Chasing Rookies: Knoblauch, Moyer and Lopez
In the 13th 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, Donruss, Fleer and SP.
#359 Aurelio Lopez
A 1984 World Series champion and 1993 Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, Lopez broke in with the Kansas City Royals in 1974 before returning to the Mexican League. His contract was later purchased by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1977 and after spending one year with St. Louis, Lopez made his way to Detroit in 1979. Lopez earned the nickname “Senor Smoke” with the Tigers and was named in All-Star in 1983. He closed out his career with the Houston Astros in 1987 and finished with a 62-36 career record, a 3.56 earned run average, 93 saves and 635 strikeouts. Following his playing career, Lopez returned to Mexico and his hometown of Tecamachalco where he was elected municipal president in 1990. He was killed in a car accident on Sept. 22, 1992 at age 44.
#401 Chuck Finley
A five-time All-Star and member of the Angels Hall of Fame, Finley spent 14 of his 17 years with the California/Anaheim Angels. Finley debuted with the Angles in 1986 and later became the first pitcher in MLB history to record four strikeouts in a single inning more than once, doing so twice with the Angles in 1999 and then for a third time with the Cleveland Indians in 2000. Finley retired with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002 and compiled a 200-173 record with a 3.85 ERA and 2,610 strikeouts.
#570 Jamie Moyer
Known for his career longevity, Moyer began his 25-year MLB career in 1986 with the Chicago Cubs and went on to play for eight teams over his career, becoming one of only 29 players in league history to have appeared in games in four decades. A 2008 World Series champion with the Philadelphia Phillies, Moyer became the oldest player in MLB history to record a win, doing so at age 49 on April 17, 2012. The lefthander holds the record for most home runs allowed by a pitcher with 522 and faced 8.9% of all MLB hitters ever. Moyer ended his playing career in 2012 with the Colorado Rockies with a 269-209 record, a 4.25 ERA and 2,441 strikeouts.
#402 David Justice
The 1990 National League Rookie of the Year and a two-time World Series champion (1995, 2000), began his career with the Atlanta Braves and 1989 and spent his first seven seasons with Atlanta before moving to Cleveland in 1997. A three-time All-Star and two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, Justice joined the New York Yankees in 2000, winning a World Series and American League Championship Series MVP honors. The outfielder ended his career with the Oakland Athletics in 2002 and is a member of the Braves Hall of Fame. Justice posted a .279 career average with 305 home runs and 1,017 RBI.
#421 Chuck Knoblauch
A 12-year major league veteran, Knoblauch won four World Series titles, including one during his rookie campaign with the Minnesota Twins in 1991 that saw the second baseman earn American League Rookie of the Year honors. Knoblauch would go on to win three straight World Series championships with the New York Yankees (1998-2000) and make the All-Star game on four occasions. The two-time Silver Slugger honoree closed out his career with the Kansas City Royals in 2002 and was included in the Mitchell Report in December 2007, and later admitted to using human growth hormone (HGH) during his career. He retired with a .289 average, 98 home runs, 615 RBI and 407 stolen bases.