Daily Archives: September 13, 2013

Jim Rice 1985 Fleer

Jim Rice 1985 Fleer

Most commonly praised for his ability to hit home the ball over the fence and drive in runs, Jim Rice was also a pretty solid outfielder.  And he had a great, great arm!!

During his 16 seasons in the major leagues, Jim Rice spent more than 98% of his time defending right field for the Boston Red Sox.  He has a career fielding percentage of .980 and captured 137 assists with his cannon of an arm.

He never claimed a Gold Glove during his playing days, but I am very happy to see that he was celebrated for his defensive play on this card from the 1985 Fleer baseball card set.

Have a look:

RICE8

 

Great picture, and a great background too!!

1993 HEADLINE: Paul Molitor Becomes Oldest Player To Reach 100 RBI In A Season

1993 HEADLINE: Paul Molitor Becomes Oldest Player To Reach 100 RBI In A Season

On this day in 1993, future Hall of Famer Paul Molitor set a major league record by being the oldest player to reach the 100 RBI tally in a single season.

At 37 years of age, Molitor still had it going as he was able to reach the 100-RBI plateau for the first time in his career, and the 16th season of his career.

The 100-RBI mark by a player older than 37 has been eclipsed several times since 1993, including Molitor doing it again in 1996 with 113 RBI at the age of 39.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Molitor!!!

1976 HEADLINE: Andre Dawson Collects 1st Hit Of Big League Career

1976 HEADLINE: Andre Dawson Collects 1st Hit Of Big League Career

On this day in 1976, Andre Dawson connected for the first hit of his major league baseball career.

The hit, a single, came on the road with the Expos facing the Philadelphia Phillies at Veteran’s Stadium.

Batting seventh for the Expos, the hit came in the top of the second inning off of future Hall of Fame pitcher, Steve Carlton.  The hit would be Dawson’s lone one of the game as he went 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout.

Happy Anniversary Andre!!

Dawson Expos

1971 HEADLINE: Frank Robinson Joins The ’500 Home Runs Club’

1971 HEADLINE: Frank Robinson Joins The ’500 Home Runs Club’

On this day in 1971, Frank Robinson connected for the 500th home run of his amazing baseball career!!!

At home and sitting in first place in the American League East division, the Orioles were hosting the Detroit Tigers.  Robinson entered the game with 499 home runs on his resume and was looking to make history in front of the fans at Memorial Stadium.

And he delivered…

He made the faithful Oriole fans wait until the bottom of the 9th inning, but he crushed a 2-run homer for #500.  The shot came off of Tigers pitcher Fred Scherman and the crowd erupted in applause for Robinson even though his team trailed the Tigers by 5 runs and eventually lost the game by a score of 10-5.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Robinson!!!

1965 HEADLINE: Willie Mays Joins The ‘500 Home Runs Club’

1965 HEADLINE:  Willie Mays Joins The ‘500 Home Runs Club’

On this day in 1965, Willie Mays connected for the 500th home run of his baseball career!!!

On the road in Houston to take on the Astros at the Astrodome, Mays and his Giants teammates played in front of a relatively small crowd of just under 20,000.  I wonder how many people had tickets to the game but decided to stay home since the lowly Astros were so far behind(24 games) in the pennant chase…  In today’s world of sports and the Internet, this game would have had a sold-out crowd with the anticipation of seeing history made!!

And for the 19,827 fans in attendance, they were in for a treat…

Leading off the 4th inning for the Giants, Mays blasted the 500th home run of his baseball career.  He joined the 500 HR club with a solo shot to right field.  The homer came off of Don Nottebart and it helped the Giants win the game 5-1 and extend their win streak to 11 consecutive games!!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Mays!!!

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Rod Carew VS Tony Gwynn

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Rod Carew VS Tony Gwynn

I have a few more Head-To-Head ‘HOF Debates’ up my sleeve before we start other HOF-themed debates during our weekly Thursday night series.

Each week as I build one of these new ‘Head-to-Head’ match-ups, I try to predict what the outcome may be.  Some times I predict accurately, and some times I am horribly wrong.

So, I will be frank about this week’s debate – I HAVE NO CLUE HOW THIS ONE IS GOING TO DO!!!

Tonight, we debate Rod Carew VS Tony Gwynn.

Let’s look at their resumes:

Rod Carew Tony Gwynn
Seasons 19 20
Games 2,469 2,440
Hits 3,053 3,141
200 Hit Seasons 4 5
150-199 Hit Seasons 9 9
Batting Average 0.328 0.338
.300-.329 Seasons 5 10
.330+ Seasons 10 9
Batting Titles 7 8
On-Base % 0.393 0.388
.400 On-Base Seasons 8 6
Walks Drawn 1,018 790
Strikeouts 1,028 434
Doubles 445 543
Triples 112 85
Home Runs 92 135
Stolen Bases 353 319
Runs Scored 1,424 1,383
RBI 1,015 1,138
100-RBI Seasons 1 1
All-Star 18 15
Gold Glove 0 4
Silver Slugger 0 7
ROY 1 0
MVP 1 0
Postseasons 4 3
WS Titles 0 0

*

*Both players display some of most impressive offensive stats for a ‘non-power’ hitter that you will find.  Each guy dominated the league while in their primes, and their prime years lasted quite a bit longer than the average major leaguer.

Here are some of the standout stats for me:

  • 19 of Gwynn’s 20 seasons were spent hitting over .300.  15 for Carew
  • On-base percentage is unbelievably close
  • Carew drew 300+ more walks than Gwynn in just 29 more career games
  • Carew struck out 3 times as much as Gwynn and still just struck out every 2.5 games
  • Gwynn has 100 more doubles
  • Gwynn has 43 more home runs
  • Impressive to see both players with more than 300 steals
  • Carew was chosen as an All-Star in 18 of 19 seasons, Gwynn in 15 of 20
  • Gwynn captured 4 Gold Gloves to Carew’s 0
  • Tony Gwynn never won a ROY or MVP award for individual performance

Wow – What a battle!  I can honestly say that this one is extremely puzzling to me.

Ultimately, when making my choice, I am going with the player that I feel was most feared by the opposition.  And for me, that player is Tony Gwynn.  There is nothing wrong with choosing Rod Carew in this battle, and to be honest had I seen more of him in action like I did Gwynn, I may have given him my vote.  But for me, when watching games in which Gwynn played in, I recall how the opposition changed when he was there.  Entire game plans were established to keep him away from the plate.  I also recall quite a bit of commentary from the visiting team pour praise over Gwynn throughout the telecasts – something that is not common.

So, while I vote for Tony Gwynn in this ‘HOF Debate’, I would have to admit that had I been alive and watching major league action during Rod Carew’s career, I think that my vote could be swayed in his direction rather easily.

Carew.Gwynn

How about you?  Who gets your pick in this official ‘Battle For The Ages’???

I cannot wait to read your answers!!!