Thursday, March 12, 2015

#390 Wade Boggs

About the Front: A few cards ago we had "25" on Devon White's bat, now we have "26" on Wade Boggs' cleats.

About the Back: You can see that Boggs had his worst offensive year by far in 1992, falling below .260 after never previously batting less than .302 in the first decade of his career. Fans must have been wondering whether it was a fluke or the beginning of his decline.

Triple Play:

1. He always seemed to draw a lot of attention for things that he did off the field. There was the famed superstition that had him eating chicken the day of every game, the ugly $12 million legal fight with his former mistress Margo Adams, and the legendary claims that he downed "at least" 64 Miller Lites on a cross-country flight while with the Yankees.

2. Boggs retired after a 1998-1999 stint with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, finishing with a triple-slash of .328/.415/.443 and 3,010 hits. His 578 doubles are still good for a #20 all-time rank.

3. He was a first-ballot Hall of Fame choice in 2005, joined on the dais by Ryne Sandberg.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Wade keeps crossing over into my other decades-long fandoms, with a memorable 1992 guest appearance on The Simpsons and a cameo at the 2007 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, where he posthumously inducted longtime personal friend "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig. Boggs credits the pro wrestler with saving his life, helping to carry Wade to safety after the latter severely cut his leg on barbed wire during a hunting trip.

Bill James Said: "Has about a 50-50 chance to get 3,000 hits."

On This Date in 1993: March 12. The Athletics release Jeff Ballard seven weeks after signing him. The Stanford lefty, who was 18-8 with a 3.43 ERA at age 25 with the 1989 Orioles, will catch on with the Pirates in late April and finish his MLB career with a couple of uneven seasons in the Pittsburgh bullpen.

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