The National League took six outfielders from four teams to the midsummer classic in 1988: starters Darryl Strawberry, Vince Coleman, and Andre Dawson, and backups Willie McGee, Rafael Palmeiro, and Andy Van Slyke.
I love the nicknames of the 1980s. The Straw, Vincent Van Go, The Hawk…the nicknames of players today just don’t have the same panache.
Not everyone liked their nickname, though. Case in point, Willie McGee hated the name “E.T.” He hated it so much, it became a national news story. The New York Times reported in 1982, “Willie McGee won’t elaborate on his dislike for the nickname. Perhaps he thinks that it’s a racial slur since E.T. is dark-skinned. Perhaps he’s embarrassed because he has the hooded eyes and pinched nose similar to that of the little creature; he also wobbles when he walks, as E.T. does in the movie. Whatever the reason, Willie McGee is entitled to prefer his name to that nickname, even though he has virtually landed in the World Series from another planet.”
If Palmeiro had a nickname, what would it be? “Finger-pointer”?
Kirk Gibson is the only difference between the players’ top six and the actual roster. Gibby was the eventual National League MVP and had one of the most dramatic home runs in World Series history, but his invite to the 1988 All-Star Game was evidently lost in the mail.
- Darryl Strawberry 118
- Andre Dawson 100
- Willie McGee 71
- Andy Van Slyke 57
- Kirk Gibson 37
- Rafael Palmeiro 32
- Vince Coleman 25
- Tim Raines 25
- Barry Bonds 20
- Tony Gwynn 10
- Dale Murphy 8
- Gerald Perry 7
- Eric Davis 5
- Will Clark 3
- Tom Brunansky 3
- John Shelby
- Candy Maldonado 2
- Brett Butler 1
- Dave Martinez 1
- Casey Candaele 1
- Jeffrey Leonard 1
- Danny Heep 1
- Kevin McReynolds 1
- Keith Moreland 1
- Mike Aldrete 1
- Gerald Young 1
- Albert Hall 1
I love the All-Star Game for many reasons. One of which is the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game, bringing past stars of the diamond such as Darryl Strawberry back into the spotlight for a short time. For the past couple of years I have created cards to commemorate the exhibition and posted them here on the blog. This year, I’m moving them to the TWJ Cards tumblr. Every hour today until 11:00 eastern tonight, you will see a new “Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball” card pop up on the tumblr, from Dwight Gooden to Fred Lynn to Jennie Finch to Mallory Hagan to Frank Thomas, etc. There are 22 cards in all. Check them out each hour on the hour at TWJ Cards on tumblr.
In 1986 Topps teamed up with Quaker to issue a 33-card set full of superstars, including a nice handful of future Hall of Famers. This week, we’re looking at the cards in the set; today we have cards 10-18…
This page almost looks like a dream line-up of 1980s stars…first baseman Don Mattingly, second baseman Ryne Sandberg, third baseman Mike Schmidt, shortstop Ozzie Smith, outfielders Darryl Strawberry and Tim Raines, and pitcher Fernando Valenzuela. Pete Rose was nearing the end of his career, having just broken Ty Cobb‘s hits record in September 1985. Many thought Nolan Ryan‘s best years were behind him, but he would actually pitch two more no-hitters in the next decade.
The Hall of Fame count for this group is four: Ryan, Sandberg, Schmidt, and Smith. Raines will probably join that group eventually, and really should already be there. As the premiere leadoff hitter in the National League, Raines was a seven-time All-Star for the Expos and is currently fifth on the career stolen base leaderboard. He received 52.2% of the vote in 2013 for Cooperstown, more than double the support he received in his first year on the ballot.
Went to Target on Friday and picked up a few packs of cards. I got one pack each of 2008 Topps U&H, 2008 Topps A&G, and 2008 Upper Deck Baseball Heroes. Didn’t really get much out of any of them, and probably will never buy another pack of those products (but if you happen to have Reds cards from any of them, I would gladly accept them…see this post). I did get a couple of cool cards I will be keeping, though…
Nothing from the Baseball Heroes pack will be staying in my collection. Andruw Jones, Brad Penny, erik Bedard, Kevin Kouzmanoff, and Carlos Delgado just don’t tickle my fancy. So they will be going in the team piles and traded away to whoever wanted their respective teams.
I also did some eBay shopping last week and the cards arrived today that I had ordered. I bought a set of 1985 Topps Traded, which includes Rickey Henderson’s first Yankee card, Vince Coleman’s rookie, and Ozzie Guillen’s rookie. I had forgotten about Tom Browning’s rookie being in this set as well…
Mr. Perfect had an outstanding rookie season, the first rookie 20-game winner since the 1960s, and if memory serves there has not been a rookie to reach that number since. Not Gooden, not Clemens, not Peavy, no one. Unfortunately for Tom, he had the ROY stolen from him by the Cardinals’ speedster (yes, that pun was fully intended). I won’t be trading off any of the cards from this set since it is complete.
But that was actually the second purchase I made from that seller. The first was…
Both Dave Parker and Ken Griffey Sr.’s rookie cards included in the same lot! It was a sign, I knew I had to buy them. Parker will be signing autographs in a few weeks here in Cincinnati, and if all goes as planned that beautiful 1974 Topps card will soon be scribbled on by the Cobra.
I also bought some cards at a card shop last week, mostly Griffey Jr.’s that I didn’t have in my collection yet. I’m still looking for the 2008 Topps U&H Griffey on the Sox (as well as the 600th homer card). Can’t wait until I can call them mine!