Monday, October 3, 2016
#582 - Ken Phelps
What a card: This is Ken Phelps' first Topps card, and 1985 marks his return to cards since Fleer issued a card of him with the Royals in its 1982 set.
My observation on the front: I'm used to Phelps with those large wire-framed glasses. This looks odd.
More opinion from me: You can see by the handle of Phelps' bat that he wore No. 44 with the Mariners. I kind of wince when slugger-types wear No. 44, unless they can measure up to the likes of famed 44 wearers like Hank Aaron and Reggie Jackson.
Something you might know: Phelps' power promise drew the eye of Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, who dealt a prospect named Jay Buhner to the Mariners for Phelps, who wound up struggling in New York. The deal was mentioned in a 1996 Seinfeld episode in which George's father seemed more upset with Steinbrenner over the trade of Buhner than with the news that Steinbrenner was delivering: that his son was dead. In reply, Steinbrenner said, "He was a good prospect, no question about it. But my baseball people loved Ken Phelps' bat. They kept saying, 'Ken Phelps, Ken Phelps.'"
Something you might not know: Phelps was one of the first stars of ESPN's new beefed-up baseball coverage in 1990. The network had just signed a contract with MLB that allowed it to televise 175 games a year, which brought nationwide viewers West Coast baseball for the first time on a consistent basis. In one of those late games, ESPN cut away from a Dodgers-Astros game to air the Mariners' Brian Holman attempting to throw a perfect game in the ninth inning. Viewers saw Phelps homer off of Holman with two outs in the ninth.
My observation on the back: OK, I had to look up what ASCAP is. It's the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. I'm sure that question threw a few kids for a loop.
The blog wants to speak now: The Pop Culture tab is updated.