Posted by Andy on May 29, 2010
I am not a fan of this 1982 Donruss set but a lot of folks are. Like many sets by Topps from the 1970s and early 1980s, this set include some childish baseball imagery, specifically the baseball and bat that run across the bottom of each card. Of course, what I dislike is exactly what many other folks like.
There are some things I like about this set, though:
- the prominent and retro Donruss logo (well, retro by today's standards)
- the equally prominent year of '82, making it easy for kids to identify the set of origin
- big photos that occupy most of the card with some border color variations, but the colors don't dominate the overall appearance of the card
Greg of Night Owl Cards made a lot of interesting observations about the photo used on this card. Click the link above to read it, but the summary is that the photo was probably taken in 1978. Greg used numerous clues about Yaz' uniform, including the pullover jersey, red helmet, and striped socks. Neat stuff.
There are a few other things I like about this specific photo:
- Yaz is bunting. How cool is that?
- He's got only one glove on. I can't find any other pictures of Yaz where he's got only one glove on.
- Check out the people in the stands in the background. Still have any doubts that the photo was taken in the 1970s?
When I think about Yastrzemski's career, one of the first things that always comes to mind is his league-leading .301 batting average in 1968, a year of very low offense.
Here is that season for Yaz:
He led the league in walks, BA, OBP, OPS, and OPS+.
Now 170 is a huge value for OPS+. To understand how this stat works, just look at Joe Mauer's stats from last year:
Mauer is the only player to have an OPS+ of 170 in 2009. Whereas the 170 OPS+ was good for a .301 BA for Yaz in 1968, Mauer had to hit .365 to earn it last year. Yaz's raw OPS was .922 for a 170 OPS+ but Mauer's was 1.031.
This clearly illustrates why OPS+ is such a good stat. It bridges the gap across different seasons and conditions to demonstrate just how much above or below average a player was. Kids today who look at Yaz's BA in 1968 and see that .301 don't necessarily realize just how impressive it was that year. They just think he hit a lot less than Mauer did last year. Strictly this is true, but the real meaning goes beyond the raw numbers.
I'm looking for posts on card blogs to feature on the Card of the Week segment on the B-R blog. If you are an author or a fan of another card blog, please email me a link to the post you'd like me to consider. Ideally the post would include scans of the front and back of the card and contain some interesting or otherwise entertaining commentary.
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