Score Baseball Card Of The Day, June 2022
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6/30/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1990 Score #478 Franklin Stubbs, Dodgers
Former #1 pick Franklin Stubbs had a lot of power...when he made contact. I mean, the man clubbed four homers in one game for AAA Albuquerque in 1983!
In 1986-87, he received the bulk of the Dodgers' first base run while also helping out at all three outfield spots; he whacked a combined 39 homers in 806 at-bats, but batted just .230 with 192 K—a heavy total for that era. In '88, Stubbs only started 54 times at first base, with a handful of outfield starts, as Mike Marshall moved in from the outfield for the first two months.
Here, Stubbs is fresh off a trying 1989 season. Future Hall-of-Famer Eddie Murray took over first base in Los Angeles that year, leaving Stubbs to fight for scraps of playing time in the outfield. He'd accumulated just 103 at-bats before undergoing knee surgery in late August.
THIS CARD: I don't know if Stubbs just hit a 434-foot bomb or popped out to SS here, but this is an exciting-looking follow-through all the same. Remembering Stubbs, I can't help but think of current Giant LaMonte Wade—both are/were lefty pull hitters with quiet stances capable of hitting the ball as hard as anybody.
Let's see: #22 on the Dodgers currently belongs to...what's that guy's name...the lefty pitcher who wins all the Cy Youngs...yeah, him. Stubbs cycled through #24, #28, #19 and #39 at his future MLB stops.
Stubbs is listed as a 1B-OF, but in 1989 he only logged 19 innings (all off the bench) at first base with Murray present. He handled all 20 of his chances without error.
(flip) You could call it misfortune on Stubbs' part in the case of Murray and Guerrero, but Brock (with all due respect) was someone he could have outplayed—at least offensively.
What Score meant to tell you is Stubbs started four times in center between 7/30 and 8/4; he started no other games in center field during July 1989.
Stubbs' .291 average was aided by a .310 (9-for-29) August. He was injured 8/17 against the Phillies, rupturing a knee ligament and missing the rest of the season after surgery (I searched everywhere but could not dig up exactly how Stubbs was injured).
AFTER THIS CARD: Stubbs' request to be traded was granted in early April 1990, with Houston sending pitching prospect Terry Wells west. Stubbs wound up starting 121 times for the Astros that year (split evenly between the outfield and first base), stealing 19 bases, driving home 71 runs and clubbing 23 homers—including six against the Dodgers!
That December, Milwaukee signed Stubbs for 3Y/$6M—pretty good dollars in 1990. However, the veteran slugger only hit a combined .220, 20, 80 in 195 games from 1991-92 and was cut by the Brewers in January 1993. MiLB deals with the Expos, Red Sox and Tigers followed, but ultimately Stubbs played just 62 more major league games—all as a 1995 Tigers reserve.
In 1997, Stubbs returned to pro baseball as a coach, serving for over 20 years with the Atlanta, Dodgers and Arizona organizations through at least 2020.
Franklin Stubbs appeared in 1988-92 Score.
More June 2022 Score Cards Of The Day
6/5/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1989 Score #206 Paul O'Neill, Reds
In 1988, O'Neill was a year away from providing one of the all-time bloop-lights (blooper/highlights) of his generation, two years away from winning the World Series, and several years away from touching off a Yankee career so productive that by August 2022, he'll have his #21 retired by the team to go with the plaque already on display in the esteemed Monument Park.
Which isn't to say O'Neill was just some scrub in 1988—he earned his first regular MLB run that year after coming off the bench for most of 1987. The 25-year-old finished second on the '88 Reds in RBI (behind Eric Davis) and slashed a torrid .306/.394/.541 in June as the Reds fought (unsuccessfully) to stay close in the NL West.
THIS CARD: O'Neill is listed as an outfielder, but is obviously playing first base here. We have a section for cards listing players at one position but showing them at another—but it's limited to our Topps Cards Of The Day (at elast for now).
O'Neill played 21 games (16 starts) at first base for Pete Rose in 1988; he committed two errors while notching eight assists. After 1988, however, he only played two more innings at the position—one each in 1996 and 1997 for the Yankees.
More from O'Neill's 1988 season: he went 5-for-5 with four RBI at San Diego on 6/8, which was four days after his T9th, tiebreaking three-run homer off Orel Hershiser (who was having an INSANE 1988 season) stunned the Dodgers in L.A.
(flip) O'Neill pretty much looks just like that today. He's barely aged, covers up any grey, and is about the same size as when he last played 21 seasons ago.
Righty-hitting Jones, coming off a strong 1987 season, had shared time with O'Neill in RF for much of the first half (when not sidelined with a knee sprain) until being traded to Montreal in July.
In MLB, only Atlanta's Graig Nettles had more pinch-RBI (23) than O'Neill in 1987.
AFTER THIS CARD: Something about kicking a ball to the cutoff man, winning the 1990 World Series, making the 1991 All-Star team, being traded to the Yankees for 1993, winning the 1994 batting title, making four more All-Star teams as a Yankee, and winning four more World Series (1996, 1998-2000) as a Yankee.
Plus, he guest-starred on Seinfeld! (How DID Kramer get in the Yankees' locker room?)
Paul O'Neill appeared in 1988-98 Score.
6/10/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1995 Score #374 Rene Arocha, Cardinals
I was fascinated by the man, the myth that was Rene Arocha. Mostly because of his name. It just LOOKED LIKE the name of somebody who would add yet another quality arm to the early-90's St. Louis Cardinals rotation.
An excellent starting pitcher in Cuba, Arocha turned heads when he defected to the U.S.A. in 1991 (which you had to do back then to play in MLB). He signed a MiLB deal with the Cardinals, spent a year with AAA Louisville, then joined the Cardinals rotation in 1993. Arocha did a mostly solid job, but after getting off to a rough start to 1994 (6.48 ERA after seven starts, and that includes the shutout he threw 4/17), Arocha spent the rest of the season in the bullpen.
THIS CARD: Obscured is Arocha's uniform #43. Other notable Cardinals to wear #43 include SP Ken Hill (before he was Ken Hill), Hall-of-Fame closer Dennis Eckersley in 1996-97, and OF Juan Encarnacion, who was wearing the number when a foul ball destroyed his face and ended his career in 2007. Young SP Dakota Hudson currently wears #43 and has a chance to become synonymous with the number if he continues what he's done.
Arocha gears up to throw either his low-90's heat, his sinker, his slider, or practically any other pitch that's been invented. Without the worry of going deep in games, Arocha's fastball gained life after he switched to relief.
More from Arocha's 1994 season: he closed for most of June/July and racked up three more saves in August. That shutout he threw came at San Diego's expense; he scattered five hits and struck out nine. On 6/18, Arocha picked up the win vs. Pittsburgh with three shutout innings of relief.
(flip) Unless Score somehow knew the Cardinals would keep Arocha in the 'pen going forward, it was a bit premature to change his designation from "P" to "RP", in my opinion. Arocha himself probably wanted another crack at starting and maybe even expected one.
Score dissed Cuban baseball by not counting it as "pro" baseball. LOL. Seriously, I hope Fidel Castro didn't catch wind of this, for everyone's safety.
Only Mike Perez out-saved Arocha among 1994 Cardinals. The former closed 12 games, but with an ERA over eight and a DL stint, hence the opportunities for the latter.
AFTER THIS CARD: Not a whole lot, unfortunately. Arocha returned to St. Louis for 1995 and gave the RedBirds a 3.99 ERA and 1.470 WHIP in 41 games—no saves this time around with Tom Henke in tow—but required UCL surgery in 1996 and missed the whole season. Though he recovered enough to resume his pro career, Arocha never returned to MLB despite signing MiLB deals with the Giants, Yankees and Astros 1997-98 and a visit to the Mexican League in 1999.
Rene Arocha appeared in 1994-95 Score.
6/15/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1991 Score #539 Rick Honeycutt, Athletics
SP/RP Rick Honeycutt had an interesting playing career. In 1977, he got to pitch for the original edition of the expansion Seattle Mariners after coming over in a trade from Pittsburgh (who'd drafted him the year before). He was a 1980 All-Star despite losing 17 games. He was part of an 11-player trade to Texas in December 1980.
The 1983 AL ERA champ, Honeycutt was a mostly effective starter for the Rangers and Dodgers into the 1987 season, although he earned 10 unpaid days off in '87 for pitching with a thumb tack on his person. In 1988 the A's converted him to relief; he ended up facing his Dodger ex-teammates in the World Series. Through 1993 and again in '95, Honeycutt thrived as a lefty specialist for Oakland under Tony LaRussa; when the pair left for St. Louis in 1996, 42-year-old Honeycutt became the NL's senior player.
Here, the 36-year-old has just completed his third full season with the A's. Statistically, 1990 was almost identical to his standout 1989 campaign, albeit with fewer save ops; Honeycutt racked up 27 holds and permitted lefties to bat just .163 against him.
THIS CARD: Honeycutt wore #40 almost his entire career, even switching back to it after the Rangers and Dodgers initially assigned him other digits. That being said, when I think of an Athletics #40, SP Rich Harden comes to mind first. Which makes no sense considering I just watched All-Star A's SP Chris Bassitt wear it from 2015-21. (Standout Athletics CL Andrew Bailey wore it from 2009-11, also.)
We see Honeycutt about to snap off either his sinker, his slider, or the forkball that seemed to be a prerequisite for Oakland pitchers of that era.
More from Honeycutt's 1990 season: he tied with Dennis Eckersley for the team lead in appearances, and saved at least one game every month except June (including Opening Day!) On 4/17, Honeycutt fired three perfect innings at the Angels, allowing Oakland to pull out a 12-inning victory.
(flip) One thing about Honeycutt (and many others of his era): he always looked about 40. I obviously don't mean that as a pejorative, considering I'm 42.
A struggling Honeycutt went from the Dodgers to the Athletics in exchange for a player to be named later, who ended up being prospect Tim Belcher. Not a bad swap; Belcher was a pretty good starter throughout the 1990's.
As you see in the stats, Honeycutt was rather hittable as a starter, but still put together some very good years. His AL-best 2.42 ERA in '83 was a 2.85 improvement over '82, which has GOT to be some type of record.
AFTER THIS CARD: I pretty much gave all that away above, didn't I? Not mentioned: Honeycutt's rough 1994 with Texas or his career-ending shoulder surgery in May 1997. From 2006-19, Honeycutt was the Dodgers pitching coach—they did have some very good staffs during that period—before being shifted to a special assistant role in the wake of ongoing back issues.
Frederick "Rick" Honeycutt appeared in Score from 1988-92 and again in 1994.
6/20/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1990 Score #246 Scott Garrelts, Giants
Here, longtime Giants starter-turned-closer-turned-starter Garrelts is fresh off a 1989 season where his 14 wins and NL-best 2.28 ERA helped San Francisco to the 1989 World Series. A full-time reliever just the year before, Garrelts also led the league with a 1.009 WHIP and gave up just 11 home runs in his 193 innings. He was not so sharp in the postseason, but the Giants likely don't make it there without his contributions.
THIS CARD: We see the veteran hurler working at what might be Olympic Stadium in Montreal? It clearly appears to be a turf field; I see no dirt in the basepaths, and most of the old turf parks lacked dirt in the basepaths.
I can't believe it's been nearly 30 years since San Francisco last wore this road uni on a full-time basis. I miss it; it reminds me of my once-favorite Giants team, the 1993 edition.
Garrelts is rearing back to fire either his low-to-mid-nineties gas, his effective slider, or something that multiple publications only refer to as his "breaking ball"—perhaps that's the splitter he was taught by Roger Craig? Garrelts reportedly had a hard one.
(flip) Aside from Garrelts, other notable Giants to wear #50 include 1975 NL Rookie of the Year John Montefusco (who later switched to #26), mid-90's SP William VanLandingham, and promising mid-10's IF Matt Duffy. Garrelts also wore #43 twice, #54 twice, #52 and #31 early in his Giants stint...good Lord.
If those save numbers don't look exceptional, keep in mind that A) some of those Giants teams didn't have tons of late leads to protect, and B) in those days, starters were often asked and expected to go nine innings.
I'm a bit surprised the blurb didn't mention Garrelts' 1989 offensive exploits—though his overall numbers weren't bragworthy, he tripled twice and even stole a base! (Although legging out the second of those triples landed him on the DL for the first of two occasions in '89.) Score was usually good for tidbits like that.
AFTER THIS CARD: Garrelts' rough postseason carried over into the beginning of 1990, and he nearly lost his rotation spot. He did turn things around, only for his major league career to end in 1991 following Tommy John surgery—comeback attempts in the San Diego and Kansas City organizations both failed.
Scott Garrelts appeared in 1988-92 Score, all five front images taken mid-windup from about the same angle.
6/25/22 Score Baseball Card Of The Day: 1992 Score #646 Juan Bell, Orioles
The late Juan Bell was once an intriguing shortstop prospect for the late-80's Orioles. Unfortunately, for all his intrigue, not even the most devoted crackhead was giving Bell any SS run with Baltimore while Cal Ripken Jr. was still in his prime. Bell totaled six at-bats over 13 games with the 1989-90 Orioles before sticking with them as a backup 2B/SS in 1991, receiving most of his run in place of injured 2B Billy Ripken (back, ribcage) in the second half.
THIS CARD: We see the defensively-skilled Bell avoiding Red Sox 1B Carlos Quintana on what looks to be a potential double-play ball. In 1991, Bell played second base against the visiting Red Sox on 6/29 and in both ends of a 9/26 doubleheader. Quintana started two of those games, taking an oh-fer on 9/26 but singling and doubling on 6/29.
After Quintana's 6/29 single, according to BaseballReference.com, he was indeed erased on a 6-4-3 double play grounder by OF Tom Brunansky, which HAS to be what we're seeing here. (In the second game 9/26, Quintana struck out as a PH.)
More from Bell's 1991 season: he started 54 times, all at 2B, and fielded .973. Offensive highlights were sparse, but he did produce a three-hit, three-RBI game in a 12-inning win at Kansas City 6/23.
(flip) I think Score could have found another wording for that first line—whether or not it's true, calling Juan "no match" for George seems like a bit of a diss to me.
Boy, in this particular image, Juan Bell could be George Bell's twin. I was never fully aware of just HOW much they looked alike.
Bell did get in 15 games at shortstop in 1991, all as a late-inning replacement for Cal Ripken. One might wonder how much those 29 innings of rest helped Ripken secure his second AL MVP Award in 1991...or one might not.
AFTER THIS CARD: Bell opened 1992 in the minors, even going on loan to AAA Oklahoma City (Rangers) for a time before being traded to the Phillies. He hit .204 in 46 games for Philly, but impressed them enough that he was protected in the Expansion Draft.
However, Philadelphia waived Bell in June 1993; he landed with Milwaukee and started 81 times through season's end. Bell was also a reserve on the 1994 Expos—which I never knew before TSR existed—before bowing out of MLB in 1995 with a career .212 average in 329 games. (His last U.S. professional action: 1999, for Elmira of the Independent League.) Bell died of kidney disease 8/24/16 at 48.
Juan Bell appeared in Score 1990-95, except 1991.