Chasing Rookies: Rollie, Gardenhire and Francona
In the fifth episode of MISportsNow’s “Chasing Rookies,” we dig into our third box from monthly trading card subscription company Collectible Card Club and open packs of 1981 and 1982 Donruss, 1983 Fleer, 1985 Topps and 1992 Leaf Series 1.
Below are some of the highlights from our five packs as we take a look back at the history of the game and the trading card industry.
#33 Rollie Fingers
A 1992 Cooperstown inductee, Fingers was only the second reliever to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and is one of a few players to have their number retired by more than one club (Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers). Signed by the then-Kansas City Athletics in 1964, Fingers debuted with the Athletics in Oakland in 1968 before moving on to the San Diego Padres (1977-80) and Milwaukee Brewers (1981-82, 1984-85). A seven-time All-Star, three-time World Series Champion (1972-74), three-time MLB saves leader and 1981 American League MVP, Fingers ended his career with 341 saves, a 114-118 record, a 2.90 ERA and 1,299 strikeouts.
Drafted by the New York Mets in the sixth round of the 1979 draft, Gardenhire spent his entire five-year playing career as a second baseman and third baseman with the Mets. Gardenhire wrapped up his playing days in 1985 with a .232 batting average, 165 hits, four home runs and 49 RBI in 285 career games. Gardenhire began his managerial career with the Minnesota Twins in 2002 and spent 13 years with the organization, winning the American League Manager of the Year award in 2010. After last managing the Twins in 2014, Gardenhire was hired to manage the Detroit Tigers in October 2017.
#243 Barbaro Garbey
A 1984 World Series champion, Garbey defected from Cuba in 1980 and signed with the Detroit Tigers as a free agent that same year. A first baseman, pinch hitter and outfielder, Garbey played just three seasons in the majors with the Tigers (1984-85) and Texas Rangers (1988). He ended his career with a .267 batting average, 167 hits, 11 home runs and 86 RBI.
#578 Terry Francona
Drafted by the Montreal Expos in the first round of the 1980 draft, Francona spent 10 years in the majors as a first baseman, pinch hitter and outfielder, wrapping up his playing career in 1990 with a .274 batting average, 474 hits and 143 RBI in 707 games. Francona began his managerial career with the Philadelphia Phillies (1997-2000) before winning two World Series titles with the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. Now in his sixth season with the Cleveland Indians, Francona’s teams have won three league pennants, two World Series championship and have gone 1,504-1,290 in 18 seasons.
Drafted second overall by the Montreal Expos in 1977, Gullickson spent 14 of his 18-year professional career in Major League Baseball, including four seasons with the Detroit Tigers (1991-94) and had his best season with the Tigers in 1991, going 20-9. The American League wins leader in 1991, Gullickson played two seasons with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. He ended his major league career with 162-136 record, 1,279 strikeouts and a 3.92 ERA.