Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Rick Stelmaszek Saga:Part 9

The Washington Senators became an American League franchise in 1961. They endured many sub-.500 seasons, until 1969, when Manager Ted Williams guided them to a 86-76 season.
In the 3rd round of the 1965 amateur draft, the Senators selected outfielder Gene Martin. In the 8th round of the 1966 draft, they selected pitcher Dick Such. In the 11th round of the 1967 draft, they selected Rick Stelmaszek. Those 3 players are forever connected via their 1970 Topps Rookie Stars card.
By the time this card came out, Martin's major league career was already over. Martin played in 9 games, getting 4 hits in 11 AB's. Martin played in the Philadelphia Phillies system from 1971-73 and in the San Diego Padres system in 1973. Martin went on to have a good career in Japan, hitting 189 HR's or 1 every 13.5 AB's.
Such made it to the majors in 1970, going 1-5 in 21 games. Such stayed in the Rangers organization through 1974, but never made it back to the majors. Such would go on to spend 17 years as the pitching coach for the Minnesota Twins (joining Stelmaszek), helping them to 2 World Series.
It can therefore be argued that Stelmaszek had the best mlb career of these three. Stelmaszek played parts of 3 seasons, collecting 10 hits in 88 AB's (including a couple big hits off of future Hall of Famers). Of course, currently he is in his 29th year as a bullpen coach with the Twins.
The book value of this card is $4. If you are into autographs, Stelmaszek and Such are consistently good signers. I don't know Martin's signing habits.
Rick Stelmaszek's 1970 Topps rookie card.


Steve said...

Nice card with three "W"'s on the hats/caps (almost a rarity in the days of airbrushing etc).

Johngy said...

Good point. I really like the look of the card.

Am I the only one who misses these type of rookie cards? Sure some were big misses, but some were pretty good, too. At least they weren't a big scam to produce high value cards. Oh for the simpler times.