Tuesday, March 31, 2009
His first Topps card was a shared card in the 1999 regular series. He also appeared on a popular Bowman Chrome issue the same year.
NOTE: If any readers have suggestions on potential candidates for the remaining polls (AL pitchers, NL pitchers, NL hitters), please feel free to leave a comment. Again, the criteria are that the player must have played at least five seasons (including partial seasons), and the players should not be an obvious slam-dunk candidate for the Hall (such as Pujols, Ichiro, Jeter, etc.).
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
But Cabrera is an outstanding hitter, and with his young age and experience, he is uniquely positioned to be on track for a Hall of Fame career. Below is Cabrera's rookie card, a 2000 Topps Traded Chrome:
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Let's look objectively at the stats. Schilling was a 6-time All Star, a three-time Cy Young runner up, and a World Series co-MVP in 2001 (with D-Backs teammate Randy Johnson). Impressive stats, but there are indeed areas where his career could come up short. He only accummulated 216 wins, and his career ERA was 3.46.
His National League legacy was somewhat limited until he starred with the Diamondbacks from 2000-2003. His postseason resume rivals that of John Smoltz and Mariano Rivera in terms of success. His record in postseason play was 11-2, with a 2.23 ERA. His "bloody sock" exploits are well documented, and his ability to win the big games could be enough to warrant selection.
One of the most interesting part's of Schilling's career was that he was on the side of many one-sided trades in his career:
- From Boston to Baltimore for Mike Boddicker
- From Baltimore to Houston for Glenn Davis (along with Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch)
- From Houston to Philadelphia for Jason Grimsley
- From Philly to Arizona for Omar Daal, Travis Lee, Nelson Figueroa, and Vicente Padilla
- From Arizona to Boston for Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon, and Jorge de la Rosa
Thus it appears that even during his career, Schilling was undervalued and underappreciated. In this writer's opinion, Schilling deserves the call, but probably will not be elected on the first ballot. I foresee his fate being similar to that of Bert Blyleven, who will eventually be enshrined but after a laborious journey.
Monday, March 23, 2009
For me, there are two distinct events that come to mind. The first was when I was about eight years old and I lived in Kokomo, Indiana. I was a huge Cubs fan and at that time the Cubs caravan went as far south as central Indiana. I had my picture taken in the local newspaper, proudly wearing my Cubs jacket and hat. My favorite memory that day was meeting Scott Sanderson. I got his autograph, and in his honor I include my favorite Cubs card of Sanderson, his 1986 Topps:
My second memorable event was only a few years ago. I moved to the north suburbs of Chicago after graduating from college. It wasn't until a few years ago that I found a great card shop with lots of old stuff and tons of Cubs cards. The shop reintroduced me to card collecting, as I had drifted away from the hobby for many years. The most fun part of the shop was their "rookie card vault" of sorts with their most valuable cards. I subsequently adopted the phrase with my most valuable cards at home, albeit they are not properly displayed in a proper case just yet. Of the many cards purchased there, one of my favorites is the 1977 Topps Andre Dawson RC:
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Of the many rookie cards for Teixeira, my favorite is his 2001 Fleer Tradition.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Sizemore's most widely collected rookie card is the 2000 Bowman Draft Pick:
Saturday, March 7, 2009
But for me, Young has Hall of Fame ability. He is on pace for more than 3000 hits. And few remember that he willingly switched from 2B to SS after the Rangers traded A-Rod for Alfonso Soriano. While he initially demanded a trade earlier this year when he was asked to move to 3B, he again put the team first and accepted the new role. My favorite card of Young's is his 2000 Topps Traded rookie card, where he was listed as "Mike Young".
The first post is American League hitters, as you can see on the right sidebar. I decided not to mention the "slam-dunk" HOF players such as Derek Jeter, Ichiro, Vlad Guerrero, etc. I also decided that the players eligible for this poll must have played at least 5 years.
I will post an individual profile for each player featured in the polls, with the first post later today. Please vote and comment if you want!
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
JayBee started with Mickey Mantle, who is a terrific selection to get things going. Given that my relative knowledge of baseball is limited to the past thirty years, I will provide a few suggestions from the 1980s and 1990s. From the 1980s, the most obvious addition to me is Alan Trammell. I have extolled Trammell's HOF worthiness before, so that does not bear repeating.
Other prominent stars of the 1980s that come to mind include Eric Davis, Rick Sutcliffe, Tim Raines, and Harold Baines. From the 1990s, there are several somewhat forgotten stars that warrant inclusion, including pitchers David Cone and Bret Saberhagen.
Cone's career gets overlooked because he did not win 200 games. But he was a tremendous big-game pitcher with five All Star appearances. Other players from the 1990s that I would consider include Terry Pendleton, Larry Walker, Mo Vaughn, and the Big Cat, Andres Galarraga.
Finally, I would lobby for inclusion of my two favorite "Francos", Julio and John.