Monday, November 19, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1987 Topps #343 Hal Lanier

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, November 19, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1987 Topps #343.
  • Name, position, team: Hal Lanier, manager, Houston Astros.
  • Major League Debut: June 18, 1964. Managerial Debut: April 8, 1986.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1986 stats (Astros): 96-66 1st (NL West).
  • Any special information about manager: Hired as Manager 11/06/1985.
  • Any special information about this specific card: Lanier's thirteenth regular Topps card, second as a manager (total includes both Topps and Topps Traded cards).
  • Commentary: A former Topps All-Star Rookie team member (1964) who played in ten Major League seasons with the Giants and Yankees, and after learning the ropes as a minor league manager and as a coach for the 1982 WS winning Cardinals, Hal Lanier walked into a great opportunity when he was hired as the Astros manager after the 1985 season.  With a pitching staff that included Mike Scott, Jim Deshaies, Bob Knepper, and some guy named Nolan Ryan, along with a mix of veterans (Davey Lopes, Jose Cruz) and youth (Glenn Davis), Lanier and the Astros won the wild NL West by more than ten games over the Cincinnati Reds.  He was even named NL Manager of the Year.  The Astros couldn't keep that success going in 1987, as they finished third with a 76-86 record.  The back of Lanier's card features the players on the 1986 NL West winning team, a total of 26 players:  10 pitchers, 3 catchers, 6 infielders, 5 outfielders, and 3 IF-OF.  That's an entire team.  Why Topps can't feature a complete team nowadays (note that the THIRD STRING CATCHER had a card that year), is beyond me.  Lanier's run in Houston finished in 1988 and after the season, he was replaced by future Art Howe.  Lanier never managed in the majors again, so his 254-232 record remains intact. He did lend some credibility to some independent minor league teams over the last decade or so.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this person do I own?: 4 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1998 Topps #443. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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