Monday, July 21, 2008
#540 Bret Saberhagen
Why this card is awesome: Because of bright futures. At the time this card came out, Saberhagen was perhaps the brightest young pitching star behind only Roger Clemens. 1989 would be Saberhagen's Cy Young year, and his career was hot and cold after that.
Also, I believe I may need to add a tick to the HOF counter but I wanted your opinion. I believe that's George Brett playing first base in the background, as he did almost exlusively in 1987 and 1988. Kevin Seitzer and Steve Balboni also put in a little time at 1B, and a few other guys (Bill Pecota, Bill Buckner, Pat tabler and others) put in a tiny bit of time there, but odds are this is Brett plus it looks like him. Do folks agree or disagree? If it is Brett, then this is the second card in the set featuring both Saberhagen and Brett on the front.
Cool stat: Saberhagen has the third most-recent season with at least 23 wins and an ERA+ of 180. That's been done just 15 times since 1919. Saberhagen is probably going to end up as one of the best pitchers not to make the HOF, being left out mainly due to his injuries that prevented him from making 30 starts in all but 1 of the final 10 years of his career. His actual W-L is 167-117 (.588) but his neutralized W-L is 177-112 (.612.)