428 – 1987 Topps – Bruce Bochy

428 – 1987 Topps – Bruce Bochy

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The Chicago White Sox drafted Bruce Bochy in the eighth round of the 1975 free-agent draft. He did not sign with the White Sox. The Houston Astros selected him with the 23rd overall pick of the secondary phase of the 1975 draft. Bochy played his college baseball for Brevard Community College. Previously, he played prep baseball for Melbourne High School in Melbourne, Florida. His major league debut came on July 19, 1978, catching the entire game for the Astros, while visiting the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. He went 2 for 3 in his debut games, and caught Lee Mazzilli stealing. His battery mate for the entire game was Mark Lemongello.

Bruce Bochy Career

Bruce Bochy spent 9 years on a major league roster, working primarily as a catcher, though he played first base twice in his career. He appeared in 358 games over the course of those 9 years, slashing .239/.298/.388 for his career. On the Major League roster, he spent most of his time as a back-up catcher, never starting more than 45 games wearing the tools of ignorance.

Managing

Bruce Bochy found his calling wearing the manager’s jersey following his retirement as a player. In 22 seasons as a major league manager, he has amassed a record of 2036 Wins and 1998 Losses. He led the San Francisco Giants to their first World Championship since moving from New York in 2010. His team further won the Championship in 2012 and 2014. He won the NL Manager of the Year from the BBWAA in 1996. The Sporting News awarded him as the NL Manager of the Year in 1996, 1997, and 1998. He further won the GIBBYs Manager of the Year in 2010.

Trades and Transfers

Bruce Bochy spent the first three and a half years of his professional career playing in the Astros farm system. He saw time with the Covington Astros of the Appalachian League, the Columbus (GA) Astros of the Southern League, the Dubuque Packers of the Midwest League and the Cocoa Astros of the Florida League. He got his first taste of the majors in 1978, with the Astros, and played with them in 1979 and 1980.

New York Mets

On February 11, 1981, the Astros traded him to the New York Mets for two players to be named later. The Astros received prospects Stan Hough and Randy Rogers on April 3, 1981. He spent 1981 with the Triple-A Tidewater Tides of the International League. He split 1982 with the Mets and Tides, before being released on January 21, 1983.

San Diego Padres
1987 Topps - 428 - Bruce Bochy
1987 Topps – 428 – Bruce Bochy

On February 23, 1983, he signed with the San Diego Padres. He played with the Padres and their Triple-A affiliate the Las Vegas Stars of the Pacific Coast League from 1983 until he retired as a player following the 1988 season.

In 1989, he became the manager of the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League, the Low A affiliate of the Padres. In 1990, he took the reigns of the Riverside Red Wave of the California League and in 1991 moved to the High Desert Mavericks of the same league. The Padres promoted him to manage the Class AA Wichita Wranglers of the Texas League in 1992. In 1993, the Padres picked him to be the third-base coach of the big league club.

Before the 1995 season, the Padres engaged Bruce Bochy as the new skipper. He spent 12 years managing the Padres, leading them to four NL West titles, a Pennant, and the 1988 World Series, losing to the New York Yankees in four games.

 

San Francisco Giants

In October of 2006, he signed as the new manager for the Giants. He brought the Giants their first World Championship in the San Francisco era, and then brought two more. Only nine other managers have done the same. If his ability with the Padres showed him to be a good manager, his years with the Giants have shown him to be great.

Signed Card

This card is another one of my favorite “What was Topps thinking?” At first blush, it’s almost as if Bochy said to the camera guy “I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeVile.” It is a weird photograph even by 1987 Topps standards – with the over-used poses. Bruce Bochy signed it in black sharpie, and the signature is nearly lost in the photograph.

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