Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pack Twenty Four

Pack 24 +15
74 Alan Trammell
584 Mark Grant
573 Pete Stanicek
525 Mike Sharperson
284 Dennis Lamp
180 Tim Burke
274 Willie Wilson
649 Major League Prospects (Mario Diaz, Clay Parker)
482 Mitch Williams
129 Mark Carreon
505 Don Sutton
315 Mike Schmidt
623 Dominican Dynamite
34 David Green
211 Tommy John

This is yesterday's pack that I never got around to posting even though I opened it and entered them into the database. Pack 25 will come later tonight.

If you remember, pack 23 was pretty bland and didn't offer too much in the way of star players. This pack is different with a few rookies, a few stars and several great players nearing the ends of their Hall of Fame careers.

I think we'll start with the rookies.

Mario Diaz was signed by the Mariners as an amateur free agent in December 1978 and spent parts of nine seasons in the minors before making his Major League debut on September 12, 1987.

He seems to have been used as a defensive replacement and a backup infielder to give the primary starters a day off. He did start 195 of his 337 career games played, mostly at short. With a glove he was right around league average and his batting average, when given a chance to play, wasn't too bad: .264 in 182 at bats in 1991, and .273 in 205 at bats in '93. His low OBP and slugging kept his run production at a minimum which limited his playing time.

Diaz played his last professional games in 1999 for the Nashua Pride of the independant Atlantic League.

He seems to be wearing a mesh trucker style hat in the picture. Granted he only played 91 games for Seattle, but you think they'd have been nice enough to give him a real hat.

Clay Parker made his Major League debut on September 14, 1987 and pitched two and a third innings. He gave up five hits, four runs (three earned), struck out four and walked one. One of the hits was a home run to Indians shortstop Jay Bell.

He was traded to the Yankees after the 1987 season and spent 1988 in the minors. In 1989 he was used primarily as a starter by the Yankees and posted a 4-5 record. He was later traded to the Tigers in a deal for Matt Nokes, and finished his career back in Seattle in 1992.

Overall, he was 7-10 with a 4.42 ERA in 62 games.

Here's a pretty terrible picture of two big name sluggers of the late 80s. Fleer was going for the candid shot of all the players hanging out during the All Star workout, but it looks too posed and fake.

We'll have to wait for the Veteran's Committee to see this guy in the Hall of Fame, but I think he should be there. He lost a year in his prime to have surgery that just happened to have the same name he did and came pack and pitched another fifteen seasons. He probably would have pushed closer to 300 wins had he not had elbow surgery.

His willingness to have an experimental surgery and make such a comeback has helped a lot of pitchers, and more commonly position players, lengthen and in some cases save their careers.

Here's poofy haired Hall of Famer, Don Sutton. Even though I don't get to hear him very often (I get horrible radio reception), I'm really glad Sutton is back calling Braves games. Jon Sciambi has really grown on me, but I'd still love to hear Joe Simpson and Don Sutton call a game together.

The look on his face says "I just swung at a horrible pitch and I know it." Once again, great player with a horrible picture.

Check back later this evening for pack 25.


Andy said...

Schmidt really did get the shaft on his baseball cards.

Interesting that the Dominican Dynamite card features another good player from the D.R., Tony Fernandez, in the background, as well as Harold Reynolds.

Ben said...

I've noticed that. Just looking at the Schmidt cards I can put my hands on, the worst is his '81 Topps. But even Score didn't do a good job with him in '88.

His '89 Bowman card isn't terrible though. But his face is hidden.