Wednesday, November 12, 2014

1996 Leaf Signature Series, Ricky Bottalico

#31 Ricky Bottalico

Here is a card of Ricky Bottalico that I picked up from Check Out My Cards. This one set me back all of one dollar.

I have a thing with COMC where I do not like making a purchase from the site without adding at least one autograph to my order. And I like that one autograph to be cheap. Luckily, that is easy to do with this set as I have amassed a decent collection of it while rarely going over the one dollar mark. That is kind of sad considering how much a pack of this product used to cost back in the day and the reason for the cost was the one autograph in the pack.

Ricky Bottalico caught my fancy because he is a former Royal. He spent just one year in Kansas City and it was the first year I was a fan of the team. Ricky was brought in to be the closer on a team with a very powerful offense. The only problem was that the pitching was horrible and he did not get as many save chances as was expected. Plus, his ERA was close to 5.00, so he just became part of the pitching problem instead of actually helping to fix it. But, he did finish the season 9-6 with 16 saves. That was the last time he ever hit double digits in saves.

Ricky had his hey-day early in his career withe the Phillies. He had back-to-back 34 save seasons in 1996 and '97 and was an All Star in '96. After things went south in Philly (and his ERA went north of 6.00), Ricky saw time with the Cardinals, D-Backs, Mets, Brewers, and a second go-around with the Phils.

He finished his career after the 2005 season with a 33-42 record with 116 saves and a 3.99 ERA.

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