Thursday, January 26, 2017

new hall of famer final tributes

i am happy to see jeff bagwell and tim raines finally get the votes they needed to make the hall of fame.  i am also pleased that ivan rodriguez didn't have to wait, but disappointed that vladimir guerrero will have to sit patiently for at least one more year.

as some of you know, one of my mini collections is 'final tributes' - cards that show a player's final career stats on the back, issued the year following their final season.  i don't count cards issued well after the player's career ended that happen to show the career stats on the back (think 1962 topps babe ruth story 'babe coaches for the dodgers' card for example), although i have made one exception - that being the 2012 topps archives jim hunter card, since that card used the 1980 topps design which is the appropriate design for a catfish final tribute and a great example of a card that should have been finally being.

i digress.  i was able to find one card that fit the criteria for tim raines - this 2003 donruss card - front
 and back
that shows raines finished out his career with the marlins in 2002.  fitting that his last career stolen base came with the expos in 2001.  i believe this is the only marlins card for raines, and i am glad donruss went with 'tim' instead of 'rock'.

there are more jeff bagwell cards that serve as final tributes, most likely because he wasn't planning to retire going into the 2006 season.  even with his arthritic shoulder, bags showed up to spring training, but wound up on the disabled list for the entire season.  he formally retired near the end of 2006.  here are two cards that i have in my collection - his 2006 topps - front
 and back
and 2006 upper deck - front
and back
152 runs scored in 2000 is very, very impressive.  and, did you recall that bags went 30/30 - twice?

finally, ivan rodriguez retired in april of 2012 after some thought he would try to play one more year in order to get closer to 3000 hits. instead, he called it quits following the 2011 season, and (partially because he was ignored by topps) i am counting this 2012 panini prizm card as a final tribute - front
and back
yes, i know that 2012 prizm was released in april of 2013 and it has just his career totals on the back - not the year-by-year stats - but it's close enough.  it is worth noting that he is listed as a ranger even though he finished his career with the nationals, but again, i am letting this slide because he did sign one of those dumb one-day contracts so that he could retire as a ranger.

congrats to these guys, and i'm glad that there is at least one final tribute for each. next year's class may not be so lucky as the only 2013 card that would count for chipper jones is an sp in topps update, and there are no jim thome cards that meet the criteria anywhere.  at least trevor hoffman has a 2011 topps card, assuming he gets 1% more votes in 2018.


  1. Love seeing Astros all the way down the backside of Bagwell's card. Such a rare thing these days to see a player stay with one team throughout his MLB career. Gotta wonder if he would have stayed in Boston his entire career had he not been traded back in 1990.

  2. Raines also has Marlins cards in 2002 Leaf Rookies & Stars and 2002 Topps Traded, but the Donruss one is the only true final tribute I've ever seen. It's still super strange to see him in a Marlins uniform.

    1. Thanks Nick. I should have known that, especially being such a fan of the rookies & stars sets of the early 2000's