Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1996 Topps #18 Tony McKnight

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Wednesday, April 10, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1996 Topps #18.
  • Player Name, position, team: Tony McKnight, pitcher, Houston Astros.
  • Major League Debut: August 10, 2000.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1995 stats (GCL Astros, Rookie-GCL): 3 G, 11.2 IP, 1-1, 5 R, 5 ER, 8 SO, 2 BB, 3 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 3.86 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Astros #1st, June 1995. Bats: both. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 2. This is his second and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "McKnight, twice named Arkansas' HS Player of the Year, struck out nearly 16 batters per 9 IP as a senior at Arkansas HS in Texarkana. The Astros had been scouting Tony for years, then decided to make him their top pick after clocking him at 95 mph last spring. McKnight is a durable workhorse who, unlike many young fireballers, owns outstanding control."
  • Commentary: In 1996, Topps inserted into pack a 25-card parallel set of metallic versions of the first 26 cards of the 1996 Topps set (except for #7), calling them Power Boosters. So the ten NL All-Stars, the 15 draft picks from Series 1 were part of this set. I have yet to see any of these in person, but I wonder why Topps never bothered to continue this in series 2. After being drafted by the Astros in 1995, Tony Mark McKnight was making his way up the ranks in the minor leagues. Throughout his travels through the system, McKnight compiled a 31-44 record in 109 games, compiling an ERA of 4.22 with 426 strikeouts and a WHIP of 1.397. In August, 2000, the Astros made the call to send McKnight to the majors to take a start and was promptly drilled by the NY Mets 10-3, he performed amiably though, giving up 4 runs in 6 innings of work. He would return to the Astros during the September callup season, and went 4-0 in his five starts, even completing his final start in September against Pittsburgh. He allowed 12 earned runs in 29 innings of work (3.72 ERA) with 20 strikeouts. In 2001, the Astros brought him back up after 18 games in New Orleans, going 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in 18 innings of work. He was traded to the Pirates in a deadline deal for Mike Williams (who ironically, returned to the Pirates after the 2001 season). With the Bucs, his record was a disastrous 2-6 with a high 5.19 ERA in 69.1 innings of work. His appearances with the Pirates would be his last in the majors. He spent the 2002 season Pirates' AAA club in Nashville (11-14, 5.24 ERA) and signed with the Dodgers as a minor league free agent, playing in four games with Triple A Las Vegas (2-0, 3.31) before retiring as an active player. Now you'd think that even though McKnight appeared during seasons where Topps expanded the number of cards in their base sets that they would give him any cardboard recognition. Alas, he did not appear in either the 2001 or 2002 Topps sets. So the only Topps cards he had were as a draft pick in both the 1995 Topps Traded and 1996 Topps sets.
  • Beckett value: $0.08-$0.25.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 2 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be 1993 Topps #15. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Hope you will be too.


JayBee Anama

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