Sunday, March 11, 2012

A weeks worth of posts in one box: Part 2

Good Sunday evening to you all, hope that you've had a great weekend.

You may remember from yesterday's post that I promised you 'the Canadians' on today's post. 

There weren't a lot, as a matter of fact there are only 2 in the package.  But both of them are from my hometown of Toronto, Ontario, and both unfortunately were slotted as 5th outfielder/pinch runner/defensive replacement type players.

They will forever be boys from my hometown that played for the Blue Jays.  That can never be taken from them.

Rob Ducey

Rob is featured here on his '92 Stadium Club card, #422 in the set.  Rob played parts of 7 seasons in Toronto, but just couldn't crack the lineup in an outfield crowded with stars such as George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, Joe Carter, Mookie Wilson, Candy Maldonado, Devon White and Mark Whiten.

Over his big league career, Rob played for 6 teams, even spending part of the 2001 season with Canada's other team, the Montreal Expos.  Rob also played the '95 & '96 seasons in Japan for the Nippon Ham Fighters club.  You may or may not remember Kip Gross, who pitched for a half a dozen seasons in the early 90's.  Kip was another of the 'gaijin', or non-Japanese ball players on the Ham Fighters while Rob was over there.

Rob's most productive season as a major leaguer came in Philadelphia in 1999, when he appeared in 104 games while hitting .261 with 8 HR's. 

Rob Butler 

Rob is featured here on his 1994 Collectors Choice card, #71.  Rob Butler didn't have quite the career that Rob Ducey did, only lasting parts of 4 seasons over a 7 year span between 1993-1999.  Rob did appear in 17 games for the World Series winning team in the '93 season, batting .271 over 48 AB's. 

Rob's best shot at making the club would have been in the '93 season, when the Jays really only had two solid every day outfielders in Joe Carter and Devon White.  There were a lot of other spare parts playing the 3rd outfield position for most of the first 4 months, names such as Darrin Jackson, Turner Ward and Willie Canate.  Manager Cito Gaston preferred veterans, and the Jays made a big move at the trade deadline, adding Rickey Henderson to the team, and that pretty much was the writing on the wall as to Rob even getting a legitimate shot with the big club.

Rob bounced around a bit between the minors and a couple of organizations over the next 6 years, but never did make a big impact, and he finally left pro ball in 1999.  Rob and his younger brother Rich also played together for the Toronto Maple Leafs baseball club in the Intercounty league that runs in Southern Ontario during the summer from 01-05.

Tomorrow's post:  "Art" cards.

thanks for reading, Robert

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