Just two weeks until pitchers and cathers report. A mere 14 days. Unlike yesterday’s post with just one player, today we’ll be looking at a few players. It’s always fun digging into my box of baseball cards. I have each team in there own sealed plastic bag, then arranged by year in each bag. I used to use just rubberbands, but a few years ago, after not looking at them for quite a long time, the bands were falling apart!
For Rose, a picture is worth a thousand words. Fans are equally divided on whether he should be in the Hall of Fame. Since I’m not going to take a stand today, we will just leave it with Charlie Hustle’s 76 card.
“Sweet Lou” Piniella played with four different ballclubs, from 1964-1984, and is currently the manager of the Chicago Cubs. The Tampa, FL native was the AL Rookie of the year in 1969 (not a typo, he didn’t appear in enough games the previous seasons to qualify). He retired with just over 100 homeruns and 1705 hits, with a .291 averge. He has had a successful managerial career, having won 1,784 games (through 2009) with a .521 winning percentage. Piniella has been named Manager of the Year twice in the AL and once in the NL. Sweet Lou, pictured here in 1976, is also third on the active managers list for being thrown out of a game as a manager. According to a personal friend whose family has known Piniella since his little league days in Tampa, his firery attitude was developing even as a child!
Rice played 16 season in the majors, all with the Boston Red Sox, from 1974 to 1989. He had a great balance of hitting for average and power, with a career average of .298 and retired with a total of 382 round trippers, good for third on the all time Red Sox HR list behind Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski. His 315 times grounding into double plays ranks him eighth all time, though, behind the like of Albert Pujols, Cal Ripken, Jr., Ivan Rodriguez, and Hank Aaron. Rice was an 8 time All Star, was the AL MVP in 1978, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2009 on his 15th and final ballot. His number 14 has been retired by the Red Sox. This is a scan of his 1978 card.
Hrbek played 14 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, and is pictured here on his 1992 card. He was named to the 1982 All Star team, and played for two World Series championship teams with the Twins (1987, 1991). Hrbek also won the 1991 Lou Gehrig award. Hrbek’s number 14 has been retired by the Minnesota Twins.