Wednesday, July 4, 2018

560th Place - Joey Meyer

Card #312

Happy 4th of July everyone!  Since today has a theme of "stars and stripes"...how about a Future Star!?

Enter Joey Meyer...who never became a MLB star and continues that theme with the Future Stars of the 1988 set.

You can't blame Topps for tagging Meyer with the moniker, though.  Through four seasons in the minors Meyer jacked 120 home runs.  He played for Milwaukee in 1988 but only logged a modest 11 homers in 103 games.  The Hawaiian sensation would start 1989 with the big club too but was back down to Triple A before the season was done.

He went to Japan in 1990 and did well there, once again finding his power stroke.  1991 would be his last professional season, back in Triple A but not the majors.

Here's a link to an amusing story about a moonshot Meyer launched in Denver during the 1987 season.  It's well worth the read.  Have a great Independence Day!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

561st Place - Felix Fermin

Card #547

I'm sure most of you reading this post are already aware of the sad news - Bob Walk the Plank is stepping away from his blog.  And he's doing it for all the right reasons so we can't even be mad at him! 

I'm not a hardcore collector or trader in the hobby blog universe but Matt is always a welcoming and encouraging presence online.  I loved participating in the Secret Santas and will definitely miss those.  So in his honor I slid Felix Fermin back a few spots than I originally intended because it's important to hoist a Jolly Roger in his honor!

Fermin was coming off his rookie year when this card was printed.  He'd spend a couple of more seasons as a Pirates utility infielder before going to Cleveland and becoming a regular at shortstop and other spots around their infield.  His career spanned ten seasons, which wasn't too bad for a career .600 OPS.

He has spent most of his post-playing career as a manger in various Latin American leagues and currently coaches a minor league team in the Mexican leagues.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

562nd Place - John Cerutti

Card #191

Headed into the 1988 season John Cerutti would continue his "swing man" function for the Toronto pitching staff.  He would go on to start 12 of the 46 games he appeared in, similar to his 1987 campaign.  In 1989 he would be his best season, logging a 3.07 ERA as a full-time member of the rotation.

After struggling in the 1990 season he was granted free agency and played one last season, this time for the Detroit Tigers and largely in their bullpen.

Cerutti became a broadcaster for the Blue Jays after his playing days and was highly regarded for his character.  Sadly, in the second to last game of the 2004 season, they found him passed away in his hotel room from natural causes.

He was the number one pick for Toronto in the 1981 draft, and the fact he made it to the big club for a few years means it was a pretty decent pick.  They may have ultimately preferred, though, fellow lefty pitchers Mark Langston or Frank Viola who were still on the board, not to mention a two-sport star by the name of Tony Gwynn...

This isn't a bad looking card all things considered, though it would be nice to see the grip he's using on the baseball just out of the frame.


Thursday, March 8, 2018

563rd Place - Fred Manrique

Card #437

Fred Manrique had every right to smile on the top step of the dugout when this card came out.  He had just completed his first full season in the big leagues after toiling in the minors for eight years.  The back of his card is a bit funky - he had four "cups of coffee" before 1987, including twice with Toronto (1981, 1984),  and once each with Montreal (1985), and St. Louis (1986).

Manrique is from Venezuela, and currently ranks 72nd all-time in games played by a Venezuelan. 

Manrique was also part of the trade that landed Sammy Sosa in Chicago...with the White Sox.  Manrique joined Harold Baines in 1989 in a trade to the Rangers, and Sosa was one of the players Texas sent back to the Pale Hose.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

564th Place - Rob Murphy

Card #603

When this card came out Rob Murphy had just enjoyed his second successful year as a lefty specialist in the Cincinnati bullpen.  He appeared in 87 games for the Reds, which is nothing to sneeze at.  He actually led the league with 76 in 1988 before being shipped off to Boston.

Murphy pitched through the 1995 season, hanging his spikes up just short of 600 career games pitched.  In his post-playing days he turned to the track...the horse track!  He breeds race horses through his company, M375 Thoroughbreds.  Apparently he has a proprietary computer program that helps him in his horse siring process.  Sounds romantic...?  Too bad he didn't play for the Phillies!  Ba-dum-bump...

This card is pretty neat, a nice casual look at spring training. 


Sunday, December 31, 2017

565th Place - Thad Bosley

Card #247

Look at the sheer optimism of Thad Bosley in this picture.  I love it.  He's scanning the field and imagining which gap he'll slap the ball towards.

Bosley had a nice long career in the majors, mostly as a fourth outfielder/pinch-hitter type.  He broke into the majors in 1977 and played his final season in 1990.  In that span he played for seven different teams, so he was well traveled.

He spent a large part of his post-playing days as a coach at the major league and even university levels.  He was infamously dumped by the Texas Rangers in 2011 for bad communication with the hitters.

I hope you all have a great 2018 - thanks as always for taking time to visit the blog!


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

566th Place - Mike Kingery

Card #532

Minnesota native Mike Kingery is next on the countdown.  He was coming off a pretty decent season for Seattle when this card hit the market.  He logged a lot of time in right field and notched a .778 OPS, which wasn't too shabby.

He bounced to the Giants in 1990 and actually spent the entire 1993 season in the minors for the Royals before joining the Rockies in the strike-shortened 1994 season, which was by far his best in the majors.  There's a great "catching up with..." article about his time with the Rockies you can read here.  It reveals he opened a baseball academy in  his post-playing days and that he has a fairly regular musical gig with his family.  That's quite the brood!

This is a nice looking baseball card.  Batting cage shots are always fun.  I'm guessing that's old Tiger Stadium?