Eclectic Collection Number 31 – 2000 Fleer Tradition Billy Wagner

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The Player

 

Billy Wagner was one of the best closers of his generation and one of the least likely to make the majors. He was right handed until he broke his arm as a kid so he learned to throw lefty. He went to a small college in Virginia called Ferrum and worked hard to became a first round pick. At his size most people would be shocked when they first saw his 100 MPH fastball. In his career with the Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, NY Mets, Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves, he was selected to seven all star teams. He qualified for this collection by saving 422 games. He also has a career ERA of 2.31 and 1196 strikeouts.

 

The Set

 

The 2000 Fleer Tradition is a retro designed set, made to look similar on the front to 1954 Topps. The most valuable cards are the rookie short prints that are at the end of the set, including Barry Zito.

 

The Back

 

This card has a back that is very reminiscent of vintage cards, with the cartoon featuring Billy with a cannon arm. At that point in his career the stat that is most amazing to me is his 394 strikeouts in 253 innings. That is an amazing rate for any pitcher.

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