Oddball Odyssey: More From 1990 Topps Major League Debut

While finishing up my previous post about 1990 Topps Major League Debut, I realized I forgot to post the Juan Gonzalez card from the set. Since I don’t want “Juan Gone” to be neglected, and since I needed a fairly quick post for today, here are a number of other cards from that set, with minimal comments from me.

Juan Gone was only 19 when he played 24 games with the Rangers in 1989.,

Jose Vizcaino played for 8 teams and did two stints with the Dodgers.

Kevin Tapani was no longer a Met when this card came out;  he’d pitched just 3 games for the Amazin’s before going to Minnesota as part of a deadline deal for Frank Viola.

In one of the lesser trades in Baltimore history, the O’s traded Steve Finley, Curt Schilling and Pete Harnisch to Houston for Glenn Davis, who was already on the downside of his career trajectory.

Todd Zeile played for 11 different teams, but by far his longest run was with the Cardinals.

By comparison, Chris Hoiles played every one of his 874 Major League games with the Orioles… although he was originally drafted by the Tigers and came to the O’s in a trade for Fred Lynn (…And Mrs. Shlabotnik says Fred Lynn never did anything of value for the Orioles!)

Before Joe Girardi became a respected manager, he put in 15 seasons as a catcher.  For those of you in the New York area, in my head I always “hear” Joe Girardi’s name the way WFAN’s Steve Somers says it:  “Joe (pause)  GirARRRRRdi”

I thought this was an interesting trio of cards… Ben McDonald was a star pitcher for LSU and was selected #1 overall by the Orioles.  After two games in the minors he made his Major League debut… and because he was regarded as such a “can’t miss” prospect, he made it on to three different Topps cards:  Regular, Traded and Debut.

I’ll wrap things up with the first runner up in the “Cuppa Cawfee” competition:

Brian Brady was the Angels’ 6th round pick in 1984. Under other circumstances, Brady is a guy I could get behind because like me he was born in Queens (Elmhurst in Brady’s case) and also like me he’s under 6′ tall. Very much unlike me, Brady appeared in the Majors and got on base.

The game featured on the card was Sunday, April 16th, 1989, in Seattle. With the Halos up 9-0 in the 9th, Brady pinch hit for RF Claudell Washington and doubled off the Mariners’ Mike Schooler, driving in Devon White and putting the Angels up 10-0. He’d stay in the game to play the bottom of the 9th in right field.

Brady’s second and final appearance came in Oakland the following Saturday, April 22nd. With the Angels down 4-3 going into the 9th inning, the A’s brought on Dennis Eckersley. Brady pinch-hit for SS Kent Anderson, and was the 2nd victim as Eck struck out the side for the save.

And that was the extent of Bryan Brady’s career. Two 9th-inning appearances, 2 plate appearances, 1 double, 1 RBI. The rest of the 1989 season was spent with AAA Edmonton, he spent 1990 with the Giants’ AAA team in Phoenix, and that was the end of Brady’s professional career.

According to tradingcarddb.com, this is Brady’s only Major League card, although he had a few minor league cards, including some nationally-issued minor league sets.

….And that wraps up everything I have to say about 1990 Topps Major League Debut. I’ll write up a post about the two follow-up sets if – and this is a big “if” – I actually have any of those cards. I think I do, but I’m not sure.

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4 thoughts on “Oddball Odyssey: More From 1990 Topps Major League Debut

    • Steve Somers is on my fairly short list of “What I miss about the New York metro area” along with good rye bread and never having to wonder if a touring band would be playing near you.

      I’ve never watched This Is Us so I didn’t know that about Todd Zeile’s daughter, but that’s pretty cool

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