Blog Archives

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Frank Robinson

Robinson

Frank Robinson was one of the greatest players to ever wear the Cincinnati Reds uniform. And the Baltimore Orioles uniform. And the Dodgers, Angels, and Indians uniforms. Though he never played for them, Robinson was one of the greatest to pull the Giants, Expos, and Nationals jerseys over his head. Ok, so the Expos and Nationals were button-ups, not pullovers, but you get the point. The guy was a legend.

One of his nicknames was “Pencils” due to his unusually scrawny knees. He was the Rookie of the Year in 1956, NL MVP in 1961, and AL MVP in 1966. He also took home the World Series MVP in 1966 when his Orioles swept the Dodgers. He was selected to the All-Star team in twelve seasons. In 1975, the Indians named Robby the first black manager in big league history. He managed all or part of 16 seasons for four franchises (five teams, if you want to separate the Expos from the Nationals). He was named the AL Manager of the Year in 1989 on the strength of the Orioles’ second-place finish.

Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982 along with Hank Aaron, Happy Chandler, and Travis Jackson.

Advertisements

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Mike Mussina

Mussina

Mike Mussina was one of the most dependable pitchers of his era, though he was never flashy. In 18 seasons, he collected 270 wins and struck out 2813 batters. He had six top-five finishes in Cy Young Award voting, and two additional sixth-place finishes. Is that enough for a Hall of Fame plaque? For five years, more than 25% of the voters have said no, but tonight he can start adding “HOF 2019” to his autograph.

Baseball Immortals: “Fun Cards” Cal Ripken

Ripken

There was little doubt that 2007 would see two first-ballot Hall of Famers inducted; the question was who would get more votes. Cal Ripken edged out Tony Gwynn by five votes, both flying into Cooperstown their first year. Other first-timers on the ballot in 2007 included Mark McGwire, Harold Baines, Paul O’Neill, and Eric Davis.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Eddie Murray

Murray

Steady Eddie Murray is one of the forgotten stars of the 1980s. He is one of only five players to collect 3000 hits and 500 home runs (Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Rafael Palmeiro, and Alex Rodriguez are the others, with Adrian Beltre possibly joining the group in 2018). Murray, though instantly recognizable, only appeared in eight All-Star Games (seven with the Orioles, one with the Dodgers), and never won an MVP award (though he finished second twice). Despite being overlooked much of his career, the BBWAA ushered him into the Hall of Fame the first time his name appeared on their ballot in 2003.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Lee MacPhail

MacPhail

He is part of the only father-son duo in the Hall of Fame, but neither Lee nor his father Larry MacPhail played baseball. I have never understood why executives (or other non-players) are included among the players in the Hall of Fame. I realize they played an important role in the game, but believe they should have a separate wing, like broadcasters and writers.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Ned Hanlon

Hanlon

Ned Hanlon was one of the principle innovators of “inside baseball,” now known as “small ball.” He is credited with perfecting the hit-and-run play, among other strategies. He is best known as the manager of the Baltimore Orioles and Brooklyn Superbas, winning three NL pennants with the O’s and two with Brooklyn.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Earl Weaver

Weaver

Earl Weaver managed the Baltimore Orioles from 1968 to 1982 and again in 1985 and 1986. His teams won four AL pennants and defeated the Big Red Machine in the 1970 World Series. Weaver was well known for his fiery disposition on the field, often getting in umpires’ faces while arguing calls.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Jim Palmer

Palmer

Eight 20 win seasons and three Cy Young Awards in the 1970s. Three World Championship rings in three different decades. A lifetime ERA of 2.86. It doesn’t matter if you fall short of 300 wins or 3000 strikeouts, if you dominate like Jim Palmer dominated, you are going into the Hall of Fame. In addition to his three Cy Young wins, Palmer finished second twice (beat by Sparky Lyle and Pete Vuckovich) and third once (behind Ron Guidry and Mike Caldwell). No wonder 92.6% of the BBWAA voters thought he was Hall worthy in 1990.

Goodbye, Don Baylor

(June 28, 1949 – August 7, 2017)

Baylor

Slugging outfielder and 1979 American League MVP, Don Baylor passed away today from multiple myeloma, a form of cancer of plasma cells. Baylor his 338 home runs in his career, was an All-Star in 1979, and won the World Series with the Minnesota Twins in 1987. He presided over the Boston Red Sox’s kangaroo court, and fined Roger Clemens $5 for giving up a single to Spike Owen on an 0-2 count during his 20-strikeout game in 1986. He was also the Colorado Rockies’ first manager.

Goodbye, Lee May

(March 23, 1943 – July 29, 2017)

May

Known as “The Big Bopper,” Lee May was a fan favorite in Cincinnati. He played for the Reds from 1965 through 1971, when he was traded to the Astros. Of his 354 home runs, 147 came as a member of the Reds. He was a three-time All-Star and played in two World Series. In 1976, he led the American League with 109 RBI as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. His career closed in 1982 with Kansas City. He is a member of both the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles Halls of Fame. May passed away Saturday at the age of 74.

Condolences abounded on Twitter from his former teams, teammates, fans, and more…

%d bloggers like this: