Veterans and Rookies Share the Spotlight
Friday, October 20, 2006

McFarlane Toys salutes the boys of summer with our MLB 19 series, the latest offering in our collectible Sports Picks line. MLB 19 features sequel figures for three of baseball's best, as well as the Sports Picks debut for a trio of brilliant young stars. With superb detail, stunning poses and a lineup sure to please diehard collectors and new fans alike, MLB 19 is set to become one of our all-time favorites. Is it July yet?

Albert Pujols 3 -- The five-time All-Star continued his meteoric ascent in only his sixth pro season, leading the Cardinals to another division title while delivering career-highs in homers, RBI and batting average.

Jonathan Papelbon -- When injury claimed established closer Keith Foulke, Boston handed the job to rookie Jonathan Papelbon and the rest of the American League was immediately sorry. Papelbon didn't give up an earned run until his 15th appearance, and finished the season with 35 saves and a 0.92 ERA. The Red Sox plan to return him to their starting rotation in 2007, where he seems certain to become a top-flight starter for many years to come.

Johnny Damon 2 -- Johnny Damon only needed a plane ticket and a visit to a barbershop to arrive as the new center fielder for the New York Yankees. Damon handled the pressure of the Big Apple just fine, delivering steady defense and a strong leadoff presence while setting a career high for home runs in his first pinstriped season.

Scott Kazmir -- The Devil Rays have flown pretty much under the radar since their debut in 1998, but young fireballer Scott Kazmir has people taking notice. In just his second season, Kazmir delivered 10 wins for last-place Tampa while striking out 168 batters in just 145 innings. The future is bright for Kazmir -- I bet the Mets wish they hadn't traded him for Victor Zambrano...

Pedro Martinez 2 -- One of the finest pitchers of his generation, Pedro Martinez has garnered three Cy Young awards and 206 victories in his (almost assuredly) Hall of Fame career. After lifting a curse in Boston, Pedro moved on to the Mets where he hopes to deliver their first title in 21 years. Shoulder and calf injuries sidelined Pedro at the end of the 2006 season, but he'll be a big part of the Mets playoff push in 2007.

Prince Fielder -- Those who saw it won't soon forget. In the sixth inning of the Mets/Brewers game on Friday, May 12, Jose Lima lofted a not-so-fastball over the heart of the plate and rookie first baseman Prince Fielder absolutely annihilated it. His massive swing wrapped both arms around his head, and his eyes were just barely visible over his thick shoulder as the abused baseball screamed over the wall and ricocheted off the Road Runner banner some 473 feet away. It was a moonshot that his father (longtime Detroit slugger Cecil Fielder) would have been proud of. Fielder finished the season with 28 homers and 81 RBI and is one of many reasons Milwaukee is excited for the 2007 season.

Check back for photos of this and other Sports Picks lineups in the coming weeks, and look for MLB 19 to arrive on shelves in June 2007.