The 2009 Hall of Fame class included one player in his first year of eligibility, and one in his last. Rickey Henderson is considered the greatest leadoff hitter in history, and stole more bases than any other major leaguer. In 25 seasons, Henderson stole 1405 bases; no other player has stolen 1000. In 1998, he led the AL with 66 swipes at the age of 39. He racked up 110.8 WAR in his career and ranks third among left fielders according to JAWS, behind the cheater Barry Bonds and the legend Ted Williams.
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.
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.
What do you say we kick it old-school for a few days? Back in the 1980s, the rookie card to have was Rickey Henderson‘s 1980 Topps issue. A friend of mine had the Rickey rookie, and he showed it to me once. He kept the Rickey rookie hidden in his room, stashed away where no one could find it. Night Owl recently posted a page from an August 1984 BBCM selling the Rickey rookie for $4.95. I didn’t start collecting until some time in 1985, and I know that it had to have skyrocketed by then, because I would have certainly plunked down $5 of unspent lunch money for the Rickey rookie.
I even wrote a short story for school about the Rickey rookie. It was a detective story…a “whodunit” if you will. My friend’s Rickey rookie had been lifted, and it was up to me to figure out who the culprit was. I don’t recall now how it ended, but I know the butler didn’t do it.
Here is the first retired baseball player in the 2012 TWJ set…Oakland great Rickey Henderson. Not the Rickey rookie, but I still kinda dig it.
Large photo credit: Michael Ponzini
Inset photo credit: Unknown (if you know, tell me!)
What can be said about Rickey Henderson that Rickey himself has not already said?
- On becoming the all-time stolen base leader: “Lou Brock was a great base stealer, but today, I am the greatest of all-time.”
- On Ken Caminiti‘s estimate that 50% of major leaguers were on the juice: “Well, Rickey’s not one of them, so that’s 49 percent right there.”
- On being Nolan Ryan‘s 5000th strikeout victim: “It gave me no chance. He just blew it by me. But it’s an honor. I’ll have another paragraph in all the baseball books. I’m already in the books three or four times.”
- On talking to himself: “Do I talk to myself? No, I just remind myself of what I’m trying to do. You know, I never answer myself so how can I be talking to myself?”
Photo credit: Getty Images
Two Hall of Fame managers, three Hall of Fame players, and one of Houston’s first star players make up the retired #24’s in the majors.
Whitey Herzog, St. Louis Cardinals
Herzog, whose full name is Dorrel Norman Elvert Herzog, led the Cards to the World Series title in 1982 and NL Pennants in 1985 and 1987. He finished with a .530 winning percentage for the Cardinals from 1980 to 1990. He was named NL Manager of the Year in 1985, edging out Pete Rose by one point, and finished 3rd for the award in 1987 behind Montreal’s Buck Rodgers and the Giants’ Roger Craig.
Jimmy Wynn, Houston Colt .45’s/Astros
Rickey Henderson, Oakland A’s
Tony Perez, Cincinnati Reds
Walter Alston, Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
Willie Mays, New York/San Francisco Giants
Another “greatest of all-time”…Rickey Henderson was the greatest leadoff hitter of all-time, and you will never see a better one.
You have to check out 6 Degrees of Rickey Henderson, a new blog from Joe, one of the dudes that posts on Cincy Reds Cards. It’s an insane idea…so insane that it just might work. Issue a challenge, and he will dazzle you by finding a connection between that person and Rickey Henderson within 6 steps!
I just think it’s crazy that someone has never thought to do this before with a famous actor, like Kevin Bacon or something.