Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Card of Week: 1986 Topps Traded Wally Joyner

Wally Joyner was named as the Detroit Tigers new hitting coach earlier this week.  If you are not familiar with Joyner, he was a rookie sensation with the California Angels in 1986 and had a solid career beyond.
1986 Topps Traded
He broke onto the MLB scene as the first baseman in 1986 for California.  His hot start that helped him become the first rookie ever elected to start an All Star game lead to fan craze known as "Wally World".  He ended his season with a .290 avg with 22 home runs and 100 RBIs and helped lead the Angels to the divisional title.  Joyner also finished second in the AL Rookie of the Year voting behind Oakland's Jose Canseco.
He had another very solid year the following year, but after the 1987 season his power numbers dropped off and subsequently got overshadowed by the bigger sluggers of the time.
During his latter part of his career, Joyner was the first baseman for the Padres 1998 pennant winning season.  Also while in San Diego, as his numbers started to really declined and felt the pressures, he inquired about steroid use.  After obtaining some from teammate Ken Caminiti, he took a 2-3 pills, but his conscience took over and flushed the rest down the toilet. I personally respect him for making the right decision at the end.
He ended his career back with the Angels in 2001 and finished his career with 204 HRs, 1,106 RBIs and a .289 average.
And here is funny video of him and White Sox Steve Lyons breaking up the monotony of a long baseball season:

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