Wednesday, August 6, 2008

#590 George Bell



Why this card is awesome: Because of the oh-so-cool Michael Jackson one-gloved look. Did Bell actually bat that way?

Cool stat: In history, there have been 14 times that a player hit 40+ homers but didn't reach 40 walks in the same season. Bell's famous 1987 is on that list.

After Bell had 31 HR and 108 RBI in 1986 and followed that with 47 HR and 134 RBI in 1987, it must have been tempting for Topps to give him a better card number than #590, especially considering that he won the 1987 AL MVP. But I guess they knew something. Bell had a few pretty good years left but never came close to repeating the massive numbers from '87.

7 comments:

David said...

Andre Dawson's 1987 MVP season is also on the list. And those 2 are regarded among the least deserving MVP awards. What was it about 1987?

Andy said...

Well HRs spiked in 1987. Check some of my posts on the B-R SOTD blog and you can see about that. So a 30 or 40-HR eason in 1987 is not regarded the same way as such a season in any other year around that period. Dawson's Cubs finished last, and I think Dawson remains the only MVP to win the award for a last-place team. Many argued that ANY player on a last-place team, no matter how good, could not have been that valuable since the team didn't win many games. But that's hogwash, in my opinion because A) The Cubs didn't actually have a very bad record for a last-place team and B) individual great seasons are worth 5-8 wins above replacement and there's no reason to think that even a last-place team couldn't have a player who contributed that many wins.

David said...

Well, A-Rod won in 2003 when Texas finished last, but that's in the 3-division era (and in a 4-team division) so ... eh.

But in 1987, the stats went screwy and it seemed to throw off the award voters. IMHO, none of the 4 major award winners (MVP and CY) were the most deserving.

Jim said...

A-Rod won the MVP for a last place Ranger team in 2003. That was a year 10 guys received 1st place votes and none of them received more than 6 (A-Rod). Basically a lot of guys had good season, nobody was awesome, except A-Rod who played for a last place team.

Toronto Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Toronto Mike said...

Those 47 dingers in 1987 are still a Blue Jays single season record.

And that's with bangers like Joe Carter, Jose Canseco and Carlos Delgado playing at the ballpark formerly known as SkyDome.

On opening day in 1988 he hit three out in Kansas City. http://www.torontomike.com/2006/07/blue_jays_memories_3.html

MMayes said...

The batting glove question: In the 50's and 60's, nobody wore batting gloves. In the 70's, guys started wearing a batting glove on their bottom hand, kind of like a golfer. It wasn't until later that the 2nd batting glove (useless in my opinion) and the body armor came into vogue.