Friday, April 19, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1983 Topps #193 Harry Spilman

(Due to the flooding that occurred in my neighborhood on Thursday, April 18, 2013, I was not able to get this post out at the scheduled time. I am just catching up now.)

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Friday, April 19, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1983 Topps #193.
  • Player Name, position, team: Harry Spilman, first baseman, Houston Astros.
  • Major League Debut: September 11, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1982 stats (Astros): 38 G, 61 AB, 7 R, 17 H, 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 0 SB, .459 SLG, 5 BB, 10 SO, .279 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Reds as a Free Agent 06/25/1974. Traded by the Reds to the Astros 06/08/1981. Bats: left. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11. This is his sixth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Cracked pinch-Single and scored Run at LA, 7-3-82."
  • Commentary: Notice how the Topps logo is incorporated into the border of the top half of the card? It connects the "t" and the "s" by going the long way around. Here is another guy who wouldn't get any Hobby love in today's cardboard world. But in 1983, even the bench guys got cards. William Harry Spilman earned a reputation as one of the games best pinch hitters. Even after being traded to the Astros in the middle of the season, Spilman hit an incredible .310 (9-29) with four walks in 33 games that he was called to pinch hit. After tearing it up in Tucson for the first couple of months in the 1982 season, Spilman was called up to the Astros in June and from June 15 through September 5, made 25 straight appearances exclusively as a pinch hitter, going 6-24 with a homer and 2 rbi's. In 1983, the first season that saw him not go back to the minors, not only did Spilman see time as the team's exclusive pinch hitter and back up first baseman, but he also took a few games in at catcher. He did not do so well that year in the pinch hitting department, (1-21 , but that one hit was a three-run homer), which contributed to a .167 average and nine rbi's. He spent seven seasons with Houston (1981-1985, and a return to the team towards the end of the 1988 season through 1989), hitting a cumulative .222 with 7 home runs, and 43 rbi's. He signed with the Tigers before the 1986 season, but after 24 games, was released. He signed with the Giants the following day, and spent parts of three seasons with the team before returning to the Astros in August of 1988. He would travel back and forth from Houston and Tucson in his second run with the Astros before calling it quits after the 1990 season. One thing of note about Harry Spilman: he would warm up future Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan during the off-season, and Ryan even credited Spilman for helping him stay in shape, enough shape to see him through his seventh no-hitter. He served as a hitting coach for the Nashville Sounds from 2007 to 2008.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.05-$0.15.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 11.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1977 Topps #495. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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