Daily Archives: September 6, 2013

2012 Topps ‘Prime 9′ Home Run Legends Redemption Set – Ernie Banks

2012 Topps ‘Prime 9′ Home Run Legends Redemption Set – Ernie Banks

The 2012 Topps ‘Prime 9’ sets were issued through redemption cards that were inserted into hobby boxes of the Topps 2012 flagship baseball card set.  The cards were numbered and each card represented a specific card it could be redeemed for.

These special insert cards were redeemable only through hobby shops and Topps made these cards available for redemption on a very limited basis.

The card’s design is great, and I have been a fan ever since seeing them.  The high-gloss finish is unlike any that I have seen before and I like the fact that Topps rewards the baseball card business owner with such a nice, exclusive offer.

This is the Ernie Banks card from the set:



Some interesting Ernie Banks Home Run facts:

  • 512 career home runs
  • 372 VS right-handers; 140 VS left-handers
  • 82 versus Phillies is highest against any team
  • 15 off of Robin Roberts is highest against any pitcher
  • 4 games with 3 HR’s; 38 games with 2 HR’s
  • 73 home runs came in 4th inning
  • 214 home runs came when Cubs were trailing in the game

Florida Marlins 2009 Upper Deck Team Set

Florida Marlins 2009 Upper Deck Team Set

2009 was the last year in which Upper Deck was allowed to produce baseball cards featuring MLB team names and logos.

And while I will not get into all of the reasons and stories that I have read about their demise in the baseball word of card making, I will say that they went out with a bang!!

The 2009 set is beautiful.

Here is the Florida Marlins team set from that issue:

2009 UD SERIES 1 A

2009 UD SERIES 1 B

I really like that UD used the image for the full size of the card.  The pictures chosen show great action and the coloring is fantastic.  And while the graphics are very subtle, I really like the combination of Gold, Silver, and Black that was chosen.

The inserts are great.  And I am digging the card of Josh Willingham – what a great shot!!!

1996 HEADLINE – Eddie Murray Joins The 3,000/500 Club!!!

1996 HEADLINE – Eddie Murray Joins The 3,000/5oo Club!!!

On this day in 1996, Eddie Murray became the 3rd member of the 3,000 hits/500 home run club!!!

Of all of the offensive stats that are recognized in the baseball world, I find the combination of the 3,000 hits and 500 home runs stats to be the perfect combination resulting in a complete offensive threat.

So on this day, Eddie Murray joined Willie Mays and Hank Aaron in the most elite and exclusive club in baseball.  His entry into this club helps stake his claim as one of the greatest offensive players to ever play the game of baseball.

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary Eddie Murray!!!

1995 HEADLINE – Cal Ripken Jr. Sets MLB’s Consecutive Game Streak At 2,131 Games!!!

1995 HEADLINE – Cal Ripken Jr. Sets MLB’s Consecutive Game Streak At 2,131 Games!!!

On September 6, 1995, Cal Ripken broke the all-time Major League Baseball record for consecutive games played.  Lou Gehrig’s record stood for an amazing 56 years, but on this day Cal eclipsed his 2,130th consecutive games played streak.

Amazingly he did not miss a single game in 13+ years!!!  We honor you Cal for this amazing baseball record.

1982 HEADLINE: Pirates Set To Retire Willie Stargell’s Jersey!

1982 HEADLINE: Pirates Set To Retire Willie Stargell’s Jersey!

In an honor reserved for the greatest players in a franchise’s history, the Pittsburgh Pirates retired Willie Stargell’s #8 jersey on September 6, 1982.

Stargell was and still is the pride and joy of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise.  Having played with the team for 21 major league season, Stargell, the city of Pittsburgh, and all Pirates fans share a special bond.

An exceptional ball player, Willie Stargell was dynamic on offense.  He has a lifetime batting average of .282 with 2,232 hits.  His power numbers are solid as he smashed 475 home runs and 423 doubles.  He also scored 1,195 runs during his career while driving in an additional 1,540.

Stargell was a 6-time All-star and he won the MVP Award in 1979 at the age of 39.  Stargell was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.  He also helped lead the Pirates to two World Series championships in 1971 & 1979.

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Robin Yount VS Paul Molitor

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Robin Yount VS Paul Molitor

This will be the first time that I put two guys ‘into the cage’ that were teammates for the better part of their careers.

But you know what, the debate between Paul Molitor and Robin Yount is a solid one!!  Very solid…

Here is a side-by-side look at their numbers:

Robin Yount Paul Molitor
Seasons 20 21
Games 2856 2683
Hits 3142 3319
200 Hit Seasons 1 4
150-199 Hit Seasons 10 9
Batting Average 0.285 0.306
.300 Seasons 6 12
Batting Titles 0 0
On-Base % 0.342 0.369
Doubles 583 605
Home Runs 251 234
Stolen Bases 271 504
Runs Scored 1632 1782
RBI 1406 1307
100-RBI Seasons 3 2
All-Star 3 7
Gold Glove 1 0
Silver Slugger 3 4
ROY 0 0
MVP 2 0
Postseasons 2 3
WS Titles 0 1

My major takeaways from the resumes:

  • Molitor has roughly 170 more hits than Yount, and he did that in roughly 170 less games
  • Molitor wins the 200-hit race 4 to 1
  • Yount’s career BA of .285 is much lower than what I expected
  • Molitor having 2X as many .300 seasons
  • On-base %, doubles, and home runs are very close
  • RBI and runs scored are very close
  • Robin Yount was only a 3X All-Star???

Wow, this looks very one-sided, doesn’t it??  Hell, if it was not for Yount’s 2 MVP titles, I am not sure that there is even a debate.  Let me first say that I am shocked that Robin Yount was only an All-Star three times during his career – like Fergie Jenkins (which also seems to be a crime).  Also, I am very surprised that Yount is just a career .285 hitter – not sure why I thought he was closer to .310-.315…

Anyways, we all know what the MVP Award means and how important that is on an elite player’s resume.  Robin Yount hauled in two of those awards, while Molitor was hardly ever a consideration (2nd place to a Unanimous Frank Thomas in 1993).

After laying all of their numbers out in front of me, and really trying to examine which player was better, everything points to me selecting Paul Molitor.  But, I am getting hung up on the MVP voting – he was barely recognized as a great player during his career and Yount was tagged with the MVP title on two occasions.  Still, Molitor’s numbers are better in almost every category.  And for me, Molitor also has that ‘Shining Moment’ from the 1993 World Series when he put the Blue Jays on his back and won the MVP Award in front of a national audience.

Taking it all into consideration, I am going with Paul Molitor.  He gets my vote.  The numbers, while close in many important offensive categories, favor him.  And that ’93 World Series is one that I still recall vividly 20 years later.  No disrespect meant to Yount, but I don’t have a single, precise play or game in which I go to when I recall watching his career.  With Molitor, I do!!


What do you think?  Who would you pick?  Let’s go!!!