Cooperstown 8 Lineup Unveiled
Spring Series Scheduled to Deliver Eight of the All-Time Greats
Friday, July 16, 2010
McFarlane's SportsPicks is proud to present our eighth series of legendary baseball players, as fans young and old get ready to behold the pride and glory that could only be the Cooperstown Collection. The 2011 series features seven Hall of Fame members and one superstar who will not be eligible for inclusion until 2012. It's the SportsPicks debuts for Bay Area legends Rickey Henderson and Willie McCovey, while popular stars Carlton Fisk and Lou Gehrig receive new poses. Nolan Ryan returns to our lineup as a New York Mets rookie, while Curt Schilling joins our Cooperstown series with 216 career wins and one clean sock. Catfish Hunter and Ozzie Smith are available in new uniforms as Collector Level-only figures, sure to be sought after by their fans and our dedicated collectors as well.
A tip of the cap to the bronze plaques at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York for providing the capsule descriptions for seven of the players listed below. Curt Schilling's capsule was written by me, but Cooperstown is welcome to borrow it if they need it down the road. I won't even charge them... much.
Nolan Ryan 4 (New York Mets)
A fierce competitor and one of baseball's most intimidating figures on the pitching mound for four decades. His overpowering fastball and unparalleled longevity produced 324 victories and a host of Major League records. Lifetime benchmarks include 5,714 strikeouts, seven no-hitters and 12 one-hitters in 27 seasons pitched. Led league in strikeouts 11 times and fanned 300 batters in a season on six occasions, including a record 383 in 1973. Strikeout victims totaled 1,176 different players. A Texas legend whose widespread popularity extended far beyond his native state.
Curt Schilling 3 (Boston Red Sox)
One of the most dominant pitchers of his era, earned 216 victories while striking out 3,116 batters (ranking 15th in baseball history). Led three different franchises to the World Series while earning three championships (2001/2004/2007). His competitive discipline and focus reached new heights in the postseason, where his lifetime ERA of 3.46 shrunk to 2.23, then dropped again to 2.06 through seven World Series starts. A 6-time All-Star and the 1993 NLCS MVP and 2001 World Series co-MVP.
Willie McCovey (San Francisco Giants)
Top left-handed home run hitter in N.L. history with 521, second only to Lou Gehrig with 18 career grand slams. Led N.L. in homers three times and RBI's twice. N.L. Rookie of the Year in 1959, MVP in 1969 and Comeback Player of the Year in '77. Teamed with Willie Mays for awesome 1-2 punch in Giants' lineup.
Carlton Fisk 2 (Boston Red Sox / Chicago White Sox)
A commanding figure behind the plate for a record 24 seasons, he caught more games (2,226) and hit more home runs (351) than any catcher before him. His gritty resolve and competitive fire earned him the respect of teammates and opposing players alike. A staunch training regimen extended his durability and enhanced his productivity -- as evidenced by a record 72 home runs after age 40. His dramatic home run to win Game Six of the 1975 World Series is one of baseball's unforgettable moments. Was the 1972 American League Rookie of the Year and an 11-time All-Star.
Rickey Henderson (Oakland Athletics / New York Yankees)
Faster than speeding bullet, scored more runs (2,295) and stole more bases (1,406) than any player in history. Combined power, plate discipline, flair and an uncanny ability to electrify crowds. Hit .279 with 3,055 hits, 297 home runs and 1,115 RBI. Set records for home runs to lead off game (8) and unintentional walks (2,129). A ten-time All-Star and the 1990 A.L. MVP, led league in steals 12 times, including three 100-plus seasons and modern-day record 130 thefts in 1982. Won World Series with Oakland and Toronto.
Lou Gehrig 2 (New York Yankees)
Holder of more than a score of Major and American League records, including that of playing in 2,130 consecutive games. When he retired in 1030, had a lifetime batting average of .340
Catfish Hunter (New York Yankees)
The bigger the game, the better he pitched. One of baseball's most dominant pitchers from 1970-76, winning over 20 five straight times. Compiled 224-166 mark with 3.26 ERA before arm trouble ended his career at age 33. Hurled perfect game vs. Twins in 1968. 1974 A.L. Cy Young Award winner. 5-3 in 12 World Series games.
Ozzie Smith (St. Louis Cardinals)
Revolutionized defensive play at shortstop with his acrobatic fielding and artistic turning of double plays. The 13-time Gold glove winner set six major league fielding records among shortstops, including most assists, double plays and chances accepted. An effective offensive player, he accumulated 2,460 hits and stole 580 bases. Named to 15 All-Star teams. His relentless pursuit of perfection helped lead the Cardinals to three World Series, including a 1982 championship. His congenial personality, consummate professionalism and trademark back flip made "The Wizard" a fan favorite.
Rickey Henderson and Carlton Fisk 2 will have figures available for two teams apiece (Henderson with the A's and Yankees, Fisk with both the Red Sox and White Sox), while Catfish Hunter and Ozzie Smith will be available as Collector Level-only figures. Stay tuned to Spawn.com for more information about the Collector Level figures for this series, and to see final photography of the finished prototypes.