McFarlane Announces Cooperstown Series 5 Lineup
Hank Aaron and Ty Cobb Head Up Hall-of-Fame Lineup To Be Released in February, 2008
Toys Posted 6/3/2007
McFarlane has announced the line-up for its fifth series of Cooperstown Collection
Sports Picks figures. This series features six members of the Baseball Hall of
Fame, and includes the Sports Picks debuts for a quartet of the game's greatest
Hank Aaron - "I looked for the same pitch my whole career,
a breaking ball. All of the time. I never worried about the fastball. They
couldn't throw it past me, none of them."
He signed with Boston, but debuted in Milwaukee, spent his prime in Atlanta
and closed his career back in Milwaukee. In between he hit 755 home runs. Henry
Louis Aaron defined consistency, perseverance, courage and dedication to a nation
of baseball fans. He never hit 50 homers in a single season, but had 20 back-to-back
seasons with at least 20 home runs. On April 8, 1974 Aaron crushed an Al Downing
offering over the fence for his 715th career home run, lifting him past Babe
Ruth as the all-time home run champion (at that time). Aaron was enshrined in
the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Mickey Mantle 2 - "My dad taught me to switch-hit. He and
my grandfather, who was left-handed, pitched to me every day after school
in the back yard. I batted lefty against my dad and right against my granddad."
Mickey Mantle is part of the "greatest player ever" debate, but there's
no argument that he was the greatest switch-hitter in baseball history. Mantle
swatted 372 home runs as a lefty, and 164 from the right side - but he was equally
dangerous from either side of the plate. The power numbers are somewhat skewed
due to the fact that most of his at-bats came from the left side against right-handed
pitching. His swing was more compact from the left side, but more thunderous
from the right - Mantle swung a 32-ounce bat when hitting left and a 36-ounce
bat from the right side. Mantle's career average was .298, but .350 when batting
right-handed. Mantle was enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974.
Ty Cobb - "Baseball is a red-blooded sport for red-blooded
men. It's no pink tea, and mollycoddles had better stay out. It's a struggle
for supremacy, a survival of the fittest."
Ty Cobb earned a reputation for being one of the most determined and focused
players in the history of baseball. His first full season in the major leagues
saw him hit .316 for the Detroit Tigers - and he'd never hit that low ever again.
Cobb won 11 batting titles (hitting over .400 three times) and finished his
career with a .366 average. "The Georgia Peach" won the Triple Crown
in 1909, and was part of the inaugural class into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Cobb was enshrined along with Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner and
Walter Johnson - although Cobb received more votes than the other four members
of his class.
Dennis Eckersley - "When I started finishing games and coming
off the field shaking hands, it was a beautiful thing. I mean, you start seeing
that you're an important part of the team."
After 12 years as a starting pitcher for three different teams, Dennis Eckersley
arrived in Oakland in 1987 with over 150 wins under his belt. Tony La Russa
had a different plan for the sidewinding right-hander - moving Eckersely to
the bullpen as his newfound closer. "Eck" would deliver 318 saves
for Oakland over the next nine seasons, helping secure the 1989 World Series
and appearing in four All-Star games as an Athletic. Eckersley became only the
second relief pitcher to win an MVP award with his astounding 1992 season, where
he won seven games, saved 51 others and turned in a 1.91 ERA. In 2004, Eckersley
was voted into the baseball Hall of Fame, opening the doors for many closers
Ryne Sandberg - "I was taught you never, ever disrespect your
opponent or your teammates or your organization or your manager and never,
ever your uniform."
"Ryno" endeared himself to a generation of Cubs fans with unbelievable
defensive talent partnered with home run power not often found in a second baseman.
Sandberg won nine consecutive Gold Glove awards, playing in a record 123 consecutive
games without an error. He crushed 282 career homers, the most ever by a second
baseman. A 10-time All-Star and the 1984 National League MVP, Sandberg was enshrined
in Cooperstown in 2005.
Mike Schmidt - "He brings such formidable attention and intelligence
to bear on the enemy pitcher that one senses that the odds have almost been
reversed. It is the man on the mound, not the one up at the plate, who is
in worse trouble from the start." - author Roger Angell
Baseball fans had high standards for defensive play at third base following
Brooks Robinson's marvelous career, but Mike Schmidt showed fans a defensive
clinic while also putting on a fireworks display. Schmidt hit 30 or more homers
in a season 10 times, en route to 548 career dingers. His determination at the
plate and in the field brought him 12 All-Star selections, 10 gold Gloves and
three National League MVP awards. Schmidt was a tough guy in a tougher town,
but even the nastiest of the Philly faithful tip their caps to the redheaded
monster at the hot corner. Michael Jack Schmidt was voted into the Baseball
Hall of Fame in 2005.
NOTE: Mike Schmidt was not originally planned to be included in this series.
Another player was picked for this spot but he and TMP were not able to finalize
their contract in time. To fill the sixth slot in Cooperstown Series 5, TMP
chose to repaint the Mike Schmidt figure from Cooperstown Series 2 in the Phillies'
home pinstriped uniform. The Cooperstown Series 5 Mike Schmidt will be short-printed.
Cooperstown 5 is scheduled to arrive on shelves in February 2008.