I was always a HUGE fan of Cecil Cooper, and I also always thought he never got the recognition he deserved.
The guy was a machine! And it always seemed he was among the leaders in runs batted in, batting average, doubles and hits.
A while back a had a small series of "dedicated rookie cards" featuring Hall of Fame players who had their first card appearance on a multi-player rookie card during the 1970's.
I wanted to expand on that series with players that never made it to Cooperstown, but had great careers nevertheless.
Funny enough, I already profiled Cooper's rookie card since he shared it with Carlton Fisk.
Check it out:
So with that, allow me to present my 1972 "dedicated rookie card" for Cooper:
Cooper had such a solid 17-year career: over 1000 runs scored, 2000 hits, 400 doubles, 200 homers and 1000 runs batted in to go along with a .298 lifetime average.
But it was his five year stretch from 1979 to 1983 that I really remember.
He topped 200 hits three times, led the American League in doubles twice, runs batted in twice, and topped 100 R.B.I.'s four times.
Cooper also finished in the top-10 in M.V.P. voting four of the five seasons, also garnering all-star selection four times along with two Gold Gloves and three Silver Slugger Awards.
His 1980 season is GROSSLY underrated (thanks in large part to George Brett's amazing year), where he had 219 hits, 25 homers, 122 R.B.I.'s, 17 stolen bases, a league-leading 335 total bases and a .352 batting average!
I guess what hurt him the most as far as "big" career numbers was the fact that he didn't really hit his stride until he was 27, his first year as a Milwaukee Brewer.
Nevertheless, I'll always remember Cooper as a force at the plate as part of that incredible Brewers line-up that also featured Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Gorman Thomas, Ben Oglivie, and Ted Simmons.
How awesome are those names?