Daily Archives: August 29, 2010

Marveling At The Greatness Of Craig Biggio…

Marveling At The Greatness Of Craig Biggio…

I don’t know why, but I found myself on the Craig Biggio page of www.BaseballReference.com and I was quickly put in awe of his incredible stats.  I never saw him play that much, and I have no real feelings for the Astros, but I cannot stop thinking about how solid of a big league ballplayer Biggio was.  I wonder how many others missed it along with me…

I am scrapping my original plans for a post tonight, so I can give you some Biggio. 

Ok, starting off with the obvious, Biggio played twenty years for the same team – he gets credit just for doing that as he played in the wildest free agency era in baseball so far.

Now, on to the numbers:  Biggio tallied 3,060 hits, scored 1,844 runs, hit 668 doubles, crushed 201 home runs, stole 414 bases, has a lifetime batting average of .281, drove in 1,175 runs, and amassed an on-base percentage of .363.

Very impressive!  And while Biggio didn’t bring home any MVP trophies, he did win 4 Gold Gloves and 5 Silver Slugger trophies while also making the All-Star team 7 times.

But, here is what impressed me more.  It’s how high he ranks in certain statistical categories.  He is comparable to some of the game’s greatest players, so in a way I guess that confirms that he too should be spoken of when discussing that group.

Check this out:

  • 15th in games played – ahead of Reggie Jackson, Frank Robinson, and George Brett
  • 12th in at-bats – ahead of Brooks Robinson, Paul Molitor, and Lou Brock
  • 13th in runs scored – ahead of Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, and Mickey Mantle
  • 20th in hits – ahead of Rod Carew, Wade Boggs, and Roberto Clemente
  • 2nd in hit-by-pitch

Biggio has surpassed some of the sport’s most talented offensive players in some major categories. 

I just wish that I paid a little more attention to it while it was happening – he deserved that!!!

Rod Carew 1971 Topps

Rod Carew 1971 Topps

I search for cards from the 1971 Topps set all of the time on Ebay – As you know, I love Black-bordered baseball cards!!!

And of all of the posed, portrait style cards in the set, the one of Rod Carew easily ranks in my Top 10.

Well, I finally pulled the trigger on one and added it to my collection. 

1971 marked Carew’s 5th year in the majors and he was already one of the game’s biggest stars.  A 5-time All-star, Carew’s incredible offense brought him a ton of attention – a tough feat for anyone playing for the Minnesota Twins.  Amazingly, the first five years of Carew’s career could be considered sub-par in comparison to his output over the next seven seasons.  During that time, Carew would go on to collect six batting titles, 200 or more hits in four seasons, seven more All-star appearances, and 5 Top 10 finishes for the MVP award, including a first place finish in 1977.

I am overjoyed to finally add this card to my collection!!!

Andre Dawson 2002 Topps American Pie – GOLD

Andre Dawson 2002 Topps American Pie – GOLD

Had I known all this time that the ‘American Pie’ series from the 2002 Topps set were available in colored versions of the base card, I would have added an Ebay search to my account to catch them as they came up for auctions.

I stumbled across this one, the Gold Version, by accident a week or so ago and now it is safely home with me.

While not stunning to look at, the card is insanely busy with all of its graphic elements, and is far from spectacular.  But I have to admit, I really enjoy chasing around these limited release cards.  Heck if it wasn’t for series’ of cards like this one, I would have very little left to collect of ‘The Hawk’.

And for that reason, and that reason alone I march onward!!! 

Ozzie Smith 1987 Topps

Ozzie Smith 1987 Topps

When Ozzie Smith shouts, ‘I’ve Gor It’ you get out of the way!!!

And it was simply a showing of respect for the greatest middle infielder of all-time.  Heck, Ozzie Smith made playing defense cool.  As kids, we all took turns impersonating our favorite players while at bat.  But when handling grounders, we ALL drifted to Ozzie.  He was the man, and is a big reason that you didn’t change the channel were the Cardinals were on TV.

This 1987 issue from the Topps bas set is a nice one.  And the reminder it offers of the 1962 set is evident each time I come across one.  Something tells me that Ozzie would have been just as big of a star during that era as he was during the 1980’s! 

A great addition to my Ozzie Smith collection!!!