1999 Sports Illustrated Greats of the Game

I am starting a new series which should get me blogging again on a more regular basis. I have been MIA after getting bored with blogging and busy with family and school, but now I need a more regular schedule to keep me focused, so this is one aspect of that.

I will be going through the 1999 Fleer series that many of you have seen, the Greats of the Game that includes photographs from Sports Illustrated. I completed the autograph set a while ago, and would like to share it with everyone.

Today's card is of Tommy Agee, the outfielder for the Mets. He started his career with the Indians in 1962, making his first appearance at the age of 19! However, he only had 31 at bats total over three seasons in the Cleveland system, and in another brilliant Cleveland trade (sarcasm dripping), was sent to the White Sox with John Romano and a pitching prospect named Tommy John (DOH!) as part of a three-team trade that brought Rocky Colavito back to the Indians from Kansas City, along with Cam Carreon. I think that the Indians front office was trying to make up for the infamous trade, and its eponymous curse, that sent Colavito to the Tigers for Harvey Kuenn.

Agee seasoned for one more year in the White Sox farm, then had his breakout season in 1966, earning him an All Star appearance, a Gold Glove, a Rookie of the Year award, and enough votes to come in 8th for the MVP award. That year, he hit .273 with a .447 slugging percentage, 22 home runs, 86 RBI's and 44 stolen bases! Not only was he a power hitter and run-maker, but he could fly!

He regressed the next two years and was traded to the Mets after the 1967 season, but found his stroke again in 1969, when he pounded the ball for an OPS of .806. He came in sixth in the MVP race that year, and followed up that year with two more years of .800 OPS.

Agee played until 1973, a rather short career for someone who had so much promise at such a young age, and showed flashes of brilliance. He ended his career with a .255 batting average, 130 home runs, 433 RBI's, 167 stolen bases and an OPS of .732.

Tommy Agee, born in rural Alabama, died in 2001 at the age of only 58.

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