Blaine Beatty – 1990 Fleer

September 10, 2010

“That word, I don’t think it means what you think it means…”

Well, not a word, but a phrase.

Some unfinished biz – the back of the Halladay card is regular looking. Someone on the 4-color press went a wee too heavy on the black on the sheet I believe.

As for Mr. Beatty, he’s not quite a contender for the “too many cards in the junk wax era” post because he was a semi-legit prospect and did see some big league time in 1989. He had a great year in AA in 1988 and a decent year in AAA in 1989, but his lack of strikeouts in each level could have been a warning that he was more of a crafty-type left. He also didn’t pitch in 1990, no doubt due to injuries. (I can’t imagine another reason – one day we’ll have that DL data hopefully!)

What struck me was the back of this card. Fleer used to put all of the minor league stats on the back, unlike Topps which only used the minors if someone had just 3-4 lines of big league experience. (Not years, lines, since they gave a line for each team he pitched for if he was traded).

In some cases, that left a lot of blank space, and they needed a “Did You Know?” bubble in the back. In this bubble, it said he was voted the Texas League pitcher of the year, leading the league in W, CG, IP and shutouts. Quite impressive.

But the little blurb starts with this tidbit: “Allowed just one HR in six innings pitched.”

OK, he pitched six innings in 1989 for the Mets, giving up five hits, only one run, walking two and striking out three. That one tater was given up in his only start against the Pirates. Beatty pitched five innings, left with a 2-1 lead after giving up the homer in the 4th, but Randy Myers blew the save in the bottom of the ninth. The Mets did come back to win, though in the 11th off of Bill Landrum.

So all in all, it was a decent performance. And it was a major league lineup for the most part:



Hatcher (Billy Hatcher batting 3rd?? Well, Leyland did platoon him with Andy Van Slyke, but still…Billy Hatcher in the 3 hole??)





Bilardello (not Don Bordello, sorry Ralph Kiner)

Neal Heaton was the pitcher for the Bucs. For a September 30 game, that was a pretty darn solid lineup!

But one home run in 6 innings – extend that to 180 innings.

That’s 30 home runs given up.

That would have led the Mets by far in the dubious HR ALLOWED stat in 1990. Sid Fernandez gave up 21, followed closely by David Cone with 20 and Ron Darling 19.

With 180 innings pitched, Beatty’s 30 extrapolated home runs would have trailed Tom Browning for the lead by just one tater. Brownings modus operandi was like Beatty’s – make ’em hit the ball and limit walks. You can be successful doing that, for sure. But Browning threw almost 250 innings. If Beatty hurled that many, at the 1 per 6 rate – that would have been 41 or 42 homers. Ouch! He would have been the original “Whiplash”, not Eric Milton.

Maybe Fleer should have thought twice about putting that factoid on the back of their car. They could have talked about his successful first start or his 1.50 ERA in the bigs. But to highlight the HR stat when someone who could do math would realize that it’s not the best stat in the world.

And the one home run he did give up? It was to Bilardello. Not Bonds, not Bonilla, nor King nor Reynolds nor even Billy Hatcher. Dann Bilardello. One of his 18 career home runs (with nine of those coming in his rookie year).

Well, that was the last home run stat for both Beatty and Bilardello in the bigs at least.


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