Friday, November 8, 2013

DEDICATED "ROOKIE CARDS" #5: 1978 PAUL MOLITOR

Paul Molitor was always one of my favorite players that DIDN'T play for the NY Yankees.
It always seemed that this future Hall of Famer would slip under the radar year after year and post great numbers while being overshadowed by one teammate or another, whether it was Robin Yount, Roberto Alomar or even Joe Carter.
Today I've gone and designed a "dedicated" rookie card for him in the 1978 set, as opposed to the multi-player rookie card he appeared on that Topps produced. (Even though having a rookie of both Molitor and Alan Trammell IS pretty awesome!)
What makes the card even uglier from Molitor's standpoint is his image was originally a black-and-white photo that Topps "colored" for the card.
Time to give Molitor a nicer rookie don't you think? Take a look at what Topps put out there (card #707), and my design which follows:
Hopefully Trammell will get into the Hall one day as well.

Would have been a nice rookie for us collectors!
Molitor really was a hit machine, and I can't help but wonder just how many hits he could have ended up with in his career if he didn't suffer three injury-plagued years along with TWO baseball strikes.
I would think it's a safe bet to make that he could easily have had another 400 hits on top of his already awesome 3319 total! Just look his stats up, he missed a chunk of games during his playing days, and still ended up with the aforementioned hit total as well as over 600 doubles, 234 homers, 500 stolen bases and 1782 runs scored!
One of my favorite items about Molitor's career was in 1993 when the guy drove in over 100 runs for the FIRST TIME at the age of 36. Then he repeats the feat in 1996 when he drove in 113 runs for the Twins while hitting only 9 homers at the age of 39! 
The guy was simply amazing, yet soft-spoken and professional in every sense of the word.
*On a side note: I've always found it quite impressive that two of the three future Hall of Famers taken within the first five picks of the first round in the 1970's were BOTH from the University of Minnesota, Dave Winfield in 1973 and Molitor in 1977. Damn good pedigree right there.
(By the way: the OTHER future Hall of Famer picked within the first five picks of any draft during the decade was Robin Yount, picked just ahead of Winfield in 1973 and Molitor's future long time teammate. Go figure).

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