Monday, April 11, 2016

1992 Donruss Rookies - Part 1

My collecting goal this year is to beef up my past year's Phillies collections. Sort of at random, I've been working on 1992. I needed 7 (of the 10) Phillies cards in the 1992 Donruss Rookies set and couldn't locate them on eBay. But I did find the entire set for around 10 bucks. I've always like the set and figured the Phillies cards I needed would be just a bit over $1 a piece. Since I didn't have very many of the set, and I liked the set, I decided to go for it.

For what ever reason, there are more Phillies in this set than any other team. It's not like these Phillies had any lasting impact on the team as players, although one of them, Rubin Amaro, would go on to eventually be the Phillies General Manager during the time the Phillies won the 2008 World Series.

 The card fronts have the same design as 1992 Donruss, except the cards are green rather than blue. I like the shade of green they used. The backs are quite a bit different than Donruss. The regular set has a nice player photograph worked into it.

A lot of the players in this set would not have cards calling them rookies in today's baseball card world as they hadn't had any MLB playing time before the set was released. A lot of them had some playing time in 1992, but probably after the set was released.

Although I don't think the set is of historical value, there are quite a few impact players included. There is only one ROY in the set but there is one Hall of Famer. I'm going to make 2 posts on the set. This post will feature the top 10 players in terms of longevity. I'm going by longevity as a marker for impact on the game. Not always a reliable marker but it mostly works for this set. The second post will focus on other interesting players in the set.

Whether you like him or not, Manny had an impact on the game. He had a 19-year career with Hall of Fame numbers. 555 home runs, a .312 career batting average, 1,831 rbis, and 12 A;;-Star Game appearances. He didn't make is major league debut until 1993 but most sets in 1992 included him as a rookie. He finished 2nd in the ROY voting in 1994, losing out to Raul Mondesi (who is also included in this set.

Matt Stairs certainly didn't have a Hall of Fame career but he played for 19 years. He hit 265 home runs and was on the Phillies 2008 World Series winning team. I believe that he is in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. He is currently part of the Phillies TV broadcast team.

Another 19-year player. He is a potential Hall of Famer with 200 wins and over 2,100 K's. He will be eligible for the Hall of Fame this year. At 45, he was the oldest active player in the AL when he retired.

An 18-year player, Pedro made his debut in September 1992. He is the sole Hall of Famer in the set. Martinez has a 219-100 career record (similar to Wakefield's) with a 2.93 career ERA. He was on the 2004 Red Sox World Series winning team. He was a 3-time Cy Young winner and appeared in 8 All-Star games.

Kent had a 17-year career. He's another potential Hall of Famer. He's been eligible for the past three years where he's been averaging about 15% of the vote. He had 377 home runs and was the 2009 NL MVP. I don't remember Jeff being a Blue Jay. He played 65 games in Toronto before being traded to the Mets for David Cone.

Pedro pitched for 15 years, compiling a 129-124 career record with a career ERA of 4.67 with 1,664 K's. He's been eligible for the Hall for 10 years but hasn't received a single vote.

Another 15-year man who made his money as a middle reliever. While such guys are important, it's hard to come up with big numbers. He has a 52-48 career record with 9 saves. I mostly remember Doug as a reliever for the Astros.

Although he played for 15 years, I don't know much about him. He was used mostly as a closer compiling a career record of 63-61 with 267 saves. That's good enough for the 31st place on the career list. He was a 2-time All-Star.

Flaherty spent 14 years mostly as a backup catcher playing mostly for the Red Sox, Rays, and Yankees. I guess you can make a pretty good living at that. He'd earned over $16 million before retiring in 2005.

A 14-year-outfielder who was the 9th runner up for the 1995 NL Rookie of the Year award. He had 369 career stolen bases with his best year, 66, with the Royals in 1998.

Collectors often deride 1980s and early 1990s Donruss sets but compare this set to the drab 2016 Donruss set put out by Panini.


Mike Matson said...

Matt Stairs is in the New Brunswick Sports HOF but not the Canadian Baseball one yet.

I may need to hunt this set down for the Canadians/Jays/Expos..

capewood said...

Thanks Mike. I'd heard him talking about his induction during a Phillies game sometime last year and got what he said wrong.

Mike Matson said...

I stand corrected.. He was inducted in 2015.. I couldn't find the information when I looked for it earlier..

Commishbob said...

Wakefield is featured in the 'Knuckleball' documentary from a few years back. I'd never heard of it until I stumbled across it on Showtime a few months back. Very enjoyable. His is my favorite in that group. Wrigley Field shot I think.

Jeff Kent, OTOH, may be the most disagreeable person I've ever had the 'privilege' to meet.