Saturday, July 19, 2008

#536 John Morris

Why this card is awesome: Because, holy cow, they are digging deep for that stat on the back of the card. Reaching all the way down to AA level ball (and this was when prospects played at AAA, not AA like these days) and referring to a player of the week honor which, let's face it, makes him one of 30 special guys for that season.

Cool stat: Morris hit just 8 career homers, but most were off quality pitchers. One of the 8 was the first-ever homer hit off Mark Wohlers, a game-winning shot in the 10th inning. That was Morris' only career PA against Wohlers, too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

#535 Ron Guidry

Why this card is awesome: Because 11 cards after Gary Lucas, have a very similar position shot, right down to the oversized cap.


Cool stat: Over the last 40 years, only two pitchers have had multiple seasons with 22+ wins and a W-L% of .750 or better. Gator and 38bitches.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

#534 John Wathan

Why this card is awesome: Because this card is the opposite of Jamie Quirk's. Quirk looks like a manager on his card even though he's not, whereas Wathan looks like a player here even though he's not. He's wearing a batting helmet even though he wasn't an active player for the Royals after 1985. Perhaps he still took part in some batting drills.

Sorry this scan came out a little blurry.

Cool stat: Wathan had just 21 career HR, but he did hit 2 off one guy: Floyd Bannister, who was later managed by Wathan.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

#533 John Farrell

Why this card is awesome: Because this is two Indians cards in the last 3 cards. Makes me wonder if Farrell was a late addition to the set like Shawn Hillegas. Farrell is now pitching coach for the Red Sox.

Also, I swear, doesn't it look like Farrell is a younger version of Doc Edwards? I am totally serious.

Cool stat: Farrell's got one of the more recent seasons with at least 90 IP but an ERA+ of 65 or worse. Interestingly, most of the guys on that list had pretty good careers overall, which is why I guess they were given the chance to go 90+ innings in a year while doing so poorly.

#532 Mike Kingery

Why this card is awesome: Because what's with that silly batting helmet? Isn't it a bit far back on his head? He could take a fastball right to the forehead in that thing.

Cool stat: Kingery was not much of a hitter. His career high in total bases in a game was 7, which he did twice.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

#531 Rich Yett

Why this card is awesome: Because of that rough 1985 he had. He recorded just one out all season for the Twins, allowing 1 ER and garnering a lovely 27.00 ERA.

Cool stat: Yett is among just 20 pitchers since 1901 to have an ERA+ of 200 or better and a K/BB ratio of 2 or better in his final season. The catch? He did it in just 4.1 innings.

Monday, July 14, 2008

2005 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #48 Gary Carter

Why this card is awesome: Because this card actually looks really close to his original 1988 Topps card, unlike some of the Fan Favorites we've seen so far. There are only two giveaways that this is not from the same at-bat: Carter's wearing long blue sleeves here but short sleeves in the original, plus you can see that different people are sitting behind the dugout. I think it's pretty cool to see such a similar shot.

#530 Gary Carter

Why this card is awesome: Because although Carter's got a goofy look on his face, I like the fact that you can clearly see he's keeping his eye on the ball. As an offensive force, Carter is largely forgotten due to the big offensive numbers that some catchers put up (Piazza, I-Rod, etc) in the steroids era, but he was damn good in his day.

Cool stat: From 1977 to 1987, Carter had a huge lead in HR among catchers, and a massive lead in RBI among catchers. He was also first in runs scored.

Hall of Fame count: 35


Oh so tricky.

Please see the first 88 AUTO FEST post for contest rules. First person to post a comment with the correct identity of the card wins an autographed copy. One guess per customer.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

#529 Tim Burke

Why this card is awesome: Because he led the league in games pitched in his rookie year. That's probably pretty rare, right?

Cool stat: In fact, only 6 guys since 1901 have appeared in at least 78 games in their first season. (Mind you, the Play Index doesn't discount cups of coffee, so some players might have appeared in a handful of games one year, and then a ton of games in their official rookie season the following year. They don't make this list.)

88 AUTO FEST leader board

A rundown of who's won what so far:

Autographed 1988 Topps cards

Mike S 2 (J Jones, C Lansford)
Kevin 1 (J Gott)
Cannonball 1 (D DeCinces)
Matt 1 (J Calhoun)
zman40 1 (D Jones)
dayf 1 (T Brunansky, T Henke, B Surhoff, D Williams, R Horton)
rgrantd 1 (D Clark)

So Mike S is in the lead, having won two separate 88 AUTO FEST contests. Just as a reminder, dayf won the 5-card contest which as the rules stated, only counted for one point.

I am going to make one more 88 AUTO FEST contest post tomorrow. Unless somebody ties Mike S with 2 points, he's going to be the winner of cards 451-550 from the Topps set plus a few bonus cards. If somebody does tie Mike, then I'll keep posting more snippets until we have a winner. And don't worry, I have lots more autos to give away as we finish out the 1988 Topps set.