Friday, November 2, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1987 Topps #60 Tony Peña

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, October 26, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1987 Topps #749.
  • Player Name, position, team: Tony Peña, catcher, Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Major League Debut: September 01, 1980.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1986 stats (Pirates): 144 G, 510 AB, 56 R, 147 H, 26 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 52 RBI, 9 SB, .406 SLG, 53 BB, 69 S0, .288 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Pirates as a Free Agent 07/22/1975. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 22 (18 as a player, four times as a manager). This is his seventh Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Tony had 14 broken-bat Hits on one 1985 road trip."
  • Commentary: For the second straight Friday, the Topps Card Randomizer picks another 1987 Topps card.  Hey, even it thinks that the set is popular.  On the back of most of the players' cards, a "On This Date" snippet is included just below the statistics and blurb.  In this case, it reads that on "July 18, 1961:  Bill White collected his 14th hit of 2 consecutive doubleheaders for Cardinals.  Bill's 1961 Topps card was #232."  For those who don't understand what that means (like I just did), the Cardinals played four games against the Cubs on July 17 and 18 at Busch Stadium.  And in that two-day, four-game stretch, White went 14-18 (a .778 batting average), with one home run and 6 rbi's, scored 7 runs, and helped sweep both doubleheaders (ouch!).  Now, who knew that this little blurb would foreshadow where Tony Peña would be going in 1987?  The year before this card came out, Peña had been named to his fourth All-Star Team, was a Rookie of the Year candidate, an MVP candidate (in 1983), and a three-time Gold Glove winner.  But in 1987, Peña actually didn't get to play for the Pirates.  He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on the first of April (he must have thought it was an April Fool's joke) for three players who would soon be stars for the Pirates that year and beyond:  Mike Dunne, Mike LaValliere and Andy Van Slyke.  In 1987 as the Cardinals' primary catcher, Peña didn't find the offensive production he was accustomed to in Pittsburgh (it's just as well, the Cards weren't really a team that hit for power...they were more of a speed team under manager Whitey Herzog).  His average reached a then career low .214, and he hit only 5 homers and 44 rbi's in 116 games.  He did experience a rebound the following two years afterwards, even becoming making his fifth All-Star team in 1989.  He signed on with the Red Sox after the 1989 season, becoming their starting catcher for a time.  He later joined the Indians as the steady backup to Sandy Alomar.  After stops with the White Sox and Astros, Tony Peña retired from playing, and began a new journey in the minors which would lead him to one day become the manager of the Kansas City Royals.  Presently, Tony is the bench coach for the New York Yankees.  He is the father of Tony Peña, Jr., the shortstop who played for KC and the Braves in 2006-2009.  Neither are related to Tony Peña, the pitcher with the same name who played for both the Diamondbacks and White Sox from 2006-2011.
  • Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 27 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2004 Topps Traded and Rookies #T73. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

No comments: