I recently won a Dave "the cobra" Parker 2001 American Pie bat relic on ebay for less than $10.
Dave Parker was the first professional athlete to earn an average salary of $1 million per season when he signed a 5 year deal for $5 million in 1979.
While in the minor leagues, Dave Parker hit a ball out of the stadium onto a passing coal train that traveled from West Virginia to Ohio. Talk about knocking the cover off the ball! Well, yeah he did that too, when he hit the ball and caused the seems to rupture literally making half the cover fall off.
He won the 1978 MVP along with 2 batting titles (1977 and 1978) and won 3 Gold Glove awards for his brilliance in right field. In 1979 He won the All-Star Game MVP for his bat and exceptional bullet like throw to catcher Gary Carter to stop the tying run, Brian Downing from scoring.
He left the Pirates after the 1983 season and would play the next decade with the Reds, A's, Brewers, Blue Jays, and Angels.
Although not in the Hall of Fame, Parker put up numbers similiar to other members of the Hall of Fame. Not once though did he gain more than 25% of the vote during his 15 years on the ballot. This could have been because of the cocaine allegations against him in the early 80s. This will make this coming year's HOF voting very interesting to see if the voters hold the same type of grudge against more recent drug users (PEDs) like Bonds, Clemens, Palmierro, etc.
If Dave Parker doesn't belong in the HOF then maybe neither does Al Kaline. No disrespect to Al Kaline, but strictly looking at their stats in an average of 162 games played during their prime 10 year span, they are very similiar.
Personally, I think Parker will get into the HOF by the veterans committee, but it will probably be much later in his life. With that being said, here's the rest of my Dave Parker AUTO and RELIC collection.
I normally pick these Dave Parker relic cards up for around $5 since he's one of the most under rated players in baseball history AND was involved in criminal activities in the 80s.
Long story short, I'm happy with my Dave Parker American Pie purchase. I could have spent the same $10 and bought the American Pie DVD featuring Shannon Elizabeth getting naked, but I already own that 1999 classic. LOL!