#143 Mickey Tettleton - Tigers
One of my frustrations with Topps, at times, can be their player choice. They tend to use the same players over and over and over. It's nice to see some cool names, especially when they are cool players from a past era. Tettleton is not a Hall of Famer, not even close, but he did have a nice career. He spent a lot of time with the Tigers, but also appeared for the A's, Orioles, and Rangers. This card would be a little bit cooler if they included a picture of Tettleton in his batting stance, but he just someone different to look at, which is a good thing. Here's a peak at his batting stance.
Overall, Tettleton hit almost 250 home runs and collected over 1,100 hits in 14 seasons. His career WAR is just about the same as Javy Lopez and he ranks just outside of the top 10, 11th overall, for home runs hit as a catcher. Here's the stance in action....
#123 Lenny Harris - Reds
Another cool player from back in the day who does not get much hobby love. Harris played 18 years for the Reds, Dodgers, Mets, Marlins, and a few others for parts of season. He never really played full time, but was one of the best bats off the bench for almost two decades. Harris has entered the coach realm since retiring from baseball and is currently working for the Marlins as their third base coach.
#164 Carlton Fisk - White Sox
Tom Seaver and Carlton Fisk both on the same card is pretty cool, but the card is improved by the fact that they are both wearing those 1980s White Sox softball uniforms. When I first started collecting cards this is how I remember the White Sox unis. I know the Sox wear these as alternate uni now, but it's nice to see the originals with players who were around when I first started collecting.
#185 Willie Stargell - Pirates
It would be cool to see this card in color. I really liked the colors and stylings of the 1970s Pirates uniforms. This card still stood out to me though as I flipped through the Stadium Club set. My enjoyment of baseball and Stargell's career just missed each other, but I am very familiar with the Pirates slugger. I am not sure if it's just I how I see him, but he always appeared to be one of those players who played the game with a smile. Kind of a Ken Griffey Jr. smile. Happy to be playing baseball and I imagine that this card is from a good year for the Pirates. Is the guy in the background running on the field? Perhaps a World Series winner.
#168 Carlos Baerga - Indians
This is a card that kind of grew on me. At first glance I just noticed Carlos Baerga hanging out parallel to the ground. I flipped past through this card a few times before coming back. I did not really pay attention to the fact that the Indians are playing the Braves in the picture. Check out the patch on Baerga's right sleeve and the patch on Klesko's left sleeve. The Baerga patch is the 1995 World Series patch and the Braves patch is one they wore for the 1995 season celebrating their 30th year in Atlanta. Klesko had a rough series, but did reach base on a hit in Cleveland and also reached twice on walks in the clinching Game 6 for the Braves. Since the Braves are the home team, this is obviously the final game of the Series. That picture is really cool by the way.
#112 Paul Konerko - White Sox
I do some farewell posts sometimes. I did one for Lance Berkman and Juan Pierre. Gave serious consideration to giving Paul Konerko a little love, but I passed. If I had to do it all over I probably would have written one. First base is a tough position and I do not think that Konerko has enough to be a Hall of Famer, but he was still a really good player for a long time. He helped the White Sox end their World Series drought in 2005 and ranks high in several important offensive categories in the team's franchise history. He won the MVP Award in the 2005 American League Championship Series. White Sox fans gave Konerko a good send off, but it seemed to get completely overshadowed by all of the Jeter stuff last year. Really cool to see a long time fan favorite get a good send off. Really cool to see it captured a piece of cardboard.