Tag Archives: baseball debut

Carlos Beltran 2014 Topps Series 1 Subset – ‘Super Veterans’

Carlos Beltran 2014 Topps Series 1 Subset – ‘Super Veterans’

When I got back into the hobby of baseball card collecting in the summer of 2008, my goal was to pay homage to the players that helped build my love for the game and the hobby.

The first subset I put together that helped me with that cause was the ‘Super Veterans’ subset from the 1983 Topps baseball card set.  This set is a beauty and it highlights the true legends of the game as their careers were winding down.

For the last few years, I have actively been begging Topps to bring this subset back and pay honor to today’s ‘Super Veterans’.  And while I cannot confirm that they obliged my request, I was very excited to see that a 15-card ‘Super Veterans’ subset was part of the 2014 Topps Series 1 release.

I am building the set now.  Here is the card of Carlos Beltran:



Entering the 2014 baseball season, Carlos Beltran will begin his 17th big league season.  He is a 8-time All-Star and has won 3 Gold Glove awards and 2 Silver Slugger trophies as well as being the 1999 Rookie Of The Year.

Beltran has 2,228 career hits in 2,064 games.  He has a career batting average of .283 with five seasons of .300 or better on his resume.  He has 446 doubles, 77 triples, and 358 home runs.  Beltran also has 308 stolen bases to his credit alongside 1,346 runs scored.

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Todd Helton VS Lance Berkman

‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ – Todd Helton VS Lance Berkman

Before we get into the number-crunching, let me say that the conversation about either one of these players and their potential induction into Cooperstown as a Baseball Hall of Famer is a fun one.  Both players were stars.  And while never may have been tagged as ‘the best’ over the course of a season or multiple seasons, they both performed at superstar levels for many, many years.

Would I vote either of them into the Hall of Fame?  That is a great question, and one worth some time to think about.

But, we can put them in a steel-cage and let their numbers battle to help determine which one had a better career.

So, that is what we will do.

And here are the numbers:

Helton Berkman
Seasons 17 15
Games 2,247 1,879
Hits 2,519 1,905
200 Hit Seasons 2 0
150-199 Hit Seasons 9 7
Batting Average 0.316 0.293
.300+ Seasons 12 5
Batting Titles 1 0
On-Base % 0.414 0.406
Walks Drawn 1335 1201
Strikeouts 1175 1300
Doubles 592 422
Triples 37 30
Home Runs 369 366
30-39 HR Seasons 4 4
40+ HR Seasons 2 2
Stolen Bases 37 86
Runs Scored 1,401 1,146
100-Run Seasons 6 5
RBI 1,406 1,234
100-RBI Seasons 5 6
All-Star 5 6
Gold Glove 3 0
Silver Slugger 3 0
ROY 0 0
MVP 0 0
Postseasons 2 5
WS Titles 0 1


And now, time to break it down and cast a vote.

Ultimately for me, the players can be judged on a few base areas of the game: hitting, run production, defense, and star status.

While Lance Berkman was a supreme hitter, Todd Helton’s overall numbers are much better and more impressive.  His number of seasons above .300 is exceptional – 12 out of 17.

Power numbers are solid for both, and each offered similar home run, RBI, and run production.

Todd Helton won three Gold Glove Awards for defensive excellence at First base while Berkman was never recognized as an elite defender.

Lastly, Todd Helton is without a doubt the greatest Colorado Rockies player of all-time (to this point) and he has been the face of the franchise for 20+ years.  Lance Berkman is an Astros legend, and deserves his spot as one of the team’s best offensive players, but he has company there with Biggio, Bagwell, etc.

For me this battle is strong, but one man comes out on top every time (except stolen bases) and that player is Todd Helton.

He gets my vote!!


And now, it is your turn to vote – Todd Helton VS Lance Berkman


Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Carlos Beltran!!!

Hall Of Fame Debate: Cast Your Vote For Carlos Beltran!!!

I’m going to take a little break from my ‘Head To Head’ battles with my Thursday series ‘Hall Of Fame Debate’ as I wanted to talk about some of the players that battled in the 2013 World Series.

So, for the next four weeks, we will review the careers of four players that starred in the series to see if they are or will be Hall Of Fame worthy.  There will be 2 Cardinals players and 2 Red Sox players discussed in these posts.

Up first, Carlos Beltran.

Beltran Cardinals

Carlos Beltran completed his 16th season in the big leagues at the conclusion of the 2013 baseball season.  His numbers continue to impress, and he was probably the most well-rounded, and dependable, offensive player for the Cardinals this past season.

His career numbers include:

  • 2,228 hits
  • lifetime .283 batting average
  • lifetime .359 on-base percentage
  • 446 doubles
  • 358 home runs
  • 1,327 RBI
  • 1,346 runs scored
  • 308 stolen bases
  • 3,902 total bases
  • 1999 Rookie of the Year
  • 8-Time All-Star
  • 3 Gold Gloves
  • 2 Silver Sluggers
  • .333 Postseason batting average
  • 16 postseason home runs
  • 40 postseason RBI

A very, impressive, and still growing resume!

And, I think that with two more healthy seasons, playing in the right ballpark, Beltran can get to 400 career home runs, 1,500 RBI, and 1,500 runs scored.

And that is super impressive!  He would become just the fourth player in major league history to join the ‘400/300 Club’ alongside Willie Mays, Andre Dawson, and Barry Bonds.

On the flipside, the hits tally is on the lower side for an outfielder.  And while Beltran has averaged 155+ plus hits in each of the last two seasons, it would take that consistency over a 3 year stretch to reach 2,500 for his career.

Lastly, when you talk postseason, his name is cemented as one of the great performers of his generation.  His ability to hit for a high average and drive in runs when needed is elite.

Does Carlos Beltran get my vote for Hall of Fame enshrinement??  YES!!  I think he needs to knock off a few more milestones over the next 2-3 seasons, but I do believe that he will do just that.  And then the conversation will really take off.

Now, it is your turn.  Cast Your Vote For Carlos Beltran!!!

My First Time – Kerry Wood – April 12, 1988

My First Time – Kerry Wood – April 12, 1988

The Setting – Olympic Stadium.  Montreal, Canada.

From Wood – ‘I called my parents real quick and told them that they needed to get to Montreal if they wanted to see my debut.  Freaked ’em out a little because it meant getting passports, so they thought’.

The Boxscore – Expos 4, Cubs 1.  Wood takes the loss after being pulled in the fourth inning.  He allows 4 hits and 4 runs while walking 3 and striking out 7.

Carlos Beltran Becomes 8th Member Of The 300/300 Club


ST. LOUIS — Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran became the first switch-hitter in Major League history to reach 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases with his stolen base in the second inning of a 3-2 loss to the Royals on Friday night.

He is the eighth player to reach the 300/300 milestone, joining Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Bobby Bonds, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley.

“I just have to thank God for the opportunity of being able to play this game for a long time,” Beltran said after going 2-for-4 in the loss. “All the glory is for him. I’ve been fortunate to be able to play this game for long, and today, it’s great. It would have been great if we would have won.”

Second base was pulled off the Busch Stadium field after the game and handed to Beltran at his locker in the Cardinals’ clubhouse. Team sources said Beltran is considering sending his used spikes from the game to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Beltran, who spent parts of seven seasons with the Royals to open his career, played against Kansas City for the first time on Friday. He was named the 1999 American League Rookie of the Year as a 22-year-old, batting .293 with 22 homers, 108 RBIs and 27 steals.

It was a special moment for Beltran to achieve such a milestone against the team he began his career with.

“It is crazy, but at the same time, things happen for a reason,” Beltran said. “So I can say it was good to play them today, even though we lost. For me, personally, I started my career as a Royal, I spent 6 1/2 years there, so I have good memories there in Kansas City.”

The 35-year-old has seven stolen bases this season. He swiped a career-high 42 bags in 2004 while splitting time between Kansas City and Houston. He also leads the National League with 19 homers this year. He hit a career-high 41 home runs with the Mets in ’06.

Baseball Card Show Purchase #8 – Willie Randolph 1976 Topps Rookie Card!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #8 – Willie Randolph 1976 Topps Rookie Card!!!

I didn’t purchase this card for myself.  It is for a reader of the blog – he knows who he is…

I cannot believe that this card was in a bin in which all cards were just fifty cents each.  Especially in this condition – I consider this one a steal!!!

Take a look:

If there were two, I would have bought them both!!!

‘A Great Find’.

My First Time – Alfonso Soriano – September 14, 1999

My First Time – Alfonso Soriano – September 14, 1999

The Setting – Skydome.  Toronto, Canada.

From Soriano – ‘I was so shy and scared – these were the Yankees.  As soon as I got to the clubhouse I just went to the corner and was just very shy.  Both Mariano Rivera and Bernie Williams came over and tried talking to me, but I had nothing to say, I was very scared’.

The Boxscore – Yankees 10, Blue Jays 6.  Soriano goes 0-for-1 after relieving Darryl Strawberry as a pinch runner from the DH position.

Did You Know…

Lou Piniella managed the American League team with the most wins in a single season since 1900.  In 2001, Piniella and his Seattle Mariners squad ended their season with a 116-46 record.  The previous record was held by the 1998 New York Yankees who went 114-48.

My First Time – Willie Randolph – July 29, 1975

My First Time – Willie Randolph – July 29, 1975

The Setting – Three Rivers Stadium.  Pittsburgh, PA.

From Randolph – ‘It’s funny because Tom Underwood was the guy that I got my first hit off of.  I played against him in the minors so I knew what he threw, so it was a bit of a break’.

The Boxscore – Phillies 5, Pirates 1.  Randolph goes 1-for-4 from the lead-off spot.

My First Time – Lou Piniella – September 4, 1964

My First Time – Lou Piniella – September 4, 1964

The Setting – Dodger Stadium.  Los Angeles, CA.

From Piniella – ‘I only had one at-bat in 1964.  I grounded out to end the inning and left a runner on base.  My next at-bat came in 1969 – I had five seasons to think about that grounder’.

The Boxscore – Dodgers 7, Orioles 1.  Piniella goes 0-for-1.