Daily Archives: March 8, 2013

2009 Topps Florida Marlins Team Set

2009 Topps Florida Marlins Team Set

The 2009 Florida Marlins were a very fun team to watch…

Hanley Ramirez was becoming one of baseball’s greatest talents.

Dan Uggla was solidifying himself as a very unique kind of second baseman.

Josh Johnson continued to show promise.

Jorge Cantu was proving to be a very solid pick-up for te team.

Cody Ross was getting better in every game.  And smiling the entire time!

And I was a very optimistic Marlins fan!!

2009 TOPPS A

2009 TOPPS B

Johnny Bench 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Hallmark Heroes’

Johnny Bench 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen ‘Hallmark Heroes’

From the back of the card:

Bench’s Hallmark: The art of catching, Johnny raised the bar for his position and, most would agree, no other catcher since has reached it.  He was durable, smart, studious, mobile, powerfully accurate of arm and a rock to his pitchers. What else is there?

The front of the card:

VINTAGE BENCH HALLMARK

I don’t often discuss or show the backs of baseball cards, but this one certainly deserves it.

I have no doubt that in time I will be trying to collect this complete subset!!  Excellent stuff, as usual, from Topps’ Gypsy Queen!

Keith Hernandez 1986 Fleer – LOVE THE DIRT!!!

Keith Hernandez 1986 Fleer

There is quite a bit going on in this image from Keith Hernandez’s 1986 Fleer baseball card.

HERNANDEZ 6

First the obvious – The Mets are on the road taking on the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  There appears to have been a ‘Play At The Plate’ in which #17 had to slide and possibly make contact with the catcher.

Now the questions – Was Hernandez safe or out?  Who is the catcher in the picture?  What is the result of the game?

Did You Know…

Frank Robinson is the only player in major league baseball history to capture the Rookie Of The Year, MVP, All-Star Game MVP, and World Series MVP awards.

THE ONLY PLAYER!!!

frank robinson

Happy Birthday Jim Rice!!!

Happy Birthday Jim Rice!!!

Jim Rice turns 60 years old today.

Jim Rice may be one of the best examples of a great hitter that could also hit for power or you can classify him as a power hitter that was a great contact hitter too.  Either way, it works!!  Although we cannot clearly say Rice was a better hitter for average than power or vice-versa, we can surely say that his numbers are mighty impressive. 

After 16 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Rice ended his career with a .298 batting average while launching 382 home runs.  Rice’s best season came in 1978 when he won the Most Valuable Player award while hitting .315, belting 46 home runs, and driving in 139 runs.  Rice was a MVP candidate annually and finished in the Top 5 for voting in 6 total seasons. 

Jim Rice competed in 1 World Series championship match-up in 1986 against the New York Mets.  Although his team ultimately lost in 7 games, Rice did extremely well as he hit .333 and scored 6 runs.

Jim Rice is a member of the 2009 Baseball Hall of Fame class.

Happy Birthday Mr. Rice!!

Today, I Begin To Pay Homage To Stan ‘The Man’ Musial On A Daily Basis, Weekends Excluded…

Today, I Begin To Pay Homage To Stan ‘The Man’ Musial On A Daily Basis, Weekends Excluded…

This is probably not what you think, but it could be…

Monday through Friday, I take my lunch breaks outside of my workplace.  It allows me a little time to step away from the hectic activity and stress that often accompanies the job.

99% of the time, I can be found in my car enjoying a snack and reading a book during these breaks.   They only last for 30 minutes, but I am usually able to knock out 12-15 pages of a book in that time.

Starting today, I am reading a new book.

And for me, this is just one of the many ways that I plan to educate myself about the Hall of Fame career of a true baseball legend, Stan Musial!!!

Musial Book

I cannot wait to get this one started.

Have a nice day everyone!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Jim Kaat!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Jim Kaat!!!

There is a pretty decent sized handful of pitchers from the 1960s and 1970s that were all tagged as their team’s ‘Ace’.  And many of them are not in the Hall of Fame.

In time, we will cover all of them here at the ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’.

Tonight, we will discuss the career of Jim Kaat.

Jim Kaat’s major league resume is pretty outstanding.  Not stellar, or elite, but certainly worth discussing when talking about the best pitchers from his era and possible Hall of Fame induction.

Here is a look at the numbers:

  • 25 seasons
  • 625 starts
  • 283-237 record
  • 54.4 win percentage
  • 3 20-win seasons
  • 5 15-19 win seasons
  • 180 complete games
  • 31 shutouts
  • 18 saves
  • 3.45 ERA
  • 4,530 innings pitched
  • 2,461 strikeouts
  • 1,083 walks
  • 2.27 K:Walk
  • 4.9 K per 9 innings
  • 3x All-Star
  • 16x Gold Glove winner
  • 4 Playoff appearances
  • 1 World Series title

Jim Kaat

With Kaat, the numbers are solid.  He was not very far from the magical 300-win milestone that normally guarantees Hall of Fame induction.  His strikeout tally is impressive, but when judging his ability to dominate games with just 4.9 strikeouts per game, his number is below average compared to the Hall of Fame talent from the same era.

Where Kaat stands alone is on defense.  He revolutionized, and put a major emphasis on, defensive play from the pitching mound.  Kaat won a total of 16 Gold Glove Awards due to his incredible defense.  The sixteen awards were consecutive, from 1962-1977, showing his dominance at the position from a defensive standpoint for a decade and a half.

Jim Kaat did not get into the playoffs very often during his 25-season major league career.  He made it to the postseason just four times, advancing to the World Series twice.  Kaat won a World Series title in 1982 with the St. Louis Cardinals.  The championship came in Kaat’s final season in the majors, but he had little to do with the win pitching just 2.2 innings in 4 games.

So, does Jim Kaat deserve more consideration for Hall of Fame entry?  Should he be enshrined at Cooperstown??

My answer is ‘No’.  For me, there is just not enough dominance to be called a Hall of Famer.  Most starting pitchers with 25 seasons in the majors can average 12 wins a year, and that is what Kaat did.  For me, I would need to see an average win total of at least 16+ wins per year.  And the strikeout tally would need to be much higher as well – Kaat’s average is well under 100 per season.  Kaat absolutely stands out as the best defensive pitcher from his era, and could possibly be the sport’s greatest defensive pitcher of all-time.  But, that is not enough in my book.  The World Series title helps, but he did not put too much into that title.

So, what do you think?   Is Jim Kaat worthy of Hall of Fame induction?  Let me hear your opinion.

Thanks.

Gavel