Monday, June 30, 2014

#241 Mike Gardiner

About the Front:  The player who had the most success wearing #47 for Boston was former starting pitcher Bruce Hurst.
About the Back: Mike Gardiner is the only player in MLB history from his hometown of Sarnia, Ontario, a southwestern town that is quite close to Michigan.

Triple Play:

1. Mike is still the career record holder for pitcher wins at Indiana State University with 30.

2. He earned his first big league win on May 31, 1991 by holding the Orioles to two runs on six hits over seven innings.

3. Gardiner now lives in Charlotte, NC, where he founded Stealth Baseball, a youth organization.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: The "i" in his last name always seemed superfluous to me.

Bill James Said: "One of countless rejects collected by the Tigers in their effort to patch the pitching."

On This Date in 1993: June 30. George McFarland, who played "Spanky" in the Our Gang/Little Rascals series, passes away due to cardiac arrest at age 64.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

#240 John Olerud

About the Front: That's a nice level swing by John Olerud. His blue-and-white batting gloves help you see that his fingers are lined up on the bat. I have very little idea of what I'm talking about.

About the Back: You can see Olerud's trademark flapless helmet that he always wore in the field. This provided extra protection after he suffered a brain aneurysm in college.

Triple Play:

1. His father, also named John, was a minor-league catcher for seven years, primarily in the Angels' system. He went on to become the head of the University of Washington's Division of Dermatology.

2. Olerud won three Gold Gloves and was a two-time All-Star.

3. John retired in 2005 with a career slash line of .295/.398/.465, 2,239 hits, 500 doubles, 255 home runs, and 1,230 RBI. He currently ranks 58th all-time in doubles and 67th in on-base percentage.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: It was kind of exciting to discover that a star major leaguer shared my birthday, though my enthusiasm was tempered somewhat because he played for the dastardly Blue Jays.

Bill James Said: "I'm a great admirer of Frank Thomas, but I think Olerud was probably more valuable in '93 than the MVP. He's a better first baseman, and he created more runs." John led the American League in 1993 with a .363 average, .473 on-base percentage, and 54 doubles.

On This Date in 1993: June 25. Kim Campbell is sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Canada.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

#239 Mike Boddicker

About the Front: There's something really odd about seeing Mike Boddicker with a mustache.

About the Back: To date, Mike is still the last pitcher to post a 20-win season for the Orioles.

Triple Play:

1. Boddicker's 14-strikeout, five-hit shutout of the White Sox in Game Two of the 1983 ALCS earned him MVP honors for the series. In Game Two of the World Series, he permitted only three Phillies hits, but an Eddie Murray error saddled him with an unearned run.

2. The Orioles made out pretty well when they traded Mike to the Red Sox in mid-1988, getting Brady Anderson and Curt Schilling in return.

3. Today he owns five hunting farms in Iowa and Kansas totaling over 700 acres and featuring plenty of deer and wild turkeys.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Mike's 1985 Topps base and All-Star subset cards were two of the few cards from that set that I owned in childhood. The base card wound up being the first card I ever got signed through the 2008.

Bill James Said: "The league hit .338 against him, which will strain your relationship with your agent, among other things."

On This Date in 1993: June 24. The Padres trade Gary Sheffield and Rich Rodriguez to the Marlins for Trevor Hoffman, Andres Berumen, and Jose Martinez.

Monday, June 23, 2014

#238 Chris Donnels

About the Front: Chris Donnels' front foot is pointing at the visitor's dugout. That doesn't seem right.

About the Back: Donnels was the 24th overall pick. He didn't really pan out for the Mets, but they took Todd Hundley and Pete Schourek with their next two picks, at least.

Triple Play:

1. The Marlins selected Chris in the Expansion Draft in November 1992, but placed him on waivers a month later; he was claimed by Houston.

2. He played in Japan from 1996 through 1998, batting .288/.401/.507 with 42 home runs in 264 games for the Kintetsu Buffaloes and Orix Blue Wave.

3. Donnels hit five pinch home runs in his major league career.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: The spelling of his name always tripped me up. Double-n, single-l.

Bill James Said: "He'll be 28 in late April, so getting a regular job is probably out, but could have a good career as a pinch hitter/extra infielder."

On This Date in 1993: June 23. John Olerud goes hitless for the first time since May 25 in a 4-3 Toronto loss to the Yankees. His 26-game hit streak may be over, but he's still batting .401/.502/.694 on the season.

Friday, June 20, 2014

#237 Jose Vizcaino

About the Front: I recognize the yellow banner on the left side of the photo as signage for CBS Sports, the former broadcast partner of Major League Baseball.

About the Back: As you can see, power was not Jose Vizcaino's game. He totaled 36 homers in parts of 18 MLB seasons, with a single-season high of five.

Triple Play:

1. Jose played 1,820 total games in the major leagues despite a career OPS+ of 76 (24% below average), but did have a reputation as a strong defender.

2. Vizcaino was a contributor to the 2000 World Champion Yankees. In the World Series opener, he went 4-for-6 and drove in the winning run with a single off of Turk Wendell in the bottom of the 12th inning.

3. He has worked for several years as a special assistant in player personnel with the Dodgers.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I remember Vizcaino always having this wide-eyed expression that made him look like he was in a constant state of surprise or shock.

Bill James Said: "With Sandberg and Dunston both unavailable early last year Vizcaino opened the season red-hot, slumped during the hot months, then closed with another rush, finishing with excellent offensive and defensive numbers." I don't know that I'd call .287/.340/.358 excellent, but James is right about the monthly splits. Jose's OPS by month, in chronological order: .823, .799, .639, .660, .507, and .745.

On This Date in 1993: June 20. Five days after a chewing tobacco ban is implemented across minor league baseball, AA Knoxville Smokies pitcher Travis Baptist is ejected for dipping, and manager Garth Iorg is also tossed from the game for allowing the infraction. This tidbit seemed relevant, considering Tony Gwynn's premature death from salivary gland cancer earlier this week (in the present day).

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

#236 Kevin Campbell

About the Front: "Hehhhh? You want me to throw it where?"

About the Back: Other Arkansas Razorbacks in the major leagues at this time included Jeff King, Kevin McReynolds, and Tom Pagnozzi. Cliff Lee is the most prominent Razorback in the majors today.

Triple Play:

1. Kevin's only big league save was of the goofy variety, as he closed out Oakland's 9-0 rout of the Rangers on August 4, 1992 with three scoreless innings of relief. In his defense, it was only 7-0 when he entered the game.

2. The Dodgers' scout who signed him was Bill Pleis, who had been a reliever for the Twins in the early 1960s.

3. Just to clear up any confusion, he is not the Kevin Campbell who chairs the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics at the University of Iowa.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: If I ever knew that Campbell had a couple of short stints in the Minnesota bullpen in 1994 and 1995, I've long since forgotten it. As far as I was concerned, his entire major league career consisted of this baseball card.

Bill James Said: "A sinker/slider pitcher, he has had excellent control in the minors, but awful control during his major league callups, either because of loss of confidence or because major league hitters are laying off the pitch below the knees."

On This Date in 1993: June 18. The Yankees signed reliever Paul Gibson. The bespectacled lefty had been released a week earlier by the Mets after allowing 16 baserunners in 8.2 innings, but would go on to post a 3.06 ERA in 20 games for the Yanks over the balance of the 1993 season.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

#235 Mitch Williams

About the Front: Look at this photo and tell me that Mitch Williams wasn't the inspiration for Kenny Powers.

About the Back: Believe it or not, Mitch's 80 games pitched in 1986 are not a rookie record. Lefty Sean Runyan had 88 appearances for the Tigers in 1998. Makes my arm hurt just thinking about it.

Triple Play:

1. On July 2, 1993, the Phillies and Padres played a rain-plagued doubleheader that took 12 hours to complete. Williams pitched the ninth and tenth innings in the nightcap, and in the bottom of the tenth he batted for himself with two runners on base and one out. He lined a pitch from San Diego rookie Trevor Hoffman into left-center field, giving himself the win and a walkoff hit in his final career plate appearance. This momentous occasion took place at 4:41 AM, making it the latest (or earliest, depending on your perspective) plate appearance in MLB history.

2. That Mitch collected 192 saves with a career rate of 7.1 walks per nine innings tells you both how hard it was to hit him, and how overrated the closer role can be.

3. In addition to his duties as an MLB Network analyst, he is a Little League coach and a full-time Grade A dipshit.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I remember John Kruk telling a funny anecdote about trading his #28 to Williams when the latter player arrived in Philadelphia in 1991. Kruk received a case of beer in the transaction. But a year later, Mitch switched to #99 and the beer was long gone. Compared to more recent player deals over uniform numbers involving cash, the portly first baseman felt shortchanged.

Bill James Said: (Regarding Williams' poor performance in the 1993 World Series) "Boiled down, there are two key questions: will Fregosi lose confidence in him (he will not), and will Williams be the same pitcher after the winter (yes, he will-because for one thing, he has been through this before after the 1989 playoffs)." Somebody lost confidence in Mitch, because he was traded to the Astros for Doug Jones and subsequently fell apart, totaling 37.1 innings with three MLB teams over the next four seasons, walking 52 and striking out 40 with a lofty 7.96 ERA. Oof.

On This Date in 1993: June 17. It's a slugfest in Motown, as the Indians and Tigers combine for eight home runs in a 9-5 Detroit win. Carlos Baerga hits three homers to account for all five Tribe runs, all against Tigers starter Mike Moore. Travis Fryman and Dan Gladden each go deep twice, and Rob Deer's three-run homer in the sixth inning puts Detroit on top for good.

Monday, June 16, 2014

#234 Tim McIntosh

About the Front: Tim McIntosh has a catcher's mask and mitt but no helmet, chest protector, or shin guards. I'm guessing that he's just warming up the pitcher between innings while the starting catcher gets his gear on after having batted.

About the Back: Tim went to high school in Minnetonka, eh? I wonder if he's a Prince fan.

Triple Play:

1. He had his only career three-hit game on May 12, 1992, going 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI against the White Sox in the first game of a doubleheader.

2. McIntosh played in Japan for the Nippon Ham Fighters in 1995, batting .220/.270/.298 with three homers and 15 RBI in 56 games. Any time I get an excuse to mention the Nippon Ham Fighters, you'd better believe I'm seizing the opportunity.

3. Tim has worked as a scout in the Yankees and Rangers organizations.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I had a Tim McIntosh "Future Stars" card from 1991 Topps. Swing and a miss!

Bill James Said: "McIntosh is a converted outfielder, an outfielder who didn't quite hit enough to make it that way."

On This Date in 1993: June 16. Michael Jordan torches the Phoenix Suns for 55 points on 21-of-37 shooting as the Bulls take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals en route to a six-game series victory.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

#233 Rick Greene

About the Front: Rick Greene's athletic footwear of choice is Converse. Sadly, they're not Chuck Taylor All-Stars.

About the Back: At 6'5" and 200 pounds, I'd say that Rick might have needed to fill out a bit.

Triple Play:

1. Greene pitched for Team USA in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, posting a 3.18 ERA despite allowing 11 hits and five walks in five and two-thirds innings.

2. He spent a decade in pro ball, tossing 547 innings in 455 minor league games with a 4.23 ERA. In his lone major league appearance, on June 19, 1999, he tossed 5.2 innings of relief for the Reds after starter Ron Villone retired only one of the seven Milwaukee batters he faced. Rick allowed a three-run homer to his first batter, Jose Valentin, and three more runs in the ensuing innings (two of those earned).

3. In 2012, Rick established the 2 Seam Dream Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to cancer research and patient recovery.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I thought it was pretty cool that the Tigers drafted him from the Tigers.

Bill James Said: He didn't say.

On This Date in 1993: June 13. Comings and goings. Eddie Guardado makes his big league debut for the Twins, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks and striking out three in a three and one-third-inning start. Oakland beats Minnesota in a 7-6 seesaw of a game. "Everyday Eddie" will hang around for 17 years and make two All-Star teams as a closer. Meanwhile, 1983 ALCS MVP Mike Boddicker makes his last big league appearance, getting knocked out in the third inning of a Milwaukee loss to the Yankees and giving up five runs.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

#232 Tino Martinez

About the Front: I think that Tino Martinez should have used some of that eye black to fill in his mustache.

About the Back: Tino hit ten more grand slams over the course of his career.

Triple Play:

1. His first name is "Constantino".

2. Martinez's career-best season was 1997, when he batted .296/.371/.577 with 44 home runs and 141 for the Yankees. He was a not particularly close second to Ken Griffey, Jr. in MVP balloting, and won his only career Silver Slugger award.

3. The Marlins hired him as their hitting coach last season, but he resigned on July 28 amid allegations that he had been verbally and physically abusive to the team's young players.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: If we jump ahead a couple years to 1995, I saw the benches clear at Camden Yards after Armando Benitez followed up an Edgar Martinez grand slam with a plunking of Tino. I think that's still as close as I've come to seeing an on-field brawl, though in 1998 Armando and Tino would be in the middle of a real donnybrook in the Bronx.

Bill James Said: "When he returns from the [knee] injury he'll play regularly for three or four years and might have one big season." Four years, a dozen...what's the difference?

On This Date in 1993: June 12. The White Sox score a run in their first at-bat against Kansas City, via a Tim Raines leadoff home run. They don't score again until the top of the 15th, when catcher Ron Karkovice takes reliever Rusty Meacham deep to lead off the inning. Roberto Hernandez earns his 11th save with a perfect inning, and Chicago takes the 2-1 victory. Time of the game is a crisp four hours, 13 minutes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

#231 John Wetteland

About the Front: It looks like John Wetteland is pitching in Candlestick Park. Feel free to correct me.

About the Back: Three musical instruments?! Eat your heart out, Bernie Williams.

Triple Play:

1. In 1996, John was named the American League Rolaids Relief Award winner after leading the loop with 43 saves for the Yankees and posting a 2.83 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 63.2 innings. He was also selected as World Series MVP for saving all four New York wins and allowing a single run in five Series appearances.

2. Wetteland finished his 12-year career with 330 saves, 48 wins, 45 losses, and a 2.93 ERA. His 295 saves during the 1990s were the most of any pitcher in that decade, and his 150 saves as a Texas Ranger are a club record.

3. He has served as the bullpen coach for both the Nationals and the Mariners, and was also an assistant baseball coach and Bible teacher at Liberty Christian School in Argyle, TX.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I don't remember when I got my first pre-1993 Wetteland card, but I do recall being surprised to see him in a Dodgers uniform. It was that odd realization that lots of things had been going on in baseball long before I had started noticing. Does that make a lick of sense?

Bill James Said: "His '93 season is one of the best that any reliever ever had." 9-3, 43 saves, 58 hits and 113 strikeouts in 85 innings...yeah, that's pretty decent.

On This Date in 1993: June 11. Actor Ray Sharkey (The Idolmaker, Wiseguy) dies at age 40 due to complications from AIDS.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

#230 Carlton Fisk

About the Front: Whoever picked the photos for the veteran catchers in this set did some fine work. You can read the intensity on Carlton Fisk's face as he goes in for a high-five with a teammate that I'm 99% sure is Joey Cora.

About the Back: Over his long, great career, Pudge only led the league in any category once...and it was triples. Baseball, man. I don't know.

Triple Play:

1. Carlton grew up in New Hampshire as a Celtics fan and dreamed of playing in the NBA. He even attended the University of New Hampshire on a basketball scholarship. But when the Red Sox drafted him in the first round in 1967, he made his career choice, admitting that his chances of being a 6'2" power forward were slim.

2. Fisk's 12th-inning walkoff home run in Game Six of the 1975 World Series is one of the iconic scenes in baseball history, as he stood near home plate waving the ball fair, then jumped for joy as it struck the left-field pole at Fenway Park.

3. In 2012, he pled guilty to a DUI. Police had found him unconscious behind the wheel, his vehicle sitting in the middle of a cornfield in New Lenox, IL.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I missed out on seeing Fisk play, but I read about the acrimonious end to his career in Chicago. At age 45, carrying a .473 OPS in just 58 plate appearances, he would not retire. The White Sox simply released him in the midst of a road trip, and later that year he was reportedly removed from the team's clubhouse when he stopped by to wish his former teammates well in the coming playoffs.

Bill James Said: "Most-similar players in history: Bench and Berra." Those are pretty good comps to have, especially since I've got a hunch he wasn't talking about Dale Berra.

On This Date in 1993: June 10. 30-year-old lefty Jamie Moyer earns his first big league win since 1990 with 5.2 innings of one-run ball as the Orioles squeak past the Red Sox, 2-1. Frank Viola goes the distance in a losing effort. Moyer's win is the 35th of his career; he will rack up 234 more in the next two decades for a stunning second act.

Monday, June 9, 2014

#229 Mike Perez

About the Front: The sleeves of Mike Perez's undershirt aren't very aerodynamic.

About the Back: Perez was a 12th-round pick, not a 13th-rounder. It's getting to the point where I have to fact-check every player's draft status as a matter of course.

Triple Play:

1. Mike earned his first big league save on September 14, 1990. He replaced Ernie Camacho with two outs in the seventh inning, two runs in, and the tying runs on base for the Cubs in a 4-2 game. The rookie stranded both men by coaxing a Ryne Sandberg grounder to shortstop, then kept Chicago off the scoreboard in the eighth and ninth innings.

2. Meaningless stat alert! With a combined 16-5 record in 1992-1993, Perez had the most wins of any reliever in those two seasons combined.

3. He had a great deal of success in 22 career head-to-head matchups with Tim Wallach (.105/.182/.105).

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Going back to the 1993 Upper Deck well, I was fascinated by the infinite regression on Mike's card in that particular set.

Bill James Said: "Perez, who has a mix of pitches in which nothing stands out, has gotten everybody out for two years in a setup role for Lee Smith, and with Smith gone is the obvious candidate to start collecting the saves." Mike had a disastrous 1994, saving 12 games but posting an 8.71 ERA in 31 innings. St. Louis grabbed veteran closer Tom Henke in free agency prior to 1995, and Perez departed for the Cubs.

On This Date in 1993: June 9. Padres' GM Joe McIlvane resigns, unwilling to carry out the team's planned fire sale of veteran players. 29-year-old Randy Smith is named as his replacement and becomes the youngest general manager in MLB history.

Friday, June 6, 2014

#228 Tom Goodwin

About the Front: I've heard of "dancing off first base", but I don't know that I've ever seen it so literally. My guess is that Tom Goodwin might be preparing to hop out of the way of a bouncing ball struck by the batter.

About the Back: Tom was actually the Dodgers' first-round pick in 1989, 22nd overall. I never realized how slipshod Topps' transactions data was in this set.

Triple Play:

1. In parts of 14 seasons, Goodwin stole 369 bases, with a high of 66 with the Royals in 1996.

2. On June 3, 2001, Tom went 5-for-5 with a double, a pair of steals, and three runs scored in the Dodgers' 9-8 win over Houston.

3. He is currently the Mets' first base coach, having replaced Mookie Wilson after the 2011 season.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I associated Tom Goodwin with Curtis Goodwin, the fleet outfielder who debuted with the Orioles in 1995 and was subsequently traded to the Reds for David Wells. No relation, though.

Bill James Said: "He's never going to be a regular, and getting those 25th-man slots is as much a matter of luck and personality as it is skill." Leave it to the Royals to prove James wrong, giving Tom 1,124 plate appearances in 1995-96 despite an OPS+ of 77.

On This Date in 1993: June 6. A wild Orioles-Mariners brawl erupts at Camden Yards after Mike Mussina plunks Seattle catcher Bill Haselman. In the ensuing melee, Mussina tweaks his shoulder. Though he doesn't miss time until mid-August, he will finish the year with an uncharacteristic 4.46 ERA. Cal Ripken, Jr. is also hurt, twisting his knee when his spikes catch in the infield grass. Ripken's consecutive-games-played streak, then at 1,790, seems to be in jeopardy, but swelling in the knee subsides in time for the next evening's game against Oakland.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

#227 Jeff Bagwell

About the Front: Topps did quite a job of portraying the up-and-coming Jeff Bagwell as a slack-jawed yokel with their photo choice.

About the Back: The Red Sox have been oft-derided over the years for trading Bagwell for a rental of reliever Larry Andersen in mid-1990, but as you can see he didn't discover his home run swing until arriving in Houston.

Triple Play:

1. Is Jeff Bagwell the unlikeliest multiple-time 30-30 player? In 1997, he slugged 43 home runs and swiped 31 bags. Two years later, he had 42 homers and 30 steals.

2. I love the coincidental parallels between Jeff Bagwell and fellow powerful first baseman Frank Thomas. They were both born on May 27, 1968 and drafted in 1989. Each won his league's MVP award in 1994. Though their teams met in the World Series in 2005, both were limited to less than 40 games that season due to injuries. Bagwell played in the Fall Classic, but not well (.425 OPS, 0 RBI in 10 PA); the Big Hurt was inactive.

3. Anyone who doesn't believe that Bagwell belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame can go soak their head. .297/.408/.540 (149 OPS+) over 2,150 games. 1,517 runs. 488 doubles and 449 home runs. 1,529 RBI.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I've never seen anything quite like Bagwell's wide-legged deep crouch while batting.

Bill James Said: "If I were to draw up a list of five players with the best chance to be National League MVP in 1994, Bagwell would certainly be on the list." Take a bow, Billy.

On This Date in 1993: June 5. Seattle's Erik Hanson holds the Orioles to three singles through six innings before losing his touch in the seventh. Clinging to a 2-0 lead, Hanson gives up a leadoff double to Mike Devereaux and a game-tying homer to Leo Gomez on consecutive pitches. An inning later, Devo clubs an Earl Weaver special: a three-run, go-ahead home run. The visiting Mariners fall to the Orioles 5-3, with Gregg Olson picking up the save after a Ken Griffey, Jr. home run chased rookie reliever and winning pitcher Brad Pennington. Hanson is saddled with an eight-inning, complete-game loss.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

#226 Willie Banks

About the Front: Such a mean mug on Willie Banks! The shadow falling over his face adds to the intimidation factor.

About the Back: There's a smile. This portrait is the Dr. Jekyll to the front photo's Mr. Hyde.

Triple Play:

1. Willie had an up-and-down season in 1994 following a trade to the Cubs. He four-hit the Dodgers on May 24 for his only MLB shutout. On June 27, he retired 20 straight batters en route to a 2-1 win over the Pirates. But he allowed five or more earned runs in nine of his 23 starts and finished 8-12 with a 5.40 ERA.

2. Banks idolized Dwight Gooden growing up, and he bailed the former Mets phenom out with 2.1 scoreless relief innings after the Red Sox had knocked "Doc" out in the fourth inning on September 9, 1997. The Yankees rallied to win, and Willie was credited with the victory in his debut in pinstripes.

3. Though his last major league game was with the Red Sox in 2002, he last pitched professionally in the independent Atlantic League with the Newark Bears in 2010. The 41-year-old's results were...not great: 9.21 ERA, 2.26 WHIP in 28.1 innings.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: For some time, I labored under the illusion that Banks was a better pitcher than he actually was. I'm sure that it was his name that fooled me. Willie Banks just sounds like a star athlete.

Bill James Said: "Ten percent chance of becoming Bob Gibson." And a 90% chance of not.

On This Date in 1993: June 3. Reliever Bill Landrum's final major league game is one he'd rather forget. The eight-year veteran and onetime Pirates closer allows four runs in an inning of mop-up work in Cincinnati's 9-2 loss to the Cardinals. Todd Zeile and Hector Villanueva each hit a two-run double off of Landrum.

Monday, June 2, 2014

#225 Matt Williams

About the Front:  The "Giants" wordmark across the front of the team's home jerseys as worn from 1983-1993 had a cartoonish sort of charm, with its big block letters traveling in an arc from left to right. The super-sized first and last letters were a different sort of look for the major leagues.
About the Back:  Matt Williams finished his career with 30 two-homer games and a single three-homer contest.

Triple Play:

1. Williams' grandfather, Bert Griffith, roamed the outfield for the Brooklyn Dodgers (then known as the Robins) in 1922 and 1923, batting .302/.327/.417 for a 93 OPS+. He also appeared in six games for the Senators in 1924.

2. He was the first (and to date, only) player to hit home runs for three different teams in World Series play, pulling off the feat with the 1989 Giants, 1997 Indians, and 2001 Diamondbacks.

3. Matt is currently the first-year manager of the Washington Nationals. At this writing the club is 27-28 while coping with injuries that have sidelined Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Williams' strike-aborted chase of 61 homers in 1994 was my first experience with the excitement of record pursuits in baseball. I had no idea that Roger Maris' mark would be obliterated in the coming decade by McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds.

Bill James Said: "Third player in history to hit 30 homers and 30 doubles with less than 30 walks. The others were Felipe Alou and Butch Hobson, so I guess we can count on Matt being a manager someday, huh?" Eerie.

On This Date in 1993: June 2. Ray Charles is presented with the Songwriters' Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award.