Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Greg Brock

Sent: 7/11/11
Received: 7/23/11
Time: 12 Days
Address: Home
Item Sent: 1984 Topps, 1987 Fleer, 1989 Upper Deck
Item Received: 1984 Topps, 1987 Fleer, 1989 Upper Deck.  All signed in black Sharpie.

When I was a kid, I thought first basemen were the coolest.  Kent Hrbek was my main man, but I was also a big fan of Rod Carew, Don Mattingly, Eddie Murray, Cecil Cooper, Steve Garvey, Pete Rose (who had moved to first by then), and Leon "Bull" Durham.  There was also a crew of young, left-handed hitting guys hitting the scene in the mid '80s.  I always lumped Greg Brock of the Dodgers, Greg Walker of the White Sox, Pete O'Brien of the Rangers, and Alvin Davis of the Mariners into the same group.  Brock was my favorite of the bunch.  He displayed prodigious power in the minors (he hit 44 homers and posted a 1.094 OPS at AAA in 1982), and like the Dodgers, I thought he would be their cleanup man for many years.  He struggled to hit consistently, though.  Sure, he hit some bombs, but he was plagued by low batting averages and unreal expectations.  After four years as the Dodgers' primary first baseman, he was traded to Milwaukee.  There, he oddly became more of a line-drive hitter.  His first season as a Brewer in 1987 was the best year of his career.  Even though he only had 13 home runs in 602 at bats (and keep in mind this was the year of the "juiced" ball), he established career highs in nearly every other offensive category.

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