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.