Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pack Thirty-Three

Pack 33 +6
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
265 Paul Assenmacher
92 Frank Tanana
23 Wes Gardner
142 Gary Sheffield
68 Ivan Calderon
185 Gene Nelson

472 Royce Clayton
285 Paul Kilgus
332 Willie Ansley
264 Derek Lilliquist
335 Jay Howell
168 Lance McCullers

Nothing too special here. A second copy of the latest member to join the 500 home run club, and I also pulled another Gil Hodges reprint card which gives me two complete reprint sets.

There are three rookie cards to talk about today though, so let's jump right in.

Derek Lilliquist showed some potential with the Braves in 1989, posting an 8-10 record and a 3.97 ERA. That, combined with his less than two walks per nine innings, led him to a fourth place finish for Rookie of the Year. Despite his potential, the Braves traded him to the Padres for Mark Grant on July 12, 1990.

After spending most of the 1991 season at Triple-A Las Vegas, Lilliquist was taken off the waiver wire by the Indians where he pitched until the end of the 1994 season. At that point he was selected off waivers by the Braves in November, but released just over a month later.

He was picked up in late April '95 by the Red Sox but was released in July. On August 1, Derek signed with the Dodgers and spent the remainder of the season at Albuquerque but was granted free agency after the season. He signed on to play with the Reds in '96 and then with the Royals in '97 but never saw action with the Royals and retired.

Royce Clayton was the 15th pick of the 1988 draft by the San Francisco Giants and made his way to the Major Leagues on September 20, 1991.

I'm trying to find something good to say about his career, but nothing really jumps out. He was an above average player who stuck around for seventeen seasons, you can't really say much that's better. He was an All Star in 1997 with the Cardinals.

Willie Ansley was the seventh pick of the first round of the 1988 draft by the Houston Astros out of Plainview High School in Plainview, Texas. His first stop in the pro ball was for my local team, the Asheville Tourists when they were an Astros farm team. In 103 games for Asheville in 1989, Willie hit .309 with 6 home runs and 55 RBIs. Those numbers were good enough for a promotion to Double-A Columbus for the final 30 games of the 1989 season.

He spent the entire 1990 season in Columbus, and split 1991 between High-A Osceola of the Florida State League and Double-A Jackson of the Texas League. His numbers in both places left a bit to be desired and he spend some time in '92 with the GCL (rookie league) Astros in what I can only assume was extended spring training. The rest of his playing time in '92 was a Jackson.

In 1993, at 23 years old, he played for Triple-A Tucson of the PCL and hit relatively well (.262/5/61 in 125 games), but injuries had taken their toll over his short career and he called it quits.

After his playing days, he made it his life's missions to help other young ball players reach their dreams. There's a nice article about him here, from Lubbock Online, it's a few years old.

We're getting close. T minus 3 packs.