Monday, March 4, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1983 Topps #578 David Green

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, March 4, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1983 Topps #578.
  • Player Name, position, team: David Green, outfielder, St. Louis Cardinals.
  • Major League Debut: September 4, 1981.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1982 stats (Louisville, AAA-American Association): 46 G, 174 AB, 45 R, 60 H, 5 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR, 40 RBI, 7 SB, .575 SLG, 18 BB, 23 SO, .345 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Brewers as a Free Agent 09/24/1978. Traded by the Brewers to the Cardinals 12/12/1980. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 5. This is his first Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Had 2 Singles with Stolen Base & 2 Runs, 5-24-82."
  • Commentary: I was actually thinking about it this morning, but as a set collector, do I look at common cards as merely a number on a wantlist or do I consider the player assigned the number that year? I have been to many card shows where men and women are seated in front of a stack of cards with a notebook filled with set names and numbers. But no players. Now I understand that space is limited on a paper and that time is off the essence when it comes to compiling the lists and then using it to search for the cards needed to fill a collection. But once in a while, do you think about the player on the card that you're looking for? There is just so much to the story of a player, whether a star or a reserve, a player who as collectors we would consider "Hobby darlings" or "mere commons" that we don't think about. Now, I'm not talking about delving into the personal lives of ever player (that would be impossible, time consuming, and a bit creepy, don't you think?), even though the interwebs makes finding the info of a person relatively easy to find. I'm just wondering if we ever stop to think about how did this player get to the majors from time to time. Such is the case of David Green, certainly a player whose last years in the majors came before I started following the game. Recently, baseball-reference has included, if there is one, the biography of a player written by the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) called the SABR BioProject. In this case, one was posted for Green that you can see here. His story is truly incredible. By all intents and purposes, as David Alejandro Casaya Green grew up in Nicaragua, he developed into such a talented player. So much so, that he was in demand by a handful of teams. It was the Brewers who made the decision to sign Green, and so began his minor league journey. And he performed rather well, hitting .262 with 8 home runs and 70 rbi's. He was promoted to Holyoke the next year and became an Eastern League All-Star. The Cardinals saw something in him too because they insisted that if they were to consummate a trade with the Brewers at the end of the 1980 season that would send Rollie Fingers, Ted Simmons, and Pete Vukovich to Milwaukee that Green be included in the package. Green became a September callup in the 1981 season, but was, in Herzog's own words "overawed" by the experience that he hit a low .147 average and drove in 2 rbi's. In 1982, Green made the club as a reserve outfielder, most of the time coming in as a defensive replacement in centerfield. A groin injury put him on the shelf for a few weeks, and the man that was called in to replace him, Willie McGee, performed so well that by the time Green was back that there was no place to put him. So David was sent back to Louisville to get some playing time. As you can see by his numbers (last line of statistics), he did so well down there that the Cards had no choice but to bring him back to St. Louis. In 76 games with the Cards that year, David hit a good .283 with 2 home runs and 23 rbi's. He stole 11 bases for a team that was being built for speed on the bases. In the 1982 World Series, Green appeared in all seven games, scoring three runs and hitting .200 as the Cardinals became World Champions. Coming into the 1983 season, the Cardinals really tried to find a place for Green to play. It took a bit of maneuvering (trading away Keith Hernandez to the Mets, and moving George Hendrick to first), but Green became the team's right fielder. In 146 games that year, David Green took advantage of the opportunity and hit for career highs in average (.284) rbi's (69, 8 home runs), stolen bases (34), triples (10), and OPS (.713). All was right in the world for David Green, until off the field problems became too much for him (which you can read more about in the bio...I don't think it is necessary to get into it here). In February of 1985, Green was traded with three others to the Giants in exchange for Jack Clark. He hit .248 that year, with 5 home runs and 20 rbi's in 106 games. In December that year, he was traded to the Brewers. But this time, the team released their once heralded prospect and so began his worldwide odyssey, playing for both the Mexican League (with the Monterrey Sultanes) and in Japan (with the Kintetsu Buffaloes). He signed with the Cardinals for a fourteen-game stretch in September, but was not added to the team's postseason roster. It would also be his final appearance in the majors. He would go on to play for the Braves and Rangers' organizations, and would also play with various teams in the Mexican League until 1991, when he finally hung up the spikes for good. He has kept himself in the game since retirement, coaching a high school team with former teammate Curt Ford, and has kept ties with the Cardinals, appearing for autograph shows sponsored by the team's "Cardinals Care charity." His nephew, Eduardo Green III, was a prospect with the Giants in 2006. Now the back of David Green's 1982 Topps card also includes three season highlights from the 1982 season. These include: April 18: singled home tying run in 9th & winning run in 11th inning; April 28: had game-winning RBI; and August 5: went 2-for-3 with RBI & 2 runs in 7-3 win vs. Bucs.
  • Beckett value: $0.30-$0.75.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 5 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2011 Topps #376. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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