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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1986 Topps: Managerial Decisions

Tigers Manager Sparky Anderson never directly told Nelson Simmons he was in the lineup. That came in writing, on the lineup card, UPI wrote in August 1985. Simmons, in his second of three big league years, was still officially a rookie, after all.

"He don't talk to rookies," Simmons told UPI. Tigers coach Vida Pinson, however, told UPI speaking didn't matter.

"Sparky is talking to him in his own way," Pinson told the wire service, "because he's in the lineup every day. "That's the loudest talk you can get around here."

Simmons got into 75 games for the Tigers that year, according to the back of his 1986 Topps card, hitting .239 with 10 home runs. Simmons would play in just one more big league season, 16 games for Baltimore in 1987.

Simmons would go on to a career in the minors that lasted until 2000, playing in the independent Western League. He played 1990 at AA Huntsville, missing the CMC set.

But he did make the 1986 Topps set, and my fifth 1986 Topps pack. No Hall of Famers were included in this pack. But there was one CMC set member and three future big league managers. There was also a guy who threw two no-hitters, another who later threw a perfect game and a guy who threw a perfect game in the minors.

And three future members of the Senior Professional Baseball Association.


The CMC set member is actually both a future manager and future member of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. He also just managed his team to the World Series, Ron Washington. I covered Washington back in March, before his World Series managerial season. At some point I hope to update it.

Washington's fellow future managers in the 1986 Topps pack were Bob Melvin and Bob Boone. Melvin managed the Diamondbacks from 2003 to 2009 and before that the Mariners from 2003 to 2004. Boone managed the Royals from 1995 to 1997 and the Reds from 2001 to 2003.

Bob Forsch threw two no-hitters over his career. Tom Browning went on to pitch a perfect game in September 1988 for the Reds. He pitched another no-hitter into the ninth, finally giving up his first hit with one out.

Jamie Easterly had his perfect game, according to Baseball-References' Bullpen, in 1974 with AAA Denver. Easterly went on to play in parts of 13 seasons, his last in 1987.


But Easterly did come back, in 1989 with the Senior Professional Baseball Association, playing for the Orlando Juice, according to Bullpen. Joining him on the really senior circuit was Washington and Cesar Cedeno. Washington played the West Palm Beach Tropics, Cedeno with the Daytona Beach Explorers.

But, back to Easterly, note that on his 1986 Topps card, he's signing another card. Too bad the card itself can't be made out because it's in shadow.
1986 Topps Pack 5
12 Jose Uribe
31 Jamie Easterly
62 Bob Boone
105 Gary Ward
121 Nelson Simmons
224 Cesar Cedeno
244 Craig Lefferts
268 Mike Scott
322 Bob Forsch
328 Pete O'Brien
479 Bob Melvin
513 Ron Washington
652 Tom Browning
712 Don Mattingly All Star
734 Marty Barrett

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