Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sets in My Collection: 1987 Fleer Award Winners (7-Eleven)

When I posted about the 1987 Topps Woolworth Baseball Highlights set, I said it was one of at least three sets I had recounting the goings-on of the 1986 season.  Here we have the Fleer version, the 1987 Fleer Award Winner set.  I don't have the box anymore for this -- it must have fallen apart over the years.  I seem to recall getting it at the 7-Eleven in the neighborhood that we kids could walk to or ride our bikes to; I verified online that people say this is from 7-Eleven.
Lance Parrish, Bob Knepper, and John Candelaria.
Here we see Lance Parrish.  This is at least the fifth time I've featured Lance Parrish in the two months I've been writing this blog.  This has become something of a joke to me -- I remember Parrish as an unpopular catcher for a couple of years with the Phillies, and he really isn't significant to my collection.  But I posted about his 1987 Topps Traded card, the 1987 Topps Mail-In All-Star set, two packs of 1980 Topps that I opened, some 1984 Topps Rub-Downs, and you can see his name on one of the Angels Wall of Fame pictures I posted.  Here he is featured as a winner of "Sports Writers Batting Award," which I'm pretty sure means he won a Silver Slugger in 1986.

We also have Bob Knepper here (who is someone I have absolutely no memory of whatsoever) being recognized for being the 1986 shutout leader.  Knepper pitched from 1976 through 1990, with the Giants, Astros, and Giants again.  He went 146-155 with 1 save in his career.  In 1978, he led the NL with 6 shutouts, and in 1986 he led the NL with 5 shutouts.

Also in 1986, John Candelaria was Comeback Player of the Year.  I've featured Candelaria several times since he's one of my favorite players.  He had some rough times in the 80s, especially following the death of his son.  He had some good years here and there towards the end of his career, and in 1986, starting fresh with the Angels after having spent 10+ years with the Pirates, he went 10-2 with a 2.55 ERA in 16 starts.
Bob Boone, Marty Barrett, and George Bell.
Bob Boone was also with the Angels in 1986, and won a "Sports Writers Fielding Award," which must be a Gold Glove.  I remember Boone fondly as an important member of the 1980 Phillies championship team, and he's of course also well-known for being part of a multi-generational major league baseball family.  They say he was on the Angels because the Phillies traded him as punishment for being a labor leader in the 1981 players' strike; I don't know if that's true, but if it is, it's in line with how terribly the owners behaved in the long lead-up to the 1994 strike.

Marty Barrett is also someone I have just about no memory of.  He appears to have been the 1986 ALCS MVP.  When I originally bought this set, I didn't know what ALCS stood for.  With no internet back then, it took me a while to find out -- almost always, people you talked to or things you read just talked about the playoffs, and didn't call it the American League Championship Series.

I also have little memory of George Bell.  He was the 1987 AL MVP, so I think he should register a little better to me, but I really didn't pay so much attention to the AL.  Bell was with Toronto before they really challenged for the World Series, and when Toronto won, he was with the White Sox.  He continued to be good for a few years, finishing 4th in MVP voting in 1989 and appearing on the All-Star team in 1990 and 1991.  He's in the set for leading the league in Game-Winning RBI, a stat which never seemed to make sense to me, at least the way it was defined.
Candy Maldonado, Frank White, and "Mike" Webster.
This says that Candy Maldonado was the NL Pinch Hitter of the Year in 1986.  Is that a thing?  Other than this card, I've never heard of this award.

I do remember Frank White; although I barely watched the AL, I appreciate the talent on the 1980 Royals team which played against the Phillies in the World Series.  While they lost in 1980, several of them, including White, were part of the Royals championship team in 1985.  White was a mainstay of the Royals infield, being their second baseman from 1973-1990.  Like I said, I appreciate the talent the Royals had, and White was one of the best.

The final player I've chosen to highlight from the set is "Mike" Webster, who led the NL in triples in 1986 with 13.  I put "Mike" in quotes because his name appears to actually be Mitch Webster.  The back of the card says Mitch Webster, Wikipedia says his first name is Mitchell, and Baseball Reference agrees his name is Mitch.  I don't remember Webster, but he played from 1983 through 1995 with a variety of teams, never otherwise leading the league in anything.

I know these many boxed sets of the late 80s are looked down upon, but these at least did help me when I was a kid learning what was going on in the baseball world at the time.

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