Tuesday, January 26, 2016

614th Place - Rod Booker

Card #483

I've admittedly not payed a lot of attention to the backs of these cards, but perhaps I should, because this is what's written on the flip side of Booker's cardboard:
Rod is related to Hall-of Famer Jackie Robinson
 Say what!?!

According to this Phillies fan site, Booker's wife was a distant cousin of Robinson.  Does it still count if it's by marriage?  It does if you're Rod's son!

Rod Booker was drafted in 1980 in the 4th round by the Minnesota twins, but didn't make it to the big leagues until 1987.  He got into 44 games, but only had 47 at-bats, so it looks like he was mostly pinch-hitting and occasionally spelling Tom Herr and Ozzie Smith.  Booker got cups of coffee in St. Louis again in 1988 and 1989 but didn't stick for a whole season until 1990, when he was playing for Philadelphia.  He didn't survive the 1991 season, though, and never again reached the majors.

That being said...I actually really like this card!  For starters, you've got Booker waiting in line behind the batting cage with Vince Coleman in front of him.  But its Booker's expression that wins the day.  Maybe Coleman passed gas?  It's a candid moment captured by Topps forever.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

615th Place - Ed Nunez

Card #258

Happy, uh, New Year?  Is this really my first 2016 post? Slacker!

I'm going to slap on the "product placement" label for that perfectly placed Wilson brand and glove name, a Proselect model.  Topps shortened up Nunez's moniker from "Edwin" to "Ed" throughout his career, despite Score, Fleer, and Donruss doing the opposite.  Maybe they knew him better?

Nunez was a durable and longtime reliever in the bigs, lasting thirteen seasons.  According to Wikipedia, he was the youngest player in the American League in the 1982 and 1983 seasons.  Though he bounced around to a few teams, his longest tenure was with Seattle, who he would be traded away from in 1988 to join the New York Mets in their playoffs push.  I found this fun link, which is especially awesome if you lived in the Seattle area like I did in the mid-80's.