Thursday, October 31, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1998 Topps #23 Steve Trachsel

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Thursday, October 31, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1998 Topps #23.
  • Player Name, position, team: Steve Trachsel, pitcher, Chicago Cubs.
  • Major League Debut: September 19, 1993.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1997 stats (Cubs): 34 G, 201.1 IP, 8-12, 110 R, 101 ER, 160 SO, 69 BB, 34 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 4.51 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cubs #7th, June 1991. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 16. This is his fourth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "When Steve is hitting his spots and changing speeds with his usual ingenuity, he can be a frustrating assignment for hitters. Case in point: In a game last Sept.1, Minnesota Twins batters fouled of 31 pitches in five innings. He would, of course, prefer to throw fewer pitches - such as in the 1996 All-Star Game when he disposed of Sandy Alomar, Cal Ripken Jr., and Alex Rodriguez in eight offerings."
  • Commentary: Sometimes it's those "token" All-Stars, you know, the ones who are chosen to be a team's representative at the All-Star Game just because EVERY TEAM NEEDS REPRESENTATION, that make or break an ASG. Stephen Christopher Trachsel was the Cubs' rep in 1996, a season where his team was a not too terrible 41-46 heading into the break. Had there not been that "every team" rule that Trachsel would not have been picked to go in the first place. But there he was in Philly, taking in all of the festivities, and when called upon in the 7th inning to face the AL's best, it only took eight pitches and all three batters he faced were sent back to the dugout. Hey, the NL won the game 6-0. Anyway, the Cubs were somehow in the playoff hunt in 1998, and Trachsel helped get them there with a final 15-8 record, a 4.46 ERA, 149 strikeouts, and a WHIP of 1.385. In fact, he started the one-game play-in against the Giants, and earned the hard fought 5-3 victory that got the Cubs into the playoffs for the first time since that magical 1989 season as the Wild Card team. Of course they were trounced by the Braves in 3 games after that, but just getting there was good enough for me. The magic, sadly, did not continue the following year for Steve as he finished the 1999 campaign with a dismal 8-18 record (led the league in losses). He signed a free agent deal with the Devil Rays (the team's Opening Day starter), who promptly dealt him to Toronto before the trading deadline. The next year, he signed with the Mets, and in 6 seasons earned a 66-59 record, a 4.09 ERA, and 580 K's in 160 starts. In 2007, he signed with Baltimore, only to be traded to...THE CUBS...during another playoff run. Long removed from his All-Star form, he went a dismal 1-3, along with 8.31 ERA in 4 starts, finishing his career as a Cubbie at 61-72, 4.41 ERA, and 840 K's. After a half-season back in Baltimore in 2008, the O's released Trachsel, and ended his playing career.
  • Lo-Hi Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 18.

Tomorrow's card will be: 2001 Topps #573. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Until tomorrow everybody.


JayBee Anama

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