A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rating the Rookie Cups - 1991

This week I will be delving into the 1990 Topps All Star Rookie Team as shown on 1991 Topps cards.  The 1991 Topps set is a classic (and was definitely a game changer) in many people's eyes.  But how does the rookie cup team from that year stack up?  Very well, in fact.  Since I gave Topps a little crap last week for choosing poorly in 1980, I must commend them for selecting very well (but not perfectly) this time.

Let's take a look at the best rookies from 1990.

Once again ratings will be on a 1-10 scale for both rookie year and career.

Sandy Alomar - Cleveland - C -               (Rookie)   7   (Career)  6
Hal Morris - Cincinnati - 1B -                   (Rookie)   6   (Career)  6
Delino DeShields - Montreal - 2B -           (Rookie)   7   (Career)  6

Robin Ventura - Chicago (AL) - 3B -       (Rookie)   6  (Career)  7
Jeff Huson - Texas - SS -                         (Rookie)   5  (Career)  2

Felix Jose - St. Louis - OF -                (Rookie)   6  (Career)  3
Dave Justice - Atlanta - OF -               (Rookie)   8  (Career)  7
Larry Walker - Montreal - OF -           (Rookie)   7  (Career)  8

Kevin Appier - Kansas City - RHP -              (Rookie)  7  (Career)  6
Scott Radinsky - Chicago (AL) - LHP -         (Rookie)  3  (Career)  3

Strongest Team Members (in 1990) - Dave Justice, Larry Walker, Sandy Alomar

Strongest Team Members (Career) - Larry Walker, Dave Justice, Robin Ventura

Weakest Team Members (in 1990) - Scott Radinsky, Jeff Huson, Robin Ventura

Weakest Team Members (Career) - Jeff Huson, Felix Jose, Scott Radinsky

Rockies on the team (Present and future) - 2* (Alomar, Walker) *Huson broadcasts Rockies games

Overall Team Rating (1-10 compared to other RAST teams)    7
This is a very strong team, top to bottom.  Walker is still a potential Hall of Famer (screw potential he is one).  Justice and Ventura had very solid careers.  Many of the others had very respectable careers as well.  Huson, Jose, and Radinsky turned into journeymen, but they too had excellent rookie years.


Here are the players I feel should have been on this Rookie All Star Team.  This is based on rookie year data only.

Catcher - Sandy Alomar - Cleveland
I was close to giving this spot to Todd Zeile of the Cardinals because he and Alomar were very close statistically.  For the tiebreaker, I went with team record and the Cardinals finished in last place in 1990. 

First Baseman - Hal Morris - Cincinnati
This is one of the two strongest positions of any from 1990.  Hal Morris had some tough competition in Carlos Quintana and strong half seasons from both Frank Thomas and Kevin Maas.  Morris just hit everything that year though and deserves the win here.

Second Baseman - Delino DeShields - Montreal
An easy choice here because the only other rookie second sacker was the Braves' Mark Lemke and he only played a half season.

Third Baseman - Robin Ventura - Chicago (AL)
Ventura was the only full season rookie third baseman, but Travis Fryman had a heck of a half-season and was nearly better than Ventura.  I had to go with the full time guy though, even if he did have better days to come.

Shortstop - Eric Yelding - Houston
Yelding only played a little less than half of his games at short, but he deserves this spot.  He had 64 steals and 35 more hits than Huson.  Carlos Baerga of the Indians also got a little consideration here.

Outfield - Dave Justice - Atlanta, Larry Walker - Montreal, Felix Jose - St. Louis
Topps got this one right as these three were clearly the top of the heap in 1990.  Others considered were Alex Cole, Greg Vaughn, and Marquis Grissom, but they just weren't good enough in my mind.

RHP - Kevin Appier - Kansas City
This is the other of the two strongest positions in 1990.  Appier's ERA was just too good to change this pick.  Although John Burkett, Kevin Tapani, and Bill Sampen made the decision a little tougher.

LHP - Pat Combs - Philadelphia
Radinsky was unquestionably the weakest selection on this team.  I wouldn't have put him in the top 5 of lefties.  Pat Combs was a tough choice over Steve Avery and a strong half season from Randy Tomlin, but he had a better overall year.


Last week's question
What are the four franchises that have had the most total members of the Topps All Star Rookie Team?

Chicago White Sox - 30  (most recent - 2010 Chris Getz, Gordon Beckham)
Atlanta Braves - 25  (most recent - 2012 Craig Kimbrel)
Minnesota Twins - 25  (most recent - 2012 Ben Revere)
San Francisco Giants - 25  (most recent - 2011 Buster Posey)


What are the four franchises that have had the fewest total members of the Topps All Star Rookie Team?  (Hint: Not all of them are 90's expansion teams)


The 1985 team appearing on 1986 Topps.

Thanx for reading.

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