Tag Archives: kent hrbek

Kent Hrbek 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

Kent Hrbek 2004 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites

Kent Hrbek was a solid contributor for the Minnesota Twins and their two World Series championship wins in 1987 & 1991.

Even as a rookie, Hrbek began to show the skills that would fill his 14 seasons as a major leaguer.  In 1982, Hrbek hit .301 while appearing in 140 games.  He collected 160 hits during that campaign which included 21 doubles and 23 home runs.  He also helped support the Twins’ winning ways while driving in 92 runs and scoring 82 runs.

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1980s’

’30-YOC Top Ten Lists’ – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1980s’

I had such a good time, and judging by the reader reaction so did you, working on and writing my ‘Top Ten List’ from last week that I wanted to extend the same subject into the 1980’s.

So, that is this week’s theme – ‘Top Ten Forgotten Stars Of The 1980s’.

Again, like last week, you will not find any Hall of Fame players, although there are several that I think deserve more credit in the overall scheme of things.

You will also not find players that still get a lot of attention in the sport and hobby – Don Mattingly, Dale Murphy, Fred McGriff, Cecil Fielder, Eric Davis, etc.

What you will find is a list of players that I really enjoyed watching during their primes.

Are you ready?  Let’s do this!!!

Honorable Mention – Andy VanSlyke, Ruben Sierra, Todd Worrell, Chili Davis, Pedro Guerrero, Willie Wilson, John Franco, and Gary Gaetti.

10 – George Bell.  You can call him George or Jorge or ‘Liberty’, but you better add ‘slugger’ too.  One of the decades best home run hitters, Bell was an offensive machine.  The producer of home runs, RBI, and high batting average led Bell to receive 3 All-Star selections, 3 Silver Slugger Awards and the 1987 AL MVP.

9 – Lance Parrish.  Parrish was the core of the Detroit Tigers for most of the early-to-mid 1980’s.  His skill both at the plate and behind it helped make him a perennial All-Star selection.  Parrish is also a 6-time Silver Slugger winner and has 3 Gold Gloves.

8 – Mike Greenwell.  While there may have been other ‘big’ names in Boston that got national attention, if you ask any Red Sox fan from that era, they will tell you that Mike Greenwell was a key contributor to the team’s success.  Greenwell played 12 years for the Sox and retired with a .303 batting average, which included 7 seasons above the .300 mark.  Greenwell was a 2-time All-Star and runner-up for the MVP award in 1988.

7 – Kent Hrbek.  The anchor of the Twins’ offense and defense, Hrbek played 14 solid seasons with the Twins.  A 2-time World Series champion, he hit 293 home runs during his career while driving in 1,086.  Hrbek was the runner up for the ROY in 1982 and MVP in 1984.

6 – Rick Sutcliffe.  An old-school pitcher that was probably a decade or two late to the game, Sutcliffe embodied the ‘mean’ approach that made several pitchers legends in the 1960s.  Used as both a starter and reliever during his playing days, Sutcliffe retired with a 171-139 record.  He was the Rookie of the Year in 1979 and won the 1984 Cy Young Award with his 20-6 record, 9 complete games, and 213 strikeouts.

5 – Harold Baines.  A 22-season veteran, Baines racked up some very impressive stats during his playing days.  A lifetime .289 hitter, Baines collected 2,866 hits.  He also had a knack for power and run production – 48 doubles, 384 home runs, 1,299 runs scored, and 1,628 RBI.  Baines was a 6-time All-Star.

4 – Willie McGee.  Talk about a perfect for a team..  Willie McGee brought the Cardinals instant offense as a rookie in 1982.  In fact, the 23-year old played a large role in the Cardinals World Series win that season.  In 1985 McGee was unreal – .353 batting average, 216 hits, 56 stolen bases, 114 runs scored, 86 RBI, a batting title, All-Star selection, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, and MVP!!  In total, McGee was a 4-time All-Star, 3-time Gold Glove winner, and one of the most popular Cardinals in team history.

3 – Tim Raines.  Quite possibly the second best lead-off hitter of the last fifty years, there was nothing Tim Raines could not do on a baseball diamond.  He stole 808 bases during his career, scored 1,571 runs, and has a lifetime batting average of .294.  Raines was a 7-time All-Star and has 5 finishes in the Top 12 for the MVP.

2 – Lee Smith.  Smith ranks in 3rd place on the all-time saves list, and he will not give up that spot any time soon.  He ranks ahead of every Hall of Famer to ever be tagged as a ‘closer’.  Smith played in 18 big league seasons, accumulating 478 saves along the way.  Smith reached the post-season only twice, which translates to his role being even more important as we was closing games for teams that were not very competitive.

1 – Jack Morris.  Morris pitched in the majors for 18 seasons.  He won more game than any other pitcher in the 1980s, totalling 254 wins for his career.  He has 3 20-win seasons under his belt and an impressive 7 finishes in the Top 9 for the Cy Young award.  Morris competed in 3 World Series match-ups, winning all three – for three different teams.  He won the 1991 World Series MVP, and finished his post-season career with a 4-2 record.

And there it is.  I’m a bit exhausted, but that was a lot of fun too!!!

Do you think that I missed anyone?  Are my rankings appropriate?  Let me hear it!!!

And for the record – on this list, numbers 3,2,and 1 all deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.  Just my opinion…

Thanks for reading.

Did You Know…

The 1987 Minnesota Twins are the only World Series champions to be outscored in the regular season.  Despite scoring only 786 runs while allowing 806, the Twins finished the 1987 regular season with a record of 85-77, two games ahead of Kansas City in the AL West and then shocked the favored Detroit Tigers in the ALCS and beat St. Louis in seven games for the title.  Their .525 winning percentage is the lowest ever for a World Series champion.

**factoid courtesy of ‘Big League Trivia’

My take 0 I remeber that team very well.  And they were a ton of fun to watch!!!

‘Same Card, Different Paths’ – Card #55

‘Same Card, Different Paths’ – Card #55

1982 Topps – Card #766 – AKA – ‘The Kent Hrbek Rookie Card’

Lenny Faedo – Played played just 5 seasons in major league baseball – all with the Twins.  A shortstop, he was the primary back-up, and appeared in 174 games.  Faedo had a solid 96.1% fielding percentage for the Twins, while his offensive output was below par.  A lifetime .251 hitter, Faedo collected 133 hits in the big leagues, that included 17 doubles, 1 triple, and 5 home runs. 

Kent Hrbek – Hrbek was the anchor of the Twins’ infield during the 1980’s.  A big guy, Hrbek blended contact and power hitting well and had a 14-year big league career as a result.  Able to hit the long ball with ease, Hrbek hit double-digit home runs in each season from 1982-1994.  He tallied 293 career home runs, including 6 seasons of at least 25.  Hrbek was a 1-time All-star and finished in second place for the 1982 ROY and 1984 MVP awards.  He was a member of both Twins World Series winners in 1987 and 1991. 

Tim Laudner – Launder played 9 years with the Twins, appearing in 734 games.  A catcher, that spent some time at both DH and first base, he was a solid contributor to the team’s winning ways.  While his offense was sub-par, including a .225 career batting average, his work with the pitching staff was magnificent.  Catching close to 5,000 innings, Laudner has a career fielding percentage of 98.1%.  During the 1987 World Series, which his team won, Laudner appeared in all 7 games and hit .318 with 1 homer, 4 RBI, and 4 runs scored.

Kent Hrbek Autographed Rookie Card

2 weeks ago I got an email from a woman who had never been to the site before.  She’s not a baseball fan.  She’s not a collector, or a hobbyist, or anything that you would relate to baseball.  But what she is is very kind and thoughtful.

You see, she owns a storage company and while cleaning out an old tenant’s left behind belongings she found a 1982 Topps Kent Hrbek rookie card in a desk drawer.  And above and beyond that, the card was autographed by Mr. Hrbek himself. 

With little else to go on, she ‘Googled’ the names of all three players featured on this card and found a post on my blog about trying to get Mr Hrbek’s autograph.  I guess my story compelled her as she emailed me asking if I would like the card.

Naturally I jumped at this opportunity, and last night this was in my mailbox: 

Hrbek

Wow!!!  How nice does this look?  What a great addition to my autograph collection!!!  Hrbek was one of my favorite players on the dominant Minnesota Twins teams of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and I am proud to own this signed card.

Thanks again Tracey – you are incredibly kind!!!

Did You Know…

The 1991 World Series between the Minnesota Twins and Atlanta Braves is considered one of the toughest and tightest ever.  To some, this series was the greatest in history.  Three games went into extra innings, four games ended with the winning run scoring on the final pitch, and five games were decided by one run.  Best of all, the series brought together the previous season’s last place teams, the first time in modern major league history that a team had gone from worst to first.

program

**factoid courtesy of ‘Armchair Reader – Grand Slam Baseball’

My take – Each of these rosters were loaded with stud players.  I too have a ton of fond memories of this incredible ‘Fall Classic’!!!

Baseball Card Show Purchase #5 – Future Stars: Kent Hrbek & Tim Raines

This is the way that I remember rookie cards from the 1970’s and early 1980’s. 

And when I saw these 2 beauties in mint condition in the $1 bin, I eagerly I scooped them up.

1982 Kent Hrbek rookie card – Kent Hrbek will always be one of my favorite Twins players from the 1980’s.  He was such a dynamic and important part of those World Series winning teams from 1987 and 1991.

Hrbek

1981 Topps Tim Raines rookie card – I have wanted this card for a very long time.  Finally, it is mine!!  With so much emphasis of my collecting being put on multi-dimensional players, Tim Raines’ name continues to come up.  ‘Rock’ had a great career and was on par with baseball’s biggest stars for more than a decade.

Scan

20 More Autograph TTM Requests Out In The Mail…

After receiving these cards, I couldn’t resist putting more cards in the mail with the hopes of receiving a few back autographed.

So off I went to the Post Office and the Grocery Store to stock up on stamps and envelopes.

And out these went today….

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100_5042

100_5043

The guys:  Kent Hrbek, Jim Abbott, Joe Carter, Chili Davis, Eric Davis, Fernando Valenzuela, Bobby Bonilla, Whitey Herzog, Shawon Dunston, Orel Hershiser, Todd Zeile, Bucky Dent, Willie Randolph, Mike Scioscia, Willie McGee, Ron Cey, Mike Greenwell, Harold Reynolds, Robin Ventura, and Tony Perez.

If You Were To Name A New ‘Mr. October’ Who Would It Be??

No disrespect meant towards Reggie Jackson.  I am a big fan of his and feel that I have done a good job in honoring him this month in my posts.

But, he was tagged as ‘Mr. October’ way back in 1977.  So, I am sure that there are other players that played after him in the World Series that have excelled on baseball’s biggest stage too.  Have they surpassed what he accomplished back in 1977?  Maybe not.  But if you had to choose 1 player since Reggie’s incredible performance in the 1977 World Series to be tagged as the ‘New Mr. October’ who would you choose???

Let the games begin…

There are so many candidates to choose from: Orel Hershiser, Joe Carter, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Kirk Gibson, Kent Hrbek, and the list goes on and on….

My choice is:  Bernie Williams.  In 121 post season games, Williams has accumulated some very impressive stats.  A .275 batting average with 128 hits.  With 485 at-bats he has hit 22 home runs and driven in 80 runs while striking out just 85 times.

So if I were to choose a new ‘Mr. October’ my guy would remain with the same team as Reggie, but he starred with the New York Yankees 20 years later.

Sending An Autograph Request to Kent Hrbek…

 My ‘What Ever Happened To Kent Hrbek’ post is one of most popular in this series so far.  It seems that I was not alone in appreciating his career and specifically what he did to help the Twins win the World Series.

One of my readers, Gerad, thought it would be a good idea to try to get Hrbek’s autograph through the mail as I had with other stars from the 1980’s.  After exchanging a few emails about the topic and revealing that I had no Hrbek cards to send, I was shocked and very excited to find 20 Hrbek cards in my mailbox last night when I got home from work.

So, out it goes.  I’m sending 2 cards to Hrbek in hopes of getting another autograph through the mail.  Kent is not working with the Twins organization, but I was able to find the address at which his outdoor sports show is managed from so I have sent the cards there.

 Wish me luck!!!

Thanks again Gerad!!  If these come back to me signed you better believe that 1 of them is all yours!!  Your choice!!!