Blog Archives

Fun Cards: 1988 National League All-Star First Basemen

Will the Thrill

Will the Thrill

Will Clark was the starting first baseman for the National League in 1987, with Andres Galarraga and Gerald Perry backing him up.

The Big Cat

The Big Cat

The players would have started The Big Cat by a slight margin over Will The Thrill. Perry was fifth in the players’ poll; he was the lone Atlanta representative on the NL roster.

Perry

Perry

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Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Randy Johnson

Big Unit

When looking for a Hall of Famer to represent the Diamondbacks, it’s slim pickings. Roberto Alomar played all of 38 games there, which doesn’t necessarily disqualify him, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Then there is Alan Trammell, who was a coach from 2010 to 2014 and managed the final three games in 2014 after Kirk Gibson was fired.

The only guy left is Randy Johnson, and he ain’t no slouch. He is the only Hall of Famer so far sporting an Arizona cap on his plaque. Will Curt Schilling join him when (not if) he is finally inducted?

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Tony Perez

Perez

Another guy who never should have been traded, especially for Woodie Fryman and Dale Murray. I mean, seriously? Tony Perez wasn’t flashy like Pete Rose or an all-time great at his position like Johnny Bench, but he was a key part of the Big Red Machine. Okay, so he was on the decline and Dan Driessen showed some promise, but I don’t know if the fans will ever forgive the front office for letting the Doggie get away in 1976. After seven years in the wind, Perez came back to Cincinnati to finish out his career.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Vladimir Guerrero

Vladdy

You will never convince me that Vladimir Guerrero shouldn’t have an Expos cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Larry Walker

Walker

The first non-Hall of Famer in this series, but the closest Rockies alum to Cooperstown so far. He has one shot left, but another 20% jump seems unlikely for the Canadian-born Larry Walker. He will probably have to wait for the Veterans Committee (or whatever it’s called now) to consider his career.

Fun Cards: 2019 TWJ Andre Dawson

The Hawk

Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are still without contracts*. Andre Dawson didn’t sign with the Cubs until March 9 in 1987. Of course, that was due in part to collusion, a self-imposed, under-the-table salary cap orchestrated by Bud Selig and his cohorts to keep contracts down. Is that happening this year? Honestly, I don’t care. I don’t care if Harper and Machado end up playing in Japan or Mexico or Timbuktu. If this leads to another strike, as Adam Wainwright thinks it will, that’s fine.

I love baseball, but I don’t need baseball. There are plenty of other things to keep me busy. A bunch of whining millionaires (I’m talking about both owners and players) doesn’t sit well with me.

* I wrote this last night, and might be asleep when it actually posts. I probably won’t come back and update it even if a deal with the Phillies or Padres or Yankees or Chunichi Dragons is announced.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals – SNUBBED” Larry Walker

Walker

The Hall of Fame Class of 2019 will be announced on Tuesday, but thanks to Ryan Thibodaux‘s fantastic ballot tracker, we have a good idea of what the results will be. Tomorrow I will post cards for the new Famers after the announcement, but tonight let’s look at a few that are likely to fall short.

One who has a great deal of support from baseball fans is Larry Walker, who spent the bulk of his career with the Colorado Rockies. Walker’s 72.7 WAR makes him a viable candidate, but the voters have shut him out so far. He received more support last year than any prior, with 34.1% of the vote, and as of this writing, he is polling at 65.4%. He will need 167 more voters to check his name to reach the 75% threshold, and that’s not likely going to happen. Will 2020 be Walker’s year?

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps Tracy Jones (Expos)

Tracy Jones Montreal Expos 1988 Topps

Tracy Jones was supposed to form one of the greatest outfields in the history of baseball with Kal Daniels and Eric Davis and usher in the era of the New Red Machine. That didn’t happen. Instead, Jones was sent to Montreal in 1988, then was traded to the Giants, then the Tigers, then the Mariners, and was out of the major leagues after the 1991 season.

Jones found new life on radio in the 21st century, but was let go from Cincinnati’s 700 WLW in 2017 after ten years as on-air host. His son, Hunter, is currently in the Nationals’ minor league system.

Jones

Comparing these cards side-by-side, I see that I messed up on the nameplate by not stretching the player name. I’m not overly concerned with it, though.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Vladimir Guerrero

Vladimir

In his first year on the ballot, Vladimir Guerrero received 71.7% of the vote, missing induction by 15 votes. This year, there was no doubt that the Dominican-born great would be inducted. A nine-time All-Star, Guerrero became a star in Montreal, and a superstar in Anaheim, winning the 2004 AL MVP as he helped the Angels to the playoffs. He finished in the top ten in MVP voting five other times.

Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Tim Raines

Raines

Time was running out for Tim Raines. In his tenth and final year on the BBWAA ballot, the National League’s answer to Rickey Henderson in the 1980s was finally given a place in Cooperstown. It has shocked me how little support the stars of the 1980s received. Some had to wait several years to get in (such as Raines’ teammate Andre Dawson), while others were never given their due by the BBWAA (like Lou Whitaker, who fell off the ballot after just one year). Some had to wait for the Veterans Committee to set things right. The 1980s have been disrespected, and that’s totally not tubular.

The announcement for the 2018 class comes tomorrow…who will join Veterans Committee selections Alan Trammell and Jack Morris on the Hall of Fame stage this year?

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