One of the biggest questions of the 2018 Hall of Fame class was Trevor Hoffman. The debate rages on the value of relief pitchers, but Hoffman proved himself over a long 18-year career that he was worthy of serious Cooperstown consideration and the BBWAA deemed him worthy of the honor in 2018. His 601 saves rank him second to Mariano Rivera on the all-time list. However, the JAWS system ranks him the 21st best reliever in history, behind a bunch of guys I’ve never even heard of.
In his rookie year as a manager, the Red Sox won the pennant. He won two World Series in three years with the A’s. And he led the Padres to the NL Pennant, winning the Manager of the Year Award in 1984. Though he never spent more than five seasons with a single team, Dick Williams was a highly respected skipper and an obvious choice for the Hall of Fame.
What can be said about Tony Gwynn that hasn’t already been said? He never batted under .300 with the exception of 1982, when he played only 54 games. In the strike-shortened 1994, Gwynn hit at an amazing .394 clip. He finished his career in 2001 with a .338 lifetime average and 3141 hits, spending his entire 20-year career with the San Diego Padres.
Dave Winfield was perhaps one of the greatest athletes in baseball history. In addition to being the Padres’ first-round pick in the 1973 draft, he was also drafted by the Atlanta Hawks of the NBA and the Utah Stars of the ABA. But wait…there’s more! Despite never playing football in college, the Minnesota Vikings were so impressed by Winfield’s athleticism, they made him their seventeenth-round selection in the NFL draft. Winfield decided to pursue his professional career on the diamond, and never played a day in the minor leagues. He was an All-Star every year from 1977 through 1988, winning seven Gold Gloves and six Silver Sluggers in his 22 seasons.
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2015 ex-Reds, 1990 Score style: Jake Elmore (Tampa Bay Rays), Edwin Encarnacion (Toronto Blue Jays), Yonder Alonso (San Diego Padres)
The Reds are absolutely horrible right now. After leading the Padres 7-3 yesterday, Tony Cingrani gave up a grand slam and then Jumbo Diaz allowed a couple more runs to score…and another loss went in the books. Seriously, if your offense scores seven runs, you oughtta be able to win a few games!!! My frustration level is beyond belief right now. So let’s look at a couple of guys that used to be Redlegs…
First we have Jake Elmore, who is currently employed by the Tampa Bay Rays. Elmore was drafted by the Marlins in 2007, but did not sign. He was then drafted in 2008 by the Diamondbacks, and he made his big league debut with Arizona in 2012. After that season, he was selected off waivers by the Astros, and played the 2013 campaign in Houston. He was then selected off waivers by the White Sox, who sold him to Oakland. But he did not make a big league appearance in 2014 until September with the Reds, who had selected him off waivers from the A’s. Granted free agency on November 4, 2014, the Reds signed him on November 5, but then on November 7 he was selected off waivers by the Pirates. Elmore was again granted free agency in February—why the Pirates took him in the first place no one will ever know—and signed with the Tampa Bay Rays.
This is not Elmore’s only custom card in the world. He is also featured in the very cool TSR set, as a SuperStar Special card no less.
Continuing with guys whose last name starts with the letter “E,” we have Toronto superstar Edwin Encarnacion. His stats are down a bit this year, but he’s still driving the ball far and flipping his bat like a pro.
And I have just realized that I skipped over three other ex-Reds that I already made cards for but haven’t posted yet, including Yonder Alonso, who hit that grand slam yesterday to tie the game against the Reds. GRRRRRRRR…
A picture is worth one thousand words, so here are ten thousand nineteen (including these words, but not the title)…
The ninth-rated prospect in the Padres’ minor league system before last season is now on the Reds’ 40-man roster. Keyvius Sampson was doing well at the AA level, going 10-4 with a 2.26 ERA in San Antonio in 2013. When he reached AAA, though, he took three steps back. In 23 starts, Sampson was 4-8 wth a 6.80 ERA. Hopefully he can regain his AA form and assist the Reds in their quest for the 2015 World Championship!
TWJ contributor Patrick gives us two versions of a 1979 O-Pee-Chee Keyvius Sampson card…no airbrushing, just a “claimed off waivers” line to indicate why his uniform doesn’t match the team name at the bottom. Great cards as always Patrick!
That’s the rumor. Jay Bruce is reportedly on the trading block, and the San Diego Padres are one of the teams showing interest. I will not be happy if #32 is playing anywhere other than Cincinnati next year, and creating another hole in the outfield just doesn’t make sense. I can’t help but wonder how Mick the Jay Bruce Fan feels about this.
(P.S. – I can’t believe I beat Joe Shlabotnik to this one either.)