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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Target Extreme Repack: Biggest Adjustment

Taken by the Astros in the second round in 1985, out of high school, Bert Hunter had trouble adjusting to the pros.

By 1988, his fourth season, Hunter was still in single-A, at Osceola. He hadn't hit higher than .262.

"Wooden bats are the biggest adjustment I've had to make," Hunter told The Orlando Sentinel that June. ''But it's starting to come around. For a while, it was a rude awakening. So was pitching.''

At Osceola that year, though, he would hit .233. He would also play through 1993, marking nine seasons as a pro, never hitting much better. He got brief looks at AAA, but he never got a look at the majors.

Hunter's 1991 Line Drive card came in that Target Extreme Repack, the one with the crazy sealed 2007 Topps Update pack. Hunter played 1990 at the Astros' AA team in Columbus. Members of that team made the larger CMC set that year, but Hunter did not.

Other, actual members of the CMC set in the pack were Mike Perez, Bob Sebra, Reggie Jefferson and Travis Fryman.

The Mike Perez in the repack was his 1992 Donruss The Rookies card. In 1992, Perez was actually coming off his second season with time in the majors. He debuted with 13 outings with the Cardinals in 1990 and came back for 14 more in 1991.

He made the Donruss rookies set actually posting a worse ERA in 1991 than he did in 1990, 5.82 to 3.95. Donruss notes on the card back that Perez led the American Association in saves in 1990, earning his call up to St. Louis. At single-A Springfield in 1987, Perez saved 41 games, then a minor league record. Perez has yet to be featured here.

Bob Sebra appeared on his 1987 card coming off his second season in the majors. He went on to pitch in six big league seasons. His last came in 1990. His last pitch started a brawl. Sebra was featured here in June 2011.

His Topps card includes his stats back to 1983, his first season in the pros. Topps also goes back to 1982, noting he played that year in the Alaskan Summer League. Also, on April 17, 1976, Topps notes, Mike Schmidt hit four home runs in one game.

Reggie Jefferson appeared on his 1992 Donruss Triple Play card after his first season with time in the majors. Jefferson played 1991 between Cincinnati and Cleveland. He got into five games with the Reds before 26 games with the Indians.

Jefferson appeared in the CMC set as a member of the AAA Nashville Sounds. He was featured here in July 2010. The back of his Triple Play has this quote attributed to Jefferson: Always believe in yourself. If you believe you can accomplish something, go and do it."

Then there's Travis Fryman on his 2003 Donruss card. The card came as Fryman had already announced his retirement, announcing it in August 2002. As such, the card back includes his entire major league record, back to his debut in 1990.

Fryman debuted the year he appeared in the CMC set as a member of the AAA Toledo Mud Hens. He was featured here in September 2011.

The last card for now is another member of a CMC set, the other obvious one to come out of the Target Extreme Repack. It's Mike Huff, on his actual CMC card. Huff has yet to be featured here.
395 - Travis Fryman, Blue Collar, 9/28/11
147 - Reggie Jefferson, Inopportune Times, 7/9/10
136 - Bob Sebra, On Purpose, 6/22/11

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