First, my 2011 Heritage needs included 2 of the games best pitchers in Roy O and King Felix. While the Phillies are continuing to lead the NL East, the Mariners are currently stuck in a 13 game losing streak that even the Royals have avoided this year. Unfortunately, the Mariners still have a better record than my beloved Royals who are on their own streak...a winning streak of 3 games. There's always next year or the next or the next.......
My 2011 Topps needs include future Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez who just happens to be comforting the emotions of Nationals phenom, Stephen Strassburg. Even though Pudge is in the twilight of his career, the Nationals surely got everything that wanted as a mentor for their young players. While this is a touching picture, I don't care for a player card that doesn't either show the players face or him in game action. Rather we get Pudge doing what he does best at this point of his career....counselling the younger players.
Finally, we have some Royals cards that were thrown in to top off a great trade. Two of my favorite Royals from the 70s and 80s in Willie Wilson and Dennis Leonard are here. For those that don't remember the Royals in their heyday, these two were part of a great core of players that led the Royals to numerous division titles, 2 American League championships, and 1 World Series title.
Wilson roamed the outfield at Kauffmann Stadium making great catches, but he is best known for his speed on the basepaths taking extra bases on ordinary hits and wreaking havoc with pitchers and catchers with his thievery. Wilson led the league in triples 5 times while regularly stealing over 30-40 bases a season with a high of 83 thefts in 1979.
Leonard ruled the mound with a team record 3 20-win seasons. He stills holds Royals records for complete games and shutouts. Perhaps, his best season was in 1977 when he finished with a 20-12 record and........listen to this........21 complete games in his 37 starts. He finished that season 4th in the Cy Young voting.
Finally, one of the cards that has inspired a new series here at 26 Cent Summer is this John Buck card. Now John Buck is not a great Royal. He was a below average catcher that the Royals received in a 2004 three team trade involving current trade deadline bait Carlos Beltran. However, he does play my favorite position on the diamond and this card will be featured again in the near future.
Thanks Darren for a great trade!