Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pack Thirty-Two

Pack 32 +12
117 Mark Gubicza
388 Kevin McReynolds
331 Glenn Davis
208 Dave Valle
333 Gerald Young
250 Rance Mulliniks
312 Todd Benzinger
259 Ken Griffey
40 Bryan Harvey
399 Steve Lake
39 Jim Abbott
445 Walt Terrell

Look over in the upper right corner. See it? This pack pushed me to my goal of 70% completion and there's still four packs to go. By the end of next week I'll have a want list for '89 Bowman up on 1988 Score and hopefully I can complete this thing pretty quickly (and get rid of some doubls while I'm at it... I hope).

On to the cards.

The rookie of this pack is truly an amazing man.

His win/loss record doesn't look so great at 87-108 and his 4.25 ERA is just average. But for what Jim Abbott had to overcome in his life to make it to the Major Leagues without spending a day in the minors is remarkable.

He was given the James E. Sullivan Award in 1987 as the best amateur athlete in the country, and then won a gold medal at the 1988 olympics. Pretty impressive considering he was born without a right hand.

1991 was statistically his best year in the majors. He went 18-11 with a 2.89 ERA and placed third in the Cy Young race (Roger Clemens won on the power of his 241 strikeouts that season). His ERA in 1992 was even better than '91, but his win/loss record suffered from playing on a team that lost 90 games.

After the 1992 season, Abbot was traded to the Yankees for Jerry Nielsen, J.T. Snow and Russ Springer. It was with the Yankees that on September 4, 1993 he no-hit the Indians. He walked five, but thanks to double plays, faced only three over the minimum.

A horrific 1996 season (2-18/7.48 ERA) led him to briefly retire, but he came back with the White Sox in '98 and then he signed with the Brewers for the 1999 season but was released midway through and retired for good.

I really can't see why he chose to sign with the Brewers, who were a National League team by that point. At least in the American League, thanks to the DH, he never had to bat. In 21 at bats in 1999 he picked up two hits (both singles) and drove in three runs.

These days he's a motivational speaker.

We're nearing the end. Four packs to go.