Friday, August 8, 2008
#600 Mike Schmidt
Why this card is awesome: Because I hate this damn card. Schmidt is one of my most favorite players, and this card came after his last great year. Do they get a nice action shot of him batting? No. A great posed shot? No. They get a nonsense shot of him wearing his warmup jacket and fooling around with a bat. Bah.
Cool stat: I love Schmidt and could write about him all day. For one thing, his actual stats were 548 HR and 1595 RBI. But the Phillies were bad most years he was there, leading to neutralized totals of 593 HR and 1711 RBI. I assume that if he had 593 HR, he would have stayed active for the rest of 1989 and gotten to 600 career, which would have made him only the 4th guy to achieve it at that time.
Anyway, Phillies' management needs to get some credit for what happened in 1973. Since 1901, only 18 times has a player 23 years old or younger gotten 300 or more at-bats in a season and batted under .200. Look at that list: lots of recognizable names, but nobody else with a career anywhere close to Schmidt's. Bobby Byrne, Joe Dugan, Bill Wambsganss, and yes, even Spike Owen, went on to do some good things on the field. But none of those guys was even half the player Schmidt turned out to be.
Mike Schmidt was one of the finest ballplayers to ever step onto a diamond, and if you don't believe me, look at all the text in italics on the back of his card. (Or note that his HOF Monitor is 249.5, and a likely HOF is 100 or greater.)
Hall of Fame count: 38