The Clutch: Generations sets feature some of the greatest players in MLB history. The players chosen for this year’s 10-card insert set are no different. Yesterday, we took a look at the first five players, and today we’ll take a look at the remaining five players randomly inserted throughout the Series 2 set. Each of these players will also be available in variant form, with an alternate color scheme based on the decade their card represents. For a preview of those, be sure to watch the episode of Bottom of the Clutch posted at the end of this preview. First up, one of my personal favorite cards in Clutch: Generations set this season!
We’re kicking things off today with one of the most highly-regarded shortstops of all time, Luis Aparicio. The first Venezuelan player inducted into the baseball hall of fame, Aparicio left his mark on the game as a member of the speed-oriented “Go-Go” Sox team of the late 50’s and early 60’s, winning 9 Gold Glove Awards and leading the AL in stolen bases 9 times in his 18-year career. He won the Rookie of the Year award in 1956, and was a World Series champion with Baltimore in 1966, but split the difference between the two and we land on 1961, a season in which he stole 53 bases and finished at or near the top of every defensive metric. This gives us a very unique Clutch card — Aparicio’s lower On-Base, -2 Clutch, and 23+ HR make this 20-Speed, +4 Defense Shortstop card with a good contact chart very affordable at just 310 salary points, and comes with the SB and GG icons to help make the most of that speed and defense. “Go-Go” get ‘em, Luis!
An All-Star for 9 of his 15 major league seasons, Ron Santo was one of the most beloved north-side sluggers in Chicago history. He led the NL in triples one season, led in on-base percentage twice, and led in walks four times. He batted .300 or more and hit 30 or more home runs four times each, and is the only third baseman in MLB history to post eight consecutive seasons with over 90 RBI’s. He wasn’t just known for his bat though, Santo also won five consecutive Gold Glove awards for his defensive prowess. In 1967, the season represented by this new Clutch: Generations insert, Ron’s output resulted in a high On-Base Batter card with a power-friendly chart, 4 icons, and the maximum +4 defense at 3rd base.
Dale Murphy spent most of his 18-year career in Atlanta, and during his years there he was a force to be reckoned with, especially over a 9-year run of success from 1980 to 1989. During that period, he made 7 All-Star appearances and won 5 Gold Gloves, 4 Silver Sluggers, and 2 NL MVP awards. Year after year he dominated on both sides of the ball, and moreover, he was one of the most well-liked and respected players off the field as well. The season chosen for Dale’s Clutch: Generations card was the latter of his back-to-back MVP seasons, 1983. That year, he lead the league in RBIs, Slugging, and OPS, and won both the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards as an Outfielder. The result is an incredibly well-rounded Batter card which is good in every way, and great in many ways; 13-to-14 On-Base, a chart with just 4 outs and a natural home run roll, 3 Defense in a versatile OF position, positive Clutch, 20 Speed, and five icons. Now “Murph” can be the MVP of your team, too!
The third and final Clutch: Generations card representing the 80’s is a man who spent much of the 80’s as perhaps the yin to Murphy’s yang. Darryl offset his off-the-field antics with on-field production, and it shows in this Clutch: Generations card, with an incredible power chart, solid Speed, and three icons made affordable by the lower On-Base, Defense, and Clutch. He’d go on to win 3 World Series on the other side of New York, but on the National League side of the city in 1988, Darryl could crush any ball he got a piece of. For just 370 salary points, given his three icons and 19+ HR roll, Darryl may be the new “King” of value in Clutch.
The Big Red Machine gets another gear in the Clutch: Generations insert set with Joe Morgan, and it is a mighty one. Considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest second basemen of all time, Morgan was a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee, a 10-time All-Star, a 5-time Gold Glove winner, and won back-to-back World Series Championships in season where he also won back-to-back NL MVP awards. This shows in his card, which has MVP written all over it. Well, not literally, but you’re free to do so yourself with a permanent marker. No one would blame you! Now the price tag may scare some Managers off, especially without a natural home run, but that’s one of the only downsides to this otherwise monstrous Batter card. 15-to-16 On-Base, perfect Speed and Defense, a chart with just 3 outs, and offensive, speed, and defensive icons to boot? He may come attached to a Big Red price tag, but fit him into your lineup and Morgan will help turn your offensive into the machine it is meant to be.
To take a look at each of these players’ alternate color schemes, check out Bottom of the Clutch here:
2019 Series 2 inserts will be randomly distributed throughout Series 2 booster packs. Pre-Orders begin Sunday, 6/16 at 6:16 PM EST. For more details, check out the Series 2 preview here. Come back tomorrow for a look at five more Clutch: Generations inserts!