Thursday, December 2, 2010

1980 willie aikens

willie mays aikens was traded by the angels to the royals after the 1979 season. here is his 1980 o-pee-chee card:
here's the topps front:
now the o-pee-chee back:
and the topps back:
as a kid in socal, i didn't understand this trade. aikens had hit .280 with 21 home runs in 116 games in 1979 and had showed big improvement from his short stint in the majors in 1978. he played first base, but that was rod carew's position so there is some expendability there. however, he also dh'd (he split his time between dh and first pretty evenly in 1979). in fact, one of the players the angels acquired from the royals in the trade, al cowens, was flipped early in the 1980 season to the tigers for jason thompson who seemed to be a pretty similar bat to aikens.

anyway, aikens went to the royals and was installed as their first baseman. in 151 games, he hit .278 with 20 home runs and 98 rbi. he also fared well in the postseason, hitting .364 in the alcs against the yankees with 2 rbi before lighting it up in the world series. in the fall classic, aikens hit 4 home runs and a triple, batted .400 with an ops of 1.100, scored 5 runs and drove in 8. unfortunately for him, the royals fell to the phillies in 6 games.

voici à vous, 1980 willie aikens!

1 comment:

  1. The Angels of that time had no use for prospects. They were too busy signing free agents and trading away every player in the farm system. Look at the numbers Brian Harper was posting in AAA sometime.