Monday, June 3, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1982 Topps #493 Chet Lemon

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, June 3, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1982 Topps #493.
  • Player Name, position, team: Chet Lemon, outfielder, Chicago White Sox.
  • Major League Debut: September 9, 1975.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1981 stats (White Sox): 94 G, 328 AB, 50 R, 99 H, 23 2B, 6 3B, 9 HR, 50 RBI, 5 SB, .491 SLG, 33 BB, 48 SO, .302 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Athletics #1st, June 1972. Traded by the Athletics to the White Sox 06/15/1975. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 17. This is his seventh Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Chet led the White Sox in Batting in 1979 & 1980."
  • Commentary: Personally, I don't really collect autograph cards. I do have some in my collection, including one of Chet Lemon from the 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites set, and that was only because he did not have a card in the base set, and I decided (I don't know where my head was at the time) that I wanted to know what design was used and what his card would have looked like had he appeared in the base set. So I managed to acquire all (except one...Tug McGraw) of the cards of the players who only had auto cards from that set and were not part of the base set. I did this for the remaining two years of ATFF's existance (yes, there were a few). When Topps Archives came back, I thought (again, don't know what I was thinking), "Why not collect all the autographs of the players who were not part of the ATFF SP subset?" Not including Gary Carter's 1975 sticker auto card, the Yu Darvish '86 card, and the Jose Oquendo "nine", there are 33 autographed cards of players who did not make the base set. I have 31 of them now, one I'm still looking for is Doug Drabek (whose card, ironically, was the first one I had "won" on the Bay only to learn that the card got lost in the mail). The other one, unless I somehow win the lottery, will be just a dream to buy. The card? Hank Aaron! Back to the point. Chet Lemon was a hitting machine for the White Sox from the mid 70's through the early 80's. In seven years with the White Sox, Lemon would hit for a combined .288 average, with 73 homers, 348 rbi's, and an OPS of .814. He led the AL in doubles in 1979 with 44, and proudly represented the Pale Hose in two All-Star Games (1978 and 1979) On November 27, 1981, Lemon was traded to the Tigers for outfielder Steve Kemp. While Kemp did well in his lone year in Chicago (.286, 19 HR, 98 RBI), Lemon spent the rest of his career as a member of the Tigers. In 1982, Lemon appeared in 125 games, hit .266 with 19 homers and 52 rbi's, and an OPS of .815. He led all of MLB by getting hit by a pitch 15 times, a trend he carried over from Chicago (he led the league in two of the three previous seasons) and would get plunked a career high 20 times in 1983. Firmly entrenched as the Tigers' center fielder, Lemon helped the Tigers run roughshod over the American League in 1984, culminating to a World Series victory over the Padres (curse you Garvey). For his part, Lemon went 5-17 with one rbi and two stolen bases in the five-game series. After nine seasons in Detroit, Lemon became ill with a serious spleen disease called polycythemia vera. After going through successful surgery, he tried for a comeback, but decided to retire after learning he would need a second surgery. In 2003, he had his spleen removed and is still active in baseball. He coaches two AAU teams (the appropriately named Chet Lemon's Juice and Juice II) in Florida. His son, Marcus, was a fourth round draft pick by the Rangers in 2006. He is currently playing for the Erie SeaWolves, the AA team of the Tigers.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.10-$0.30.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 28 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #87. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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