Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1986 Topps #418 Alan Knicely

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, April 17, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1986 Topps #418.
  • Player Name, position, team: Alan Knicely, catcher, Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Major League Debut: August 12, 1979.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1985 stats (Phillies): 7 G, 7 AB, 0 R, 0 H, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .000 SLG, 0 BB, 4 SO, .000 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Astros #3rd, June 1974. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 7. This is his seventh and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "He collected 1st major league Hit: 9-17-81. First major league Home Run: 10-3-81. His first 3-RBI major league game: 6-18-82. His first 3-Hit major league game: 7-29-82."
  • Commentary: You know how I clamor for Topps to raise the number of cards in their eponymous set to include the players who are the third-string catcher and mop-up relievers on every team? A guy like Alan Lee Knicely wouldn't get a card in today's Hobby. But when there were 4 less teams and 792 cards in the big set like in 1986, almost EVERY position on a team was filled, and there was still room for team leader cards, all-star cards, and six checklists. A guy like Knicely, who upon joining the Phils in a late season trade for Bo Diaz, went 0-7 with four strikeouts, was included in the 1986 set. Why? Probably on the merits of his time with the Reds (48 games, .253 average, 5 home runs, and 26 rbi's). Now Knicely was converted from pitcher to a fielder in the Astros farm system because as a pitcher, he was a very good hitter. When not on the mound, the Covington Astros (Rookie-Appalachian) and Dubuque Packers (A-Midwest) used him at the corner positions to keep him in the lineup. It wasn't until his third year with Columbus (AA-Southern) that he was placed behind the plate. After three brief cups of coffee with the Astros (1979-1981), he broke camp with the Astros in 1982 as a bench player. As a pinch hitter, went 1-17 with 5 walks and three runs scored. The rest of the time, whether as catcher, or in right field (and a shot at third and left field), Knicely went 24-116 (.207) with two home runs and 12 rbi's. Just before camps broke out in 1983, the Astros traded Knicely for Bill Dawley and Tony Walker. With future Hall of Famer Johnny Bench winding down his incredible career, the Reds auditioned three catchers to take over once Bench was done. Knicely was named the third string catcher but would be sent down to the minors to get more playing time. In 1984, became the American Association's MVP on the strength of a .333 average, 33 home runs and 126 rbi's while playing for Wichita. With Knicely tearing up the minors, and one of their own catchers struggling at the plate, the Reds, recalled Knicely for the 1985 season. In 117 games split within three seasons, Knicely finished with a cumulative .232 average with 7 home runs, 41 rbi's and a .660 OPS. His stay in Philadelphia was brief as he was released by the Phils in Spring Training during 1986 and signed on with the Cardinals. After 67 games in Louisville, where he was hitting .283 with 9 home runs and 52 rbi's, he was called up to the big club as a first baseman. Once again, he couldn't figure out major league hitting, and when the season ended, Alan hit .195 with 1 home run and 6 rbi's in 34 games. He was released by the Cardinals, and after spending the 1987 season with the Rangers' AAA-team, Knicely retired as an active player.
  • Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 7 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 2007 Topps Updates & Highlights #UH325. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.


JayBee Anama

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, yeah!

Beard, check!
Glasses, double check!
'86, triple check!

Nice one.