Daily Archives: May 9, 2013

What Tony Gwynn Rookie Card Is Your Favorite?? Topps, Fleer, or Donruss??

What Tony Gwynn Rookie Card Is Your Favorite??  Topps, Fleer, or Donruss??

One of the best things about collecting baseball cards that honor the players of my youth is the limited number of rookie cards that came out during that time.  In the early 1980’s, it was just the big three – Topps, Fleer, and Donruss.  If you were able to score the rookie cards of your favorite player from those three brands, your collection was complete.  Nowadays, your favorite player may have more than three versions of his rookie card in one single set….

Back to Gwynn – his rookie season was 1983 and he had a rookie card in each set that year.

Here are the three:

Topps

gwynn 83 topps

Fleer

gwynn 83 fleer

Donruss

gwynn 83 donruss

So, which one do you like the most??  Which one takes you right back to your childhood when packs could be bought for $0.50 and had either gum, stickers, or puzzle pieces included in them?

For me, it is the Topps card.  I like action cards, and while this one is not a superb image, it is at least showing some action.  I also really like the color combination that Topps used for their famous ’83 design.

gwynn 83 topps

How about you?  Which one is your favorite Tony Gwynn rookie card??

Incredibly Consistent At The Plate, Tony Gwynn’s Signature Is Anything But…

Incredibly Consistent At The Plate, Tony Gwynn’s Signature Is Anything But…

I have a Tony Gwynn autographed baseball in my collection. I received the ball for my birthday from my wife and kids. They used my guidance for the purchase, and I shopped for quite a long time before settling in on the one that I chose.

My biggest while narrowing down my search is that I found some terrible inconsistencies with what I was seeing.

Take a look.

Exhibit A – very neat, very clean, easy to read. The autograph seems to ride up by the time Gwynn started his last name.

Exhibit B – perfectly centered, and quite bubbly. Not as easy to make out each letter, especially the ‘G’ in Gwynn, the signature reminds me of would be constructed by a fourth grade girl.

Exhibit C – A lot more like the first one, and since the HOF inscription is present, one has to assume that this ball has been done within the last few years.

See the dilemma?

I chose well, and I am the proud owner of a signed Tony Gwynn baseball. I played it safe, and felt the need to just be smart about it.

For my collection, Gwynn is a ‘Top Row’ ball – sitting amongst the best balls of my collection. And some of the best players that this sport has ever witnessed!!

🙂

Tony Gwynn & The Hall Of Fame Class Of 2007

Tony Gwynn & The Hall Of Fame Class Of 2007

Tony Gwynn was elected into the National Baseball Hall Of Fame in 2007. Of the 545 votes cast, Gwynn collected 532; good for 97.6%.

The plaque reads:

“An artisan with a bat whose daily pursuit of excellence produced a .338 lifetime batting average, 3,141 hits, and a National League record-tying eight batting titles. Consistency was his hallmark, hitting .300 in 19 of 20 major league seasons, including .394 in 1994. Renowned for his ability to hit to all fields, frequently collecting opposite-field base hits between third base and shortstop. Struck out just once for every 21 at-bats. A 15-time All-star and 5-time Gold Glove winner. Hit .371 in two World Series – 1984 and 1998.”

Tony Gwynn’s Lifetime Batting Average = .338

Tony Gwynn’s Lifetime Batting Average = .338

Tony Gwynn’s career .338 batting average leaves him in rare company. Sitting in a tie for 18th place on the all-time list, Gwynn is the lone player to play during the 1980’s and 1990’s in the Top 25.

The guys around Gwynn’s .338? Lou Gehrig, George Sisler, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams. You may have heard of one of them; maybe… 🙂

Tony Gwynn & The ‘3,000 Hits Club’

Tony Gwynn & The ‘3,000 Hits Club’

Date of entry into “Club 3,000” – August 6, 1999

The Story – On the road, and across the US border, Gwynn and his Padres teammates were taking on the Expos in Montreal. And in front of just 13,540 fans, Gwynn became a member of the ‘3,000 Hits Club’. Coming into the game, Gwynn was hitting a solid .326 on the year. But on this night in Montreal, he went 4-for-5 as he collected 4 singles against the Expos. The 8-time batting champ accomplished this rare and amazing baseball feat in just 18 big league seasons as he averaged more than 166 hits in each campaign.

Baseball History – Tony Gwynn will go down as one of the sport’s greatest contact hitters of all time. He retired with a career batting average of .338 and his 3,141 hits ranks him in 18th place on the all-time list.

Tony Gwynn & His 8 Batting Titles

Tony Gwynn & His 8 Batting Titles

We all know that Tony Gwynn’s skill at the plate was unparalleled.

Let’s get right to the numbers that help confirm what we already know…

.351 in 1984

.370 in 1987

.313 in 1988

.336 in 1989

.394 in 1994

.368 in 1995

.353 in 1996

.372 in 1997

WHOA!!!

Tony Gwynn Is A 5-Time Gold Glove Award Winner!!

Tony Gwynn Is A 5-Time Gold Glove Award Winner!!

Never known for being fleet of foot, most discussion about Tony Gwynn and his ability to dominate the sport spoke of his immense ability to make contact at the plate.

But Tony Gwynn was also a solid, and sometimes elite, defender. Awarded with five Gold Gloves for excellence in defense, Gwynn rounded out his play with solid effort in the outfield. From 1986-1999, Gwynn won five award in those six seasons.

Not too shabby for the guy known as the best hitter in the last 40 years. Not too shabby at all…

Tony Gwynn Won 7 Silver Slugger Awards!

Tony Gwynn Won 7 Silver Slugger Awards!

Tony Gwynn was awarded with seven Silver Slugger awards during his playing days. The number kind of feels light to me…

Awarded to the best offensive players at each position on the field, Gwynn’s seven Silver bats is the second highest tally of any player in the NL during that time. First place belongs to Barry Bonds. Not bad company….

Tony Gwynn Is A 15-Time National League All-Star

Tony Gwynn Is A 15-Time National League All-Star

In twenty big league seasons, Tony Gwynn made the All-Star team fifteen times. To be more precise, Gwynn made the team in fifteen out of sixteen season, from 1984-1999.

A staple on the squad for 75% of his time in the majors, Gwynn was on par with, and oftentimes better than, the best outfielders in the National League.

Tony Gwynn, aka ‘Captain Video’

Tony Gwynn, aka ‘Captain Video’

Nicknames are a funny thing. Some are clever words that work with the player’s name. Some are carried on from when the player was a child. And some are earned.

Tony Gwynn’s nickname, ‘Captain Video’, was earned. And it was not from playing video games…

Gwynn earned the right to be called ‘Captain Video’ because of the amazing amount of time and attention he put into learning about his opposition as well as his own swing. Armed with an extensive collection of videos on all of the pitchers in the National League, Gwynn spent countless hours preparing himself to do battle. By the time he got to the plate, he had seen each and every scenario on film time and time again.

No wonder this guy collected more than 3,000 hits!!!