Chasing Rookies: Baines, Martin and Palmer

In the 11th episode of MISportsNow’s “Chasing Rookies,” we dig into another box from monthly trading card subscription company Collectible Card Club and open packs of Topps, Fleer and Upper Deck.

1981 Fleer
#169 Jim Palmer

A six-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion, the right-handed Palmer spent all 19 seasons of the his major league career with the Baltimore Orioles. Palmer led the American League in wins three times and twice in earned run average and took home Gold Glove honors on four occasions. A 1990 Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Palmer tossed a no-hitter on Aug. 13, 1969 and is a three-time AL Cy Young Award winner. Palmer ended his career in 1984 with a 268-152 record, a 2.86 ERA and 2,212 strikeouts. His No. 22 was retired by the Orioles in 1985.

1981 Fleer
#581 Billy Martin

A former second baseman who spent 11 years in the major leagues with the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Braves and Minnesota Twins, Martin broke in as a manager with the Twins in 1969. A 1956 All-Star and four-time World Series champion as a player, Martin won a World Series as a manager with the Yankees in 1977 and had a reputation for turning teams around and being dysfunctional. Martin ended his managerial career in 1988 with a 1,253-1,013 record after stints with the Twins, Tigers, Texas Rangers, Yankees and Oakland Athletics. He was killed in an automobile accident on Dec. 25, 1989. His No. 1 jersey was retired by the Yankees in 1986.

1984 Topps
#434 Harold Baines

Soon to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in July, Baines began his major league career in 1980 with the Chicago White Sox and would go on to make six All-Star Game appearances and win the Silver Slugger Award in 1989. A designated hitter and right fielder, Baines played for the White Sox, Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics, Baltimore Orioles and Cleveland Indians and ended his career with a .289 average, 2,866 hits, 384 home runs and 1,628 RBI. His No. 3 was retired by the White Sox and the Orioles enshrined him in their Hall of Fame. Upon retiring in 2001, Baines ranked seventh in AL history with 2,830 games played and 10th in RBI with 1,628. Baines served as a coach with the White Sox from 2004-15, winning a World Series title in 2005.

1988 Fleer
#70 Nate Snell

Drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 22nd round in 1975, Snell made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles in 1984 as a relief pitcher. Snell spent three seasons with the Orioles and his final major league season with the Detroit Tigers in 1987. He posted a 7-6 record with five saves, a 3.29 ERA and 96 strikeouts over four seasons.

1995 SP
#199 Kenny Rogers

Nicknamed “The Gambler,” Rogers broke in with the Texas Rangers in 1989, pitching a perfect game for the Rangers on July 28, 1994. A five-time Gold Golf Award winner and four-time All-Star, Rogers spent 20 seasons in the majors with the Rangers, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, New York Mets, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers, winning a World Series with the Yankees in 1996. Rogers retired following the 2008 season with the Tigers and finished his career with a 219-156 win-loss record, 1,968 strikeouts and a 4.27 ERA.

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