Tuesday, August 6, 2013

#51 Mo Vaughn

About the Front: Mo Vaughn was always a big dude, but he looks positively svelte here compared to the later days of his career. Mets fans are nodding in sad agreement. We also get a blurry peek into the visitors' dugout, as a few Boston coaches and/or players watch Mo take his hacks.

About the Back: The Red Sox batted .500 in the first round of the 1989 draft. Vaughn was the 23rd overall pick, but Boston also picked in San Diego's #16 slot as compensation after the Padres signed Bruce Hurst away from them. With that pick, the BoSox took outfielder Greg Blosser, who we'll see near the end of the 1993 Topps set.

Triple Play:

1. Mo and his cousin Greg Vaughn were quite the power-hitting duo in the 1990s. Mo's somewhat sudden decline played a part in Greg coming out ahead in career home runs, 355 to 328.

2. Vaughn was a controversial American League MVP choice in 1995, when he batted .300/.388/.575 with 28 doubles, 39 home runs, and 126 RBI. Albert Belle, a narrow runner-up, batted .317/.401/.690 with 52 doubles, 50 homers, and 126 RBI. Both played for division winners, and the supposition is that the surly Belle lost a popularity contest.

3. Mo now owns and operates OMNI New York LLC, which has bought and rehabilitated over 1,100 units of distressed housing in New York City.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I remember seeing a Starting Lineup collectible figure of Mo Vaughn that looked nothing like him. That was pretty much the norm with those things, but this one was rail-thin. A poor effort even by their own low standards.

Bill James Said: "Mike Easler says that Vaughn will be better than Frank Thomas. He's out of his mind, but Vaughn is certainly a hitter..."

On This Date in 1993: August 6. Torrential rain and mudslides kill 72 people in Kagoshima, Japan.


  1. Max - I remember reading Bill James' revised edition of the Historical Baseball Abstract roundabouts 2003, and he described Mo Vaughn as "carrying a piano on his back". It was the first time I'd ever heard that phrase.

  2. Went to a game at old Tiger Stadium to watch Wakefield pitch. Long rain delay, late in the game Joe Boever tried to throw a knuckle ball to Mo . . . it looked like it was going to go through the right field stands. "Like a Joe Boever knuckleball" has been the descriptor of abject failure for me and my friends ever since