Daily Archives: April 1, 2009

Jim Lonborg Autograph TTM Success!!!

Jim Lonborg has a reputation as being one of the best TTM signers around.  Although he has been away from the game since 1979, his status remains high among collectors due to his generous signing habits.

I received this card back from Mr. Lonborg in just 9 days.  Since he added the inscription of ‘1967 Cy Young’ to his signature, I thought it would be best to highlight that incredible year for him.

 The stats – 39 games started, 22-9 record, 15 complete games, 2 shutouts, 246 strikeouts, 83 walks, 3.16 ERA, All-star appearance, and 1 shiny Cy Young Award!!! 

lonborg

In 1967, as a member of the Boston Red Sox, Lonborg started 39 games while going 22-9.  He threw 15 complete games that year including 2 shutouts.  Lonbogr pitched 273 innings while finishing the year with a 3.16 ERA.  He compiled 246 strikeouts in that season and allowed just 83 walks – good for a very respectable 2.96:1 K:walk ratio.

One heck of a year by one heck of a pitcher!!  And one heck of an autograph too!!  Thank you Mr. Lonborg!!!

1983 Topps Super Veteran – Dave Kingman

1983 Topps Super Veteran – Dave Kingman

Power, power, power.  Dave Kingman’s basbeall career could best be described in that one, single word.  Kingman was not a contact hitter, he did not steal bases, he did not shine in the field.  What he did do, quite simply, was hit the ball hard.  Very Hard!! 

In 16 years as a major league player, Dave Kingman collected 442 home runs.  And in 11 of the 16 years, he hit at least 24 dingers in each season.  Had he been able to play a few more years, 600 could have been a nice target for the guy that they called ‘Kong’. 

kingman

Happy Birthday Phil Niekro!!!

Today, Phil Niekro turns 70 years old!!!

Still being seen around Spring Training, Phil Neikro has had baseball pumping through his blood for more than 50 years.  A Hall of Fame pitcher with 24 major league seasons under his belt, Niekro put on a pitching seminar through the 1960’s, 1970’s, and 1980’s.  With a career record of 318-274, one has ot wonder how many more victories Niekro would have notched if he had played on some of the better teams from his playing days.

In 24 seasons, Niekro only made it to the post-season twice, and neither time was to the World Series.  So, my gift for Mr. Niekro is one shot at a championship ring.  1 shot; he gets to pick the team and the year from his playing days that he would like to join to pursue baseball’s ultimate prize.

Happy Birthday Mr. Niekro!!!

niekro

‘The 40/40 Club’ – 1980’s – Honorable Mention

Ah, the old Honorable Mention award.  You never want it, but are still happy when recognized for your efforts.

My ’40/40 club’ couldn’t cover all of the rookies that debuted during the 1980’s so here are a few guys that just missed the cut.  A few more bounces of the ball in their direction and they may have been in, but for now thery are on the outside looking in.

Matt Williams – A solid offensive threat with a knack for hitting home runs.  Williams has 378 career homers to go with his 1,218 RBI.  His low batting average of .268 does not do him justice as he was a constant threat for most of his career.  Williams finished in the Top 6 for the MVP award 4 times with his best finish coming in 1994 at second place.  Williams is a 5-time All-star, 4-time Silver Slugger winner, and 4-time Gold Glove winner.  He won a World Series title in 2001 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

williams2

Kirk Gibson – ‘Gibby’ is best known for one of the greatest World Series home runs in baseball’s tremendous history.  His resume includes 1,553 hits, 255 homers, 870 RBI, and 985 runs scored.  Gibson won the MVP award in 1988 en route to taking his LA Dodgers team to the World Series.  Gibson has won 2 championships – 1 with the 1984 Detroit Tigers and another with the 1988 Los Angeles Dodgers.

gibson

Dave Stewart – The man with the most intimidating presence on the mound, Dave Stewart was a classic pitcher who could have been just as dominant in the decades that preceeded him.  ‘Stew’ has 168 career wins which includes 4 straight 20-win seasons.  Stewart finished in the Top 4 for the Cy Young award in those 4 seasons as well.  Dave Stewart is a 3-time World Series champion.  He won titles in 1981 with the Dodgers, 1990 with the Oakland A’s, and then in 1993 with the Toronto Blue Jays.

stewart

Joe Carter – Carter is another player known for 1 swing of the bat versus his entire body of work.  Carter’s work was impressive and with career stats like 396 home runs, 1,445 RBI, and 2,184 hits, it’s easy to see that Carter is more than a ‘1-trick pony’.  Joe Carter finished in the Top 20 for the MVP award 8 times.  He is a 5-time All-star, 2-time Silver Slugger winner, and a 2-time World Series champion.

carter