Wade Boggs finished his illustrious career in Tampa Bay, collecting his 3000th hit while wearing one of the ugliest uniforms in MLB history.
It was pretty clear early in Wade Boggs‘ career that he would eventually be a Hall of Famer. He batted .357 or better five times in his career, collected 3010 hits and finished with a .328 average. Twelve times in 18 years Boggs was named an All-Star, and eight times a Silver Slugger. The JAWS rating system puts Boggs at #3 among third basemen on the all-time list, behind Mike Schmidt and Eddie Mathews.
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.
I thought it would be interesting to go back through the years and see how many teams have won the World Series without a Hall of Fame player (managers are not under consideration). The most recent team to win with a HOFer was the 1996 Yankees with Wade Boggs, but that will change very soon with Pedro Martinez (2004 Red Sox) likely going in next year. Prior to the 1997 Marlins, you have to go back to 1988 to find a Famerless team (though Don Sutton did play part of the year in LA). Two other teams in the 80s accomplished the feat (1984 Tigers and 1981 Dodgers); as far as I can determine no older team won without at least one Hall of Famer on the roster.
Below are the Famerless World Series winners. Player names in italics are potential future Famers in my opinion. While the Giants and Red Sox and even the ’08 Phillies have a few that could one day be considered Cooperstown worthy, it is doubtful anyone from the 2002 Angels squad will be enshrined.
- 2013 Red Sox
- 2012 Giants
- 2011 Cardinals (Albert Pujols)
- 2010 Giants
- 2009 Yankees (Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera)
- 2008 Phillies
- 2007 Red Sox (Curt Schilling)
- 2006 Cardinals (Pujols, Scott Rolen)
- 2005 White Sox (Paul Konerko) (* Frank Thomas was with the team, but did not play in the postseason. Can’t remember why, injury maybe?)
- 2004 Red Sox (Schilling, Martinez)
- 2003 Marlins (Miguel Cabrera)
- 2002 Angels
- 2001 Diamondbacks (Schilling, Randy Johnson)
- 2000 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera)
- 1999 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera)
- 1998 Yankees (Jeter, Rivera, Tim Raines)
- 1997 Marlins
- 1988 Dodgers (* Sutton played during the season, but was released in August)
- 1984 Tigers (Alan Trammell, Lou Whitaker, Jack Morris)
- 1981 Dodgers (dare I say Steve Garvey?)
Of course, the Dodgers had Tom Lasorda and the Tigers had Sparky Anderson leading them to the promised land, so even without any future Famers in the field, the teams had brilliant minds in the dugout.
In the December 1986 issue of Baseball Cards Magazine, six repli-cards were printed for collectors. There were 1981 Donruss “proof” cards of Reggie Jackson and George Brett, 1951 Topps cards of Wally Joyner and Don Mattingly, and 1951 Topps All-Star cards of Wade Boggs and Dwight Gooden. The problem is with the 1951 Topps All-Star cards. They are roughly the same size as those Donruss “pop-up” All-Star cards of the mid-1980s.
Next is an advertisement for a Babe Ruth portrait painted by Dick Perez. There is no date on the ad, and no website, so I’m guessing that this is early to mid-1990s. I’m a huge fan of Perez and his work on the Diamond Kings subset from 1982-1991 (I don’t recall if he also painted 1992; I didn’t buy many cards that year). However, this is probably my least favorite work from Perez.
Finally, at some point in the late 1990s/early 2000s, I was started to get back into baseball and collecting autographs through the mail. I didn’t have a lot of current cards at my disposal yet, so I made some on my own. I wanted Todd Hundley‘s autograph, so I sent him the below “card” and a blank index card. He returned the index card with his autograph, but the homemade card was unsigned. Sure, I only have myself to blame for the odd size of this “card,” and it frustrates me that I didn’t have the foresight to make it the standard 2.5 x 3.5.
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.
My favorite TTM autograph ever? No. But getting the signature of a Hall of Famer for the cost of a couple of stamps is always awesome. Always. Plus, it only took nine days for Wade Boggs to return my cards. Not sure what has brought on this wave of fan appreciation, but it is all kinds of awesome.
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
Back in the late 1980s, a business man and baseball fanatic got the fantastic idea to put Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers, Ferguson Jenkins, Clint Hurdle, and a host of other former major league baseball players back on the field in what was called the Senior Professional Baseball Association. After two years, though, the league folded.
I can’t help but wonder if such a venture would not be more successful today? With several former ballplayers still in excellent shape, it could turn out to be an interesting and competitive league. Think of it: Jose Canseco, Rickey Henderson, and Barry Bonds in the outfield; Mike Piazza at first base; Barry Larkin at shortstop…these are big draws! Much bigger than Vida Blue was in the late 1980s.
Another problem that I saw with the league of nearly two decades ago was that all the games were played in Florida. They never traveled to baseball-starved cities. It could be a “barnstorming” league, traveling across the country and playing for communities that may have some minor league teams, but missed out on the big superstars in their primes.
For those who are not familiar with the SPBA, the minimum age for players was 35 (with the exception of catchers at 32). They had about eight teams I think, and while they did get a couple of future Hall of Famers to sign up, it was mostly filled with utility players and regional stars (like Clint Hurdle, Jim Morrison, and Joaquín Andújar).
However, I believe that the nostalgia of people of my generation (born in the 1970s) would propel a new league on to success if it were organized correctly with a good smattering of former stars. (What’s Wade Boggs up to nowadays? Dave Stewart? Hey, Ryne Sandberg, wanna play 2B?)
If such a league were formed, who would you like to see play? Obviously, Pete Rose and Johnny Bench are probably a little too old to go for it, but what about some of the players who started in the 1980s?