Category: Expos Also-Ran
Bio/Summary: Grant Jackson was an All-Star lefty who spent most of his career in Philadelphia, bouncing between less-than-mediocre numbers and pretty damn decent numbers. Inconsistent is the keyword we’re looking for here. He only spent one year, a twilight year, in Montreal, 1981, pitching in relief in 35 games, ending up with a horrid 7.59 ERA and a 2.156 WHIP. Likely not very well remembered in Montreal.
Rating: 6/10 – This was the kind of photo Fleer got known for: a relaxing throw on the sidelines, a smile on his face. Doesn’t make it a great card, but it does get some kudos.
Category: Expos Also-Ran
Bio/Summary: I remember Wallace Johnson’s 1990 Donruss issue very well; I had barely heard of the guy before that, but he had been hanging around in Montreal for well on a decade at that point, but he was a bit player and had pretty much always been a bit player. He had been a rookie in 81, but 82 was his “full” rookie season (if you can call 36 games a season). He managed an anemic .198/.258/.263 line that year, with only TWO extra-base hits in 62 PAs. He never did much better than that, either. How did he ever stick around?
Rating: 4/10 – Blurry photograph, generic pose. The only things that interest me here are the weird expression on his face and the guy in the background. I can’t quite tell who that is, but I like to imagine it’s Bill Gullickson. The body would fit.
Category: Expos Star
Bio/Summary: I vaguely remember Charlie Lea from the 88 Topps set, but here he is in his glory as an Expos player. I was surprised to see Lea was not always a bit player. I suspect arm trouble ended his career, because his ERA+ numbers jump out at me: 96, 76, 112, 115, 199, 12, 84. The 112 there is 1982, when he went 12-10 with a 3.24 ERA and 1.131 WHIP. Pretty good.
Rating: 7/10 – A portrait of the star pitcher as a young man, before the tragedy that would bring his career to a smashing halt. There’s a sort of poetry here, if a sad one.
Category: Former Expo
Bio/Summary: I was giddy to find this card in the team set. The Spaceman! How awesome! I mean, he was no Hall of Famer or anything, but he’s definitely a notable. 1982 was his final season, and he went 0-0 with a 4.38 ERA (83 ERA+) in 7 games that season. Crappy, but given that he was a 119 ERA+ pitcher the year before, I’m still going to give him credit for pitching well until the end of his career and knowing when to hang it up. Go Spaceman!
Rating: 3/10 – This is a pretty ugly card. The hair, the washed out background, all of it. It’s a bummer that this card didn’t come out better.