As mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had my fantasy baseball draft Wednesday night. That post covered my 4 keepers, this one covers 4 other guys I drafted. This draft was interesting, because we’re changing the rules going forward. Whereas previously, we were basically allowed to keep the top 4 players we had (if we wanted) at the expense of our first 4 draft picks. Now you can only keep players for a max number of years, and we’re going to a hybrid where you have the same option of “best 4” – or you can swap one of those keepers for a different “late round” keeper.
Tampa Bay didn’t have a team in 1963 (hell, they didn’t have a team in 1993). Card #391 in 1963 was Bill Dailey, who had just got a call up in 1962 after 8 years in the minor leagues. Dailey pitched for 2 seasons with the Tribe, then another 2 with the Twins. He was starting to look like a pretty good reliever in 1963 – notching 21 saves (3rd most), 100+ IP, and a 1.99 ERA. Unfortunately, he tore his rotator cuff and didn’t last much longer in MLB. Hopefully Moore doesn’t suffer a similar fate!
It’s cool these cards have somewhat similar photos – but the Dailey card looks kind of weird in general. It seems airbrushed or something, but I don’t think it actually is. I’m bullish on Moore’s future – so he gets the win!
2012 Heritage leads, 12.5-8.5
The next player was a guy I cringed drafting – because he’s a member of the evil St. Louis Cardinals. Not only does he play for St. Louis, but he may be my least favorite player of that team – Chris Carpenter. He just seems like a jerk. Jerk or not, he’s a pretty good pitcher. I did cringe a bit more when I learned he won’t start opening day and my go on to the DL, but it doesn’t sound serious. Since I drafted him – I’m in the bad position of rooting for him to come back, even though him being out helps my Reds. You can’t play fantasy sports with your heart, though!
Carpenter is featured on card #415. This is a great job by Topps putting the right 2 guys next to each other – #415 in 1963 was none other than Bob Gibson! Carpenter is the Cardinals current “post-season dominator”. But Gibson is one of the most dominant post-season pitchers in the history of the game.
I dislike Carpenter just about as much as any athlete I can think of, though I do admit he’s good. But he ain’t Bob Gibson good – and an up close shot of this pitching intimidator when he was young gives 1963 a clear edge here.
2012 Heritage leads, 12.5-9.5
I picked up Dan Uggla with my 5th round pick, which was the first non-keeper player I drafted. I think he could have a big year – he started off so slow last year but then got hot. I think he’ll be better in 2012.
Uggla is on card #275 in Heritage. For 1963 Topps, card #275 is Eddie Mathews. So they went Braves infielder, but not Braves second baseman with the equivalent. I wouldn’t write home to Mom about either of these photos, though I guess I wouldn’t write home to mom about any photos anyways. But the Mathews one at least has a batting stance pose.
I also really liked the Matthews inset photo a lot – but the fact that I liked made me remember – I thought I’d seen it before. Turns out that I had – it’s the same shot that his 1962 Topps card uses. I still like it better than Uggla’s, but that dims my enthusiasm a bit. Overall, I’m giving Mathews the edge here. It would be tough to beat him in my mind – it would take a really great Heritage card or a really great player. I think Topps went with the wrong guy here – Eddie Mathews is a top-5 all-time third baseman (probably top 2 or 3). The Braves today have a top-5 all-time 3rd baseman on their roster – why not go with him?
Speaking of which – that reminds me a trivia question I read recently (can’t remember where, but I bet it was the blogosphere. 3 players have hit homers in 16 straight seasons for the Braves franchise. One of them is Mr. Chipper Jones himself – but Eddie Mathews is not one of them (he did so in 15 straight before being traded). Can you name the other 2. One of them is easy, one of them requires some out of the box thinking.
Mathews is also the answer to another question – he’s the one player who played for the Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves. I’ve always found that pretty amazing. More of a reason to give him the win!
2012 Heritage leads, 12.5-10.5
In football there is a term for the last player taken in the draft – “Mr. Irrelevant”. Well, my last player taken is far from irrelevant in my mind, though he’s still looking for a job. I’m shocked at this – “Vlad the Terrible” still had very good seasons the past 2 years. He used to be one of my keepers in this league when we first started up – and he was a pretty damn good player to have as your keeper. I’m glad to welcome him back, and I hope he doesn’t end up in Japan!
Vlad “the Impaler” is card #108 in Heritage. The slugger in 1963 Topps with this number is … Hoyt Wilhelm? After thinking about it – I really like the comparison. Vlad is a designated hitter. In 1963, there were no designated hitters – so why not match him up with a pitcher. In fact, let’s do an Orioles relief pitcher who was pretty good. Vlad is a future Hall of Famer – so match him up with a HOF-er!
Before I looked up the parallel to Vlad, I thought there was no way he would lose this one. I really like the patch on his uniform, the fact that it looks kind of like he’s got a Fu Man Chu (even though he doesn’t), and the coloring is really good. Then I saw the parallel was Wilhelm – and I really liked that card, too. When I really like both cards, I’m going with one of my few ties for this pair.
2012 Heritage leads, 13-11