Chasing Rookies: Bonilla, Cey and Cardenal

In the 10th episode of MISportsNow’s “Chasing Rookies,” we dig into another box from monthly trading card subscription company Collectible Card Club and open packs of Topps, Fleer, Upper Deck and Donruss.

1981 Toppps
#260 Ron Cey

A third-round draft pick by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1968 draft, Cey spent 12 of his 17 seasons with the Dodgers, splitting time between the Chicago Cubs and Oakland Athletics over his final five seasons. A third baseman, Cey was a six-time All-Star (1974-79) and earned World Series MVP honors in 1981 as the Dodgers defeated in the New York Yankees in six games. Cey ended his playing career in 1987 with a .261 average, 1,868 hits, 316 home runs and 1,139 home runs.

1981 Topps
#473 Jose Cardenal

The Cuban-born Cardenal made his debut with the San Francisco Giants in 1963 as an outfielder. The right-hander spent 18 seasons in the majors between the Giants (1963-64), Los Angeles/California Angels (1965-67), Cleveland Indians (1968-69), St. Louis Cardinals (1970-71), Milwaukee Brewers (1961), Chicago Cubs (1972-77), Philadelphia Phillies (1978-79), New York Mets (1979-80) and Kansas City Royals (1980). He ended his playing career with a .275 average, 1,913 hits, 138 home runs and 775 RBI. Cardenal later went on to win three World Series titles (1996, 1998-99) with the New York Yankees as the first base coach.

1987 Donruss
#522 Willie Hernandez

The third player in history to win a Cy Young Award, MVP and World Series title in the same season, Hernandez broke in with the Chicago Cubs in 1977 before departing for the Philadelphia Phillies for one season in 1983. Hernandez enjoyed his best season with the Detroit Tigers in 1984, winning a World Series title, American League MVP and Cy Young Award honors and posting a 9-3 record with a career-high 32 saves. A three-time All-Star, Hernandez ended his career in 1989 as a Tiger with a 70-63 record, 147 saves, 788 strikeouts and a 3.38 earned run average.

1989 Fleer
#203 Bobby Bonilla

A six-time All-Star and 1997 World Series champion with the Florida Marlins, Bonilla split 16 seasons with the Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Mets, Baltimore Orioles, Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. Bonilla was the highest-paid player in the league from 1992 to 1994, earning more than $6 million per year. Known now for “Bobby Bonilla Day,” the former right fielder and third baseman has received yearly payments of $1.19 million every July 1 from the Mets. Bonilla will receive 25 payments until 2035, as the Mets deferred contractual payments until after he retired. Bonilla ended his career with a .279 average, 2,010 hits, 287 home runs and 1,173 RBI.

1989 Upper Deck
#355 Ivan DeJesus

DeJesus wrapped up a 15-career with his lone season with the Detroit Tigers in 1988. A shortstop and native of Puerto Rico, the right-hander broke in with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1974 before moving on to the Chicago Cubs in 1977. DeJesus, who hit for the cycle on April 22, 1980 against St. Louis Cardinals, finished his career with a .254 average, 1,167 hits, 21 home runs and 324 RBI while also playing for the Philadelphia Phillies, Cardinals, New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants. After retiring from the playing field, DeJesus spent time managing in the Houston Astros minor league system and was a coach with the Cubs.

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