Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Hall of Famer Hideo Nomo

Hideo Nomo's 1998 Pacific Crown Royale baseball card
Hideo Nomo’s 1998 Pacific Crown Royale baseball card

A 123-109 Major League record, a 4.24 career ERA and 1918 strikeouts over 1,976.1 innings didn’t seem like Hall of Fame stats to most members of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Adding in a 78-46 record, a 3.15 ERA and 1,204 strikeouts over 1,051.1 innings in Japan’s Pacific League, and Hideo Nomo‘s career still didn’t help enough.

The Players Selection Committee of Japan’s Baseball Hall of Fame felt differently – Nomo became the youngest person to be inducted this week, earning 82.4 percent of the 324 votes.

Nomo’s baseball career is really about more than numbers. He was only the second Japanese-born player to appear in a major league game, but unlike Masanori Murakami, Nomo’s early success with the Los Angeles Dodgers paved the way for other Japanese stars to test their skills against the best baseball players in the world.

And for a couple of years, Nomo was a phenomenon.

Do two amazing seasons and a role as a baseball pioneer merit a plaque in Cooperstown? I honestly don’t know, but I thought they might be worth a little more than six votes.

It will be up to the Historical Overview Committee and the Expansion Era Committee to determine if Nomo deserves to be a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but I’m glad he was recognized somewhere for his contributions to the game.

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Posted in Baseball Cards, Uncategorized

1990s baseball cards sure were interesting

Todd Hundley's 1996 Topps Laser card

I spent about $12 at this month’s sports card show at the Rahway Senior Center this morning. My purchases included a couple of packs of Topps Heritage Minor League edition (I ended up with a game-used jersey card, a shortprint, and absolutely no cards of anyone I recognized), a few things I thought other people might appreciate, and a pair of bizarre 1990s Mets baseball cards.

I actually like the 1996 Topps Laser Todd Hundley card. I’m impressed by the die-cut effect – I wonder how much cost that added to card production? It would be neat to see an insert making use of a similar effect now

The other card is from the 1998 Pacific Crown Royale set. I bought it because I still have difficulty remembering that Hideo Nomo was briefly a Met at one point in his career.

Pacific always dared to be original in its card designs – the “high” point may have been an insert set of Christmas ornament cards. (You can see the Mike Piazza one in City Cynic’s rundown of Mets Christmas decorations from 2009). Continue reading “1990s baseball cards sure were interesting”