When Pastor Rich suggested 1998 Mark McGwire for this week’s Monster Card Monday, he didn’t realize the history I had with that particular card. Oh, I will never forget that card! This card helped propel the 1999 Twin City Thunderchickens to the IAL playoffs and win our first World Series championship since joining the league.
Not only that, McGwire broke the all-time record for homeruns by hitting 70 that season. He did it with flair by hitting his 70th in his very last at-bat of the season. There’s more to the story… the next year in 2000, McGwire broke his own record hitting 71 also hitting the record-breaking homerun in his last at-bat of the year.
Whether or not the real Mark McGwire used enhancers or not is irrelevant to Thunderchicken fans. The McGwire who played for my team has his number up on the wall of Thunderchicken Park and was inducted into the IAL Hall of Fame.
McGwire’s 1998 card can be described quite succinctly. He has power numbers 1-1-1-5-5 plus eight walks. No 7s and no speed numbers and honestly, he only has two 8s as well. Is that a monster card? Most definitely!!
There some interesting facets to this card. First, here’s a player who practically hit .300 but doesn’t manage a 9 on 31. It does work out ok though with the many 14s he has. Using my quick and dirty method of reading APBA cards, he should hit in the mid-.290s and probably a little higher if you consider that he has the 22 and 37.
Fun numbers: 44-5, 33-1, 26-14, and yes, the 41-13
With his many 14s on his card, they had to put his strikeout numbers somewhere so they ended up putting them in unlikely spots like 32 and 41 (thank you!),
The power combination of 1-1-1-5-5 is a bit unusual if not unrealistic. I don’t remember complaining in 1999 though especially when my third place hitter would get on base.
How did Big Mac do for me with the ‘98 card? Here are his stats for the 1999 Thunderchickens:
Two things stand out. He never hit a triple which is accurate but considering his two 5s, I thought would have happened. Also, he walked more than he struck out pretty close to the same ratio in real life.
Thanks Pastor Rich! I appreciate the trip down memory lane!