Friday, January 23, 2009

2003 Topps Series 2 Contest - Pack 5

This is the fifth pack in the contest. The first four packs scored a total of 154 points with A-Rod, Helton (x2), Sosa, Tejada, Larry Walker, and lesser luminaries. Let's see what kind of noise pack #5 can make.

Steve Sparks = 0 points
I always like pulling a knuckleballer. I saw his last hurrah with the DBacks in 2004. It was not pretty. ERA that season: 6.04.

Gary Glover = 0 points
This is the second player from these packs that has me scratching my head. The first was also a White Sox pitcher. Glover has pitched 516 innings in the bigs, including 34 last year for the Rays. I was following the Rays all year, and I don't remember him at all. He's a free agent now. Someone will get him. Teams always need arms.

Dean Palmer = 1 point
Finally, a point scored. One of my collecting ideas is to put together a binder of the career home run leaders list. Once you get past the first five or six pages, you'll be amazed at who shows up. Like Palmer, here, who will be right next to Roger Maris on page 17. Both had 275 HR. Palmer is another one of those guys that faded out in his early thirties. He made an All-Star team in '98, and won Silver Sluggers in '98 and '99.

Brad Radke = 4 points
Amazingly, Radke is the first pitcher we've opened to get a point for a top-3 Cy Young appearance; he finished third in '97. He made the All-Star team in '98. If I had a binder of the career wins leaders list, Radke would nestle in on page 27, next to Firpo Marberry, Johnny Podres, and Aaron Sele. He might slip a spot this year if Livan Hernandez wins a couple.

Julio Franco = 6 points
Hard to believe it's just six points for Father Time. Three All-Star selections, and he finished eighth for MVP in '94. The man played forever, though. He had an above-average bat for Atlanta in '05, at the age of 46. That has to be a record for the oldest season of OPS+ above 100.

Brad Ausmus - Award Winner - 2002 NL Gold Glove = 1 point
Another surprise. Ausmus has been a solid regular forever, and has made but one All-Star team, in '99. He's never had a strong bat, though.

Vladimir Guerrero - Sporting News All-Star = 26 points
I'm surprised how high this is. Vladdy never has gotten a lot of press, playing for the Expos and then the Angels. But he's been all-over the All-Star teams and the MVP ballots. He won the trophy in '04, with a .337/39/126/15 effort. He's also only 33 this year. We could be looking at a first-ballot HOFer. He's 20th on the career OPS list.

Texas Rangers
It is entirely possible that Vladdy outscores this entire team, but I'm not going to try to verify that right now.

Scott Strickland = 0 points
240 innings of relief pitching in the bigs. He was good when he was good: career ERA+ of 131.

Craig Wilson = 0 points
A nice horizontal swing shot by Topps. That's another binder I'd like: bat swinging, ball in motion in the frame. I'm surprised Wilson never made an All-Star team; he was a decent bat on some bad Pirates teams for a few years.

Another star-and-scrubs pack for 38 points. We're sitting at 192 with two packs left to go. Get your guesses in before the Sunday pack is posted.


Ben said...

I love that Julio Franco card in the 1970s Braves uniform.

skoormit said...

That's another good binder idea: all throwback unis. Maybe do a mini-binder for each team.