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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cooperstown Cards: Near No-Hitter

Scott Garrelts made it to a spot seven other pitchers had made it to that year. The other seven finished, Garrelts could not.

With two outs in the ninth inning, Garrelts had a no hitter going against the eventual world champion Reds on July 29, 1990. But a Paul O'Neill single broke it up with one out to go.

"I'm not as disappointed as you think," Garrelts told The Associated Press after securing the 4-0 win and a Giants series sweep. "I just wanted to throw strikes and win the game. The no-hitter was secondary to getting the sweep."

Garrelts likely got that far with the "rip-snorting fastball" referenced on the back of his 1988 Score card. Garrelts' card was included in a 25-card grab bag I picked up on a recent weekend in Cooperstown.

The grab bag consisted of all 1988 Score, even one of the Great Moments In Baseball. This "Great Moment" was Oct. 1, 1967, as the Red Sox moved to win a close American League race.

The grab bag perhaps not surprisingly included no Hall of Famers. But it did include three CMC set members, Jay Aldrich, Andy McGaffigan and Vincente Palacios.

The only one of the three I've featured is Aldrich, whom I covered in June 2010. Aldrich's Score card includes more information, including that he is a "big fastballer" who got his first victory Aug. 6, 1987.

Aldrich also played his college ball at Montclair State, earning all-state honors as a New Jersey schoolboy, Score wrote.

McGaffigan had a more extensive major and minor league history, so his Score write-up was more limited. He was a "valuable part" of the Expos bullpen in 1987.

But he also worked as a starter, getting his first career shutout May 6, 1986, Score wrote.

Score felt good about Palacios' future, including him as a rookie prospect. They also photographed him at Wrigley Field, the same as McGaffigan. For Palacios, the photo location is fitting, it was against the Cubs that he got his first big league win

Palacios made Pittsburgh for six outings in 1987. He was considered the best Mexican pitching prospect sicne Teddy Higuera. He also had an 88-mph forkball and a "crackling" fastball, Score wrote.

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