A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Todd and the Todd-lers Thursdays #2

I will continue on the one card wonders theme that I have been exploring this week with the members that debuted during the Todd and the Todd-lers era of 2000-2005.  Actually, I will be splitting this era in half with the first half (A-H) being shown this week, because there are a lot of players from this era that fall into my one card wonder category.  Part two featuring players (J-W) will appear next week.  I was going to separate them based on year, but the overwhelming majority of these players debuted between 2000-2002.  Since this is Todd and the Todd-lers Thursday, I will also show off a single theme with Todd Helton to start things off.  I have three Rockies cards of Todd Helton that show him in different non-Rockies uniforms, so in a way they are each one card wonders.

Todd Helton
Total Cards Owned = 558

We start the journey with a 1995 SP Top Prospects card featuring the Asheville Tourists uniform.  This is the earliest Rockies Helton card that I possess, as of now.  The middle card features the uniform from the All Star Game that ruined All Star Games forever, the 2002 tie game that led to the silly home field advantage rule.  The final card is from the 2001 Twizzlers Big League Challenge, which was a skills contest helde before Spring Training that year.  I have absolutely no memory of this event, so I'm glad I have the card.


The One Card Wonders (well half of them anyway)
Total cards owned = 1 each

The one set that probably come to mind when thinking of the 2000-2005 era is Topps Total.  That was the heyday of this almost universally missed set.  The inaugural 2002 edition provided me with 3 one card wonders.  Joe Davenport pitched in 7 games in 2001 and this is a true one cad wonder.  He is also a one card wonder for the White Sox, only appearing on 1999 Fleer Tradition Update in that uniform.  Mario Encarnacion played in 20 games for the 2001 Rockies after being acquired in a mid-season trade.  Unfortunately, he passed away in 2005.  Ross Gload has actually had a decent 10 year career in big league baseball.  He appeared in 26 games for the 2002 Rockies before moving to (slightly) more notoriety elsewhere.

Topps Total came out with three more years of wonderful sets and I got a single one card wonder from each of them.  The great thing about Topps Total is that it hit the flagship's three major weak spots: the back up catcher, the non-closing middle reliever, and non-rookie cup of coffee guys.  Bobby Estalella falls into the first category serving as the back up catcher in 2002-2003 for 84 games.  Adam Bernero fittingly is the middle category.  He pitched 47 games for the 2003-04 Rockies after being acquired from Detroit.  Alfredo Amezaga fits the last category, twice actually.  He had two different cup of coffee stints with the Rockies, in 2005 and in 2011, appearing in 22 games total.  This card goes along with his his first go-around.

Sometimes the one card wonder is a player that only got one quick taste of the majors and sometimes it is a veteran that only stayed for a short while .  These two cards symbolize the former.  Bubba Carpenter, shown on 2000 Bowman Draft, spent nine years in the Yankees minor league system before finally getting his lone chance at age 31 with the 2000 Rockies.  He lasted 15 games before moving on to Japan.  Tim Christman, shown on one of my least favorite sets ever 2001 Topps Fusion, was a somewhat highly-touted pitching prospect that had the injury bug.  He missed two complete minor league seasons, before getting his shot in the majors with the 2001 Rockies.  That shot lasted all of a single game and 2 innings total.  It's a shame, but he still made the bigs.

These two cards symbolize the latter category.  Jeff Frye, shown on a 2001 Topps card, spent several successful season with both Texas and Boston before arriving in Colorado.  He played a total of 37 games with the 2000 Rockies before moving on.  Sandy Alomar Jr., shown on a 2002 Topps Traded Gold card, had been a really good catcher on the 1990s Indians.  His 38 game stint with the 2002 Rockies probably began his transformation from star catcher into journeyman back up catcher.  As an aside, this card is a serial numbered gold card that is easier to acquire than the base card because Topps had the asinine idea to make the first 100 cards in 2002 Topps Traded short prints. 

Two more one card wonders that come from 2006 Upper Deck for a total of six from this one set.  Man, I really miss them as a full-fledged baseball card company.  Monopolies are never a good thing.  Anyway, Danny Ardoin is another example of the back up catcher with only one card.  He played in 115 combined games for the 2005-2006 Rockies.  David Cortes was a pretty good middle reliever for the 2005-2006 Rockies.  He pitched in 80 games and had a decent 4.17 ERA.  He went to the Mexican League for several years following the 2006 season.

This 2002 Donruss Rookies Mark Corey is interesting for one reason.  Mark Corey didn't join the Rockies until the last day of July, 2002 in the Jay Payton trade.  Until then he was a rookie pitcher for the Mets.  I guess this set didn't come out until very late 2002.  He pitched in 14 games for the Rockies before moving on to Pittsburgh.  Most people would incorrectly see this 2001 Fleer Platinum card as Josh Beckett's rookie card.  They would be wrong for two reasons.  One, Josh Beckett's true rookie card is in 1999 Fleer Tradition Update.  And two, this is a freaking Craig House card anyway.  House pitched in 16 games for the 2000 Rockies and, just like Jeff McCurry yesterday, was surpisingly born in Japan.  He qualified as the 17th Japanese-born player to hit the majors.

As I said earlier this is just 50% of the one card wonders from the Todd and the Todd-lers era.  Next week I will be back with the exciting conclusion of this look at the Rockies short timers.  Thanx for reading.


Rosenort said...

I hate that Jeff Frye card, his head looks unnaturally large on it.

SpastikMooss said...

Totally forgot Sandy Jr. was ever a Rockie. Or Ross Gload, who I only remembered from Kansas City onwards. Missed that whole beginning of his career thing.

Nick said...

The Gload is one of my favorite Rockies cards, a prime example why I will always miss Topps Total. (Topps could really redeem themselves by bringing back that set one day.)

I distinctly remember buying the entire MLB Showdown All-Star set when I was a kid. That Helton was the #3 hitter on my best team for a while.