Daily Archives: March 1, 2013

Andre Dawson 2003 Donruss Signature Series ‘Team Trademarks’ Authentic Signature – SWEET!!!!

Andre Dawson 2003 Donruss Signature Series ‘Team Trademarks’ Authentic Signature – SWEET!!!!

I own another card from this set that includes Andre Dawson’s “1977 ROY” inscription, but I have always sought out the affordable counterpart to that card.

And now that journey is over, as I have picked it up and brought it back home.

Serial numbered as 68/250, this is the base autograph from the 2003 Donruss Signature Series ‘Team Trademarks’ set.

Have a look:

DAWSON 2003 DONRUSS AUTO

The card features great color, and it all works very well with the image of Dawson that was selected for this card.  I like the old Powder-Blue Expos uniforms, and the Red and White background complements it very well.

Dawson’s marker may have skipped for a mili-second as he finished signing the card, but you will not hear a complaint out of me!!!

Derek Jeter 2013 Topps – Base

Derek Jeter 2013 Topps – Base

For as much as I like the 2013 Topps set, and for as much as I like Derek Jeter as well, this card is just way too zoomed in for me.

VINTAGE JETER 2013

Sure, we get a nice close-up glimpse of #2 as he watches the ball sail off of his bat and heads for the outfield.

And the closer look allows us a pretty good look at how Jeter’s hips swing and how his wrists align when he takes a good hack at the ball.

But, wouldn’t you also like to see his feet?  And the catcher?  Maybe the opponent?

Eric Davis 1989 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Cincinnati Reds Team Card

Eric Davis 1989 Upper Deck Collector’s Choice Cincinnati Reds Team Card

Man, I love these cards!

Upper Deck really switched it up with the introduction of their ‘Collector’s Choice Team Cards’ in their 1989 debut.

Such a huge upgrade from the stuff that Donruss was giving us during the 1980’s, I actually (at times) got more excited about pulling these cards than base cards from the Upper Deck set.

Here is the Eric Davis card:

DAVIS 2

SWEET!!!

1969 HEADLINE: Mickey Mantle Retires From Major League Baseball

1969 HEADLINE:  Mickey Mantle Retires From Major League Baseball

On this day in 1969 Mickey Mantle retired from the game of baseball.  A legendary player that spent his entire career in New York as a member of the Yankees, ‘The Mick’ was as iconic of a figure in sports as there was.

The funny thing was that Mantle replaced the great Joe DiMaggio when DiMaggio retired from the game.  The fans did not accept him right away as they missed ‘Joey D’ and thought that he could never be replaced.

I will not argue as to which player was the better of the 2, but what I will say is that when Mantle retired after his 18 seasons as a Yankee his numbers were incredible.  With his .298 career average sitting alongside 536 home runs and 1,509 RBI, Mantle solidified his annual All-Star status.  Although his numbers dropped off significantly towards the end of his career, he still managed to be a fan favorite in the Bronx. 

I’m sure that the 7 World Series Championship titles he helped the Yankees achieve didn’t hurt his image either…

Hall Of Fame Debate: Willie Stargell VS Dave Parker

Hall Of Fame Debate: Willie Stargell VS Dave Parker

For this week’s ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’, I thought it would be fun to compare the careers of two players that were teammates for large parts of their playing careers – Willie Stargell and Dave Parker.

We all know that Stargell is a Hall of Famer, and Parker is not.  Stargell was elected in 1988 in his first year of eligibility.  On the flip side, Dave Parker remained on the Hall of Fame ballot for fifteen years.  Parker never earned more than 24% of the vote for election into Cooperstown.

But are their baseball careers that different?  Was Willie Stargell drastically better than his teammate Dave Parker??

That is what tonight’s debate is all about – Does Willie Stargell deserve his ‘1st ballot status’ and should Dave Parker be joining his teammate in Cooperstown.

First, let’s dig into the career numbers of these players:

  Willie Stargell Dave Parker
Seasons 21 19
Games 2360 2,466
Hits 2,232 2,712
200-Hit Seasons 0 1
Batting Average 0.282 0.29
Batting Titles 0 2
On-Base % 0.36 0.339
Doubles 423 526
Home Runs 475 339
30-HR Seasons 4 3
40-HR Seasons 2 0
Runs Scored 1,195 1,272
RBI 1,540 1,493
100-RBI Seasons 4 4
30/100 Seasons 2 3
All-Star 7 7
Gold Glove 0 3
Silver Slugger 0 3
ROY 0 0
MVP 1 1
Postseasons 6 8
WS Titles 2 2

Within these numbers, here is what stands out most to me:

  • Parker’s career hits tally
  • Parker’s batting titles
  • Stargell’s on-base percentage
  • Parker’s doubles
  • Stargell’s home runs
  • Parker’s Gold Gloves
  • Parker’s Silver Slugger Awards

OK, and now the debate can begin.

First, let me tackle the Stargell-side.  Willie Stargell was a fantastic player, and a supreme power hitter.  He filled his role extremely well and was responsible for great run production during the majority of his career.  He is the oldest player in major league history to win an MVP Award and that shows the career-long dedication that ‘Pops’ put into the sport.   But, a first ballot HOFer??  I don’t think so.  I fully understand that the writers that were voting in 1988 (his year of election) had different things to review in 1988 than what voters have in 2013.  There are new numbers out now that show the real value of a player.  It is not his fault at all, but Stargell’s vote took place during a time when entry was easier.  And while he should not be blamed for that, he also does not deserve to be resting with other first-ballot guys like Aaron, Musial, Schmidt, and Brett.  I absolutely think that Willie Stargell had a Hall of Fame career, and I would call him a 2nd or 3rd tier kind of player.

Ok, now onto Dave Parker.  When looking at Parker, you see an imposing guy – 6 feet, 5 inches tall and 230 pounds.  But just when you think that he is a one-dimensional slugger, you notice that Parker was a fantastic all-around player.  Parker won back-to-back batting titles in an era when he was competing against players like Rod Carew, Bill Madlock, and Steve Garvey for the best batting averages in baseball.  Parker, during the early stages of his career, was also a fantastic fielder.  He won Gold Gloves in three straight seasons in the late 1970’s.  For me, the biggest knock against Parker was that with his size you could have expected more home run production.  Parker never had a 40-HR season, and he is well behind others on the all-time list that you would think he would have surpassed.  But, the number of doubles Parker hit during his career can counter-balance some of that.  Parker hit 526 doubles during his career, and he tallied 8 seasons of at least 30 or more doubles.

In my opinion, Dave Parker deserved a lot more Hall of Fame votes than what he received.  To obtain no more than 24% of the vote in a single year is a bit ridiculous.  Maybe it was the fact that ‘Cobra’ played for four different teams in his final four years (Lee Smith-esque) or maybe it was that for a body his size you expected to see more balls leaving the ballpark, either way – you cannot argue that Dave Parker was one of the most well-rounded hitters of his era.  His 1978 MVP season was phenomenal, and could be compared to other MVP-winning seasons from that time and hold up extremely well.

But, should Dave Parker be in the Hall of Fame?

My answer is ‘Yes’.  Parker was an unreal talent.  And he is a player that I have a strong affinity for.  While I don’t think about Parker in the same breath that I think of his 1st ballot contemporaries – Schmidt, Brett, and Yount, I do see him more on par with Andre Dawson and Jim Rice.  And that is good enough for me.

There you have it.  A little exhausting, but a lot of fun too!!

And now it is your turn to weigh in on this – (1) Is Willie Stargell worthy of his 1st ballot Hall of Fame status? (2) Is Dave Parker worthy of Hall of Fame induction.

Ok, time for you to sound off!!!

Parker.Stargell