Thursday, July 23, 2009
1990 Upper Deck #789 790 791 792
No doubt the Hubie Brooks card is something special. The pose on the front is pretty commonly seen these days, with especially the 2009 O-Pee-Chee set coming to mind (much more on this to come.) Back in 1990, it was very cool, particularly with all the clouds in the background. The back photo is a fantastic action shot, making great use of the portrait-style photo. The outfielder-throwing-the-ball action shot is one of the rarest birds.
The rest of the cards and pretty ho-hum. Kittle's card is especially bad with not one but two right-facing-profile photos. At least Moseby is shown in both home and away uniforms.
I have to make mention of Craig Lefferts, who got a card in this set by virtue of signing with the Padres as a free agent, coming back to San Diego after having been traded to the Giants in the interim. The Padres would go on to trade Lefferts away again in 1992 for Erik Schullstrom and Ricky Gutierrez. Gutierrez, however, was later packaged and traded away by the Padres along with Derek Bell, whom the Padres had obtained in a series of trades after the first time they traded away Lefferts back in 1987.
It's pretty weird but I explained it all back here.
From 1984 to 1991, Kittle had 140 HR (44th place), Brooks had 127 HR (53rd place), and Moseby had 124 HR (57th place). But here's the difference between these guys. Ranking instead by RBI over that period, Brooks jumps up the 26th place, while Moseby sticks at 51st and Kittle falls to 110th. Kittle had a high rate of hitting HR but didn't play enough to bat in lots of runs by other means. Moseby was average. Brooks didn't have a lot of power but did produce a decent number of runs by other means.
BEST IN 1990
Interestingly, all four of these guys had pretty good years in 1990. They were all above-average players with the 3 hitters all posting OPS+ values over 100 but less than 110. The best season was probably had by Lefferts who was used exclusively as a reliever and posted a 2.52 ERA (152 ERA+) over 78.2 IP, picking up 23 saves in the process.
Lloyd Moseby = Boomed slyly (or, if you prefer, "belly sodomy")
Hubie Brooks = Bookish rube (or, if you prefer, "huskier boob")
Craig Lefferts = Greater cliffs (or, if you prefer, "fecal frig, rest")
This is a tough call. All of these guys are interestingly similar. They all had some excellent years and were pretty steady performers. They all ended up a little over league-average for their careers, except for Brooks who ended with an OPS+ of exactly 100. They all had careers that were not very long--they all either started a little late in the majors (age 25 or older) or ended early (by age 33.)
If I had to pick one, I'd go with Lefferts, giving him the nod by virtue of more post-season experience including two World Series. Overall, he pitched pretty well in the playoffs too.