Fall Classic. Unfortunately in 1983 he could not duplicate his success as he accounted for just 1 hit in 20 at-bats and hit a poor .050.