Tuesday, August 31, 2010


So Josh Hamilton appears today, sort of, on card number UH112 of the 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights set. This card has got to be one of the most flawed in my Rangers collection. Not only is Josh poorly pictured but J.D. Drew manages an awkward pose. Aside from the photographic issues I have yet to figure out what makes Hamilton and Drew a "Classic Combo." They have never played on the same team and really don't have similar life stories as far as I know. Topps doesn't explain their choice on the back of the card either.

Speaking of flaws, the Rangers have had their fair share lately. I actually got to see some of them on display in the 8-2 loss to Oakland in Texas on Sunday. Colby Lewis was not sharp. Neither was the rest of the team. Only Josh Hamilton hit like he meant it. Lewis and Michael Young both botched plays. Lewis got booed and later expressed his frustration with the fans to the media. Not good.

Cliff Lee has been flawed as well lately. Tonight he is getting shelled by the Royals. Yes, the Kansas City Royals. The team that wasn't exactly a powerhouse to begin with and has now traded off most all offensive threats they had to start the season. They have made Cliff throw 80 pitches through four innings and have put four runs on the board. Lee's last two starts didn't go much better and one of them was against the Baltimore Orioles. It's gotten to the point that the radio team was speculating tonight about C.J. Wilson possibly teaching Lee how to win. Not good.

Josh Hamilton's right knee has been acting up. He has been at DH several times in the past few games. Now the word is that he will have "lubricant" injected into the knee tomorrow. Doesn't sound good.

Rich Harden is a lost man. The big off-season signing has had a couple of great starts. Most of the time though he acts like he has no idea where the ball is going when it leaves his hand. It is rumored that Nolan Ryan talked to him to no avail. He's in the bullpen now. Not good.

None of the flaws are insurmountable. Teams hit skids and that's part of the game. The team also has some great things going on as well and I will try to talk about some of those in a future post. For now though I am hoping that the team starts firing on all cylinders before too much longer.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Minor League Monday - Steve Kemp, 1987 ProCards.

The Oklahoma City Eighty-Niners were the final stop for Steve Kemp. Kemp, seen here on card number 143 of the 1987 ProCards set, spent more time in the minors at the end of his career than he did to start things off.

Steve was the number one pick in the 1976 draft. By 1977 he was starting with the Detroit Tigers. In 1979 he was on the All-Star team. Following the 1981 season the Tigers traded Kemp to the White Sox straight up for Chet Lemon. After one season with the ChiSox Kemp signed a free agent deal with the Yankees and things started to go downhill.

Two years and several injuries later the Yankees sent Steve to the Pirates. In May of 1986 the Pirates released him. In June he signed with the Padres but never got to the Majors. San Diego released him in September of 1986.

On March 4, 1987 the Rangers decided to take a chance on Kemp and signed him. He was assigned to Triple A Oklahoma City. He would spend all of the 1987 season and most of 1988 with the Eighty-Niners. In 1988 he would get the call to Texas. He would appear in 16 games for the Rangers but his power and ability to draw walks were gone. That would be the end of the professional line for Steve Kemp as a player.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Senators Saturday - Ed Hobaugh, 1961.

Ed Hobaugh, shown here on card number 129 of the 1961 Topps set, was drafted from the White Sox in the 1960 expansion draft. At the time Ed had no Major League experience but had spent three years in the Sox system and two in Uncle Sam's system (military service in 1957-58).

Coming straight from Triple A, Hobaugh jumped right into the fray as he made the Senators' starting rotation. Well, he sort of made it. In 26 appearances for Washington Ed started 18 games. He would post a 7-9 record and a 4.42 ERA. In the 126.1 innings he pitched he would strike out 67 batters while walking the same number.

Ed's 1961 numbers were unimpressive. Of course, so was the team's record. It wasn't like there was a lot of competition from within the organization either. With the castoffs from other franchises composing the team, a rookie like Hobaugh might be able to learn on the move and snag a full-time job as a part of the pitching staff. He would have to move quick though.

Friday, August 27, 2010

No thanks.

So, T.R. Sullivan reports that the Rangers might talk to the Dodgers about Manny Ramirez.

Uh, anyone remember the guy pictured on card number 49 of the 1993 Pinnacle set? Supposed to be a real lift for the team. Didn't work out so well. Especially in the clubhouse.

Take a pass on Manny guys. Please.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Roster adjustments.

Thanks to all who left comments for Spiff Jr. on yesterday's post. He really enjoyed me reading them to him. Ya'll made his day.

So the Rangers are looking to shake up things a bit it seems. The day before yesterday they designated Joaquin Arias for assignment. Joaquin is shown here on an autographed 2007 Moments & Milestones card. To replace Arias Texas called up Alex Cora from Triple A. Alex is Joey's brother and was released by the Mets earlier this season. When he was released he was batting .207 on the season with a .265 on base percentage. That is not as good as Arias' .276 average and .290 on base percentage.

Where Arias has gotten himself in trouble is his fielding. He just hasn't been the same since he blew out his shoulder in Spring Training in 2007. As a result he can only play a limited number of positions because of his weak shoulder. In addition Joaquin is a tad fragile and has taken several trips to the Disabled List this season, mostly for his back. Probably the finishing touch is that Cora's .989 fielding percentage on the season is slightly better than Arias' .983.

Not sure what I think of the move. Hopefully it works out and Arias can either land on his feet somewhere or get it back together in the minors.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guest columnist.

Well, here we are one year after the first guest columnist post. Once again it is Spiff Jr.'s birthday. This time it is number six. To mark the occasion I have again allowed him to pick a card from his card book to post and tell you about. Because of the author's age the following has been dictated...

"I am posting this card because Josh Hamilton is my favorite player. I like his cards. We will be going to a game soon and I hope I will see him there. I like to see him hit home runs. I hope the Rangers will win the game when we go.

I have other cards of Josh Hamilton. I posted this card because he is out on the field with his bat. The card looks nice.

I guess that's it." - Spiff Jr.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

1973 Topps - Mike Thompson.

Today we come to the end of the 1973 Topps Rangers team set with card number 564, Mike Thompson. Mike is sporting some great looking sideburns in this Spring Training shot. On the back of the card we find that Mike liked to go golfing and hunting as hobbies.

The card back also mentions Mike's only win ever in the Majors. In 1971 he shut out the Angels. That 16 game stint in 1971 was Mike's only Big League appearance with the franchise. He would spend the entire 1972 season at Triple A.

On March 31, 1973 the Rangers sent Thompson to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Charlie Hudson. Mike would last a season and a half with the Cards and one and a half with the Braves before his MLB career came to a close.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Minor League Monday - Nick Capra, 1987 ProCards.

Nick Capra appears today on card number 155 of the 1987 ProCards set. This card is interesting for a couple of reasons.

First is that Capra didn't get a card in the 1986 ProCards Eighty-Niners set. That in spite of spending most of 1985 and all of 1986 with Oklahoma City. Strange that ProCards would not have included him in the 1986 set.

The second thing that makes this card unusual is the position designation. Capra is shown as playing centerfield. His is the only card in the team set to have such a specific listing. The rest of the outfielders are shown with OF on their cards. Several of the infielders are shown as INF. Baseball-reference lists Nick as an outfielder/pinch-runner and he seems to have played all three outfield positions during his career. No clue as to why ProCards decided to be so specific with his position here.

By 1987 Nick Capra had already made three trips to the Major Leagues with Texas. He had appeared in 13 games in 1982, 8 in 1983, and 8 in 1985. He wouldn't be up in 1987 though as he spent his entire season at Triple A with OKC. Even if Nick was having trouble sticking in the Bigs he must have had considerable talent. After drafting him in the third round of the 1979 draft the Rangers assigned him to start his pro career at Double A Tulsa. By 1981 he was at Triple A and never dropped below that level again.

Following the 1987 season Nick was granted free agency. He signed a one year deal with the Kansas City Royals on December 18, 1987 and would appear in 14 games for KC in 1988. Most of the season would be spent in Triple A. Another one year contract with the Royals followed but there was no call-up in 1989. In January of 1990 he would return to Texas as a free agent. A two game stint in Arlington in 1991 and his Big League career was over.

Nick would hang on in the minors as a player until 1995 and would play for three more organizations. After hanging up his spikes he would manage in the White Sox minor league system for 11 seasons.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Senators Saturday - Mickey Vernon, 1961.

So Joe Grzenda's 1971 Topps card last week was the final card in my current 1971 Topps Senators team set. Since that was the final year before the Senators moved to Texas we were about at the end of my Senators collection. Fortunately I was able to pick up a few more Senators to add to the collection. I guess this series is good as a spur to keep adding to the Senators collection.

Decided to start adding at the beginning of the franchise so today we go back to 1961 and see the first manager in franchise history, Mickey Vernon. Mickey appears a bit uncertain on card number 134 of the 1961 Topps set. He had a lot to be uncertain about - Washington would finish with 100 losses in 1961.

Before being tabbed as the Senators' manager Vernon had played in the Big Leagues for 20 seasons. He missed two years mid-career due to military service. He also made seven All-Star games during his playing days.

Interestingly, Vernon had made his debut with the old Washington Senators. He played for that franchise from 1939 until he was traded to Cleveland following the 1948 season. The Indians would hold on to him for a season and a half before trading him back to Washington in June of 1950. Following the 1955 season the Senators sent Mickey to the Boston Red Sox as part of a nine player trade. He would stick with Boston for two seasons until claimed off waivers by the Indians in January of 1958. Cleveland would keep Mickey for a year and then trade him to the Milwaukee Braves just before the 1959 season. After that season the Braves would release him. Vernon would sit out most of the 1960 season but would sign with the Pirates on September 1st. Nine games and 29 days later he was released by the Pirates on September 30th.

Mickey's last couple of years as a player were a whirlwind of short stops and changes. That would continue. Less than a year after his last appearance as a player he was a manager with a franchise that hadn't even existed when he was playing. Quite the change of pace and scenery.

Friday, August 20, 2010


A four game losing streak. An 0-4 loss to Baltimore. Going 0-5 so far on the season against the Birds. 12-22 against the A.L. East this year. A's and Angels pick up a game in the standings.

Come on guys!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Looks like trouble ahead.

So today I am showing you this 2004 Classic Clippings All-Star Lineup card featuring Hank Blalock and a piece of his jersey. Oh, and two other guys from other teams without jersey pieces.

This card doesn't really have a lot to do with today's post but I usually post either game-used of autographed cards on Thursdays and I couldn't come up with one to match my thoughts. Well, maybe Hank Blalock does. He kind of reminds me of a bummed out feeling what with his injuries and all.

I have that bummed feeling after last night's game. Texas lost at Tampa Bay to finish up a sweep by the Devil Rays. Three losses in a row and 3-7 in the last ten games. Ouch! Of course they still lead the second place A's and Angels by eight games so it isn't like they fell out of first. Still, that kind of play isn't good news. It actually gets a little worse when you look into it a bit, even if we assume the Rangers still win the division and make the playoffs.

Ok, so Texas won't have the best record in the American League going into the post-season. That privilege will probably go to the winner of the A.L. East. The Wildcard will also likely come out of the East so the Rangers and the Central champs will both end up playing East teams in the first round. If Texas can get their act together they might get home-field advantage if they draw the Wildcard. That would mean a better record than the Central winner though and right now the Twins are playing better ball than Texas is. Most likely scenario is an on the road series against the East champs. If it's New York then we revisit 1996, 1998, and 1999. Ugly.

Even if Tampa Bay wins the East things don't get much better. Not only did they sweep the Rangers in this last series but Texas can't seem to win in the East. This season the team has a losing record playing in East ballparks. They have lost convincingly in New York, Tampa Bay, and Toronto. The only wins of any significance have come in Boston and they haven't played in Baltimore yet.

In summary, I still don't think the Rangers will wilt in the Texas heat down the stretch. I am concerned that they will wilt under the October pressure. Sure hope I am wrong.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wantlist - 2001 Upper Deck.

Well, the Devil Rays trounced the Rangers last night 10-1. Ugly game and one that Texas really needed to win. Derek Holland is on the hill tonight and it would be nice to see him shut Tampa Bay down.

Today's wantlist is what is left for me to finish up my 2001 Upper Deck team set. Even though Gabe Kapler is currently on the Disabled List for Tampa Bay he is still on the team so I'll show him on card number 335 of the 2001 Upper Deck set. Here's what I need to complete this team set:

2001 Upper Deck
96 Ivan Rodriguez
337 Rafael Palmeiro
450 Alex Rodriguez SH CL

If you have any or all of these cards and are willing to part with them please let me know. I would love to work a deal with you. My trade list is here and I also have a fair number of commons and minor stars for most teams. Please feel free to drop me an email.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1973 Topps - Don Stanhouse.

Topps Tuesday again. With the loss last night to Tampa Bay I am thinking that it would be better to talk about 1973 today. Hopefully the guys can get it going against the Devil Rays here in an hour or so.

Today we see Don Stanhouse on card number 352 in the 1973 Topps set. This is the only single player card in the 1973 Topps Rangers team set that has a horizontal rather than vertical picture. I guess Topps was trying to make sure that they got plenty of green wall and the outfielder in the shot.

Stanhouse split the 1973 season between the Rangers and their Triple A affiliate in Spokane, Washington. Don's season was dismal to say the least. In 21 games for Texas Stanhouse went 70 innings in 5 starts and 16 relief appearances. He allowed 44 walks and managed only 42 strikeouts while losing seven games and winning just one. His lone save didn't do much to redeem the situation. All of that resulted in a 4.76 ERA - almost a whole run higher than in 1972.

Things didn't work out any better for Don with Spokane. In 12 games for the Indians he made 11 starts and went a total of 66 innings. He won 3 and lost 5 while posting a horrendous 7.36 ERA. He did manage to strike out more batters (55) than he walked (42) but that wasn't enough to change the balance of things.

All in all Don's season matched the team's run in 1973. Terrible. No other way to really describe it. Stanhouse and the Rangers just had a rough year. The real question seemed to be, had the bottom been reached and could Don and the team bounce in 1974?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Minor League Monday - Dave Rucker, 1987 ProCards.

Dave Rucker, shown here on card number 159 of the 1987 ProCards set, spent all or part of seven seasons in the Majors between 1981 and 1988. The only year in that time that he didn't show up in the Bigs was 1987. That year he played for Oklahoma City.

In November of 1986 Dave was released by the Phillies. Texas signed him as a free agent in December of that same year. He would spend 1987 at Triple A.

Rucker appeared in 53 games for the Eighty-Niners. 50 of those appearances were in relief. Dave finished 14 games and notched 5 saves. He also posted a 4.25 ERA in 65.2 innings pitched. Part of that ERA was attributable to the seven home runs he coughed up. He would strike out 37 while walking 41. One of those walks was intentional but there still seems to have been a control problem.

Dave's overall numbers with OKC just weren't that impressive. Even being in a system not known for its pitching and throwing left-handed couldn't get Dave a call to the parent club. At the end of the season he would again be a free agent. This time the Rangers would take a pass on him.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Senators Saturday - Joe Grzenda, 1971.

Joe Grzenda appears here on card number 518 of the 1971 Topps set. In 1971 he appeared out of the bullpen for the Washington Senators.

Grzenda was one of the few bright lights of the Senators final season in Washington. In fact, he enjoyed a career year. In 46 appearances he pitched 70.1 innings. Those numbers put him about the middle of the pack in the Washington bullpen. The rest of his numbers were not the middle of the pack though. His 1.92 ERA was not only the lowest in the bullpen, it was the lowest on the entire pitching staff and the lowest of Joe's career. Likewise his 1.009 WHIP. His 56 strikeouts were also a career best and tied him for the top in the pen.

While 1971 was not a good year for the Senators it was a good one for Joe Grzenda. But even though Joe had provided relief on several levels during the dismal 1971 season he wouldn't make the move to Texas with the team. In November of 1971 he would be dealt to the St. Louis Cardinals for infielder Ted Kubiak.

Friday, August 13, 2010


Ok, last day of class. Tomorrow I will be getting back into the swing of things again. Thanks for your patience the past week.

Decided to post this card of Julio Borbon today in order to talk a little about the 2010 Topps Heritage set. Julio appears here on card number 348 to give an example of what the set looks like.

I have been a fan of Topps Heritage since they first came out. Not a set collecting level fan but I like them nonetheless. Vintage cards or cards with a vintage design really catch my eye. I prefer them to chrome plated foil embossed glossy pieces any day. My only gripe is the short prints. That gets old fast.

Most years the Topps Heritage sets seem to be pretty popular with most other collectors as well. That doesn't seem to be the case this year. I have read several reviews panning the set by people who know much more about cards than I do. I have also read where several Topps Heritage set collectors have stated that they intend to take this year off. The big bone of contention seems to be that the set is boring. Of course it is, it's modeled on the 1961 set which was pretty boring in its own right.

Boring or otherwise I still like the set. Actually I've been looking forward to it coming out for awhile. Perhaps I like it because it's boring. It reminds me of the original set, 1961 in all its boring glory. The 1961 set had something in it though that no set before had in it. Texas Rangers. Yep. Of course they were Rangers in the guise of Washington Senators but they were there. In the 1960 Topps set (awesome design) the Senators were Twins in the making. 1961 was the birth of the new franchise, the one that ended up making the trek to Arlington, Texas. That's why I like the 2010 Topps Heritage set. It takes me back as far as a Rangers collector can go, to the beginning of the prelude. Almost like remembering one's heritage.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Minors signature.

Since this is a pre-recorded post you will have to settle for a random Ranger auto. Today we see Trey McCoy's autograph on a 1989 Star card showing him with the Gastonia Rangers. The card is signed with a red sharpie so it's a little hard to see but it does go with the card border. I got this autograph as part of a lot off Ebay but I am pretty sure it's the real McCoy, there seems to be little motivation for someone to forge Trey's signature.

Gastonia was the Rangers Single A farm team and Trey was in his second professional season when this card came out. He had originally been picked by Texas in the ninth round of the 1988 draft.

Trey would spend all or parts of eight seasons in the Rangers' system. Another year plus in the minors for the Mets and he was done, a career minor leaguer. To be honest, I'm not sure why Trey never at least got a September cup of coffee with the Rangers. Perhaps there were just too many other outfielders ahead of him in line.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wantlist - 2000 Upper Deck.

Upper Deck delivered another unimpressive design in 2000. The design is showcased by Justin Thompson on card number 513 in the set. At least they had done away with the bad border idea from the 1999 set. I am still looking for four cards to complete this team set. Here is what I need:

2000 Upper Deck
18 Matt Perisho SR
510 Rick Helling
512 Doug Davis
530 Ivan Rodriguez AUT

Let me know if you have any of these cards and are interested in moving them. I would love to work out a trade for any or all of them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1973 Topps - Lenny Randle.

Looks like Lenny Randle was at Spring Training when this picture was taken for card number 378 of the 1973 Topps set. That's almost as far as Len got in 1973. After fairly regular playing time the previous two seasons he spent most of the 1973 season at Triple A and only made a few appearances for Texas. All told Randle would play in 140 games for the Triple A Spokane Indians and only 10 for the Rangers.

In the 10 games Len played for Texas he went to the plate 30 times. He managed a .207 average at the plate with a .207 on base percentage. Not very impressive but he probably didn't have much time to adjust after getting back to the Majors. In the minors Len had posted a .283 batting average and a .373 on base percentage in 654 plate appearances.

In the field Len played five games at second base and four in the outfield. He must have also pinch-hit once. Len's fielding percentage at second was .964 and it was .500 in the outfield. Not hard to tell that he was an infielder by trade. Lenny's main problem was that he was being blocked by regular second baseman Dave Nelson. That situation looked unlikely to change anytime soon.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Minor League Monday - Frank Pastore, 1987 ProCards.

So I am in class all week this week and have to drive quite a bit further than normal each day so my time will be limited on the blogging front until Saturday. As such I have scheduled this week's posts ahead of time. That means that I might miss posting on something going on with the Rangers. I will try and respond to any comments that need to be responded to and ask that you bear with me. Thanks.

Ok, on to today's minor league card. Today we see Frank Pastore on card number 136 of the 1987 ProCards set. Frank's time with the Rangers' organization is pretty much summed up by this one card. The Rangers signed Pastore as a free agent in February of 1987. He played one season with Oklahoma City. That one season would be his last in pro ball.

By the time Texas signed Frank he was on his way out. After seven seasons with the Cincinnatti Reds the team released him in April of 1986. The Twins took a chance on him and signed him to a one year deal for the 1986 season. By 1987 he was in the minors and attempting a comeback at age 29.

The comeback didn't go well for Frank. In four starts for the Eighty-Niners he lost three and won just a single game. His ERA skyrocketed to 8.46 and he allowed seven home runs in just 22.1 innings of work. That was the end of the line for Frank's career as a professional ball player.

Today Frank Pastore has a radio show on 99.5 FM in Los Angeles, California.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Senators Saturday - Casey Cox, 1971.

Casey Cox, shown here on card number 82 of the 1971 Topps set, was the swing man on the Washington pitching staff in 1971. Casey made 54 appearances for the Senators with 11 of those being starts and the rest in relief.

In those 54 appearances Casey pitched 124.1 innings and posted a 3.98 ERA. That was the highest ERA in the Senators regular bullpen that year but Casey also pitched more innings than anyone else in the pen. It was also .47 lower than his ERA the previous season. Of the 543 batters he faced (also highest in the bullpen) Cox struck out 43 of them. He did walk 40 though and his WHIP climbed to 1.375.

Even with the struggles, Casey had rebounded nicely from his
then career worst season in 1970. What remained to be seen was if he could build on that rebound and get his career back on track in Texas.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Murph's the man.

So the Rangers took the rubber game of a three game series last night in Seattle. Final score: Texas 6, Seattle 0. The game really wasn't that lopsided early on though.

Starting pitcher Tommy Hunter held the Mariners scoreless through 6.1 innings before being pulled after getting into a spot of trouble. He stayed around long enough for the win though to run his record to 9-1 on the season with a 3.01 ERA. Not too bad for a back of the rotation guy.

The Mariners' Felix Hernandez kept the Texas bats pretty much quite until David Murphy came up with a runner on in the seventh. Murph, shown here on card number 84 of the 2007 Topps '52 set, set a pitch from Hernandez skittering over the left-field wall for a two run home run. Initially it appeared as if Seattle left-fielder Michael Saunders had caught the ball but that wasn't the case.

This win puts Texas 8.5 games ahead of Oakland and 10 games ahead of Anaheim. Seattle is at 23.5 out. Nice the see the guys with a lead this big at this point in the season. The A's could still make a charge but they are going to have to start making a move soon if they are. Be nice to see the Rangers win the three game series in Oakland that they start off tonight.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sold to Ryan/Greenberg!

So I didn't have any game-used or autos of Nolan Ryan in a Rangers uniform to celebrate his being part of the group that won the bidding for the Rangers yesterday. Decided instead to randomly pick one to post. Came up with this 2003 Leaf Certified Materials autograph of Ramon Nivar. This particular card is numbered 10/250.

Ramon didn't work out for the Rangers. Hopefully Nolan Ryan and Chuck Greenberg are a different story. With Ryan running the baseball side of things and Greenberg on the business side it could be a nice combination. Nolan seems to have made a very positive impact on the team since his arrival as an executive. It would be nice to see that impact continue well into the future.

As for Chuck Greenberg, well he has started off strong. After winning the auction for the team he commented that the re-signing of Cliff Lee is still a possibility. Nice way to introduce oneself to the fans.

Hopefully the new ownership is successful and long term.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wantlist - 1999 Upper Deck.

Next up on the wantlist rotation is 1999 Upper Deck. Today we see Esteban Loaiza on card number 509 as an example of the set. In my mind 1999 was one of Upper Deck's poorer designs. Too much foil and the border seems to crowd the picture. I would like to complete the team set though. Here's what I still need to get it all put together:

1999 Upper Deck
270 Mateo, Ruben
504 Sele, Aaron

Just two cards and the team set is completed. If you have either of these, or any cards from any past wantlist posts, please let me know. I would love to work out a trade with you. With the annual collection contests coming up on The Bench I am trying to get a few more team sets knocked out to polish up the Rangers collection some. As such, no trade is too small.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

1973 Topps - Horacio Pina.

Looks like Monday was the Rangers' day off again. Seems like they have had a lot of Mondays off this season. Well, with no game last night it seemed like a good time to take another look at the 1973 team set.

Today we have Horacio Pina on card number 138 of the 1973 Topps set. Not much to say about Horacio's 1973 season for Texas because he didn't play for the team in 1973.

On November 30, 1972 Horacio was traded to the Oakland A's for former Washington Senator Mike Epstein. Epstein would spend only a short time with the Rangers before being traded to the Angels in May of 1973. Interestingly, Rick Stelmaszek also went to the Angels in that trade. In July of 1974 the Cubs traded Horacio Pina to the Angels for Stelmaszek. Guess it's a small world after all.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Minor League Monday - Greg Smith, 1987 ProCards.

Can't find a lot of information as to how Greg Smith came to be on card number 151 of the 1987 ProCards set in an Oklahoma City Eighty-Niners uniform.

I can find records that indicate that the career minor leaguer began his pro ball career with the Dodgers Rookie Ball team in 1980. In four seasons in the Dodgers' system he never made it above Double A ball. In fact, he had trouble sticking in Double A.

In 1984 Smith moved to the Padres' system. Not sure what the circumstances were of the move but since it happened mid-season I would figure it was a trade. Greg finally made it to Triple A in 1986 with the Padres' Las Vegas affiliate.

In 1987 he played for Oklahoma City in the Rangers' system. Again, no idea as to how the move came about. Perhaps it was a minor league free agency signing or maybe an off-season trade. Whatever the reason for the move and however it came about it would be the last for Greg Smith. After the 1987 season he was out of professional baseball at 27 years old with eight minor league seasons under his belt.