06 January 2015

a set worthy of the hall of fame

today was the day we learned who would be enshrined into the hall of fame.  the results were not too surprising, with craig biggio making the grade after falling short previously, and first-ballot guys randy johnson, pedro martinez, and john smoltz also getting enough of the vote.  i had anticipated mike piazza joining that group, but as the brooklyn fans of yesteryear used to cry, "wait 'til next year!"

still, here's a 2014 topps triple threads card of the strongest man in socal; the italian-american superstar slugger mike piazza
it's too bad he'll likely go in as a met when he does get 75% of the vote, and it's equally as unlikely that the dodgers will retire number 31 in his honor.  

i'm guessing we'll see some new cards over the next few months of the fab four that are headed for cooperstown as part of sets like triple threads, allen & ginter, and archives, but in 2005, upper deck dedicated a full 100-card set to the hall of fame.  it included six dodgers - i don't yet have jackie robinson's card from the set (it should be on its way by the time this gets posted), but here are roy campanella 
don drysdale
pee wee reese
duke snider
and don sutton.
had piazza joned pedro going in this year, it would have marked the second time since pee wee and big d were inducted in 1984 that two dodgers were enshrined at the same time.  as it stands, former dodgers gary carter and eddie murray were the only other pair to be inducted in the same year (2003) since '84, and neither went in wearing the interlocking 'la' on their caps.

anyway, i figure now is a good time to show a couple of randy johnson final tributes. the first one is from 2010 topps and features an unorthodox photo
 but it does have all of the stats on the back
with a lot of red. you can see that johnson got his control figured out in the early 90's and went on to lead the league in strikeouts 9 times.

here's his other tribute card - it comes from 2010 topps heritage and features him as a giant
the big unit sort of hung on to get his 300th win.  if the complete career stats on the back were at all legible, you would see that he finished with 303 career victories
i guess the last cartoon makes it pretty clear.  johnson needed five wins to reach 300, and the 45-year old signed with the giants to make it happen.  he wasn't the dominant pitcher of his earlier years, but more power to him, as he was able to reach the milestone with a win in june against the nationals.

johnson didn't get a card in the 2010 upper deck set, but he did have a couple in the biography insert set.  that's the only place that pedro appeared in 2010, and smoltz was featured there as well as in both the topps flagship and heritage sets.  i don't have any of those cards to show, but i congratulate them nonetheless.

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