Daily Archives: December 14, 2012

2010 Topps CYMTO – 1975 Topps Reprint – 1951 Most Valuable Players

2010 Topps CYMTO – 1975 Topps Reprint – 1951 Most Valuable Players

I love these old MVP cards from the 1975 Topps baseball set.

What Topps did in 1975 was pretty neat – they honored all of thea league MVPs from 1951-1975.  The 1975 Topps set marked the 25th Anniversary of Topps’ debut in the baseball card world, and this in-set subset did a very nice job of celebrating the great talents of the prior 25 years.

This card celebrates the MVPs of the 1951 baseball season – Yogi Berra & Roy Campanella.

VINTAGE BERRA.CAMPANELLAFor many years, and still to this day, these two legends are named when talking about the greatest catchers of all-time.  Both men were superstars and anchors of their team.

And being that they played their home games relatively close to each other, they were both very cognizant of what the other was doing.

Gotta love it!!

Eric Davis 1986 Donruss Highlights

Eric Davis 1986 Donruss Highlights

Eric Davis made a quick name for himself during his rookie campaign in 1985.  His all-around skills made him one of the most impressive and young talents in the National League.

His poise at the plate and ability to dominate the game from the plate, the base paths, and the outfield was getting Davis national attention by the time he was engulfed in his second full season in the major leagues.

Davis earned National League ‘Player Of The Month’ honors in July of 1986.

This card from the 1986 Donruss Highlights set does a nice job of acknowledging that.

1973 HEADLINE: Fergie Jenkins Traded To The Texas Rangers

1973 HEADLINE: Fergie Jenkins Traded To The Texas Rangers

On this date in 1973, Fergie Jenkins was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers, of the American League.

The trade was a 2-for-1 deal with Jenkins going to the Rangers in exchange for Bill Madlock and Vic Harris.  At this point, the Cubs were in a major re-building phase as Ernie Banks was retired and their core of Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Jenkins were all considered as being ‘too old’.

Happy Birthday Craig Biggio!!

Happy Birthday Craig Biggio!!!

Craig Biggio turns 47 years old today.

A true baseball star, Biggio shined during his 20 seasons with the Houston Astros.  And while he was never classified as the best player in the game, and at times not even the best player on his own team, Craig Biggio may end up being a first ballot Hall of Famer!!

A member of the 3,000 hits club, a 7-time All-star, a 5-time Gold Glove winner, and a 4-time Silver Slugger winner, Biggio’s all-around game made him a a fan favorite and hero in the Houston area for 20 years.

It feels like it was just yesterday that I was scooping up his rookie cards – it’s hard to believe that he is now 45 years old.

Happy Birthday Mr. Biggio!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Making The Case For Jack Morris

Hall Of Fame Debate:  Making The Case For Jack Morris

I will reserve my vote until the end of this post, but I thought that the best way to kick off this new series would be to take the guy that was the closest to Hall of Fame election in 2012, let’s call him the ‘next guy in line’.

That player in Jack Morris, 18-year veteran and former starting pitcher for the Tigers, Twins ,Blue Jays, and Indians.

Morris collected 382 votes for election into the Hall of Fame on his 13th ballot in 2012.  He received 66.7% of the votes cast, falling 8.3% short of the needed 75% for enshrinement at Cooperstown.

First, let’s get to the stat that everyone talks about first when mentioning Morris’ name – Most wins in the decade of the 1980’s.  While this is a very nice way to complement a player’s performance, it also usually means that he is one of very few that played for the entire decade (kind of like Mark Grace having the most hits in the 1990’s (didn’t bode well for his HOF eligibility as he is no longer on the ballot)).

Morris’ numbers are solid – 527 starts with a 254-186 record.  Morris recorded 20 or more wins on three occassions and 15-19 wins nine times.  He has a career ERA of .390 with 2,478 strikeouts (league leader in 1983 with 232).  He threw 175 complete games and 28 shutouts during his career.  Morris’ K:9 inning ratio is 5.9:1.00 and his K:Walk ratio is 1.78:1.00.  In 3,824 innings of work, Morris allowed 3,567 hits and 1,815 runs scored against him.

As for accolades, Morris was named as an All-Star five times.  He also finished in the Top Five for the Cy Young Award on five occasions as well.

As for post-season play, this may be where Morris stands out the most.  He competed in three World Series match-ups and won all three times – 1984, 1991, 1992.  All three titles came with different teams too.  Morris has a post-season record of 7-4, with a 4-2 World Series record.  He was the MVP of the 1991 World Series in which he went 2-0 against the mighty Atlanta Braves.

So, is Jack Morris a Hall of Famer?

My answer is ‘NO‘.  He was a fine pitcher, and the ace of his rotation for the majority of his career.  I would put him in a place in which he was compared to the likes of Mike Mussina and Curt Schilling, two other very fine pitchers that will/should get consideration for Hall of Fame entry but might not get elected.  Ultimately, I think that the Hall of Fame should be reserved for the elite players to have played the sport, and I don’t see Morris in the same light as I see Bob Gibson, Jim Palmer, Juan Marichal, and other starting pitchers with similar tenures in the sport.

What about you?  If you had a vote, would Jack Morris get yours?  Let me know.

Thanks for reading.