Monday, January 11, 2010
1999 Topps, John Valentin
#164 John Valentin
I got this card signed last summer in St. Louis at the Futures Game. John was one of the coaches for the USA. For the game, they usually have an honorary manager (for the US, it was Ozzie Smith) and the coaches are made up of up-and-coming minor leauge managers and coaches. John was the manager of the Dodgers' AA affilaite, the Chatanooga Lookouts. However the Dodgers must not have thought too highly of him since he is going to be the Lookouts hitting coach this year.
John had an 11 year career, spent mostly with the Red Sox. He started off as a shortstop, but moved to third when Nomar came up. His best season was probably 1995 when he had career highs in home runs (27) and RBI (102). He even won the Silver Slugger that year for American League shortstops.
According to Wikipedia, he was the first player to ever turn an unassisted triple play and hit for the cycle.
I could only find three cards of John to take with me to the game. He only signed this one card for me though and it was the darkest card out of the three. But, on a positive note, he was the only coach that I got to sign for me.
For some reason, I always got John Valentin and Jose Valentin confused. That makes sense, I guess, since their names are so similar. I just never really realized that John was practically a life-long Red Sock.