Tag Archives: center field

2010 Topps Heritage ‘Core Four’ Starring Pettitte, Posada, Jeter, and Rivera

2010 Topps Heritage ‘Core Four’ Starring Pettitte, Posada, Jeter, and Rivera

In November of 2009, I wrote a post on this blog titled ‘Ranking The Yankees Core Four’.  You can read that here.

This card of the ‘Core Four’ came out a year later as part of the 2012 Topps Heritage set.

 

And now, almost three seasons later, a lot has changed.

Posada has retired.

Pettitte has retired.  And un-retired.

Rivera suffered a crippling injury and is doing rehab with the hopes of a 2013 comeback.

Jeter has gotten better.  Much better!

So, after reviewing my original story, I know that my rankings of 3 and 4 would not change.  But as for the #1 spot, it is hard to not re-think that.  Jeter has been on a tear since capturing his 3,000th hit and his legend only continues to grow.  And sadly, Mariano Rivera has been unable to compete.

I may have to officially switch 1 & 2.

What do you think??

Happy Birthday Andruw Jones!!!

Happy Birthday Andruw Jones!!!

Andruw Jones turns 35 years old today.

One of the most exciting all-around players from the prior decade, Andruw Jones had the skills to dominate the sport – both offensively and defensively.

At the plate, Jones’ ability to deliver the long ball was supreme.  He amassed ten straight seasons of smashing at least 25 homers, while reaching or eclipsing the 40-home run mark twice, including one season with 51 dingers.

From a defensive standpoint, Jones was phenomenal.  His ability to track down balls was outstanding, and his 10 consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1998-2007 confirm his ability to dominate the sport while patrolling center field.

Today, Jones is a role player for the New York Yankees.  Past his prime, his ability to remain in a starting line-up is all but gone.  And while he still has the ability to flash his skills everyone once in a while, Jones can no longer take over a game by himself.  Once guaranteed to reach 500 home runs, it is very possible that he does not reach 425.

We wish you luck Andruw!  Happy Birthday!!

Happy Birthday Andruw Jones!!!

Happy Birthday Andruw Jones!!!

Andruw Jones turns 34 years old today.

One of the most exciting all-around players from the last ten years, Andruw Jones had the skills to dominate the sport – both offensively and defensively.

At the plate, Jones’ ability to deliver the long ball was supreme.  He amassed ten straight seasons of smashing at least 25 homers, while reaching or eclipsing the 40-home run mark twice, including one season with 51 dingers.

From a defensive standpoint, Jones was phenomenal.  His ability to track down balls was outstanding, and his 10 consecutive Gold Glove awards from 1998-2007 confirm his ability to dominate the sport while patrolling center field.

Today, Jones is a role player for the New York Yankees.  Past his prime, his ability to remain in a starting line-up is all but gone.  And while he still has the ability to flash his skills everyone once in a while, Jones can no longer take over a game by himself.  Once guaranteed to reach 500 home runs, it is very possible that he does not reach 425.

We wish you luck Andruw!  Happy Birthday!!

4th Spring Training TTM Return – Cameron Maybin – AGAIN!!!

4th Spring Training TTM Return – Cameron Maybin – AGAIN!!!

Wow, talk about a surprise!!  When I saw the postmark on the envelope I was thinking that another Marlins player had signed for me.  Maybe Josh Johnson or Dan Uggla or Cody Ross.  Any of those guys would have been great.

And then I ripped it open and out came this…

Nice huh?  And another full signature with his jersey number included!!

Maybin has really turned it around when it comes to providing a sweet signature.  Last year we saw everything from full name to initials, but this year he seems to be out to please his fans and he is providing a great looking autograph.

This return took just 18 days.  And like the first group of cards I got a few weeks back, I am thrilled to add another Cameron Maybin autograph to my collection!!

Thanks Cam!!

I Dropped 2 More Autograph TTM Requests In The Mail On The Way To Work This Morning…

I Dropped 2 More Autograph TTM Requests In The Mail On The Way To Work This Morning…

I had a few extra minutes this morning so I quickly put together 2 more TTM attempts before heading out the door.

Letter #1 is going to Cameron Maybin of the Florida Marlins.  Yeah, I know I already got him this Spring.  I went after Maybin for two reasons.  Reason #1 is that I like him as a player, and I had two more Marlins cards of him left in my collection.  Reason #2 is that while keeping up to date with how other collectors are doing with him at Spring Training, I have seen everything from perfectly signed, full name signatures to just initials.  I thought it would be fun to compare my first pair of cards to hopefully another set.

Letter #2 is going to former Marlins’ catcher, Charles Johnson.  Thanks to Charley’s donation, I had a bunch of cards of CJ sitting around.  In my note to him, I offered him as many as he wanted to keep for himself with hopes that he’d sign a few for me.

So, we’ll see how this goes…  Wish me luck!!!

1st Spring Training TTM Return – Florida Marlins’ Cameron Maybin!!!

1st Spring Training TTM Return – Florida Marlins’ Cameron Maybin!!!

And why shouldn’t it be Cameron?  I mean, I don’t think that any fan has supported Cameron and his quest to become the Marlins’ starting center fielder more than I have.  For the last year and a half, ’30-Year Old Cardboard’ has taken Maybin in and made him it’s rookie to watch.

It is really nice to see that Maybin is offering up a full, clean signature.  We have seem him start the year with this version and then the slow demise to just his initials usually happens a few weeks into Spring Training.  This happens with a lot of players as they get tired of signing, especially for the same group of fans on a routine basis.  While this is quite common amongst all big leaguers, I saw Cameron 3-4 times last Spring and actually saw his auto digress in front of my eyes.  But not this time!!!  

It’s great to get these cards back so quickly – just 11 days.  Maybe I’ll try him again this Spring.

Thanks Cam!!!

Ranking The Yankees ‘Core Four’

This little phrase has been resonating in my head for almost two weeks now.

“Core Four”, “Core Four”, “Core Four”, “Core Four”.

I guess that means that I need to do a post about it, huh?? 

It’s harder to rank players while they’re still active.  One phenomenal season by any one of these guys and the rankings could change.  Jorge Posada may decide he wants to pitch next year and if he wins 20 games, the rankings would certainly change.  Mariano Rivera may decide he wants to play Center field next year and if he steals 100 bases, the rankings would certainly change.  Derek Jeter may put on 45 pounds of muscle in the offseason and if he crushes 75 home runs, the rankings would certainly change.  And Andy Pettitte  may decide he wants to play catcher next year and if he throws out every base runner, the rankings would certainly change.  

See what I mean??  Since it is so hard to predict the future of these 4 guys, my rankings will be solely based on what they have done from their debuts in the major leagues through the 2009 post season.

Here we go!!

4.  Jorge Posada – My favorite of the bunch, Posada doesn’t get close to the credit he deserves for driving the Yankees ship for close to 15 years now.  A 5-time All-star and 5-time Silver Slugger winner, most of what Jorge Posada does on the field goes un-noticed.  This guy has been able to adapt and work with new veteran and rookie pitchers almost every season he has been in the league.  He has worked with future Hall of Famers like Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson.  He has worked perennial Cy Young caliber talent like CC Sabathia, Mike Mussina, and Andy Pettitte as well.  Then you add all of the guys that the Yankees have tried to bring in to fill voids, and it is Posada who has taken them in and prepared them for games.  Enough cannot be said for his dedication to his pitching staff – it’s just too obad that it doesn’t show up in the stat sheets.

Posada is closing in on 1,500 career hits and has 243 home runs and 964 RBI.  In 2010, he should be able to eclipse the 1,500 hits, 250 home runs, and 1,000 RBI plateaus with relative ease.  Keeping in mind that he averages 130-140 games a year, and his numbers are pretty solid. 

Owner of 4 World Series championships, Jorge Posada has played in 111 post season contests. 

AG Posada

3.  Andy Pettitte – Pettitte could rank higher on this short list had he not defected to Houston for 3 big league seasons in the mid 2000’s.  A picther with unquestionable talent, Pettitte has finished in the Top 6 for the Cy Young award 5 times in his career.  While doing so, he appears to be getting better with age as well.  In his 15 big league seasons, he has reached double-digit wins 14 times. 

With a career win-loss record of 229-135, one has to wonder if 300 wins is in Pettitte’s future.  At the age of 37 there is a possibility if he remains healthy and wants to pitch for 5-6 more years, but 250-260 is more realistic.  Pettitte will enter the 2010 season with 2,150 career strikeouts on his resume.  2-3 more strong seasons from him and he should have no problem joining the 2,500 K’s Club.

Andy Pettitte owns 5 World Series rings.  He has stared 13 games in the Fall Classic and owns a 5-4 record.  For his post-season career, Pettitte has a 18-9 record.   Just this past season, he took to the mound as the New York Yankees clinched their ALDS, ALCS, and World Series victories!!

AG Pettitte

2.  Derek Jeter – Not enough can be said about the captain of the Yankees.  It is very hard to not like Derek Jeter, and it is almost impossible to not respect his dedication to winning and the city of New York.  The biggest star on a team full of superstars, the Yankees are Jeter’s team.  And it will be this way until he retires from the sport.

The former 1996 Rookie of the Year is the all-time leader for career hits by a Yankee.  And when you review their incredible history, that stat says quite a bit.  Jeter is a 10-time All-star, 4-time Gold Glove winner, and 3-time winner of the Silver Slugger award.  On top of that, he has finished in the Top 10 for the MVP voting 6 times.  Derek Jeter has 2,747 career hits.  At his current pace, he should gain entry into the 3,000 hits club sometime during the middle of the 2011 season.  At the age of just 35 and with 4-5 good years of solid production still left in him, it’s also very possible that Jeter reaches the 300-HR plateau as he currently rests with 224 round trippers.

Derek Jeter owns 5 World Series championship rings.  When the spotlight has been on him, he has shined brightly.  To date, Jeter has a .321 World Series batting average while amassing 50 hits in 38 games.  He has also collected the most hits in post-season history by any player!

AG Jeter

1.  Mariano Rivera – I don’t value the role of the closer as much as the next fan.  But I do marvel at how calm and relaxed Mariano Rivera appears to be each and every time he takes to the field.  In a pressure filled spot, we have all seen countless players attempt to close games.  Some do well, many fail, and only 1 guy truly dominates – and that is Rivera!

In 15 big league seasons, Rivera has collected 526 saves, good for 2nd place all-time.  He also owns a 71-52 record alongside a 2.25 ERA.  In 1,090 innings pitched, Rivera has struck out 1,006 batters while walking just 256.  His career 8.3 K’s/innings pitched and 3.93 K’s/walks ratios are incredibly impressive when you look at how many pressure filled situations these accomplishments have been obtained in.  Rivera is the king of cool – and like his fellow Yankee teammates, he seems to get better with age as well.  In 2009, ‘Mo’ collected his 7th 40+ save season.  A few more of these and 600 career saves looks like an inevitable accomplishment.

Rivera has won the World Series 5 times.  During the Fall Classic, he has recorded 11 saves alongside a 2-1 record.  In 14 seasons in which his teams have made the post-season, Mariano Rivera has closed the game a major league record 39 times.

AG Rivera

 

So there you have it.  If I had to rank these 4 players on their careers as of today this is where they would place.  Now if you ask me the same question 5 years from now, things could possibly change.  I think that Rivera and Jeter have the top 2 spots locked down regardless of what they do for the rest of their careers, with Pettitte and Posada in a distant 3rd and 4th place.

What is fun to think about are the possible momentus occasions that may be on the way.  Who knows how many more World Series championships these guys will win.  And with Rivera, 600 saves sounds pretty cool.  But for me, the greatest challenge that lies ahead, can be met by Derek Jeter.  If health and time are on his side, I can see Jeter joining the very rare company of the 3,000 hits / 300 home runs / 300 steals club.  And if he does that, I think he easily vaults into the top of the ‘Core 4’ group.

Then the question becomes, where does Jeter rank all-time…  Oh, boy.  Let the debates begin!!!

“Now Batting, Center Fielder, Cameron Maybin”

Well, it looks like Cameron Maybin’s impressive end of season play has earned him the starting Center Fielder position on next year’s Florida Marlins team.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/rumors/post/Maybin-s-September-earns-him-starting-job-in-Apr?urn=mlb,120212

This is great news!!!  Although nobody should expect Maybin to duplicate what he did in the last few weeks of the 2008 season, it is great to see that he will be with the team on Opening Day 2009!!!  I have never been to a game on Opening Day, but I might not be able to say that for too much longer as I would love to be there to watch him play on one of baseball’s best days of the year.

This just goes to show that hard work truely does pay off.  Congratulations Cameron!!!

maybin

Keeping Tabs on Cameron Maybin

I have tried not to fall into the position of watching and waiting for rookies to make their debuts.  I have been burned numerous times in my card collecting life by the ‘Next Dwight Gooden’ or ‘Next Eric Davis’.

But, when the Florida Marlins traded Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis last year to the Tigers, I was more than curious to see what we were getting in return.   To date, none of the players have been a breakout success with the Marlins.  Andrew Miller had started 20 games for the ‘Fish’ this year before going on the DL and is now working his way through the minors in an attempt to be back with the club by the end of the year.  Catcher Mike Rabelo hit just .202 in 34 games before being demoted.  Both Burke Badenhop and Eulogio De La Cruz embarrased themselves as members of our pitching staff and neither has been seen since July 1.  And Dallas Trahern is bouncing around A and AAA ball with his wonderful 6+ ERA.

So, it’s all up to Cameron Maybin.  He is the last player from the trade that holds any glimmer of hope for all Marlin Fans.  No pressure, but we need him to step up and be our everyday Center Fielder and it would help if he could score runs for us at will as well as steal 25+ bases and hit 25+ home runs every year.  The notes on Maybin are pretty positive and they all just say he needs time to adjust to major league pitching.  Based on his number of strikeouts this season(115 in 101 games) in AA ball, it’s clear he’s not ready to step in just yet.  But everything else looks very promising – .278 batting average, with 68 runs scored, 13 home runs, and 20 steals. 

We’re all keeping our fingers crossed that Maybin can turn into an everyday player because if he does not, this extremely one-sided trade with the Tigers could end up being one of the worst trades in baseball history.

Good Luck Cameron, South Florida is waiting for you!!!