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  #1  
Old 03-28-2019, 08:35 AM
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Default Underrated postwar players?

Ever wonder why that certain Clemente card you want always seems ridiculously expensive, but then there is some other HOF'er in the same set that can be had for a compartive pittance? Thought I would start a list of "underrated" stars and HOF'ers from the postwar era.

I'll start with a couple of Phillies. I'm a Cubs fan, but have always had a soft spot for the Phils because my Dad was from near there: Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton. The '73 Schmidt rookie isn't normally cheap - but the rest of his cards are, even 70's issues in high grade. Carlton may be an even more glaring example - one of the greatest starting pitchers of all time; 4 Cy Young awards and more than 4,000 K's. But today fans are like who? Even younger fans can tell you all about Nolan Ryan and his strikeouts and no-hitters, but Carlton is nearly forgotton. A far cry from the early 1980's when most fans would have told you without hesitation that Carlton was easily a better pitcher than Nolan Ryan. His '65 Topps RC can be pricey in top-grade, but still can be had for a fraction of the cost of a Ryan / Koosman rookie from 3 years later in the same shape. Carlton didn't exactly do himself a favor in terms of the value of his sportscards (a subject he may literally never have even considered...) by not speaking to the press and being a notorious recluse and weird character for decades - but I'm not sure in the end how much that plays into what people remember him doing on the field.

Who else from the era is underrated - more easily collectible in terms of price - and why? I just find this an interesting subject. Thanks.
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Mid-grade HOF postwar singles. All types of vintage Cubs...

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Old 03-28-2019, 09:49 AM
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Rod Carew. Seven AL batting titles (the award is now named for him) yet his 1970s cards other than the 1972 are readily found for very little in nice shape. I fished them out of $1 and $2 boxes at the National last year.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:49 AM
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Tom Seaver's RC is under priced. Others that I would add to those already mentioned are Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:29 PM
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Tom Seaver's RC is under priced. Others that I would add to those already mentioned are Johnny Bench and Joe Morgan.
Underpriced where? It's a high number and has been expensive for decades. PSA 3's sell for like $400. If it were in the regular series given his populartiy, I would think it would be priced more like a Carlton RC than a Ryan. Perhaps between the two.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:30 PM
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Rod Carew. Seven AL batting titles (the award is now named for him) yet his 1970s cards other than the 1972 are readily found for very little in nice shape. I fished them out of $1 and $2 boxes at the National last year.
Agreed. Although that '72 #695 is a pain. I've bought two already this year that I didn't keep due to condition issues I couldn't get comfortable with once the card was in hand. Finding that card in high grade is not a problem, but it's usually either OC, diamond cut, printed with horrible tilt, or some combination of all three.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jchcollins View Post
Underpriced where? It's a high number and has been expensive for decades. PSA 3's sell for like $400. If it were in the regular series given his populartiy, I would think it would be priced more like a Carlton RC than a Ryan. Perhaps between the two.
It is a short print high number. For the scarcity the card is cheap. Seaver was better than Ryan or Carlton. His RC is cheaper than the common Ryan RC and should be worth more, even if it was from a low series.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:57 PM
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Totally agree on Steve Carlton. Just picked up a nice 67 and 69, still feel like I am stealing his cards in high EXMT shape. Others that still surprise me as underated are - Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Billy Williams, Willie McCovey...and even Ron Santo to some degree. Outside Ron's rookie card, most cards seem to be just above common price, and you will often find him left in lots. I remember pre-HOF he barely was above a common, but his needle hasn't moved much. Same with Joe Morgan...I absolutely love his 66 Topps second card, and it an be had rather cheaply.
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Old 03-28-2019, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by rats60 View Post
It is a short print high number. For the scarcity the card is cheap. Seaver was better than Ryan or Carlton. His RC is cheaper than the common Ryan RC and should be worth more, even if it was from a low series.
I would disagree it's that scarce; there are at least a dozen of them on ebay at any given moment. Seaver and Carlton were both better than Nolan Ryan. Seaver in his prime was probably slightly better than Carlton, but for career I think they were pretty close. Seaver has more ERA titles. Carlton has more CYA's, although he hung on too long there at the end.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:05 PM
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Agree with Morgan and Carlton. Morgan is certainly in the conversation of greatest 2Bs ever, and Carlton should be in the conversation for greatest LHPs ever. Also agree with Carew.

Another that I'd add is Jim Palmer. Three Cy Youngs and won more games in the 1970's than any other pitcher - including Ryan, Seaver and Carlton.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Harliduck View Post
Totally agree on Steve Carlton. Just picked up a nice 67 and 69, still feel like I am stealing his cards in high EXMT shape. Others that still surprise me as underated are - Joe Morgan, Frank Robinson, Johnny Bench, Billy Williams, Willie McCovey...and even Ron Santo to some degree. Outside Ron's rookie card, most cards seem to be just above common price, and you will often find him left in lots. I remember pre-HOF he barely was above a common, but his needle hasn't moved much. Same with Joe Morgan...I absolutely love his 66 Topps second card, and it an be had rather cheaply.
I got Carlton's '67 this week as well in a PSA 5 and have his '68 and '71 on the way in about EX-MT. The latter two were about $12 apiece. Not bad for arguably the greatest LHP of all time.
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  #11  
Old 03-28-2019, 01:11 PM
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Another that I'd add is Jim Palmer. Three Cy Youngs and won more games in the 1970's than any other pitcher - including Ryan, Seaver and Carlton.
Agreed. And Ryan, Seaver and Carlton never even did any underwear ads...
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Last edited by jchcollins; 03-28-2019 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 03-28-2019, 01:12 PM
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If you've never read this, it's...interesting to say the least. Maybe this is why Carlton is not held in higher esteem?

https://thestacks.deadspin.com/thin-...d-co-478492324
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:38 PM
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Im going with Bert Blyleven. Bert has often flown under the radar and took a while to get into the Hall. Early in his career Bert was the victim of being part of bad twins teams. Here are some of his seasons:
1970 10-9 3.18, 1971 16-15 2.81, 1972 17-17 2.73, 1974 17-17 2.66.
I really want to focus on his 1973 season. Bert was 20-17 with a 2.52 era. He led the league with 9 shutouts. Bert lost 8 games by 1 run. He should have won 30 games that year. He was 7th in the Cy Young voting which was won by Jim Palmer at 22-9, 2.40. I think Blylevens season was much more impressive.
Bert retired 3rd all time in strikeouts. He is 12th all time in WAR for pitchers. Overall his w/l record is not that impressive due to all of those brilliant season with a lot of undeserved losses. Bert is a very underrated pitcher of the postwar era and had a lot of impressive and unnoticed accomplishments.
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:17 PM
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Joe Rudi
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Old 03-28-2019, 10:45 PM
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To find as good a pitcher as Seaver (in terms of rookie years), you have to go back as far as Spahn and as far ahead as Clemens, IMO. And his rookie, even in high grade, is hard to find well-centered without tilt and/or print bubbles.

Morgan's cards are cheap for who he was, arguably a top five second baseman and if you like the newer metrics you could make a case for even higher than that.
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Old 03-29-2019, 12:54 PM
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Besides his rookie, Ernie Banks cards have always been very affordable as well.
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Old 04-03-2019, 08:46 PM
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Despite the fact he isn't in the HOF (he should be), Minnie Minoso's RC's are still reasonably priced. His 52 Topps card is tough to find centered, and I have seen an uptick lately, but I still think they are undervalued considering what this guy brought to baseball.

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Old 04-03-2019, 10:43 PM
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Bill Madlock, 4 batting titles and his RC is one step above a common.
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Old 04-03-2019, 10:49 PM
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Eddie Mathews. The best third baseman in baseball during the 1950s and one of the three greatest third basemen of all time.
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irv View Post
Despite the fact he isn't in the HOF (he should be), Minnie Minoso's RC's are still reasonably priced. His 52 Topps card is tough to find centered, and I have seen an uptick lately, but I still think they are undervalued considering what this guy brought to baseball.

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I agree Dale. Besides, the OP labeled the thread 'Underrated postwar player' - before diving into card values...and, especially because of his HOF snub, Minnie gets my vote for most underrated postwar player. Tony Oliva and Luis Tiant, two more snubs (and fellow Cubans...coincidence, I think not ) are my next two in such rankings.
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:57 AM
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Jumping off of Joe Morgan, I think that either second basemen in general can be considered underrated and/or they get dinged because of their position. For the most part, it seems to me that players end up at 2B because they couldn't cut it at SS or 3B for some reason. And it seems like a number of second basemen would qualify for being considered underrated besides Morgan: Rogers Hornsby, Bobby Grich, Carew (who played a lot of 2B), Lou Whitaker, etc.
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:12 PM
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I agree Dale. Besides, the OP labeled the thread 'Underrated postwar player' - before diving into card values...and, especially because of his HOF snub, Minnie gets my vote for most underrated postwar player. Tony Oliva and Luis Tiant, two more snubs (and fellow Cubans...coincidence, I think not ) are my next two in such rankings.
So you're saying that 3 deserving players are kept out of the HOF simply because they are Cuban?
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Old 04-04-2019, 12:24 PM
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What about Harmon Killebrew? His 1955 Topps rookie card is a fraction of Koufax / Clemente. The most homers in the 1960s, a perennial all-star and hall of famer. 573 homers for career.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:19 PM
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Fergie Jenkins. From 1967-1980 led MLB with most wins of any pitcher. Had more consecutive 20 win seasons in a row than Carlton, Seaver, Gibson, Ryan, Koufax - I think most consecutive 20 win seasons in last half century! Has been said he pitched in a hitter's ballpark (how true is that of Wrigley?) Also could be best control strikeout artist of all time. He is only MLB pitcher to throw more than 3,000 K's with less than 1,000 walks.

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Old 04-04-2019, 03:26 PM
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I always felt Maury Wills was kind of forgotten. You don't ever hear his name that much. Over 2,000 hits and almost 600 stolen bases...he was a big part of some good early 60's Dodgers teams.. doesn't get enough credit IMO
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:29 PM
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Fergie Jenkins. From 1967-1980 led MLB with most wins of any pitcher. Had more consecutive 20 win seasons in a row than Carlton, Seaver, Gibson, Ryan, Koufax - I think most consecutive 20 win seasons in last half century! Has been said he pitched in a hitter's ballpark (how true is that of Wrigley?) Also could be best control strikeout artist of all time. He is only MLB pitcher to throw more than 3,000 K's with less than 1,000 walks.
One of 4 in the 3000k club with less than 1k strikeouts. Greg Maddux, Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez also did it. Of the 4, Fergie has the worst k/BB ratio at 3.20. Schilling has the best at 4.38, Pedro is next at 4.15 and Maddux is at 3.37. Clayton Kershaw is also very likely to join that group.
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:59 PM
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Thanks for correction.
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Old 04-05-2019, 08:33 AM
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Eddie Mathews. The best third baseman in baseball during the 1950s and one of the three greatest third basemen of all time.
This was my vote!
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:43 PM
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Minnie Minoso. He had a higher career OPS than Clemente or Yaz; he was at one point the White Sox all-time home run leader; He was arguably the most exciting player to watch in the American League in his prime; he got a late start due to the color of his skin; he got hit with more pitches than Jackie Robinson; and when the first Gold Gloves were awarded, he received one over Clemente, Ashburn and others. Plus, Bill James writes that's he's the most underrated player of all-time, and Bill's got the numbers to back it up. Minnie should be in the Hall of Fame.
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Old 04-05-2019, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
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So you're saying that 3 deserving players are kept out of the HOF simply because they are Cuban?


I'm saying it's possible, but not probable.

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