For the ongoing series, we will look at Fred Kendall and his son Jason during their respective careers. Previously, it was explained that this series focuses on this father and son that played 25 years apart, by using their Topps base cards as a point of reference.
Part 2: 24 years old
1973 Topps #221, Fred Kendall
The year 1973 saw Fred as the everyday starting catcher for the Padres. He played in 145 games and started 135 of those games at catcher. In 135 of the games he started at catcher, he caught the entire game 131 times, a career high. His offensive numbers were much improved from his rookie year: 143 hits, .282/.320/.396 with 10 HR’s and 59 RBI’s. Fred would never duplicate these numbers, as ’73 was his career best in all major offensive categories.
One stat that stands out as being impressive was his batting average with runners on base, .341. Though he had an incredible year, Fred wasn’t selected to go to the All-Star game. He had the misfortune of playing in the N.L. at the same time that Johnny Bench was making history.
1998 Topps #304, Jason Kendall
Jason enjoyed one of his best seasons in 1998. He started 143 games behind the dish, and caught 136 complete games. He had 175, while hitting .327/.411/.434, with 12 HR’s and 75 RBI’s. In addition, he racked up 26 stolen bases.
In 1998, Jason was named to his second All-Star game, and had career highs in RBI’s, stolen bases, and doubles.
Here they are side by side:
Jason, clearly, has the better numbers. However, I have been reading his book lately, and in it he states that he got a lot of advice from his father. Perhaps some of the accolades that Jason earned should trickle down to his father.