Sunday, March 4, 2012

#23 - Bret Saberhagen

What a card: Here is the first of several notable rookie cards in the 1985 Topps set. Bret Saberhagen pitched in 38 games for the Royals during his rookie year in 1984, starting 18 of them. He went 10-11 and picked up the only save of his career.

My observation on the front: How sneaky of Coca-Cola to get its subliminal message across on this card.

More opinion from me: I was fascinated with Saberhagen's seeming ability to have good seasons in only odd-numbered years. Of course, he won Cy Youngs in 1985 and 1989 and also enjoyed very fine seasons in 1987 and 1991. But his tenure with the Mets blew that theory. He hobbled along before having his two best remaining seasons in even-numbered years, 1994 with the Mets and 1998 with the Red Sox.

Something you might know: If you were watching the 1985 World Series there was nothing about Saberhagen you didn't know. The 21-year-old was a sensation, pitching a shutout in Game 7, winning MVP honors, and his wife gave to a son the day of Game 6.

Something you might not know: Saberhagen was drafted out of high school by the Royals in 1982 in the 19th round ... as a shortstop.

My observation on the back: OK, let's go to the trivia question. It states, "In 1980, this player registered baseball's first game-winning hit." What does that mean, you're saying. Did every run prior to 1980 score on passed balls?

No, no. The trivia question could have been more clear, but this is a reference to the "Game-Winning RBI" statistic, which was implemented in 1980. The stat lasted only until 1988 on an official basis, but was featured in boxscores for awhile there.

The blog wants to speak now: Just a quick update to the Music tab today. I still haven't gotten to adding a couple more scans. March is way too busy already.


jacobmrley said...

Useless fact: Keith Hernandez was/is the all time leader in GWRBI. SO, he's got that going for him, which is nice.

Jeff Laws said...

I remember having to have this card. It was a huge rookie card back then. I ended up getting a bunch of them.

Play at the Plate said...

Not a bad pitcher for a shortstop.