Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gustavo Molina, 2007 Topps '52 Rookies #118

I know that Topps has flogged their iconic 1952 card design to death with numerous tributes, reprints, and retro sets. Still, the '52 Rookies issues of 2006 and 2007 had some charm simply because they shone a spotlight on a bunch of underwhelming minor league veterans who had the good fortune to play a few games in the majors during those seasons. Take Gustavo Molina, who despite his surname and his status as a catcher, is not a part of the famed Molina brotherhood. The Venezuelan native signed with the White Sox as an amateur free agent in 2000, but didn't debut with Chicago until his eighth pro season. Injuries left the Pale Hose shorthanded behind the plate, and he saw action in 10 games early in 2007. Unfortunately he started 0-for-16 before singling off of Chien-Ming Wang in his final game for the White Sox. The Orioles claimed him off of waivers in July, and summoned him to the big league roster in September. He fared a bit better, going 2-for-9 to leave his final batting line at a mighty .111/.138/.148. That was enough to get him on this card, complete with a hastily Photoshopped oriole bird in place of what was presumably a "SOX" insignia.

Gustavo continues to drift through the ranks of MLB and its affiliates, going 1-for-7 in a 2008 cup of coffee with the Mets and doing the same in 2010 with the Red Sox. This past April, he found himself on the Yankees roster and had a double in six at-bats. Yesterday the Yanks designated him for assignment, dropping him from the 40-man roster to clear a spot for pitcher Aaron Laffey, who they'd claimed off waivers from Seattle. It's all part of baseball's circle of life.

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