Tom Herr – 1989 Fleer

September 30, 2010


Tom “Iron Horse” Herr

Irascible (in a good way) columnist Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave Herr that nickname during his disastrous (with a capital “D”) 1988 campaign in Minnesota.

How disastrous was that 1988 season?

Well, it tore apart a team, friendships, and fan support for the team. Other than that…

(The irony is that the 1988 Twins won six more games than the 1987 Twins, but still…)

The Cards and Twins just met in the 1987 World Series, won 4-3 by the Twins thanks to four Dome games. One of the catalysts of the Twins’ rise from the absolute nadir of the league to the top was Tom Brunansky. Bruno was part of the 1982 Twins that went 60-102 but broke in long time stalwarts Kent Hrbek, Gary Gaetti, Randy Bush, Frank Viola and Tim Laudner. He was stolen from the Angels for Doug Corbett (a one-year wonder out of the game by1988) and Rob Wilfong (who never met a sac bunt he couldn’t lay down).

The 1988 Twins got off to a 4-10 start, and after a 11-6 loss to Cleveland (who was, inexplicably 13-3) GM Andy MacPhail thought something needed to be done. Bruno was off to a slow start, and second baseman Steve Lombardozzi was hitting sub-.100 at the time. Lombardozzi wasn’t well liked, either, as some thought he was selfish and me-first (which only crops up when you are losing).

Herr was doing his Tom Herr thing, but the Cards were 4-11. The Cards, never a power-hitting team to begin with, were batting Herr cleanup.

Tom Herr, cleanup.

Now, I loved Tommy Herr when he was on my APBA team. I had Herr and Ozzie Smith as my 2B and SS and had the best infield defense possible. But one thing I know, in my heart of hearts, is that Tommy Herr is NO cleanup hitter.

So two struggling teams needing a kick start made a trade. Sure, why not?

It was Herr for Brunansky. A straight up trade – the Cards getting power and the Twins getting a second baseman.

Herr was perfect for St. Louis. Yes, his OPS+ was low, but he could field, run and put the ball in play. In Minnesota, though, those weren’t the skills needed for success.

Brunansky went to St. Louis and did his bit. Yes, he hit for a low average, but he walked and hit home runs and surprisingly stole 16 bases! The Cards had a poor year (75-87) but it wasn’t Bruno’s fault

Herr, on the other hand…

1. Forced the Twins to play Gene Larkin, John Moses and Randy Bush more than expected. While they all had nice seasons, none of them had the power that Brunansky had.

2. Hated the fact he was traded. Reusse said that “The Iron Horse came to Minnesota with a chance to play an important role on a team trying to defend a championship. Herr brought with him the enthusiasm normally associated with being called to an IRS audit.”

3. Missed a lot of time due to a leg injury, which the aforementioned Mr. Reusse didn’t think was serious enough to keep him out of the lineup as much as he did.

4. Because of #3, forced Lombardozzi back into the lineup after he got a vote of ‘no confidence’. He responded by dragging his average all the way up to .209 and playing himself out of the league.

5. Because of #4, an incident happened during a mid-July game. With Herr out, Lombardozzi had been playing second but was slumping and Al Newman was taking some time from him. He had a ‘red ass’ all of the time, and when Tom Kelly pinch hit Kelvin Torve for Lombardozzi in a loss at Boston, Lombo erupted in the clubhouse.

On the flight home, Dan Gladden and some other Twins players argued with the second baseman. The Twins had an off day the next day and Lombo went over to “Dazzle” Gladden’s house to settle differences. They settled them. Gladden cracked a bone in his right ring finger and Lombardozzi had scratches and a black eye.

6. He was very open about religion and was a clubhouse preacher. While Greg Gagne was a Christian, he was rather quiet about it. Herr was not.

7. Because of #6, he wrecked the chemistry of the club and almost put a permanent end to the friendship of Gaetti and Hrbek. Those two were inseparable louts, fun loving and non-serious. But Herr was the main catalyst to convert Gaetti into a fundamentalist, and almost overnight he was the exact opposite of Hrbek.

While chemistry can be overrated, something that drastic that happens during the season can’t be good. And even though, as noted above, the Twins won more games in 1988 than in 1987, they never were in the race and finished a very distant second to Oakland.

By the beginning of the next season, Gaetti and Hrbek were speaking again but still very tentative about their relationship. Herr and Lombardozzi were exiled – Herr to Philly for Shane Rawley, Lombardozzi to Houston for two minor leaguers. In a cost saving move, Blyleven was dealt for Paul Sorrento, and the Mets traded the decaying remains of Wally Backman to the Twins for three minor leaguers. Oh, and Jim Dwyer was traded to Montreal late in the year, and then traded back from Montreal at the end of the season. In 1989, the Twins finished fifth. In 1990, they were in last, setting up the improbable 1991 World Series win.

MacPhail and his replacement, Terry Ryan were reminiscing about some bad deals they made. Ryan brought up the infamous release of David Ortiz in 2002, to which MacPhail replied,

“Yeah, but you didn’t trade Tom Brunansky for Tommy Herr.”

“I put a spell on you / because you’re mine!”

Ok, who among us has put our hands in those positions while playing baseball or softball?

Anyone?

I was testing it out and it definitely looks like Roberto is casting a spell instead of fielding.

But what do I know, I’m someone who bought a box (actually, two boxes thanks to 1991 Score being in series) of these cards this summer ($8 each box though, I mean…a deal).

So I’m about 19 years too late for mockery or complaints.

Wait, I guess there’s no statute of limitations are there?

What’s remarkable is that I didn’t remember Alomar playing so early in the 90′s, and I really don’t remember him retiring. He was just out of the game. But I do remember his glory years for Toronto, Baltimore and Cleveland.

Hopefully, his expectoration on John Hirschbeck will be forgotten and he’ll make the HOF.

There are some rumors around (and a lawsuit that probably was settled or just dropped) that he had AIDS, and that was the cause of his dropoff after he got to the Mets in 2002. But…

A. He was 34. That’s middle age in baseball. Roberto’s skills may have waned. It happens.

B. He became a Met. That franchise can take shinola and morph it into…well…you know.

C. Carlos Baerga dropped like a rock in New York, and no one said HE had AIDS.

D. Not only was he a Met, but he was on a pretty dysfunctional team. Oh, wait, that’s the same as being a Met.

E. Mo Vaughn took him to too many strip clubs.

F. In Cleveland, he was one of many stars. The 2001 Indians had Thome, Vizquel, Lofton, Burks, Juan Gonzalez, and Sabathia along with Alomar. For the 2002 Mets, you had Piazza and…well…Mo Vaughn was making a comeback. Alfonzo HAS to be better. We’ve got Jeromy Burnitz now!

G. Being on a team with a fascination for players like Timo Perez, Joe McEwing, Jay Payton and Roger Cedeno can depress anyone.

“Another One? Jeez!”

“Man, I’ve been standing out here for 15 minutes. Can’t you get a good shot? The rest of the team is waiting.”

“Yes, I’m grumpy. You would be too. My arm hurts. It hurt last year. It hurt in ’04 but I didn’t say anything.”

“COME ON DUDE!”

“You know, I’m sick of people reminding me how much money I’m going to be paid and that I shouldn’t whine. My friggin’ arm HURTS, dude.”

“That’s it, I’m done. Screw it. Give me four Advil and a six-pack.”

Bill Hands – 1974 Topps

September 26, 2010

“Huh-huh-huh-huh…Hands”

All of the primordial Beavis & Buttheads among us in the 1970′s (well, I was in 3rd grade at the end of the 1974 season and that’s about their intellectual level) seemed to always make fun of poor Bill Hands.

It’s kind of odd to be named a body part without some added letters (like Barry Foote or Greg Legg). Sure, there was Elroy Face, Ed and Ralph Head, but it’s still rare. And the plural? Well, that’s just outright odd.

Sorry, Rich…

Sidenote #1 before resuming the Bill Hands discussion: Thank God body parts aren’t really common names. I mean, think about Cesar Uvula, Christoper Epiglottis, or Lyle Pancreas. Though, Mudhoney front man Mark Arm would be a heck of a name for a pitcher. And, this gives me an excuse to post this:

Arm and Steve Turner’s combined noise is the best damn guitar sound, EVER! Period. Paragraph.

Sidenote #2: Bill Hands and Rich Hand were both in the AL in 1973. Bill for the Twins (as shown above) and Rich for both Texas and California. That was Rich’s last year in the bigs, after a meteoric rise (starting in AAA for Cleveland in 1969) and spectacular fall. At age 24 he split time between Salt Lake and Pawtucket (on a loan), then was traded as the PTBNL in the Orlando Pena deal, then….the trail goes cold. Well, except that his daughter played on the Oklahoma basketball team with the daughters of Vernon “Bubba” Paris and Hakeem Olajuwon and Ben Roethlisberger’s sister.

Anyway, on April 20, 1973 – Bill Hands faced Rich Hand in a pitching matchup. But only 4,600 braved the April weather at the Met in Minnesota to witness this epic appendage battle. Bill won 5-1 as the Twins pecked away at Rich over 5 innings.

Sidenote #3: Bill Hands’ nickname was Froggy. I ain’t askin’ why.

Sidenote #4: In researching sidenote #2, I found a late-season game where Hands pitched against California. Rich didn’t pitch, but Nolan Ryan did, going 11 innings in a 5-4 win. Ryan faced 49 batters, striking out 16, walking 7 and giving up 10 hits. I would bet Ryan threw over 200 pitches in game 159 of a season where the Angels finished a distant fourth.  Rich Hand was 8th on the team in appearances (16) and 7th in innings pitched (54 2/3). Basically Bobby Winkles used four starters and two relievers and the rest of the pitchers collected their checks and played pinochle.

Anyway, thanks for staying with me about Bill Hands after the diversions, sidebars, and rockin’ out!

Hands was a key member of the Durocher Cubs. From 1968-1972 he was a solid #2 or #3 starter. Minnesota was spinning its wheels as were the Cubs by 1972, so Hands and Joe Decker were sent to the Twins for Dave LaRoche. Because, as you know, YOU GOTTA HAVE A LEFTY!

So Hands is in Minnesota and according to the data, Calvin Griffith cut his salary right off the bat. Nice move there. The Twins had a pretty decent staff with Jim Kaat, Bert Blyleven, Ray Corbin, and Dick Woodson along with Decker and Hands. Youngsters Dave Goltz and Bill Campbell were waiting in the wings, and they got Ken Sanders from the Brewers in hopes that he would regain his 1971 form.

Bill started out in the rotation, and was 5-8 with a 4.65 ERA. Then Eddie Bane showed up, and Bill made one more start in 1973. Bane was Griffith’s answer to David Clyde. Fresh off of the USC campus, Bane went right to the bigs. It was just as big of a mistake as David Clyde’s first season.

Hands probably felt a bit miffed, as even after Bane washed out Goltz and Dan Fife got starts instead of him. One thing up his sleeve though was a new right the players received in 1973 after a spring training labor dispute. They were allowed to file for salary arbitration. Bill actually had a decent season after the bad start, so he didn’t think he deserved a cut in pay.

There is no doubt Hands had it up to here with the Twins already – they cut his salary and exiled him to the bullpen for a kid and when the kid failed they still left him to rot there. So Hands filed. He asked for a $1,000 raise. I don’t know what the Twins countered with, but Bill won.

That made Mr. Griffith very, very angry.

What was even worse was that Bill’s first start of the year in 1974 was an unmitigated disaster of the nth degree.

It started single, steal, single, strikeout, RBI single, strikeout looking. OK, two outs, two on, Cookie Rojas up.

2 RBI double, then RBI single, HBP, RBI single, and look here’s Fred Patek, the leadoff hitter again. He laced an RBI single.

Frank Quillici gets Hands. The Twins go on to lose 23-6. Every Twins pitcher that participated in the game left with an ERA of 9 and higher, led (?) by Hands’ FM frequency of 94.5 (they play the classic hits, and it’s always two for Tuesday)!

After four more starts, he was 0-4 with a 8.74 ERA and then exiled to the pen again. Griffith was irate, no doubt. But he was on the hook for his salary, so he stuck around.

Until it was September. In early September Griffith sold his $55,000 pitcher to Texas, who needed pitching depth if they were to make a run at Oakland. Bill pitched in two more games, but only one when the Rangers were in the race.

The next year, he got the same salary, pitched in 18 games, and his arm was done. He was 6-7 with a 4.02 but didn’t try to come back after his truncated season.

You wonder why players fought for their rights. He made the Twins owner irate, and the Twins buried him, because he got a very small raise.

Now, of course, the money is just astronomical. But, the stands are fuller (or at least the tickets are sold) and the TV deals are big for almost every club. So I don’t begrudge the players for making a lot of scratch. But they need to remember guys like Bill Hands, who was run out of Minnesota because of $1,000.

Ken Singleton – 1974 Topps

September 25, 2010

“Hello, Dad? I’m In Jail!”

Note: I do not think Mr. Singleton has ever been incarcerated. Even though he works for the Yankees, he is a very smooth and professional broadcaster now from what I have seen on the MLB network. So this is all in fun.

This is daylight and the card seems bleak because of the background. It’s either 20-year old middle school diamond or prison ballyard chic.

Even with the surroundings, Singleton had that LOOK – the look of a confident athlete.

Playing in Montreal, he put together a monster 1973. He scored and drove in over 100 runs, led the league in OBP and had an OPS+ of 148.

Montreal had three of the top OBP guys in the league in Singleton, Ron Fairly and Ron Hunt, and had Bob Bailey, who got on base and hit dingers and Hal Breeden slugged .535 off the bench. They could have scored a ton of runs.

But they were mid-pack in offense because the other guys (Boccabella, Foli, and Jorgensen) didn’t get on and Ron Woods didn’t have power and his low average offset his batting yet. Mauch was stubborn in platooning Jorgensen and Breeden and try as he might, Pepe Frias was even worse than Foli at the dish.

Same story with the pitching for the Expos. Steve Renko went 15-11 with a 2.81, and threw in a .273 BA with 9 RBI and 2 steals to boot. Steve Rogers went 10-5 with a 1.54 ERA after he was called up. Mike Marshall was insane (as usual) – throwing 179 innings out of the pen with a 14-11 record and 31 saves.

But…Balor Moore began his flameout at age 22 (7-16, 4.49). Mike Torrez’ control problems continued to manifest themselves (9-12, 4.46, 115 BB and only 90K in 208 IP). Ernie McAnally wore down. Bill Stoneman was done. The rest of the pen were mediocre, has beens, or never would bes.

The result was a 79-83 record and 4th place, but just 3 1/2 games behind.

So the 1973 Expos had a few issues, but everyone could see they were a team on the rise, right? And Singleton was the main offensive cog that would lead them to the new frontier. When they stole him from the Mets for Le Grande Orange, it was a coup d’etat. (Even if they had to take Tim Foli in the deal. I almost would have rather had a gaping void at short than Tim Foli, but that’s another card…)

1973 was a great year, as you can see in Singleton. 1974 would be better.

Er, no. His power dropped from 23 dingers to just 9. His average slumped to .276 to .302. He drew 30 fewer walks (but still had 93).  But the Expos were 79-82, 8 1/2 games back. A little hiccup, but with a couple more position players and a couple more pitchers, not to worry. Singleton was still the big cog.

He did have issues. He wasn’t fast and wasn’t a plus defender. He had back problems. Still, he was in his prime and produced lots of runs and was a solid citizen.

So, WTF did Montreal do?

They traded him – of course. To Baltimore. With Mike Torrez. For Rich Coggins and Dave McNally.

Sure, Mike Torrez was erratic and his control problems infuriating at times. But he would be a solid major league pitcher until the early 1980′s and went 20-9 in 1975. But he threw right and the Expos decided they needed a lefty.

In fact, after Balor Moore flamed out, the Expos had no lefties. And you need a lefty, right? YOU NEED A LEFTY! It’s a rule.

So let’s see – ah, Baltimore is calling. They have a lefty (McNally) who has won 181 games in the majors. Sure, he got hit a little bit harder last year than in the previous years, and threw a lot of innings during the 70′s. BUT HE’S AN EXPERIENCED LEFTY!

And the Expos weren’t fast, except for two players – Willie Davis and Larry Lintz. And Davis was older and on the block as well. But the Orioles were dangling this really fast guy who finished 6th in the ROY voting in 1973 in Coggins. He was an outfielder and he was FAST. And he played right field. Sure he slipped in 1974. But he was fast – you can’t teach that!

So the deal was made: Baltimore sent Coggins, McNally and a minor leaguer for Singleton and Torrez.

The grin on Earl Weaver’s face was noticeable from Gatineau to the Gaspe; from Chicoutimi to Quebec City.

You know the rest – McNally and Coggins don’t last the entire 1975 season due to injury and ineptitude. Torrez wins 20 (as I said) and then is dealt for Ken Holtzman and Reggie! Jackson. Holtzman then goes to the Yanks with a whole bundle of players for another whole bundle of players – included are Rudy May, Tippy Martinez, Rick Dempsey and Scott McGregor. May was then traded to…Montreal in 1978 in a package that included Gary Roenicke and Full-Pack Stanhouse.

So basically, the Orioles received Singleton, Martinez, Dempsey, McGregor, Roenicke and Stanhouse for players resulting from the deal that sent along McNally and Coggins – two players that were out of baseball by 1977. The sextet of players in the first part of the sentence were key cogs to the 1979 AL Championship Orioles.

Oh, and that 1979 season for Singleton? Just a 155 OPS+ and a runner-up finish in the MVP race to Don Baylor (only because of RBI’s – Singleton’s season beat Baylor in almost every key stat save that).

(Yes, George Brett or Fred Lynn really deserved to win the award in 1979, but hey…I’m on a roll…)

This brings us back to the photo in this card. Singleton has that calm, confident look. Perhaps he knows that in two seasons he’ll be on a team that won’t make stupid-ass trades and contend each year for a championship.

And I bet he saw they had a spring training complex that didn’t look like jail!

Jimmy Wynn – 1974 Topps

September 24, 2010

Popped him up!

It was kind of unusual to find an action shot of ‘failure’ before the 80′s. But here’s one. Jimmy Wynn, the Toy Cannon, a underrated player because of his home park (The Astrodome) and his skills (three true outcome in the speed / defense era).

Did you realize his OPS+ for his career was 128? That’s even with a totally horrific 1971 (.203 / .302 OBP / .295 SLG and a -0.9 WAR) and a bad final year in 1977. In 1976, he hit .207 with only 17 homers and still had a OPS+ of 107 and a WAR of 3.2.

His 1974 season with the Dodgers (32 bombs, 108 RBI, and 14 fielding runs) made him a legit MVP candidate (he finished 5th. Two teammates, Garvey and Marshall, beat him but Wynn had more WAR than both of them combined).

Put him in a uniform starting in 1993 and I bet he’d still be playing today – smashing homers, drawing walks, running a little bit.

Yet, the kids and collectors in 1974 saw him popping up in a game against the Giants in Candlestick. I wonder if Topps did that to anyone else?

Oops…

Ken Schrom – 1988 Fleer

September 24, 2010

Hey, I thought he wore a Tiger cap?

Yesterday, I got back from a long trip and opened packages from Night Owl and Reds & More. You rock, dudes. I am newish at this and lame and I still love junk wax and am chasing sets that everyone seems to have sextuples of.

Anywho…

One thing about the 80′s is the facial hair. After a wild decade in the 70′s, baseball men decided to clean themselves up for the most part. Facial hair was still OK, but it had to be well groomed.

Mr. Schrom had that Magnum PI thing down pat here. Though I don’t think Schrom drove a Ferrari. He did make $450,000 in 1987. And for that, the Indians were “rewarded” with a 6-13, 6.50 ERA effort. He still made 29 starts for them. If you do recall, this was the infamous SI Cover team that went 59-103. It wasn’t like Schrom had a hideous stretch – he was hideous all year. The lowest his ERA was all season was 5.43.

It could have been worse. Schrom gave up 15 unearned runs.

That season for Schrom and the Indians was illustrated by his final start of the season, in Game 161. (Of course, why not run a 30+ starting pitcher out there for game 161. It would be silly of you to see if any of your younger players could play the game. Oh, wait, I looked at the 1987 Buffalo roster. Nevermind.)

Because there was nothing better to do, over 22,000 folks went to the Big A to watch the Indians (60-100) face the Angels (74-86). Jack Lazorko against Ken Schrom. Baseball fever, catch it!

The Indians strike first, as Brook Jacoby singles home Brett Butler. Can Schrom finally get it together and make a case for him being on the 1988 Indians?

Leading off for the Angels, Brian Downing. Smack! Tie game.

After an out, batting third for the Angels, Wally Joyner. Crunch. 2-1

A second out, and batting fifth for the Angels, Jack Howell. Rip! 3-1

Schrom then gives up hits to Devon White and Gus Polidor, but gets out of it.

Now Higgins would have given Magnum some sage advice, or something, or other. And maybe Doc Edwards did, because Schrom gets ‘em out 1-2-3 in the second.

Bottom of the third, Joyner leads off. Bam! 4-1. Four solo home runs. Talk about three true outcomes!

Then Bill Buckner doubles. Bill Buckner. He had to have hit the ball a long way to double. After an out, White then singles home Buckner. (Buckner on a Segway? Wait, not invented yet.) Schrom leaves and is replaced by Sammy Stewart.

Yes, the same Sammy Stewart that Earl Weaver loved in the 70′s. You have to love a 100+ loss team that has an over-30 year old pitching staff, right?

White steals second. Polidor walks. White steals third! Bob Boone singles and White scores.

Ken Schrom’s line: 2 1/3 IP, 8H, 6 ER.

But at least Schrom had the Magnum stache. And $450,000. And now he’s a minor league executive. So, it wasn’t all bad.

Ross Grimsley – 1981 Fleer

September 22, 2010

“None More Black”

I didn’t see Night Owl post this on his night card set, and I don’t mean to impose on his space, but this card is night time personified.

It’s Spinal Tap “Smell The Glove” black.

Was pitching for the Cleveland Indians in 1980 like death?

Well, Grimsley pitched like death for them.

He was fabulous in ’78 for the Expos, struggled big time in ’79, and in ’80 was even worse. The Expos flipped him for Dave Oliver. So a 1978 All-Star was traded, just two seasons later, for someone with 29 career ABs in the majors, was hitting .268 in the PCL AND was out of the game the next season.

You think Grimsley’s peculiar laundry and hygiene habits got on the Expos nerves when his ERA was over 6? Yeah, me too.

So now he was Cleveland’s problem. The 1980 Indians finished 79-81, which was just meh. Dave Garcia must have done a nice job, since they were 8th in runs scored, last in ERA and had a pythagorean record of 73-87. But it was hard to get excited by the staff who were:

Barker, Waits, Spillner, Garland, Monge, Owchinko, Victor Cruz, (The Original) Mike Stanton, and Wihtol.

They also had John Denny, who was hurt mid-season, thus the need for Grimsley. But this wasn’t John Denny, ERA champ nor John Denny, Cy Young Leader. It was John Denny, blah pitcher for a blah team. Actually, Grimsley’s first game (a scintillating 4 ER in 2 IP  performance in a 12-2 loss to Texas).

Denny’s injury forced the Indians to put Grimsley in the rotation, as they thought they had no other choices to keep themselves bleah instead of mega-bleah. He made 11 starts and, well, mega-bleah.

(Did Cleveland have internal choices? Well, they had just FOUR affiliates – AAA Tacoma, AA Chattanooga, A Waterloo, and short-season Batavia. Mike Paxton was at Tacoma, but he washed out in Cleveland earlier. They seemed to be committed for not allowing Tom Brennan a chance for the most part. Brennan had been at AAA since, oh, 1974!)

This card, though, is the epitome of the bleakness Grimsley and Cleveland were experiencing in 1980. A night game at Municipal Stadium. Grimsley pitched in 7 games at home. Two were back ends of double dips, and one was played in rain, so there are four games that this shot could be taken from.

I’m picking September 9, 1980 – The Red Sox at Cleveland. 5,104 stared, with great ennui, at the contest. Grimsley was facing Dennis Eckersley. Somehow, with Miguel Dilone leading off and a DP combo of Alan Bannister and Tom Veryzer, Grimsley left the game with a 3-1 lead after 5 1/3 innings. However, he left the bases loaded for Victor Cruz. Sac fly by Tony Perez and a single by Dwight Evans tied the game. Cruz lost the game in the 9th, long after Grimsley hit the showers (or not) and pulled on his ratty t-shirt and torn jeans.

Cruz lost the game after Don Zimmer used a sac bunt with one out in the ninth, so Gary Hancock could bat with a runner in scoring position.

Bleah!

Reggie Walton – 1981 Fleer

September 21, 2010

Art 203 – Contemporary Art & Photography Criticism

MWF 9:00 – 9:50 – 3 credits.

Pretest:

What is the most egregious thing about this photo:

1. The light standard growing out of the player’s head.

2. The off-center subject.

3. The blurred print job.

4. The lack of relevant action even though taken in an historic place.

5. The Mariners logo and uniform.

6. The fact that someone on-line is selling this card for $2.95!

Alas, poor Reggie had a short big-league career. I believe that this is his only solo baseball card. (He was featured on a 3-way rookie card with Dave “Music From The” Edler and Dave “Not Rickey, Nor Steve” Henderson.)

The early Mariners had nothing to lose, but continually messed up personnel decisions. Now Walton had some flaws – he had modest power, little patience, and wasn’t that great in the field. But he could hit, and certainly had a higher upside than Dan Meyer, Juan Beniquez, Leon Roberts, Willie Horton, Joe Simpson, Richie Zisk, Jeff Burroughs, Tom Paciorek and Bruce Bochte. Even though some of those players had fine seasons in 1980 and 1981, Walton definitely could have gotten some ABs and maybe be part of an actual winning baseball team in Seattle. I mean, the Mariners would have been hard pressed to lose any more than they did in 1980 and 1981.

But I guess Leon Roberts and Jeff Burroughs put fannies in the seats, right?

“I Feel Good Tommy”

“I don’t give a shit that you feel good. There are four motherfuckin’ hits up there…”

Is every one shocked that players and managers work ‘blue’?

Did anyone count the ‘shits’ and ‘fucks’?

Does anyone wish there was a recording of Joe Schultz in 1969, where he used ‘shitfuck’ and ‘fuckshit’ like ‘please’ and then told everyone to ‘pound the ol’ Budweiser’?

OK, it’s not the right card for either one, but still…I had to post this classic bit of baseball. You wonder what the conversations were on the mound back in the less refined eras of the game. I think a lot of it is the World Series atmosphere. In the regular season, Rau would have been left in to work his way out of the jam.

The Dodgers lost 4-2, thanks to the three-run second.

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