I am doing something a little different with this series. I have mentioned before that the Diamond Kings subset is one of my favorites of all time. The purpose of the subset is to highlight one player from each team who has made a big impact on the team. It is also true that sometimes the choices were a little suspect. I wanted to go through and look at the choices each year and determine which are the strangest choices. Then I will grade the picks in the context of the team, only. For this series, I only want to examine the years when there was one pick per team. In the mid 1990's, the set kind of went off the rails.
TORONTO BLUE JAYS - DAVE STIEB
Stieb had one of his best seasons in 1990, finishing fifth in the Cy Young vote while also being named an All Star. He had a record of 18-6 with a 2.93 ERA. He struck out 125 batters and walked 64 in 208.2 innings pitched. He also pitched a no-hitter.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Yes. Stieb was the Blue Jays' WAR leader in 1990. Among hitters, two players had notable seasons, though they were the previous two Diamond Kings. Fred McGriff had a huge season, hitting .300/.400/.530 with 35 home runs and 88 RBIs. Kelly Gruber hit .274/.330/.512 with 31 home runs and 118 RBIs.
GRADE: A. Stieb was a very underrated pitcher in the 1980's. Unfortunately, 1990 was his last great season, due mostly to injuries, and he just hung around for a few seasons afterwards.
HOUSTON ASTROS - CRAIG BIGGIO
Biggio began transitioning from catcher to the outfield in 1990, primarily due to his ability on the basepaths. Biggio hit .276/.342/.348 with 153 hits, 24 doubles (led the team), four home runs, 53 runs scored and 42 RBIs. He also stole 25 bases, rare for a catcher.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No. Biggio gained a lot of his value due to his baserunning and defense as he was not a particularly good hitter at this time in his career. Danny Darwin was the team's WAR leader as he had a record of 11-4 and led the league in ERA (2.21). He struck out 109 batters and walked 31 in 162.2 innings pitched and was versatile enough to start, relieve and even close a handful of games. Glenn Davis had another big season, hitting .251/.357/.523 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs. Franklin Stubbs was also good, hitting .261/.334/.475 with a team-leading 23 home runs and 71 RBIs.
GRADE: B. Darwin would have been the better choice, and Donruss seemed to acknowledge that by picking him as the team MVP in the second series. Biggio was just really getting going at this point and had a long, terrific career in front of him. He was not particularly good in 1990 though, other than his base stealing.
DETROIT TIGERS - CECIL FIELDER
Fielder returned from Japan to sign with the Tigers. All he did was lead the league in home runs (51), RBIs (132), total bases (339) and slugging percentage on his way to finishing second in the MVP race and being named an All Star and Silver Slugger. Fielder hit .277/.377/.592 and scored 104 runs.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? While Alan Trammell had a slightly higher WAR, due to being significantly better defensively at a more challenging position, Fielder was probably the best choice. Trammell hit .304/.377/.449 with 14 home runs and 89 RBIs and winning the Silver Slugger. Lou Whitaker hit .237/.338/.407 with 18 home runs and 60 RBIs.
GRADE: A. Fielder kind of came out of nowhere and was the first player to hit 50 home runs since George Foster in 1977. That kind of season is hard to ignore and Donruss was correct in picking him.
PITTSBURGH PIRATES - BARRY BONDS
Bonds had his first monster season in 1990, winning the N.L. MVP, Gold Glove and Silver Slugger and being named an All Star, all for the first time of many in his career. Bonds hit .301/.406/.565 with 33 home runs, 114 RBIs and 52 stolen bases. He also notched 156 hits and 32 doubles with 104 runs scored. He led the league in slugging percentage.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Yes. Other possibilities were Doug Drabek and Bobby Bonilla. Drabek was the Cy Young winner, going 22-6 with a 2.76 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 231.1 innings, leading the league in wins. Bonilla hit .280/.322/.518 with 32 home runs and 120 RBIs.
GRADE: A. This was an easy choice. Bonds had a terrific season and was one of the best all-around players in the game.
CINCINNATI REDS - BARRY LARKIN
Larkin finished seventh in the MVP race and won the Silver Slugger for the World Champion Reds. He hit .301/.358/.396 with seven home runs, 185 hits, 25 doubles, six triples, 67 RBIs and 30 stolen bases. Larkin led the team in hits, on-base percentage and tied for the lead in stolen bases. He was also an All Star.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? It is fairly close between Larkin and Jose Rijo. Rijo went 14-8 with a 2.70 ERA and struck out 152 batters, while walking 78 in 197 innings pitched. He followed that up by winning the World Series MVP. Chris Sabo also had a nice season, hitting .270/.343/.476 with 25 home runs, 71 RBIs and 25 stolen bases.
GRADE: A. Larkin continued to impress in 1990 and helped lead the team to the World Championship.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS - DAVE PARKER
At 39-years-old, Parker was still a good hitter as his All Star appearance and Silver Slugger showed. Parker hit .289/.330/.451 and led the team in hits (176), doubles (30) and RBIs (92) while also hitting 21 home runs and scoring 71 runs.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Offensively, Parker had a very good season, but since he was the designated hitter, he was 11th on the team in WAR. He was second on the team in OPS to Paul Molitor, who hit .285/.343/.464 with 12 home runs, 45 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. Ron Robinson was the team's WAR leader with a 12-5 record and 2.91 ERA in 148.1 innings pitched. Gary Sheffield had a breakout year, hitting .294/.350/.421 with ten home runs, 67 RBIs and 25 stolen bases.
GRADE: B. It's difficult to be too hard on this choice. Parker had a nice, offensive season and some hardware to show for it. The Brewers were not packed with good choices in 1990. Sheffield might have been my pick, personally though.
PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES - LEN DYKSTRA
"Nails" was in his first full season with the Phillies and hit .325/.418/.441 with nine home runs, 60 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. Dykstra led the league in hits (192) and on-base percentage, was an All Star and finished ninth in the MVP race. He led the Phillies in runs (106) and doubles (35).
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Yes. Dykstra had a terrific season in 1990 and was the team's WAR leader by five wins over Darren Daulton. Daulton hit .268/.367/.416 with 12 home runs and 57 RBIs. Von Hayes was the team's big power hitter once again with 17 home runs and 73 RBIs while hitting .261/.375/.413 and stealing 16 bases.
GRADE: A. Dykstra was easily the best player on the team and had a legitimate MVP argument if the Phillies were a better team.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX - BOBBY THIGPEN
White Sox closer Thigpen had a historic season in 1990, setting a then Major League record with 57 saves for the season. He had a 4-6 record with a 1.83 ERA and struck out 70 batters with 32 walks in 88.2 innings pitched while leading the league in games pitched (77) and games finished (73). Thigpen was an All Star and was in the top five in the MVP and Cy Young votes.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Thigpen was third on the team in WAR, but because of his saves record, he stands out that much more. Carlton Fisk was the WAR leader as he hit .285/.378/.451 with 18 home runs and 65 RBIs. Greg Hibbard was the team's best pitcher, going 14-9 with a 3.16 ERA in 211 innings pitched.
GRADE: A. I am giving this one to Donruss because of the historic nature of Thigpen's season. That record stood until Francisco Rodriguez saved 62 games in 2008.
BOSTON RED SOX - ROGER CLEMENS
Clemens was an All Star and finished second in the Cy Young vote and third in the MVP race. He led the league in ERA (1.93) and shutouts (four) while finishing with a record of 21-6. He struck out 209 batters while walking 54 in 228.1 innings pitched while completing seven games.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Easily. Clemens probably should have won the Cy Young Award, if not the MVP. He led the Majors in WAR. Mike Boddicker was second on the team in WAR as he had a record of 17-8 with a 3.36 ERA and 143 strikeouts in 228 innings pitched. Boddicker also won the Gold Glove. Ellis Burks had the best offensive season as he was an All Star and won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger after hitting .296/.349/.486 with a team-leading 89 runs scored, 21 home runs and 89 RBIs. Jody Reed notably led the league in doubles with 45.
GRADE: A. This is probably the easiest choice in the set. Clemens was far and away the best player on the team.
ATLANTA BRAVES - RON GANT
Gant had a 30/30 season for the Braves in 1990 and received some MVP consideration (finished 14th). Gant hit .303/.357/.539 with 32 home runs, 84 RBIs and 33 stolen bases. He also accumulated 107 runs scored, 174 hits and 34 doubles. Gant led the team in most major offensive category except average and on-base percentage.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Yes. Gant was the team's WAR leader and had an outstanding season. David Justice led the team in OPS while hitting .282/.373/.535 with 28 home runs and 78 RBIs. Justice was the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 1990. Lonnie Smith led the team in average and on-base percentage as he hit .305/.384/.459.
GRADE: A. Despite Justice's award-winning season, Gant was still the better player.
MONTREAL EXPOS - DELINO DESHIELDS
DeShields finished second in the N.L. Rookie of the Year race by hitting .289/.375/.389 with four home runs and 45 RBIs. He stole 42 bases, scored 69 runs and had 144 hits. He led the team in runs and triples (six) and was second in stolen bases.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No. DeShields turned in a 1.4 WAR season, which is not terribly impressive. The team's WAR leader was Dennis Martinez who had a 2.95 ERA and 156 strikeouts versus 49 walks in 226 innings pitched, but had a 10-11 record due to pitching for the mediocre Expos. Tim Wallach was the team's best hitter as he hit .296/.339/.471 and led the team with 21 home runs and 98 RBIs while being named to the All Star team and winning the Gold Glove.
GRADE: D. I am not sure why Wallach was never a Diamond King. He certainly deserved it over DeShields in 1991. DeShields had a decent season and did finish second in the Rookie of the Year vote, which is the only thing that keeps this from being an F. Wallach should have been the Diamond King.
SAN DIEGO PADRES - ROBERTO ALOMAR
Alomar was an All Star for the first time in 1990. The Padres second-baseman hit .287/.340/.381. Alomar accumulated 168 hits, 80 runs scored, 27 doubles, five triples, six home runs, 60 RBIs and 24 stolen bases. He was second on the team in runs and stolen bases.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No. Alomar was good, but he was sixth on the team in WAR, due primarily to his defense. Ed Whitson, the 1990 Diamond King, was the team's WAR leader as he went 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 228.2 innings pitched. Bip Roberts was second as he hit .309/.375/.433 with 104 runs scored, 172 hits and 46 stolen bases. Jack Clark hit 25 home runs and had a line of .266/.441/.533.
GRADE: C. Alomar had an OPS+ of 98, meaning he was slightly below-average offensively. He was an All Star though and was still very young at this point. Roberts or Clark would have been better picks.
CLEVELAND INDIANS - SANDY ALOMAR, JR.
Alomar was the unanimous pick for A.L. Rookie of the Year and the Indians' catcher was named to the All Star team and won the Gold Glove. Alomar hit .290/.326/.418 with 129 hits, 60 runs scored, 26 doubles, nine home runs and 66 RBIs.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No. Alomar was ninth on the team in WAR. The WAR leader was Brook Jacoby, who hit .293/.365/.427 with 14 home runs and 75 RBIs. Candy Maldonado had a very good season as he hit .273/.330/.446 with a team-leading 22 home runs and 95 RBIs. Tom Candiotti was the team's best pitcher as he went 15-11 with a 3.65 ERA and 128 strikeouts in 202 innings pitched.
GRADE: B. I will give this choice some extra credit because of Alomar's Rookie of the Year Award and most of the other choices had somewhat ordinary seasons. Maldonado probably would have been a better pick though.
CHICAGO CUBS - RYNE SANDBERG
Sandberg won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards while being named to the All Star team and finishing fourth in the MVP race. He led the league in home runs (40), runs (116) and total bases (344). Sandberg hit .306/.354/.559 and also had 188 hits, 100 RBIs and 25 stolen bases.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Easily. Sandberg was the team's WAR leader and had a terrific season. Mike Harkey came in second as he was 12-6 with a 3.26 ERA in 173.2 innings pitched. Andre Dawson had a very good season, hitting .310/.358/.535 with 27 home runs and 100 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. Mark Grace hit .309/.372/.413 with 182 hits.
GRADE: A. Sandberg was amazing in 1990, with numbers that are that much more impressive given that he was a second-baseman.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS - RAMON MARTINEZ
In his first full season, Martinez was an All Star and finished second in the Cy Young vote. He had a 20-6 record with a 2.92 ERA and 223 strikeouts versus 67 walks in 234.1 innings pitched. Martinez led the league with 12 complete games and also threw three shutouts.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No. Martinez had a very good season, but he was third on the team in WAR. Eddie Murray was the team's WAR leader as he hit .330/.414/.520 with 26 home runs and 95 RBIs. He was fifth in the MVP race and won the Silver Slugger. Kal Daniels was second as he hit .296/.389/.531 with 27 home runs and 94 RBIs.
GRADE: B+. Pedro's older brother broke through in 1990, finishing second in the Cy Young vote, but Murray would have been a better pick.
SEATTLE MARINERS - EDGAR MARTINEZ
Martinez had his first big season in 1990 as the then-third-baseman hit .302/.397/.433. He led the team in average and on-base percentage. He also notched 147 hits, 71 runs scored, 27 doubles, eleven home runs and 49 RBIs. He walked more than he struck out (74 to 62).
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Yes. Martinez was the team's WAR leader over some guy named Ken Griffey, Jr. Griffey hit .300/.366/.481 with a team-leading 22 home runs and 80 RBIs while stealing 16 bases. Erik Hanson had a very good season as a starter, going 18-9 with a 3.24 ERA and 211 strikeouts versus 68 walks in 236 innings pitched for a bad Mariners team.
GRADE: A. This was the first of many great seasons for Martinez and his ability to get on base outshone his more famous teammate.
NEW YORK METS - DAVE MAGADAN
Magadan settled into the first base job in 1990 after a couple of seasons of splitting with third base. He hit .328/.417/.457, leading the team in average and on-base percentage. Magadan also had 148 hits, 74 runs scored, 28 doubles, six triples, six home runs and 72 RBIs.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No, but it is somewhat close. Darryl Strawberry was the team's best player once again as he hit .277/.361/.518 with 37 home runs, 108 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. He was the team's home run and RBI leader and finished third in the MVP race. Frank Viola was third in the Cy Young vote after going 20-12 with a 2.67 ERA and 182 strikeouts versus 60 walks in 249.2 innings pitched.
GRADE: B. Magadan was a decent choice, but Strawberry or Viola would have been better. Both had been Diamond Kings before, but Viola's two times were with the Twins.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS - MATT WILLIAMS
The Giants third-baseman was an All Star and a Silver Slugger winner for the first time in 1990 as he led the league in RBIs (122). Williams hit .277/.319/.488 and hit 33 home runs and 27 doubles. He also had 87 runs scored and 171 hits. He finished sixth in the MVP vote.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Probably. Williams tied Brett Butler for the team's lead in WAR. Butler led the league in hits (192) while slashing .309/.397/.384 while scoring 108 runs and stealing 51 bases. Kevin Mitchell was third as the 1989 MVP hit .290/.360/.544 with 35 home runs and 93 RBIs. Mitchell was an All Star in 1990 and finished eleventh in the MVP race.
GRADE: A. Williams or Butler would have been good picks. It is hard to argue with the Williams selection since he led the league in RBIs.
TEXAS RANGERS - RAFAEL PALMEIRO
Palmeiro led the American League in hits with 191 in 1990. He hit .319/.361/.468 with 14 home runs and 89 RBIs. He also scored 72 runs and accumulated 35 doubles and six triples. Palmeiro led the Rangers in average and slugging percentage in addition to hits.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No. Julio Franco was the team's WAR leader. The second-baseman hit .296/.383/.402 with eleven home runs and 69 RBIs. Franco also had 172 hits, 27 doubles, 96 runs scored and 31 stolen bases. Franco also had 82 walks versus 83 strikeouts. Nolan Ryan had a nice season as well as he went 13-9 with a 3.44 ERA and struck out 232 batters while walking 74 in 204 innings pitched.
GRADE: B+. Franco would have been a better pick, but Palmeiro did lead the league in hits, so it is hard to complain too much about it.
OAKLAND ATHLETICS - BOB WELCH
Welch was the A.L. Cy Young winner primarily due to his Major League high 27 wins. Welch was also an All Star and led the league in winning percentage due to his 27-6 record. He had a 2.95 ERA, 127 strikeouts and 77 walks in 238 innings pitched. He also had two complete games and two shutouts.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No. The A's were a juggernaut and provided a lot of run support for Welch. His WAR was actually eighth on the team and second among starting pitchers. The A's featured the A.L. MVP in Rickey Henderson, who hit .325/.439/.577 with 28 home runs and 61 RBIs. He led the league in runs scored (119), stolen bases (65) and on-base percentage. The A's also featured Mark McGwire (39 home runs, 108 RBIs) and Jose Canseco (37 home runs, 101 RBIs). The best pitcher was Dave Stewart, who went 22-11 with a 2.56 ERA and 166 strikeouts versus 83 walks in 267 innings pitched.
GRADE: B. Welch did win the Cy Young Award, which he probably was not the most deserving of choices, but those 27 wins are tough to ignore. Still, Henderson was the better choice.
NEW YORK YANKEES - DAVE RIGHETTI
Righetti was the Yankees' closer in 1990. The southpaw had a record of 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA, finishing 47 of 53 games pitched. In 53 innings pitched, Righetti struck out 43 batters while walking 26. He saved 36 games and set a then-record for career saves by a left-hander.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Definitely not. Righetti was not a particularly effective closer in 1990. The Yankees' WAR leader was Roberto Kelly, who hit .285/.323/.418 with 15 home runs, 61 RBIs, 85 runs scored, 183 hits and 42 stolen bases. Jesse Barfield was the team's big slugger, hitting 25 home runs and driving in 78 runs with a slash line of .246/.359/.456. Kevin Maas was a phenom, hitting 21 home runs and slashing .252/.367/.535 in just 79 games.
GRADE: F. Righetti really was not that good. He had a high ERA for a closer and a pretty bad strikeout-to-walk ratio. He did save a decent number of games, but was not particularly impressive. Kelly would have been the better choice, and I could see an argument for Maas.
MINNESOTA TWINS - BRIAN HARPER
The Twins catcher hit .294/.328/.432 with six home runs and 54 RBIs. He had 141 hits and 61 runs scored. He led the team in doubles with 42 and was very difficult to strike out, being rung up just 27 times in 509 plate appearances.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Maybe? By WAR, he was the second-best player on the team, but the leader was Greg Gagne, whose value almost entirely came from his defense as he was a weak hitter (.235/.280/.361/). The best hitter was probably Shane Mack, who hit .326/.392/.460, and the best power hitter was Kent Hrbek who had 22 home runs and 79 RBIs while hitting .287/.377/.474.
GRADE: B. This is not really a terrible choice. Harper had a nice season for a bad team. Mack or Hrbek probably would have been better picks, but Harper was pretty decent.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES - GREGG OLSON
Olson was an All Star for the Orioles in 1990. The closer had a record of 6-5 with an ERA of 2.42. He pitched 74.1 innings, striking out 74 and walking 31. He finished 58 out of 64 games and saved 37 games.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No. Olson was seventh on the team himself, which is not bad for a closer. Cal Ripken Jr. was still the team's best player as he hit .250/.341/.415 with 21 home runs and 84 RBIs. Randy Milligan was not too far behind as the O's first-baseman hit .265/.408/.492 with 20 home runs and 60 RBIs. Ben McDonald, who was the first overall pick in the 1989 made an impact by going 8-5 with a 2.43 ERA in 118.2 innings pitched over 21 games. He struck out 65 and walked 35. Given his draft position and impressive showing, a case could have been made for him.
GRADE: C. Olson was pretty good, and there were not a ton of great candidates, other than Ripken. I think a closer had to be really good to be a Diamond King though. Thigpen was fine, Olson was merely okay.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS - KURT STILLWELL
Stillwell, the Royals shortstop, hit .249/.304/.352 with three home runs and 51 RBIs. He also accumulated 126 hits, 60 runs scored, 35 doubles and four triples. Stillwell was second on the team in doubles to George Brett.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Definitely not. Stillwell's 0.9 WAR was not enough to place him within the top ten on the team. Kevin Appier was the team's WAR leader as he went 12-8 with a 2.76 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 185.2 innings pitched. Steve Farr had a great season out of the bullpen, going 13-7 with a 1.98 ERA in 127 innings pitched. George Brett won the batting title and hit .329/.387/.515 with 14 home runs and 87 RBIs.
GRADE: F. Obviously the Royals did not have a ton of good options here, unless Donruss wanted to make Brett their first three-time Diamond King or give Bo Jackson consecutive Diamond Kings, but Stillwell is really a bizarre pick.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS - PEDRO GUERRERO
Guerrero, the Cardinals first-baseman, hit .281/.334/.426 with 13 home runs and 80 RBIs. He also had 140 hits, 42 runs scored and 31 doubles. He led Cardinals hitters in RBIs and was second on the team in home runs.
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? No way. Guerrero had a very ordinary season for a first-baseman. Granted the Cardinals were not that good and their best player (Willie McGee) was traded before the end of the season, but there were better choices than Guerrero. Vince Coleman had a nice season, hitting .292/.340/.400 and stole 77 bases. John Tudor had a 12-4 record with a 2.40 ERA. Lee Smith had a great season as the closer after being acquired from the Red Sox. He had a 3-4 record with a 2.10 ERA and 27 saves with 70 strikeouts and 20 walks in 68.2 innings pitched.
GRADE: F. Guerrero just was not very good. He had a negative WAR. The Cardinals did not have a lot of great picks, but Coleman, Smith or Tudor would have been much better than him.
CALIFORNIA ANGELS - CHUCK FINLEY
The Angels southpaw Finley had a record of 18-9 with a 2.40 ERA. He was an All Star and finished seventh in the Cy Young vote. Finley struck out 177 batters while walking 81 in 236 innings pitched. He also led the Angels in complete games (seven) and shutouts (two).
WAS HE THE BEST CHOICE? Yes. Finley was the team's WAR leader and emerged as the ace of the staff. Among hitters, catcher Lance Parrish had a great season, hitting .268/.338/.451 while leading the team with 24 home runs and second with 70 RBIs. Dave Winfield also had a good season, hitting .275/.348/.466 with 19 home runs and a team-leading 72 RBIs.
GRADE: A. In a rotation top-heavy with left-handers, Finley made a big impact with a great record and low ERA.
1991 was the year I started collecting cards and I remember this set very well. I have fond memories of it. I was just as baffled then as I am now about the Stillwell pick. This set features just four future Hall of Famers (Ryne Sandberg, Barry Larkin, Craig Biggio and Roberto Alomar), but also had Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Rafael Palmeiro, who would be in if not for that PED thing. It also featured the N.L. MVP, A.L. Cy Young and A.L. Rookie of the Year. Though with the MVPs and Cy Young Winners for each league coming from the same team, it would have been impossible to have all of them.
BEST PICK: Roger Clemens. Clemens was amazing in 1990 and was pretty much robbed of the Cy Young Award. He also had a good argument for MVP and led the Majors in WAR. Honorable mention goes to Barry Bonds who had the first great season of his terrific career.
WORST PICK: Kurt Stillwell. This one just makes no sense. He did have a better WAR than two of the other picks, but his offense was so unimpressive and there were such clearly better picks that this is utterly baffling. Runner-up is probably Pedro Guerrero, who had a very ordinary season offensively for a first-baseman and was just plain bad defensively.
BIGGEST SNUB: Rickey Henderson. I get that Donruss chose the Cy Young winner, but Henderson was a much better player than Bob Welch. The runner-up is probably Tim Wallach, who was kind of a baffling snub.
WEIRDEST PICK HISTORICALLY: Kurt Stillwell. I usually do not like to pick on the same player more than once, but this one bears close scrutiny. Stillwell had a nine-year career in the Majors and a career WAR of 3.1. He was an All Star once, but had a career OPS+ of 82, which is definitely not good. Runner-up is Brian Harper who spent 16 seasons in the Majors with seven different teams, was never an All Star or a league leader in any category, and finished with a career WAR of 12.3.