A while back I got an unexpected package in the mail from The Junior Junkie. He was kind enough to send me a nice stack of cards from my second-favorite player of all-time, Jeff Bagwell!
Griffey had the sweetest swing of his generation, but Bagwell's may have been the most fearsome. Starting from his ominous, crouching stance...
...and then just exploding through the ball:
That pitch was on the OUTER half of the plate.
It's a crime that Bagwell hasn't made the Hall of Fame yet. I've never heard any kind of real evidence against him as far as PEDs, only guilt by association because he was around Ken Caminiti. His career numbers speak for themselves - 449 HRs, 1517 Runs, 1529 RBIs, 2314 hits, .297 career average, .408 career OBP and 202 SBs. I think the average and stolen bases are the most surprising for many people - he wasn't just a power hitter, he was a complete player! And those power numbers came while spending two-thirds of his career playing home games in the Astrodome.
Thanks a lot Junior Junkie! I will have to return the favor sometime in the near future. :)
Today I have another installment of my series celebrating regular cards that feature top-notch photos. Everybody loves a highlight reel catch, and I love it even more when those moments get captured on cardboard!
2010 Upper Deck #427 - Aaron Rowand
The rare 4-way catch attempt.
1998 Stadium Club #20 - Jay Buhner
Some pretty good leaping ability from Buhner here, considering he isn't using the wall to help him at all. Also, you gotta love the look on the fan's face. :)
2014 Topps #301 - Shane Victorino
Yikes. Sailing into that low Fenway park wall, I can't imagine this one ended very well for ol' Shane...
1999 Fleer Ultra #25 - Andruw Jones
Crazy hops from Andruw in this shot. And the way he is holding his arm it looks like he actually caught it!
2010 Upper Deck Season Biography #SB-40 - Torii Hunter
An absolutely GORGEOUS photo of Torii doing what he does best. The photographer couldn't possibly have timed this one any better.
2014 Topps #326 - Khris Davis
A look that says "Ohhh this is gonna suck..." I hope he at least held on to the ball!
2011 Topps #252 - Michael Saunders
Another beautifully-timed photo with the ball falling into the glove. Catching the Mariners logo as the background is a nice touch as well.
2014 Stadium Club #183 - Carlos Gomez
So close....Gomez has made a lot of great plays for us. Sadly, I think he is likely to be in another uniform within the next 6 weeks (if he can get himself healthy that is).
1995 Upper Deck #29 - Geronimo Berroa
A cool card from one of the best names in the game. I love this one because of the element of suspense - you really can't tell if he was gonna get his glove on it or not.
2007 Upper Deck #421 - Mike Cameron
Just like the previous card, this shot of former-Brewer Cameron captures the "will he bring it back?" moment of suspense perfectly.
And finally, as a parting bonus, enjoy some great 80s metal from Accept!: