Daily Archives: September 10, 2012

1968 Topps Game – Mickey Mantle

1968 Topps Game – Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle retired after the 1968 baseball season.  It is nice to see him included in this set.

Mickey Mantle was the boyhood idol to millions of baseball fans during the 1950s and 1960s.  The memories that he created for them still live on today as he is one of the most cherished personalities that the sport has ever had.

Mantle played in the major leagues for 18 seasons, all with the New York Yankees.  A great athlete, Mantle combined the skills of contact hitting, power hitting, and speed on the base paths to give Yankee fans something to cheer for at each game he played in.

Mantle’s career numbers are superb; and to think that he accomplished much of these grand milestones while injured confirms just how uber-talented he was.

The resume looks like this:  2415 hits, .298 batting average, 344 doubles, 536 home runs, 153 stolen bases, 1509 RBI, 1676 runs scored, 16-time All-Star, 1 Gold Glove, 3 MVP Awards, 7 World Series championships, 1956 Triple Crown Winner, and member of the Hall of Fame.

Progress – 33/33

1982 Topps Cincinnati Reds Team Leaders With Ken Griffey & Tom Seaver

1982 Topps Cincinnati Reds Team Leaders With Ken Griffey & Tom Seaver

Ken Griffey Sr. doesn’t really get the justice he deserves as being a very solid contact hitter.  Typically when mentioned, Griffey is almost always first praised for his speed on the base paths.

And while he certainly was speedy, he was also very skilled at the plate.

Griffey hit at least .300 in 12 of his 19 seasons.  He retired with a .296 batting average, and had it not been for a few really poor ‘last few years’ he would have retired much closer to .310.

The card below is from the 1982 Topps baseball card set.  It celebrates the Team Leaders of the Cincinnati Reds from the 1981 baseball season – a season in which Griffey hit .311.

Enjoy.

1974 HEADLINE: Lou Brock Sets Single-Season Stolen Base Record

1974 HEADLINE: Lou Brock Sets Single-Season Stolen Base Record

On this day in 1974, Lou Brock stole his 105th base of the season.  This stolen bases gave Brock the single-season record as he eclipsed the 104-mark set by Maury Wills in 1962.

But Brock didn’t slow down.  In fact, he kept right on running in 1974 and by the end of the baseball season, he had a new record – 118 swipes!

And while this record was relatively short-lived(it lasted just 8 years), this is what catapulted Brock’s status as one of the greatest runners that the sport had ever seen.

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Mr. Brock!!!

Happy Birthday Randy Johnson!!!

Happy Birthday Randy Johnson!!!

Randy Johnson turns 49 years old today.

And now that he has been out of the game for almost a few seasons, it gets pretty easy to look back at his amazing career and say that he is one of the greatest pitchers from his era and ranks pretty high on the all-time list as well.

With a pitching career that boasts of every major pitching accomplishment achieved, and some multiple times, Johnson was a machine during his playing days.  From No-Hitters to Cy Young awards to Strikeout records to perfect games to 300 wins to World Series championships, Johnson has done it all.

He is an absolute first-ballott Hall of Famer, and I personally feel that his talents would have dominated any generation of the sport.

Happy Birthday to ‘The Big Unit’!!!

Happy Birthday Roger Maris!!!

Happy Birthday Roger Maris!!!

We’ve got to take a few minutes out of the day today to honor and celebrate the great Roger Maris.

A star from the most legendary franchise in the history in the sport’s history, Maris will always be known as the man who broke Babe Ruth’s record.  His story, as documented in the movie *61, is fantastic and worthy of every baseball fan’s attention.

Maris played in the majors for 12 seasons, spending his greatest years with the Yankees.  In total, Maris slugged 275 home runs, but that season of 1961 where he connected for 61 home runs and 141 RBI will go down as one of the most impressive offensive seasons in baseball history.

Maris is a 4-time All-Star, and 2-time MVP winner.  He played in seven World Series match-ups, winning three championship titles!!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Maris!!!  You are missed and loved!!!

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Active Hitters Most Likely To Reach The 3,000 Hits Plateau

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – Top Ten Active Hitters Most Likely To Reach The 3,000 Hits Plateau

I think about this often, so it is time to put pen to paper, actually fingers to keyboard, and hammer this one out.

No dramatic build-up needed for this week’s list; we all know just how dynamic this baseball milestone is.

Here we go:

Honorable mention: Carlos Beltran, Jimmy Rollins, Jose Reyes, and Joey Votto.

10 -Ryan Braun – Braun eclipsed the 1,000 hits mark at age 28.  He is as consistent as they come and averages more than 175 per season.  If he has protection around him, he can still get better.

9 – David Wright – With 1,400 hits in nine season, Wright is in a very good spot at age 29.  However playing third base may take a few years off of his career.  Don’t be surprised if he starts spending time at 1B once he hits his mid-30’s.

8 – Robinson Cano – Cano is only 29 and has more than 1,400 hits.  He has never collected less than 155 hits in a season so far.  It may come down to where he is positioned in the Yankees’ batting order that determines if he gets enough at-bats to get a shot at 3,000.

7 – Mark Teixeira – Similar to Cano, where Tex bats in the Yankees’ line-up could dictate how close he gets to this landmark number.  In ten seasons, he is closing in on 1,600 hits.  And he is only 32 years old.

6 – Michael Young – Young has more than 2,200 hits as he prepares to close out his 13th big league season.  He has shown no signs of wearing down, and in some instances, he has gotten better.  If he plays another 5 full season, he may be joining the club…

5 – Adrian Beltre – Amazingly, Beltre is in his 15th major league season.  He is just 33 years old and has more than 2,200 hits so far.  Consistency is the key to Beltre’s game – and he has a very realistic shot of collecting number 3,000 well before his 40th birthday.

4 – Ichiro – Ichiro is 38 years old and in his 12th major league season.  He has slowed quite a bit over the last 2 years, but with almost 2,575 hits to his credit, he could reach the plateau is 3-4 years.  Staying healthy, and sharp, while also keeping a starting job are the keys to Ichiro’s future successes.

3 – Miguel Cabrera – Cabrera has averaged close to 180 more than 180 hits over the first ten seasons of his major league career.  He is still under 30 (29, to be exact) and as long as his passion for the game remains, it is just a question of how soon.

2 – Albert Pujols – Albert has averaged more than 185 hits a year in each of his first 12 big league seasons.  As long as he remains protected in the Angels’ line-up, he should be on pace to reach 3,000 hits in 2016.

1 – Alex Rodriguez – Barring any major trips on the disabled list, Alex Rodriguez will become a member of the ‘3,000 Hits Club’ in 2013.  He needs just more than 120 to accomplish the feat, and if he plays in at least 100 games next year, he should be celebrating by September.

And there you have it.

Are my picks crazy?  Am I missing someone you would rank above these guys?  Let me hear it.

And here is a sneak peak into next week’s list since it is related – ‘Top Ten Retired Players That Should Have Reached The 3,000 Hits Milestone’.

Have a nice night!