Posts Tagged ‘california angels’

Any Player/Any Era: Bobby Grich for Baseball Past and Present

Any Player/Any Era: Bobby Grich for Baseball Past and Present: A look at the great career of Grich and how he might have fared on the 1990s Atlanta Braves.

h2h Corner ~ Check You out on the Flip Side: Floyd Rayford

Electric trains are not a hobby. Baseball cards are not a hobby. Collecting baseball cards is a hobby. Organizing, trading, reading and analyzing baseball cards is an obsession.

Collecting electric trains is a hobby, as is erecting electric train sets and villages and what have you’s – generally anything that gets you whacked by the mob.

I can understand the joy of electric trains…I think. When I was a kid, I had a long looping wooden track. I had hundreds of trains/cars/trucks, etc. I would set them up bumper to bumper in some order that made sense to a five year old. Then I would start with one and push them around. I would then swap some vehicle positioning and push them around the track again. My little mind found this incredibly fun and pleasing.

Hey to each his own, Rayford clearly needed a hobby to take his mind off the trials and tribulations of life in the minor/major leagues.

Rayford was drafted in 1975 by the California Angels and reached  AAA in 1979. The following season, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles along with a bag o’ cash for Larry Harlow, who had a decent season in 1980 for the Angles but would be out of baseball after 1981. Rayford wasn’t ready for prime time, however, as he spent the majority of 1980 and ’81 in the minors, appearing in the longest game in baseball history, a 33-inning, eight hour and 25 minute affair.

He got to play sparingly in 1982 with the big league club and was replaced by Cal Ripken at third on May 30, thus launching the longest consecutive games played streak in baseball history.

He was bounced between the Cardinals and Orioles for the next few years and would be finished in the majors after the 1987 season, the year this card was printed. Still, he had successes in limited opportunities. In 1985, he hit .306/.324/.521 and 18 HRs in 372 plate appearances.

Before he officially retired form ball, he played in the minors from 89-91, appearing in just 81 games as a player. He actually had a tougher task than playing, as he was a player-coach the last two seasons.

I do hope he got a World Series ring for 1982, that could be the centerpiece of this model train set.

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h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Dave Henderson

dave henderson back dave henderson frontThis Flip Side is cheating a bit (as no one should be surprised that Henderson was an All-American athlete at any sport in high school) because there isn’t much strange on the back of the card. I’ll admit that upfront. I will also admit that I was tricked by the back of the card…which was why it was first selected.

If you look quickly, it looks like Henderson hit only one HR in the 1986 season. Of course he hit 14 for Seattle that season, and the year before and the year before that.

What would be so odd is that, somehow, Henderson only hit one round tripper in the regular season but would step to the plate in the American League Championship Series with the Red Sox one out away from elimination and stroke a 2-2 pitch from Donnie Moore over the fence to give the Red Sox the lead. The Sox went on to win that game and the next two to take the series 4-3 and then on to the World Series and the ball that went through Buckner’s leg.

If Henderson did not hit that HR, he could have been Buckner. People forget that earlier in game five, Henderson did his best prescient Jose Canseco impression by bouncing a Bobby Grich fly ball off his glove and over the fence. He also batted just .196 in the 36 games he played for the Sox in 1986. He wouldn’t fair much better the following year. The Sox traded him after he went .234/.313/.418 over 75 games. The player to be named they got was named Randy Kutcher. He, along with Curt Schilling, is one of two players born in Alaska to have played for the Sox (h/t to Sons of Sam Horn).

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For the history of this series, check out this article: Check You Out On the Flip Side: Howard Johnson.