Following his record-setting rookie campaign in 1987, Mark McGwire was voted by fans to start at first base in the 1988 All-Star Game in Cincinnati.
USA Today surveyed the players in each league on who they thought should start the game. Players were only allowed to vote for their own league, and could not choose teammates. Results for American League first base were as follows:
- Don Mattingly 83
- George Brett 76
- Kent Hrbek 17
- Mark McGwire 13
- Fred McGriff 9
- Pete O’Brien 2
- Carney Lansford 1
- Steve Balboni 1
The 1988 All-Star Game is special to me because it was held in Cincinnati. I started making these cards two years ago and finally finished the complete rosters (front and back, including managers) earlier this year. I plan to post them here over the next few weeks. Hope you enjoy!
Please note that these are NOT real cards. There are no physical copies and they are not for sale. They exist only in digital form.
George Brett was a career Royal. It’s so much more fun creating these cards when I can use different teams, or at least different hats, in the small photos. But the loyalty is impressive…21 seasons with a single team. Despite his 98.2% vote total for the Hall of Fame in 1999, he was not the top vote-getter that year. Fireballer Nolan Ryan beat him by three ballots.
Sometimes you read about the trades your team didn’t make, and you start to wonder how it may have reshaped the franchise. Everyone knows the might of the 1975 and 1976 Big Red Machine, but apparently the front office was trying to move Tony Perez prior to the 1975 season, and they were seeking a third baseman in return. One of the names that popped up was George Brett. Can you even imagine that lineup?
I have been sitting on this post for absolutely no reason other than laziness. I bought a handful of fifty-cent packs when I was in Orlando at the beginning of the month, and scanned a handful of them, even uploaded the scans, but just haven’t been motivated to post them. I have nothing else planned for today, so let’s see what I got…
First up is Eric Davis from the 1987 Fleer Star Stickers set. These cards are very similar to the 1986 set, but with a green border instead of maroon. Either way, the border clashes with the red jersey.
The 1988 Fleer Star Stickers went with a gray border sprinkled with colorful stars. This Don Mattingly is the best card I pulled from that pack.
Back to 1987, and a pair of Reds in a pack: the best centerfielder and the best relief pitcher of the second half of the decade. John Franco is criminally underrated.
I bought a couple of packs of 1990 Donruss. Don’t look at me like that. I did not have any Grand Slammers cards, and I wanted a couple. I pulled the Todd Benzinger from one pack, and Will Clark from another. If I had found another pack with Bo Jackson on top, I would have bought that one too.
I did not know the 1992 Fleer “The Performer” cards came in packs of their own. I assumed they were inserts. In a five-card pack, I pulled Nolan Ryan and Frank Thomas. And probably some ‘roiders, I can’t remember now.
Art cards will always be my weakness. I’m not sure why I picked up a pack of 1992 Score, but I was happy to pull these bad boys.
Also from the same 1992 Score pack.
There it is. I knew there had to be something cool showing on the top of a 1992 Score pack for me to buy it, even at only fifty cents. Jim Thome is the man.
Kirby Puckett from 1996 Pinnacle Denny’s. Not sure why I bought this one-card pack. Oh well, at least it’s a Hall of Famer.
Think this candy is still good from 1991?
Finally, a couple of 1990 Baseball Buttons. I already have several of these, so I probably shouldn’t have bought them, but it was only fifty cents.
Tim Carroll is one of my favorite baseball artists. Using non-traditional media such as cut-up junk wax baseball cards, band-aids, and drinking straws, Mr. Carroll has created some stunning pieces. One of his most recent pieces, though, has caused him some trouble.
It’s a fantastic representation of George Brett using pine tar, but the artist reported a problem today on Facebook:
How about it? If you can help Tim come up with a solution, go to his Facebook page and contact him! This is a great piece of art and needs to be preserved!
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 19-27…
This page features 1985 AL Cy Young Award winner Bret Saberhagen and Rookie of the Year Ozzie Guillen. Neither are in the Hall of Fame, nor should they be. The only other non-Hall of Famer in the group is Darrell Evans, one of the few pre-steroids era players not in Cooperstown with more than 400 home runs. The knock against Evans was his batting average; he finished his career with a .248 mark and never reached the .300 mark in a full season. Should he be in the Hall of Fame? I would not vote for him, but I don’t think Cooperstown would be harmed by his admittance.
I love the softball game that is played every year before the All-Star Game. Last year, I created a set of “fun cards” to commemorate the event, and I had so much fun doing it I’m doing it again. I figured it was only appropriate to start this year’s series with a Hall of Famer who played for the host of the 2012 All-Star Game, the Kansas City Royals: George Brett.
Photo credit: Getty Images
Six (and one likely future) Hall of Famers are among those honored with the retirement uniform #5. We also have our first executive, Carl Barger, whose favorite player was Dimaggio, prompting the Marlins to retire #5 in his honor. There was also one non-Hall of Famer, one of the most tragic stories in sports.
Willard Hershberger, Cincinnati Reds
The backup to Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi, Hershberger was filling in for the injured “Schnozz” in July 1940. After the Reds lost games to inferior teams, Hershberger blamed himself and either said or implied that he would commit suicide like his father. Manager Bill McKenchie spoke with the catcher, and believed he was better at the end of their conversation. The next day, however, he was found dead in the hotel bathtub from a slashed throat.
Following his death, #5 was temporarily retired until 1942. In 1967 the greatest catcher in big league history wore the number, and it was retired permanently in 1986.
Johnny Bench, Cincinnati Reds
Brooks Robinson, Baltimore Orioles
Carl Barger, Florida Marlins
George Brett, Kansas City Royals
Hank Greenberg, Detroit Tigers
Jeff Bagwell, Hosuton Astros
Joe DiMaggio, New York Yankees
Lou Boudreau, Cleveland Indians
Sometime last year, someone mentioned that Scott Rolen had a decent shot of making the Hall of Fame. Not first ballot, mind you. But once you’re in, you’re in, regardless of how long it takes. I immediately scoffed at the idea. Scott Rolen? Hall of Fame? No way.
Over time, I have warmed up to that idea some, and the fact that he is one of only three third basemen (along with George Brett and Chipper Jones) and only 29 major leaguers to hit this milestone certainly doesn’t hurt his case.
Just a couple new ones I did. The first is a “missed opportunity” for Topps, excluding Roger Clemens from their 1984 Topps Traded set. I have not found any good photos of Kirby Puckett to use from that era, and I’m still searching for an action shot of Eric Davis from 1984 (or so). The second is a request of George Brett on a 1965 Topps Kansas City Athletics card. I tried to change the patch on his uniform sleeve, but it didn’t turn out too well. Other than that, I’m happy with it. I hope you are too.