Monday, April 28, 2014

AUTOS FROM THE ARCHIVES: STEVE BALBONI

IMAGE IS FROM '84, WHEN HE WORE NO. 18.



VICTIMIZED THE A'S' TOM UNDERWOOD FOR HIS FIRST DINGER.


THE CARD

  • "Blues Boy'' Riley King's hit from 1964, How Blue Can You Get? could accurately describe this card of another B-B, "Bye-Bye'' Steve Balboni. This repo is true blue to the '86 Topps design, which captures the era to a "B,'' I mean, "T.'' 

THE AUTOGRAPH

  • Loopy and messy and difficult to make out any letters other than "S'' and "B,'' it looks like a fat guy's scribble.

THE PLAYER

  • Balboni was coming off his career season in '85, hitting 36 homers and driving in 86 for the World Series champs. He also led baseball in strikeouts with 166. 
  • The 36 bombs were a team record that still stands.
  • Originally drafted by the Yankees, he was blocked at first by an aging Ken Griffey and prospect Don Mattingly.
  • Consequently, Balboni, along with Roger Erickson, was traded to the Royals for Duane Dewey and Mike Armstrong in December '83.
  • Went 8-for-25 in the '85 Series against the Cardinals, including a single in the ninth inning of Game 6 that helped the Royals rally for season-saving 2-1 victory. 
  • His peak was from '84-'87, averaging 29 homers, 78 RBI and a .232/.298/.465 slash line.

WORE NO. 45 FROM '85-'88 WITH K.C.


YANKS GREW TIRED OF HIS STRIKEOUTS IN THE MINORS.

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