21 May 2015

finally, the derek jeter and paul konerko final tribute post

as many of you know, one of my mini collections is 'final tribute' cards for players whom i consider to be significant for one reason or another.  these are cards issued in the year immediately after the player's retirement, and (more often than not) include the player's complete career stats on the back.

in 2015, there were two cards that i was anticipating for this collection - derek jeter
and paul konerko
i added both to my collection a while back.

i have to say that i prefer jeter's card, although konerko's features a pose worthy of a final tribute. i just think cropping the card to include the fans and their signs was unnecessary.

here are the full career stats for jeter
no doubt hall of fame worthy stuff there, even though he never won an mvp award during the regular season.

konerko's stats
are not as impressive as jeter's.  although he is 42nd all-time in home runs, konerko's jaws score has him down in the ryan klesko/tino martinez/lee may realm, so it is unlikely that the hall will be calling for the one time dodger.  still, i look at konerko's career and wonder what might have been had tommy lasorda not traded him to the reds for jeff shaw.  eric karros remained as the dodger first baseman through the 2002 season, but perhaps he would have been moved sooner had konerko been allowed to develop in la.  we would also have likely avoided the fred mcgriff and hee-seop choi experiments (much to jim tracy's delight, i would imagine), but we also might have missed the resurgence of nomar and the emergence of james loney.  i am reminded, however, that konerko has a world series ring while the dodger teams he left behind do not, so it's probably best not to play the 'what if' game.


Tony L. said...

When Konerko came up with LA, he was a catcher. So, not only was he blocked by Karros, initially -- 1997 in particular -- he was blocked by Mike Piazza too.

Fuji said...

I just picked up one of those Ultra Pro 9-Pocket Portfolio binders and was thinking about what I should put in it. I think you just gave me the answer.

gcrl said...

tony - good point, although since the dodgers never bothered to use konerko behind the plate when he was up with the big club, i pegged him for a first baseman. he did play some third base for the dodgers, so i suppose another what if scenario could be adrian beltre getting bumped by konerko had the dodgers kept paulie at third.

fuji - i'm just here to help.