Saturday, December 17, 2011

Baseball Birthdays December 11-17

December 11
Derek Bell 1996 Fleer Road Warriors #1
Bell came to the Astros in December 1994 as part of a massive 12-player deal with the Padres. In 5 years with the Astros he batted .284 with 74 home runs.

December 12
Ervin Santana 2008 Topps Dick Perez #24
In 7 years with the Angels, Ervin has compiled an 87-67 record with an ERA of 4.22. He's signed through 2013.

December 13
Larry Doby 1994 Upper Deck All-Time Heroes #47
Larry was the second black player in major league baseball and the first in the American League. He made his debut with the Indians in 1947. He played for the Indians for 9 of his 13 years and was a 7-time All-Star. He was elected into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

December 14
Craig Biggio 2002 Diamond Kings Diamond Cut Collection #83
Craig spent his entire 20-year career with the Astros. He came to the majors as a catcher but moved to 2nd base after a few years. He also played some outfield. He has a career batting average of .281, he hit 291 home runs and stole 414 bases. He was also an outstanding defensive second baseman. He retired in 2007 so will be eligible for the Hall of Fame next year. I expect him to enter on the first ballot.

December 15
Mo Vaughn 1996 Leaf Hats Off #4
Hit Dog was the Red Sox #1 draft pick in 1989. He played with Craig Biggio at Seton Hall University. He hit .293 in his 12- career with 382 home runs. He was with the Red Sox for 8 years and then signed an enormous contract with the Angels. Apparently the Red Sox weren't sorry to see him go. He was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2008 but only received 1.1% of the votes and  was dropped from the ballot.

December 16
Billy Ripken 1992 Ultra #10
Cal's little brother had a fairly non-distinguished 12-year career in the majors. He is perhaps best known for his 1989 Fleer baseball card with an obscenity written on the bat knob. If you're one of the handful of collectors who haven't see this card, take a look here.

December 17
Chase Utley 2008 UD A Piece of History Box Score Memories Red #43
Finally, a Phillie. Chase was the Phillies #1 pick in 2000 and has played 9 years for the Phillies. He is an excellent 2nd baseman and pretty good at the plate. There is considerable concern in Philadelphia over his physical condition. He has spent parts of the last few seasons hurt.

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