baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: SSPC “Baseball Immortals” SNUBBED: Todd Helton

Todd Helton Colorado Rockies Tennessee quarterback

Todd Helton missed Hall of Fame election by eleven votes. Eleven votes! He is poised to gain induction in 2024 with his 2519 hits, 369 homers, 1406 RBI, and .316 batting average. His 61.8 WAR is just below the average for first basemen in the Hall. The only non-Hall of Famers ahead of Helton are either not yet eligible (Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Joey Votto) or tainted by PEDs (Rafael Palmeiro and Mark McGwire).

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baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: SSPC “Baseball Immortals” SNUBBED: Jeff Kent

Jeff Kent Astros

In his final year on the BBWAA ballot, Jeff Kent received 46.5% of the vote, his highest total since debuting at 15.2% in 2014.

Kent’s Cooperstown case rests primarily on his power as a second baseman with 377 home runs while playing the position. Kent, a very good player, was selected to five All-Star Games and named the 2000 NL MVP. His WAR total in 2000 was 7.1, 5th in the NL behind fellow-snubbee Todd Helton, Andruw Jones, Randy Johnson, and teammate Barry Bonds.

The knocks against Kent include a career 55.4 WAR, 19th among second basemen. That’s behind non-Hall of Famers Lou Whitaker (75.1), Bobby Grich (71.1), Robinson Cano (68.1), Willie Randolph (65.9), and Chase Utley (64.5).

Does Kent belong in the Hall of Fame? Should the home runs alone earn him a spot among the greatest of the greats?

baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: SSPC “Baseball Immortals” Scott Rolen

Congrats to Scott Rolen! In his sixth year on the ballot, Rolen received 76.3% of the vote to join Fred McGriff in Cooperstown this summer!

baseball, baseball cards

Fun Cards: SSPC “Baseball Immortals” Fred McGriff

Congrats to “The Crime Dog” Fred McGriff. A long overdue honor for a great baseball player. Unanimous support from the Contemporary Era committee. No other candidate received more than 50% of the vote.

baseball cards, music

Fun Cards: 1985 Donruss “Weird Al” Yankovic

Another year, another great album from the greatest musical genius of all-time, “Weird Al” Yankovic. Dare To Be Stupid features parodies of Madonna, Huey Lewis and the News, The Kinks, and Cyndi Lauper, as well as comedic offerings in the styles of Devo, Elton John, and Elvis.

baseball cards, music

Fun Cards: 1984 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

I was not collecting baseball cards in 1984, at least not very much. One of the first Reds team sets I completed was 1984 Topps, and I have been able to get a number of those autographed, so the set still holds a special place in my heart even though I didn’t really start collecting heavily until 1985.

1984 was an important year for a much different reason. “Weird Al” Yankovic‘s album In 3-D was released on February 28, 1984. The album featured great parodies of songs by Men Without Hats, The Greg Kihn Band, The Police, and Survivor. There was also a completely original song called “Eat It.” “Weird Al” wrote the music and the lyrics for this song, but it was parodied by Michael Jackson in a song called “Beat It.” So weird.

baseball cards, music

Fun Cards: 1983 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

I will not apologize for my “Weird Al” fandom. He has been one of my favorite musical artists since I was in grade school. His self-titled debut album was released in 1983 and featured parodies of songs by Toni Basil, Joan Jett, The Knack, Queen, and Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty, along with several original compositions.

baseball cards, music

Fun Cards: 1979 Topps “Weird Al” Yankovic

“Weird Al” Yankovic is the subject of a brand new biopic on the Roku Channel, and let me tell you his story is absolutely riveting. It’s truly amazing how little we really knew of this genius, and how far ahead of his time he was. It is such a shame that his life was taken from him in the 1980s at the height of his fame.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, watch the movie. Or don’t. I can’t tell you what to do.

If you’re shopping for Christmas already, pick up some “Weird Al” music on Amazon for your funny friends. Maybe the new soundtrack to the biopic perhaps?

baseball, baseball cards

Fun cards: 2022 TWJ “One n’ Done”

Thirteen former big leaguers appeared on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time in 2022. One was elected, two received enough votes to stay on the ballot for next year. What about the other ten players?

This “fun cards” set is dedicated to those guys who appeared on the ballot, but did not receive 5% of the vote for a second year.

A.J. Pierzynski, Carl Crawford, Jake Peavy, Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Justin Morneau, Mark Teixeira, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, and Tim Lincecum all had fine careers, but all received less than 5% of the vote.

AJ Pierzynski Chicago White Sox

Carl Crawford Tampa Bay Rays

Jake Peavy San Diego Padres

Joe Nathan Minnesota Twins

Jonathan Papelbon Washington Nationals

Justin Morneau Minnesota Twins

Mark Teixeira New York Yankees

Prince Fielder Milwaukee Brewers

Ryan Howard Philadelphia Phillies

Tim Lincecum San Francisco Giants

baseball, baseball cards

Fun cards: “Snubbed Baseball Immortals” Curt Schilling, Jeff Kent, Scott Rolen

If I was granted a ballot for the Hall of Fame, these are the only three players I would have voted for.

Curt Schilling will no longer appear on the BBWAA ballot. His fate is now in the hands of what used to be called the Veteran’s Committee.

Curt Schilling Hall of Fame Baseball Immortals

Jeff Kent holds the record for most home runs by a second baseman. He has one year left with the writers, but it is unlikely he will see the increase in support he needs for induction.

Jeff Kent Hall of Fame Baseball Immortals

Scott Rolen is one of the best third basemen to ever play the game. His percentage of the votes has increased every year, and he is almost certain to get the votes needed, if not in 2023, then the following year.

Scott Rolen Hall of Fame Baseball Immortals