APBA Blog reader Jim Shaw wrote me recently about my selection of Monster Cards. Essentially, he said, “I suggest something other than pitchers’ cards for the above as are a small sample size”.
Fair enough. Though the idea for the Monster Card series, was to get the most outlandish and fantastic “cards” out there and show them off, not necessarily the best “players”. Occasionally, the twain shall meet, however as in this in this week’s case.
To say that the 2004 Barry Bonds card (which I found on the APBA Games FB fan page recently) is based on 373 at-bats is misleading. True, but misleading. That’s because in 2004, he had 232 bases on balls for a total of 617 plate appearances. I’m sure it left the card makers at APBA with a dilemma since of those 232 walks, over half of them (120) were intentional. I remember that season. That year, teams were intentionally walking Bonds out of fear, retribution, and possible resentment . After a while though, I think they were doing it just because it was the “thing to do”.
As a result, Bonds 2004 card was given nine 14s. If my APBA math is correct, the Company gave Bonds credit for maybe 1/3 of a 14 for every intentional walk he received. Which as you can see, is still pretty amazing.
I still haven’t even addressed Barry Bonds’ power, the perceived reason he got those IBBs (though you all may have your opinions on that). For his 45 homers and 75 overall extra base hits, he received a pretty yummy 1-1-1-6-6 (look out with a runner on third!). With his six steals, Bonds even warranted a 15-10.
As a result, against a Grade A pitcher, Bonds would get on base an automatic 15 times out of 36 results not counting any error numbers. Not bad.
One final point on Bonds’ 2004 card. His real life batting average of .362 may be one of the highest of any APBA card to get a 55-8. Of course, the nine 14s make a huge difference. Using my Quick and Dirty method of determining a batting average of an APBA card, I estimate that it should bat around .367, pretty close to his real life average.
Imagine that… I got through a Barry Bonds article without mentioning the ‘S-word’.