Wednesday, February 13, 2008
#142 Andy Van Slyke
Why this card is awesome: Because the trade that brought Van Slyke to the Pirates (mentioned on the back) was one of the most interesting of the 1980s. Tony Pena was highly regarded (and perhaps overrated) and the Pirates picked up Van Slyke, LaValliere (who ended up being an important contributor to the division-winning Pirates teams of the early 1990s) and Mike Dunne, who was a "can't-miss" prospect who, umm, missed.
Cool stat: Boy oh boy, Van Slyke hit a lot of triples. From 1987 to 2007, just 12 players had at least 3 seasons with double-digit triples. Every other name is pretty easy to believe (Lance Johnson, Steve Finley, Jimmy Rollins, Christian Guzman, Vince Coleman, etc.) Van Slyke is a big surprise on there. In fact, among all players since 1901 with 5000 to 6000 career at-bats, Slick is 18th in triples.