2011 vs. 1887 Gypsy Queen #6 – Best Pitcher on a bad team

28 05 2011

Continuing with pitchers in this installment of the Gypsy Queen set comparison.  We’ve looked at a number of hitters, but last time looked at 2 great pitchers.  Here are two more hurlers with a penchant for pitching well despite not getting similar output from their team’s hitters.

Best Pitcher on a Losing team

Last post I looked at “Old Hoss” Radbourn – who had the best season of any pitcher in the 1800’s.  Radbourn had two unmatched seasons and was one of the best pitchers from the 19th century, but the best pitcher from a full career perspective was Pud Galvin.  He started his career with Buffalo of the International Association – and joined the National League when his team did a few years later.  He pitched for Buffalo and later Pittsburgh of the NL, and for the first 10 years of his career had an ERA under 3.00 all but one season.  Galvin was the first 300-game winner in baseball history; his 363 wins are tied for 6th behind only Cy Young, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Pete Alexander.  This is particularly amazing considering the fact that he pitched 3 years for Buffalo before they joined the National League – at this time, the National League wasn’t undisputed as the only major league. So his actual win total could very possibly be around that of Johnson.  Plus, he never pitched for a great team – neither his Buffalo or Pittsburgh squads ever won a pennant.

Felix Hernandez for seattle jumps to mind here.  He may not be the best pitcher in the game – that has to be Roy Halladay – but he’s certainly in the top 5.  Halladay, Sabathia, Lincecum, and Cliff Lee are the other guys in that argument.  What do those 4 have in common?  They’ve all been significant keys to a deep postseason run, while Seattle has only had 2 winning seasons with Hernandez there; they’ve only once finished as high as 2nd.  He won last year’s Cy Young and has been the best AL pitcher, along with CC, over the past 2 years.




8 responses

28 05 2011
Baseball Cards Rule

I couldn’t agree with you more about Felix. He’ll probably do better next year as I see Seattle improving. I wouldn’t put Cliff Lee in the top 5 though.

28 05 2011

I definitely would have Lee fifth on that list, but I don’t know who else would go ahead of him. He’s been so good in the postseason, too. Who else would you add to round out the top 5?

28 05 2011

Just did a check on BB Ref – the Wins Above Replacement leaders from 2008 through this year:

1-Halladay 23.8 (way ahead of everyone – he’s an easy top choice)
2-Lincecum 18.9
3-Lee 18.5
4-Felix 18.2
5-Lester 18.1
6-Sabathia 18.0

After that it drops off – WAR isn’t everything, but it also isn’t a bad starting point. Lee definitely deserves to be in the conversation as just behind Halladay.

29 05 2011
Commissioner CJ

Hey Chuck, great blog!

I just came looking for Gypsy Queen’s reviews and you got me hooked. I have no cards, 0, none, but would like to start collecting and Gypsy seems like a fair start. Also I would like to collect players from my country of birth and with that perhaps you can help me out.

I noticed you collect Jalen Rose cards. What I would like to know is if you build a checklist of that player or just collect everything that shows up of him? and if you do collect on a checklist, how do you build it? On my case I find it particularly tough since there’s a lot of years, editions, brands, players who just had 3 at bats, etc.

thanks for any help!

29 05 2011

Thanks for checking out the blog, CJ! Gypsy Queen is a great set. I guess my advice would be – if you want to start collecting sets, just pick one, see if you like it. You’ll gradually start getting more and more info on different sets, and maybe then you can pick what your niche could be. There are so many out there – you can get lost or frustrated if you don’t pick a focus eventually.

As far as player collectors – I’ve built my Jalen Rose collection over a really long time. Basically, I was collecting his cards in 1994 when he got drafted. So creating his checklist isn’t that difficult – I’ve been updating it each year for nearly 2 decades!

The best resource to use that I know of is beckett.com. You can search for a player and it will bring up every known card in existence. They have a feature where you can track your collections, but I think you now have to pay for it (used to be free). Iuse the player search and just update my Jalen Rose listing on an off-line spreadsheet. Zistle is a site that is supposed to be pretty good as well, but I haven’t used that yet.

29 05 2011
Commissioner CJ

thanks pal! keep it up..

29 05 2011
Commissioner CJ

by the way, are you fond to fantasy baseball? I have a dynasty league running, with a lot of fun features. Overall we are a committed pack of managers, but there’s always some exceptions. We are now looking for a committed and savvy manager, after the first warning for not attending his team made a manager resign on good terms (he was the exception).

you can have a look at the league’s page (http://mlbdynasty.wordpress.com/) and check the rules. It’s basically a 12-player-keeper. If you want to know the roster for the available team, let me know.

best regards, and thanks again for the info!

29 05 2011

Thanks for the offer – but I’m in too many right now. In my 3rd league I’m probably in danger of being that guy.

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