Monday, March 23, 2015

#394 Bernardo Brito (Gold)

 About the Front: So here we are, the first of the fringe players who had the honor of replacing the checklist cards in the Gold parallel set. Bernardo Brito looks every bit the 28-year-old rookie he was, having endured a dozen pro seasons and over 1200 minor league games before getting his first taste of the big leagues.

About the Back: Bernardo seemingly spent more time in Portland than Clyde Drexler, logging five straight seasons with the Twins' AAA club (including 1993).

Triple Play:

1. He won six minor league home run titles, leading the New York-Penn League (1984), Midwest League (1985), Eastern League (1986, 1987), and Pacific Coast League (1990, 1991). In all, he hit 295 home runs in 16 minor league seasons.

2. Brito hit four of his five big league homers in a 27-game stint in Minnesota in 1993, including two in consecutive at-bats against Oakland's Mike Mohler on August 15.

3. Bernardo spent half the 1995 season and all of 1996 with Japan's Nippon Ham Fighters, blasting a total of 50 home runs in 182 games and batting .272/.353/.525.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I never saw this card as a kid. When I was first getting back into collecting in 2007, I bought some bargain-priced early 1990s packs from a hobby store on my way home from work one day and grabbed a pack of 1993 Topps for old time's sake. I certainly didn't expect to find Bernardo, but there he was, filling a long-forgotten hole in the set.

Bill James Said: "Has poor plate discipline and is a butcher in the field, but could help a team as a righthanded DH or pinch hitter if he got a manager who could pick his spots and live with the strikeouts."

On This Date in 1993: March 23. Indians pitchers Tim Crews and Steve Olin are killed in a boating accident on Little Lake Nellie in Clermont, FL, as Crews strikes a pier at dusk. Fellow pitcher Bob Ojeda suffers major lacerations to the head, but survives and recovers.

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