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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

TuBalGo Tuesdays #2

In music terminology, there is a famous term known as the "one-hit wonder."  That is obviously when a singer or band has one major hit and then disappears forever.  Some of the one-hit wonders are more memorable than others, but if they made the charts once there is a record of them for music fans/historians in the future. 

My Rockies collection has something a bit similar that I am going to call the "one-card wonder."  Currently, there are 15 Rockies that debuted from 2006-Present that appear on a single card in my team collection.  Possibly there are others out there in most (but not all) cases, but for the time being these guys are one-card wonders in my collection.  Let's take a look.


The One Card Wonders
Total Cards Owned = 1 each

The 2006 Upper Deck "never-ending" set provided me with 3 one card wonders.  Eli Marrero played 30 games with the Rockies in 2006 before being traded to the Mets for Kaz Matsui.  Miguel Ojeda played in 25 games at the beginning of the 2006 season before being sold to the Rangers in July of that year.  Well-traveled journeyman Jason Smith appeared in 49 games in 2006 before moving on as well.  The Miguel Ojeda card would probably qualify as the #1 card on a countdown of one card wonders.  What a great play-at-the-plate card.

The 2007 version of Topps '52 Rookies also gave me 3 one card wonders.  Sean Barker appeared in only 3 games in 2007, but he is still forever immortalized thanks to this set.  Edwin Bellorin appeared in 8 games over 3 seasons (2007-2009) as the emergency catcher for the Rockies.  Darren Clarke pitched in relief in 2 games during the 2007 season for Colorado.  A lot of people, including myself, did not like the '52 Rookies set, but without it these three guys would have never appeared on cardboard.  I'd like to see a Heritage Rookies set made each year in place of the minor league set, but that will probably never happen.

The 2007 Upper Deck set brought me 2 new veteran one card wonders.  LaTroy Hawkins pitched in 62 games for the Rockies in 2007 as one of his 9 stops (as of now) around the majors.  He is still pitching for the Angels at age 39 and could conceivably add to that total later on.  John Mabry appeared in 28 games for the 2007 Rockies.  Unlike Hawkins, this was Mabry's final stop in a 14 year major league career.

2008 sets added 2 veteran pitchers to my one card wonders.  2008 Topps Heritage High Numbers gave Glendon Rusch who pitched in 34 games over the 2008 and 2009 seasons to finish out his career.  2008 Topps Update showed Kip Wells who pitched in 15 games in the 2008 season for the Rox before being released and moving onto several more clubs.

The final "real" Upper Deck set in 2009 added two more pitchers to the one card wonders stack.  Jason Grilli fell into the category of successful middle reliever that Topps seems to be allergic to.  He pitched (somewhat successfully) in 73 games for Colorado over the 2008 and 2009 seasons before moving on.  He is currently in the Pirates bullpen.  Livan Hernandez pitched in 8 (very forgettable) games at the end of the 2008 season after getting picked up on waivers. Odd, but true, fact is that Hernandez and Grilli were traded for each other in 1999 in a Giants-Marlins deal.

2010 did not add a single one card wonder to my collection and 2011 only provided 1.  2011 Topps Heritage was the only set that featured 2011 offseason pickup Jose Lopez.  Lopez played (poorly) in 38 games for the Rockies in 2011 before being released.  He is currently on the Indians roster.

2012 has thus far given me two new one card wonders, although one will not be a single card for long.  The 2012 Rafael Betancourt is from the packaged team set, because I haven't picked up the Series 2 card yet, but for now he is a one card wonder.  As of today, Betancourt has pitched in 200 games over four seasons and has been a very productive reliever from day one with Colorado.  Tyler Chatwood, shown on 2012 Topps Heritage, made the Opening Day roster and pitched in 4 games before being sent to the minors for more seasoning. 

Betancourt has been the Rockies player I most wanted to get a card for the past two seasons, but he was a middle reliever and thus subject to Topps' allergy.  Now that he has a card, Matt Belisle becomes the Rockies I most want to see get a card.  He should have already had one considering he won 10 games in 2011, but once again the middle relief allergy strikes.

Thanx for reading.


Nick said...

Next to my "zero-year" cards, these may by my favorite theme in my collection. I have tons of "one card wonders" spread throughout my binders. There's something special about them.

This is actually one of those possible ideas I had for future theme posts down the road. I didn't know that Hawkins had a card as a Rockie, I'll have to pick that one up one of these days.

night owl said...

Scrapping middle relievers for multiple cards of some star. I'll never understand.

Play at the Plate said...

I wonder about the Miggy Ojeda card. Is that the pitcher or first baseman backing up the play...?

Rosenort said...

Belisle is on the early list for the 2012 Topps Update set, hopefully he finally gets a Rockies card.