Thursday, April 3, 2014

#186 Mike Magnante

About the Front: Mike Magnante has a bit of Dizzy Gillespie face going on here.

About the Back: "Was graduated"? That's taking passive voice to a gruesome extreme.

Triple Play:

1. He pitched in the majors for 12 seasons, and his career year came with the Astros in 1997. That year, he posted a 2.27 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in 40 appearances. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was a personal-best 3.9-to-1.

2. Mike pops up in Moneyball; after A's GM Billy Beane acquires lefty reliever Ricardo Rincon from Cleveland, he has the unpleasant task of giving Magnante his release ten days before the latter's full pension benefits are set to vest.

3. Magnante is currently a math teacher at Agoura High School, a public school in southern California.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: For me, one of the fun things about collecting has always been letting the unusual names roll around in my mind. Mike's last name is an anagram for "A magenta 'N'", which applies to a few characters on the front of the card.

Bill James Said: "Grade D prospect; when you see him pitch it is hard to understand why he is even in the majors, but I have occasionally seen pitchers like him who could keep batters constantly off stride."

On This Date in 1993: April 3. A couple of interesting transactions. The Detroit Tigers sign pitcher David Wells, who had been released by Toronto a few days earlier. The Phillies release two-time NL MVP Dale Murphy, who promptly signs with the Colorado Rockies.

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