Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Random Topps Card of the Day: 1999 Topps #261 Gregg Olson

Thanks to the Topps Card Randomizer, introducing the Random Topps Card of the Day for Tuesday, January 24, 2012:

  • Official Card Set Name and Card Number: 1994 Topps #726.
  • Player Name, position, team: Gregg Olson, pitcher, Arizona Diamondbacks.
  • Major League Debut: September 02, 1988.
  • Last Line of Statistics: 1998 stats (Diamondbacks): 64 G, 68.2 IP, 3-4, 25 R,23ER, 5 SO, 25 BB, 0 GS, 0 CG, 0 SHO, 30 SV, 3.01 ERA.
  • Any special information about player: Drafted by the Orioles #1st, June 1988. Signed with the Diamondbacks as a Free Agent 01/31/1998. Bats: right. Throws: right.
  • Number of regular Topps Cards (includes regular and traded cards only): 9. This is his ninth and final Topps card.
  • Blurb on the back: None. On the back of the card, the stats include a black star on the year 1989, and below the picture on the back, the black star represents that he was Rookie of the Year.
  • Commentary: Funny isn't it?  Card #261, and it appears in series 2??!  Well, this was about the time when Topps was inconsistent with the number of cards for their eponymous set (463 card numbers, 462 cards with the Mantle retirement).  It had been five years since Gregg Olson appeared on a Topps card when 1999 Topps Series 2 went live.  This means that after leaving the Orioles as a Free Agent to join the Braves, he did not appear in any of Topps products.  Which means that Topps missed the journeyman middle-reliever phase of his career (not surprising as Topps stopped including these unsung players in their products).  After stopping in Atlanta in what was an injury riddled year, Olson travelled around the majors, making stops in Cleveland, Kansas City, Detroit, Houston, Minnesota, and back again to KC.  Within those five lost years, the man who beat Ken Griffey, Jr. as the AL Rookie of the Year, and had saved 160 games for the O's, went 11-8, and had a grand total of 13 saves, with a high water mark of 8 with the Tigers.  Hoping to revive his career as a closer, he signed on with the expansion Diamondbacks. It was just the thing he needed.  He saved 30 games for the expansion franchise, the most he had saved since 1993.  In two years with the D'Backs, he went 12-8, finished 85 games, saved 44 of them, struck out 100 batters, and had an ERA of 3.34. Although he was longer the baby-faced youngster that we all saw on his 1989 Topps card, he had found his fountain of youth in the hot desert of Phoenix.  At the end of the 1999 season, Olson signed with the Dodgers.  I'll always remember Gregg Olson because he made his lone All-Star Team in 1990 at Wrigley Field.  While he didn't pitch in the game, it would have been phenomenal if he had the opportunity to face the Braves' lone representative that night.  His name?  Greg Olson.
  • Beckett value: $0.07-$0.20.
  • How many cards of this player do I own?: 14 cards.
Tomorrow's card will be: 1994 Topps Traded #105T. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. Post will arrive at 1:00 PM CST. We're looking back at a card from 1994 here on the blog tomorrow.


JayBee Anama


Anonymous said...

After what was to be his last year with the O's, they offered him a $1,000,000 contract for the following year if he would have surgery and concentrate on rehab for a year. Unfortunately, he turned them down flat for the Braves offer, and ended up playing through many, many injuries, at a level far below his first 3-4 years with the O's.

P-town Tom said...

I didn't know that about Olson. Interesting tidbit about one of the few players I collected as a kid.