Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who Are These Guys?: Volume 2

Cards on Cards historians will note that back in February of 2009 I ran a post about some Cardinals players that I had never heard of until I happened upon their cards. I fully intended on making this a regular feature, but like many ideas I have, it got shelved in favor of other more distracting things. On a night where the Cardinals were already leading their game 12-0 while I still making my way home from work, I figured it was as good of a time as any to bring this thing back. Here are the ground rules: all players featured must have induced a head-scratching moment or two when I first acquired their cards, and said card must be from the period of time where I did not collect such things (1994-2005). Furthermore, the players must actually look like Cardinals. No minor league cards (even though I love them) or gas station attendants posing with souvenir redbird hats need apply.

- Shaun Boyd (2001 Topps): Boyd was a 13th round pick out of high school in 2000 who primarily played in the outfield, but also spent a couple of seasons at the keystone. He peaked at the AAA level in 2006 when the Cards cut him loose. He spent another year in the Phillies system, but didn't crack the bigs with a career minor league OPS of .743.

- Chris Morris (2001 Topps): Morris was picked in the 15th round of the same draft. Like Boyd, he also played the outfield, but he was a college prospect. Morris had an even rougher time of it at the plate, and he topped out at AA in 2005.

- Mike Gulan (1996 Bowman): Mike Gulan's Wikipedia entry is a testament to the true Wiki-enthusiast. It is someone's job, somewhere, to ensure that every player that's ever had an official major league appearance has his own page. I'm guessing the sort of person that obsesses over this would also do a great job at organizing my unlabeled VHS tapes from the past twenty years. I'm really surprised that I'd never heard of Gulan when I first acquired his card just a few days ago. He was a second round pick back when I was still in high school. He crushed 155 HRs over 12 professional (minor league) seasons, and had cups of coffee with the Cards (9 ABs in 1997) and Marlins (6 ABs in 2001).

- Troy Farnsworth (2001 Bowman): Farnsworth, a Utah native who is probably not related to Kyle Farnsworth or Hubert J. Farnsworth, was a late round pick in the 1998 draft. He played the corner infield spots and had some power, but not nearly enough average or on-base talents to move past AA.

- Allen Battle (1995 Bowman): Allen Battle was a 10th round selection way back in 1991, part of a parade of Joe Torre-era prospects who simply couldn't hit. He made his big league debut during Torre's final year at the helm as a reserve outfielder. Battle was part of a four player package that netted the Cardinals one Todd Stottlemyre, who had a major role in the Cardinals return to the playoffs in Tony La Russa's first year. La Russa is now in his 16th season with the Cards, which is just mind blowing.

- Les Walrond (2003 Donruss Team Heroes): Walrond was drafted in the 13th round of the 1998 draft, taken 12 picks ahead of Juan Pierre. He never actually appeared in the majors with St. Louis, but did log 7 appearances with the Royals in 2003, 10 games with the Cubs in 2006 and 6 games with the Phillies in 2008. He's also been known to take his southpaw talents to Korea and Japan at times.

- Kevin Ool (2006 Bowman): I'm breaking my own rule here a little bit, as this card is more recent than my target range. I can assure you, however, that I never bought any Bowman packs in 2006. I'm not sure if I even knew that there was a Bowman anymore in 2006. Kevin Ool's name was just too tempting not to include, however. This is another card I picked up just a few days ago. Ool is the first guy on today's list not to be drafted by St. Louis. He was a Boston selection in the 16th round of the 2003 draft and moved onto the Cardinals organization a couple of years later. By 2007 he was done.

- Kevin Joseph (2003 Donruss Team Heroes): Joseph was also not an original Cardinals draft pick. The Giants dialed him up in 1997 in the 6th round, just 7 picks ahead of some guy named Tim Hudson. He came to the Cards by way of a trade for the legendary Jason Christiansen and appeared in 11 innings over 11 games in 2002.


Anonymous said...

If you saw Ool in the box score you either thought it was a misprint, short for Oolitic (actual Indiana town that is featured as one of Hickory's opponents in Hoosiers), a captcha or someone playing a cruel cruel joke.

cubsfan731 said...

I had heard of Walrond, but none of the others. Seriously, the guy's name is Ool?

The Lost Collector said...

Would Ool's name in the box score look like this:

K Ool

How Kool with that be? Bad joke.