Thursday, January 22, 2015

An Interesting Pack of '94 Fleer Ultra Series II

In an effort to get my lazy butt off 140 Character Land and back where it belongs, I decided to bring one of my favorite Twitivities to the blog. The concept is simple. I open a pack of cards and try to find at least one interesting fact about the player featured on each card. Today's pack is from '94 Fleer Ultra Series II. 

If you're not familiar with '94 Fleer Ultra, it's probably because you're poor and can't afford high-end wax with gold-trimmed edges.

Brian McRae is a bright spot in an era of PED's. As his career was winding down he had to choose between his health and his wallet. He made the noble choice.

Who know what kind of career Brian Harper could have had if given the chance. He debuted at 19 but spent the next decade bouncing around and backing up guys like Brian Downing, Tony Pena, Tom Nieto, Lance Parrish and Terry Steinbach. The Twins finally gave him a shot as a #1 catcher in his age 29 season and he rewarded them by batting .325/.353/.449.

Phil never made it as a Phillie. In fact, he never made the majors period. For whatever reason he pitched in a AAA game for the Mets affiliate in 1998. It wasn't just a couple outs, he pitched 2.2 innings and gave up 6 runs (2 earned). 

Derrick May hit 52 HR in 797 MLB games. He hit 59 HR in 298 NPB games for the Chiba Lotte Marines.

White pitched for 11 of the 30 MLB franchises. Despite starting just 5 games in 1994, he was hit by a pitch 6 times.

Otis Nixon looks rough. Nixon has fought demons but claimed sobriety as recently as 2010. In 2013 he was arrested for possession of crack cocaine. I can't find anymore updates, but here's hoping he's back on the wagon and in a better place.

James Baldwin had a 5.10 ERA in 1999 and a 4.65 ERA in 2000 but still made the 2000 AL All-Star Team. It was a different time.

Dunston started at least 11 games at every position over his career except pitcher and catcher.

Marvin Freeman finished 4th in the 1994 AL Cy Young voting despite starting just 18 games. 

Mariano Duncan stole 48 bases in 1986 for the Dodgers. He stole more than 20 only once more over the next 11 seasons.

John Burkett is now a professional bowler. He won 22 games in 1993 and 166 over his career, making him the 198th winning-est pitcher in baseball history.

Wes Weger is not related to Jim Carey, despite the similarities. He never debuted in the MLB, but was well on his way to it before a horrific injury. During '94 Spring Training a Rockies player lost control of his bat during a swing and sent it flying into the Brewers dugout. The barrel struck Weger on the left ankle and obliterated his tendons. He missed all of '94 and never returned to full form.

Mulholland also pitched for 11 of 30 MLB clubs. He defeated every team in the majors at least once during his career. Terry was 43 when he retired in 2006. 

José Rijo may well have been on his way to Cooperstown had he not missed five seasons ('96-'00) with an elbow injury. Rijo made a remarkable return to baseball in 2001 with the Reds as a relief pitcher, giving up only 4 ER over 17 IP. He's best remembered in Cincinnati for his dominating '90 World Series performance, starting two games and giving up one run over 15.1 innings, earning Rijo the World Series MVP award. No clue what kind of tobacco he kept in his back left pocket.

1 comment:

  1. Welcome back!

    Professional bowler might be the best retirement job ever.