Wednesday, November 19, 2014

#324 Willie Randolph

About the Front: This is the final Topps card of Willie Randolph's long career, as he hung up his spikes after spending his age-37 season with the Mets. He had grown up rooting for the Mets, and took #12 as a nod to Ken Boswell, the team's former second baseman.

About the Back: Topps didn't include on-base percentage on its card backs in 1993, so you can't see that Willie reached base at a .373 clip for his career.

Triple Play:

1. He was a six-time All-Star and was widely regarded as a strong defensive second baseman. However, Lou Whitaker and Frank White monopolized the American League's Gold Glove at the keystone during Randolph's prime.

2. Willie's younger brother Terry played defensive back for the Green Bay Packers in 1977.

3. He spent a decade coaching for the Yankees before returning to the Mets as manager. Though he led the team to a .554 winning percentage in three-plus seasons, including a trip to the NLCS in 2006, he was fired 69 games into the 2008 season. Randolph then coached for the Brewers and Orioles through 2011.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I never would have guessed back then that I would some day complete the 1975 Topps set, which features Willie's rookie card.

Bill James Said: No he didn't, since as I mentioned, Randolph retired after the 1992 season.

On This Date in 1993: November 19. Joey Gallo is born. The Rangers will draft him with a first-round compensation pick in June 2012, and he will go on to hit 104 home runs in his first 296 minor league games while striking out 429 times. Pete Incaviglia, eat your heart out.


  1. Two things: a) Randolph's rookie is in the 1976 set, not '75.

    and b) firing Willie Randolph was one of the most idiotic things the Mets ever did - and saying that about the Mets you *know* it must be stupid.

  2. Max - Yeah, Jerry Manuel wasn't exactly the answer.