Topps Baseball Card Of The Day, February 2019

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I own every Topps baseball set since 1987, and every Score baseball card ever made. For years I thought long and hard how I could put these cards "to use" aside from sitting in their binders until the end of time. The Card Of The Day was born.

I'd hoped to introduce a new card every single day but that quickly proved impossible under the weight of a regular job and fatherhood—now I'm aiming for 2-3 per week.

 

I initially planned to include Score cards here, but decided they would over-saturate the 1990's and make it tougher to pull modern players—we don't want to be TOO nostalgic. So please enjoy randomly-selected Topps cards from 1987-present.

 

Click on images for larger views.

John Jaha Topps
John Jaha Topps

2/28/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 1999 Topps #307 John Jaha, Brewers

More John Jaha Topps Cards: 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 2000 2001

Jaha was one of the mid-1990's Brewers main power sources, leading the team in homers 1995-96 and later slugging his way onto the 1999 AL All-Star team with Oakland. But he was not blessed with durability—stout of build, Jaha topped 150 games in 1993 but only twice more in seven post-1994 seasons would he even reach 140.

Let's see: there was the groin injury in 1995 (two DL stints), a torn labrum in May 1997, foot and hamstring injuries in '98 which disabled him thrice, shoulder surgery in 2000, and a groin injury suffered while dodging a fastball in '01. And those are just the ones I know about.

Here, Jaha is coming off a lost 1998 season—Milwaukee's first in the NL. The previously mentioned foot and hamstring injuries limited him to 73 games, in which he slugged just .343 despite a solid .366 OBP. (Not to mention, Jaha was caught driving his unregistered BMW drunk in May.)

THIS CARD: Jaha holds down 1B at Wrigley Field; if Milwaukee hadn't switched to the NL that year, Jaha likely doesn't see much action in the field due to his health. Never known for his defense, Jaha fielded a respectable .994 in his 55 starts at 1B in '98.

Jaha wore #32 throughout his Brewers career; Jeremy Jeffress claims it today.

My like for 1999 Topps, at least cosmetically, has recently grown as I've sifted through so many Topps sets with limited photo space (* cough 2006 and 2008 cough *). My issue with the set was never its appearance, but rather its insufficiency. 

(flip) Dang, never knew Jaha was drafted back in '84. That's a LONG time in one team's farm system. 

Jaha's slam—served up by Ramon Martinez of the Dodgers—tied Cecil Cooper; Jeromy Burnitz eventually tied both of them. Ryan Braun eventually passed them all, he's got six as of 2019 Spring training. (Oh, and the Dodgers LOST that game thanks to Jaha!)

AFTER THIS CARD: Milwaukee understandably let Jaha go after the 1998 season; he hooked up with Oakland, stayed healthy (DH'ing full-time surely helped) and put together his best all-round season for the upstart 1999 Athletics (35 HR, .414 OBP and .556 SLG were all career highs). 

Unfortunately, a bad shoulder hindered him in 2000; the ensuing operation ended his season in July. Two more DL trips followed in '01, and Jaha wound up retiring in July—his body simply couldn't withstand the rigors of Major League Baseball.

John Jaha appeared annually in Topps 1992-2001, with a solid variety of front images. 1992 was a shared Prospects card.

CATEGORIES: 1999 Topps, Milwaukee Brewers

 

More February 2019 Topps Cards Of The Day

1989 Topps Kevin Brown
1989 Topps Kevin Brown

2/1/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 1989 Topps Traded #15T Kevin Brown, Rangers

More Kevin Brown Topps Cards: 1988T 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 

Kevin Brown. Where do I start?

Brown was a dominant pitcher, arguably the league's most dominant righty 1996-00. He was a groundbreaker, baseball's first $100M man (and certainly the first with his own jet). He also was reportedly not the nicest of guys, and as he proved by breaking his hand punching a wall in anger late in his career, he was a tad on the emotional side.

But Brown was a winner, topping the 12-win mark 10 times and reaching 15+ wins six times. He was always good for 230+ innings until turning 35, and his sinking fastball was possibly the one toughest pitch to hit in baseball.

Here, however, Brown is just a pup with all of five big league games under his belt. Called up in September 1988, Brown breezed through his first start before hitting turbulence.

 

 

THIS CARD: Brown gets loose at what looks like old Tiger Stadium—I initially guessed Yankee Stadkum, but doubted they had bullpens in play. Brown's second 1989 start was a CG win at Detroit; he allowed but one unearned run.

Brown doesn't look like much in this particular pose, but make no mistake—that boy was filthy in his prime, Mitchell Report or not.

(flip) "Won" on the monthly scoreboard rather than "Wins"? Never before noticed.

That lone 1988 win was a CG effort at eventual AL Champion Oakland in Brown's first start after being recalled. At that point he'd won each of his first two MLB starts.

McIntyre, Georgia is located 25 miles east of Macon.

AFTER THIS CARD: Blah blah, 21 wins in 1992, Orioles in 1995, World Series win with '97 Marlins, World Series loss with '98 Padres, two top-3 Cy finishes, $105M from Dodgers, injuries, trade to Yankees, punched wall, 211 career wins, Mitchell Report.

Kevin Brown debuted in 1989 Topps Traded, then appeared annually in the base set 1990-2005.

CATEGORIES: 1989 Topps, Texas Rangers

 
2013 Topps Zach McAllister
Zach McAllister, 2013 Topps

2/1/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 2013 Topps #513 Zach McAllister, Indians

More Zach McAllister Topps Cards: 2012 2014 2015U 2016

Major league fans first became acquainted with McAllister way back in the second half of 2011, and though he's been a mostly solid pitcher in the seven seasons since, he'll be best remembered for kicking a ball in 2016—Twins C Kurt Suzuki lined one off McAllister's leg into the air, and the big righty deftly snared it as if practicing a Spring Training drill.

If you watched ESPN or MLB Network that night, you saw the replay at least 25 times.

Here, McAllister has just wrapped up his first extended big league run. Called up twice by the 2012 Tribe to fill rotation holes, McAllister completed five innings in 18 of 22 starts and managed to rank third among Indians in total innings pitched.

THIS CARD: My favorite Indians jersey. Thanks, Topps!

McAllister deals to an unknown Minnesota Twin. He faced those division rivals twice at home in 2012, losing both and allowing a whopping seven unearned runs in one matchup...ouch.

Indians CF Michael Brantley stands in the background.

(flip) McAllister currently stands at 542 K. He could still catch Nolan Ryan if: he returns to starting, and they change the strikeout rule to one-and-you're-out.

That is a ghastly 19 UER allowed in 2012...thanks for nothing, defense.

Topps just confused the crap out of me by listing Columbus before Scranton. The Yankees traded McAllister as the PTBNL in exchange for Austin Kearns, who I forgot ever played for the Yankees. 

 

 

AFTER THIS CARD: The 26-year-old improved his numbers in 2013, but pitched himself back to the minors in '14. He returned as a reliever and in time developed into a quality one, averaging 55 appearances 2015-17. However, 2018 was tough, and the Indians surprisingly cut McAllister after parts of eight seasons; he hooked up with Detroit and fared even worse.

Zach McAllister appeared annually in Topps 2012-16; 2015 was an Update card. He's also got a 2017 Stadium Club card that for some reason made me immediately want that set.

 

 

CATEGORIES: 2013 Topps, Cleveland Indians

 
Charles Nagy 1991 Topps
Charles Nagy 1991 Topps

2/1/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 1991 Topps #466 Charles Nagy, Indians

More Charles Nagy Topps Cards: 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003

Welcome to the new TSR! It'll be some time before the full Topps COTD archives are back up—let our February additions appease you in the meantime; there'll be plenty.

1988 Olympian Charles Nagy was the #17 overall pick out of UConn in 1988, a 12-game winner at two levels in 1989, and a 13-game winner at AA Akron in 1990—that's how you skip AAA en route to the majors. Though Nagy scuffled a bit in his initial outings, the 23-year-old took a string of three successive quality starts into the off-season.

THIS CARD: You're viewing our second Nagy COTD profile; we specially selected his 1997 Topps card in 2017 in honor of his 50th birthday.

Nagy wore #41 and only #41 throughout his 13 Tribe seasons.

At Cleveland Stadium, Nagy reaches back to toss his mid-90's heat, slider, changeup or curve. He also sank the fastball, in case you were wondering.

 

(flip) 1989 Kingston = dominance.

Looking at the monthly scoreboard, one may conclude the Indians kept Nagy sitting around, dusting him off for one or two games per month. Nope—he was on the AA shuttle.

(You don't see too many dudes shuttled between DOUBLE-A and the bigs.)

No other 1989 Carolina Leaguer threw more than two SHO.

 

AFTER THIS CARD: By 1992, Nagy was the Indians' #1 starter, and he didn't miss one turn until going on the DL in 2000. He won 15+ games six times in that span, and made three All-Star teams. Despite the accolades, he was not chosen to start Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, and wound up allowing the game-winning single to Edgar Renteria just past his outstretched mitt.

That 2000 DL stint? Surgery to remove bone chips in Nagy's elbow; he never fully recovered his effectiveness or health, and faded away after a short stint with the 2003 Padres.

In the ensuing years, Nagy worked as pitching coach for the Diamondbacks and Angels, serving three years in each role.

Charles Nagy appeared annually in Topps 1991-2003, the finale as a Padre.

CATEGORIES: 1991 Topps, Cleveland Indians

 
2013 Topps Craig Kimbrel All-Star
2013 Topps Craig Kimbrel All-Star

2/3/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 2013 Topps Update #53 Craig Kimbrel All-Star

More Craig Kimbrel All-Star Topps Cards: 2011U 2012U 2014U 2017U 2018U

A large contingent would probably welcome Kimbrel to the Midsummer Classic just to watch his, uh, unusual pre-set pose. I would be among them.

Fortunately, Kimbrel happens to be a dominant closer, so he's reached seven All-Star games solely on merit (pitching in five). Though he's the active MLB saves leader (333), I don't see him breaking Mo Rivera's all-time saves record. But all that could stop him from reaching 500 (and Cooperstown) is poor health, a trade back to the Padres, or the end of civilization—opposing batters for sure aren't going to stop him.

2013 marked Kimbrel's third MLB season, and third All-Star selection—26 saves and a 1.53 first-half ERA for the first-place Braves made that selection an easy one.

THIS CARD: Kimbrel rears back to fire his 100-mph gas, or his power curveball that acts more like a slider. He's also got a changeup that'll make special cameos...unfair.

Kimbrel pitched the 8th inning of the Classic, allowing successive singles to Salvy Perez and Jhonny Peralta. Two batters later, Jason Kipnis doubled home the final run of the AL's 3-0 victory...not a blown save, but it probably felt like one.

(flip) Kimbrel entered the break having saved 16 of those 26 in a row (on the heels of blowing three of five). 

Aiding that .185 BAA: 54 K in 124 official AB against (he also walked 12 and hit two).

AFTER THIS CARD: Kimbrel ran his 2013 save streak to 37 (5/9-9/14/13) en route to a season total of 50, which tied Baltimore's Jim Johnson for MLB's best. When all was said and done, only three NL'ers earned more Cy Young votes. In short: the dude is filthy, people.

Now 30, the eight-year vet also pitched in the 2014 and 2017 All-Star games, but remained on the sldelines in 2016 and 2018. All that celebration, no wonder he's asking for a six-year deal in free agency (he's an unsigned FA at this writing).

CATEGORIES: 2013 Topps Update, All-Stars

 
 
Topps Matt Turner
Topps Mat Turner
Topps Frank Robinson
Topps Frank Robinson

2/6/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 1994 Topps #587 Matt Turner, Marlins and 2004 Topps #284 Frank Robinson, Expos

More Matt Turner Topps Cards: n/a

More Frank Robinson Topps Cards: 1988T 1989 1990 1991 2003 2005 2006

I'm aware it's probably sacrilegious to not give the late Frank Robinson his own COTD space. I'm also aware it's essentially sinful for that space to be shared with someone as forgettable as the late Matt Turner. Both men passed away recently, and for editing and time purposes, I'm combining their special selections, as I've done two other times (most recently when Jose Castillo and Luis Valbuena died in December 2018).

Turner was undrafted out of Middle Georgia College, but was signed by the Braves and spent five-plus years in their system, mostly as a reliever. He went to Houston in the 1991 Jim Clancy trade, then joined the Marlins system a few weeks prior to the X-Draft.

On the other hand, Robinson was one of the greatest players of all-time, masher of 586 home runs 1954-74 mostly for the Reds and Orioles, and a trailblazer as well—before Robinson took over the 1974 Indians, no black man had ever managed in MLB. Which, if you're a true baseball fan, you already knew (or at least suspected).

Here, Turner has reached the bigs at the expense of Spring wunderkind Scott Pose—entering Denver, the Marlins needed an extra arm, and decided on Turner's. Robinson has just completed his second year back in the dugout for the MLB-run Montreal Expos; he surprisingly kept the team in contention most of the year.

THESE CARDS: I chose Robinson's 2004 card because A) we haven't had much COTD representation from 2004 Topps, and B) 2003 may have been Robinson's best of several successful years as a manager. I chose Turner's 1994 Topps card because it's his only one.

Check out Turner's arm position; that looks a tad painful. He threw a 90+ fastball along with a forkball and splitter, plus a slider.

Turner wore #54, since worn by Wei-Yin Chen 2016-18—easily longer than any other Marlin.

Robinson's mid-budget Expos split 2003 between Montreal and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and superstar Vlad Guerrero had one foot out of both doors the whole time (signing with the Angels in the off-season). Yet, if there were a second Wild Card in those days, Montreal would have finished just four games back at 83-79. Along with the '82 Giants and '89 O's...among Robinson's best work.

(flip) Don't tell me to be quiet, Matt! I have to inform my readers that Cubs PH Doug Jennings, of all people, took you deep on 6/14/93. It was the fourth of his five career jacks.

Note that Robinson was player-manager with Cleveland, and he's the one man to win MVP in each league—not Pujols, not Cabrera, not Griffey, not Guerrero.

AFTER THESE CARDS: Traded to the Indians in Spring 1994, Turner appeared nine times before being struck by Hodgkin's disease (Cleveland did him a solid during the strike). He never pitched in MLB again, and passed away 1/27/19 after continued battles with cancer.

Robinson managed Montreal/Washington through 2006, and though some players openly dissed him, Jose Guillen dug him and Reggie Jackson praised him in his book, and that counts for something.

CATEGORIES: 1994 Topps., 2004 Topps. Florida Marlins, Montreal Expos, Now Deceased

 
Kyle Farnsworth Royals
Kyle Farnsworth, Royals

2/10/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 2009 Topps Update #112 Kyle Farnsworth, Royals

More Kyle Farnsworth Topps Cards: 2002 2003 2004 2005 2005U 2006 2007U 2008U 2010U 2011U 2012 2013

Kyle Farnsworth could bring heat, the kind you'd expect from someone standing a muscular 6'4". He averaged just under a K per inning lifetime and was a regular closer on two playoff teams (2005 Braves and 2011 Rays). But he could have, and in the eyes of many, should and would have, been so much more if he pounded the strike zone the way he pounded opponents.

You see, a couple of dudes who obviously weren't aware Farnsworth is a legit black belt made the mistake of challenging him during separate on-field brawls. The first one, Paul Wilson, ended up speared and bloodied. The second one, Jeremy Affeldt, ended up body-slammed. Neither of these men are exactly diminutive, by the way—this wasn't like Farnsworth picking on Tim Lincecum.

A (deserved) reputation was born: do not provoke Mr. Farnsworth. Just...don't.

Here, the 11-year vet has joined the Royals four seasons after brawling with then-Royal Affeldt. KC paid Farnsworth 2Y/$9.5M to help bridge the gap to young CL Joakim Soria.

THIS CARD: Other notable Royal #40's include Bud Black in the 1980's and Kelvin Herrera this decade. Farnsworth wore #40, #43, #44 or #48 at all of his many big league stops except Pittsburgh in '13.

I can't isolate the pitch grip; Farnsy featured gas that reached 100 in his early days, a splitter and a hard slider. Later he added a sinker and changeup.

(flip) Since there's no blurb, I'll create one: Kyle was limited to 41 games in 2009 due to finger injuries suffered breaking up a fight between his two bulldogs. True story. 

At career close, Farnsworth's best opponent ERAs: 1.23 vs Angels, 1.44 vs, Mariners and 1.86 vs Yankees.

That is no misprint; Farnsworth was selected #1,290 overall in 1994. Only one other from that draft round reached MLB—pitcher Joe Winklesas (eight total games in '99 and '06).

AFTER THIS CARD: Baseball learned to avoid Farnsworth when the benches cleared; he remained fight-free after 2005. Though never officially being named closer, he led the '11 Rays with 25 saves (in 31 tries) before settling back into a setup role. Released in August 2013, Farnsworth closed that year with Pittsburgh.

His career ended with a bit of admitted bitterness—despite pitching well, the Mets cut Farnsworth in early 2014 to avoid paying a lousy $1M roster bonus. He'd close his MLB career that year appearing 16 times for Houston.

Kyle Farnsworth appeared annually in Topps or Topps Update 2002-13.

CATEGORIES: 2009 Topps Update, Kansas City Royals

 
Mat Latos Topps
Mat Latos Topps

2/13/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 2015 Topps #467 Mat Latos, Marlins

More Mat Latos Topps Cards: 2009U 2010 2011 2012 2012 U 2013 2014 2015U 2016 2017

Get ready, y'all. I'm about to be unkind.

Latos, one of the more suckbaggy players of his time, was also a halfway decent pitcher for a while, I admit begrudgingly. I got to see plenty of him during his early Padres days; once a year he'd stop sucking long enough to throw a good game at my Giants.

That is, when he wasn't throwing baseballs through their announcer's car windows and not making restitution.

Dominating low-A and AA in 2009, Latos essentially forced the Padres to give him a look. The look lasted 2.5 seasons; though Latos was on a loose innings limit, he started 31 times and averaged 6+ IP per start 2010-11, winning 14 games in '10 while tying an MLB record by allowing 2- runs in 15 straight starts. (Probably scuffed the ball.)

Latos wasn't the easiest guy to deal with, however, and Cincinnati needed a top starter—cue trade to Reds prior to 2012. Fortuitous for the Giants in two ways: it got Latos out of the NL West, and it put him in position to allow a game-changing grand slam to Buster Posey in Game 5 of the 2012 NLDS at Cincinnati.

Here, Latos has concluded his three-year Reds stint—with little good to say on the way out—and moved on to Miami, who swapped two kids to import the Florida native.

THIS CARD: Latos was known for his ink almost as much as his arm early on. 

In this image, Latos resembles a tobacco-weathered Jason Schmidt. You can tell them apart because Jason Schmidt isn't a suckbag.

I'm actually going to miss this Marlins look/color. It took a couple years to get used to (and to accept the teal look was gone) and just when I did, THEY TAKE IT AWAY.

(flip) One of the two kids acquired by the Reds was Anthony DeScalfini; Cincy easily won the deal. Reportedly, it was made to reduce payroll, but Latos was probably being an ass.

Latos tore knee cartilage during Spring, then bruised his elbow—which had bone chip surgery during the prior off-season—in September. If you didn't click the links above, Latos claimed he was rushed back from the knee injury and was never really quite right in '14. *cough bulls--- cough*. (You've probably figured out I'm no Latos fan.)

AFTER THIS CARD: Little in the way of success. Latos went from Miami to the Dodgers in the famed 13-man, three-team megadeal with Atlanta in mid-2015. Since then, he's bounced through four MLB rotations, not lasting longer than 60 innings with any of them. Latos has been out of MLB since May 2017, and I'll bet nobody misses him.

I've got more to say about this clown, but will save for a future COTD.

Mat Latos debuted in 2009 Topps Update, then appeared annually in the base set 2010-15. He's got '12 and '15 Update cards as well, the latter as a Dodger.

CATEGORIES: 2015 Topps, Miami Marlins

 
Carlos Baerga Topps
Carlos Baerga Topps

2/16/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 2004 Topps #429 Carlos Baerga, Diamondbacks

More Carlos Baerga Topps Cards: 1990T 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 2002T 2003 

Most dudes never get one big-league career; Baerga was fortunate enough to enjoy THREE such careers—the first as a record-setting star with the Indians, the second as a solid regular with the Mets trying to recapture stardom, and the third as a pinch hitter/part-timer for a few clubs.

Here, Baerga makes his second COTD appearance; we profiled his 1991 Topps card back in July 2015. He's in the midst of career #3, starting 38 times across the infield (and at DH) to go with 63 pinch-hitting appearances.

THIS CARD: The uncommon baseball card with a sunglassed subject. I'm not sure what park Baerga is at, but given the colors in the crowd I'll guess St. Louis or Cincinnati.

The silhouette even carries the uniform lettering on this card! This may well be the only such 2004 Topps card; I'll be monitoring going forward.

Though Baerga's uniform numbers changed with every career stop, he was always single-digits except with the '02 Red Sox (#10). He only wore #3 while with Arizona.

(flip) Those 19 pinch-hits came in 55 AB (..345). Only Colorado's Greg Norton (23) accumulated more hits off the bench in 2003.

Baerga's 2000-01 absence from MLB? He was cut by Tampa in Y2K, then again by Seattle in early '01. He played for a time in the Independent League and Korea, retired, bought a team and managed it (while resuming playing), then won a job with the '02 Red Sox.

AFTER THIS CARD: The Puerto Rico native returned to Arizona for '04 in almost strictly a pinch-hitting role, then wrapped his career with the 2005 Nationals batting .253 in 158 AB—he only homered twice that year, but his final shot was a game-tying, two-run shot with two outs in the bottom of the 9th vs. Roberto Hernandez of the Mets! (The blow was the penultimate hit of Baerga's 14-year career as well.)

Carlos Baerga appeared in Topps 1990-1998 and 2002-04, with 1990 and 2002 being Traded cards. 

CATEGORIES: 2004 Topps, Arizona Diamondbacks

 
Alfonso Soriano Topps
Alfonso Soriano Topps

2/20/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 2009 Topps #400 Alfonso Soriano, Cubs

More Alfonso Soriano Topps Cards: 1999T 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2010 2011 2012 2013 2013U 2014

The Randomizer is starting to get on my nerves. So far this month it's coughed out three repeat selectees, as well as one of my most despised players ever. That's not even counting the repeat selection it tried to submit—we did Jose Lima's 2005 Topps card just a few months ago, and the Randomizer tried to sneak it past me again this week.

What is it gonna take to profile a Jeremy Sowers, Cecil Fielder, Kyle Barraclough, Ron Gant, Jake Diekman, Erik Hanson, or any of the 5,000 eligible dudes yet to be selected for Card Of The Day?

Here, we're catching up with Alfonso Soriano for the THIRD time on COTD, although it's his first non-Yankee selection. In Year Two of an 8Y/$136M deal, the veteran LF helped lead the formidable 2008 Cubs to postseason, but couldn't pull them out of the NLDS.

THIS CARD: Either Soriano is giving us his best Ernie Banks, or he's rubbing in his recent two-run, game-winning jack in MLB '11: The Show. He could also be wondering why he's appearing in COTD again, having already been selected TWO other times...ask the Randomizer, Fonzie.

I'll use this space to, for probably the fifth time in this website, gripe about the speed in which the 2008 Cubs fell to the Dodgers in the NLDS. That team, to me, had no holes, and seemed to even have destiny in hand (an even 100 years since their last title). Oh, well.

(flip) Soriano hit five more lead-off homers—all in 2009—vaulting him ahead of Biggio with 54. Of the five from 2008, three came in a four-day span 5/13-16.

Soriano finished up with six bombs against future teammate Sabathia, five vs. Moyer, and four vs. 10 separate dudes.

AFTER THIS CARD: Soriano's production and durability waned after he turned 30—though still capable of leaving the yard 20 times a year, he was not the All-Star player he had been when signing his Cubs megadeal. Chicago eventually traded him back to the Yankees in '13; he enjoyed a resurgence that summer but fell off dramatically in '14 and was cut about a year after being re-acquired. Soriano retired that winter.

Alfonso Soriano appeared annually in Topps 2000-14, with 2000 being a shared Prospects card.

CATEGORIES: 2009 Topps, Chicago Cubs

 
Perez_Yorkis_95ToppsFront.jpg
Perez_Yorkis_95ToppsBack.jpg

2/22/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 1995 Topps #600 Yorkis Perez, Marlins

More Yorkis Perez Topps Cards: n/a

I've long had a vague memory of a Yorkis Perez/Barry Bonds confrontation from Bonds' early Giants days—words, a brawl, something. But I couldn't unscramble the memory clearly. Now that Perez is a COTD selectee, I had reason to officially research this memory.

Turns out that Perez once struck out Bonds and sprinted back to the dugout.

Even though Bonds was the first out of the inning and Perez wasn't being removed.

And it's Larry Walker and Benny Agbayani who star in the forgotten-outs blooper reels...

Perez was a lesson in perseverance; the guy was originally signed by Minnesota in 1983 but didn't get extended MLB run until 1994 (there was a sneak peek with the 1991 Cubs)  He was originally a starter who enjoyed a fine 1989 at two levels in the Expos system, but for whatever reason was put in the 'pen for 1990.

Here, Perez has spent most of 1994 with the Marlins, replacing Joe Klink as Rene Lachemann's #1 lefty out of the pen (and producing the aforementioned brain fart.) It was a sweet payoff for Perez, who just two years prior was keeping his dream alive across the ocean in Japan.

THIS CARD: Perez was described by one publication as "a fastball/slider power pitcher". He also threw a curve, and earlier in his career featured a changeup.

It looks like a load of Perez's teammates are situated on the infield. Did he pull the old Satchel Paige trick and gather the outfielders on the infield?

(flip) It's obscured here, but Perez wore #58 with Florida; coincidentally, that was Klink's number previously. Did Perez take the guy's jockstraps, too? Sheesh.

You have to pore closely to find Perez's 1991 Cubs stint; he was part of the Damon Berryhill trade with Atlanta verylate in the 1991 season. (BTW, different sources list him as the brother/cousin of the famed Pascual/Melido/Carlos Perez trio. But baseballreference.com does not, so that's what I'm going with until Yorkis shows up at my door with proof.)

I now know of the city of Elizabethton. Elizabethtown sounds better, IMHO.

AFTER THIS CARD: The Marlins kept Perez around thru 1996, but he was unable to completely recover 1994's effectiveness (in 1995, Perez posted a 1.67 home ERA in 37 games and 13.16 in 32 games away from Miami). 

Perez hooked up with the Mets for '97, but hurt his shoulder two games in—upon healing, he was stashed in AAA and didn't return to New York until late August. Two years with the Phillies and one with Houston followed, but Perez didn't pitch in 2001 and was headed to retirement when his mom and sis died in a plane crash exactly two months after 9/11.

Opting to continue pitching, Perez signed with Arizona for '02 but wound up in Baltimore before Spring Training wrapped; he threw well enough but ended the season—and, as it turned out, his career—on the DL following an appendectomy.

This is Yorkis Perez's lone Topps card. 1997 and 1999 Fleer depict him as a Met and Phillie, respectively.

CATEGORIES: 1995 Topps, Florida Marlins

 
Topps Classic Combos
Topps Classic Combos

2/25/19 Topps Baseball Card Of The Day: 2007 Topps Update #279 Classic Combos

More Classic Combos Topps Cards: n/a

In our "About TSR" section, I explain the reasoning behind this site—a need to entertain, orf course, but more than that, a need to be my own boss after working for a nitpicky series of editors on another website.

This means that even though I've set criteria for every section of the site, and consistently adhere to it...I'm always free to break my own protocol if a situation warrants. After all, I'M MY OWN BOSS.

The pulling of this card nearly resulted in the breaking of protocol.

You see, my rule for COTD is as follows: when the Randomizer picks a card, the card MUST be profiled UNLESS it is part of a set currently on the Hiatus list, or the card has been profiled before (which has only happened once). It doesn't matter if I dislike the player, the player's been pulled before, or the card is uninteresting.

All of that said, I almost pulled rank on myself with the random selection of this card. "Classic Combos" began infesting Topps sets in 2006 and haven't been fully exterminated (although the population has been reduced). I loathe most of these cards, because too many of them are just two random dudes on a card. In some cases, the dude isn't even a notable player.

In the end, I've decided I cannot break protocol. But I can half-assedly profile the card and any others like it.

THIS CARD: Pic appears to be taken at the 2007 All-Star Game at AT&T Park; many (but not all) CC's are from said game, which would carry some logic.  But then you delve deeper and unearth a CC card of Travis Hafner and...Jason Michaels...and it becomes clear the company was just taking unused pix of random dudes and passing them off as "Combos".

For Christ sake, it looks like Utley just went Rougned Odor at Ichiro down near 2B.

(flip) Absolutely no relevant information on the reverse of early CC's, just the same information available on each of their commons. So many of these cards are such a space-filling waste, especially early on, that I've actually written to Topps voicing my opposition.

AFTER THIS CARD: Topps eventually dumped CC's from the 2011-14 sets, and when they returned in 2015, many of them served as Checklist fronts, or actually had interesting reverses, or at least featured duos/trios that made sense (i.e. Jose Altuve/Carlos Correa).

That's enough "ink" spent on this pointless CC card.

CATEGORIES: 2007 Topps Update, Subsets