Kelloggs Cards

Kelloggs Cards

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Which Players Who Appeared on a Kellogg's Baseball Card (1970 - 1983) Retired Last?

Since the regular run of Kellogg's cards ended in 1983, I was trying to figure out which players who appeared in a set lasted the longest in Major League Baseball.  I expected that none lasted past the late 1990s but it turns out that three players lasted past 1998.

It surprised me to learn that two of the three players debuted in 1979.

#3.  Harold Baines played 22 seasons, mostly with the White Sox who drafted him as the #1 pick in the 1977 amateur draft.  How many other number one picks appeared on a Kellogg's card.  That will be left for another post.

Baines appeared on a 1983 Kellogg's card and his final game was on 9-27-2001.   

Baines was primarily a designated hitter, a position that probably hurt him with Hall of Fame voting.  There are only a few players ahead of Baines (2866 hits) on the all-time hits list that are not in the Hall of Fame.  Rose, Bonds and ARod certainly have issues with the voters.  Jeter and Omar Vizquel (2877 hits) are not yet eligible and I have no idea if Omar will have lots of support.

#2.  Tim Raines is not yet in the Hall of Fame, but he received 55% of the vote this year so someday he'll probably be inducted.

Raines appeared in the 1982 Kellogg's set which is quite a feat given Kellogg's history of excluding players from the Canadian teams.  His last game was played on 9-29-2002.  

Raines and his son, who also played in the majors, combined for 818 stolen bases.  The senior Raines accounted for 808 of those steals.  I remember seeing Raines play second base at times.

His career followed on odd pattern.  He was an Expo became a free agent and re-signed with the Expos.  After a trade to the White Sox he became a free agent and re-signed with the White Sox.  After a trade to the Yankees, guess what?  He became a free agent and re-signed with the Yankees.  That certainly won't happen in today's sports landscape.

#1.  Rickey Henderson is the MLB career leader in both runs scored and stolen bases.  Being second all-time in walks certainly helped those stats.  He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009.

Henderson got into the 1981, 1982 and 1983 Kellogg's sets.  He played his last game on 9-19-2003 a full twenty years after his 1983 Kellogg's card was distributed.

Oddly, he played for the A's on four different occasions.  Has any other Hall of Famer done that?  There's another good post for the future.

After beginning his career in Oakland he was traded ten years later.  He was traded back to the A's a few years later.  At the end of the season he signed with the A's again as a free agent only to be traded away a few years later.  He signed with the A's two more times as a free agent.    

There are lots of statistics to analyze his career.  He played for nine teams during his 25-year career.  He played for the Yankees, Padres, Mets, Red Sox, Dodgers, Angels, Mariners and Blue Jays.  

That's a nice trio - Baines, Raines and pain(s).  More on why I say that in a future post.  Hint - the 1990 All Star Game is part of the story.

I'm guessing that some middle reliever might has signed as a free agent more often, but has any Hall of Famer signed as a free agent as many times as Rickey's total of nine?  That will be saved for a later post.

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