Saturday, June 7, 2008

#488 Andy McGaffigan

Why this card is awesome: Because McGaffigan looks like he's on the verge of cracking up. After seeing this card, I always assumed that McGaffigan was a joker.

Cool stat: From 1981 to 1988, just 5 guys had fewer hits than IP every single year. It's an impressive list, and McGaffigan's on it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

#487 Jim Pankovits

Why this card is awesome: Because is that a wad of tobacco in your cheek or are you just happy to see us?

Like Don Slaught's card, this card confused me into thinking that Pankovits was was a pitcher. Doesn't it look like he's starting his windup here?

Cool stat: Check out his career splits. Almost a third of his career PAs came as a pinch hitter. But why? He his a dreadful .211/.247/.273 as a PH. I mean, that is really quite sucktacular.

#486 Pat Keedy

Why this card is awesome: Because which reddish object is less welcome? His sensual red lips, or his Michael Jackson-like red gloves?

Cool stat: Keedy hit 3 big-league homers, and they came off good pitchers: Joaquin Andujar, Jeff Russell, and Mark Langston. And they all tied the game or put his team ahead.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

#485 Harold Reynolds

Why this card is awesome: Because in early 1988, this card was big news, or at least the fact that Harold Reynolds led the AL in steals in 1987 was. Rickey Henderson had led every year since 1980 and in fact also led 1988 through 1991., until Kenny Lofton ripped off 5 years in a row. Oh, plus the blurry assembly of people on the left looks sort of like Jar Jar Binks.

Cool stat: Reynolds' 1986 is one of the 10 worst seasons since 1901 in OBP with at least 30 stolen bases. That sums up Reynolds' career right there. Fast guy, great baserunner, but couldn't get on base enough to be very valuable.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This isn't a political blog, so I'll keep this very short. I'm proud of the U.S. to have finally put a minority candidate up for president as part of a major political party. Of course, it was win-win this year since either an African American or a woman has been guaranteed for some time to win the Democratic nomination. Either way, it's a major milestone for Americans. The fact that such a huge number of voters came out for the primaries tells us that there is, finally, less attention being paid to these irrelevant gender and race issues.


Making this one a bit tougher.

Please see previous AUTO FEST posts for the rules. First comment below to correctly identify this card wins a copy of it autographed by that player.

#484 Pat Clements

Why this card is awesome: Because this card reminds us of one of the more forgotten terrible Yankee trades on the 1980s. The Yankees got Clements and Cecilio Guante for Doug Drabek and others. Drabek had a mixed career but pitched a lot of innings and had a couple of great years. Clements was by no means terrible but was a lot less valuable than Drabek.

Imagine, in the offseason after 1986, all those Yankee fans running away shouting, "Hey, we just got Clements", swallowing the 't', imagining it was Clemens they had just gotten.

Cool stat: In the last 50 years, Clements makes the top 25 for most innings pitched by a guy who finished with more walks than strikeouts. More like that right here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

#483 Rod Booker

Why this card is awesome: Because I can't for the life of me figure out which player or coach that is in the background. My best guess is Jose DeLeon but that doesn't seem right.

Cool stat: Here's the power of B-R's Play Index. I remember being at a Phillies game as a kid where Rod Booker scored the winning run in extra innings on a wild pitch. By going to his event finder, I was able to find all his plate appearances in extra innings at home. There are just 9 of those. Quite obviously, it's #6 on that list, and the box score is here. I also remember this game for a different reason. My dad gave me the option of going to the Tuesday night game (this one) or the Wednesday night game. I picked Tuesday, but shoulda picked Wednesday since Terry Mulholland threw a no-hitter the next night.

#482 Mark Davis

Why this card is awesome: Because has a bit of a sly look on his face, almost as if he's a year or so away from putting together an awesome season in his free-agency year and then taking on a huge contract that nearly singlehandedly would ruin one of baseball's greatest franchises. If you don't know what I'm talking about, try to figure out the top 5 reasons why the Royals are so bad now after being such a great team in the 1970s and 1980s.

Cool stat: Over the years of his career (1980 to 1994, not counting his brief reappearance with Milwaukee in 1997), Davis is one of just two guys to post multiple seasons with at least 40 IP and an ERA over 7.00. Way to go, Kansas City.

Monday, June 2, 2008


Please see previous AUTO FEST posts for the rules.

#481 Mariano Duncan

Why this card is awesome: Because I sure hope he's bunting. Otherwise, he's choking up way too much!

You probably don't remember, but Duncan was the starting 2B on three different World Series teams: 1990 Reds, 1993 Phillies, and 1996 Yankees. And he was with the Dodgers in 1988, but in the minors, after getting demoted in 1987. (It's rare to see a player with so much big-league experience get sent to the minors, but it also happened the other day with Chris Duncan of the Cardinals.)

Cool stat: Duncan hit multiple triples off 3 pitchers. And, whoa, look at his career numbers off Lee Smith! They include a go-ahead grand slam in 1993.

#480 Dwight Gooden

Why this card is awesome: Because, damn, look at the season he had in Lynchburg, according to the text. 19 wins and 300 Ks. If you check his minor league stats, you can see that he did that in just 191 IP!!! Oh Doc, if only you had stayed away from the cocaine.

Cool stat: Dr. K's 1985 makes the top 10 for most IP in a season allowing fewer than 200 hits (since 1901 at least.)

Sunday, June 1, 2008

#479 Brett Butler

Why this card is awesome: Because as much as I hate fart humor, it seems quite clear to me that Butler just ripped a big one. Look at the pose, his facial expression, the fact that there's nobody in the background, etc.

Nice trade by the Indians, by the way, picking up Butler AND Brook Jacoby for Len Barker, who never pitched a full season again.

Cool stat: Butler's got the most years in the 80s and 90s with at least 9 triples.