I’ve been a bit busy lately with some projects that are non-blog related. But I’m still reading and Tweeting and collecting Random Awesomeness to share…
- ’56 of the month: Andy Seminick [Night Owl Cards]
- Angels No-Hit Tribute to Tyler Skaggs [Cards That Never Were]
- 2020 Topps is here [Cards That Never Were]
- 1988 All Star Game Honorary Captains: Bobby Doerr & Willie Stargell [Cards That Never Were]
- The 1967-68 Player Boycott of Topps [SABR’s Baseball Cards Research Committee]
- The Baseball Card Olympics [The Lost Collector]
- Joy of a purchased complete set: 1985 Topps Goonies [Baseball Card Breakdown]
- The Family’s All Here #GB20 [Jason Reitman’s Twitter]
In 1980, SSPC released a set of cards featuring baseball Hall of Famers called “Baseball Immortals.” The set was updated in 1984, 1986, and 1987 to include new inductees. These were some of my favorite non-mainstream cards when I began collecting, because how else was I going to get a card of Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig? Not too many of these cards remain in my collection, but I would like to get my hands on a complete set someday. That is, as complete as it gets…through 1987.
Unfortunately, inductees from 1988 onward never became a part of the SSPC “Baseball Immortals” set. Let’s fix that, shall we?
I have created virtual cards or “fun cards” of all the inductees from 1988 through 1999 so far, with plans to eventually bring the set completely up to date. 2006 may be the biggest challenge in this, with 18 inductees that year alone. But we’ll tackle that year when we get there. Today, we will begin with the lone inductee from 1988, Pittsburgh’s Willie Stargell.
“Pops” was a first-ballot inductee with 82.4% of the BBWAA vote in 1988. The 1979 NL MVP slugged 475 home runs in his 21-year career. In addition to the NL MVP award, Stargell also took home World Series MVP honors in 1979 as the Bucs defeated the Baltimore Orioles in seven games.
I picked up two rack packs of 1983 Donruss last night at the Redsfest for $1 each. I thought surely they were just in the wrong place on the table, but no…$1 each. And with a Reggie Jackson Diamond King showing on top, how could I resist?
All seven men who have been honored with the retirement of uniform #8 are in the Hall of Fame, and two served as catchers for the New York Yankees.
Bill Dickey, New York Yankees
Dickey played 19 seasons in the Bronx, going to the World Series nine times (and winning eight). Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1954, his uniform number was retired in 1972 when Berra, who also wore #8, was selected for enshrinement in Cooperstown.
Yogi Berra, New York Yankees
Cal Ripken, Jr., Baltimore Orioles
Carl Yastrzemski, Boston Red Sox
Gary Carter, Montreal Expos
Joe Morgan, Cincinnati Reds
Willie Stargell, Pittsburgh Pirates
Right about now, I should be boarding a plane in Baltimore to come back home. If all went according to plan, I saw the Orioles play the Red Sox last night at Camden…of course, things don’t always go according to plan, so I’ll let you know if plans changed.
Earlier this year, my family and I drove through Pittsburgh on the way to visit family, and stopped to see the Reds play the Pirates at PNC Park. We only saw a few batters because of the rain, but I had fun visiting the park for the first time. The Pirates have some great statues outside the park, including the legendary Honus Wagner right out front…
“Pops” (Willie Stargell) is located on the third base side of PNC…
Roberto Clemente (and the bridge named after him) are out near left field…
There is also a bridge named after artist Andy Warhol, parallel to the Clemente bridge, but I didn’t get a photo of it. It’s basically the same bridge, and I didn’t see any signs calling them Clemente or Warhol. I wanted to go to the Warhol Museum, but it was closed the day we were in town.
Outside the right field side of the park is a statue of Hall of Famer Bill Mazeroski…
There is also a street named after Maz, and since we were just walking around for a few hours before the game, I snapped a shot of the street sign…
It really shouldn’t have taken more than two months to write this post.