I'm stealing a page out of my buddy Mark's blog. As you might know, he is the author of This Way To The Clubhouse, which is a great read (although I might just be partial to blogs with overly long titles, like my own). He has a feature called Fun With Heritage, which compares the 2012 Topps Heritage cards to the original set that they were designed after, 1963 Topps.
Ever since I saw his first post on the subject, I've been trying to get a hold of the 2012 counterpart for my lone 1963 Topps card. I originally posted about how it came into my possession here. Were it not for my 1951 Bowman Jerry Coleman card, this would be the oldest card in my collection.
1963 Topps #89 Dick Stigman
Aside from being named Dick, Mr. Stigman was born in the equally hilariously-named Nimrod, Minnesota. Let's hear it for the local boy! Not only making it to the majors, but being named an All-Star in his rookie year! Granted, it seems like the All-Star criteria might've been a little lower in 1960, as he went 5-11 with a 4.51 ERA for the Indians.
Here's great writeup I found on Stigman from sabr.org, that even has a Padre-related tie-in.
During Stigman’s rookie year at Cleveland in 1960, Chicago manager Al Lopez selected him to the American League All-Star team, but in the years when they played two mid-season classics a year, Stigman never got to throw a pitch. He played on the 1965 Minnesota Twins American League champions, winning four games during the regular season, but never got closer to the field than the bullpen during the World Series. Stigman pitched for Boston in 1966, the year before Boston won the American League pennant, but was sold at season’s end and never pitched another game in the majors.
Even his finest moment in the minor leagues, 10-2/3 innings of no-hit ball for Class AA San Diego, was overshadowed by Pittsburgh’s Harvey Haddix, who the same night of May 26, 1959, pitched 13 innings of perfect ball before Don Hoak’s error in the 14th inning set the stage for the Braves’ 1-0 victory over the Pirates.
Good does not always mean lucky.
On his way out of baseball, he was offered a contract to play in the minors, but declined because it wouldn't be enough to support his wife and growing family, which eventually became nine children (five biological, four adopted). He became a "Minneapolis businessman". He ended his seven year major league career with a record of 46-54, a 4.03 ERA, and 755 K's in 922.2 innings.
He also has the coolest "back of the card cartoon of any card I've come across:
Next up, a rookie card from 2012...
To be honest, I had never heard of Hendriks before I became interested in getting this card. I guess I'm not as caught up on the Twins rookie pitchers as the rest of the avid baseball fans out there. Oh well.
I really like that, along with card number, team, and position, that they had the same color pattern on both cards, which makes sense, I guess, since they're the team's color scheme.
Well, unfortunately, there's a little less interesting information on young Mr. Hendriks, but I do know that he was born in Perth, Australia, which, much like Nimrod, MN, is a place that I've never been before. He was the youngest player on Australia's World Baseball Classic team in 2008. Liam was also a name that we considered for our son Foster's middle name, before deciding to go with "William".
Onto the numbers part of the game. In a season and a half, Hendriks is 1-10, has an ERA of 5.71, and has 66 K's in 108 innings. Despite having a promising Spring Training in 2012 and earning a spot in the rotation, he was winless in his first 17 starts, tied for the third longest drought to begin a career since 1920. Ouch.
His best game of 2012 was a complete game effort in which he gave up a run on three hits. Pretty good, right? Good enough to win, right? Usually it is, but in this case, he was going up against a pitcher named Felix Hernandez, who happened to throw a complete game, five hit shutout.
Good does not always mean lucky.
I'm not sure if Hendriks will have a better career than Stigman did, but it didn't get off to a promising start. It might be more of an indictment of the Twins farm system that he was their Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2011. Maybe he had back problems due to lugging around the oversized trophy everywhere he went, which affected his throwing motion.
Anyways, there you have it. I can't imagine getting any other 1963 cards (or any other of the "original" cards that Heritage pays tribute to), so this is probably my first and last attempt to have "Fun With Heritage". Still, kind of a fun piece to put together.
The Twins never seemed so interesting.
I got this card in a trade with Michael from the blog Grubby Glove. Thanks Michael!