|Bryce Harper, Babe Ruth and Kevin Bacon?|
|Written by Don Drooker|
|Friday, 15 June 2012 09:40|
For all the media and fans who believe that Bryce Harper is the next Babe Ruth, here's how you get from Bryce to the Babe in only seven (7) moves.
- Bryce Harper's teammate on the 2012 Washington Nationals is Adam LaRoche.
-In LaRoche's 2004 rookie season with the Braves, he was a teammate of the venerable (not Venable) Julio Franco.
- Franco made his first MLB appearance with the 1982 Phillies, where I'll wager he learned the ropes from veteran Pete Rose.
- "Charlie Hustle" was a rookie with the Reds in 1963 when Joe Nuxhall was a 15-game winner.
- "The Ol' Left-Hander" was the youngest major league player ever when he pitched in a game for the Reds at age 15 in 1944 and the LF on that team was Gee Walker.
- Walker played for the 1931 Tigers with a back-up Catcher named Johnny Grabowski.
- Grabowksi had 223 AB's and zero home runs for the 1927 Yankees, when his teammate, Babe Ruth, hit 60 homers.
So, maybe it isn't as much of a reach as we thought. With Harper on his way to the Hall of Fame, let's speculate on which current players have what it takes for entry into Cooperstown - and which of their cards to collect.
Alex Rodriguez (SS,3B) - Despite his admission to using PED's earlier in his career, A-Rod's numbers are off the charts with over 600 HR's and a lifetime .301 BA. His rookie cards are from 1994 and the best is from SP, with a book price of $40-$80. Other brands can be had for less than $20.
Mariano Rivera (RP) - The best closer ever with over 600 saves and incredible postseason stats. His 1992 Bowman Rookie Card actually came out three years prior to his MLB debut and has a current value of $30-$60.
Albert Pujols (1B) - Seems to be adjusting to the AL and the pressure of his massive contract. He has played 11 seasons with 445 HR's and a .328 BA. His rookie cards are from 2001 and the version from Upper Deck is $30-$60.
Derek Jeter (SS) - The Yankee Captain reached the 3,000 hit plateau in 2011 and is even admired by Yankee haters. His rookie cards are from 1993 and the best is from SP with a price range of $75-$150, but many other brands are available in the $25 range.
Ivan Rodriguez (C) - Just retired, "Pudge" has the longevity that HOF voters love, playing 21 seasons at the toughest position with multiple Gold Gloves, 300+ HR's and over 2,800 hits. There are numerous rookie cards from 1991 and the one from Ultra Update is a bargain at less than $10.
Ichiro Suzuki (OF) - The Japanese star didn't even start his MLB career until age 27 and has over 2,400 hits and a .326 BA in 11 seasons. There are multiple rookie cards from 2001 in the $15 range.
Chipper Jones (3B) - 2012 will be the last season for one of the great switch-hitters. He has overcome numerous injuries to post some impressive numbers over the last 18 seasons (all with the Braves) including 2,600+ hits, 450+ HR's and a .304 BA. Even though it isn't officially his rookie card, the 1992 Bowman is a nice issue for about $10.
Vladimir Guerrero (OF, DH) - Does he warrant consideration? 16 seasons with almost 2,600 hits, 449 HR's and a .318 BA is very impressive. You want his 1995 Bowman's Best card for $20-$25.
Jim Thome (1B, DH) - Reached the 600 HR club in 2011. His reputation with the media and fans will work in his favor. His 1991 Bowman rookie card is only $5.
Miguel Cabrera (OF, 3B, 1B) - Still on the sunny side of 30, but look at the numbers through nine seasons - 277 HR's, 984 RBI's and a .317 BA. Look for his $20 rookie card from 2000 Topps Traded.
|Last Updated on Friday, 15 June 2012 10:37|