Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pack six & Where have you gone Julio Franco?

Pack 6
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
40 Willie McGee
45 Jose Canseco
60 Julio Franco
155 Marty Barrett
170 Mike Pagliarula
277 Harold Reynolds
283 Mark Wasinger
297 Terry Francona
381 Bob McClure
399 Cecil Fielder
401 Don Carmen
480 Richard Dotson
485 Pete Incaviglia
500 Reggie Jackson – Oakland
591 Bill Buckner
601 Dennis Martinez
604 Tony Bernazard

I don't want to, but I'm going to have to say a few things here about Mr. Canseco before we get on with anything else. Regardless of what he did or didn't do, Jose
Canseco was just about the biggest thing in baseball in 1988; and pulling this card 20 years ago would have made me ecstatic, today it just makes me rather contemplative.

I liked Jose as a kid, I think all of us growing up in the 80s did. I was really starting to get into baseball around the time Jose appeared on the national map, 86-87, sometime around there, and he was so much fun to watch.

He was a big guy in a bright green uniform. He looked like a superhero, with a big smile on his face. Then we all got a little older and something just didn't seem right. I don't want to get into the steroid issue here, it's a problem that hopefully baseball can figure out and deal with.

I will say this though. I was never a fan of Barry Bonds, so I don't care what happens to him. I wish for the sake of baseball and those of us who love it, that he'll come clean and say "yes I did," or "no I didn't." But as a person, I don't care what happens. But Canseco, I don't know, I don't have a lot of respect left for the man, but I still like him, in the way that you'll always like your first car. No matter how many times it blew up or broke down, you'll always have a special place for that car.

I got to see him play once, May 2, 1997, Oakland vs. Baltimore. My 16th birthday actually. Jose was back with Oakland, just before they traded away McGwire to St. Louis so I got to seem them both together for the last time.

Canseco went 1 for 4 with an RBI, McGwire went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

By that point I didn't care about either one of them much anymore. I was excited at the chance to see Cal Ripken Jr. play and he didn't disappoint, going 2 for 4 and scoring two runs.

Here's the box score.

Jose... you let us all down.

Moving right along.

What makes this pack a good one is Julio Franco. It looks like he's finally decided to hang up the spikes after a 673 year career. His wasn't one of those rarely used off the bench 25 year careers either. The man was impressive. He was a lifetime .298 hitter pushing 50 years old.

Hall of Fame? I don't know. He never reached the 3,000 hit mark and didn't really put up a lot of power numbers, but he could hit. Three time All Star (MVP of the 1990 game) and 1991 AL Batting Champion. Yes, he deserves to be in the Hall, just for his longevity alone (he never really showed weakness in his late 40s either), but time will tell.

I doubt he's done with baseball either. He'll probably show up as a manager somewhere before too long.


Wax Heaven said...

What a pretty card. One of my favorites of that year. Brings back lots of memories... :(

--David said...

WAHOO! Tribe Card!! :-) Franco is one of my all-time favorite Indians!!