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Saturday, February 25, 2012

1992 Topps: Strikeout Record

Steve Whitaker was on a roll for one game in April 1991. For Cal State Long Beach, Whitaker tied a single-game school record, setting down 16 UC Irvine players on strikes, The Los Angeles Times wrote.

According to Topps, Whitaker had another roll that year for Long Beach, nearly getting another school record. He went 27.2 consecutive scoreless innings. The school record was 28.1. Topps also noted his tie for the strikeout record.

Whitaker's work at Long Beach was enough for transfer from Merced Junior College to get the notice of pro scouts, including scouts from the Giants. The Giants thought enough of Whitaker to take him in the first round of the 1991 draft, 33rd overall.

But Whitaker didn't fulfill the promise of his first round selection. He made it to AAA Phoenix in 1995. But he never made the majors.

Whitaker was included in the 1992 Topps set as a draft pick. His card was included in a pack I purchased sometime last year and opened recently.

Also included in the pack was another draft pick, and two CMC set members.

The other draft pick was Scott Stahoviak, who fared better than Whitaker. Stahoviak was selected by the Twins as the 27th overall pick in the 1991 draft. He debuted in the majors two years later, as a September call up.

Stahoviak went on to play in five major league seasons, his last coming in 1998.

Topps notes that he was a 1991 pre-season All-American for Creighton University. He also led the Missouri Valley Conference with 95 hits and a .417 average in 1990.

Donald Harris was coming off his first year with time in the majors when his 1992 card came out. He was also going into his fourth year as a pro. Harris played with the Rangers in 1992 and 1993, the extent of his big league career.

Harris made the CMC set as a member of the AA Tulsa Drillers. He was just featured here in February 2012.

Topps notes he was signed by the Rangers as a first-round draft pick by scout Doug Gassaway. Topps didn't mention his history in football.

Hensley Meulens made the CMC set as a member of the Columbus Clippers. He debuted with the Yankees in August 1989, getting into eight games. He got into 23 more in 1990.

In 1992, when his Topps card came out, Meulens played in just two games with the Yankees. He went on to play in seven major league seasons, 182 games.

The back of his card includes his complete major and minor league stats. Topps notes he was named an All-Star in the Carolina League in 1987, hitting 28 home runs at Prince William.

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