Monday, June 8, 2009

Future HOF RC Review: Mike Piazza and Frank Thomas

While much of the talk in this era surrounds who took performance enhancing drugs and whether that suspicion or fact should preclude admission into the Hall of Fame, I have become much more choosy about which recent players I am collecting. The two players listed here have had absolutely no ties to PEDs, and each of them displayed a natural talent at their respective positions and should be first-ballot Hall of Famers.

Mike Piazza will always be a Dodger to me, despite his exploits with the Mets. A 12-time All Star, Piazza finished his brilliant career with a .308 average and 427 home runs. While his defense may have left something to be desired, he gets extra credit for longevity in my book for his catching duties.

Frank Thomas was undeniably one of the biggest stars of the 1990s. He won 2 MVP awards and was an AL Top 10 vote getter for the award an additional 7 times. Somewhat surprisingly, Thomas was only an All Star five times, although part of that was his relatively cold relationship with the press and the strength of American League first basemen in the era (Mo Vaughn, John Olerud, Jim Thome, and Rafael Palmeiro are among those who were deemed better players for the All Star game at the time).

The two cards I picked up have both been on my wish list for some time. The Piazza RC card is from 1992 Fleer Update, and the Thomas RC card is his most valuable RC, the 1990 Leaf.


  1. 70% of the time, runners took bases off of Piazza, to say his defense left something to be desired, is an incredible understatement.

    Look @ the difference in Piazza's body size and shape, pre steroid era, and post. He's a juicer.

  2. While nothing would surprise me with any player in the past twenty years (except maybe Maddux), I seem to remember Piazza always being a bulky player. But again, no one knows for sure.