1990 ToppsMickey Tettleton#275
Mickey Tettleton was a childhood favorite of mine for a few reasons:
He has a cool name.
He just seemed like a laid-back, country kind of guy.
He hit enormous home runs.
1989 was Mickey’s breakout year, as he hit .258/.369/.509 with 26 homers for the Orioles. He struck out a lot, but he also walked a ton, walking 100+ times from 1990-93 and again in 1995. In ‘94, a strike-shortened season, he walked 97 times in 109 games, and he walked 95 times in 1996. I’ll always believe the Tettleton, Cecil Fielder & Rob Deer trio in Detroit is underrated for big motherfuckers that could hit tape measure shots.

1990 Topps
Mickey Tettleton
#275

Mickey Tettleton was a childhood favorite of mine for a few reasons:

  1. He has a cool name.
  2. He just seemed like a laid-back, country kind of guy.
  3. He hit enormous home runs.

1989 was Mickey’s breakout year, as he hit .258/.369/.509 with 26 homers for the Orioles. He struck out a lot, but he also walked a ton, walking 100+ times from 1990-93 and again in 1995. In ‘94, a strike-shortened season, he walked 97 times in 109 games, and he walked 95 times in 1996. I’ll always believe the Tettleton, Cecil Fielder & Rob Deer trio in Detroit is underrated for big motherfuckers that could hit tape measure shots.

1990 ToppsGoose Gozzo#274
Mauro “Goose” Gozzo pitched with the Blue Jays (1989), Indians (1990-91), Twins (1992), and Mets (1993-94). 

1990 Topps
Goose Gozzo
#274

Mauro “Goose” Gozzo pitched with the Blue Jays (1989), Indians (1990-91), Twins (1992), and Mets (1993-94). 

1990 ToppsBobby Bonilla#273
In five full seasons with the Pirates, Bonilla made four All-Star teams, hitting .287/.358/.492 and averaging 23 homers and 97 RBI per season. In ‘91, he led the NL in doubles with 44. His four best seasons (1988-91) were all in Pittsburgh.

1990 Topps
Bobby Bonilla
#273

In five full seasons with the Pirates, Bonilla made four All-Star teams, hitting .287/.358/.492 and averaging 23 homers and 97 RBI per season. In ‘91, he led the NL in doubles with 44. His four best seasons (1988-91) were all in Pittsburgh.

1990 ToppsBryan Harvey#272
From 1988-92, Harvey saved 126 games with a 2.53 ERA for the Angels, including an AL-best 46 saves in 1991. He was the 20th pick of the 1992 expansion draft, chosen by the Florida Marlins, and made the All-Star team his first season with his new team, saving 45 games with a 1.70 ERA, finishing eighth in Cy Young voting. He’d hurt his elbow in 1992 and the Angels thought his career was over — they were wrong, but unfortunately, not far off. Harvey hurt his elbow again in 1994, and was limited to 12 games that season, and one in 1995. His MLB career ended there. He attempted a comeback in 1997, but wasn’t effective in the minors. Had a wicked forkball.

1990 Topps
Bryan Harvey
#272

From 1988-92, Harvey saved 126 games with a 2.53 ERA for the Angels, including an AL-best 46 saves in 1991. He was the 20th pick of the 1992 expansion draft, chosen by the Florida Marlins, and made the All-Star team his first season with his new team, saving 45 games with a 1.70 ERA, finishing eighth in Cy Young voting. He’d hurt his elbow in 1992 and the Angels thought his career was over — they were wrong, but unfortunately, not far off. Harvey hurt his elbow again in 1994, and was limited to 12 games that season, and one in 1995. His MLB career ended there. He attempted a comeback in 1997, but wasn’t effective in the minors. Had a wicked forkball.

1990 ToppsDickie Thon#269

Thon refuses to dwell on how his career might have progressed had he reacted quicker when that errant fastball sailed at his head almost six years ago.
"I never think about what could’ve been," Thon said, "because I didn’t know. Every year’s a different year. I was getting stronger and knowing the league better, but I never look back.
"I’m just looking forward now." [Jack Etkin, Kansas City Star, "Never Say Die," The Sporting News Baseball Yearbook 1990]

1990 Topps
Dickie Thon
#269

Thon refuses to dwell on how his career might have progressed had he reacted quicker when that errant fastball sailed at his head almost six years ago.

"I never think about what could’ve been," Thon said, "because I didn’t know. Every year’s a different year. I was getting stronger and knowing the league better, but I never look back.

"I’m just looking forward now." [Jack Etkin, Kansas City Star, "Never Say Die," The Sporting News Baseball Yearbook 1990]

1990 ToppsMel Stottlemyre, Jr.#263
Mel Jr hadn’t yet pitched in the Majors, as he’d been in the minors from 1985-89. He did pitch 13 games in 1990 for the Royals, as well as 29 games for Omaha that season, which turned out to be his last in baseball.

1990 Topps
Mel Stottlemyre, Jr.
#263

Mel Jr hadn’t yet pitched in the Majors, as he’d been in the minors from 1985-89. He did pitch 13 games in 1990 for the Royals, as well as 29 games for Omaha that season, which turned out to be his last in baseball.

1990 ToppsJose DeLeon#257
DeLeon went 2-19 for the ‘85 Pirates, leading the NL in losses. He wasn’t really that bad, but then nobody ever is quite that bad, because if you were really 2-19 bad, no one would give you 162 innings to do it. He was bad, though, in that season. Otherwise, he was a decent pitcher — did his job, ate up some innings. In 1989, he led the NL in strikeouts (201), going 16-12 for the Cardinals in his best season.

1990 Topps
Jose DeLeon
#257

DeLeon went 2-19 for the ‘85 Pirates, leading the NL in losses. He wasn’t really that bad, but then nobody ever is quite that bad, because if you were really 2-19 bad, no one would give you 162 innings to do it. He was bad, though, in that season. Otherwise, he was a decent pitcher — did his job, ate up some innings. In 1989, he led the NL in strikeouts (201), going 16-12 for the Cardinals in his best season.

1990 ToppsMarvell Wynne#256
On April 13, 1987, playing for the Padres at home against the Giants, Marvell Wynne led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run. Tony Gwynn followed with a home run. John Kruk was up next — home run. The Padres lost the game, 13-6.

1990 Topps
Marvell Wynne
#256

On April 13, 1987, playing for the Padres at home against the Giants, Marvell Wynne led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run. Tony Gwynn followed with a home run. John Kruk was up next — home run. The Padres lost the game, 13-6.

1990 ToppsFrancisco Cabrera#254
Cabrera didn’t have much of a career looking at the stats, but he’s a Braves folk hero for two big reasons.

Cabrera is credited with hitting the home run that marked the turning point in the history of the Atlanta Braves. On Wednesday, August 21, 1991, the Braves played the Reds and entered the ninth inning trailing, 9–6. Reds ace reliever Rob Dibble was on the mound with two outs. Cabrera had started the game to give Braves starter Greg Olson a much-needed rest. With two outs, David Justice doubled, and Brian Hunter walked to bring Cabrera to the plate with the tying run. He responded with a three-run homer off Dibble to tie a game the Braves eventually won in 13 innings. The game kept them 2.5 games behind the Dodgers in a race they eventually won by one game. The Braves went 29–12 after Cabrera’s homer and eventually reached the World Series before losing to the Twins in seven games. [Wiki]

And, of course:

Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, bases loaded, Braves trailing Pittsburgh 2-1. “Frankie,” said batting coach Clarence Jones, “get ready to hit.” Cabrera was a 26-year-old nobody—an emergency catcher, a late-season call-up with 10 at bats that season. He pinch-hit for Jeff Reardon. Stan Belinda, the Pirates’ closer, threw a slider. Ball one. A high fastball. Ball two. The next pitch, an inside fastball, was fouled off. Belinda fired another fastball, up and over the plate. Cabrera lined it to left. David Justice scored. A sliding Sid Bream followed. Game over. Series over. Hero born. [Jeff Pearlman, Sports Illustrated, 1998]

Overall, Cabrera only had 374 plate appearances from 1989-93.

1990 Topps
Francisco Cabrera
#254

Cabrera didn’t have much of a career looking at the stats, but he’s a Braves folk hero for two big reasons.

Cabrera is credited with hitting the home run that marked the turning point in the history of the Atlanta Braves. On Wednesday, August 21, 1991, the Braves played the Reds and entered the ninth inning trailing, 9–6. Reds ace reliever Rob Dibble was on the mound with two outs. Cabrera had started the game to give Braves starter Greg Olson a much-needed rest. With two outs, David Justice doubled, and Brian Hunter walked to bring Cabrera to the plate with the tying run. He responded with a three-run homer off Dibble to tie a game the Braves eventually won in 13 innings. The game kept them 2.5 games behind the Dodgers in a race they eventually won by one game. The Braves went 29–12 after Cabrera’s homer and eventually reached the World Series before losing to the Twins in seven games. [Wiki]

And, of course:

Game 7 of the 1992 National League Championship Series. Bottom of the ninth, two outs, bases loaded, Braves trailing Pittsburgh 2-1. “Frankie,” said batting coach Clarence Jones, “get ready to hit.” Cabrera was a 26-year-old nobody—an emergency catcher, a late-season call-up with 10 at bats that season. He pinch-hit for Jeff Reardon. Stan Belinda, the Pirates’ closer, threw a slider. Ball one. A high fastball. Ball two. The next pitch, an inside fastball, was fouled off. Belinda fired another fastball, up and over the plate. Cabrera lined it to left. David Justice scored. A sliding Sid Bream followed. Game over. Series over. Hero born. [Jeff Pearlman, Sports Illustrated, 1998]

Overall, Cabrera only had 374 plate appearances from 1989-93.

1990 ToppsOtis Nixon#252
Most stolen bases without ever leading their league in steals:
Joe Morgan, 689
Otis Nixon, 620
George Davis, 619
Ozzie Smith, 580
Hugh Duffy, 574
Bid McPhee, 568
Brett Butler, 558
Cesar Cedeno, 550
Bill Dahlen, 548
Herman Long, 537

1990 Topps
Otis Nixon
#252

Most stolen bases without ever leading their league in steals:

  1. Joe Morgan, 689
  2. Otis Nixon, 620
  3. George Davis, 619
  4. Ozzie Smith, 580
  5. Hugh Duffy, 574
  6. Bid McPhee, 568
  7. Brett Butler, 558
  8. Cesar Cedeno, 550
  9. Bill Dahlen, 548
  10. Herman Long, 537
1990 ToppsMike Smith#249
Smith pitched 13 games in 1989 (7.65 ERA) and 2 games in 1990 (12.00 ERA).

1990 Topps
Mike Smith
#249

Smith pitched 13 games in 1989 (7.65 ERA) and 2 games in 1990 (12.00 ERA).