Saturday, January 28, 2012
(Not so) dangerous with a bat in his hands: An Addendum
In an earlier post, I shared my fondness for cards of pitchers at the plate or on the basepaths.
I left out a lot of good ones in that post, so here's some more that might catch your fancy.
Also, I've been re-inspired to collect these again after the last post, so if you've got any extras lying around, I'd be interested in them.
The first card I'll feature is the 1995 Upper Deck Fernando Valenzuela card you see at the top of the post.
This is actually one of three cards that I have that show Valenzuela at the plate. I chose this one because you know I'm a fan of those unfamiliar unis, and this one's got Fernando in his later Phillies days.
He was actually a fair hitter for a pitcher, posting a career .200 average. He hit .250 in his "Fernandomania" 1981 season (and hit his only career triple that year).
Speaking of Dodgers pitching sensations, here's career .134 hitter Hideo Nomo at the plate. (Oh yeah, and 1995 NL ROY winner.) 1998 Skybox Thunder has to be one of the ugliest sets on record. (What the heck are those things in the top right corner of the card, anyways?)
It's just another one that gets lost in the innumerable amount of sets that were issued in the late-'90s.
I thought the Bruce Sutter card I featured in the last post was the only one I had that featured a relief pitcher with a bat.
Once again, my own collection proved me wrong.
Trevor Hoffman's 2005 Fleer Tradition issue joins Sutter in the "Relief Pitchers Trying To Hit" category. I guess even relief pitchers have to practice bunting.
Hoffman collected four hits in 34 career at-bats for a .118 average. He did manage to drive in five runs, though.
Just another reason to like the 2009 Upper Deck OPC set.
I can't tell for certain whether Johan Santana is on first or third base on this card. Any Mets fans know whether the guy on the left is the Mets first or third base coach? That would narrow it down.
This card commemorates the Mets' 9-1 victory over the Cardinals on July 27, 2008. Santana pitched a complete game and knocked a couple of base hits, collecting his only RBI of the season in the process.
This one doesn't quite beat the Greg Maddux card I featured in the previous post, but it's close.
For a lot of my player collections, it's hard to say which single card is my favorite of that player. That's not the case with Cole Hamels. This card is my favorite one of his, without a doubt.
I'm just surprised that it only set me back a dime, as it's from the 2008 Stadium Club Hobby set, where each card is numbered to 999 copies.
Does this one count?
1919 was Ruth's last season as a semi-regular pitcher. All he did that year was hit .322, collect 114 RBI, and set a new all-time home run record (with 29).
I wish there were more pictures of pitching legends like Bob Feller at the plate. For example, I've never seen a regular picture of Sandy Koufax at the plate, much less one on a baseball card.
Am I seeing things, or is Bob Feller wearing a glove on his right hand in that shot? I didn't think batting gloves were around until way later. Hmmm.
"Rapid Robert" wasn't so rapid at the plate during his career (a .151 career average), but he did crack eight homers.
This might be my all-time favorite "pitcher at the plate" card. I'm surprised I didn't include it in the first one of these posts.
Newcombe was the ace of the '50s Dodgers teams, winning both the Cy Young and MVP awards in 1956. Coupled with his NL Rookie of the Year award in 1948, he became the first player to collect the ROY, Cy Young, and MVP awards during his career.
Don Newcombe was actually a good hitter, and not just for a pitcher. His .271 lifetime average was a mark that a lot of position players could be proud of. He also hit .359 in 57 games in 1955 (with seven homers). .359!
Like I said in the last post, these cards are great because they give the collector a different look.
Those same two or three pitching poses that seem to be on tons of cards got old thirty years ago.
I'll take these over posed shots any day of the week.