Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1986 Topps #45 Damaso Garcia

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, April 9, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1986 Topps #45.
  • Player Name, position, team: Damaso Garcia, second baseman, Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Major League Debut: June 24, 1978.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1985 stats (Blue Jays): 146 G, 600 AB, 70 R, 169 H, 25 2B, 4 3B, 8 HR, 65 RBI, 28 SB, .377 SLG, 15 BB, 41 SO, .282 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Yankees as a Free Agent 03/10/1975. Traded by the Yankees to the Blue Jays 11/01/1979. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his sixth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "He collected 1st major league Hit: 6-25-78. His first 3-Hit major league game: 9-23-79. First major league Home Run: 5-10-80. His first 4-Hit major league game: 8-15-81."
  • Commentary: Some people burn bridges when they leave work. It's not the best thing to do, especially since in most cases, the people still there can help in your next job search. Damaso Garcia literally burned his uniform, incensed his manager, and needless to say had to find a new place to play ball. Darn shame, especially since he was one of the team's stars in the early 1980's. Before the fire incident, Damaso Domingo (Sanchez) Garcia was the Jay's leadoff hitter and set the table for the team's power hitters. He was a two time All-Star (1984 and 1985), and a Silver Slugger Award winner (1982, in which he hit a career high .338 with five home runs and 42 driven in). But in 1986, manager Jimy Williams dropped Garcia to the ninth spot in the order, and there Damaso struggled. By May 14, 1986, Garcia was hitting a low .217 with 7 runs batted in. He decided that the best way to rid himself of his hitting slump was to burn his uniform. So in the bowels of Oakland Stadium, he did what other players like Joaquin Andujar and Frank Lacorte did. He lit his jersey on fire. Which caused massive controversy in Toronto and put Garcia in manager Williams' doghouse for the rest of the year (you can read all about it here). While it did get Damaso in a lot of trouble, his hitting did eventually improve. After the fire, a period in which the Blue Jays went 50-42, Garcia found his stroke, hitting .296 with 6 home runs and 39 runs batted in. He had an OPS of .719 and even stole 6 bases. But the fire incident caused a lot of controversy, and so on February 2, 1987, Damaso was traded to the Atlanta Braves. He did not play for the Braves in 1987, but returned in 1988 as a bench player. He signed on with the Expos for the 1989 season, hitting .271 in 80 games played. He re-signed with the Yankees in December of 1989 as a Free Agent, but as he did not make the roster for the 1990 season, he opted to retire instead. In 1991, Garcia was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. When he had it removed, he was told that he would only have six months to live. But he overcame the effects of the tumor, and was able to throw out the first pitch of a Blue Jays playoff game in 1992. He also ran a baseball camp for hemophiliac children in his native Dominican Republic as his son suffers from hemophilia himself.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1996 Topps #18. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1996 here on the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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