Monday, April 1, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 2001 Topps #108 Lee Stevens

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Monday, April 1, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 2001 Topps #108.
  • Player Name, position, team: Lee Stevens, first baseman-outfielder, Montréal Expos.
  • Major League Debut: July 16, 1990.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 2000 stats (Expos): 123 G, 449 AB, 60 R, 119 H, 27 2B, 2 3B, 22 HR, 75 RBI, 0 SB, .481 SLG, 48 BB, 105 SO, .265 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Angels #1st, June 1986. Traded by the Rangers to the Expos 03/16/2000. Bats: left. Throws: left.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 11. This is his eighth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "The first thing the Expos noticed when they acquired Lee from the Rangers late last spring was his defense - a significant upgrade from recent seasons. Suddenly, their entire infield jelled, with many potential errors saved by the big Texan's marvelous hands. Offensively, Stevens continued to hit home runs, just as he always has since coming back from a two-year stint in japan in 1996."
  • Commentary: After six years of sets that featured as few as 440 cards, Topps went all out for it's "Golden Anniversary" product in 2001 by returning to a 790-card set. Manager cards, team cards returned to the base set. Topps Gold Cards, something not seen since 1994, became a staple throughout the decade and beyond. And at 790 cards, that left plenty of room for players who would otherwise would not be getting any cardboard appreciation. So I wonder, "If this was the Golden Anniversary set, with insert themes around the gold concept, why did Topps bring this back in 2012?" One person who wasn't worried about that would be DeWain Lee Stevens. When he was called up to the Angels from 1990-91, he showed flashes of power and could hit. He made the team out of Spring Training in 1992, but in 106 games only hit for a .221 average to go with 7 home runs and 37 rbi's. Not what the Halos were hoping for from a guy that they picked in the first round of the June draft and the heir apparent to Wally Joyner. So they traded him off to Montréal on January 15, 1993. However, the Expos released him before the 1993 season even began. He signed with the Blue Jays about a week later, and spent the season with the franchise's AAA team in Syracuse. After a season with the Chiefs, one that saw him 14 home runs and drive in 66 rbi's, the Angels took a chance on Stevens and signed him after the season ended. It wouldn't be long though before the Angels sold Stevens' contract to the Kintetsu Buffaloes of the Japanese Pacific League. But something happened to Stevens while he was in the Orient: he found his hitting stroke, and more importantly, some power. He returned to the US and signed with his home state team, the Texas Rangers. In four seasons with Texas, Stevens hit 68 home runs, drove in 226 rbi's., hit for a .281 average, and an OPS of .832. Defensively, as a first baseman, he would only commit 13 errors in 2179 chances (.994 fielding percentage). In 2000, Stevens was included in a three-player, three-team deal that sent him off to Montréal. He didn't miss a beat as the team's first baseman. In 2001, he reached career highs in home runs and rbi's (25 and 95 respectively) while hitting for .245 and a .790 OPS. On June 27, 2002, as the Expos were began the process of dismantling their roster, Stevens, along with future stars Cliff Lee, Brandon Phillips, and Grady Sizemore were traded off to Cleveland for Bartolo Colon and Tim Drew. After finishing the 2002 season with the Tribe, Stevens signed as a minor league free agent with the Brewers. But after 18 games with the Indianapolis Indians, Stevens retired as an active player.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 13 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1976 Topps #321. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Flash back with the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

No comments: