Friday, August 22, 2008

#640 Garry Templeton

Why this card is awesome: Because this is the most obvious of the uncorrected errors of the 1988 Topps set: a green border on a Padres card instead of the orange border on all other cards from the set. I remember when I first pulled this card out of a pack and assumed it was a one-time error. I desperately tried to pull another Templeton, expecting the next pull to have an orange border. Of course, it didn't. Then, I at least thought I had a few error cards that would eventually be corrected, but that was wrong too. Poor adolescent me. :(

Cool stat: Templeton had the lowest OBP for a qualifying season with at least a .314 batting average (and three of the top six such seasons.) The guy could hit some but he couldn't walk. He was the first guy to get 100 hits from each side of the plate in the same season, but he batted exclusively from one side at the end of the season in order to achieve the feat. He certainly seems to me to have been a pretty selfish player.

1 comment:

MMayes said...

Selfish? Garry Templeton? No, not him. Why do you think the MLB managers think they have to get all the players in the All-Star Game? Because in the late 70's, Templeton didn't want to go to the game if he wasn't going to play, so he uttered the famous "If I ain't startin', I ain't departin'." Insuring everyone played became an inducement to get get reserves to the game.

Templeton also cemented his place in the hearts and minds of Cardinal fans in '80 or '81 when, at the end of an inning when he made another error and the fans were booing him, he flipped the bird. After a season with Templeton, Whitey was happy to trade him for some .230 hitter.

Templeton was one of the most purely athletic shorstops of the 70's and 80's. He had great range and made spectacular plays. He could hit. He could run. However, he was selfish and didn't make the easy plays at short. In the 70's and early 80's, he was the prototypical talented player that tried to get by on talent instead of working hard to get the most out of his talent. It's a little bit of an irony, but he's now a minor league coach, trying to get the most out of his players and prepare them for life in the big leagues.