Friday, September 13, 2013

1992 Denver All-Time Records #18


Card Review: 9.9  This is near the top of my list for all-time favorite Wallach card.  According to the online databases, this card doesn't exists.  I didn't know it existed until recently, but here is, in all it's minor league glory.  I'm not sure if it's omission is due to the manufacturer or how it was distributed, or if it's just so obscure to be off their radar, but it's not listed.  For the most part, all those online list copy from each other, so if whoever actually does the cataloging misses a set, they're all going to miss it.

This set was issued at the last ever home game for the Denver Zephyrs in 1992.  The set featured players who held all-time records for the Denver Zephyrs/Bears.  The Zephyrs moved to New Orleans the following season (where they still remain today) as MLB added the expansion Colorado Rockies in Denver.

While this isn't a true minor league card as it was issued 12 years after Wallach made his MLB debut, it's as close as it gets.  It's a great action shot, probably the best fielding shot of Wallach ever captured on cardboard, has very little gloss on the front (none on the back), and what I find to be a very kitsch Remax sponsor logo all over it.  Everything about this card works for me.

Fun Facts:
*The stat on the back that Wallach was Denver's all-time record holder for was 16 game-winning RBI in a season.  In 1987 Wallach led the National League in the now defunct stat, also with 16
*in 1980 the Denver Bears were the AAA affliate of the Montreal Expos.
*Wallach led the 1980 American Association in Total Bases and was 2nd to teammate Randy Bass in Home Runs (37)
*in 134 games with Denver in 1980, Wallach batted .281 with 36 home runs, and 124 RBI
*The 1980 Denver Bears saw 24 future Major Leaguers play for them in 1980, including Tim Raines, Charlie Lea, and Bill Gullickson
*Managed by Bill Gardner, the Bears put together a record of 92-44.
*MiLB ranks the 1980 Denver Bears as the 34th best minor league team of all time, and likely would have ranked higher had they not been upset in the playoffs

Number of this card in my collection: 10

4 comments:

  1. I went to the very first New Orleans Zephyrs game as a Boy Scout, uniform and all. There was a famous roller coaster at an amusement park (that is no longer there thanks to hurricane intervention) on the shore of Lake Pontchartrain called "The Zephyr." I always assumed that's where the name came from.

    I've been to many games since then. I live just a few blocks from Zephyr field which is also right next door to the Saints headquarters and training camp and the regional Budweiser distribution facility. There's also a huge Baptist church nearby, but hey, it can't all be sports and beer.

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  2. Wiki says the "Zephyrs" is reference to the old passenger train that ran from Chicago, through Denver, onto San Francisco. The roller coaster in New Orleans was just a convenient coincidence.

    I listen to a good number of Isotopes games on the radio, and Albuquerque announcers always whine about the attendance in New Orleans, which I find surprising. Seems like it should be a huge market. Matt Wallach was catching for the 'Topes for a couple months so I followed them a little closer than I normally do.

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  3. Happy Tim Wallach's birthday!

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