Tag Archives: designated hitter

1975 Topps Set Card 298/660 – #291 – Bill Sudakis, Yankees

1975 Topps Set Card 298/660 – #291 – Bill Sudakis, Yankees

Progress: 298/660

Card Number:  291

Player Name:  Bill Sudakis

Team:  New York Yankees

Position:  Designated Hitter, 1st Base

Image Style:  In-Game Action

Years In The Major Leagues: 8 seasons, 1968-75

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Bill Sudakis played in 50 games during the 1975 baseball season, splitting time between the Angels and Indians.  Combined, Sudakis had 16 hits in 104 at-bats en route to a .154 batting average.  He had 2 doubles and 2 home runs while scoring 8 runs and driving in 9.

Notes From Career:  Bill Sudakis played for six different teams during his 8-year big league career.  He is a lifetime .234 hitter with 362 hits to his credit.  Sudakis has 56 career RBI and 50 home runs to go along with 177 runs scored and 214 RBI.


1975 Topps Set Card 178/660 – #655 – Rico Carty

1975 Topps Set Card 178/660 – #655 – Rico Carty

Progress: 178/660

Player Name:  Rico Carty

Team:  Cleveland Indians

Position:  Designated Hitter, Outfield

Image Style:  Posed Portrait

Years In The Major Leagues:  15 seasons, 1963-67, 1969-70, 1972-79

Notes From His 1975 Season:   Rico Carty played in 118 games for the Cleveland Indians in 1975.  he hit .308 for the team with 118 hits in 383 at-bats.  Of his 118 hits, Carty connected for 19 doubles and 18 home runs.  He was also responsible for driving in 64 runs while scoring 57 times.

Notes From Career:  Carty played for six different teams during his 15-season major league career.  He has a lifetime batting average of .299 with 1,677 career hits.  Carty won a batting title in 1970 with his .366 batting average.  He was also named as an All-Star in 1970.


1975 Topps Set Card 138/660 – #213 – Oscar Gamble, Indians

1975 Topps Set Card 138/660 – #213 – Oscar Gamble, Indians

Progress: 138/660

Player Name:  Oscar Gamble

Team:  Cleveland Indians

Position:  Outfield, Designated Hitter

Image Style:  Posed Batting

Years In The Major Leagues:  17 seasons, 1969-85

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Oscar Gamble played in 121 games for the Cleveland Indians in 1975.  He hit .261 for the club with 91 hits in 348 at-bats.  Gamble connected for 16 doubles and 15 home runs along with stealing 11 bases for ‘The Tribe’.  He scored 60 runs for the team while driving in 45.

Notes From Career:   Oscar Gamble suited up for 7 different teams during his 17 seasons in the major leagues.  He is a career .265 hitter with 188 doubles and 200 home runs on his resume.  Gamble made it to the postseason during three campaigns, and the World Series twice – but he lost in both appearances.


Happy Birthday Frank Thomas!!!

Happy Birthday Frank Thomas!!!

‘The Big Hurt’ turns 46 years old today.

Frank Thomas was a rare player and his offensive abilities were limitless. Had it not been for injuries that effected his daily performance and prematurely ended his career, Thomas would certainly have gone down as one of the greatest ‘Big Men’ in the sport.

His resume is impressive – a 2-time MVP, 521 home runs, .301 lifetime batting average, 1,704 RBI, 2,468 career hits.

Next up for ‘The Big Hurt’? Cooperstown!!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Thomas!!

Happy Birthday Harold Baines!!!

Happy Birthday Harold Baines!!!

Harold Baines turns 54 years old today.

22 magnificent seasons, most of which were not held under the microscope of the big lights in a big city.

While Harold Baines played in some of the largest cities in the baseball world, he managed to escape national attention while still putting on consistent performances.

Baines’ numbers are extremely noteworthy, and his ability to deliver season after season is very evident by his impressive offensive stats.

Baines has a lifetime batting average of .289 alongside 2,866 hits.  He also has scored 1,299 runs, hit 384 home runs, and drove in 1,628 runs.  Baines was a 6-time All-Star and a 1-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

Happy Birthday Mr. Baines!!!

Million Dollar Question – What Is The Ultimate Frank Thomas Rookie Card?

Million Dollar Question – What Is The Ultimate Frank Thomas Rookie Card?

As one would expect, after the announcement of Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux’s Hall Of Fame election, there was a solid spike in the number of new listings featuring these players on Ebay.  Surely, this was a move by the non-collector to take advantage and strike while Maddux’s, Thomas’, and Glavine’s names were once again highly relevant in the hobby.

As you would expect, cards, autographs, and memorabilia of these three guys began to sell again at a pretty good pace. And the prices went from fair to overpriced to outrageous.

Just like with last week’s Greg Maddux question, this got me to thinking ‘What Is The Ultimate Frank Thomas Rookie Card’?

So, that is tonight’s Million Dollar Question.

While there are not a ton of choices, there is a small handful to choose from.

Here they are:

1990 Topps:

Frank Thomas 1990 Topps

1990 Fleer:

Frank Thomas 1990 Fleer

1990 Bowman:

Frank Thomas 1990 Bowman

1990 Leaf:

Frank Thomas 1990 Leaf

1990 Score:

Frank Thomas 1990 Score

That’s a pretty solid crop of rookie baseball cards.

But, which one is the ‘Ultimate One’?

Hmmm….  Decisions, decisions….

I like the Topps card because it takes me back to 1990 when I was living in Chicago and I first saw Frank Thomas play.  This card was hot back then – and highly sought after by kids in the Chicago-area.  I also really like the action that the Leaf card brings.  And the Score card is very nice as well – how is such a big guy framed perfectly in this image?

My pick is the Topps card – it transports me right back to 1990.  And that is what this hobby is all about for me.  Frank Thomas was a potential star back then, and I am happy to be able to say that I watched a lot of his games when he first broke into the majors.  This Topps card features him in his old Auburn college uniform, and I have strong memories of pulling cards from the 1989 and 1990 Topps set that showed the game’s high draft picks in their college gear.

It is 1990 Topps for me!!!

Frank Thomas 1990 Topps

And now it is your turn – What Is The Ultimate Frank Thomas Rookie Card?





1975 Topps Set Card 18/660 – #68 – Ron Bloomberg, Yankees

1975 Topps Set Card 18/660 – #68 – Ron Bloomberg, Yankees

Progress: 18/660

Player Name:  Ron Bloomberg

Card Number: 68

Team:  New York Yankees

Position:  Designated Hitter, Outfield

Image Style: Posed Batting

Years In The Major Leagues:  8 seasons, 1969, 1971-76, 1978

Notes From His 1975 Season:  Bloomberg played in just 34 games in 1975.  He hit .255 on the season with 8 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 home runs.  He drove in 17 runs and scored 18 runs for the Yankees.

Notes From Career:  Bloomberg was the #1 draft pick in 1967.  He is noted as the first DH in New York Yankees’ history.  Bloomberg has a career batting average of .293 with an on-base percentage of .360.  He has 391 career hits including 67 doubles, 8 triples, and 52 home runs.  Bloomberg missed the 1970 and 1977 seasons due to injury.


Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, And Frank Thomas Elected To The Hall Of Fame

Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, And Frank Thomas Elected To The Hall Of Fame

From MLB.com

NEW YORK — One of the most majestic induction classes in the history of the National Baseball Hall of Fame was set on Wednesday with the announcement that Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas were elected by eligible writers of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America the first time they were on the ballot, all of them by big margins.

On the ballot for the second time, Craig Biggio, who had 3,060 hits in 20 seasons, all with the Astros, did not get the necessary 75 percent, falling 0.2 percent shy of induction and missing by a scant two votes.

The newly elected trio will attend an 11 a.m. ET news conference on Thursday at the Waldorf Astoria New York that will be simulcast on MLB.com and MLB Network.

Also to be inducted in July are three of the greatest managers of all time — Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa — all selected by the Expansion Era Committee last month. They rank third, fourth and fifth in managerial victories in Major League history, each winning more than 2,000 games.

The Braves trio of Maddux, Glavine and Cox will be front and center in this, the 75th anniversary of the museum, during the ceremony behind the Clark Sports Center on July 27.

“It’s very humbling to go in with these guys,” said Maddux, who combined with Glavine to win 660 games. “It’s just icing on the cake. It’s going to be a special day and I’m going to be able to share it with special people.”

Thomas — who batted .301, hit 521 homers and amassed 1,704 RBIs in 19 seasons, 16 of them with the White Sox — is the first Hall of Famer to have played a majority of his games as a designated hitter. He appeared in 2,322 career games, with 1,351 coming as a DH and 971 at first base. Paul Molitor, who was elected in 2004, played more of his games as a DH than at any other position, but still just 44 percent of his total games played.

“This has been a stressful 48 hours. I am so excited that I’m in the Hall of Fame,” Thomas said. “This is something that I will have to sit back in the next three or four days and figure it out, because you can only dream so big, and this is as big as it gets for me. I’m a Georgia kid. Going in with Glavine, Maddux and Bobby Cox means a lot to me. The whole state of Georgia is going to be there, and I am just so blessed that I’ll be able to be there with these guys.”


That means six living members are heading toward one of the grandest Induction Weekends, from July 26-27, in Cooperstown, N.Y. The results of this year’s BBWAA vote were in stark contrast to that of last year, when the writers didn’t elect anyone.

Maddux and Glavine, a pair of 300-game winners who pitched the bulk of their careers for the Braves, were the favorites, but the 571 voters outdid themselves by also adding Thomas and coming so close on Biggio. It was the first time since 1999 — when Robin Yount, Nolan Ryan and George Brett were elected — that the writers put three first-time eligibles into the Hall.

Maddux, who won 355 games, the eighth-highest figure in Major League history, had 97.2 percent of the vote, failing to appear on 16 of the 571 ballots cast.

Glavine, who won 305 games, fourth-most among left-handers, was at 91.9 percent, and Thomas finished at 83.7.

Jack Morris, who won 254 games during his 18-year big league career and World Series titles with the Tigers, Twins and Blue Jays, didn’t make it in his 15th and final time on the writers’ ballot. He actually lost ground, falling to 61.5 percent from last year’s 67.7. Morris, who will be eligible for the Expansion Era Committee consideration in the fall of 2016, is only the second player in history to amass in excess of 60 percent of the vote at some point over his 15 years of eligibility and not make the Hall via the writers’ ballot. Gil Hodges is the other.

Maddux and Glavine are the only first-ballot pitchers to be elected together since Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson were part of the inaugural class of 1936 along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. They are the first living pair of 300-win pitchers to be elected in the same year and only the third pair in Hall of Fame history. The last starter to be elected by the BBWAA was Bert Blyleven in 2011, his 14th year of eligibility.

“It’s something I’m still trying to figure out how I feel,” Glavine said. “I’m just really humbled by the whole experience so far. I’m really excited about this whole process and this opportunity. I’m looking forward to it all. The opportunity to go in the Hall of Fame is one thing, but the opportunity to go in with two guys who were a very big part of my career means a lot to me.”

The Hall hasn’t inducted as many as six living baseball greats at the same time since 1971. Eleven were inducted in 1939, the year the red-brick museum opened its doors on Main Street, but they were from the first four classes, elected beginning in 1936. Last year, the three inductees elected by the Pre-Integration Committee — Yankees seminal owner Jacob Ruppert, catcher Deacon White and umpire Hank O’Day — were all deceased.

Maddux also pitched 10 seasons for the Cubs and had brief stays with the Padres and Dodgers at the end of his career. Glavine spent 17 seasons with the Braves and five with the Mets, for whom he won his 300th game. Cox managed Atlanta for 25 seasons and the Blue Jays for four, finishing with the Braves in 2010. John Smoltz, the third prong for a decade in that Atlanta rotation and who played 20 of his 21 seasons with the Braves, is slated to be on the ballot for the first time next year and has a very good chance of joining the trio.

“It was obvious with me and Glav, because we both retired at the same time and the managers go in in a different way,” said Maddux about the chances of being inducted at the same time as Glavine and Cox. “As soon as Bobby got in, I knew it had a chance of it being very special. He was there for half of my career and taught me so much about the game. It was a special honor for me to work under Bobby and play half of my career with Glav as well. The only thing that split it up is that Smoltzy played one more year.”

The July 26 awards ceremony at Doubleday Field stands to be formidable as well, with former catcher and longtime TV announcer Joe Garagiola Sr. receiving the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award, longtime magazine writer Roger Angell selected by the BBWAA as the winner of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for a career of meritorious baseball writing, and Rangers radio play-by-play man Eric Nadel earning the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in broadcasting.

A year ago, when Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Sammy Sosa and Mike Piazza — players whose careers spanned baseball’s era of performance-enhancing drug use — made their initial appearances on the ballot, no one was elected by the writers for the first time since 1996, and only the second time since ’71.

Writers again rejected those players, with Piazza leading the pack at 62.2 percent, up from 58.7 percent last year. Clemens and Bonds had their percentages go down marginally to 35.4 and 34.7, respectively, but Sosa, who blasted 609 home runs and is the only player to have hit at least 60 homers in each of three seasons, slipped to 7.2 percent, barely remaining on the ballot.

Rafael Palmeiro, who failed a Major League Baseball-administered drug test in 2005, fell to 4.4 percent and was among 15 players to drop off the ballot. Palmeiro, with 569 homers and 3,020 hits, is one of only four players in history to amass both 500 homers and 3,000 hits. The other three are Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Eddie Murray.

A player must draw at least five percent of the vote each year to remain on the ballot for a maximum of 15 years.

Bonds is the all-time leader with 762 homers in his career and 73 in a single season. Clemens had 354 wins, one fewer than Maddux, and Piazza hit 396 of his 427 homers as a catcher — the most of any player at that position in Major League history.

Maddux said Bonds was the toughest hitter he ever faced in his career, but hesitated to opine on his status. Thomas, always regarded as one of the clean players of the era, said he harbors no animosity.

“I don’t fault anyone, I don’t fault anyone for what they did,” Thomas said. “But I went about it the right way. It was more about my family teaching me the right things. When I look at their numbers, I go, “Wow!” but I think if I hadn’t been hurt for 3 1/2 years, my numbers would have been right up there with them.”

Biggio seems to be on a clear course toward a plaque. Of the 26 other retired players who amassed 3,000 or more hits, only two are not in the Hall, and both suffer from extenuating circumstances, Palmeiro having failed a drug test and Pete Rose, the all-time leader with 4,256 hits, is banned from baseball because of gambling and is not eligible to be included on Hall of Fame ballots.

In a statement, Biggio said he was disappointed to not get in, tying Nellie Fox in 1985 and Pie Traynor in 1947 for the smallest margin of missing election in balloting history. But history is on his side. Traynor was elected in 1948. Fox was in his last year on the ballot when he fell two votes shy and was subsequently elected by the Veterans Committee in 1997.

“Congratulations to Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas,” Biggio said. “Obviously, I’m disappointed to come that close. I feel for my family, the organization and the fans. Hopefully, next year.”

Biggio went from 68.2 percent in 2013 to 74.8 percent this year, right on the cusp.

“As surprised as I was last year that he didn’t get in, you almost feel heartbroken this year to be as close as he was,” Glavine said. “Craig was a tremendous competitor and had the respect of all of us who played against him. I think it’s just a matter of time before he’s in the Hall of Fame. I’m sure he’s disappointed today, having come so close, but I’m extremely confident that someday we’re going to watch him go through the same process.”

Glavine Maddux Thomas

‘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.


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

Cast your vote now!!

2011 Headline: Jim Thome Joins 600-HR Club!!!

2011 Headline: Jim Thome Joins 600-HR Club!!!

On this day in 2011, Jim Thome became just the eighth player in major league history to hit 600 or more home runs in his big league career.

The shot came against the Detroit Tigers in a game in which Thome also connected for #599.

In the seventh inning, and with two men on base, Thome launched a pitch from Daniel Schlereth over the outfield wall and made baseball history.  Three runs scored, and the Twins won the game.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Thome!!!