1991 Topps Traded

Calderon

Ivan Calderon
1991 Topps Traded #16T
Category:
Expos Also-Ran
Position: OF
Bio/Summary: For some reason, I remember Ivan Calderon’s career being longer, but no, it was only nine years long. He did have a good 1991 with the Expos, though, going .300/.368/.481 with 19 home runs. Of course, just two years later he was done.
Rating: 6/10 – Spring Training shot…kind of generic, except…hey, that’s Andres Galarraga in the background!

Fassero

Jeff Fassero
1991 Topps Traded #39T
Category:
Expos Lynchpin
Position: P
Bio/Summary: Now Fassero had a decent career. Hint: he’s a lefty. So he stuck around for 15 years, and while his overall record was a losing one (121-124), he had a respectable 4.41 career ERA. Well, respectable for a guy like him, anyway.
Rating: 7/10 – Improved photography from Topps here, and an old-school Expos uniform that rocks. Just wish I could tell what stadium that is.

Jones

Barry Jones
1991 Topps Traded #64T
Category:
Expos Also-Ran
Position: P
Bio/Summary: Good lord, is Barry Jones an ugly man. I remember getting his cards as far back as 1987 and thinking that. His performance with the Expos was kind of mediocre, though…not too good but not too bad either. Just kind of…there.
Rating: 2/10 – Who the hell needs a close-up of that ugly mug?

Piatt

 Doug Piatt
1991 Topps Traded #92T
Category:
Expos Also-Ran
Position: P
Bio/Summary: Can’t really call him a failed prospect because I don’t recall him ever being a prospect. He just kind of appeared in 1991, his one season in the majors, and then disappeared just as quickly. Odd, because he was pretty good in 1991, with a 3.30 NRA (normalized runs allowed, which accounts for inherited baserunners). Then he was gone.
Rating: 6/10 – I wonder if that was taken the same day as the Fassero pic? If I had to guess, I’d say that’s the Pirates old stadium, Three Rivers.  In that case, it would appear the photo was taken in either a September game or July game. Given the Topps Traded release frame, it’s more likely to be the July game, in which case, no, it was not the same game.

Runnels

Tom Runnells
1991 Topps Traded #103T
Category:
Manager
Bio/Summary: I don’t really remember Runnells managing the Expos. The story on BBref’s Bullpen is fascinating, though:

His time as Expos manager was short but tumultuous. Succeeding the very popular Rodgers, he had trouble establishing his credibility with the media and the team. He was General Manager Dave Dombrowski‘s hand-picked man but failed to replicate his minor league success as the Expos finished the 1991 season in last place for the first time since 1976. In what became his defining moment, he made an entrance at spring training in 1992 dressed in marine fatigues, apparently trying to channel the spirit of General Norman Schwartzkopf. Everyone who witnessed the performance found it eerily distressing. He then proceeded to try to shake up the team through various strange moves, such as shifting three-time Gold Glove winner Tim Wallach from third base to first base in order to slot in Bret Barberie, who had hardly ever played the position in organized baseball. The players quickly were in open revolt against their leader. Runnells’ position with the front office had become shaky anyway, as Dombrowski had bolted the organization and had been replaced by Dan Duquette, who sacked Runnells on May 22, 1992, replacing him with the calmer and more experienced Felipe Alou, under whom the team started winning immediately.
Rating:
5/10 – Standard issue manager card. Bleh.

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