Tuesday, February 3, 2009

#12T Rafael Ramirez


Not much to say about this specific card, so I'll point out that despite having a "portrait" style back (instead of the "landscape" layout that Topps used during the same period), Score was still able to list full stats for all players, including minor league stats for many guys. They did, of course, sacrifice some categories due to lack of space. Comparing this card to Ramirez' 1988 Topps Traded card, we see that Topps also had triples, a pretty significant stat dropped by Score, plus walks, strikeouts, and slugging percentage.

This might not seem like a big deal these days, but remember that in 1988, baseball cards were one of the easiest ways to get a guy's stats. There was also the Baseball Encyclopedia and other publications, but there certainly wasn't Baseball-Reference.com.


Since 1901, there have been 1,076 player seasons in which a guy hit at least .297 and had at least 185 hits, as Ramirez did in 1983. However, Ramirez was in the bottom 30 for OBP, with just a .337 mark.


I think the commentary on the back of this card reveals a lot about Ramirez. It starts off by saying that he was a fine offensive player. I'd say he was pretty good in 1983, though not great (as discussed above) but wasn't really "fine" in any year. Don't get me wrong--recalling that he played entirely before middle infielders were expected to produce any significant offense, he was certainly adequate in many years. But he did finish with a career OPS+ of 77, which is below average even for a SS back then. The copy on the card goes on to say that he was "erratic" defensively. His defensive stats show that he had a below-average fielding percentage and average range. So, hmm, draw your own conclusions on the guy.


  1. The Baseball Encyclopedia. You're right, I'm not even sure I could tell you where mine are now, but when I was a kid it was almost like I had those stats, middle names and nicknames memorized. I had the Encyclopedias that came out after the 1978 and 1987 seasons. Those were some serious sized books and I can't believe my folks spent $30 or so that they cost (that would be enough for a family of 4 to go out to dinner 2 or 3 times in 1978).

  2. I think the 1987 one cost $50...I remember plunking down my own cash for it as a kid. I also remember during the 1989 and 1990 seasons being bitterly upset that the book went through only 1987--I mean I really missed not having the last year or two's worth of stats.