Willie Wilson, Kansas City Royals

Willie Wilson was selected by the Kansas City Royals with the 18th pick of the first round in the 1974 amateur baseball draft. The most notable players selected ahead of him were Lonnie Smith (#3), Dale Murphy (#5), Garry Templeton (#13), and Lance Parrish (#16). Local high school star, Rick Sutcliffe from Independence, Missouri was selected by the Dodgers at #21.

Wilson debuted with the Royals two years later and spent 15 seasons playing center field. In 1979, Wilson led the majors with 83 stolen bases and went on to record 668 for his career, which ranks him #12 all time in major league history. His Royals team record of 612 stolen bases is in no danger of being broken. Another significant feat accomplished by Wilson in 1979 was five inside the park home runs.

1980 was a career year for Wilson. In route to winning a Golden Glove, Silver Slugger, and finishing 4th in MVP voting, he became the first player to have more than 700 at bats in a single season and still holds the American League record with 705. He and Omar Moreno of the Pirates led the majors with 745 plate appearances. He led the majors with 230 hits, 133 runs scored, and tied Alfredo Griffin with most triples in the majors with 15. Wilson’s 1980 numbers for plate appearances, at bats, hits, and runs still stand as Royals single season records.

Wilson led the major leagues and set the Royals single season record for triples in 1985 with 21. He led or tied the American League or the majors for triples five different seasons. Wilson won the American League batting title and led the majors in 1982 with a .332 average, which ties him for 6th best single season record in Royals history – somebody by the name of George Brett has three of the top five single season batting averages for the Royals.

Other pages in this blog that mention Willie Wilson:

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Let me know if you need any of these cards to complete your collection.

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.

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Willie McGee, National League Batting Title Winner, National League MVP

1985 was a career year for Willie McGee. He won the National League Most Valuable Player Award, the National League batting title (.353), led the league in hits (216), and triples (18). He also stole 56 bases, won a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger, and led the St. Louis Cardinals to a classic edition of the World Series vs. cross-state rivals, the Kansas City Royals. McGee also won the National League batting title in 1990 despite being traded to the Oakland A’s on August 29 and seeing his average drop by 61 percentage points for the rest of the season.

Here is a list of the Willie McGee 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.

Batting Title Winners     MVP Award Winners

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Tony Gwynn, San Diego Padres, Hall of Fame, Batting Title Winner

Tony Gwynn is the only player in the list of Top 20 Career Batting Average Leaders to be born after 1959. The next youngest player in that list is Ted Williams, who was born in 1918 and retired in 1960 – the year that Gwynn was born. Gwynn is tied for 18th with a career batting average of .338. Williams is tied for 7th on the list with a career average of .344.

The fact that Tony Gwynn is the only player in the list of Top 20 Career Batting Average Leaders to have played within the past 58 years speaks volumes to how much the game has changed in the post-World War II era.  There are only 6 players in the top 50 of career batting average leaders to have played in the years since World War II: Williams, Gwynn, Stan Musial (#30), Wade Boggs (#33), Rod Carew (#34), and Joe Dimaggio (#41). It is also interesting to note that in this list of 6 all batted left-handed except for Joltin’ Joe.

Reddit user Metatron207 has done a much more thorough job of running the numbers to demonstrate the significance of Tony Gwynn’s batting prowess in the post World War II era:

“Here are some Top 20 Batting Average facts:

  • Of the Top 20, three were born in the 20th century: Gwynn, Ted Williams, and Lou Gehrig.
  • Eight debuted in the 19th century.
  • Two, Dave Orr and Pete Browning, retired in the 19th century.
  • One player on the list, Dan Brouthers, was born in 1858–102 years before Gwynn.
  • Aside from Gwynn himself, every man on the Top 20 list had retired before Gwynn was born except for Ted Williams, who retired later the same year.
  • 13 of the Top 20 were dead before Gwynn was born, and two more (Ty Cobb and Rogers Hornsby, incidentally the Top 2) died within three years.
  • Only Ted Williams and Bill Terry lived long enough to see Gwynn play in MLB, and only Williams survived long enough to watch Gwynn’s entire career–Williams died the following year.
  • The mean birth year of the 20 players, including Gwynn, is 1887. The mean debut year is 1908, the mean retirement year is 1925, and the mean year of death for the Top 20 is 1952, eight years before Gwynn’s birth.
  • The medians are strikingly similar (1887/1907/1928/1952). So the average player in the Top 20 was born 73 years before Gwynn was born, debuted 53 years before Gwynn was born, retired 32 years before Gwynn was born, and died 8 years before he was born.”

Tony Gwynn also is #1 among all Hall of Fame inductees since 1960 with the lowest K rate (table).

Here is a list of the Tony Gwynn 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.

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