Category: Baseball

384 – 1987 Topps – Johnny Grubb

384 – 1987 Topps – Johnny Grubb

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The San Diego Padres drafted Johnny Grubb in the first round of the 1971 free-agent draft, with the 23rd over-all pick. Grubb played his college baseball for Florida State University. Previously, he played prep baseball for Meadowbrook High School in Richmond, Virigina. His major league début came as a September call-up on September 10, 1972. He went 1 for 2 with a walk and a single, as the Padres beat the Atlanta Braves one to nothing at San Diego Stadium.

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1987 Topps – Mike Davis

1987 Topps – Mike Davis

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The Oakland Athletics drafted Mike Davis in the third round of the 1977 free-agent draft, with the 69th over-all pick. Davis played his college baseball for San Diego Mesa Junior College. Previously, he played prep baseball for Herbert Hoover High School in San Diego, California. His major league début came on April 10, 1980, pinch-hitting in the ninth for Tony Armas. He continued in the game into extra innings at right field for the As, against the visiting Minnesota Twins at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. He ground out to Doug Corbett in his first at-bat, and again struck out in the eleventh .

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762 – 1987 Topps – Gary Ward

762 – 1987 Topps – Gary Ward

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The Minnesota Twins signed Gary Ward as an undrafted free-agent on August 29, 1972. Ward played his prep baseball at Compton High School in Compton California. He did not play college baseball. His major league début came on September 3, 1979, entering the game late as a pinch runner for Mike Cubbage. He stayed in the game playing right field in place of Hosken Powell. The Minnesota Twins wound up losing the game to the visiting Kansas City Royals at Metropolitan Stadium.

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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.

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391 – 1987 Topps – Jay Howell

391 – 1987 Topps – Jay Howell

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The Cincinnati Reds drafted Jay Howell in the twelfth round of the 1973 free-agent draft. He did not sign, and the Reds selected him in the thirty-first round of the 1976 draft. Howell played his college baseball for the University of Colorado. Previously, he played prep baseball for Fairview High School in Boulder, Colorado. His major league début came on August 10, 1980, pitching the ninth inning in relief of Paul Moskau. He gave up no hits and no runs in his début, hitting Steve Garvey as his only base runner, as the Reds lost to the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium.

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577 – 1987 Topps – Dann Bilardello

577 – 1987 Topps – Dann Bilardello

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The Seattle Mariners drafted Dann Bilardello in the third round of the initial 1978 free-agent draft. He did not sign, and the Los Angeles Dodgers selected him with the 7th overall pick of the secondary phase of the same draft. Bilardello played his college baseball for Cabrillo Junior College. Previously, he played prep baseball for Marello Prep High School in Santa Cruz, California. His major league debut came on April 11, 1983, starting behind the plate for the Cincinnati Reds. In his first major league game, he went 1 for 4 with 2 RBI on a double, hosting the Chicago Cubs at Riverfront Stadium.

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217 – 1987 Topps – Chris Codiroli

217 – 1987 Topps – Chris Codiroli

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The Detroit Tigers drafted Chris Codiroli with the 11th overall pick of the 1978 free-agent draft. Codiroli played his college baseball for San José State University. Previously, he played prep baseball for Archbishop Mitty High in San José, California. He debuted as a September call-up on September 11, 1982, drawing the start for the Oakland Athletics. His first game saw him pitch at the Oakland Colosseum against the Chicago White Sox. He pitched 8.0 innings, allowed 2 runs on 4 hits, and took the loss.

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415 – 1987 Topps – Bobby Witt

415 – 1987 Topps – Bobby Witt

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The Cincinnati Reds drafted Bobby Witt out of Canton (Massachusetts) High School in the 7th round of the 1982 free-agent draft. Witt instead opted to attend the University of Oklahoma. In 1985, the Texas Rangers drafted the college junior in the 1st round with the 3rd overall pick. He debuted the following year, drawing the start at Arlington Stadium against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 10, 1986. He pitched 3.1 innings, allowing 6 runs on 5 hits and 6 walks. He also threw 1 wild pitch in his début.

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220 – 1987 Topps – Joe Carter

220 – 1987 Topps – Joe Carter

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The Chicago Cubs drafted Joe Carter with the second overall pick of the 1981 amateur draft. He played college baseball for Wichita State University. Prior to college, he played his prep at Millwood High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He made his major league début for the Cubs on July 30, 1983. In his début, he entered as a pinch runner for Ron Cey.

Joe Carter Career

Joe Carter put together a 16 year career, playing for six different teams. He played in 2,189 games over his career, hitting 396 home runs and 10 grand slams. For his career, he slashed .259/.306/.464. Joe Carter played in five All-Star Games, 1991-1994 and 1996 all for the American League. He won the Silver Slugger Award twice, in 1991 and 1992. The Toronto Blue Jays helped him win 2 World Series rings – 1992 and 1993.

1992 World Series

Joe Carter played in all 6 games of the 1992 World Series, slashing .273/.346/.636 that year. He gained 22 at bats, scored 2 runs on six hits with 2 home runs. He struck out a mere two times, in route to winning his first World Series ring.

1993 World Series

Joe Carter again played in all 6 games of the 1993 Series. He slashed .280/..250/.560 for the Series in 25 at bats. He scored six runs on seven hits, and accounted for 8 RBI. The Hero of the 1993 Series, he hit a walk-off three-run home run off Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams to win the Series. It could possibly be the signature moment of his career in baseball.

Trades and Transactions

1987 Topps card number 220 signed by Joe Carter
1987 Topps card number 220 signed by Joe Carter

In June 1984, the Cubs packaged Joe Carter with Mell Hall, Don Schulze and Darryl Banks. They sent that package of players to the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Rick Sutcliffe, George Frazier, and Ron Hassey. Following the 1989 season, the Indians sent him to the San Diego Padres receiving Sandy Alomar, Jr.,  Chris James, and Carlos Baerga in exchange.

One year in San Diego, the Padres sent him in addition to Roberto Alomar to the Blue Jays. In return, the Padres received Fred McGriff as well as Tony Fernandez. The Blue Jays granted him free agency in October 1997. As a result, the Baltimore Orioles scooped him up. At the trade deadline of the 1998 season, the Orioles sent him to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Darin Blood. Finally, he was granted free agency after the 1998 season.

Signed Card

Featured on card 220 of the 1987 Topps set, Joe Carter is positioned at first base, waiting for the ball to be put into play. He is wearing the 1986 road kit, with a pair of flip-sunglasses. He signed in a thin blue sharpie, with a wonderful legible signature. This card is probably one of my favorite designs from the set.

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594 – 1987 Topps – Rick Anderson

594 – 1987 Topps – Rick Anderson

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The New York Mets selected Rick Anderson with the 580th selection of the 1978 amateur draft. Prior to being drafted, Rick played college baseball for the University of Washington. Prior to that, he played prep baseball for Cascade High School in Everett, Washington.

He drew the start in his major league début on June 9, 1986 at Shea Stadium. He gave up 1 earned run in 7.0 Innings, until Rafael Santana pinch hit for him. Jesse Orosco blew the save, and Anderson wound up receiving a no decision in his first start.  Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter caught his début.

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