Rafael Palmeiro

1987 Topps

Palmeiro spent 20 years in the majors and amassed 3,020 hits and 569 home runs. He was a four-time all star, in addition to winning three Gold Gloves and two Silver Slugger awards. He broke in with the Chicago Cubs in 1986 and made his first all-star team while playing for them in 1988. However, he did not really become a star until joining the Texas Rangers in 1989. He hit .319 for Texas in 1990 and led the American League in hits (191). He was an all star again in 1991 when he led the AL in doubles (49). Starting in 1993, Palmeiro factored into the AL MVP race for eight of the next nine years. However, the highest he would finish was fifth in 1999 when he hit .327 with 47 home runs after returning to Texas from the Baltimore Orioles. He remained with Texas until 2004 when he went back to Baltimore for the final two years of his career.

Palmeiro hit his 500th home run on May 11, 2003, off David Elder of the Cleveland Indians.

Palmeiro is one of six players with over 3,000 hits and 500 home runs in their careers. He played in 2,831 games in his career which are the most by a player who never played in a World Series.

In 2008, Palmeiro was inducted into the Mississippi State University sports Hall of Fame. In 2009, he was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2012, he was inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.

Rafael Palmeiro – career stats

1988 Fleer

Doug Jones

1988 Score

Jones pitched for 16 years in the majors and saved 303 games. His major league service spanned from 1982-2000 and he played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, and Oakland A’s. In addition to his 300-plus saves, he won 69 games and had a 3.30 career ERA. He was selected to the All-Star Game five times, first in 1988 and again in 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1994. Jones led the league in games finished two times (1992 and 1997) and finished with MVP votes four times (1988, 1990, 1992, 1997). His best season was arguably 1992 when he was pitching for the Astros. He won 11 games that season and saved another 36, while posting a 1.85 ERA in 111.2 innings. At the time of his retirement, Jones ranked 12th on baseball’s all-time save list.

Jones reached the postseason twice, once with the Indians in 1998 and then with the A’s in 2000. He was 41-years old at the time of his first playoff game appearance.

Shane Rawley

1979 Topps

An all star in 1986, Shane Rawley pitched for 12 years in the majors, posting a 111-118 record with a 4.02 ERA and 40 saves, while playing for the Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, and Minnesota Twins from 1978-1989. Rawley pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen when he broke in with the Mariners. He became a starter after being traded to the Yankees in 1982. This started a string of six-straight seasons where Rawley won at least 10 games. His best year was 1987 when he won 17 games for the Phillies. He went 11-7 with a 3.54 ERA for Philadelphia in 1986, which was the year he was chosen to play in the Midsummer Classic.

Rawley won the 100th game of his career on May 16, 1988 at Candlestick Park. He gave up two hits and led the Phillies to a 3-0 win.

We featured Rick Honeycutt in 2018.

Shane Rawley – career stats

Carlos May

1970 Topps

A two-time all star, May played for 10 years in the majors, hitting .274 with 90 home runs and 85 stolen bases. He broke in with the Chicago White Sox in 1968 and made his first trip to the All Star Game the next season, when he hit .281 with 18 home runs. He had, arguably, the best season of his career in 1972 while playing for the ChiSox. May hit .308 that season with 12 home runs, 23 stolen bases and 83 runs scored. His performance earned him his second all-star trip and he finished 21st in the MVP vote. May went on to play for the New York Yankees and California Angels before his career ended in 1977.

May’s brother, Lee May, spent 18 years in the majors. In 1969 they were the first brothers to ever play against each other in the All Star Game.

May is the only player in MLB history to wear his birthday on his back. He was born May 17, 1948 and wore number 17 while playing for Chicago, meaning the back of his jersey read “May 17.”

We featured Frank Tanana in 2018.

Carlos May – career stats

Doug Gwosdz

1984 Topps

Gwosdz played in 69 games for the San Diego Padres from 1981-1984. In 104 at bats he hit .144 with one home run. His professional career stretched from 1978-1989.

Gwosdz was a member of the Padres’ team that reached the 1984 World Series where they took on the Detroit Tigers. Gwosdz did not play in the postseason. The Tigers won the series in five games.

We featured Atlee Hammaker in August 2020.

Doug Gwosdz – career stats

Swings and misses

1981 Fleer

Max Venable spent 12 years in the majors, playing for the San Francisco Giants, Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds, and California Angels from 1979-1991. In 727 games, he hit .241 with 18 home runs.

1986 Donruss

Chris Pittaro played in 53 games for the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins from 1985-1987. In 95 at bats he hit .221. Pittaro played professionally from 1982-1988. Legendary Tigers’ manager Sparky Anderson once said of Pittaro, “(he) has a chance to be the greatest¬†second baseman¬†who ever lived.”

1989 Upper Deck

Barry Lyons played in 253 big league games for the New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, and Chicago White Sox between 1986 and 1995. He hit .239 with 15 home runs.

Jerry Ujdur

1983 Topps

Ujdur pitched in parts of five seasons for the Detroit Tigers, posting a 12-16 record with a 4.78 ERA in 53 games. While he was used sparingly for most of his career, Ujdur was a big part of Detroit’s rotation in 1982. He made 25 starts that season and won 10 games to go with a 3.69 ERA.

Ujdur made his first career start on Aug. 20, 1980, in Milwaukee against the Brewers. He pitched six innings and gave up two earned runs. Detroit won the game 8-6.

Jerry Ujdur – career stats

1983 Fleer

Kip Young

1980 Topps

Young pitched in 27 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1978 and 1979. In 149.1 innings of work he posted an 8-9 record with a 3.86 ERA. He pitched well for the Tigers as a rookie in 1978, winning six games to go along with a 2.81 ERA. Unfortunately, his earned run average jumped to 6.39 the following season and soon he was out of the game. Young pitched professionally from 1976-1982.

Young made his first start on July 24, 1978, in Detroit against the Oakland A’s. He pitched a complete game and gave up one run to lead the Tigers to victory. He went on to throw complete games in his next three starts, which were all wins as well.

We featured Dave Tobik in February.

Kip Young – career stats

Swings and misses

1988 Score

Jay Aldrich pitched in 62 games for the Milwaukee Brewers, Atlanta Braves, and Baltimore Orioles between 1987 and 1990. In 108.2 innings he posted a 6-5 record with two saves and a 4.72 ERA.

1988 Donruss

Tom Newell saw action in two games for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1987. He pitched one inning and gave up four runs. He pitched professionally from 1985-1991.

1989 Upper Deck

LaVel Freeman appeared in two games for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1989. He struck out twice in three at bats and did not get a hit. He did score a run. Freeman played professionally from 1983-1990.

Letters sent to Tony Fernandez and Bob Sebra were returned as they are both now deceased.

Swings and misses

1988 Topps

Ken Gerhart played three seasons for the Baltimore Orioles, hitting .221 with 24 home runs in 215 games from 1986-1988. He was a starting outfielder for the team his final two years and hit 14 home runs in 1987. However, Gerhart was hit on the wrist by a pitch that season and the injury eventually ended his career.

1988 Fleer

Mark Wasinger played in 50 games for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants from 1986-1988. In 90 at bats he hit .244 with one home run.

1992 Donruss

A five-time all-star and the 1997 National League Most Valuable Player, Larry Walker spent 17 years in the majors, playing for the Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals from 1989-2005. He hit .313 with 383 home runs and 230 stolen bases, and won three Silver Sluggers and seven Gold Gloves. Walker hit over .360 three times in his career, with his .379 mark in 1999 being his zenith. However, his performance in 1997 is arguably the best of his career. Walker hit .366 that season for Colorado, while smashing a league-best 49 home runs to go along with 130 RBIs, 143 runs scored and 33 stolen bases. Later in his career, he reached the World Series with the Cardinals, but lost to the Boston Red Sox in 2004. Walker, however, hit .357 in the series. In 2020, Walker was elected to the baseball Hall of Fame. He is also a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.