Daily Archives: September 18, 2011

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1960s & 1970s’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1960s & 1970s’

Shout out to my man ‘Hackenbush‘ for the fantastic idea!!!

Being that we both have a fondness for players from that era, he challenged me with this idea.  And while it took me a few weeks longer than what I wanted, it was not due to lack of interest.  It was that I had to revamp and revise the list time after time after time.

And while I am still not 100% sold on the final rankings, I am ready to publish my list tonight.

As for criteria, I tried to pick players that starred during the 1960s and 1970s for the majority of their prime.  And while I do think that there are several HOFers that seem to be forgotten from that period (Fergie Jenkins and Lou Brock to name a few), if you are in the HOF you are not on my list.

So, with all of that being said – Let’s Do This!!!

Honorable Mention – Ted Simmons, Paul Blair, Ken Griffey, George Foster, Tony Oliva, Tug McGraw, and Lou Piniella.

10B – Tommy John – 288 career wins with 162 complete games is nothing to sneeze at.  John was an All-Star four times and made it to the playoffs five times.

10A – Dwight Evans – A supreme defender with a cannon for an arm, Evans also delivered a punch at the plate as he connected for 385 home runs, and driving in 1,384 runners.

9 – Willie Randolph – A slick defender with unreal quickness, Randolph stole 271 bases and scored 1,239 times en route to six All-Star selections.

8 – Fred Lynn – The 1975 ROY and MVP was a supreme star from the moment he took the field.  Earning nine straight All-Star selections to start his career, Lynn was on par with the best outfielders in the AL for a decade.  And his 1979 batting title aint to shabby either…

7  -Dave Parker – A slugger in every sense of the word, Parker clubbed home runs for a living while helping make the Pirates franchise relevant.  339 career home runs with two batting titles and 7 All-Star selections solidifies the resume of the 1974 NL MVP.

6 – Luis Tiant – Ask anyone that faced him during his prime and they will tell you.  Luis Tiant was a monster!!!  With 229 career wins and 187 complete games, Tiant was a worker.  He threw more than 200 innings in 8 of his 19 seasons.

5 – Keith Hernandez – Before he was appearing in Seinfeld episodes or selling hair color for men, Hernandez was dominating baseball games as a defensive specialist.  He collected 11 Gold Glove awards in 17 seasons and his batting title in 1979 coupled with his Gold Glove status made him an MVP.

4 – Bill Madlock – Winning four batting titles is remarkable.  And winning them over a stretch of a 11-season span shows your dedication to the craft.  Madlock retired with a .305 batting average and rang up 11 seasons in which he hit .300 or better.

3 – Dave Kingman – He was Rob Deer before Rob Deer.  He was Adam Dunn before Adam Dunn.  In total, Kingman crushed 442 home runs, including eclipsing the 30-HR mark seven times.  Kingman was a 3-time All-Star.

2 – Maury Wills – A threat on the base paths from the moment he stepped onto the field, Maury Wills raised the bar when it came to base running and specifically base stealing.  The league champion for six consecutive seasons, Wills was the single season record owner, and swiped 586 bags during his 14-year career.

1 – Vida Blue – With uncanny talent, and a string team behind him, Blue was the AL MVP and Cy Young winner in 1971.  He would have five more Top 7 finishes for the Cy Young Award and also 6 All-Star game appearances.  Most important, Blue competed in and won three consecutive World Series titles from 1972-74.

And there you have it.  If you asked me to do this again, I would probably rank them differently, but all of these guys had fantastic big league careers and they all deserve more credit and recognition by the sport and our hobby!!!

Thanks for reading.

My First Rickey Henderson Game-Used Jersey Card. First Two, Actually!!!

My First Rickey Henderson Game-Used Jersey Card.  First Two, Actually!!!

This happened by accident, but I am really glad that it did…

While checking out a seller’s items on Ebay, I found a 2011 Topps Rickey Henderson game-used jersey card and immediately clicked to see a larger picture.

The card is beautiful, one of the best that I have seen from the set.  And while that seller was asking a bit more than what I was willing to pay, I was happy to stumble upon it as it led me to searching for a more affordable one.

Well, after keying in ‘2011 Rickey Henderson Game’ into the search box on Ebay’s homepage, I was quickly greeting but a large listing of offers – and a second version of the card as well.

I quickly struck, and made my purchases, albeit from two different sellers.

And now, just a little more than a week later, both cards are in my possession and I am thrilled to show them off to you.

Enjoy!!!

Tony Gwynn 1987 Donruss ‘Opening Day’

Tony Gwynn 1987 Donruss ‘Opening Day’

My favorite ‘Opening Day’ set of all-time is the 1987 Donruss version.  Using the same graphic components as the base design from their flagship set, Donruss offered us a Marron border.  And I like it.

So, how did Tony Gwynn fare on Opening Day in 1987?

Well, a quick Internet check reveals that the All-Star went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout.  The Padres lost to the Giants on that day, 4-3, at Candlestick Park.

You can’t win them all!!

Happy Birthday Ryne Sandberg!!!

Happy Birthday Ryne Sandberg!!!

Ryne Sandberg turns 52 years old today!!

One of the greatest offensive infielders to have played the game, Sandberg is a Hall of Famer and fan favorite.

And in the city of Chicago he is still as loved today as he was during his playing days with the team that started more than 25 years ago.

That’s why for his birthday I want to give Sandberg a new job in Chicago, and with the Cubs.  Sandberg has proven himself to be a quality baseball manager.  He has done some great things in the minor leagues for the Cubs’ affiliates and now I believe it is his time for a chance in the big leagues.  How cool would that be for Ryne and the Cubs?   Back to the ball park that he played in.  Back to the dugout that he sat in.  Back to the locker room, the offices, the parking lot that he traveled to each and every day as a Cubs player.

Ryne Sandberg deserves it!!!  The city of Chicago needs this!!!

Go Get ‘Em Ryno!!!  Happy Birthday!!!

Philadelphia Phillies Clinch 5th Straight NL East Title

Philadelphia Phillies Clinch 5th Straight NL East Title

By ROB MAADDI, AP Sports Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP)—Hunter Pence clutched a bottle of champagne and jumped around like an excited child opening Christmas presents.

The Philadelphia Phillies won another division crown, and Pence is along for his first postseason ride.

Roy Oswalt threw seven dominant innings, Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam and the Phillies clinched their fifth straight NL East title with a 9-2 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night.

“I’ve waited for this moment a long time,” said Pence, the All-Star outfielder who joined Philadelphia in a trade from last-place Houston on July 29.

“It’s incredible, and I’m enjoying the moment. We’ve got a lot of work to do still. The expectation is to win the World Series, but this is one of the steps you gotta make, and to me it’s my first time, so this is great.”

In a season where nothing less than a World Series championship would be considered a success, there wasn’t much of a party on the field. The Phillies had a been-there, done-that attitude toward winning the division last year, and this time was no different.

Players ran onto the diamond a bit faster than usual, but they simply exchanged handshakes, hugs and high-fives as if this was an ordinary game in April. They did at least put on shirts and hats proclaiming themselves division champs.

The fans didn’t even scream all that loud, even when the Phillie Phanatic ran on the field with a big flag that said 2011.

Once they reached the clubhouse, however, the Phillies popped open the bubbly and celebrated their achievement.

“I’m excited for a guy like Hunter who has never been here before,” Chase Utley said. “It’s a long season and you never know what’s going to happen.”

With the Four Aces leading the way, the Phillies are seeking their third NL pennant in four years and second World Series title.

They’ve taken care of the first step. Now they’ll use the 12 remaining games to get ready for the postseason. It’s still uncertain who the Phillies will face in the best-of-five first round when the NL playoffs begin Oct. 1.

“This is the first step,” slugger Ryan Howard told the crowd that remained after the game. “We’re gonna try to go all the way and we’ll need you guys.”

The major league-leading Phillies (98-52) are four wins away from setting a single-season club record.

None of those accomplishments will matter if they don’t finish the season with a championship parade on Broad Street.

“It’s an extraordinary effort,” team president David Montgomery said. “Clearly, it’s a team that has its priorities in order.”