I'll be showing off another bunch of 2003 Topps Total pages from my complete set. Today's bunch: #100-198, or, "Charlton Jimerson sounds like a Southern colonel who will challenge you because your Yankee accent gave his wife the vapors, suh, I said, suh."
A nice start with Chipper before this page falls off a cliff. Jones enjoyed a typically excellent 2003, with a very nice .300 avg/.400 OBP/30 HR/100 RBI line; the Hall of Fame beckons in a few years. (you know, after he retires) Gold was a Brewers first-round bust. "Everyday" Eddie pitched 17 seasons, a nice career. Arroyo has been consistent with that leg kick, hasn't he? Plesac was another Brewers first-rounder who somehow eked out an 18-season career.
Tim Salmon, the 1993 AL Rookie of the Year, spent all 14 seasons of his career with the [indeterminate location] Angels, clubbing 299 HR and winning a ring in the 2002 World Series. (in which he hit .346 with 2 HR) Mark Buehrle is one of the best White Sox pitchers ever, has thrown a no-no AND a perfect game, and holds the record for most consecutive hitters retired with 45! Ausmus was an 18-year catcher who played for the Tigers twice, but mostly the Astros and Padres, and if he doesn't end up as a Major League manager, something's wrong with baseball. Guzman was one of a bunch of players that headed to the Twins in the 1998 deal with the Yanks for Chuck Knoblauch.
Wilson was a decent catcher for some of the Mariners' better years in the mid-90s-early 2000s. Westbrook's been all over the place but has done decently recently (hey, that rhymes!) with the Cards. Manny is...Manny, and he still wants to come back despite his looming suspension. Giambi roided his way to an MVP, then faceplanted with the Yankees. Wickman had a good run of years as a closer over a nice career. Cook is a lifetime Rockie who's only had one good year despite being drafted in the second round. Puffer was a 27th rounder (Twins) in '94 and got cups of coffee from 2002-2005, which is why he's in this set apparently. (also he has a funny name, which is why I mentioned him at all)
Choi, who has an awesome name, was the first Korean position player in the Majors, and was a top prospect that never lived up to the billing, but he helped swipe Derrek Lee from the penny-pinching Marlins in 2003. (though you all know who got the last laugh THAT year...) Vazquez was decent for the Expos, got traded to the Yanks after the 2003 season for nobody good, then lasted only one year before getting kicked around several other teams. Betemit was supposed to be a pretty good 3B prospect for the Braves, but reality had other ideas, though he was semi-useful for the TIgers this year. Yan was a Tampa Bay pick in the expansion draft, which is at least sorta interesting. Hall's had a solid career as a SS, mostly with the Brewers, but most recently with several other teams.
LaTroy (which is French for "The Troy") is still pitching, with 17 solid seasons under his belt. Cornejo was a decent Tigers prospect that never amounted to anything. Crede is one of those guys who had a semi-decent career but was instrumental when he got to a World Series, winning it all in 2005. (also, he reminds me of V For Vendetta!) Galarraga played for 19 seasons and bashed 399 homers, and I think he's a guy everybody loved when he was playing, plus his top-two comparisons are Orlando Cepeda and Jim Rice, though I doubt the Hall of Fame is in his future; excellent player, though. Sanders hit a ton of homers during the steroid era, but he did win a ring with the 2001 D-Backs before losses in 2002 and 2004. Cruz was supposed to be the next Griffey or thereabouts, but the Mariners quickly traded him for a couple relievers, and he didn't do a whole lot besides hit 200+ HR in his 12 total seasons.
Helms has enjoyed a decent 13-year career as a utility IF-type. Roberts is getting paid pretty well for a guy that's steadily declined the last few seasons. Hunter had my all-time favorite entrance music, strolling to the plate to the sounds of "Money, Power Respect," and that's all you need to know about him. Hermansen was a failed Pirates 1990s first-rounder. (which is extremely redundant) Jones compares to Dale Murphy and Jose Canseco which makes me think he doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame, but I wouldn't throw a fit if he made it in. Ainsworth was a Giants first-rounder who did practically nothing. For being a lower-round pick, Lohse has had a decent career, though being with St. Louis certainly doesn't hurt.
Jordan had a decent career, mostly with the Cards and Braves, after being a first-rounder. "Coco" is a nice enough nickname, but I always thought Crisp's given name of "Covelli" was a lot cooler. Foulke's story is pretty cool: the White Sox swiped him from the Giants, the shrewd A's picked him up in 2002, Foulke parlayed a strong 2003 season into a contract with the Red Sox and he won a ring with them in 2004. Carpenter, a Toronto first-rounder, was let go and signed with the Cards, which is where his career really took off, including the 2005 Cy Young and 2006 World Series title, plus another potential ring this year. Brazelton went #3 overall in 2001, a huge mistake given some of the available players chosen afterwards, and he was a bust of epic proportions. Greer's real name is Thurman and apparently his other nickname was the "Red Baron."
Wow, a pretty weak group right here. Dubois was a Toronto Rule V pick from the Cubs long enough to be pictured on this card before he was returned in early 2003. Coggin was actually a first-rounder back in '95 but won only 10 games in three seasons. Matt Williams is clearly the class of this page, and his 17-year career and 2001 World Series ring place him squarely in the Hall of Very Good. Cormier pitched for 16 seasons, which is an above-average Major League career. Duaner Sanchez has a funny first name. Counsell was David Eckstein before David Eckstein and won titles with two expansion clubs--the Marlins in '97 and Williams' snakes in 2001.
How funny is it that a guy whose controversial HOF candidacy centers on NOT playing the field is depicted with a glove this late in his career? Geinke's a player I've never liked, but I do respect his struggle to overcome a social disorder. Feliz lost the 2002 World Series, but has played in two more since he parlayed a few decent seasons into a contract with the Phillies, and he did end up with a ring thanks to the 2008 team. Jon Garland's done decently well for a former first-rounder who's bounced around a bit. Oakland gave up Nelson Cruz for Ginter, then Milwaukee sold low on Cruz as well, so he was free to torment the Tigers this postseason. Wood will always be remembered for his 20-strikeout performance as much as his subsequent brittleness. Cust is one of my all-time favorite all-or-nothing sluggers, and his #2 comparison is another, Phil Plaintier.
Grieve is one of those regrettable Rookie of the Year choices you just knew would look bad years down the line--voters were enamored by double-digit homer numbers from rookies back then, despite their lack of other stats. Isringhausen is one of those guys who went from starter to closer and lit it up. Oakland made the switch after his days of being one of the Mets' huge (but ultimately failed) prospects, and St. Louis reaped the most benefit, though he missed out on the 2006 championship team. Travis Dawkins had one of the goofier baseball nicknames, but sadly his career never amounted to anything. Alomar just joined the Hall of Fame this year, and rightfully so after an outstanding 17-year career. Beltran, as all quality Royals do, moved on to several other teams after this card was made--in fact, his 2004 playoffs with Houston are the stuff of legend despite the team losing out on the pennant.
Schmidt toiled with Atlanta and the Pirates before finding his groove for a few years with the Giants, though ultimately, despite earning a nice contract, injuries derailed his career. Lidle bounced around several teams before tragically crashing his plane in 2006. Jimerson has one of the coolest names in Never-Made-it-in-the-Bigs history. Erstad was a firecracker for the Angels, including the 2002 champs, as well as a year with the Pale Hose and a couple with the Astros. Castillo enjoyed a bit of success with the Marlins, not that his hitting in the World Series in 2003 helped much, and he generally wasn't great with the Twins and Mets. Encarnacion was supposed to be a Tigers OF of the future, but he never quite blossomed into a star, was traded to the Reds for Dmitri Young's fat ass, then suffered a fractured left eye, which ended his career, unfortunately.
Part 3 is coming soon, but I hope to get my Sunday card show haul in first to break things up a bit.