Saturday, August 28, 2010
2003 Upper Deck, Raul Gonzalez
#7 Raul Gonzalez
I was supposed to post another Brandon Duckworth card tonight, but I decided to go against the grain and show this card instead. Here is a card that I got signed about six hours ago at a Wichita Wingnuts game. Raul is one of the newest member of the Nuts and I was able to get him to sign this card for me prior to the game.
Raul has been around the game for quite some time. He was originally drafted by the Royals in 1990 and he made his pro debut in 1991. He played in the Royals system through 1998, but he never advanced above AA. He then started to bounce around a bit, but in 2000, he got his first call-up with the Cubs. He only got into 3 games, but it was a start. In '01, he got called up by the Reds and he got into 11 games. He got called up by the Reds again in '02 and that time he got into 10 games before being dealt to the Mets. He got into 30 games with them over the remainder of the season. Then, in 2003, Raul got into 107 games as a Met. He only had 246 at-bats, but it was the most action that he was ever going to see at the big league level. After that, it was 11 games in 2004 with the Indians and that was the last of his Major League service time. For his Major League career, Raul was a .233 hitter that racked up 5 home runs. One of his home runs was off of Roy Oswalt, though.
Since then, Raul has played in about every league out there. He played in the Pacific Coast League, the International League, the Mexican League, the Atlantic League, and now the American Association. The Nuts picked him up just earlier this month after the Mexican League's season ended.
I didn't realize this until I started to write this post, but Raul now plays his home games at Wichita's Lawrence-Dumont Stadium. That was Raul's home ballpark from 1995-1998 while he was a member of the Royals AA team, the Wichita Wranglers. I went to my first minor league game in 1997 at Lawrence-Dumont, and, since Raul played in 129 games for the Wranglers that year, there is a good chance that I got to see him play that night. And what team were the Wranglers playing that night? It was the El Paso Diablos, the same team the Wichita played tonight. Minor league baseball is a crazy enterprise.