Monday, February 11, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1984 Topps #537 Johnny Ray

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, February 11, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1984 Topps #537.
  • Player Name, position, team: Johnny Ray, second baseman, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Major League Debut: September 2, 1981.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1983 stats (Pirates): 140 G, 499 AB, 63 R, 124 H, 30 2B, 3 3B, 12 HR, 52 RBI, 0 SB, .393 SLG, 23 BB, 71 SO, .248 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Red Sox as a Free Agent 09/08/1982. Traded by the Red Sox to the Mariners 08/19/1986. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11. This is his fourth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Went 3-for-5 with 2 Homers & 4 RBI's, 7-27-83"
  • Commentary: The 1984 Topps set, famous for the square frame used for the headshot and team name going down the side of the care (like the Chicago Theatre marquee), is still is one of the best designs of the 1980's. Although I question the reason for the action-shot/head-shot format. Yes, it has been done before (see 1954-1956), but still, it seems awkward since the 1983 Topps set had come out the year before, 20 years after the 1963 set (which uses the same concept). Twenty years later, the 2003 Topps set used a similar design concept (albeit with a baseball diamond frame). Maybe it's me. Johnny Ray, by the time this card came out, had just won the NL Silver Slugger Award at second base. The year before, he finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting. For an encore, Ray hit a fantastic .312 with a league leading 38 doubles (he led in doubles the year before with 38 as well), 6 home runs, 67 rbi's, and 11 stolen bases. Defensively, he committed 12 errors in 743 chances (for a .984 fielding percentage). In 1987, as the Pirates decided to go with a youth movement, sent Ray to the Angels on August 29. He spent the next three seasons with the Halos (was named to his lone All-Star Team in 1988), before travelling to Japan to play for the Yakult Swallows in 1991-1992. He final MLB totals include a career .290 average, 53 home runs, 594 rbi's, 80 stolen bases, and an OPS of .724. The back of his card, as with many player's cards, include a "Dateline" segment which highlights two games during the 1983 campaign: 05/09/1983: went 4-for-7 in win at San Diego; 08/02/1983: went 5-for-5 with 3 rbi's in win vs. Phillies.
  • Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 18 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1992 Topps #13. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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