Score Baseball Card Of The Day
"I have opinions of my own -- strong opinions -- but I don't always agree with them." -- President George W. Bush
7/30/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1993 Score #53 Doc Gooden, Mets
Though still an excellent and successful pitcher during the 1980's and early 1990's, Doc Gooden's days of teenage invincibility were far, far in the rearview mirror by 1992—his first losing season in MLB. But blame didn't rest entirely at Gooden's feet—the '92 Mets, despite some big-name acquisitions, were a train wreck and didn't do their ace many favors on the field.
Gooden, for his part, remained (mostly) healthy and on track in 1992 after battling injury and substance issues in recent years. He won in double-digits for the eighth time in nine MLB seasons and won the NL Silver Slugger Award by batting .264 with five XBH and only the second pinch-hit single ever by a Mets pitcher!
THIS CARD: We see Gooden possibly at Candlestick Park, pumping in what looks like a heater based on the grip. By 1992, Gooden's fastball still flirted with mid-90's velocity, and he still had the great curve...but for much of his Mets tenure his slider and changeup just weren't reliable enough to be weapons.
I always remember Gooden the Met as a thin guy—not Trenton McKenzie-level thin, but thin enough—but here, he's clearly added some beef he didn't have as a youngster. Doc was listed at 190 on his 1985 cards, but between 200-210 on his 1993 cards.
More from Gooden's 1992 season: he didn't allow a home run until 5/23—a span of 58 innings—when the Giants' Cory Snyder led off the B8th with a blast. Gooden finished the year with two CG wins in his final three starts, and the first of those two victories, on 9/23 at St. Louis, was Gooden's 141st as a Met—moving him past Jerry Koosman into second place on the franchise's all-time list.
(flip) David Cone, of course, would later become Gooden's teammate again in 1996-97 when the latter signed with the Yankees.
Every time I see those first couple rows of Gooden's statline, I just shake my head...if only Gooden could have maintained sobriety, there's no telling how long his excellence would have lasted. You see those career numbers he had at age 28...250 wins and no suspensions might have landed Gooden in the Hall of Fame.
Score referred to Gooden as "Doc" in their 1989-94 sets. He was "Dwight" on his 1988 and 1997 Score cards, his first and last with the company.
AFTER THIS CARD: Despite lowering his ERA and WHIP, Gooden endured another losing campaign in 1993 (12-15), as the '93 Mets were even more troubled than in '92. Gooden would only win 40 more games after 1993—the veteran was out of baseball for most of 1994-95 following a drug suspension, and was 31 by the time he resurfaced with the 1996 Yankees.
Gooden threw a memorable no-hitter vs. the Mariners that year, but was otherwise up-and-down on the mound and not used in the Yankees' successful March to the 1996 World Championship. After a similar 1997 season (which was shortened by hernia surgery), Gooden moved on to Cleveland via 2Y/$5.6M deal in November '97.
Gooden's overall numbers for the '98 Indians (8-6, 3.76) weren't bad, but he memorably got himself tossed in ALDS Game 2 against Boston (to be fair, ump Joe Brinkman was not good that night).
34-year-old Gooden endured a forgettable 1999 season, then spent what proved to be his final season with the Astros (one mediocre start), Devil Rays (eight mostly-poor starts) and Yankees (3.36 ERA as a swingman)—picking up his third World Series ring on the way out.
In 2008, Gooden was part of the closing ceremonies at Shea Stadium and received a loud ovation from Mets fans. He was inducted to the Mets Hall Of Fame in 2010 and in 2013 he authored "Doc: A Memoir", detailing his baseball career as well as his personal problems and post-baseball life/goals. (TSR Note: It was a very good read.)
Dwight/Doc Gooden appeared in 1988-94 Score, then showed up one last time in 1997 Score.
More July 2022 Score Cards Of The Day
7/5/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1993 Score #260 J.T. Snow, Yankees
The scene: Giants FanFest 2009, AT&T Park (now Oracle Park) San Francisco. My buddy Aldo and I are in line along the RF wall, waiting for photos with then-Giants OF Dave Roberts and then-Giants pitching coach Dave Righetti.
As we wait, we spot none other than J.T. Snow—one of the special guests—climbing through the seats to reach the concourse (the aisles were pretty crowded). Both of us politely say "Hi, J.T."
Both of us are ignored.
Try as I might to justify Snow's actions—for all I know he just got a call that his family was being held hostage—I admit I'm still a little bothered today that Snow couldn't even turn his head and wave, especially since he was at a FAN EVENT.
Here, the young 1B is just removing the seal on his major league career. Called up by the Yankees in late September 1992, he obviously was not going to displace Don Mattingly anytime soon, but Snow played so well for AAA Columbus that year that he deserved at least a little major league run. His first MLB hit was a double off Blue Jays ace CL Tom Henke 9/27.
THIS CARD: It is SO strange here in 2022 to see a righty-batting Snow. He switch-hit until towards the end of the 1998 season, but after years of underperforming from the right side, he ceased.
Snow only came to bat six times at Yankee Stadium during his call-up, with only two of those PA coming as a righty. He drew an IBB in one of them 9/22 vs. Detroit, meaning here we're watching Snow bat against Toronto RP David Wells on 9/26 (an AB that ended in a K, unfortunately for Snow.)
More from Snow's 1992 season: he was named the International League (AAA) MVP, made the All-Star team and helped Columbus to a victory in the Governor's Cup Finals! (That's the league championship, FYI.) New York called Snow up after said Finals, and he started thrice while serving as a PH/DR four other times.
(flip) The late Jack Thomas Snow Sr. played 150 games with the Rams 1965-75, catching 340 passes and scoring 45 touchdowns. He was a 1967 Pro Bowler and resembled a mix of Dick Clark and Joe DiMaggio.
Eventual Yankees teammate Gerald Williams was the only International Leaguer with more hits than Snow's 154 in 1992; off/on big leaguer Butch Davis of Syracuse (Blue Jays) matched the total.
I never knew minor leagues awarded Rookies of the Year! To me, that's a bit odd—your end goal is MLB, you're ALL rookies in theory!
And yet, I can make no ridiculous comparisons...maybe I'M wrong.
AFTER THIS CARD: Snow was included in the December 1992 trade that sent Angels SP Jim Abbott to the Yankees; for the initial two weeks of 1993 his hot bat was the talk of baseball. But eventually he leveled off, and it wasn't until 1995 that he established himself as the Angels' start-to-finish first baseman. He hit .289, 24, 102 that year and won the Gold Glove!
With prospect Darin Erstad on the horizon, California dealt Snow to my Giants in November 1996. He was viciously beaned by Randy Johnson in Spring 1997 but recovered to have a fine season (.281, 28, 104). By 1999, as we mentioned, he was a full-time lefty hitter, one who hit .274, 24, 98 for the '99 Giants! Snow was extended for 4Y/$24M that July.
The Giants moved from The 'Stick to then-Pacific Bell Park for 2000, and Snow's power numbers never recovered. In fact, different first basemen such as Andres Galarraga and Damon Minor were eventually given many of the at-bats that used to go to Snow, who hit a combined .246 with 14 total homers 2001-02. But after being surprisingly re-signed for 2004, the 36-year-old hit .327, 12, 60 in 107 games!
Snow spent one more season in SF before signing a 1Y/$2M deal with the Red Sox. But the 38-year-old went 9-for-44 and was cut in June 2006—pleasing news at first, but no one else showed interest. Snow officially ended his career in September 2008 on a one-day contract with the Giants, which I don't really recognize.
Snow finished his career with a .268 average, 189 homers, and 877 RBI along with six Gold Gloves and one unforgettable "save" in 15 seasons. Since retiring, he briefly did some TV work for the Giants (which he was not suited for IMHO).
J.T. Snow appeared in 1993-98 Score.
7/10/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1988 Score #343 Jerry Don Gleaton, Royals
Jerry Don Gleaton was a unicorn to 11-year-old Skillz. Before pulling his 1991 Topps card, I'd never known anyone who went by TWO first names, in or out of MLB. I remember being put off by this discovery—even then, I was hesitant to accept those who were "different", even though in the end I always did.
In and out of the majors since 1979, Gleaton never really had solid MLB footing for very long, but his left arm kept earning him opportunities. After spending 1986 with AAA Buffalo (White Sox), Gleaton joined the Royals in early May 1987 and ran off nine straight scoreless outings! Lefties were only 13-for-63 (.206) against him as an '87 Royal.
THIS CARD: We see Gleaton coming right over the top with either his lively fastball or his curveball. No other source, including my memory, credits him with any other pitches.
A bit surprising Gleaton, a middling middle reliever on a so-so team, made Score's inaugural set. But back then, with just 26 teams, 660 cards went a long way–especially since teams didn't use 57 players per season.
More from Gleaton's 1987 season: he finished almost as strong as he started, with just one earned run allowed over his final 10 appearances. In fact, if you throw out his ugly outing 6/2 at Milwaukee (5 ER in one inning), his season ERA was just 3.44!
(flip) As you see in the stats, Gleaton got some run as a starter early in his career; he'd been damn good in the minors in 1980 and 1982 but couldn't carry over that success for long in the majors.
In Royals history, #39 has been almost exclusively worn by players just passing through town for a season or two. The only Royals players to wear #39 for more than three seasons? SP Al Fitzmorris in the 1970's and P Luis Mendoza in the 2010's. Currently, Royals coach Tony Pena Jr. wears the number.
Those five saves for the 1987 Royals? Dan Quisenberry and Gene Garber tied for the club lead with eight apeice—Royals starters completed 44 games that year. Not a joke or a typo.
AFTER THIS CARD: Gleaton remained in Kansas City into the 1989 season; the team sent him to and from AAA Omaha twice that year, then traded him to the Tigers in April 1990.
For Detroit, Gleaton emerged as a co-closer after incumbent Mike Henneman's midseason slump; he finished with 13 saves and a 2.94 ERA! Gleaton returned to Detroit for 1991 (1Y/$510K) but wasn't as effective.
Following a 1992 season split between AAA Phoenix (Giants) and the Pirates, 35-year-old Gleaton ended his pro career with 46 appearances for AAA Edmonton (Marlins) in 1993. He finished up with a 4.25 ERA and 26 saves in 307 MLB games 1979-92.
Jerry Don Gleaton appeared in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1992 Score.
7/15/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1994 Score #96 Mike Harkey, Cubs
From 1988-1992, Mike Harkey was a very effective starting pitcher for the Cubs.
So what's the problem?
From 1988-1992, Mike Harkey made just 43 starts for the Cubs.
Oh. That is a problem...
21-year-old Harkey came up in 1988 and despite his 0-3 record, he gave Chicago a 2.60 ERA and averaged nearly seven innings across his five starts. But attempting to pitch hurt in Spring Training 1989 set him back, as did a midseason knee injury, and the hard-throwing righty didn't return to MLB until April 1990.
That year, Harkey finished second (to Greg Maddux) on the Cubs with 12 wins, but lost almost all of 1991 to shoulder surgery. Out until July 1992, Harkey excelled in seven starts (1.89 ERA) before rupturing his left patella tendon doing a cartwheel in the outfield prior to a September game. (Ordinarily, I'd make fun of him for that, but even in my prime I had no hope of executing even half a cartwheel, so I'm shutting up here.)
Here, the now-26-year-old has finally gotten through (most of) a season unscathed by physical problems. Harkey's 1993 season was marred by inconsistency, but on four occasions he went eight-plus innings with one or fewer runs allowed.
THIS CARD: The Gold Rush was a parallel set, one or two of which could be found in packs of 1994 Score. Quite a coincidence that it emerged right around the same time a certain other card company debuted Gold parallels.
Notable Cubs to also wear Harkey's #22 include 1B/OF Bill Buckner back in the day and star SP Mark Prior before injuries did him in. Today, OF Jason Heyward lays claim to #22. (Note: Harkey wore #48 as a 1988 Cubs rookie.)
Harkey gears up to fire either his fastball—which once topped 90 but did not in 1993—slider, changeup or curveball.
(flip) Those 1993 final numbers aren't pretty, but if you toss out Harkey's two dreadful starts vs. the Padres—who battered him to a 2.520 WHIP—his ERA dropped to 4.95.
Harkey was sidelined in mid-June with a 4-5, 4.72 record; he missed three weeks. He had gone 2-1, 3.45 from 5/14 thru 6/5.
I'm not sure I can agree with the word "dominating" considering that even at his best and healthiest, Harkey did not strike many dudes out. I know the era was different, but you just can't call a guy whose career K/9 was a measly 4.3 "dominating". In 1993, Harkey's season-high in K was just six, achieved on 7/17 against the expansion Rockies, and it took him eight innings to do that.
AFTER THIS CARD: After watching Harkey go 3-0, 1.64 against them in 1993, the Rockies signed Harkey to a 1Y/$600K deal plus incentives in January 1994. Despite being reunited with old Chicago batterymate Joe Girardi in Colorado, Harkey struggled to a 1-6, 5.79 record in 24 games (13 starts) in '94.
The 28-year-old split 1995 between the Athletics and Angels; he did not exactly dazzle in either spot but at least gave California a few strong outings (including a CG victory). Harkey made 106 total appearances in 1996-97—10 for the 1997 Dodgers, the rest for Albuquerque, their AAA affiliate. No more professional pitching offers came his way.
Since 2000, Harkey has coached professionally, including in MLB since 2006. Except for a two-year sabbatical to serve as Arizona's pitching coach 2014-15, Harkey has worked as the Yankees' bullpen coach since 2008.
Mike Harkey appeared in 1989, 1991-94 and 1996 Score.
7/20/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1989 Score #339 Bill Pecota, Royals
Anytime MLB.com dedicates an article to your "strange career", you've probably had a strange career. Let me introduce you to longtime Royals utilityman Bill Pecota.
Pecota wasn't a great hitter at all, even though he once (in 1989) clubbed three home runs in a doubleheader at the Yankees—his only longballs of that season. He was versatile, so versatile in fact that he played all nine positions during his career—and not as a gimmick. Though his biggest national claim to fame is probably the December 1991 trade that sent himself and star SP Bret Saberhagen to the Mets, Royals fans seem to remember Pecota fondly for the most part.
Here, the young infielder is fresh off his first full season in Kansas City after splitting 1986 and 1987 between the majors and minors. Pecota started 51 games across five positions for the 1988 Royals, and though his overall numbers weren't much, he did enjoy an eight-game hit streak in early September.
THIS CARD: Here, we see Pecota manning either 2B or SS; I can't tell definitively. In 1988 he was used at every position except pitcher—yes, he even caught an inning 8/6 at Toronto—but received the majority of his run at SS (33 starts) and 3B (14 starts).
Partially obscured is Pecota's uniform number #32, the only one he ever wore in his eight-year MLB career. The only other notable Royal to primarily wear #32 is 2015 World Champion SP Chris Young, and he only barely classifies as notable in this context. Rookie Royals 1B Nick Pratto currently wears #32.
More from Pecota's 1988 season: he only committed one error in 132 innings at 3B. On 8/31, Pecota squeezed home the only run of the game versus the visiting Indians! (That was the rare dual CG effort by Cleveland's Greg Swindell and KC's Charlie Leibrandt.) His lone homer of '88 was hit 5/3 off Boston's Mike Smithson.
(flip) I've never heard anyone described as having "good moves in the field". I know what Score was trying to say, and it has nothing to do with Pecota's dancing ability.
1980's Pecota had one of the most nondescript faces of his time. The guy looks like everyone and no one all at the same time, does he not? I do see a little Jeff Kent sans mustache, however.
It should be mentioned that .447 mark against the 1987 AL East was in fairly limited action and did not include—presumably by accident—his 1-for-6 effort against Milwaukee, which brought that average down to a still-impressive .409.
AFTER THIS CARD: With Kevin Seitzer and Frank White entrenched at 3B and 2B, respectively, and Kurt Stillwell handling SS, Pecota spent much of '89 back at AAA Omaha.
The 30-year-old did get some run in place of the fading White in 1990, and started 88 games in place of the injured Seitzer in 1991 (batting .286 in 448 PA!) In June of that year, Pecota also surrendered the triple that California's Dave Winfield needed to complete his cycle.
As a 1992 Met, Pecota batted .227 in 117 games and made his second career mound appearance—allowing a solo homer to Pittsburgh's Andy Van Slyke in a 19-2 beatdown by the Bucs. Pecota ended his career with 136 games for the 1993-94 Braves (who used him more conventionally than his past employers).
Bill Pecota appeared annually in 1988-95 Score, except 1990.
7/25/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1998 Score #214 Jamie Moyer, Mariners
We've only been presenting Score cards since late 2020, but the LONGTIME major league pitcher Moyer appears in Score COTD for the third time already (his 1988 and 1991 Score cards were previously profiled). Here, Moyer has emerged as a star for the 1997 Mariners after years of uneven results, winning 17 of 22 decisions for first-place Seattle in the first year of a 2Y/$4M deal (including buyout) he signed in November 1996.
THIS CARD: Usually, when a club has been mired in mediocrity for years, as the Mariners were for most of 2004-20, I'm all for switching up their look. But in Seattle's case, I was staunchly AGAINST—this look is easily their best ever and shouldn't have been tinkered with (as it was in 2015), IMHO.
You see Moyer reaching back and you know what's coming is gonna be either A) slow, B) very slow, or C) even slower than that. By the time he retired, Moyer's heater—which even in his youth was lukewarm at best—barely cracked 80.
More from Moyer's 1997 season: he finished fifth in the AL in victories (but was only second on his own team, behind Randy Johnson's 20) while posting a career-low 1.219 WHIP. On 7/31 at Milwaukee, he threw the VERY RARE 8.2-inning complete game, losing on a walk-off single by Dave Nilsson. But on 8/26, Moyer scattered seven hits in a traditional CG win over the Red Sox.
(flip) Moyer was indeed originally signed through 1998, but in November 1997 his $2.3M option for 1999 was exercised by the Mariners.
Moyer did play in 1992, just not in MLB. He spent the year going 10-8, 2.86 for AAA Toledo (Tigers).
That first line in the blurb needed redoing.
What it does say: "Jamie who is a southpaw control artist, a finesse pitcher who changes speeds well..."
What it should say: "Jamie, who is a southpaw control artist and a finesse pitcher who changes speeds well..."
Too bad Score Baseball no longer exists; I'd send in my resume.
AFTER THIS CARD: Let's see...how about 13 more seasons (making it 25 in all), 180 more wins, selection to the 2003 All-Star team, a 2008 World Series ring with the Phillies, and a couple of victories with the 2012 Rockies at age 49? Moyer finished up with 269 major league wins despite having possibly the least-impressive stuff of his generation and pitching in some hitter-friendly stadiums.
Jamie Moyer appeared in Score 1988-91 and 1994-98.