Friday, February 5, 2010
1984 Topps, Steve Balboni
#782 Steve Balboni
Here is one of the autographs that I got from the Royals single season home run leader. I wrote to Steve just over a year ago and got him to sign a Royals card for me. So my goal at Fanfest was to get a couple of non-Royals cards signed by him. Here is the first of those. This one shows Steve during his first stint with the Yankees.
In 1978, Steve was a second round draft choice of the Yankees. He got some brief stints with the big league club from 1981-1983, but he never really got a chance. After the '83 season, the Yankees shipped Balboni to the Royals with Roger Erickson for Mike Armstrong. Armstrong only pitched in 52 games with the Yankees from 1984-1986. Balboni, on the other hand, became the Royals everyday first basemen and ended up hitting 119 home runs as a Royal over four complete seasons.
"He's the most unpredictable hitter I've ever seen. There's no way to tell if he's in a slump. He swings so aggressively that anytime he gets it airborne it has a chance to go out. He's knocked in a whole lot of key runs for us."