Sunday, December 18, 2022


Up on the blog today, another “Stars Retire” card in my new thread celebrating greats of the game with one final card, this one a 1975 edition celebrating Al Kaline and Orlando Cepeda, who hung up the cleats in 1974 before rightfully ending up in the Hall of Fame:

We begin with “Mr. Tiger”, Al Kaline.
What a player!
Kaline spent his entire career in the "Motor City", and went on to collect over 3000 hits, 399 home runs, 1583 runs batted in and 1622 runs scored.
Though he never took home a Most Valuable Player Award, he did finish in the top-10 in voting nine times, including a second-place finish in 1955 when he won the American League batting title at the age of 20!
As if that all wasn't enough, he also took home ten Gold Gloves and was named to 15 all-star teams!
Needless to say, as soon as he was eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1980, he was voted in, getting named on 340 of 385 ballots, capping off one of the greatest Detroit Tiger careers in the history of the storied franchise.
Next up, the great Orlando Cepeda, who wrapped up a wonderful Big League career with a 1974 season spent with the Kansas City Royals.
Cepeda was a much-heralded prospect coming up in the Minors before making his Big League debut in 1958, and of course, he would not disappoint, as he would take home the Rookie of the Year that season, hitting .312 with 188 hits, 25 homers, 96 RBIs and a league-leading 38 doubles, in what was to become a "typical" season for the future Hall of Famer.
While Cepeda's career was productive enough to get into Cooperstown, it's well known that if not for his bad knees, his final statistics could have been mind-blowing. 
Nevertheless, by the time he retired, he posted final numbers of: 379 homers, 1365 runs batted in, 2351 hits and a .297 average, with a Rookie of the Year (1958) and M.V.P. award (1967) thrown in.
It took a little while, but he was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999 after being selected by the Veteran's Committee. 
What a power trio San Francisco had in Cepeda, Willie Mays and Willie McCovey! Power to the ultimate degree!”
Fun thread to work on, so keep an eye out for more of these over the next few months.


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