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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Pete, Not Repeat

So this is what happened with yesterday's random selection. The randomizer at spit out number 315, corresponding the CMC card of Rochester Red Wing Steve Stanicek.

Getting my latest research subject, I set about looking into the player. It turns out, he was pretty interesting. He played in only 13 major league games, over two Septembers two years apart.

He also had a baseball playing younger brother, Pete Stanicek, who beat him to the majors by just two weeks.

Steve Stanicek, I learned, most recently a high school baseball coach near his hometown. And his local paper did a cool Q and A with him just last October. This was going to be an easy and interesting one.

About ready to start writing, I looked at the card. Stanicek was with the Rochester Red Wings, the AAA affiliate of the Orioles. There was one more loose end to figure out. How did he get to the Red Wings? In 1989, he'd been with the Phillies.

Was it a trade? Was he released, then signed by the Orioles?

A second look at his minor league stats from Baseball Reference, and the answer was there. Or it wasn't. Steve Stanicek, it turned out, never played for Rochester. He played both 1989 and 1990 at AAA Scranton, with the Phillies. That left no room for even a quick sign and release by the Orioles.

So who was the player on this card? The answer came quickly. Looking at Baseball Reference's 1990 Red Wing roster, there was no Steve Stanicek. But there was another Stanicek, Pete Stanicek.

It was Stanicek's brother. A photo comparison confirmed it. The card was similar to the Scott Shockey-Mo Sanford card from a couple weeks ago. Though, in this case, both players referenced were supposed to have their own cards in the set, it's just that Steve got them both.

Steve Stanicek, it turns out, had his own CMC card in the Scranton section of the set. His brother Pete, a career-long member of the Orioles system, was back at AAA Rochester for the start of 1990. Pete didn't have his own Rochester CMC card. This had to be Pete.

Another interesting thing. If you're wondering about the card backs, both have Steve's stats, though with Pete's outfield position for the Rochester card. Steve's Scranton card also omits the nine games he played at Philadelphia for 1989, but including his 1986 El Paso stats. The Rochester card includes his Phillies line, with the El Paso numbers rolling off.

So, with the real player identified as Pete Stanicek, after doing all the research on Steve Stanicek, I made the executive decision to bump Steve's actual card up to yesterday, then review his brother this evening. I'm decisive like that.

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