Thursday, January 31, 2013

#212 John Stearns - New York Mets

This is a nice picture of John Stearns in his catching gear on his 8th Topps card.  The low bleachers in the background indicate a spring training location. 

Player:  John Stearns was drafted 2nd overall by the Phillies  in the '73 draft and went one for two in a September debut in '74.   Blocked by Bob Boone, Stearns got his break when the Phils traded him away to the Mets in the Tug McGraw deal.  With the Mets, Stearns backed up veteran Jerry Grote and saw action in 91 games over the '75 and '76 seasons batting .189 and .262. 
Stearns was the Mets everyday catcher for the next three years and also saw time at first and third base.  Over that span he batted .252/.347/.387 and averaged a dozen homers a year.  A natural athlete with good speed Stearns set a National League record (since broken by J.Kendall) for stolen bases by a catcher with 25. 
Beset by injuries, Stearns never made it back to full-time starter status and averaged just 90 games over the '80-'82 seasons.  He also changed his approach at the plate and became more of a slap hitter hitting just 5 HR over the three year span.  His average jumped up to .285, .271, and .293 and he made his 4th and final All-Star team in '82.
A gimpy throwing elbow limited Stearns to just 12 games over the '83-'84 seasons.  A comeback at AAA Denver as a firstbaseman in '85 never got him back to the majors and he retired at age 33.
Flipside:  It pains me to post a fuzzy pic like this but I'm having scanner issues again, and this is the best back I can find.  What is interesting about his mid-career change in hitting approach is that not only did he lose power but was he also seemed to abandon a patient hitting approach.  Over the '77-'79 seasons he walked in 11.8% of his plate appearances.  The next three years, 8.2.  Whether it was a conscious decision who knows?  Maybe pitchers no longer feared him and were more aggressive knowing he was a now a singles hitter.
Oddball:  Stearns was a Bad Dude.  No really, that is his nickname.  He played college football at the University of Colorado and in fact was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 17th round as a defensive back.  Another multi-sprt star, Dave Winfield was also selected in both the MLB and NFL draft in '73.  Stearns was picked two picks in front of him in baseball and six picks in front of him in football. 
Stearns carried his football mentality over to the catcher position and was superb at blocking the plate.  In 1978 Dave Parker was making a habit of steamrolling catchers but Bad Dude got the best of him in a home plate collision on June 30.  Although Stearns gave up five inches and at least 50 lbs Parker came away with a broken cheekbone.
Other scuffles that cemented his image as a Bad Dude:  aggressively slugging Gary Carter after the "Kid" came in high with an elbow in a collision at the plate, tackled Bill Gullickson after brushing back a teammate, and tackled a drunk fan who got loose at Shea Stadium. 
History:  With Stearns' intensity he would have fit in with any early 1900s ball team.  He retired with a .260/.341/.375 line and 18.5 WAR in 11 seasons.  To be fair he spent three seasons as a regular, three more as a semi-regular, two more as a backup, and played in eight or less games in three other years. 
Stearns is currently the Mariners minor league catching coordinator. 

#254 Rick Cerone - New York Yankees

A cool action shot of Rick Cerone here on his 7th Topps card.  Look at the dirt kicking up from the torque on his back foot.
Player: Rick Cerone was the 7th overall pick of the Indians in 1975.  The young catcher reported to AAA and saw action with Cleveland before the season was over, with four hits in twelve at bats.  He spent all but seven games back at AAA in '76 and was traded with John Lowenstein to the expansion Blue Jays for Rico Carty.

Cerone was Toronto's opening day catcher in their first ever game, but he batted just 100 times on the year with a .200 average.  His playing time increased in '78 and he batted .223 in 282 at bats.  Cerone was the starter in '79 and posted a .239/.294/.358 line and showed a strong arm behind the plate.

The Yankees traded for Cerone and hoped he would help fill the void left by Thurman Munson's death.  At first, Cerone seemed up to the daunting task as he posted 3.9 WAR with 14 HR and 85 RBI.  He hit .277, gunned down over 50% of would be base stealers, and finished 7th in AL MVP voting.  Thumb injuries would limit Cerone's playing time and productivity the next two years as he hit just .244 and .227.

Cerone's production continued to slip as he batted .220 in '83 and ended up losing his job to Butch Wynegar.  After another poor year in '84 he was traded to the Braves.  His power was no where to be found as he slugged a meager .280 for Atlanta in '85.  Sent packing to the Brewers, Cerone had his best year in a long time as he batted .259/.304./.380 in 242 trips to the plate. 

Cerone, now a free-agent, returned to the Bronx in '87 and hit .243/.320/.335 in part time work.  He and Yankee manager Billy Martin didn't see eye to eye and he was released on opening day in '88.  He was picked up by the Red Sox where he spent the next two years and put up similar rate stats.

The last three years of Cerone's career would be fruitful but transient.  His days as a starter long gone, he returned to the Yankees in 1990 and batted 302/.324/.388 in 139 at bats.  He crossed town to the Mets in '91 and put up a .273/.360/.357 line.  Cerone finished his career with the Expos in '92, hitting .270 in 63 at bats.
Flipside:  Despite starting the '75 season playing for Seton Hall University, Cerone wasn't terribly over matched in 12 at bats in the majors later that year.  He did not strikeout in any of his 12 at bats and only K'd once in 16 more at bats the next year.
Oddball:  Rick Cerone recorded a song "A Long Run Home" in 1981 to benefit victims of an earthquake in Italy.  The song is about a ballplayer visiting a stadium during the middle of a snowstorm.  I kid you not.  I wish I could find an audio clip.
History:  Cerone had a long 18 year career but with just 6.0 career WAR.  He played in the postseason in 1980 and '81 with the Yankees.  He hit well in the '80 ALCS with 4 hits in 12 at bats and a homer.  In 1981 against the A's he went 6-18 with two doubles and a home run but had just five hits in the ALCS and World Series.  The Yankees lost to the Dodgers and that was as close as Cerone would get to a World Series title.

#255 Gene Garber - Atlanta Braves

This is veteran reliever Gene Garber's 10th Topps card.  Looks like Chris Chambliss in the ready position in the background. 
Player:  Gene Garber was drafted by the Pirates in the 20th round of the 1965 draft and was used as a starter in the minors.  After three unsuccessful stints with the Pirates in '69, 70, and '72 (5.61 ERA in 33.2 innings) he was traded to the Royals for Jim Rooker.

Garber pitched in a variety of roles for KC in '73.  He started eight games, pitched in middle and long relief and saved 11 games.  In all, he notched 152 frames with a 9-9 record and a 4.24 ERA (96 ERA+).  He split the '74 season between the Royals and Phillies as he was sold midseason.  He pitched much better in Philly and finished with a 3.08 ERA, 5 saves in 76 innings. 

From this point on Garber was a pure reliever.  He spent the next three years as a formidable closer by committee option.  First as a duo with Tug McGraw and then Ron Reed joined to make it a trio in '76 and '77.  Garber's ERA dropped each year from 3.60 to 2.82 to 2.35 as he saved 44 games.  He was traded to Atlanta in the middle of the '78 season for Dick Ruthven.  Entrusted with ace reliever duties, Garber ended the year with a 2.15 ERA and 22 saves.

Garber, who threw from a low sidearm delivery, saved 25 but had a terrible year in '79 losing a record 16 games out of the pen.  Although his ERA improved to 3.83 and 2.61, he lost his closer's job to Rick Camp and he saved just nine games in '80 and '81.  Garber got his job back in '82 and saved a career best 30 games with a 2.34 ERA.

Surrounded by other talented relievers like Steve Bedrosian, Donnie Moore, Terry Forster, and Bruce Sutter, Garber saved just 21 games the next three years.  When Sutter was injured for most of the '86 season Garber stepped up and saved 24 with a 2.54 ERA. 

In the last year of his contract, Garber was dealt to Kansas City late in the season.  In total he saved 18 games but allowed 100 hits in 83 innings and lost 10 games.  The Royals brought him back in '88 and he seemed to be pitching much better (1.286 WHIP, 113 ERA+) but was released on the 4th of July.  Garber retired at age 40 with 931 games pitched, 218 saves, and a 3.34 ERA (117 ERA+).

Stuff:  Mid 80s sinker, slider, curve, and a change up that he threw with his middle finger tucker behind the ball.

Flipside:  Wow, those stats are hard to see.  Looking at his career stats, Garber would throw over 100 relief innings six times in his career.
Oddball:  Gene Garber started a game as a centerfielder. What?!  Ok, here's the rub.  July 4, 1978 and Garber has pitched seven innings in three games over the last four days. Braves manager Bobby Cox knew he needed to give Garber a day off.  To resist the urge to use him, Cox wrote Garber's name 2nd in the Braves lineup as they visited Los Angeles.  After Jerry Royster grounded out to start the game, Cox sent up Rowland Office up to pinch hit, and Garber was out of the game. 
History:  Garber is mainly remembered for two things- his twisting, near submarine delivery, and striking out Pete Rose to end his 44 game hitting streak.  According to, he is the only player to save over 200 games and never make an All-Star team.  
Check out the next post which is Garber's Super Veteran card.
Are you on Twitter? Follow me @989baseball

#257 Jesse Barfield - Toronto Blue Jays

Jesse Barfield has a card of his own after sharing a three player card in the '82 set.  Amid Barfield's follow through in the sea of blue, a few Montreal Expos are looking on in the dugout, indicating a spring training photo.  A web of fencing and batting cage net lurks behind Barfield in the inset pic.
Player: Jesse Barfield came up with the Blue Jays in September of 1981 and joined leftfielder George Bell and centerfielder Lloyd Moseby to form a youthful triumvirate that would patrol the Toronto outfield for most of the 80's.  Barfield, a 9th round pick in '77, hit two homers and batted .232 in the last month of '81. 
He started about two-thirds of the time in '82 and hit 18 HR with a .246/.323/.426 line.  He made a quick impression on opposing baserunners as he gunned down 15 to lead all Junior Circuit rightfielders despite starting just 104 games. 
Barfield was limited to 95 starts in RF in '83 as Barry Bonnell, who was enjoying his best year, infringed on his playing time.  He gunned down another 17 runners and hit
27 HR in 420 plate appearances.  Barfield found playing time even harder to come by in '84 as he, Moseby, Bell, veterans Dave Collins, Cliff Johnson all enjoyed seasons with OPS+ over 120.  In 360 trips to the plate Barfield hit .284/.357/.466 with 14 HR. 
Barfield locked down the starting job in '85 and began a three year run with a cumulative 18.3 WAR.  He not only possessed a cannon-arm (59 assists) but also displayed great range leading AL rightfielders in putouts all three years.  Newer metrics like Total Zone show Barfield saving over 60 runs from '85-'87.  He hit .289/.369/.536 with 27 home runs in '85 and hit an AL leading 40 dongs in '86 while repeating his .289 average.  He followed that up with 28 homers in '87 but saw his average slip to .263.
While he continued to supply power and defense, Barfield's average never again topped .250.  After hitting 18 HR in '88 and a slow start in '89 he was traded to the Yankees for Al Leiter.  He finished '89 with 23 HR and hit 25 more in 1990. 
A stress fracture in his left foot ended Barfield's '91 campaign in July and he hit just .225 with 17 homers.  He struggled with a sprained wrist in '92 and played in only 30 games with a .137 average.  Barfield spent '93 playing in Japan.  A comeback with the Astros in '94 didn't make it past spring training.  Barfield retired with a .256/.335/.466 line and 241 HR in 12 seasons. 

Flipside:  The Blue Jays may have been scared of Barfield's strikeout totals in the minors.  It used to be a big deal to K 100 times and he did it four years in a row before seeing MLB action.  Although he whiffed over 140 times five times in the majors he wasn't just a hacker as he was good for 60-80 base on balls a year.

Oddball:  While he was with the Yankees in '91 Barfield threw a ball out of Yankee Stadium.  On the wrong side of a lopsided score, he picked up a home run ball that bounced back on the field and fired it onto the subway tracks outside the stadium.

History:  Barfield is often regarded as having the best outfield arm in baseball in the 80's.  He threw out 162 runners in his 12 year career and nearly a third of his WAR came from his defense (11.7/37.2).  Barfield was recognized for his outfield prowess with Gold Gloves in '86 and '87, and should have already had a few on the mantle before that. 
He helped the Blue Jays to their first playoffs in '85 and hit .280/.357/.440 in a losing cause against the Royals.  He only topped 20 stolen bases once but when he swiped 22 in '85 he became the Jays first 20/20 player.  He was an All-Star in '86, won a Silver Slugger award, and finished 5th in AL MVP voting.

Are you on Twitter? Follow me @989baseball

#266 Paul Boris - Minnesota Twins

This is Paul Boris' first, last, and only card.  Not just his only Topps card, but his only major issue card since Fleer and Donruss ignored the 26 year-old middle reliever.  He looks pretty happy to be here in the insert pic.  The larger "action" shot he looks a bit lost, almost sheepish.

Player:  Paul Boris played college ball at Rutgers but went undrafted and signed with with the Yankees in 1978.  After four seasons in the minors, three of which resulted in ERA's under 2.50, the Twins showed some interest and tabbed him as a Rule 5 pick prior to the '82 season.  Minnesota decided to return the righty reliever to the Yankees when camp broke in April.  However, the Twins pulled off a deal that sent Roy Smalley to the Yankees is exchange for Ron Davis, Greg Gagne, and Boris. 

Boris spent April and most of May in the minors before making his MLB debut on 5/21/82.  The New Jersey native pitched in Yankee Stadium against his former organization and nerves may have contributed to his poor outing as he allowed four runs in two-thirds of an inning against the Bronx Bombers. 

He rebounded by pitching fairly well in long relief the rest of the year, usually logging two to four frames per outing.  He finished the year with a 3.99 ERA, 1.309 WHIP, and a 19/30 walk to strikeout ratio in 49.2 innings. 

Boris didn't make the team in '83, treading on with a 6.75 ERA in 89 innings at AAA Toledo.  He again pitched at the AAA level in '84 but this time in Richmond for the Braves with a 3.95 ERA but allowed almost two runners per inning.  Boris seems to disappear and it is a mystery to me if he continued playing in Mexico, Japan, bought a car wash, sold insurance... who knows?

Flipside:  His victory on June 23 was not only his only big league win, it was also the only game the Twins won when Boris pitched.  Such is the life of a rookie mop-up man.  He twice came into games with leads but both times he blew the leads and was hung with the loss. 

Oddball:  Although it may seem obvious now, it's never a good idea to sell beer for 10 cents or even 25 cents at a sporting event.  On May 24, 1983 the Toledo Mud Hens held one of their Concession Nights.  One of the bargains was beer for a quarter and many of the 1,775 fans enjoyed a dollar or two worth of frothy brew.  Boris was the starting pitcher for the Mud Hens against the Tidewater Tides but took the loss in the 11-1 lopsided affair.  The game was marred by fights in the stands and 12 paying customers were ejected.  After the game the Tides dodged flying cups of ale and several had their hats stolen.

History:  Boris had just five months of major league action but he seemed to perform the job asked of him as a long man.  His card is one of the few I have no memory of seeing when the set came out almost 30 years ago.

#295 Jerry Remy - Boston Red Sox

This is one of those awkward pictures that captures the subject in a position only known to baseball.  Jerry Remy appears here on his 8th Topps with his rookie card appearing in the '76 set.  It took him long enough but Remy has a better mustache now than he did as a player.

Player: Jerry Remy is so strongly associated with the Boston Red Sox that it is easy to forget that he started his professional career with the California Angels.  Drafted in the 6th round of the January draft in 1971, Remy debuted with the Angels in 1975.  He assumed starting duties at secondbase and batted .258/.311/.311.  He was fast and aggressive runner stealing 34 bases but was nabbed 21 as well.

Remy was a consistent performer for the Angels with OPS+ of 83, 87, and 85 while in California.  He got a little wiser on the base paths as he stole 35 and 41 bases while getting caught 16 and 17 times in the '76 and '77 seasons.  His value was definitely his speed and glove work but he posted just 7.0 in his first three years despite playing in 444 games.

In December of 1977, the Halos sent Remy to his home state of Massachusetts for pitcher Don Aase.  Remy got off to a good start for the Red Sox batting .309 in April.  He made his only All-Star team in 1978 but did not play.  He ended the year batting .278 with a pair of home runs and 30 stolen bases. 

Remy was beleaguered with injuries the next few years playing in just 143 games over the '79 and '80 seasons.  When he was healthy he was effective batting .297 and .313.  The strike of '81 and several days off early in the season limited him to 88 games.  He had his best year at the plate batting .307/.368/.338 and his OPS+ of 100 was his first mark over 88 in his career.

Now healthy Remy played nearly everyday the next two years.  Although he batted .280 in '82 and .275 in '83 he had zero pop in his bat with just 46 combined extra base hits over the two seasons. 

Remy was felled by a knee injury in May of '84 from which he never recovered.  He was released by Boston in the offseason and a comeback in '85 was unsuccessful.   

Flipside:  Those two homers in '78 were the last of his career.

Oddball:  Remy is now well known for his work in the Red Sox broadcast booth but I didn't know he had written five children's books.  His Hello, Wally! series originated from stories Remy would tell during Sox games.

History:  Remy played 10 years in the big leagues and although his knee injury ended his career, his best days were already behind him.  He put up 7.0 of his 12.6 career WAR while in California and played just above replacement level his last few years. 

#302 Ernie Whitt - Toronto Blue Jays

Ernie Whitt first appeared on a Topps card in 1978 and had some pretty good company sharing a four player rookie card with Dale Murphy, Lance Parrish, and Bo Diaz.  It's nice to see Whitt with his chest protector in the cameo.  This is Whitt's fifth Topps card.
Player: Ernie Whitt is well known for his 12 years with the Blue Jays but most people forget he came up with the Red Sox.  Boston drafted Whitt in the 15th round in 1972 and gave him a look late in the '76 season.  He hit .222 with a home run but with Carlton Fisk in town there was little room for a young catcher. Whitt was left unprotected in the expansion draft and Toronto grabbed him with the 34th pick. 
Whitt was probably glad to move to a new franchise but he was given little opportunity in Toronto. After playing just 25 games in '77 and '78 he spent all of '79 at AAA Syracuse.  He got his chance in 1980 and was the left-handed hitting platoon with Bob Davis and later Buck Martinez hacking from the right.  Whitt didn't immediately respond, hitting in the .230s with little power in the '80 and '81 seasons.
Now 30 years old, Whitt came through with a decent offensive season hitting .261 with 11 HR but played just 11 games after August 23 due to injuries.  Whitt would continue sitting out against most lefties and was a consistent performer for Toronto through the rest of the decade.  The next seven years he had an OPS+ between 104 and 120.  He was average defensively but supplied some decent pop with his lefty swing hitting 15 to 19 homers a year.
Whitt attracted little fanfare outside of Toronto but made the American League All-Star team in 1985 on the strength of a .279 average and ten dingers in the first half.  The Jays won the AL East later that year and again in '89 but Whitt struggled in the ALCS, both times hitting less than .200.
Toronto traded Whitt to Atlanta after the '89 season and he didn't do well at all in his new surroundings batting .172 in 204 trips to the plate.  Atlanta cut him loose after 1990 season and he returned to the AL with Baltimore.  Whitt was used sparingly and batted .242 in 62 at bats before receiving his release mid-year.  Now 39 years old, Whitt retired with a .249/.324/.410 line in 15 years of major league action

Flipside:  There used to be a lot of ball players born in Detroit.  In fact according to baseball reference, 118 players in MLB history claim that as their city of birth.  In less than half the set, I have profiled six here on the blog- Frank Tanana, Lary Sorensen, Tom Paciorek, Jeff Jones, Bill Fahey, and John Mayberry.  Whitt makes seven and we will see more. 
Now it seems all the major leaguers come from the suburbs.  Well almost all of them, Cubs pitcher Chris Rusin debuted last year and was born in Detroit.  Before that there hadn't been a Detroit born player in the majors since John Smoltz last played in 2009.
Oddball:  Whitt sure enjoyed Detroit pitching launching 23 of his 134 career HR against the Tigers.  Putting his bullying of the Tigers in context he hit a home run every 17.8 at bats facing Detroit and every 34.8 against everyone else.  He terrorized Tiger hurlers so much I was surprised to find that his individual stats weren't better.  I guess I have memories of Whitt hitting a few homers into the upper deck at old Tiger Stadium etched in my brain.
History: Whitt took a while to find his niche but once he got going he was a reliable part of the Blue Jays emergence as a American League power.  So consistent, Whitt's yearly WAR totals were between 2.3 and 2.7 every year from '85 and '89.  His career totals aren't that impressive but he had a solid run north of the border but fell a few years short of the championship years in Toronto.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

#71 Steve Carlton Super Veteran

Then & Now: In '65 Steve Carlton spent the entire year with the Cardinals but saw action in only 15 innings.  The Cards were very cautious with the young lefty as he only pitched 25 innings all year.  By '83 he was a seasoned vet.  Any guesses what stadium this photo is from?

Career Span: April 12, 1965 to April 23, 1988

All-Star: A ten time National League All-Star, Carlton pitched in five games, starting two.  He received the win in the '69 contest.  In total he allowed five runs in eight innings.

Gold Glove: Carlton won his only gold glove in 1981.

Postseason: Carlton won championships with the Cardinals in '67, Phillies in '80, and Twins in '87. 
He made a total of 14 starts and had a 6-6 record with a 3.26 ERA.

Cy Young: Carlton won the CY in '72, '77, '80, and '82.  He finished 4th in '76, and 3rd in '81. 

MVP: Never won an MVP, was 5th in '72, '77, and '80, 9th in '81 and '82, and 15th in '76.  

HOF:  Elected in first year of eligibilty in '94 appearing on 436/456 ballots.  Have to wonder if his relationship with media cost him a few votes...or maybe it was his poor last few years.  Otherwise, how could someone not vote for him?

#101 Pete Rose - Super Veteran

Then and Now:  In '63 Rose was a 22 year-old young second baseman who ran the bases with reckless abandon.  His stolen base rate his first two years: 17/42.  By '83 he still had a few years left to play.  Proving stealing bases is as much reading the pitcher as speed, Rose was 11/12 stealing bases after turning 44

Career Span:  24 seasons from 4/8/1963 to 8/17/86

All Star:  Selected to 17 All-Star games, he batted just .212 (7/33) played in 16 contests.  

League Leaders:  Rose led the National League in...
Games Played: Five times
At bats: Four times
Runs: Four times
Hits: Seven times
Doubles: Five times
Batting Average: Three  times
On Base %: Once
HBP: Once

Gold Glove and Silver Slugger:  Won Gold Gloves for his play in right field in '69 and '70.  He won a Silver Slugger in '80 while playing first base.

All Time:  1st in hits 4,256, 1st in singles 3,215, 1st in at bats 14,053, 1st in games played 3,562, 2nd in doubles in 746, 6th in runs scored 2,165, and 7th in total bases 5,752.

Post Season:  Rose's teams made the playoffs eight times.  He batted .321 (86/268) while winning World Series with the Reds in '75 and '76 and the Phillies in '80.

MVP:  Won the MVP in '73, finished 2nd in '68, 4th in '69 and '76, 5th in '75, 6th in '65, 7th in '70.  Also received votes eight other times.

Hall of Fame:  Well isn't this a hot topic...Although ineligible he received votes in '92, '93, '94.
You can read more for and against his HOF worthiness at these links.  

#161 Dave Kingman - Super Veteran

Then and Now:  In '71 Kingman was coming off a partial minor league season in which he hit 26 HR in 392 at bats.  He added six more in two months with the Giants.  A short time after the pic on the right was taken Kingman hit his 300 home run off Rich Gale on 4/30/82.

Career Span: 7/30/71 - 10/5/86.  As a rookie he played with WIllie Mays.  In 1986 he played with Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire.

All Star: Three time NL All-Star in '76, '79, and '80.  Hitless in three at bats.

League Leaders:  Led the NL in HR in '79 and '82, slugging percentage in '79, and strikeouts in '79, '81, and '82.

Gold Glove / Silver Slugger:  Nope

All Time:  As of 4/22/12 Kingman ranks 38th with 442 career home runs.

Post Season:  Kingman's only postseason action came as a rookie in the '71 NLCS against the Pirates.  He had one hit in ten at bats in a losing effort. 

MVP:  Finished as high as 11th in 1979.  Also received votes in '84, '77, '76, and '72.

Hall of Fame:  Received 0.7% of the vote in '92 and was removed from the ballot. 

Comeback Player of the Year in 1984

#231 Fergie Jenkins Super Veteran

Then and Now: Jenkins seems to have a contemplative look as a 22 year old Phillie rookie.  He looks pretty serious here as a 18 year vet in his second go-around with the Cubs.

Career Span: 9/10/65 to 9/26/83.  The '65 Phillies were a pretty young bunch but Jenkins shared a roster spot with 38 year-old Lew Burdette who played in the majors from 1950-67.  As he was winding down his career with the Cubs, Jenkins played with youngsters Ryne Sandberg and Joe Carter who played until '97 and '98 respectively.

All Star:  Amazingly Jenkins was selected to just three All-Star squads in '67, '71, and '72 all while he was a Cub.  He pitched in the '67 (1 run in 3 innings) and '71 (2 runs in 1 inning) contests but did not factor in the decision in either game.

League Leaders: 
Led NL in wins in '71 (24), AL in wins in '74 (25)
Led NL in GS in '68, '69, and '71
Led NL in CG in '67, '70, and '71.  Led AL in '74
Led NL in Innings in '71
Led NL in HR allowed '67, '68, '71, '72, '73. Led AL in '75, '79
Led NL in Strikeouts in '69
Led NL in WHIP in '70

All Time:  29th with 286 wins, 12th with 3,192 strikeouts, and 21st with 49 shutouts

Postseason:  Never made it.  Close with Cubs in late '60s and was a year late with Boston in '76 and '77.  Cubs won NL East in '84 after releasing Jenkins in spring training.

Cy Young:  Won it in '71, 2nd in '67 and '74, 3rd in '70 and '72, 6th in '78.

MVP:  Received votes in five different years with his best finish 5th in 1974.

Hall of Fame:  Received 52.3% of vote in '89, 66.7% in '90, and 75.4% to open the door in 1991.  First Canadian elected to the HOF.

By the way, you can now follow me on Twitter @989baseball.   Besides notifying followers of new posts, I tend to tweet off-the-wall comments and other things about baseball, sports, and life in general.

#301 Mike Schmidt Super Veteran

Then and Now: Schmidt sure looks better with the mustache. It's pretty well known that Schmidt started a few games at shortstop throughout his career but he started one game at second base in 1972 too.  It looks like the same background in both pictures
Career Span:  9/12/1972 - 5/28/1989.  The Phillies were in the midst of a youth movement when Schmidt arrived on the scene but he did play with veteran Tony Taylor who began his career with the Cubs in 1958.  Toward the end of Schmidt's career he played with reliever Mike Jackson who lasted in the majors until 2004.
All Star: Named or voted to 12 NL teams.  '74, '76, '77, '78-'84, '87, '89.  Belted go ahead HR in 8th inning of '81 game off  Rollie Fingers to give Senior Circuit a 5-4 lead and eventual win.  In 21 plate appearances he batted .278/.381/.667
League Leaders: How much time do you have?  Ok here are the big ones: 
HR: 8x '74-'76, '80, '81, '83, '84, '86
RBI: 4x '80, '81, '84, '86
Runs: '81
BB: 4x'79, '81-'83
Slg%: 5x: '74, '80-'82, '86
Led MLB in WAR twice with 9.5 in 1974 and 7.5 in 1981
All-Time: 548 HR- 15th
1,595 RBI- 35th
1,507 BB- 18th
201 IBB- 13th
5,045 Assists from 3B- 3rd
3.14 Range factor/9 @ 3b- 7th
103 WAR- 23rd
Gold Glove: Ten time winner:  '76-'84, '86
Silver Slugger: Six time winner, '80-'84, '86.  Had the award been around in the 70s he certainly would have won four or five more.
Postseason: Was in postseason six different years, winning a World Series in '80 and pennant in '83.  In 158 plate appearances Schmidt hit just four home runs with a .236/.304/.386 line. 
MVP: Won the award three times: '80, '81, '86. Received votes nine other years.  Check out the 1974 vote:
Voting Results Batting Stats
Rank Tm Vote Pts 1st Place WAR HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS
1 Steve Garvey LAD 270.0 13.0 4.3 21 111 5 .312 .342 .469 .811
2 Lou Brock STL 233.0 8.0 3.5 3 48 118 .306 .368 .381 .749
3 Mike Marshall LAD 146.0 1.0 3.0 0 2 0 .235 .235 .235 .471
4 Johnny Bench CIN 141.0 0.0 7.7 33 129 5 .280 .363 .507 .870
5 Jim Wynn LAD 137.0 0.0 7.6 32 108 18 .271 .387 .497 .884
6 Mike Schmidt PHI 136.0 0.0 9.5 36 116 23 .282 .395 .546 .941
7 Al Oliver PIT 87.0 0.0 4.6 11 85 10 .321 .358 .475 .832
8 Joe Morgan CIN 72.0 0.0 8.4 22 67 58 .293 .427 .494 .921
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 1/29/2013.
Schmidt earned 9.5 WAR but didn't receive one first place vote and came in 6th.  Garvey of course played on the first place Dodgers and Schmidt played for the 80 win Phils.  Brock had an amazing 118 steals, a key factor in his eight first place votes.  You don't see Marshall's pitching stats in the chart but they are mind boggling.  He pitched in a record 106 games with 208.1 innings all in relief.  While his 141 ERA+ and relentless effort were impressive, they weren't worthy of a third place spot. 
Perhaps the image of Schmidt's scuffling rookie year was still lingering in the minds of voters.  WAR isn't everything, but he definitely had a better year than Garvey, Brock, and Marshall.  It should have been a dog fight at the top between Schmidt, Morgan, Bench, and Wynn.
HOF: Elected in his first try with 96.5% of the vote which at the time was the 4th highest in history.