For more great baseball stories like this one, 'like' us on Facebook -

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Tim Wakefield and The 1992 Donruss Rookies

Tim Wakefield officially retired Friday after playing in 19 major league seasons. While Wakefield didn't make the CMC set, he did play in the minors in 1990, at single-A Salem.

He was actually one of only a couple players who played in 2011 and also played in the minors in 1990 left. Jim Thome and Omar Vizquel being two others I can think of at the moment.

None of those three made the CMC set and, as far as I've been able to tell, none of the CMC set members remain playing anywhere.

So I thought I'd take this moment to mark the retirement of one of the last connections to that 1990 minor league season by featuring Wakefield's 1992 Donruss The Rookies card.

The card came in some packs of Rookies cards my wife got me for Christmas. I also figured this would be a good opportunity to feature some of the actual CMC set members that I pulled from those packs.

The set appeared in the perfect time to catch CMC set members, two years after the CMC set's release. The once minor leaguers were starting to make some noise in the majors.

Julio Valera made his noise for parts of five seasons in the majors, with the Mets, Angels and Royals. He made the CMC set as a member of the Tidewater Tides. He was featured here in May 2010.

Donruss featured Valera during his third season with time in the majors. He'd pitched in five total games with the Mets in 1990 and 1991. For 1992, he was traded to the Angels, the team he appears with on his Rookies card.

On the card back, Donruss highlights his first promotion to the Mets in 1990. Donruss also notes that he was fifth in the South Atlantic League in strikeouts in 1988.

Rich Amaral made the Rookies set with the Mariners after his first season with time in the majors. Amaral got into 14 games with Seattle in 1991. He went on to play in 10 big league seasons.

He appeared in the CMC set as a member of the Vancouver Canadians, with the White Sox system.

Donruss notes that his major league debut came after Omar Vizquel suffered an injury. His debut in 1991 also came eight years after he was first signed.

Mike A. Walker made The Rookies set in his only season with time in the majors. Walker debuted with the Mariners June 16, 1992. He played his final game on July 6.

Walker made the CMC set as a member of the Calgary Cannons. He was featured here in June 2011.

Donruss actually notes a piece of information that I didn't uncover in my research for Walker's feature. I just added it to his post. Walker missed all of 1991, the reason for which didn't appear in the articles I found on him.

According to Donruss, he missed that year due to shoulder surgery, making a "remarkable comeback" to make the majors the following season.

Johnny Guzman was in his second season with time in the majors in 1992. He wouldn't get another. Guzman pitched in two games with the Athletics in 1992. The year before, he pitched in five, marking the extent of his big league career.

Guzman made the CMC set as a member of the single-A Modesto A's. He was featured here in July 2011.

Donruss called Guzman a "crafty lefty," who had been used as both a starter and a reliever. Donruss also highlighted his 1990 season at Modesto, calling it a standout. He wnet 7-4, with a 1.91 ERA. He was signed by Hall of Famer Juan Marichal.

Another Rookies set member with a brief major league career was Russ McGinnis. McGinnis was featured by Donruss in the middle of his first season. He got into just 14 games that year with the Rangers, collecting eight hits in 33 at bats.

He didn't get back until 1995, with the Royals, for three final games.

McGinnis made the CMC set as a member of the Tacoma Tigers. He was featured here in November 2010.

Donruss notes McGinnis' break came with Ivan Rodriguez went down with a back injury. He first signed with the Brewers in 1985.

Finally, here's Andy Stankiewicz' Phenoms card, an insert set in The Rookies packs. Stankiewicz fit the Phenoms mold in 1992, debuting in the majors and playing in 116 games for the Yankees. He also hit .268.

He made the CMC set as a member of the Columbus Clippers. He was recently featured here on Feb. 12, 2012.

Donruss notes his regular status with the Yankees on the back of his Phenoms card. The company also called Stankiewicz a "'down and dirty' type scrappy infielder."

No comments:

Post a Comment