Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1989 Topps Traded #108T Juan Samuel

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, May 21, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1989 Topps Traded #108T.
  • Player Name, position, team: Juan Samuel, outfielder-second baseman, New York Mets.
  • Major League Debut: August 24, 1983.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1988 stats (Phillies): 157 G, 629 AB, 68 R, 153 H, 32 2B, 9 3B, 12 HR, 67 RBI, 33 SB, .380 SLG, 39 BB, 151 SO, .243 AVG.
  • Any special information about player: Signed with the Phillies as a Free Agent 04/29/1980. Traded by the Phillies to the Mets 06/18/1989. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 12. This is his eighth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "His first 6-RBI major league game: 6-23-86."
  • Commentary: Juan Milton Samuel could well be the reason why the Phillies traded Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs. They probably felt that "Sammy" would make be the Phillies' second baseman of the future, and with Mike Schmidt entrenched in the hot corner for the Phils (remember, Sandberg was a primarily a third baseman), there was no place to put the man who would soon be known as "Ryno" anywhere. But Juan Samuel was no slouch at the plate either, and for six plus seasons, gave Phillies fans someone to cheer (or whatever it is they do in Philadelphia). He would hit a cumulative .263 with 100 home runs, 413 rbi's, steal 249 bases, was so fast that he even hit 71 triples, leading the league twice and had five straight years of double digit three-baggers. He was a two-time All-Star with Philly, and won a Silver Slugger in 1987 (probably his best season at the plate). But in 1989, with the Phillies going nowhere in the division, traded Samuel, who by now was playing centerfield instead of second base, to the Mets for outfielder Lenny Dykstra, pitcher Roger McDowell and a PTBNL on June 18. In 86 games for the Mets, Samuel would hit .228 with 3 home runs, drive in 28 rbi's, and steal 31 bases. Samuel would be traded off to the Dodgers at the end of the season for outfielder Mike Marshall and pitcher Alejandro Peña. He would play for LA for three seasons, returning to second base and be named to his third and final All-Star team in 1991. Juan Samuel's final Topps card as a player would come in the 1992 Topps set, and I'll be honest, I thought that he was done when he didn't appear in the 1993 Topps set. But Samuel continued playing until 1998. After being released by the Dodgers on July 30, 1992, he signed on with the Royals, finishing the season in KC. He would sign a one year deal with the Reds for 1993, and another one with the Tigers for 1994. He signed a second one-year deal with the Tigers for 1995, but was traded back to the Royals for a PTBNL. After a second stint with KC, he signed with the Blue Jays, spending three seasons with Toronto before calling it a career. But from 1993 to 1998, Topps didn't include him in any of their sets. He has since continued in baseball, coaching or managing at different levels over the years. He even managed the Orioles on an interim bases in 2010. In 2008, Samuel's contributions to the Phillies were recognized as he was inducted into the Phillies Wall of Fame at the new Citizens Bank Park. He joined the Phils as their third base coach in 2011, where he held the job until 2013. Why? Because in 2013, the Phillies promoted their AAA manager to a coaching job at third base. Samuel was more than happy to move over to the first base coaching box to accommodate the promotion. Oh, the guy that is now the third base coach for Philly? Some guy named Ryne Sandberg.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.01-$0.05.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 28 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 2008 Topps Updates and Highlights #UH247. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1980 here on the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama

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