Inspired by the 1992 Bowman baseball cards I found and posted of Derek Lowe and Chipper Jones on Saturday, I decided to look for some Phillies and Pirates related classics. I love these cards because it has minor league guys posed in what looks like their spiffy high school yearbook pictures.
Rob Butler played parts of 4 seasons for the Blue Jays and Phillies. His only year in Philly (1997) he was a 5th outfielder that snuck into 43 games and batted .292 in 89 at bats. He's the brother of Rich Butler, who was also a Blue Jay, but just not at the same time as Rich's only season with Toronto was in '97. The Brothers Butler currently are influential Canadians sculpting young swings at the Homerun Baseball Academy in Ajax, Ontario. His shirt may be back in style, but Zack Morris called and wants his hairdo back.
Ugueth Urbina came to Philadelphia during the 2005 season in the highly unpopular trade involving Placido Polanco to the Tigers. Uggie pitched well in relief, but Polly went on to be a .300 hitter and Gold Glove winning second baseman (I know, I know...we have Chase, but Polly can play hella-good 3rd too). Phils ended up being Urbina's last gig in his MLB tour, turns out he's a wannabe machete murderer and is currently serving a hefty jail term (14 years) in his homeland of Venezuela; which lead to the namesake of my WSBGM's Phantasy team- Urbina's Alibis. Someone needs to tell him loafers with shorts is also a crime.
Paul Byrd has been all over the place during his 13 years in the majors, but he called Philly home from 1998-2001. In '99 he represented the Phillies on the NL All-Star squad and went on to win 15 games that season. Owner of 108 wins and a 4.38 era, Byrd finds himself looking for a job this winter, as are the other hordes of free agents. Not only is Paul an accomplished starting pitcher, he's also an author. His autobiography, Free Bird, details his current life as a devout Christians and his past struggles with pornography. You gotta admit the denim top looks good on him.
Alex Gonzalez was a mistake by Pat Gillick, but not of the Adam Eaton variety. Gonzalez, unlike Eaton, at least had the decency to retire halfway through the 2006 season due to sucking...whilst Eaton still sucks away. To this day I'm not really sure of the reason for signing Alex as he never hit for average or power or got on base at an acceptable clip. Best explanation...he was an old Toronto boy from Patty G's days there and we all know how he loves acquiring players from the Mariners, Blue Jays, or Orioles that were in the system during his tenure. Personally, I need to know where he bought that tie because it's fantabulous!
Kevin Young spent all but one of his 12 seasons with the Pirates, his lone indiscretion coming in 1996 when he dabbled in the Kansas City Royals cookie jar. That big bat of Kevin's may have churned out some decent years with the Buccos (144 homeruns), but that outfit consisting of a white t-shirt, gray blazer, bluejeans, and black boots is a no-no. Like Ugueth Urbina, Kevin Young has committed two crimes. First, his middle name is Stacey. Second, he was listed on the Mitchell Report as an HGH user.
Joe Randa was two times a Pirate (1997 and 2006). He had a fine career spanning 12 seasons batting .284 with a .765 ops while playing solid defense at thirdbase. Joe is currently the voice of Crunch Time on Kansas City airwaves. He was given the nickname "the Joker" during the '97 season in Pittsburgh due to his resemblance to the Batman comic book character and the fact that he's always smiling. He must have been a bit of a joker by the looks of that awful mock-turtleneck he's rocking in that picture.
Mike Williams very well may be one of the worst All-Stars of all-time as he represented the Pirates in 2003 and finished the season with a 1-7 record, 6.14 era, and 1.70 whip. Williams wasn't all bad though, as he ranks 69th on MLB's all-time saves leaders list with 144, so he did have some success mixed in there. He was twice a Phillie (1992-1996 & 2003) and twice a Bucco (1998-2001, went to Houston for a bit in '01, then back again from 2002-2003). Mike has been the subject of a Phlashback Phriday, a split personality debate, and a best baseball card poll in which Corey wrote, "Cowboy? 'Born-again' door to door Bible salesman? Porn Star? That evil smile, Glamour Shots one-leg-up pose, and robustache could mean sooooo many things. None of which I want any part of." To the best of my knowledge this is the 4th time this baseball card has graced WSBGM's site, and I therefore nominate it for our Hall-of-Fame (if there were such a thing).
Phillies farmhand Ron Lockett and Pirate wenches Jon Farrell and the awesomely named Dave Doorneweerd.