McFarlane Unveils Cooperstown Series 6 Lineup
Two Babe Ruths, Lou Gehrig and Nolan Ryan Head Up New Series
Toys Posted 7/24/2008
McFarlane Toys is proud to present the sixth series of our Cooperstown Collection. This set features a different look at one of the game's most dominant sluggers, a pair of Kansas City legends, the best mustache in baseball history, the picture of Texas-sized determination, and "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
LOU GEHRIG: New York's powerhouse first baseman dominated the American League for 14 full seasons, amassing the fifth-most RBI in history. The enduring legacy of the "Iron Horse" was his consecutive games played streak, which started on June 1, 1925, and lasted 2,130 games. Gehrig was a two-time MVP and won six World Series for New York, but is perhaps best-known for his farewell address at Yankee Stadium. Just two months removed from his retirement from the game, Gehrig stepped to the microphone on July 4, 1939. Having been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease") he addressed the crowd in a moving speech, referring to himself as "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."
GEORGE BRETT: Kansas City's dominant third baseman delivered 21 brilliant seasons - taking the Royals to the playoffs seven times and winning a title in 1985. He was a 13-time All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, and a three-time batting champion, but Brett did his most damage in 1980. His season included a 37-game hit streak, and a 2-for-4 day left him hitting .400 on Sept. 19 - just 14 games away from becoming the first player to hit .400 since Ted Williams in 1941. Brett's pace slowed down a touch (ending the year hitting .390) but he took home the MVP award, eliminated the rival Yankees in the ALCS and led the Royals to the World Series.
ROLLIE FINGERS: With a mustache that would make any movie villain proud, Fingers confounded hitters for 17 seasons with Oakland, San Diego and Milwaukee. One of the best pure relievers in MLB history, Fingers piled up 341 saves (10th all-time) and pulled off a rare double-dip in 1981, winning the A.L. Cy Young and MVP awards. He was at his best during Oakland's dynasty in the early 1970s, appearing in 16 World Series games and stifling the competition with a 1.35 ERA, two wins and six saves while the A's rattled off three straight championships.
BABE RUTH 2: Babe Ruth is synonymous with the home run - having led the A.L. in homers 12 times, and holding the single-season and all-time home run records for several decades each. Ironically, George Herman Ruth first made a big impression on the mound; he was a standout pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, winning 89 games over six seasons, including 23 wins in 1916 and 24 wins the next season. In the 1916 World Series, Ruth allowed a first-inning inside-the-park home run to Brooklyn Robins (look it up) center fielder Hy Myers, before silencing the opposing lineup for the next 13 innings - Boston won the game 2-1 and went on the win the World Series four games to one. Ruth emerged as an irreplaceable slugger, but still managed to get some pitching in after becoming a Yankee in 1920. Ruth pitched in five games for New York over the years, and while the rust showed (5.51 career ERA as a Yankee) he managed to win all five games he appeared in with New York.
BO JACKSON: Jackson's phenomenal talent was on full display in the 1989 All-Star Game. Kansas City's left fielder crushed a leadoff home run off Rick Reuschel, and followed that up with an RBI groundout to give the American League a 3-2 lead. Jackson promptly stole second base, as well as singling off Tim Burke to lead off the fourth inning. He was named the game's MVP in the middle of his best season - he hit 32 homers with 26 steals and 105 RBI in 1989. Bo also played running back for the Los Angeles Raiders, and became the first athlete to play in the All-Star Game in two major sports. A 1991 hip injury against the Bengals forced hip replacement surgery, but Bo's baseball career continued - he played two seasons with the White Sox and one with the Angels before retiring in 1994.
NOLAN RYAN 3: Nolan Ryan took the mound on Saturday, Sept. 8, 1990 to face the Kansas City Royals. He set the Royals down in order with two strikeouts and a pop-up in the first inning, and leaned in to face Bo Jackson to lead off the second inning. The Royals' cleanup hitter (also the Raiders' starting running back) tore into the first pitch, sending a comebacker straight back towards the mound. The baseball smashed into Ryan's chin, but the veteran pitcher recovered in time to throw out the speedy Royal at first. With his chin split open and bleeding heavily, and his team 16.5 games out of the playoff hunt with 23 left to play, Ryan made an impressive decision. He stepped back onto the mound and looked in for the next signal from catcher Mike Stanley. Ryan would throw seven innings that day, allowing one run on three hits while striking out eight batters. He got a no-decision, but his choice to stay in the game became the picture of "Texas tough" and a true highlight of his Hall of Fame career.
Series six of the Cooperstown Collection features seven figures (Babe Ruth will be available as a Red Sox and a Yankee) and is scheduled to arrive on shelves in February 2009.