Sunday, December 31, 2017

Sets in My Collection: 1987 Fleer Baseball's Game Winners

1987 Fleer Baseball's Game Winners box.
I am really nearly out of boxed sets to feature here in my Sunday series, but I have a couple more weeks to go.  This week we have the 1987 Fleer (Limited Edition!) Baseball's Game Winners.  There's no clear retail partner identified, so I don't know if this was sold somewhere in particular, and I certainly don't remember anymore where I picked it up.

The box front declares that this is a limited edition, and like all such things, I suppose it's true in the sense that there are a limited number of molecules in the universe.  They can't actually produce infinitely many of these sets, so the production is limited.  I've said before that I prefer boxed sets that have more logic to them (such as a Baseball Highlights set or a League Leaders set) instead of concepts so vague as to be meaningless (such as Team Leaders or Baseball MVP).  This set, Game Winners, strikes me as the vague/meaningless variety.  Every player that might make sense to include in a set like this helps to win at least one game, so they're all game winners.
Mike Schmidt and Fernando Valenzuela.
The cards list the players' contributions to game winning at the top, under the names.  Mike Schmidt had 13 Game Winning RBI and 37 home runs; Fernando Valenzuela had 21 wins and 3 shutouts. 
Ken Phelps and Ernest Riles.
Seattle seemed very far away to me back in the 80s; the Mariners were both very far away literally, and also in baseball terms, as they played in the AL and never made the playoffs.  But I do remember Ken Phelps as a moderately successful power hitter; he's featured here for 6 Game Winning RBI.  I don't remember Ernest Riles, unfortunately, but he had 12 GWRBI in 1986.  Riles played from 1985-1993 for the Brewers, Giants, A's, Astros, and Red Sox.
Von Hayes and Jim Morrison.
Von Hayes was popular in Philadelphia, and did well for several seasons.  In 1986, he led the NL in runs and doubles, and was an All-Star in 1989.  He's in this set for his 14 GWRBI and his league-leading 107 runs scored.  On the other side of Pennsylvania we have the Pirates' Jim Morrison, featured for 9 GWRBI.  There wasn't too much to celebrate for the Pirates that season, with their 64-98 record.  But they were starting to put things in place for their early 90s postseason run, which Morrison wouldn't be part of (he was traded to Detroit for Darnell Coles in 1987).
Mark Eichhorn and Hubie Brooks.
In Canada, we have Mark Eichhorn winning games for the Blue Jays (14 wins, 10 saves, and a 1.72 ERA), and Hubie Brooks winning games for the Expos (10 GWRBI).
Don Baylor and Tony Bernazard.
In 1986, Don Baylor had 13 GWBRI for the Red Sox.  According to the book I read about the 1986 Mets World Series win (which I've mentioned several times), John McNamara was a bad manager.  He was going to put Don Baylor in to pinch hit for Bill Buckner, but he let Buckner talk him out of it.  Then the ball rolled through Buckner's legs later that game.  Elsewhere in the AL, Tony Bernazard had 11 GWRBI for the Indians.

It seems silly to build a set even partially around the concept of GWRBI.  I'm glad they don't report the stat anymore, as it never seemed to make sense.

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