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JUAN "SAMMY" SAMUEL - AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED BASEBALL CO-SIGNED BY: WILLIE WILSON - HFSID 291035

WILLIE WILSON and JUAN SAMUEL The first two players to surpass 700 at bats in a season sign a ball honoring that record. Baseball signed: "Willie Wilson", "Juan Samuel". Official League RPB-3 baseball, signed in blue ink by both. Ink note (unknown hand): "700 AB's in season".

Sale Price $324.00

Reg. $360.00

Condition: fine condition
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WILLIE WILSON and JUAN SAMUEL The first two players to surpass 700 at bats in a season sign a ball honoring that record. Baseball signed: "Willie Wilson", "Juan Samuel". Official League RPB-3 baseball, signed in blue ink by both. Ink note (unknown hand): "700 AB's in season". Switch hitter WILLIE WILSON (b. 1955) played 19 seasons in the Major Leagues, the first 15 with the Kansas City Royals (1976-1990), followed by 4 in Oakland. The rangy left fielder used his speed in all sorts of ways: he led the AL in stolen bases in 1979, and is 12th on the all-time stolen base list. He led the league in triples 5 times, and had 13 inside-the-park home runs. In 1982 he led the league in batting average. He finished his career with 668 stolen bases, the twelfth highest total of all time. Wilson played in two All-Star Games and two World Series, the Royals' losing effort against Philadelphia in 1980 and their victory over St Louis in 1985. He set a less desirable record in 1980: the most strikeouts ever in a World Series (12), including the final out of the Series. JUAN SAMUEL, born in the Dominican Republic in 1960, played 16 Major League seasons (1983-1998), the first seven with the Philadelphia Phillies, including the pennant-winning 1983 Phils. Primarily a center fielder, a position usually reserved for the speediest outfielder, he could play first and second base when needed.  A three-time All-Star, he swiped 396 bases in his career. When they signed this ball, Wilson (703) and Samuel (701) were the only players to exceed 700 at bats in a season. Two active players have since joined the club, with Jimmy Rollins topping Wilson's total and Ichiro Suzuki edging Samuel for third place. At bats in a season is not necessarily a positive stat. While it signals an everyday player who bats near the top of the lineup, it also shows a player not very patient at the plate. (Walks don't count as at bats.) The year he notched 701 at bats, Samuel also led the league in outs and in strikeouts. Since Samuel and especially Wilson were excellent base runners, they probably would have helped their teams more by drawing walks, and then distracting the pitcher with serious threats to steal second. Or, since these were leadoff guys, and the #2 hitter is usually a contact hitter, they could have dashed from first to third on a well placed bloop single, putting runners at the corners with no outs and the sluggers coming up.  On the other hand, each of these speedsters led his league in triples, which they couldn't have done without swinging the bat. A very interesting collector's item! Lightly toned. Signatures lightly smudged and beaded but legible. Otherwise, fine condition.

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