Friday, December 12, 2008
1991 Classic/Best, Damion Easley
#121 Damion Easely
I got this card signed through the mail in either 1992 or 1993. That was the cool thing about minor league cards back then. First, remember that this was the time before the internet and before Topps started putting out First Year Cards. So, what I would do was watch the transactions in the newspaper when I could. Most of the big name players wouldn't sign through the mail and it was damn near impossible to find addresses to all of the minor league teams back then. So, this was the next logical step- buy minor league cards and wait. Then when that player gets called up, you could send them a card to sign that week and maybe beat the rush. This is how I got this card signed. Sure, he wasn't the next Ernie Banks or Cal Ripken Jr., but, he deffinitley lasted much longer than most people thought that he would.
I forgot all about Easley after his 2002 season. Four years after hitting 27 home runs, he only hit 8 in '02 to go along with a .224 average. Then I saw him in 2004 pinch hitting for the Marlins against the Braves and thought "he still plays?". Then I saw him pinch hit this past season for the Mets in Denver and again thought "wow, he still plays?"
For his career, he seems to have been one of the longer lasting super-utility players. He was a full-timer for four seasons in Detroit, but since then, he has seemed to adapt to any roll that would keep him in the Big Leagues. Throughout his career, he has played every position except pitcher and catcher. This past season with the Mets, he started at second base 60 times. It takes a certain type of player to go from part time player (at the age of 38) to starting everyday to fill in for injuries. Plus, overall, he hit .269 this past season. I guess what I am trying to say is that this card means much more to me now than it did in 1992 (or 1999).
Also, I have a couple of thanks to put out tonight. The first one goes to Mark at Stats On the Back. He was threatening to throw away a bunch of cards, but luckily I was able to save about 300 Royals cards (maybe more). I got tons of cards of many Royal greats, including Bo Jackson, Willie Wilson, Frank White, Dan Quisenberry, Dick Howser, Amos Otis, Kevin Appier, Wally Joyner, Joe Randa, Kevin Seitzer, Brian and Hal McRea, Dennis Leaonard and Tom Gordon. He even included some Brett's and a 1987 Donruss Bo Jackson rookie. If you have never been there, this might be a good time to check it out. You might even be able to save some cards from eventual destruction.
The second thanks goes out to Dave at Goose Joak for linking to this blog. If you have never been to his site, you should check it out as well. He makes his own original cards that usually consist of current players on older style cards and occaisonally older players on current cards. His latest concoction is of Carlos Pena on a 1990 Fleer Soaring Stars insert that he found here. This is the first card that he has ever done of a card style that he has neve seen in person and he did a Hell of a job.