Well here it is. The first post on the new blog. I gave myself two weeks to try and prep, but I am as nervous as can be. The idea of the blog is to post a card a day in order until I finish the entire set. I imagine I can milk this thing for 3 years… I hope these posts get better as my feet get wetter, but here we go:
Card Number 1 (One), Lou Brock Record Breaker. I can’t think of a better person to lead off the set than Lou Brock. I like card number one being of a spectacular lead-off hitter and base stealer. In current baseball, a person like Brock, who was head and shoulders above the rest in both those categories doesn’t exist. We have great base stealers like Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford and Michael Bourn and great lead-off hitters like Brian Roberts and Curtis Granderson, but no one person who did it quite like Lou Brock…
The Record that Brock in 1977 was the career stolen base leader title. The back of the card states that it was Ty Cobb’s record of 892 steals that Brock passed. Actually, it was Billy Hamilton’s mark of 912 that led all of baseball. Brock finished the ’77 campaign with 900 steals which would have put him in second place all time behind Hamilton. Brock stole 35 bases in 1977 and was still among the base stealing elite even though he was far past his prime and the years where he stole a then record 118 bases. That mark was set in 1974 which was the 8th year in which he paced the National League in steals. That was also the final year he would do so, in 1975 he stole less than half that, but still finished with a very impressive 56, which was good for third place in the NL behind Joe Morgan and the league’s leader Davey Lopes who swiped 77. Lou Brock would play two more seasons with the Cardinals before he retired at the age of 40 following the 1979 season. Brock went out on top, having a superb year in ’79 batting .304 with 21 steals. That gave Brock 938 steals in his career which actually was the record. This mark stood under Rickey Henderson came along to set base paths on fire. Henderson is the current career leader with 1,406. To give you an idea of how safe that record is, Juan Pierre is the active leader in steals with 459 steals. Lou Brock is pretty safe to remain 2nd place of All-Time for a long time as well. Brock was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1985. He was a 6-time All Star, 8 time Stolen Base Leader, and during his career he had paced the league in runs, doubles, triples and at bats. He won two World Series rings with the Cards, in 1964 and 1967. In the World Series he had a .391 batting average with 4 homeruns and 14 stolen bases. Even though he wasn’t a legitimate record breaker in 1977, he did eventually break the mark set by Hamilton and held onto to it for many years. It was a great choice by Topps for card #1. Although they did use two different poses/pics for this card and his regular player card, #170 in the set, both cards are spring training portraits. I wanna see a base stealing card of the greatest base stealer of all time. That there is a ball drop Topps. That and prematurely calling him the career base stealing leader and completely forgetting about Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton. That said, this is the first card in my favorite set, one down, 725 to go. Thanks for reading and I hope that you all enjoy the ride…Since this is a totally new undertaking for me, I am nervous and lack confidence. I love this set so much and I know that my posts will not do it the proper justice. I hope that you will follow and read this blog anyway and trust that I will get better as time goes on... I love this card as a lead-off in the set, but there alot of funny things you can say about a legendary base stealing Hall of Famer.
1986 Leaf, Bert Blyleven
7 hours ago