Daily Archives: March 27, 2010

Is Johnny Damon On Track To Make A Hall Of Fame Run???

Is Johnny Damon On Track To Make A Hall Of Fame Run???

Let me preface this by saying that I like Johnny Damon.  I like the energy he brings to the game.  And I like the fact that he has no problem showing off his excitement about being a professional baseball player.  But with all of that being said, I don’t see Damon as a Hall of Famer caliber player.

At no time during his playing career, which should have a few seasons still to go, has Damon ever been considered the best player on his team.  He has been an All-star just twice and has never finished higher than 13th in the MVP race.

If you would ask me to name other players in a similar group of talent, I would mention Garrett Anderson, Carl Crawford, and Derrek Lee.  All very good players.  All very nice offensive weapons.  But none of these guys are HOF worthy.

But then I took a second to look at his numbers.  And quite frankly, they are amazing.

Check them out:

Batting average 0.288
On-Base Percentage 0.355
Hits 2,425
Doubles 451
Home Runs 207
Runs Scored 1,483
RBI 996
Stolen Bases 374
World Series Titles 2


See what I mean??  All of this from an ‘above-average’ player???  WoW!!!

And at the age of 35, while playing for a potent offensive team like the Detroit Tigers, Damon should be able to thrive.  Already with 15 seasons of big league service under his belt, he can reach some baseball milestones over the next few years if he remains healthy.  1,000 RBI and 400 stolen bases will happen – easily.  So will 1,500 runs scored.  Now, what about 3,000 hits and 300 home runs?  Damon has collected roughly 160 hits a year over the course of his career – 3 more years of Damon-esque productivity puts him very close to 3,000.  And his power numbers have landed him close to 20 round-trippers a year over the last 6 seasons.  4-5 more like that and 300 career homers becomes a possibility too.

So, now I pose this question…  Can a 2-time All-star, a player that has never been awarded or labeled as one of the best in the game be rewarded and honored with election into Cooperstown?  It is very easy to just say ‘No, he does not belong’.  But if Johnny Damon reaches a few more of these milestones, doesn’t the conversation take a bit of a different turn??

What do you think?? 

‘On The Road With psugator02’ – March 26

Friday, March 26

Glendale, Ariz.

Like an idiot, I misread the schedule, thinking that the D’Backs were at the Sox while they actually played host to the Sox. But I made the most of it, trying to graph those White Sox players who stayed behind in addition to the Dodgers, who were on the backfields.

White Sox

Mark Buehrle: Didn’t make the trip to Tucson. Was in the clubhouse getting treatment but never made it to the practice fields
Bobby Jenks: Didn’t make the trip but I never saw him
Omar Vizquel: 0/1….wouldn’t stop on his way back to the clubhouse despite there being only five graphers
Alex Rios: 0/1…wouldn’t stop on his way back to the clubhouse despite there being only five graphers
Chris Chambliss: 2/2……he wasn’t this cool in ’93 when I got him in St. Pete
Ken Williams: 0/1


Chad Billingsley: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)
Clayton Kershaw: 0/1, 0/1….signed a lot but got mobbed and I kept missing him…but a good dude
Joe Torre: 1/1 (SS, ROMLB)…he got mobbed. to get his attention I yelled, “Can you sign one for a Cardinals’ fan?” at least three times

Andre Ethier: 2/2 (’08 Ginter, ’09 Ginter)
Manny Ramirez: 0/1…yeah right…but he did wave at me, which was neat
Don Mattingly: 0/1….he smiled at me

12:30-4:30 p.m.
Reds at Mariners
Peoria, Ariz.

Stadium is so inacessible that I doubt I’ll be returning. However, I loved the price of the tickets — no need to buy box seats when you can get a lawn seat for $6 and still sit behind home plate — and the strawberry smoothie from Maui-Wowi. On a tangent, I used to work at a Maui-Wowi in Deerfield Beach, Fla. I liked the work attire so much — it’s a loud Hawaiian shirt — that I often wear it to ballgames. It was funny when I ordered my smoothie because the two employees behind the counter looked at me as if I was their manager. On to the totals:

Chad Cordero: 4/4 (’07 Ginters)….got him in the bullpen about 15 minutes before the game. Has to be one of the friendliest players in all of MLB. Told him that he was a dominant closer and that I hope he makes it all the way back.
Erik Bedard: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)….Got him in the fifth inning as he exited the field for the clubhouse. Seems to sign a lot but has an AWFUL graph and I really can’t understand why
Eric Byrnes: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)…the only starter to sign leaving the field after the game..but his graph is scribble, too
Ichiro: Thought hanging out with angelsfan might bring me good luck. She had made a killer Ichiro sign written in Japanese that I was sure would get him to stop. But to no avail though he did point at the sign once in the stadium and then again as he drove away
Ken Griffey: 0/1 had his head down as he drove away. I’ve never even seen him acknowledge fans
Cliff Lee: 0/1

And the surprise of the day:

Jay Buhner: 1/2 (SI)….I grew up going to Yankees’ spring-training games — back when they were still in Fort Lauderdale — so getting to meet Buhner was a bit of a thrill for me. And the graph came out great, too

Glendale, Ariz.
5:30-6:15 p.m.

Left Peoria as soon as the game ended and made my way back to Glendale, thinking that some White Sox players may be returning from their game in Tucson. I didn’t see any White Sox players nor did I see any fans waiting for graphs so I drove over to the Dodgers’ side and was surprised to find out that there were some coaches and players still inside.

Blake DeWitt: 1/1 (’09 Ginter)
James Loney: 1/1 (’08 Ginter)
Rick Honeycutt: 0/1…I’m sure I could’ve gotten him but I didn’t know it was him until he had driven by
Joe Torre: 0/1..There were nine graphers remaining when he left at 6:15. It wouldn’t have been difficult to sign for everyone, but he chose to sign only for the three women who remained. And even then he signed the three baseballs in black Sharpie. I don’t think my theatrics from this morning helped my cause. Had I not made such a fool of myself earlier he may have stopped. Some images — 6’5, grey hair, wearing a Hawaiian shirt and a Brewers’ cap — don’t leave a person no matter how many graphs they sign LOL

Other: Apparently I just missed Maury Wills, who signed a few minutes before I arrived to the surprise of the locals. I guess he’s become difficult. … George Brett made the trip to Glendale and actually signed, but of course I was at a different game. Can’t win ’em all

If you would like to contact Mark, he can be reached at psugator02@yahoo.com.

1975 Topps Willie McCovey

1975 Topps Willie McCovey

While shopping for vintage cards on Ebay, I couldn’t resist throwing this one in my cart.  Bought for just $0.99, I found this to be a deal too good to pass up.

And while my enjoyment(or lack of) of the 1975 Topps baseball card set has been well documented on this blog, I have to say that ever since I started collecting the Reds team set from this issue, I have started to see the light.  If only I had listened to Night Owl sooner…

During the 1975 baseball season, McCovey’s 17th in the majors, Willie still showed that he had some pop left in his bat.  In 122 games with the Padres, McCovey smacked 23 home runs while collecting 68 RBI. 

An interesting fact about Willie McCovey.  He spent 22 seasons in the majors – playing for three different teams.  All 3 of them called California home: The Giants, Padres, and A’s.

Did You Know…

The 1936 New York Yankees are the only team to have five players with 100 or more RBI.  Lou Gehrig led the way with 152 RBI, followed by Joe DiMaggio(125), Tony Lazzeri(109), Bill Dickey(107), and George Selkirk(107). 

**factoid courtesy of ‘Big League Trivia’

My Take – Mighty impressive!  And when I think about some of the incredibly talented offensive teams that have played since that time, this record really stands out as an amazing accomplishment.

Tim Raines 1984 Fleer – Superstar Special

Tim Raines 1984 Fleer – Superstar Special

Fleer added their popular ‘Superstar Special’ subset into their base sets in the mid 1980’s.  A nice way to capture teammates and players with their peers, this set always offered up fun combinations of players and gave the set a nice 10-12 card subset to build.

Very early in this process, Fleer would make each of these ‘Superstar Special’ cards a 2-piece set.  To get the full picture and story, you would have to own both cards and lay them side by side to see the finished product.  Lasting just a few short years, they quickly, and rightly so, abandoned that idea and went to putting all of the players on 1 card in a condensed version of their original plan.

This card is from the 1984 Fleer set and it is titled ‘Letting Go Of The Raines’.  Starring Tim Raines as one half of the card, here it is: 

And here is the other half of that 2-piece set(which I do not own or want to own):

Sorry, this was the best picture I could find...

And there you have it!