Daily Archives: April 19, 2013

Miami Marlins 2012 Topps Archives Team – What Could Have Been…

Miami Marlins 2012 Topps Archives Team Set

The 2012 Topps Archives team set is a harsh reminder of ‘What Could Have Been’.

The six is just six cards deep, but it features five players that are no longer calling Miami their home team.

Here is the full 6-card set.

2012 ARCHIVES

Heath Bell is eating burgers in Arizona.

Josh Johnson is allowing tons of runs in Toronto.

Hanley Ramirez is rehabbing in Los Angeles.

Jose Reyes is getting hurt stealing bases north of the border.

Anibal Sanchez is making millions on his way to another World Series.

And then there is Giancarlo Stanton – the Last Man Standing!!!

 

Eric Davis 1988 Fleer All-Star – Sheesh….

Eric Davis 1988 Fleer All-Star

I tell you what, there are probably a lot of reasons to be happy to be an All-Star in the major leagues.  You get to be recognized as one of the sport’s greatest players.  You may get bonuses from your team.  You become beloved by the fans of your home city.  And there is probably a lot more as well…

And you may even get some special edition baseball cards that honor your All-Star selection – like this one from Fleer.

ERIC DAVIS 2

This card is from Fleer’s 1988 All-Star team set, and while it is probably a thrill to be a part of the set, the finished piece is nothing near All-Star caliber.

 

Did You Know…

The last American League pitcher to lose 20 games in a season twice is Wilbur Wood.  Wood lost 20 games during the 1973 and 1975 baseball seasons.

wilbur wood

I think that this is a record he would gladly see achieved again…

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Happy Birthday Frank Viola!!!

Frank Viola turns 53 years old today.

Frank Viola didn’t take baseball by storm the way some other pitchers did during their first season in the majors. Drafted out of college in 1981, Viola debuted with the Minnesota Twins in the middle of the 1982 season and the next year and a half were a learning process for both him and the Twins team.

It was not until the 1984 season when Viola took off and began dominating hitters. After going 11-25 in his first two seasons, Viola sparkled in ’84 when he went 18-12 while pitching 250+ innings. In each season from 1984-1993, Viola had double-digit wins with the most being 24 wins during the 1988 season.

In 1987, Viola helped the Twins win the World Series and he earned the World Series MVP Award for his outstanding pitching performance. Viola started 3 games against the Cardinals and went 2-1. He displayed amazing control in a pressure filled series as he only allowed 3 walks in 19+ innings, while striking out 16.

The ’88 season was very special for Viola. Not only did he go 24-7, but he also had the lowest ERA of his career at 2.64. That year, Viola earned 27 of the 28 first place votes for the Cy Young Award.

After 8 seasons with the Twins, Viola spent the last 7 years of his career playing for the New York Mets, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, and lastly the Toronto Blue Jays.

With a career record of 176-150, Viola’s record does not stand out as an above average pitcher. But, when you examine the kinds of teams he played for and their success you begin to see how valuable his efforts were as most of these teams had losing records. With 4 Top 6 Cy Young award finishes, and 1 win of the award, Viola should go down as one of the most consistent pitchers of the 1980’s.

Happy Birthday Mr. Viola!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Omar Vizquel!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Omar Vizquel!!!

Omar Vizquel played his final game in the major leagues on October 3, 2012.  In that game, he collected the last hit of his career as well – #2,877.

Upon his retirement from the sport, I recall a lot of people saying ‘Omar Vizquel, Hall of Famer’ or ‘Certain Hall of Famer, Omar Vizquel’.

Really?  

Omar Vizquel as a Hall of Famer?

I don’t think so.  Not by a long shot.

For me, Omar Vizquel was a fantastic defender and a reliable player.  But that is all.

Yes, he amassed a lot of hits, even more than some current Hall of Famers, but he also played 24 seasons and in 2,968 games.  So, while the total number looks pretty solid, the average of 120 hits a year is a lot closer to average than elite.

As a matter of fact, the lone area in which Vizquel truly excelled was defense.  I have no problem putting his name in the conversation of greatest defensive shortstops in the history of baseball.  He belongs in that conversation way before he belongs in a talk about Hall of Fame certainty.

Vizquel

Vizquel could run (404 stolen bases) and he could score runs (1,445 lifetime runs scored) but he was never really considered as an offensive weapon.  He has a lifetime batting average of .277 and an on-base percentage of .336 – both numbers are far from great. 

Omar Vizquel was a 3-time All-Star and a winner of 11 Gold Glove Awards.

But Omar Vizquel is NOT a Hall of Famer. 

My vote has been cast!!

Gavel

What about you?  Where does your vote lie – Is Omar Vizquel worthy of Hall of Fame enshrinement or is he just a very good ballplayer with fantastic defensive skills?

Cast your vote now!!!