Friday, May 5, 2017

Day Sixteen - 1996 Flair Chipper Jones #200

Day 16: A Card of a Player Whom you Appreciate (But Don't Like)

Taking the lead from Tony at Off-Hiatus Baseball Cards this will be the sixteenth of 30 posts, using the prompts provided. I won't necessarily post one every day, but I will do one for each card, toss in a few "insights" (as insightful as I can be, anyway), and usually include an honorable mention or two, just because I'm like that.

Here's my pick - As a Twins fan in the 80s and early 90s, there were few National League teams that crossed paths with Minnesota. Saint Louis and Atlanta were the only visitors when I was a kid, not counting the 1985 All-Star Game, which I can't remember. Chipper Jones wasn't playing for the Braves in 1991 - he had just been drafted the summer before and was making his way through the minor leagues. This topic was somewhat tough for me. If I don't like a player, I generally don't appreciate them, either. I had a little leftover animosity for the Braves in general after the '91 Series, so that resulted in me not liking anyone that played for the Braves very much. That's how I felt about Chipper, even though he's arguably one of the best hitting 3rd basemen of all time.

Since these are basically one card posts, why not share the backs, too? If not for the magnificent debut season of Hideo Nomo, Chipper might have been Rookie of the Year in the National League, but he got over it quickly enough by winning the league MVP award in 1999.

Some Honorable mentions:

I would say that there two kinds of players that could have been on my list for this post - players I actually do like, but play for teams I can't root for; and players that play for teams I don't like at all, and the player doesn't really endear himself to opposing fans either... but I might be willing to pretend that I have respect for them.

Paul Konerko and Mariano Rivera are among my favorite players despite the teams they played for. There are a handful of players that are/were White Sox or Yankees that transcend the team they play for.

I would list my least favorite teams as The White Sox, The Yankees, Cleveland, Oakland, and the Braves.
Nick Swisher played for ALL of those teams. David Justice played for the Braves in '91, the Yankees and Cleveland and Oakland at the end of his career when the Twins were trying to make another playoff run.

I'm sure that Justice and Swisher are perfectly decent human beings -- I just couldn't stand them when they were playing in the majors. It's funny how you can easily defend a player that's on your team, even if everyone else seems to dislike them (See Kent Hrbek, AJ Pierzynski, or Chuck Knobluach for example).


  1. Mariano Rivera was one of the guys I considered for this slot as well. But I can't honestly say I disliked him. I went with Reggie.

    And don't those Flair cards just scream '90s!!!!!

  2. Wha'cha got against Oakland? :)

    1. It's funny because Oakland is both one of my favorite teams and one of my least favorite teams. Big fan of Rickey, and I loved reading about the dynasty in the 70s with Reggie and Catfish and Rollie and Vida Blue etc etc. But I still hated the times they whipped the Twins in the playoffs.