Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Clemente, Stargell, Sanguillen, Oliver on the same card!!!!

This is my favorite relic I own not featuring Andrew McCutchen.  It might actually be my favorite card I own period.  On this card are 4 bat relics of the core of the 1971 World Series Champs Pittsburgh Pirates.  This card has a total of 32 All-Star Appearances, 7 World Series Championships, 5 Batting Titles, 12 Gold Gloves, and 2 MVPs between the 4 pictured players.  On top of that there are 2 Hall Of Famers.  The serially numbered 65/100 card features Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Manny Sanguillen, and Al Oliver.  The impact these 4 had on the Pirates organization can still be seen today as soon as you cross the Clemente bridge and head towads PNC Park.  Upon reaching the stadium you see 2 giant statues of Roberto Clemente and Willie Stargell.  Once inside the left field gate, you are practically thrown into Manny's B-B-Q where Manny Sanguillen has a grill and will often sign autographs for fans.  In fact Al Oliver is the only one on this card that isn't represented inside PNC Park except the Luxury Suites where there's a museum of memorabilia on the walls. 

This card embodies what I love about collecting baseball cards and the magic I felt opening a pack of cards when I was younger.  This card represents to me what it was like opening a pack of cards in 1987 and pulling a Doc Gooden or Wade Boggs.  It was like "Oh Man! Check this out!!! Wade Boggs!" Yeah as I have gotten older, pulling a superstar base has become less impactful.  Though, I still get a little giddy if I pull a player I collect like Jason Bay or McCutchen, the effect doesn't last as long as it did when I was younger. 

I'm so glad I was able to pickup this card and add it to my collection.  This is one card that will never leave my collection.

On another note, I don't think that Al Oliver gets nearly enough credit and may very well be one of the most under rated players in MLB history. 
He finished his 17 year career with the following offensive numbers
2,743 hits (45th all-time)
1,326 RBI
.303 lifetime batting average
finished in batting average, doubles, hits over 9 times
There's still hope that he may be inducted in the Hall of Fame by the Veterans committee since he was one of the league's elite in the 70s and early 80s.  Honestly though, I think he was just shy in every single category to be considered a Hall of Famer.

1 comment:

  1. That is one sweet card! Even as a Yankee fan, I really admire those 70's Pirates teams, they had a lot of characters, for sure!