Cy Young Award Winners in the Hall of Fame

I became a baseball fan at 9 years of age in the Year of the Pitcher, 1968. My family was living in Missouri and I became a Cardinals fan for life. Led by the stellar pitching of Bob Gibson, Steve Carlton, and Nelson Briles, the Redbirds went 97-65 that year and represented the National League in one of the best World Series ever vs. the Detroit Tigers. Gibson won both the Cy Young Award and the National League MVP Award that year and became my favorite player. To this day, I always prefer a pitchers duel to a slug fest when attending a ballgame.

Click on a pitcher’s name to see my current cards for that player.

  • Warren Spahn – Milwaukee Braves
  • Early Wynn – Chicago White Sox
  • Whitey Ford – New York Yankees
  • Don Drysdale – Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Sandy Koufax – Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Bob Gibson – St. Louis Cardinals
  • Tom Seaver – New York Mets
  • Ferguson Jenkins – Chicago Cubs
  • Steve Carlton – Philadelphia Phillies
  • Gaylord Perry – Cleveland Indians, San Diego Padres
  • Bruce Sutter – Chicago Cubs
  • Tom Glavine – Atlanta Braves
  • Gregg Maddux – Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves
  • John Smoltz – Atlanta Braves
  • Pedro Martinez – Montreal Expos, Boston Red Sox
  • Randy Johnson – Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • Jim Palmer – Baltimore Orioles
  • Catfish Hunter – Oakland A’s
  • Rollie Fingers – Milwaukee Brewers
  • Dennis Eckersley – Oakland A’s
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Wade Boggs, Hall of Fame

Here is a list of the Wade Boggs cards that I currently have in inventory. Send an email message to BigBubbo@yahoo.com about any cards you wish to purchase or talk trade. I personally collect Bob Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Tom Seaver, St. Louis Cardinals – especially from the 60’s, 1969 and 1986 New York Mets, and 1985 Kansas City Royals.

Related pages:

Thanks for reading and please consider subscribing to my blog, liking my page on Facebook, and/or following me on Twitter: @Big_Bubbo.

Wade Boggs 4Wade Boggs 4_0007Wade Boggs 4_0006Wade Boggs 4_0005Wade Boggs 4_0004Wade Boggs 4_0003Wade Boggs 4_0002Wade Boggs 4_0001Wade Boggs 3Wade Boggs 3_0007Wade Boggs 3_0006Wade Boggs 3_0005Wade Boggs 3_0004Wade Boggs 3_0003Wade Boggs 3_0002Wade Boggs 3_0001Wade Boggs 2Wade Boggs 2_0007Wade Boggs 2_0006Wade Boggs 2_0005Wade Boggs 2_0004Wade Boggs 2_0003Wade Boggs 2_0002Wade Boggs 2_0001Wade Boggs 1Wade Boggs 1_0007Wade Boggs 1_0006Wade Boggs 1_0005Wade Boggs 1_0004Wade Boggs 1_0003Wade Boggs 1_0002Wade Boggs 1_0001

Craig Biggio, Houston Astros, Hall of Fame

Craig Biggio was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015 after a 20 year career with the Houston Astros. According to Baseball Reference, his career Wins Above Replacement rating was 65.1. Biggio currently ranks 23rd on the all time hits list with 3,060, but Adrian Beltre (3,048) and Albert Pujols (2,968) may pass him soon. He is 2nd all time in the Hit by Pitch category with 285, just 3 short of the top spot, and he led the majors in this category 5 times. Chase Utley with 199 HBP is the only active player anywhere close to Biggio in this regard. Just so you know, Hughie Jennings is the all time HBP leader with 287 and played from 1891 to 1918, effectively making Biggio the modern era leader in this category.

Biggio won 4 Gold Gloves, 5 Silver Sluggers, and played in 7 All-Star games over the course of his career.

Here is a list of the Craig Biggio cards that I currently have in inventory. Send an email message to BigBubbo@yahoo.com about any cards you wish to purchase or talk trade. I personally collect Bob Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Tom Seaver, St. Louis Cardinals – especially from the 60’s, 1969 and 1986 New York Mets, and 1985 Kansas City Royals.

Related pages:

Biggio all star_

 

Topps 1990 All Star #404

 

 

 

 

 

 

craig-biggio-224

 

Fleer 1990 #224

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biggio 2

Leaf 1991 Studio #173

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biggio Score 91 Franchise

 

Score 1991 The Franchise

 

 

 

 

 

biggio score dream team 92

Score 1992 Dream Team

 

 

 

 

Biggio

 

Score 1992 #460

 

 

 

 

 

 

Craig-Biggio-565-1-214x300

Topps 1992 #565

 

 

 

 

 

 

biggio 1992 pinnacle

1992 Pinnacle #140

 

 

 

 

 

 

Biggio 1994 Donruss

 

1994 Donruss #12

 

 

 

 

 

 

biggio 1998 donruss upclose

 

1998 Donruss Up Close & Personal #79

 

 

 

 

 

biggio skybox thunder 99

 

1999 Skybox Thunder

 

 

 

 

Craig Biggio 2Craig Biggio 2_0006Craig Biggio 2_0005Craig Biggio 2_0004Craig Biggio 2_0003Craig Biggio 2_0002Craig Biggio 2_0001Craig Biggio 1Craig Biggio 1_0007Craig Biggio 1_0006Craig Biggio 1_0005Craig Biggio 1_0004Craig Biggio 1_0003Craig Biggio 1_0002Craig Biggio 1_0001

Thanks for reading and please consider subscribing to my blog, liking my page on Facebook, and/or following me on Twitter: @Big_Bubbo.

George Brett, Kansas City Royals, Hall of Fame

George Brett was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999 after a 21 year career with the Kansas City Royals. According to Baseball Reference, he ended his career with a Wins Above Replacement rating of 88.4. Brett is the only MLB player to ever win 3 batting titles in 3 different decades: 1976, 1980, and 1990. In 1980 he was selected American League MVP after posting an amazing slashline of .390 BA/.454 OBP/.664 SLG/1.118 OPS. Over the course of his career, Brett was awarded 3 Silver Sluggers, 1 Gold Glove, and appeared in 13 All-Star Games.

Brett finished behind Mike Hargrove and Bucky Dent for 1974 American League Rookie of the Year honors, neither of whom are in the Hall of Fame. Brett hit 665 doubles in his career ranking him #5 all time among Hall of Famers.

Brett was a consummate hitter who rarely went down on strikes. Among Hall of Fame members from the modern era with at least 10,000 plate appearances, Brett ranks #5 with the lowest strike out rate of just 7.81%. Only Tony Gwynn, Ozzie Smith, Luis Aparicio, and Wade Boggs had lower strikeout rates. Click here to see the table.

Here is a list of the George Brett cards that I currently have in inventory. Send an email message to BigBubbo@yahoo.com about any cards you wish to purchase or talk trade. I personally collect Bob Gibson, Roberto Clemente, Tom Seaver, St. Louis Cardinals – especially from the 60’s, 1969 and 1986 New York Mets, and 1985 Kansas City Royals.

Related pages:

George Brett 1983 All Star1983 Topps All Star

I love this facial expression. I can just hear Brett thinking “What is that Billy Martin up to now?!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1986 Topps All Star

1986 All Star (1985 Batting Average Leaders)

That classic George Brett smile! Certainly one of the most personable players in MLB history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1986 Topps1986 Topps

It is so strange to see a picture of George Brett wearing batting gloves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1987

1987 Topps

That trademark follow through pose after a base hit. Notice the lack of batting gloves!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1989 Donruss MVP

 

1989 Donruss MVP

With the first-base mitt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1990 Fleer Players of the Decade

 

1990 Fleer Players of the Decade

This card commemorates the 10th anniversary of Brett winning the 1980 batting title with a .390 average – the highest average in 39 years dating back to 1941 when Ted Williams hit .406.

 

 

 

 

George Brett Donruss 90

1990 Donruss

The classic George Brett batting stance: weight back, hands back, bat down, and ready to squish the bug with the left foot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1990 Bowman Tiffany

1990 Bowman Tiffany card

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1990 Topps

1990 Topps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1991 Topps

 

1991 Topps

The classic George Brett swing just as the left hand is about to release the bat.

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1991 Score Franchise A1991 Score The Franchise

Probably my favorite Brett card. The three bats in this photo are for the three batting titles that George Brett won over the course of three decades – the only player ever to do so. In 1990 at the age of 37, Brett became the third oldest player to win a batting title by hitting a blistering .388 after the All Star break.

 

 

 

 

George Brett Donruss 1991 Highlight

1991 Donruss Highlights

Here is the Donruss card commemorating the three titles in three decades accomplishment. Again, that classic batting stance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett 1992 Topps

 

1992 Topps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George Brett Now and Then

1993 Pinnacle Now and Then

Pictures of Brett as a rookie in 1973 and the future Hall of Famer in 1992.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading and please consider subscribing to my blog, liking my page on Facebook, and/or following me on Twitter: @Big_Bubbo.

Does Developing and Retaining Hall of Fame Caliber Players Result in World Series Wins?

This is the second posting in a series looking at the four major league expansion teams of 1969: the Kansas City Royals, the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals, the San Diego Padres, and the Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers. In the first posting I argued that the Royals are the most successful of these teams because they have made it to the World Series more than the other three and are the only team of the four to have won the World Series. I then argued that the 1985 World Series team was better than the 2015 World Series team because the ’85 team included four players who rank in the top 5 all time in multiple batting categories. By contrast only one member of the 2015 team holds a single season record for the Royals. In retrospect, that logic is a bit of a leap for deciding which was the better of two teams separated by 30 years, but the weight of players’ career statistics with these four teams is fundamental not only in determining the successes and failures of the four teams, but also for discovering the underlying reasons for success or failure. The intended point of the first posting was that the career longevity with the Royals of George Brett, Frank White, Willie Wilson, Hal McRae, and Amos Otis is a fundamental reason why the Royals have been the most successful of the four expansion teams.  In this posting, I argue that a lower turnover rate of the team roster is a second major factor in the success of the Kansas City Royals.

According to Baseball Reference, in their 49-year history, the Royals have had a total of 857 players on their roster, the fewest of the four expansion teams. By contrast, the Padres have had 977 players, 14% more than the Royals, and the most of the four expansion teams. The Expos/Nationals have had 905 players and the Pilots/Brewers 863. However, the higher roster turnover rate has not doomed the Padres to failure as they have made it to the World Series twice, only to lose each time. Likewise, the fact that the Pilots/Brewers roster turnover rate is less than 1% higher than that of the Royals did not result in a World Series victory in their 1982 appearance and they have made it to the post-season only 4 times, the fewest appearances of the 4 teams. The significance of roster turnover as a factor in team success or failure requires a more qualitative examination.

Baseball Reference provides a list for every Hall of Fame player to have ever been on a given teams roster. Excluding Hall of Famers listed as managers rather than players, the Royals have had only 4 players on its roster to be inducted into the Base Hall of Fame: George Brett, Orlando Cepeda, Gaylord Perry, and Harmon Killebrew. Cepeda, Perry, and Killebrew each played just one year for the Royals, the last years of their respective careers, and can hardly be considered as vital in the long-term success or failure of the team. George Brett is the only player of the four to have started and ended his career with the Royals and his importance to the long-term success of the team was detailed in the previous posting.

The San Diego Padres historical roster includes 11 members of the Base Hall of Fame. Only four of those players started their careers with San Diego and only one of the four, Tony Gwynn, ended his career as a Padre. Roberto Alomar began his career with San Diego, but spent only the first 3 of his 17 years in the major leagues as a Padre. Likewise, Ozzie Smith spent only his first 4 years in the bigs with San Diego, and Dave Winfield only his first 8. When the Padres lost the World Series in 1984 and again in 1998, Tony Gwynn was the only player on the roster who would go on to be inducted in the Hall of Fame. Would the outcome of the 1984 World Series have been different if Dave Winfield and Ozzie Smith had still been on the Padres roster?  Would the Padres have won the 1998 Series if Roberto Alomar had still been wearing a San Diego uniform? We will never know the answers, but the questions must haunt Padres fans.

The Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals developed and failed to retain 4 future Hall of Famers: Tim Raines, Randy Johnson, Andre Dawson, and Gary Carter. However, one could argue that all of these players save Johnson spent their prime years in an Expos uniform. Raines, Dawson, and Carter spent the first 13, 11, and 12 years of their careers respectively, with the Expos.  How the Expos managed to make the post-season playoffs only once in the eight-year span from 1979 to 1986 that they had Carter, Dawson, and Raines on the roster is one of the great mysteries of baseball and undermines the theory that developing and retaining quality players leads to World Series success.

Likewise, the history of the Seattle Pilots/Milwaukee Brewers also undermines the theory by imitating the low roster turnover rate of the Royals and having only 5 players on the career roster to make the Hall of Fame and yet making the post-season the fewest number of times, 4, of the four expansion teams. Hall of Famers Robin Yount and Paul Molitor were on the roster together from 1978 to 1993 and yet the Brewers made only 2 post-season appearances during that time.

So the Kansas City Royals have developed and retained the fewest number of Hall of Fame caliber players, yet they have been the most successful of the four 1969 expansion teams. What is their secret? I will keep looking.

Thanks for reading and please consider subscribing to my blog, liking my page on Facebook, and/or following me on Twitter: @Big_Bubbo.