Wednesday, September 24, 2014

#333 - Willie Hernandez

What a card: This was Willie Hernandez's first Topps card after winning the Cy Young Award in 1984. He was the third relief pitcher (after Jim Konstanty and Rollie Fingers) to win the award as a relief pitcher.

My observation on the front: One of my favorite cards in the whole set. Hernandez seems to be in his element on the mound there at Tiger Stadium.

More opinion from me: When Hernandez demanded that he be referred to as Guillermo, instead of the Anglicized "Willie," in 1988, he seemed to split himself into two different pitchers in my head. It's weird how a simple change in the way a name is said will alter your whole perception.

Something you might know: Hernandez rocketed into the public consciousness in 1984 when he was acquired from the Phillies, along with Dave Bergman, for Glenn Wilson and Johnny Wockenfuss. He saved a then-record 32 straight games for the Tigers and compiled a 1.92 ERA. He retired Tony Gywnn on a fly ball to clinch the World Series for Detroit.

Something you might not know: Before Deion Sanders doused Tim McCarver, Hernandez gave writer Mitch Albom an ice bucket shower in 1988. Hernandez had blamed Albom for turning Tigers fans against him in the years following his Cy Young season.

 My observation on the back: Well, OK, I guess back in the mid-1980s, San Diego did have a major league team.

The blog wants to speak now: The News category is updated.


zman40 said...

I love this card. It is so old-school that Willie is actually showing his catcher what he is going to pitch instead of flicking his glove to show him.

Stack22 said...

Willie denied the "xx0" from Topps the year after winning the MVP? Can't imagine that's happened very many times in the last 35 years.

Granted Willie had no business winning the MVP award in '84.