Monday, June 20, 2011

1981 Topps and Johnny Damon's attempt to learn the secret password.

June 18, 2011 Johnny Damon becomes the 11th player to amass 500 doubles, 100 triples, 200 homers and 2,500 hits in a career. The other ten players that have met this criteria reside in Cooperstown. Does this incredible accomplishment automatically make Johnny Damon a Hall of Fame player? The answer is NO. 
In short, he will need at least two more above average seasons to accumulate enough stats to make all points moot. 

Does Elias Sports Bureau generate these lists? If so, a closer look reveals the threshold of 2,500 hits can be upped to 2,600 plus. 

Damon didn't hit home runs in the 'steroid era' but it's not like his game is made up of subtleties either. For a non power hitting outfielder he didn't make up for it with defensive prowess.

Regardless, Damon currently doesn't belong in these guys company in any other circumstance. For all his fame he only made two all-star appearances. Considering he played for the Red Sox and Yankees (plus brought championships to both teams) that's your tell-tale sign that his game does not resonate with fans. 

It's not just the fans who kept quiet during the prime of his 17-year career. He never managed a top ten MVP vote although he was a media darling. 

About The Card
1981 Topps is Classic Topps. There are no earth shattering rookies in this set so it doesn't get the recognition it deserves. I love the design. Colorful and simplistic with nothing jarring about it. I love that Topps made their own bootleg team hats. This is the last time they used the ALL-STAR banner. Here's Paul sitting on the bench most likely loaded on cocaine. His position is listed as 2B-SS but he was moved to Centerfield in 1981 because manager Buck Rodgers felt that Jim Ganter was ready to be the everyday second basemen.

On May 3, 1981 Paul tore ligaments in his left ankle trying to beat out an infield hit. He missed 40 games due to surgery and recovery. Unfortunately, Paul would be plagued with injuries his entire career. 

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