Saturday, November 30, 2013

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1993 Topps #657 Mike Harkey

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Saturday, November 30, 2013:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1993 Topps #657.
  • Player Name, position, team: Mike Harkey, pitcher, Chicago Cubs.
  • Major League Debut: September 5, 1988.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1992 stats (Cubs): 7 G, 38 IP, 4-0, 13 R, 8 ER, 21 SO, 15 BB, 7 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 0 SV, 1.89 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Cubs #1st, June 1987. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 6. This is his fifth Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: "Mike attended California State University-Fullerton 3 years. He registered 125 strikeouts in 129 Innings as sophomore and was Third Team All-American as junior. Mike made his big leauge debut in second game of double-header, 9-5-88."
  • Commentary: There have been many players that the Cubs have hedged their bets on to lead the franchise to the promised land while I was growing up (and even now) that you could probably create a 25-man roster full of them and then have many extras as part of the taxi-squad. I'm not talking about those players who had a few good years and then were gone soon afterwards (like a Jerome Walton/Dwight Smith), but players who had many chances to prove themselves. However, whether it be not adjusting to major league level hitting/pitching, injuries, or just flat out bad luck, prospects that were once touted as the next big thing turned out to be busts. It's hard to call Michael Anthony Harkey a "bust" per se, as if you looked at his big league numbers (at least between 1988 through 1992), they weren't really that bad. Injuries were a factor as to why he didn't play in as many games as he should have (everything from shoulder to arm injuries, to a knee injury caused by an attempted cartwheel). Heck, his brief run in 1992 was fantastic. In 1993, he did get it all together and was part of the Cubs rotation. In 28 starts, he earned a 10-10 record, but with an ERA of 5.26. He did strikeout 67 batters in 157.1 innings of work, and had a WHIP of 1.462. But the Cubs brass had enough I guess, and allowed the former Future Star to enter the Free Agent market. His trip through the majors included stays in Colorado (1994), the Athletics and Angels (1995), a couple of seasons with the Dodgers AAA team in Albuquerque in which he became the Dukes' closer, before finishing for good with the Dodgers in 1997. His career numbers include an even 36-36 record, a 4.49 ERA, 316 strikeouts in 656 innings pitched, and a WHIP of 1.441. Sadly, you will not find any Topps cards of Harkey as a member of any other team since his last Topps card came out in 1994, still as a member of the Cubs. Since retiring, Harkey became a pitching/bullpen coach, learning the trade with the Cubs' minor league team in Iowa. He joined the Marlins as their bullpen coach in 2006, then joined the Yankees in 2008, first as a bullpen coach, then the team's hitting coach. After the 2013 season, Harkey was hired by the Diamondbacks to take over as their pitching coach.
  • Beckett value: $0.02-$0.10.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 8 cards.

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: 1974 Topps #487. Come back at 1:00 PM CST to see who (or what) it is.


JayBee Anama

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