Friday, May 31, 2013

#56-Franklin Stubbs-

Another of the legion of future Dodger's playing at Albuquerque in the early 80's was Franklin Stubbs. After several years in the minors he arrived in 83 with the Dukes.  His teammates included Sid Bream, German Rivera, Candy Maldonado and Orel Hershiser. Excluding Hershiser the other hitters were sluggers and like their alum Greg Brock and MIke Marshall they were all part of a group that were expected to rip the cover off the ball in the majors. Once there however, it was learned that their prodigious power numbers in AAA were the result of the thin, warm air of Albuquerque. Playing as a reserve in 84 and 85 he became a starter in 86 with a promising 23 homers and 58 RBI's.Those would remain his career high with the Dodgers.  87 would see a nightmare .233  and just 8 homers and only 23 RBIs. He was so bad he racked up a WAR of -0.8! 

During the World Championship session of 88 he spent most of his time on the bench. In the World Series he hit .294 and drove in 2 runs along with hitting a pair of doubles. In 89-the year this picture was taken-he a career high .291 but just 4 homers and 15 RBIs in only 69 games. By the time this card came out he was a Houston Astro after having been traded before Opening Day to Houston for Terry Wells. 

In Houston's notorious pitcher's park he tied his career best 23 homers and set his personal mark of 71 RBIs. Setting his career best WAR of 2.8 he also put up a remarkable 2.7 dWAR in the mammoth outfield of the Astrodome. After his career year he entered free agency and sighed with the Brewers upgrading his salary from $450,000 in 90 to $1.8 million in 91 and $2.1 million in 92. While his pay increased his WAR was only a 0.2 over his two years with Milwaukee. Only able to get a minor league contract he spent 93 with the Red Sox AAA team in Pawtucket  and in 94 he played in Mexico. Returning to the majors in 95 with the Tigers he appeared in 62 games hitting .250 with a couple of home runs and 19 RBI's. Entering free agency his playing career came to an end. Since the end of his playing days he has worked steadily in the minors as a hitting coach returning to Albuquerque for the 2013 season in that role. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

#55 Darrell Evans

As a Giant's fan since the late 70's Darrell Evans has always ranked as one of the most frustrating players I've ever seen. Having a superb batting eye he could walk, in an off year,  80 times in a season sometimes even receiving as many as 126 as he did in Atlanta in 1974. He also had a .248 career batting average and 414 homers (its a typo on the back of the card adding 10 more homers to his career totals) but with that ability to get walks and his power those are two numbers it was always difficult to understand why he didn't hit at least .265 to .270 and knock out 500 homers. 
Drafted by the Kansas City Athletics in 1967 he was taken by the Braves in the 1968 Rule 5 Draft. His breakthrough season came in 1973 when he hit .281 with 41 home runs and 104 RBI's-both of which were career highs. Evans also had an awe-inspiring WAR of 9.0! A high he wouldn't really get close to again.  Hitting 47 homers over the next two years he was sent to San Francisco in 1976 in a mid-season multi-player deal that sent Willie Montanez to the Braves. With the Giants he hit his Giant's career high with 20 homers twice in 1978 and 1980 along with his best RBIs of 78 in those two years. However, those numbers were surpassed in the final year of his Giant's contract in 1983 with 30 home runs and 82 RBI"s and his first All-Star Game appearance since his monster 1973 season. 
Signing with the Tigers for the 1984 season Evans struggled in his new league as the 37 year-old his just 16 homers and drove in only 63 runs. In the postseason he hit .300 with an RBI in the League Championship Series which the Tigers swept the Royals in three. In the World Series he only hit .067 with another lone RBI against the Padres who were defeated in five games and Evans won himself a World Series Ring. In 85 he had a great season hitting 40 homers and driving in 94.  A good 87 saw the Tigers lose to the Twins while Evans hit .294 but had no RBI's or runs scored.
Signing with the Braves for 89 he was a reserver who hit just .207 but added 11 homers in his final season making this card his final one and also contains all his career numbers.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

#54-Joel Skinner

(Its been another one of those busy patches. Jury duty and a bunch of other little things including the start of the baseball season have all occupied my time of late.) 
Joel looks like he has other things on his mind than baseball when this picture was taken. Drafted by the Pirates in the 1979 draft he was taken by the White Sox in 1982 Free Agent Compensation pick. In the minors with both the Pirates and White Sox he was an average hitter with a little bit of pop but by 1983 he was already being heralded as future Hall of Famer Carlton Fisk's heir to the catcher's gear. The draw back was in 84 he was only 23 and Fisk was 36-one was too young and the other too old (or so they thought) to keep playing. Called up for a brief stay in 83 and 84 he hit .341 in 85 in just 22  games. The next year he was sent to the Yankees for Ron Hassey. In 89 it was on to the team he is pictured with here for Mel Hall. Spending his last three major league season in Cleveland here he is coming off a .230, 1 Homer and 13 RBI season in 49 games. He had a WAR of -0.1 and a dWar of 0.2.  Another two years and his career ended with an overall WAR of 0.0 and a dWAR of 3.9. As for the player he was originally envisioned to replace in Chicago, Fisk played until 1993 and his career ended at the age of 45. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The last week has been hectic with meetings and a half-marathon completed on Sunday-don't ask about the time. I was so slow they didn't use a stop watch for me they brought out a sun dial. :o (3:51:40) Next week is more of the same why just look at Sunday, last episode of Season 3 of The Walking Dead, first episode of Game of Thrones, first baseball game of the season and its Easter. Other than that no problem. I'll be writing again soon. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

#53-Mike LaCoss

Drafted by the Reds in the 3rd round of the 1974 draft out of Mount Whitney High School in Visalia, CA, Mike LaCoss moved up through the Reds organization with years stops at Rookie, A, AA and AAA. Debuting in July of 1978  he had a break out season in 79. On June 13, he was 8-0 with a 2.22 ERA. After that he went  4-8 with an ERA over 5, in spite of that he still achieved his career high in WAR with a 2.1.  The next two years went from bad to worse and after Spring Training 1982 he was put on waivers, even though he had pitched well that spring, and was taken by the Astros. 
Pitching out of the bullpen  (41 games, 8 starts) he had a 6-6 record with a 2.90 ERA which would prove to be his career best. A pair of mediocre seasons in Houston lead to LaCoss playing out his option and signing with the Royals in 85 however, he pitched poorly and was not on the post-season roster. The World Champ Royals released him in November and he signed with the Giants in December. After a solid 86 he had a very good 87 going 13-10 with 3.17 and a WAR of 1.6, equalling his second best season of 82. Making two relief appearances in the NLCS versus the Cards he pitched 3.1 scoreless innings in a losing effort. After another solid effort in 88 the Giants were in the post-season again in 89 and facing the Cubs in the NLCS. 1 relief appearance of 3 innings and 3 earned runs didn't derail the Giants who won their first pennant since 1962. A poor series and a sweep by the Athletics brought an otherwise great season to an end.
Shown here pitching at Candlestick Park-the lack of fans, the long sleeve undershirt and home uniform all indicate San Francisco, 1990 would be an injured plagued year as would his last season of 1991 with his final game coming in July. A short attempted the next year at the Expos Indianapolis club didn't work out and at the age of 36 LaCoss' career was over. 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

#52-Jack Daugherty

Jack Daugherty is seen here at the plate during his first season with Texas. Spending most of his career as a first baseman and outfielder 1990 would be his best season when he hit .300 with 6 home runs, 47 RBI's and a WAR of 1.3. 
Not having much power Daugherty hit 10 homers in his career. His career batting average of .256 would make one think his saving grace his fielding but his career dWar was -2.1. He wasn't very fast either stealing 5 bases while being caught twice. With diminishing at bats every year he was traded to the Astros in 93 and on to the Reds before the end of the season. Bouncing around the minors he went to Japan in 1994 and only played 19 games and was released by the Chiba Lotte Marines. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

#51-Doug Rader

The five-time winner of the Gold Glove, while playing for the Astros, is shown here as manager of the Angels. His first managerial job was with the Texas Rangers in 1983 where he led them to a 77-85 record but 84 saw them lose seven more games and after a slow start in 85 of 9-23 he was fired. 
In one of the more regrettable decisions in White Sox history the team fired manager Tony LaRussa and Rader served as interim manager for two games and a 1-1 record. 
In 1989 he returned to managing with with Angels, the season this picture was taken, and saw the team finish in 3rd place in the American League West with a very good 91-71 record. With an offense that only hit .256 and with only two players hitting over 20 homers (Jack Howell, 20 and Chili Davis' 22) pitching and defense were what earned the team its excellent record. Bert Blyleven's 17-5 with a 2.73 and Chuck Finley's 16-9, 2.57 along with Kirk McCaskill's 15-10 2.93 helped give the pitching a 3.28 ERA. Bryan Harvey's 25 saves and a starting rotation that started all but six of the teams 162 games played their role in the fine season. Devon White's 2.6 dWAR lead the team in defense and Dick Schofield (1.9) and Jack Howell (1.2) gave the Angels a very strong left-side of the infield. In 1990 the offense dropped off even more and Blyleven had an off year and Jack Howell's dWar dropped to a -0.3. In 1991 with a record of 61-63 he was fired.