Chasing Rookies: Ozzie, “The Iron Man” and “Sweet Lou”

1985 Fleer
#187 Cal Ripken Jr.

“The Iron Man,” Ripken holds the record for consecutive games played with 2,632, surpassing Lou Gehrig’s 56-year record of 2,130. A shortstop and third baseman, Ripken was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1978 and led the team to a World Series title in 1983. Ripken spent his entire 21-year career with the Orioles and was a 19-time All-Star, eight-time Silver Slugger Award winner, two-time Golden Glove and American League MVP winner and 1982 AL Rookie of the Year. Ripken retired in 2001 and was inducted into Cooperstown in 2007.

1989 Topps
#320 Lou Whitaker

Drafted by the Detroit Tigers in 1975, “Sweet Lou” spent his entire 19-year career in Detroit and formed the longest running double play combination in league history with teammate Alan Trammell. A second baseman, Whitaker was named the 1978 American League Rookie of the Year and was a five-time All-Star 1984 World Series champion. A four-time Silver Slugger and three-time Gold Glove winner, Whitaker ended his career in 1995 with a .276 batting average, 2,369 hits, 244 home runs and 1,084 RBI.

1989 Topps
#603 Frank Tanana

Drafted by the California Angels in the first round of the 1971 MLB Amateur Draft, the Detroit native and Detroit Catholic Central graduate spent 21 seasons in Major League Baseball including eight with the Detroit Tigers (1985-92). A three-time All-Star and the 1975 MLB strikeout leader, Tanana went 240-236 with a 3.36 ERA and 2,773 strikeouts in 21 seasons with the California Angels (1973-80), Boston Red Sox (1981), Texas Rangers (1982-85, Detroit Tigers (1985-92), New York Mets (1993) and New York Yankees (1993). Tanana currently resides in downstate Farmington Hills.

1989 Topps
#682 Rick Leach

A four-year starting quarterback for the University of Michigan, Leach led the Wolverines to three consecutive Big Ten Conference championships and three appearances in the Rose Bowl before being drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the first round of the 1979 amateur draft. Leach spent 10 seasons in the major leagues, including the first three with the Tigers, and posted a .268 batting average with 183 RBI and 18 home runs as a first baseman and outfielder. An Ann Arbor native, Leach finished third in the 1978 Heisman Trophy balloting and was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the 1979 NFL Draft. He ended his baseball career with the San Francisco Giants in 1990.

1993 Upper Deck
#139 Ozzie Guillen

Originally signed by the San Diego Padres in 1980, Guillen spent 13 of his 16 seasons with the Chicago White Sox (1985-2000). He became only the third shortstop in major league history to win the American League Rookie of the Year award (1985) and was a three-time All-Star and 1990 Gold Glove winner. Guillen later went on to have a successful career as a manager of the White Sox (2004-11) and Miami Marlins (2012), winning a World Series as a coach with the Marlins in 2003 and as a manager of the White Sox in 2005. Guillen posted a 747-710 managerial record in nine seasons.

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