Monday, June 10, 2013

#18 Terry Steinbach

About the Front: Our first Athletics card gives me an opportunity to scratch my head over the inclusion of red in the team's color scheme for this set. The A's hadn't had any red in their uniforms since their Kansas City days. Couldn't Topps have gone with just green and gold? Or even another, darker shade of green?

About the Back: Terry Steinbach was incredibly consistent as a hitter throughout his career, with one incredible exception that I'll get to in a moment. But he usually hit in the .270s with a bit of power and drove in 50-some runs. He was also a three-time All-Star: 1988, 1989, and 1993.

Triple Play:

1. Power hitting was on the rise in 1996, but I still don't know how to account for Terry's 35 home runs and 100 RBI that year. He did have a career-high 571 plate appearances, but he homered once every 14.7 at-bats to blow away his previous best of a home run every 24.4 trips to the plate. Steinbach's peak output otherwise was 16 round-trippers way back in 1987.

2. Terry attended the University of Minnesota, where the baseball team briefly featured three Steinbach brothers in the lineup: Tim at catcher, Terry at third base, and Tom in right field.

3. He finished his career back home in Minnesota, playing for the Twins from 1997 through 1999. In the final month of his career, he caught Eric Milton's no-hitter (he had also been behind the plate for Dave Stewart's no-no in 1990).

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: This was one of the most elusive cards in the set for me. I completed the entire second series of Topps back in 1993, but even after taking my wish list for Series One to the local hobby shop, I had a dozen or so stragglers that I didn't get my hands on until about 2008. The very first page of my 1993 Topps binder was incomplete! Oh, the humanity.

Bill James Said: "His season was ended by a broken wrist in mid-August; he'll be fine for '94." He was fine indeed, matching 1993's .285 average and increasing his RBI output from 42 to 57 in a comparable number of plate appearances.

On This Date in 1993: June 10. Scientists from California announce that they have extracted genetic material from a weevil preserved in amber that dates back to the time of dinosaurs.


  1. Know your color wheel: green and red are complimentary colors and look very good together graphically (think Christmas). So there is a method to Topps' madness.

  2. Yeah, my dad was an art teacher, but I was never sold on complimentary colors. Except orange and blue...and I don't just say that to suck up to the Mets fan.