Saturday, April 27, 2013

Short Stops, it's more than just a position

Are you a bit of a nerd like me sometimes? Do you own media guides from years past? I love to keep up with the history of my team, and they are a great way to do it sometimes. I have a fascination with knowing who has been on my team, what years they were here, even what number they wore. I even took it so far as to make spreadsheets of my Mariners by number, by year, and by alphabetical order including managers and coaches. I know, a little scary that I take that much time to work all that stuff up for my own pleasure. With my last post about short time guy Greg Norton, it got me to thinking about other short time guys. I decided that we should look first at the position guys that had 10 games or less in Seattle, and then I will eventually give you the pitchers that had 5 games or less. Let's start with the guys that saw one game in the Emerald City and work our way to the 10 gamers.

1- Arquimedez Pozo also saw just one game. During the playoff run of 1995, on September 12th Pozo was a pinch hitter for Joey Cora. In a 14-3 win against the Twins, Arquimedez would fly out to the 2nd baseman, and finish the game playing 2B in the Kingdome for the only time in his Mariner career.

1- Raul Chavez saw time in 1 game for Seattle. On July 4th 1998 the Mariners were in Texas. Raul would replace Dan Wilson in the bottom of the 5th to catch Bob Wells. Raul got one AB, grounding the first pitch he saw from Tim Crabtree to the shortstop in the top of the 7th inning.

1- Ron Wright had a brief MLB career consisting of one game as a Mariner. In an unexpected turn, Ron was forced to be the DH on April 14, 2002 for the Mariners in Texas against the Rangers. Sadly, Ron would strikeout, ground into a double play, and also ground into a triple play in his only game before soon heading back to AAA Tacoma.

Look at this beauty from 1978 with the AAA San Jose Missions

2- During the Mariners first season in 1977, many guys would see their way on to the roster. Tommy McMillan was a September call up that saw time at SS for two games on September 17th and 21st. Sadly, those would be the only games Tommy would see time on the field in his big league career.

2- It would be the last days of August in 1997. Brian Raabe would play on the 30th and 31st of August as a Mariner that year, but it was his only time with the team. He has gone on to coach high school ball in Minnesota, and is currently the head baseball coach at Bethel University.

2- In early 2000, Carlos Hernandez would be a pinch hitter and play 3B on the 25th of April. The next day he would come in as a pinch runner and finish again at 3rd Base. Those would be the only two games we would ever see Carlos.

4- Oswaldo Navarro saw time in just four games in 2006. He would make it back around to see 14 games with the Astros in 2010 only to return to the minors for the remainder of his career.

5- Jim Wilson never saw time as a position player. During the 1989 season, he did get into those five games as either a pinch hitter, or was the Designated Hitter.

5- Quinn Mack had a short career. During the shortened 1994 season, Quinn made it into five games as a Mariner. Those games would be the only ones of his career.

5- Another player to start and end his big league time in Seattle was Rickey Cradle. During  five games in the 1998 season, Rickey was a Mariner. he would never see the big leagues again.

5- Just two years later in the 2000 season, Brian Lesher made an appearance with the M's. It was quick and over before we knew him.

6- Jerry Willard. I don't remember him either. There were six games in 1994 that Jerry's name was in the box score for the Mariners.

6- The Mariners brought Mickey Lopez up the the big team for a short spell in 2004. Those six games would be Mickey's only big league games.

6- Joe Borchard was traded for from the White Sox in 2006. Joe was seen six times in early 2006 before he would leave Seattle.

6- The next season was 2007 and we would see a brief glimpse of Nick Green in the infield only for him to never be heard from again as a Mariner.

6- As the last post told you, Greg Norton was in Seattle for six games in the start of the 2008 season, only to be shipped to Atlanta.

7- I don't remember him, but Jim Weaver saw time in 1987. It was a quick turn for Jim in the Emerald City.

7- It would be 10 years later in 1997, that Dan Rohrmeier would come to the Mariners. Dan would not ever see the majors again after those seven games.

7- Guillermo Quiroz is an example of an indecisiveness of if a team likes you or not. He saw time in one game in 2006, he would see time in 4 games in 2009, and one more in 2010.

7- We saw Luis Jiminez in 2012 for 7 games. He came with the hype of hitting long bombs, but not much else. That was all we would see of Luis.

8- During the early years of the team, many guys came and went through Seattle. During the shorter 1981 season, Brad Gulden saw a little time with the Mariners.

8- Not to be outdone, along would come Bert Heffernan for the month of May during the disastrous season of 1992. Bert saw 8 games behind the plate for the first time in the majors only to never to return.

8- While the Mariners were looking for extra players for continued playoff runs in 1998, they would bring Dave McCarty to try to help out. It didn't work and Dave was gone and Seattle missed the playoffs that year.

8- Robert Machado made stops with 6 teams during his major league time from 1998-2004. He would spend 8 games with the Mariners on the playoff bound team from the 2000 season.

8- Mike Wilson was one of those more highly touted Mariner prospects. Finally after hearing about his promise since being drafted in 2001, he came up in May of 2011 for eight games. He did more time in the minors, only to find himself in Independent ball for 2013.

9- Joe Lis saw there was a revolving door to the clubhouse in the Kingdome during the 1977 season. The team didn't really know what they had so many guys played in that first season. Joe was done in baseball after the Mariners.

9- Brick Smith had a road block at 1B behind Alvin Davis. The Mariners were willing to give him a chance though. Between the 1987 and 1988 seasons, Brick made it into those nine games but those would be the only big league games he would ever make it to.

9- Also during the season in 1988, the Mariners would be short home for John Rabb. John had spent time behind the plate for the Giants, and Braves before finishing his career in Seattle.

9- In June of 1996, Manny would make his debut with the Mariners. He would soon be released by the team only to be picked up by the Phillies, and bounce around to many teams here and abroad.

9- Chad Meyers had seen time in 97 games with the Cubs between 1999 and 2002. During September of 2003 he would be a pinch runner in most games getting one AB only to ground into a 6-4 fielder's choice in the 7th inning of a 12-0 loss in Oakland on September 21, 2003.

9- Chris Shelton was thankfully spared from having to be a Mariner for too long in 2009. He played a little 1B, was a the DH a couple of times and pinch ran. He spent longer in AAA Tacoma than with the Mariners.

10- Did you know Wally Backman was a Mariner in 1993? Trust me, I don't remember either but i was getting married that year and had a lot going on. Wally was here and gone without hardly a whimper.

10- The next year in 1994, we would see another NBA ten game contract with the Mariners in current Cubs manager Dale Sveum. I don't really know what we were doing back in those days with guys coming and going constantly.

10- During the turn of the century in 2000 the Mariners had a pretty good team. One of those guys that saw time during the year was Anthony Sanders. His ten games came and went so fast we do even remember him.

10- Another guy that has been talked about for the longest time to be a great infielder is Carlos Triunfel. Carlos finally got a shot in 10 games last year at the end of the 2012 season.

I wanted to give a shout out to a guy who actually played one over the cut off in 1977. Most people know Ray Fosse from the 1970 All Star Game when he was run over by Pete Rose. Ray would see 11 games for the M's in their first season in 1977.

I have the list together of pitchers that saw 5 games or less for the Mariner and will work on it to bring it to you and see if you recognize some names that we might have forgotten were in Seattle.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

He was here??

Do you ever start do some poking around on the Internet about your team and find a nugget? While I was doing my research for the 1979 Topps blog I came across a name I forgot was even on the team.

In the start of the 2008 there was hope the M's would start to turn their fortunes around. We didn't have any big time players except one that was full of himself, but he's in New York now. One guy that was here in the start of that season saw time in 6 games before he and Brad Wilkerson were DFA'd in May of 2008. I forgot that Greg Norton was even a Mariner. He was sent to Atlanta for a guy that never left AA and has played in Mexico for the last 3 years. I might have to sit down and find how many guys would play maybe 10 or 20 or a small number of games for the team and see if any names sound familiar.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

More Angels Scoring in the Upper Deck

Sometimes when I get as package like this in the mail I feel like I'm cheating on my team. I'm sure that everyone knows that I am the lone Mariners fan out here in the blog world. I take great pride in rooting for my team that has been down for quite a few years. Yesterday's package came to me and there was only 2 Mariners cards and the rest were all California Angels cards. Yes, as you all know I grew up in the part time spring training home of the Angels until the 1193 season, even though I left after school in 1989.

I must say that I don't really know how we as collectors survived before the Internet and social networking. The mailer that came in yesterday is from a man that I've never met bet we have been on Facebook for quite a while. He continues to find cards I need for my collections, and keep humbly accepting them. I constantly ask how I can repay him, and he asks me to pay it forward and help out other collectors. As of today in the Mariners Super Set, I now have all the cards from both Score and Upper Deck. These were the last two pieces to those puzzles:

The 1994 Score of Bret Boone with a guest appearance by Willie McGee was the last of the 314 Score cards. The 1998 Upper Deck of Jay Buhner Making History was card #568 of the 568 from Upper Deck. It is so awesome to have three makers down and only two to go. I am down to about 14 cards from Donruss to blow them up, and the big challenge to finish off the 49 cards from Fleer and their run of Mariners. I seriously think and hope that I will make this baby happen by the All Star break!!

Tom also seems to have some kind of connection to someone that is secretly hiding all the cards I need for my projects and slowly releases them to me. Inside the mailer was a stack of VINTAGE TOPPS. Just look at the beauty of these 50 year old LA Angels before they were the California Angels. You know that even if this was your most hated rival of a team, you wouldn't just drool all over yourself to find cards that are 50 years old coming to you!!

Being an equal opportunity giver of all things I need to make collections, there just happen to be a nice stack of 17 cards that came from a five year run of Donruss from 1982 to 1987. There were some fairly big names that were later in their careers that were Halos that I saw around Palm Springs Stadium in my junior high and high school days. Here is a look at about half of those Donruss cards that are now going into the binder with the other Angels that are the ones I want to collect.

It seems that most mail I get from Tom is somehow always got cards that will finish off years or sets or has some kind of finishing touch. Earlier it was the finishing of Mariners sets. Here is the last six Halos that were necessary to finish Fleer and add them to Score as finished Angels. The mountain behind Ron Romanick reminds me so much of my young days in the desert since the mountain range was always behind you. I love the look of Tim Foli and his 80's aviator glasses, so classic!

Not to be outdone, Upper Deck did a few cards from the Coachella Valley before the Angels left for the greener pastures of Tempe, AZ. I only needed two last cards from UD to complete them. If you sense the theme here, Tom finished them too. I had never seen the Von Hayes up close, but that bat shattering is an awesome pic by the cameraman. The last one is a guy that I always thought had one of the coolest names in Chili Davis. Until I found it was a nickname, I wondered what kind of parent would name their boy after something to eat.

I am so proud that the numbers for my collections continues to get smaller and smaller. It is hard to believe that I am down to only trying to find 63 cards for the Mariners to get me to the over 3400 base cards out there. Even though it was only a side project, i find myself down to needing 21 more Halos cards to put what was once just a thought of a collection to completion. Big thanks again to the Internet and social media for helping us collectors connect with each other to help fulfill our dreams, and collections!!