Daily Archives: October 25, 2013

Roberto Clemente 2012 Topps Golden Greats – ‘Helping Hand’

Roberto Clemente 2012 Topps Golden Greats – ‘Helping Hand’

Of all of the players that played during the 1960’s and 1970’s, I am finding that Roberto Clemente was one of the most photogenic.

And he did not have to be staring into the camera to make the image look fantastic.  It was his style, his approach at the plate, and those sweet Pirates vintage uniforms that helped make the images of him stand out more than the norm.

A perfect example of this is his the shot used of Clemente from his 2012 Topps ‘Golden Greats’ subset.

Have a look:

CLEMENTE 41

Picture Perfect!

Reggie Jackson 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter – Base

Reggie Jackson 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter – Base

Along with some of the other base cards from the 2013 Topps Allen & Ginter set that I have been showing off as part of a recent shopping spree, I also landed this card of Reggie Jackson.

Check it out:

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The card features a very young Jackson posing with two bats on his left shoulder.  If I had to guess when this shot of Jackson was taken, I would assume right around 1969 or 1970.

What I find most interesting is the size of Reggie’s forearms, biceps, and shoulders.  Reggie is known to be one of the first players to introduce weight training into his regimen with the goal of getting stronger.  Today weight training in baseball is a must but back in the very early 1970’s it was considered quite odd.

A very nice card for my Reggie Jackson player collection.  Maybe I will try to grab a few of the mini’s of Reggie too.

Happy Anniversary Bill Buckner & Mookie Wilson!!!

Happy Anniversary Bill Buckner & Mookie Wilson!!!

On this day in 1986 you made the most famous error in baseball history.  Although many 1st baseman prior to you have seen ground balls accidentally roll through their legs, none was on a bigger stage than your error in game 6 of the 1986 World Series.

Errors occur all of the time in baseball.  But, in the bottom of the 10th inning with runners in scoring position and the game tied the impact of this accident was magnified.  Mookie Wilson’s ground ball would have been handled by Buckner with ease the next 100 times without question, but with the pressure on, it was Buckner that failed and Wilson that prevailed.

I remember watching this game as an 11-year old.  I was pulling for the Red Sox and wanted to see Wade Boggs win his first ever World Series title.  What I ended up seeing was baseball history of another kind that has no equal within the last 30 years.

This error made Bill Buckner and Mookie Wilson one of the most famous pairings in baseball history!!

Happy Anniversary Mr. Buckner and Mr. Wilson!!!

1978 HEADLINE: Gaylord Perry Becomes First Pitcher To Win The Cy Young Award in AL & NL

1978 HEADLINE: Gaylord Perry Becomes First Pitcher To Win The Cy Young Award in AL & NL

On this day in 1978 Gaylord Perry was awarded with the National League Cy Young Award.  Winning this individual award marked the first time in major league history in which a pitcher earned that honor in both leagues.

Here is a quick peek at Perry’s two Cy Young Winning seasons:

1972 – AL – 24-16, 1.92 ERA, 29 complete games, 5 shutouts, 234 strikeouts

1978 – NL – 21-6, 2.73 ERA, 5 complete games, 2 shutouts, 154 strikeouts

Congratulations Mr. Perry!!!

1973 HEADLINE: Fergie Jenkins Traded To The Texas Rangers

1973 HEADLINE: Fergie Jenkins Traded To The Texas Rangers

On this date in 1973, Fergie Jenkins was traded from the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers, of the American League.

The trade was a 2-for-1 deal with Jenkins going to the Rangers in exchange for Bill Madlock and Vic Harris.  At this point, the Cubs were in a major re-building phase as Ernie Banks was retired and their core of Billy Williams, Ron Santo, and Jenkins were all considered as being ‘too old’.

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Harmon Killebrew VS Jim Thome

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Harmon Killebrew VS Jim Thome

Ok guys, I promise that this week’s ‘Hall of Fame Debate’ will get us back on track after last week’s debacle.

This time around, we’re going to judge two players with very similar skill sets that played two era apart from one another – Harmon Killebrew & Jim Thome.

Both players are most known for their abilities to deliver the longball, and while Thome’s career number is higher than Killebrew’s there is enough in their stats to put the two into a head-to-head battle.

So, that is exactly what I’ll do.

First – the numbers:

Killebrew Thome
Seasons 22 22
Games 2,435 2,543
Hits 2,086 2,328
200 Hit Seasons 0 0
150-199 Hit Seasons 4 4
Batting Average 0.256 0.276
.300+ Seasons 1 3
Batting Titles 0 0
On-Base % 0.376 0.402
Walks Drawn 1559 1747
Strikeouts 1699 2548
Doubles 290 451
Triples 24 26
Home Runs 573 612
30-39 HR Seasons 2 6
40+ HR Seasons 8 6
Stolen Bases 19 19
Runs Scored 1,283 1,583
100-Run Seasons 2 8
RBI 1,584 1,699
100-RBI Seasons 9 9
All-Star 11 5
Gold Glove 0
Silver Slugger 1
ROY 0 0
MVP 1 0
Postseasons 3 10
WS Titles 0 0

The standouts (for me):

  1. Killebrew’s very low number of career hits versus games played
  2. Both players offered very low single season hit tallies
  3. Thome’s .402 on-base percentage
  4. Thome has 850 more strikeouts in 100 more games
  5. Thome’s doubles
  6. Killebrew’s low number of 30-39 HR Seasons
  7. Killebrew’s impressive run of 40-HR Seasons
  8. Thome scored a lot more runs
  9. Thome’s lack of All-Star selections
  10. Thome’s 10 postseason appearances

Wow, this one is going to be tough.  And it is even tougher when I witnessed the full career of one player and never saw the other player play in a single game.

This time around, I will have to let the numbers do the talking…

And for me, the numbers give a slight edge to Jim Thome.

When I examine the careers of these two players, it is obvious that each of them was in the lineup to offer offense.  And Jim Thome did that.  And he did it at a greater rate.  Thome scored 300 more runs than Killebrew and he also scored 100 or more runs in eight different seasons.  His home run tally was a little higher than that of Killebrew’s but for me it was the 12 seasons of 30+ over Killebrew’s 10 that stood out.  Thome also delivered a lot more doubles (which can speak to the ballparks he played in) and a much higher on-base percentage.

On the negative side, Thome struck out 850 more times than Killebrew – that is simply awful.  He was also selected as an All-Star just five times while Killebrew made the All-Star team eleven times in an era packed with elite players in the outfield.  Thome was never a ROY or MVP, but he did participate in ten postseasons while Killebrew just made 3.

Ultimately, I went with Thome for two reasons: Run scoring & On-Base percentage.

Killebrew.Thome

So, who gets your vote in the battle of ‘500-HR Club’ members?

Cast your vote now!!