The three best pitchers in the National League in 1988 were Orel Hershiser, Danny Jackson, and David Cone. No ifs, ands, or buts. But at the break, it was not so clear-cut. Pittsburgh pitcher Bob Walk had ten victories at the break along with a 2.47 ERA, while Hershiser sat at 13 wins/2.62 ERA, Jackson at 10/3.28, and Cone at 9/2.52. However, the latter three ended the season with at least 20 wins, while Walk was only able to muster two more victories in 1988.
Still, at the break, Walk was in the mix for best pitcher in the National League. and he was rewarded with a trip to Cincinnati for the All-Star Game.
Mike Schmidt started seven All-Star games from 1981-1989; Graig Nettles started in 1985, and Bobby Bonilla in 1988. Topps featured Tim Wallach at third base in the 1988 All-Star subset, but the Expos’ third baseman did not appear in the 1988 game.
Bonilla recently received his yearly $1.2 million payment from the Mets. He will receive a check from the Mets every year through 2035 as a result of his release in 2000.
(October 17, 1915 – April 4, 2016)
Former MLB catcher for the Boston Braves, Brooklyn Dodgers, and Pittsburgh Pirates, Mike Sandlock passed away Monday at the age of 100. At the time of his death he was the oldest verified former major leaguer. That distinction now goes to 99-year old Eddie Carnett.
(February 12, 1926 – March 23, 2016)
Recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award in 1991, Joe Garagiola, Sr. played nine years for the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and New York Giants. He started his broadcast career with KMOX in 1955 calling Cardinals games, later work with NBC radio and television.
Baseball Stadiums 2016 Calendar
published by TF Publishing, 2015
Now that October has arrived, it is time to admit that Christmas is just around the corner. Yes, we have to get through Halloween and Thanksgiving first, but it is never too soon to start thinking about what gifts you will be buying for others. One small gift that is timeless is the calendar. Whether you go with the daily boxed variety, or the monthly hang-on-the-wall calendar, everyone needs to know what day it is at some point.
Perfect Timing publishes a wide variety of calendars, including this very nice Baseball Stadiums 2016 Calendar. Twelve ballparks are featured, including such vital statistics as home team, opening date, dimensions, capacity, and playing surface. The twelve parks are Busch (St. Louis), AT&T (San Francisco), Fenway (Boston), Citi (New York Mets), PNC (Pittsburgh), Great American (Cincinnati), Yankee (New York Yankees), Wrigley (Chicago Cubs), Chase (Arizona), Comerica (Detroit), Rogers (Toronto), and Dodger (Los Angeles). The calendar measures 11.8×23.4 when hung on the wall, showing the stadium of the month; the calendar portion has plenty of room to jot down appointment and meeting reminders in the blocks.
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ 1960 Season
by David Finoli
Arcadia Publishing, 2015
Nearly every franchise has that one season that is etched into the minds of hardcore fans—one season that stands above all others. For the Pittsburgh Pirates, that season is 1960. Third baseman Dick Groat was the MVP, while 20-game winner Vern Law won the Cy Young Award. Young right fielder Roberto Clemente was coming into his own, while Roy Face was one of the most successful closers in the game. More than a half century later, Danny Murtaugh is still revered for his tenure as manager of the team. Baseball history will never forget Bill Mazeroski‘s dramatic Game 7 home run to win the World Series against the New York Yankees.
In Arcadia Publishing’s latest release in the “Images of Baseball” series, author David Finoli recalls the magical season at Forbes Field through vintage photographs featuring the players, the front office, and the park. In addition to the stars, Finoli examines the lesser-known players, from Rocky Bridges to Bob Oldis to Gino Cimoli. The photographs are a mix of portraits, candid, and action shots. There are a couple of unfortunate instances when the photo extends past one page, and part of it is obscured in the binding between the two pages. The most glaring example is on pages 66-67; Face and Mazeroski can be clearly seen, but Smoky Burgess is lost in the fold. Fortunately, there are very few instances of the photo taking two pages.
The Pittsburgh Pirates’ 1960 Season is a great way to learn about one of the best teams the Steel City has ever fielded, with a fine selection of photographs collected for posterity.
An intimidating force on the diamond, the man nicknamed “The Cobra” now battles a foe much more daunting than pitchers. “I would have liked to have been in the Hall of Fame when I could have enjoyed it properly. Not that I couldn’t now, but the Parkinson’s would have something to say about it.”
Dave Parker’s lifetime statistics make him a borderline case for Cooperstown. With 339 home runs, 1493 RBI, and a .290 batting average, he would be far from the worst selection in baseball’s hallowed shrine.
He won the National League MVP Award in 1978, though he was not invited to the All-Star Game that year. Parker did appear on the midsummer roster four times with Pittsburgh, twice with Cincinnati, and one final time with Milwaukee in 1990. He finished second in MVP voting in 1985, third in 1975 and 1977, and fifth in 1986.
Still popular with fans at autograph signings, Parker longs for recognition as a baseball immortal. “I won two batting titles, should have won two MVPs, was in three World Series, was the MVP of the All-Star Game, DH of the Year twice, and won the RBI crown. I did everything that you could possibly do in baseball and I’m not in the Hall?”
[This is the fifth of a series of “pre-season” baseball cards published at TWJ cards on tumblr. At least one new virtual card is planned for each day from now until Opening Day. Follow TWJ cards on tumblr for more.]
(December 14, 1961 – October 26, 2014)
Former major league pitcher Jeff Robinson passed away Sunday from an undisclosed illness. Robinson pitched 1987-1992 for the Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, and Pittsburgh Pirates, compiling a 47-40 record and 4.79 ERA.
I previewed a few cards last month, but today is the official roll-out day for 2014 TWJ baseball cards! Card #1, shown last month, was Jay Bruce; card #2, shown above, is Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
These are not real baseball cards. They are “fun cards,” virtual cards, whatever you want to call them. One will be posted every day on the TWJ Cards tumblr, so go follow along there. I will not be posting them every day here, so the only way to catch them all is to follow the tumblr!
(October 27, 1922 – February 6, 2014)
“Home run hitters drive Cadillacs and singles hitters drive Fords.”
Baseball Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and Cleveland Indians, passed away today. For seven straight seasons, beginning with his rookie year in 1946, Kiner led the league or tied for the league lead in home runs. He was a six-time All-Star and finished in the top 10 MVP voting five times. Thrice he topped the 8.0 mark in WAR (1947, 1949, 1951). He finished his 10-year career in 1955 with 369 home runs. After a poor showing initially, Kiner was eventually elected to the Hall of Fame on his thirteenth ballot.