Saturday, December 24, 2011

Baseball Birthdays - December 18-24

December 18
Ty Cobb - 2005 Upper Deck ESPN Sports Century #SC-4
The Georgia Peach was born in 1886 in Narrows Georgia. He played for 24 years, 22 of them with the Tigers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936. He is often remembered as a surly and aggressive player but he is also recognized as one of the best baseball players of all time.

December 19
Al Kaline - 2007 Upper Deck Goudey #206 (short-print)
Another Hall of Famer and another Tiger. Al retired in 1974 after a 22 year career with the Tigers. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1980. He was a 'bonus baby' signing by the Tigers in 1953 and went directly from high school ball to the major leagues. Al hit 399 home runs and had a career batting average of .297. He still works in the Tigers front office and is often referred to as Mt. TIger.

December 20
Branch Rickey - 2004 Topps Cracker Jack #133
The Hall of Fame theme continues. The Mahatma was born in 1881 in Flat OH. Although he was a player for 4 seasons and a manager for about 9 years (St. Louis Browns and St. Louis Cardinals), he is mainly known as a baseball club owner. I'm going to just quote directly from his Wikipedia entry "He was known for breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier by signing African American player Jackie Robinson, for drafting the first Hispanic superstar, Roberto Clemente, for creating the framework for the modern minor league farm system, for encouraging the Major Leagues to add new teams through his involvement in the proposed Continental League, and for introducing the batting helmet." He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967.

December 21
Dave Kingman - 1976 Topps #40
No Hall of Famers born this date, and none likely to ever get there. Dave "Kong" Kingman was born in 1948 in Pendleton OR. He was the Giants #1 draft pick in 1970. He was one of the most feared hitters in the 1970s and 1980s. In his 14-year career he hit 442 home runs, good for #38 on the all-time career list. But he also struck out 1,816 times, good for #12 on the career list.

December 22
Steve Carlton - 2003 Flair Greats Classic Numbers Game Used
There were several Hall of Famers born on this date but I decided to go with Steve Carlton. He was a Phillie and one of my favorite Phillies of all time. Lefty was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1994, with a career record of 329-244 with an ERA of 3.22. His 4,136 strike outs is 4th on the career list and he won 4 Cy Young Awards.

December 23
Jerry Koosman - 2004 UD Legends Timeless Teams #58
Not a Hall of Fame player but a pretty good pitcher just the same. He pitched for 19 years with the Mets, Twins, White Sox and ended his career with the Phillies. His record was 222-209.

December 24
Andrew Romine - 2011 Topps Heritage #209
Future Hall of Fame material? Way too soon to tell. He had 11 at bats in 2011, batting .091.

1 comment:

Hackenbush said...

Nice Kaline. The 2007 Goudey set is still my favorite.