Sunday, November 30, 2014

1996 Topps, Phil Nevin

#348 Phil Nevin

Here is the first of three cards that I got signed by Phil Nevin at Spring Training this past year. Phil is the manager of the Diamondbacks AAA team in Reno and he was nice enough to sign the cards for me after working out the D-Backs infielders on the miniature infield field. When I first got to that spot, I had no clue who he was. But, luckily, there were other 'graphers out there that helped me out.

Phil is a former number one that pick that ended up playing twelve seasons in the Major Leagues with with the Astros, Tigers, Angels, Padres, Rangers, Cubs, and Twins. He was a stud in college and won the Golden Spikes Award and the Most Outstanding Player Award as he lead his Cal State Fullerton Titans to the College World Series championship game in 1992. He was taken first overall by the Astros in the draft and started his pro career the following season.

Phil skipped a bunch of minor league levels and started off at AAA. He hit great there, hitting .286 with 10 home runs and 93 RBI in his first season. The repeated AAA the next year and did good again, though his numbers fell off a bit. He did get a September call-up to Houston, but hit just .117.

The problem with Phil at that point was his defense. He was drafted as a third baseman, but in his two seasons on the Astros AAA team, he had 60 errors at the hot corner. He had 3 errors there as well during his September call-up. He had 17 errors in AAA through 57 games the next season when Houston traded their former number one pick to the Tigers for Mike Henneman.

The Tigers went to work on finding a position Phil could play at the Major League level. As an American League team, I do not know why he would not be just a full time DH. Phil spent most of the '96 season at AA working on a variety of positions, but mostly catcher. He would only start two games at catcher for the Tigers, though, before they shipped him off to the Angels.

With Detroit, Phil spent parts of three seasons at the Major League level and he hit .246 with 19 home runs and 66 RBI.

I had completely forgotten that I had posted a Padrograph of Phil about three years ago. That card can be seen here.

It is probably hard to read on this scan, but the gold foil part on the cards reads "NOW APPEARING". Is this supposed to be a replacement for the Future Stars subset?

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