Whitey Herzog led the Kansas City Royals to three first-place finishes in the 1970s, but couldn’t get past the Yankees in the ALCS. He moved across the state in the 1980s, taking the helm of the St. Louis Cardinals. There, he was able to lead the team to the World Series three times, winning in 1982 over the Milwaukee Brewers while falling to the Royals and the Twins in 1985 and 1987, respectively.
Billy Southworth is a three-way Hall of Famer. He was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, Cooperstown in 2008, and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame in 2014, a part of the inaugural class with Lou Brock, Willie McGee, Bob Gibson, and others. He led the Cardinals to 620 wins in 1929 and 1940-1945, winning the World Series in 1942 and 1944 and the NL Pennant in 1943.
Bruce Sutter was the lone BBWAA inductee in 2006, squeaking in with 76.9% of the vote. He was a dominant closer, but his career was much shorter than I remember it. He pitched for the Cubs from 1976-80, Cardinals 1981-84, and the Braves 1985-86 and 1988. He was the 1979 Cy Young Award winner and finished third two other times. Sutter was selected to six All-Star teams.
After several years of multiple inductees, Ozzie Smith was the only man granted baseball immortality in 2002. The Wizard of Oz was one of the most exciting shortstops to watch, making amazing defensive plays nearly every game. Immensely popular, he sailed into Cooperstown on his first ballot with 91.7% support.
Red Schoendienst was on the BBWAA ballot for fifteen years; the highest support he ever received was 42.6% in 1980. He failed to reach any “magic numbers” offensively, finishing his career with 2449 hits and a .289 average. Respectable numbers, no doubt, but well short of a slam-dunk Hall of Fame resume. The Veterans Committee, however, decided to usher him into Cooperstown in 1989 on the strength of ten All-Star appearances and a solid defensive reputation.
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.
God Almighty Hisself: The Life and Legacy of Dick Allen
by Mitchell Nathanson
University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016
One of the most polarizing players of the 1960s and 70s, Dick Allen never seemed to be happy. He had enormous talent, but he did not believe he received the respect he deserved. He faced racism, bad press, hecklers, and more during his career, and made plenty of enemies along the way. In this new biography by Mitchell Nathanson, those events are chronicled and put into historical context in the best possible way, using newspaper articles and archived interviews as the primary source for information, with newer interviews conducted to flesh things out when needed. Allen himself declined to participate in the interview process, but the quality of reporting throughout his career served to paint a portrait of the oft disgruntled star.
There is very little to criticize in this book as far as the writing goes; Nathanson deals with the material honestly and openly, not shying away from the negativity that always seemed to surround Allen. My primary criticism would be with the title, God Almighty Hisself. Not knowing the context, one might assume that Allen referred to himself in such a way. The quote from which the title is taken actually refers to the troublesome nature of dealing with the player, with a former manager quipping, “I believed God Almighty hisself would have trouble handling Richie Allen.” As such, the book should have been titled differently.
Overall, however, this biography of Dick Allen is an enjoyable read, shedding light on the surly superstar who often held out for more money, was frequently traded, and was dismissed all too soon by the voters for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
(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.