Tuesday, August 13, 2013

#56 Chad Mottola

About the Front: The "Knights" would be the University of Central Florida Knights. In 1996, Chad Mottola became the first UCF alumnus to make it to the big leagues. Five other players have followed, with the most notable being former Tigers starting pitcher Mike Maroth.

About the Back: Topps really loved Capitalizing the First Letter of Certain Words.

Triple Play:

1. As a rookie with the Reds in 1996, Chad batted .215/.271/.367 with three homers and six RBI in 35 games. He wouldn't resurface in the big leagues until 2000 with Toronto, and he totaled only 24 games with the Blue Jays, Marlins, and Orioles over the rest of his pro career, which ended after the 2007 season.

2. A veteran of exactly 1800 minor league games, Mottola had a minor-league OPS of .797 with 249 home runs and 1,034 RBI.

3. Chad has been coaching in the Toronto organization since retiring as a player. This year, he was promoted to the position of hitting coach for the major league team.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: One of my best friends growing up had a hobby shop on his street. We stopped in there a few times when I would visit over the summer, and I remember the owner raving about Chad Mottola like he was the Next Big Thing. It was an early lesson in the follies of prospecting.

Bill James Said: Nada.

On This Date in 1993: August 13. Rickey Henderson, recently acquired by the Blue Jays in a trade with Oakland, buys his preferred uniform number 24 from teammate Turner Ward for $25,000. Rickey claimed that he was having trouble hitting while wearing #14.

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