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Fun Cards: “Baseball Immortals” Roberto Alomar

Alomar

One of the first really big trades I remember was between the San Diego Padres and Toronto Blue Jays. The Padres received Tony Fernandez, who was probably the third-best shortstop in the AL at the time, and up-and-coming slugger Fred McGriff. The Blue Jays picked up Joe Carter, who would become a World Series legend, and future Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar. Of course, no one knew that Alomar would be headed to Cooperstown at the time. With only three years under his belt, he had made one All-Star team for the Padres, but there wasn’t a whole lot of competition at his position outside of Ryne Sandberg. In Toronto, however, he blossomed. At the end of his career, Alomar boasted 12 All-Star games, ten Gold Gloves, and four Silver Slugger awards.

His JAWS score ranks him as the 14th best second baseman in history, which seems a little low to me. Ahead of him are four non-Hall of Famers who have strong cases: Bobby Grich and Lou Whitaker, the still-active Robinson Cano and the not-quite-retired-but-without-a-team Chase Utley.

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Retired Numbers: #12

Only two teams have retired #12. Both players honored are Hall of Famers, and recent ones at that.


Wade Boggs, Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Despite only playing for the club for two years, Tampa Bay retired #12 for Boggs after his retirement. He collected his 3000th career hit with the Devil Rays in 1999. Neither the Red Sox nor the Yankees have retired his uniform number to date, though he was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2004 and the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.


Roberto Alomar, Toronto Blue Jays

Fun Cards: 1962 Topps Football Roberto Alomar

San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Cleveland Indians, Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks…man, this guy played for a lot of teams! He even signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays before retiring in 2005. We all know Roberto Alomar was a great second baseman, but where does he rank among the HOFers? Is he better than Ryne Sandberg? Does he even come close to Joe Morgan? Where does he fall in the list of the all-time greats at that position?

Original Carter Sketch Card: The Alomars

If I recall correctly, Sandy Alomar Jr. was a bigger prospect than Roberto Alomar. This was a sketch I did featuring the brothers and their dad, Sandy Alomar Sr., who was coaching for the Padres at the time. I believe the 1989 Bowman family card was the model for Sr., 1989 Topps for Jr., and 1989 Upper Deck for Roberto…so it seems that this was probably drawn in 1989.

I did run this through Photoshop to darken the edges…the original pencil has faded quite a bit. I had to do this with a few of my sketches.

The best Blue Jays outside of Cooperstown

When I think of the Blue Jays, I think of their awesome 1980s uniforms in contrast to their boring duds worn today. There are some players that immediately come to mind as well, such as Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key, and Tony Fernandez. It was no surprise that those players were among the ones selected to the Blue Jays’ All-Time NON-HOF by position team on baseball-fever.com.

Among the players on my ballot, I believe McGriff and Alomar should be in the Hall of Fame already, and Alomar will almost certainly get the call in January. McGriff, on the other hand, will have some more campaigning to do.

My picks:
C: Darrin Fletcher
1B: Fred McGriff
2B: Roberto Alomar
SS: Tony Fernandez
3B: Kelly Gruber
LF: George Bell
CF: Devon White
RF: Joe Carter
sub1: John Olerud
sub2: Jesse Barfield
LHP: Jimmy Key
SP: Dave Stieb
SP: Juan Guzman
RP: Tom Henke
sub3: Cliff Johnson

The top picks of the BBF think tank:
C: Ernie Whitt
1B: Fred McGriff
2B: Roberto Alomar
SS: Tony Fernandez
3B: Kelly Gruber
LF: George Bell
CF: Devon White
RF: Jesse Barfield
LHP: Jimmy Key
P: Dave Stieb
P: Pat Hentgen
P: Doyle Alexander
RP: Tom Henke
sub1: John Olerud
sub2: Joe Carter

This is a pretty formidable team if you ask me. There are a lot of really good but not great players that passed through Toronto, and there was agreement on several of the positions. Alomar, Fernandez, Stieb and Key were all unanimous selections, while Henke was named on all but one ballot.

The Hawk flies high

So the Hall of Fame vote was released today, and “The Hawk” was the only player who got the required 75% for election. Blyleven fell five votes short; Alomar was eight votes shy of induction. I still don’t get the aversion to voting for Bert. I guess the Alomar snub had something to do with the spitting incident. Larkin’s 50% is a good start; I predict 2012 to be his year. Raines only got 30%…I don’t get that. And don’t even get me started on Dale Murphy. Seriously, don’t.

For those who did not receive the required 5% to stay on the ballot for next year…I’m not surprised. None of them should receive serious consideration for Cooperstown. It’s a great achievement to play in the Major Leagues, and they should be very proud of that.

Here’s the breakdown of the vote:

Andre Dawson 420 (77.9%)
Bert Blyleven 400 (74.2%)
Roberto Alomar 397 (73.7%)
Jack Morris 282 (52.3%)
Barry Larkin 278 (51.6%)
Lee Smith 255 (47.3%)
Edgar Martinez 195 (36.2%)
Tim Raines 164 (30.4%)
Mark McGwire 128 (23.7%)
Alan Trammell 121 (22.4%)
Fred McGriff 116 (21.5%)
Don Mattingly 87 (16.1%)
Dave Parker 82 (15.2%)
Dale Murphy 63 (11.7%)
Harold Baines 33 (6.1%)
Andres Galarraga 22 (4.1%)
Robin Ventura 7 (1.3%)
Ellis Burks 2 (0.4%)
Eric Karros 2 (0.4%)
Kevin Appier 1 (0.2%)
Pat Hentgen 1 (0.2%)
David Segui 1 (0.2%)
Mike Jackson 0
Ray Lankford 0
Shane Reynolds 0
Todd Zeile 0

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