Tuesday, January 24, 2012
#8 - Record Breaker, Juan Samuel
What a card: This card recognizes Juan Samuel for setting the record -- by a single stolen base -- for the most stolen bases in a rookie season. Samuel stole 72 in 1984, one better than Tim Raines' 71 in 1981. Samuel's record lasted one whole year as Vince Coleman of the Cardinals decimated the mark with 110 in his rookie year of 1985.
My observation on the front: This is the first non-action shot in the Record Breaker subset. Kind of disappointing as I love base-running photos. Not a flattering posed shot, either.
More opinion from me: Lordy, this Record Breaker subset just goes on and on, doesn't it? I'm used to the record breaker series being anywhere from 4 to 6 cards. I'd have to do some research, but this might be the biggest record-breaker set ever.
Something you might know: Samuel played and played and PLAYED during his rookie year. He set a record for most at-bats by a right-handed hitter with 701 in 1984. He also led the league in triples with 19, one of the largest totals for a rookie ever. And he struck out more than anyone that year with 168. It's safe to say that if not for Dwight Gooden, Samuel would've won the N.L. Rookie of the Year award (not for the strikeout reason, of course).
Something you might not know: Samuel's record-breaking stolen base came on Sept. 26 in a 7-1 loss to the Mets. Samuel stole second base off of pitcher Sid Fernandez (and catcher John Gibbons) in the fifth inning with the Phillies behind 2-0.
My observation on the back: This is a pet peeve of mine with the set. Instead of finding the exact date when Samuel broke the record, as I did, Topps just says Samuel ended the season with the record. Of course, there was no baseball-reference.com at the time, so I probably should give Topps some slack.
The blog wants to speak now: I've updated the TV, Pop Culture and News tabs. Pretty depressing events for the most part. I'll try to find some happier stuff next time.