Wednesday, August 13, 2008

#610 Keith Hernandez

Why this card is awesome: Because while it's cool to get such a nice shot of the prominent "C" on Hernandez's jersey, I can't get past the fact that he looks like Groucho Marx in this photo. Quite honestly, the first time I saw this card, I thought it was a joke.

Cool stat: Hernandez was a great defensive player and a pretty darn good offensive one too. For players with at least 2000 games played and 1000 walks, Hernandez had one of the lowest strikeout totals.


David said...

That is a rather unflattering photo.

Mex was arguably the best defensive 1B ever. My favorite anecdote of him is that MLB made a rule that all fielders (other than the catcher) must be in fair territory when the ball is pitched because he developed a competitive advantage by holding runners on first while standing in foul territory because he could apply the tag faster. He was so quick that he didn't lose any range in doing so.

My second favorite anecdote is that the Mets had Hernandez receive relay throws because he was quicker and had a more accurate arm than any 2B they put out there.

Though I don't ascribe to this opinion, I would argue that if Mazeroski and Ozzie deserve to be in the HOF almost entirely due to their defensive play, so does Keith.

Jim said...

Mex was fantastic, just a shade above JT Snow. There is no stat called "runs saved" but if there were they'd both be hall of famers

MMayes said...

I'll offer a different perspective. What do you say about a guy who was such a team leader that the manager says it was "addition by subtraction" to jettison an All-Star that was one of the best fielding first basemen of all time in favor of a nothing (Rick Ownby) and a never would be (Neil Allen)? I'll put it this 1988 I'm watching a Cards-Mets game at Busch and Hernandez pops a hammy after rounding second trying to go from 1st to 3rd (didn't even try to hop into 3rd on his good leg). I stood and cheered. While he was one of the best first basemen we've had (yes, along with Pujols, Mize, Bottomley and McGwire), and I think he's turned things around for himself, Cardinal fans don't have as a fond remembrance of Cocaine Keith as we should.

Andy said...

well ok then!