Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Luis Garcia, 2002 Fleer Box Score #137

One of the benefits of rebooting this blog after a lengthy period of inactivity was reconnecting with some familiar folks. One of those folks is Max, a fellow lapsed blogger who has recently returned. He had a brick of about 35 Orioles cards earmarked for me, and once we touched base, he put it in the mail. The cards arrived with a note assuring me that it was a true random assortment, and much to my delight, that was definitely the case. There were shiny parallel cards from recent Topps sets, a few Cal Ripken minis, and even a pair of 2009 O-Pee-Chee cards I didn't have. I made a halfhearted attempt to collect that set at the time of its release, but I'm still only at 59% complete. So it was nice to tick off a few boxes on the ol' checklist without any effort on my part. But for sheer randomness, this card right here takes the cake.

Luis Garcia was a 19th-round draft pick of the White Sox in 1994 who spent four years in the minors and topped out at high-A. He then returned to his native Mexico and put up some eye-popping numbers for the Mexico City Tigres. Garcia batted .354/.399/.558 with 22 home runs and 81 RBI in 120 games in 2000. In 2001, he batted .332/.396/.582 with 19 homers and 82 RBI in 98 games. That prompted the Orioles to sign him, and he got a couple of cups of coffee with the big league club in 2002. He appeared in six games with the O's, all as a late-innings replacement. In three pinch-hit chances, he reached on an error, struck out, and singled. In 89 games that year for AAA Rochester, Luis did not distinguish himself. The 26-year-old batted only .242/.260/.330 with four home runs and 31 RBI. He went back to the Mexican League in 2003, and played there (and in winter ball) through 2011, though never matching the lofty stats of his first few seasons with the Tigres.

It's strange enough that Luis Garcia was featured on a card in this set, but it makes sense in light of the Orioles' lack of roster depth at that time. You could look at his numbers in Mexico from the previous two seasons, squint, and hope for the best. What's more inexplicable is that Fleer put out a set with serial-numbered base cards; the back of each card is given a number from one to 2,499. (This one is 1,776 of 2,499, for you fans of William Daniels and Howard Da Silva.) There was apparently a parallel "first edition" insert set, with only 100 serial-numbered copies of each card. I hope you can hear my eyes rolling. Anyhow, thanks, Max! Most of these random cards were new to me, and all are appreciated!


jacobmrley said...

It seems I go random and patriotic. *hums Battle Hymn of the Republic*

Kevin said...

Max - Anything worth doing is worth doing right. Thanks again!