Thursday, January 22, 2009

2003 Topps Series 2 Contest - Pack 4

This is the fourth pack in the contest. The first three packs scored a total of 127 points with an A-Rod, two Heltons, a Sosa, a Tejada, and a good number of 1-point wonders. It is pack #4's turn to represent for 2003 Topps Series 2.

Damion Easley = 1 point
The ladies at Dinged Corners would like this card: ball in midair, player in midair (or almost), AND a smile. Easley made an All-Star team in '98, and also won a Silver Slugger that year.

Torii Hunter = 5 points
How can you not like a name that ends with "ii"? It's like he's a Latin plural. His middle name is Kedar, which just increases the coolness. He finished 6th in the MVP voting in '02. He made the All-Star team that year and also in '07.

Danny Wright = 0 points
It's not often that I open a pack from this decade and go "who is that?". Danny started 70 games for the White Sox from '01 to '04. He had 33 of them in '02, his only full season.

A.J. Pierzynski = 2 points
This guy is one of my hereoes entirely because of one play. When my boy starts playing baseball, I will show him that play when I teach him that you Always Run It Out. That's a life lesson, folks. No extra charge. Anthony John made All-Star teams in '02 and '06.

Arthur Rhodes = 0 points
Wow, zero points in a 17-year career. That's hard to do. Can someone find a pitcher with a longer career and zero points?

Larry Walker - Award Winner - 2002 NL Gold Glove = 17 points
Topps manages to get a photo of Walker displaying his athleticism without looking the least bit graceful. He also looks bored. "Ho hum, another sinking line drive. Guess I'll go catch it." Walker made five All-Star teams and had four top-ten MVP finishes. He won the hardware in '97 with a Coors-Field-fueled .363/49/130/33.

Roger Cedeno = 0 points
A great fielding outfielder until his speed left him. He never really had the bat to play full-time.

Bobby Abreu = 2 points
Yes, only 2 points. Criminally under-appreciated for his entire career, mostly because voters don't care about OBP. He has made two all-star teams, in '04 and '05, and he has received MVP votes in six different seasons, but has not cracked the top ten. I can't believe he is still a free agent. This guy is good enough to start for a championship club, even at age 35.

Kerry Ligtenberg = 0 points
I always called him Lightning Bug, because, well, why not? He had a good rookie season in '98, finishing 4th in ROY voting. By '05, he was done.

Kevin Mench = 0 points
I still wonder why batters warm up with big heavy things on their bats. Or, like we did in Little League, by swinging three or four bats at once. It is supposed to make you swing faster when you just have the weight of the single bat, but I wonder if anyone has studied it to see if it works.

There were a whole lot of blanks in this pack. Walker chipped in more than half of the 27 points. After the weakest pack so far, our total is now 154 points. Get those guesses in before the Sunday pack is posted. Remember, ties go to the earliest guesser.


Aaron said...

They HAVE studied the effects of swinging weighted/multiple bats. Result? It's bad for muscle memory; it does not help your swing. Yet millions of athletes still do it.
But try sitting in a dugout and saying "dude, don't do that, research shows it's not helping you" when the guy really just wants to get his adrenalin going and get a solid hit... and the guys next to you are all like "thanks for the info, nerd!"

salveste said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
salveste said...

I couldn't resist your Arthur Rhodes challenge. Mike Timlin pitched in the majors for 18 years without ever being an all-star or being considered for any MVP or Cy Young awards whatsoever. He's also still active.

skoormit said...

@Aaron: Wow. I did not know that. But I totally feel you when it comes to trying to give other players advice rooted in science. You don't have a link to any of those studies, or an article about it, do you?

@salveste: At first I couldn't believe that Timlin never made an All-Star team, since I thought he had a very good run as a setup man for the Yankees. Then I realized I was thinking of Mike Stanton. I looked Stanton up: 19 years, and one All-Star team. So Timlin is the current leader, and he is still active, though he is unsigned at the moment. Can anyone find a longer zero-point career?