Daily Archives: August 2, 2013

Lou Brock 2013 Topps Archives ’1972 Basketball Design’

Lou Brock 2013 Topps Archives ’1972 Basketball Design’

I am currently building the 2013 Topps Archives ‘1972 Basketball Design’ subset.  As the name implies, Topps adopted a card design from a vintage  basketball product and put it into this baseball product.

The end result is a pretty exciting looking baseball card set, with a neat twist.  Would I like to see more of this in the future?  Possibly.  But, there are a ton of baseball-specific designs that I think Topps should re-issue first!!

This is the Lou Brock card from the set:



I was really happy with the checklist of legends included in this 2013 Topps Archives subset!  Upon reviewing it, we have been offered an incredible line-up of legends, and a few surprises as well which makes it a very well rounded checklist.

I was a bit surprised, but very excited, to find Lou Brock’s name on the checklist.  Don’t get me wrong, he absolutely belongs.  I just don’t feel that he gets the hobby attention that he deserves – and that is where the surprise element comes from.

Lou Brock was an extremely well-rounded offensive player.  He was a base stealing, hit collecting, run scoring machine for the Cardinals.

I’m very happy to see him included in this set.  And the colors of Yellow & Pink work very well with this throwback design.

A great addition to my subset!!!

2005 Donruss Classics Florida Marlins Team Set

2005 Donruss Classics Florida Marlins Team Set

This team set offers up a pretty non-traditional style.  Coming from the 2005 Donruss Classics set, the cards feature a lot of empty areas that are filled with the color of Silver.

The end result is a 3-D effect, with the player’s image having the appearance of being raised off of the card’s surface.

Have a look:


Do you like it?

I’m still unsure on it, which probably means it is a ‘No’ for me.

While I like the action images, the Teal accents on the bottom, and the roster of players featured in this 7-card team set, the set to me does not feel like a ‘real’ baseball product.  I like to see the background of the images, in full color.

This set is just a bit odd for me…  But I do like seeing a young Cabrera and Willis in the set; for sure!!




Vince Coleman 1988 Fleer

Vince Coleman 1988 Fleer

Now this is a sharp one!!!

Check it out:


With the beautiful back-drop of Wrigley Field behind him, this card of Vince Coleman from the 1988 Fleer set has a nice ‘extra’ bonus to it with the great shout-out of Wrigley.

And we all know that Cardinals players are so welcome at Wrigley Field…  🙂

1987 HEADLINE: Eric Davis Joins 30/30 Club!

1987 HEADLINE: Eric Davis Joins 30/30 Club!

On this day in 1987, Eric Davis collected his 30th home run of the baseball season gaining him entrance into the ’30/30 Club’.

The landmark homer that put him into this elite status came in just his third major league season.  And with his raw ability at the plate and uncanny speed on the base paths, Davis had many fans thinking ’40/40′ was in his near future.

Officially, Davis completed the 1987 baseball season with 37 home runs and 50 steals.  1987 was the most well-rounded offensive season of his career, and he would never reach the ’30/30′ mark again.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Davis!!!

1959 HEADLINE: Willie McCovey Launches 1st Major League Home Run!!

1959 HEADLINE:  Willie McCovey Launches 1st Major League Home Run!!

On this day in 1959 Willie McCovey hit the first home run of his major league career.

Just 3 days after making his big league debut, McCovey made his first mark with the Giants. And nobody knew that 520 more bombs would follow over the next 22 seasons.

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary Mr. McCovey!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Lee Smith VS Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage

Hall Of Fame Debate: Lee Smith VS Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage

As I continue to formulate more of these player versus player match-ups for my ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’, I am really trying to dig deeper into the numbers than I normally do.

So far, what I am finding is that some of the guys I am debating about have numbers that are on par, and sometimes better than, other former players that are in the Hall of Fame.

One such player is Lee Smith.  Smith is a curious case – a true closer with a ton of saves.  Yet, he has never really garnered the attention needed to be a serious contender for the Hall.  Personally, I have no doubt that he belongs – and hopefully someday, even if it is via the Veteran’s Committee vote, he gets in.


Smith’s numbers are unreal – he was truly a player before his time.  When I say that, I mean that he was a true relief pitcher; not a player that was eventually was sent to the bullpen to help close games.  From the get-go, Smith’s role was to seal victories.

Guys like Dennis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, and Goose Gossage, (all HOFers) have a good handful of starts between them.  Smith has six.  Yes, six.

For this week’s debate, I would like to compare Smith’s career to that of Rich ‘Goose’ Gossage’s.

Here are the numbers:

Smith Gossage
Seasons 18 22
Seasons as closer 18 21
Wins 91 124
Losses 92 107
Win % 43.60% 53.70%
Saves 478 310
30+ Save Seasons 11 2
40+ Save Seasons 4 0
Innings 1289.1 1809.1
ERA 3.03 3.01
Strikeouts 1251 1502
Walks 486 732
K:Walk ratio 2.57 2.05
K’s per 9 innings 8.7 7.5
All-Star 7 9
Cy Young
Playoff Seasons 2 4
World Series Titles 1


My takeaways from these stats:

  • Gossage’s win % is ten points higher than Smith’s
  • Smith has 168 more saves in four less seasons
  • Gossage worked 520 more innings than Smith
  • Amazing how close the ERA numbers are
  • Gossage has 250 more K’s but also 246 more walks
  • Smith’s 2.57 K:Walk ratio is much higher than Goose’s 2.05
  • Smith is a full 1.0 K per 9 innings above Gossage

For me, I just don’t see much of a difference.

Actually, there is one major difference – SAVES!!!

I should have mentioned that Smith has 11 seasons between 30-39 saves to Gossage’s 2.  And Smith eclipsed the 40-saves mark 4 times while Gossage never topped 33.  And to me, that is very telling.

As a matter of fact, when I look at all of the numbers, the tally of saves is enough to tell me that Smith is at the very least on-par with Gossage, if not better.  Sure, they played on different teams and had different pitching staffs and offenses to help make the save an option or not an option, but Smith sure did make the best of his situation, didn’t he?

And the extra strikeout per nine innings is worth mentioning too.  Especially, when these guys were facing less than 6 batters a game.

For me, I have no doubt that Lee Arthur Smith belongs in the Hall of Fame.  And no offense to Rich Gossage (as  I am a fan of his as well) but Smith just very may well be a more elite relief pitcher than anyone in the Hall of Fame not named Eckersley.


What do you think?  Where does your vote lie between these two relievers?  Who gets your vote??   Let me hear it!!