Saturday, April 13, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1994 Topps #482 Hipolito Pichardo

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, April 13, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #482.
  • Player Name, position, team: Hipolito Pichardo, pitcher, Kansas City Royals.
  • Major League Debut: April 21, 1992.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1993 stats (Royals): 30 G, 165 IP, 7-8, 85 R, 74 ER, 70 SO, 53 BB, 25 GS, 2 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 4.04 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Royals as a Free Agent 12/16/1987. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 4. This is his third Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Hipolito's Latin friends nicknamed him "Debajo Dinero" (down money), because if he keeps the ball down, he makes money."
  • Commentary: Hipolito Antonio (Balbina) Pichardo was a mainstay on the Royals' pitching staff from 1992 through 1998 (he was with the team in 1999, but was out for the year due to injury) whether in the bullpen (which is how he spent his 1994 season) or as a starter (from 1992-1993). In 1994, Pichardo appeared in 45 games, finished 19 of them, saved 3 more, all the while compiling a 5-3 record with 36 strikeouts and an ERA of 4.92 in 67.2 innings of work. During his seven seasons in KC, Hipolito went a combined 42-39 with a 4.48 ERA, saving 19 games, and struck out 340 batters. He signed with the Red Sox in 2000 and found success in the Sox' bullpen, going a combined 8-4, 3.97 ERA, and 54 K's. After being granted free agency once again, he signed with the Astros for the 2002 season. But in his only appearance for the Astros that season, a May 7 game at Philadelphia, Pichardo lasted just .1 of an inning, giving up three hits, three runs (an ERA of 81.00), two walks on 24 pitches against six batters faced. He would subsequently take the loss as both teams were tied at 4 before he came in, and the Astros did not recover. That would also be the last time Hipolito would take the field in the majors. He spent the 2003 season as the closer for the Saltillo Sarapeos of the Mexican League, saving 13 games out of 24 appearances in 25.2 innings of work. But soon retired from the game after the season ended. How odd it is that although Pichardo's career ran well into the 21st century (2002), that his last Topps card appeared in 1995. Even with the number of cards Topps had in 2001, you think they could have put him on a card for the 2001 campaign as he was with Boston by that time. Oh well...
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 4.
Tomorrow is Retro Sunday, the one day of the week that we feature a card from 1951-1975. The card we will feature tomorrow is: 1957 Topps #121. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

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