Thursday, May 28, 2009

1989 Topps Major League Debut #108: Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders

PHOTO: I like the photo well enough, especially how the bat is almost end-on facing the camera. If you ignore the fact that Sanders is playing baseball, it almost looks like he's dropping a water balloon.

STAT: Sanders had 2 games with 3 extra-base hits, including one job with two triples.

CAREER: 3/10

It's tough to evaluate Sanders career because we need to look past all the hoopla around him being a 2-sport player. In the end, Sanders was like a lot of other fast guys: not too much extra-base pop and trouble getting on base. His career .319 OBP tells pretty much the whole story. His stolen base success rate of 75% was good enough and his speed allowed him to rack up a fair number of triples (though oddly a low number of doubles.) In the end, his career OPS+ was just 89 and he played only the equivalent of about 4 full seasons thanks to his football commitments.


  1. That is a strange picture. There's a lot of black outlining around his fingers and bat. I wonder if something was airbrushed out back there.

  2. Henry Cotto, Jacob Brumfield, Junior Felix - these are some of the similarity scores closest to Prime Time, which seems accurate. I thought of players like Darren Lewis or Stan Javier, which seem close as well, though they had way more at bats.

    He had less than twice as many doubles (72) as triples (43). Can you use your magic to see if any one had more at bats and/or triples with less than double the doubles? (he also had more triples than homers, 39 to 43 - a rare non-dead ball era feat...)

  3. I would like to be able to calculate this sort of thing and the function may be added to the PI this year. (I've been asking for it for close to a year now.) As for now, it could only be searched manually.

    As for guys with fewer than double the number of doubles vs triples, minimum 43 triples, the answer can be found. (Having trouble with cut and paste at the moment, will put it in next comment.)

    Many dead-ball era players did it. Recently, Dave Roberts finished up with 53 triples and only 95 doubles. Roger Metzger had 71 triples and only 101 doubles (!). Among active guys, I find Carl Crawford with 87 triples and 168 doubles as the only guy.