Daily Archives: March 15, 2013

Johnny Bench 2012 Panini Cooperstown – ‘Induction’

Johnny Bench 2012 Panini Cooperstown – ‘Induction’

For the most part, I have picked up all of the base cards that I want from the 2012 Panini Cooperstown set.  I have decided, for now, to not build the base set, so my player collections have benefitted greatly with these new additions.

Still, there are some subsets from this release that feature the players that I collect.

I am slowly going to start adding them to my collection when I can.

This card is from the ‘Induction’ subset and it features Hall of Famer, Johnny Bench.

Have a look:

VINTAGE BENCH

The ‘Induction’ set goes 25 cards deep and many of the players that I collect have been included.

Time to start seeking them out…  Stay tuned!

Jim Palmer 2005 Playoff Prestige ‘Prestigious Pros’ – Mehhhh…..

Jim Palmer 2005 Playoff Prestige ‘Prestigious Pros’

I like the theme, but the execution certainly does not match up to the title…

When you hear the term ‘Prestigious Pros’ you may begin to salivate.  You may begin to get a little but of an eye-twitch.  You may feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

‘Prestigious’ is a word that takes you to another place, another level….

Sadly, this card does not live up to the hype that the title provides.

Have a look:

Yes, I like the oversized team graphic.  And I like the vintage bird too.  But that is about it…

Even the fact that this card is serial numbered as 23/50 cannot save it…

NEXT!!!

Sparky Anderson 1988 Topps Detroit Tigers Manager Card

Sparky Anderson 1988 Topps Detroit Tigers Manager Card

By the time that the 1988 baseball season rolled around, Sparky Anderson had led the Detroit Tigers to six straight winning seasons.

1988 would be their 7th straight winning season as the Tigers closed the campaign with a 88-74 record, and a 2nd place finish in the AL East.  Competition for the lead in the division would come down to the wire; ultimately Boston won the division by one game.

The Tigers were in first place during the 1988 season for a total of 76 days.  Their longest win streak of the season was five games and their longest losing streak was six.

SPARKY 6

The next season would be far from brilliant…

Happy Birthday Harold Baines!!!

Happy Birthday Harold Baines!!!

Harold Baines turns 53 years old today.

22 magnificent seasons, most of which were not held under the microscope of the big lights in a big city.

While Harold Baines played in some of the largest cities in the baseball world, he managed to escape national attention while still putting on consistent performances.

Baines’ numbers are extremely noteworthy, and his ability to deliver season after season is very evident by his impressive offensive stats.

Baines has a lifetime batting average of .289 alongside 2,866 hits.  He also has scored 1,299 runs, hit 384 home runs, and drove in 1,628 runs.  Baines was a 6-time All-Star and a 1-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

Happy Birthday Mr. Baines!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: PICK ONE: Ryne Sandberg OR Jeff Kent

Hall Of Fame Debate: PICK ONE: Ryne Sandberg OR Jeff Kent

For the first time, Jeff Kent will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014.  And while we still have more than eight months to wait to see who ultimately is elected among the new/repeat players in that group, this week we will focus on the career of Jeff Kent.

And as I like to do, I will compare Kent to a player that I feel he matches up well against.  This time around, that player is former Cubs’ second baseman and Hall of Famer, Ryne Sandberg.

Like Sandberg, Kent was tops among second baseman during his playing days, so this should be a fun comparison.

Let’s get right down to it.  Here is a side-by-side:

  Kent Sandberg
Seasons 17 16
Games 2,298 2,164
On-Base % 0.356 0.344
Batting Average 0.29 0.285
Hits 2,461 2,386
200-hit seasons 0 1
150-hit seasons 7 9
Doubles 560 403
Triples 47 76
Home Runs 377 282
40+ HR seasons 0 1
30-39 HR seasons 3 1
RBI 1,518 1,061
100-RBI seasons 8 2
30 HR / 100 RBI seasons 3 1
Runs scored 1,320 1,318
Stolen bases 94 344
All-Star 5 10
Gold Glove 0 9
Silver Slugger 4 7
MVP 1 1
Postseasons 7 2
World Series appearances 1 0
World Series wins 0 0

*

When looking at these numbers, there are quite a few similarities in their career totals.  And there are some drastic differences too.

Sandberg was a more accomplished base stealer, defender, and appears to have been a more popular player based on his 10 All-Star Game selections.

Kent was the greater slugger and run producer of the duo – easily out-distancing himself from Sandberg in home runs and run production.  Kent also appeared in the playoffs seven times compared to Sandberg’s two times.

Jeff Kent Photo

So, that takes me to this week’s ‘Hall of Fame Debate’, and it is two-fold – (1)If you had to choose the better player based on his career accomplishments, who would you choose? (2) Is Jeff Kent worthy of Hall of Fame induction?

For me, when comparing the two, I can go back and forth quite a bit.  While their on-base and hitting numbers are eerily similar, there are major parts of their offensive game that are not.  Sandberg was much faster on the base paths than Kent, easily outpacing Kent’s career stolen bases by a ratio of more than 5:1.  The same could be said for Kent’s power production – his doubles, home run, and run production is much stronger than what Sandberg offered.  This could have a lot to do with where the player spent his prime years in the batting order on his team, but with the numbers so far apart, it is clear that Kent was more of a threat to drive the ball and knock in runs than Sandberg.

After careful, and exhaustive review, I believe that the better all-around player was Ryne Sandberg.  His base stealing and defense separate him from Kent, and those two parts of the game are simply impossible to ignore.  If I wanted one player at the plate with a man on second in a tied game, I would select Kent every time, but as far as what the player provided to his team, Sandberg was simply able to offer more due to his base running ability and defensive skills.

And now onto the conversation about Kent’s Hall of Fame future…

When I think about the greatest second baseman of the last 40 years, Jeff Kent’s name certainly creeps into the conversation.  And to be honest – there are not that many standout players for that position.  I believe that they all take a back seat to Joe Morgan, but after that you can say that Sandberg or Roberto Alomar or Jeff Kent is next.  And at some point in the near future, the name of Robinson Cano may be part of that conversation too.

Ultimately, I think that Jeff Kent will gain Hall of Fame induction, and I am on board with that.  He had a very solid 17-season career that included 7 playoff appearances.  He took certain aspects of offense to another level that no other second baseman has, and that should be recognized.

While not someone who I would select on his ‘First Ballot’, I endorse Jeff Kent for Hall of Fame induction!!!

Gavel

What do you think?  Who is the more accomplished player – Jeff Kent OR Ryne Sandberg?  And while you’re at it, tell me if you feel that Jeff Kent is worthy of Hall of Fame induction.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great night!!