Daily Archives: March 2, 2009

Robin Ventura Autograph TTM Success!!!

Robin Ventura returned these signed cards to me in 44 days.

When I moved to Chicago in 1989, I instantly became a Cubs fan.  They had the star power, they had the legendary ballpark, and they had Andre Dawson.

But, there was a rookie on the White Sox team that always kept me interested to see how he was playing – that guy was Robin Ventura.  A college baseball stud turned Olympian turned White Sox player, I enjoyed watching Ventura’s entire career and was lucky enough to witness it live on several occasions early on in his career.

Thanks for the great autographs Robin!!! 

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Foot Locker Commercial Featuring Don Mattingly, Tom Chambers, and Jerry Rice

Just a little entertainment for this slow Monday afternoon…

1989 Topps Traded Rickey Henderson

1989 Topps Traded Rickey Henderson

Another great looking Rickey Henderson card I can check off of my ‘need’ list. 

This card design is great.  I’ve said it before, but the 1989 Topps design works really well across all teams.  Topps did a great job in using the team colors and incorporating them into the overall look of the card.

89tt-rickey

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #30

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Card #30

Fernando Valenzuela – 1981 Topps

Fernando Valenzuela had as impressive of a rookie season as any player that debuted during the 1980’s.  As a starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Valenzuela started 25 games while going 13-7.  He pitched the entire game 11 times, 8 of which were shutouts.  Fernando struck out 180 batters and walked 61 – good for a 2.95:1 K:walk ratio.  His incredible rookie season was capped of by the Dodgers winning the World Series championship.  Due to Valenzuela’s contributions to the team and his personal success, he was awarded with the Rookie of the Year award as well as the Cy Young Award.

For the first 11 seasons of his 17-year career, Fernando became a favorite in Los Angeles.  With double-digit wins in 10 of the 11 seasons he played in LA, Valenzuela earned 3 more Top 5 finishes for the Cy Young Award as well as 5 All-star nominations. 

Valenzuela racked up incredible amounts of innings pitched while in LA.  By the end of his tenure with the team, he had pitched 2,348 innings as he averaged 213 per year.  The work soon took it’s toll on Fernando and his effectiveness quickly dropped off.  Gone was his arm strength and with it went his 3-digit strikeout totals.  Gone was his control and with that his ERA blossomed.  And gone was his durability, as he no longer had the ability to pitch a complete game.

Over the final 6 seasons of his career, Fernando played for 5 different teams.  He was never able to recapture what he had done in LA, and he very rarely showed signs of his old form.  Stops in Anaheim, Baltimore, Philly, San Diego, and St. Louis did not go well and pretty soon Fernando Valenzuela was out of professional baseball.

He left the game with a 173-153 record while posting 2,074 strikeouts and walking 1,151.   

valenzuela