There really must be something in the water in Edmonton.
In 1992, “King Fish” Tim Salmon made it rain as a member of the Trappers. The outfielder led the Pacific Coast League (PCL) in home runs (29), total bases (275), runs batted in (105), extra base hits (71), on-base percentage (.469) and slugging percentage (.672). The stellar campaign – Salmon’s only year of Triple-A baseball – earned him PCL most valuable player (MVP) honours and a callup to the California Angels at the end of the season.
The feat, which was followed by an American League (AL) Rookie of the Year award for Salmon in 1993, brought back memories of another former Trapper. Ron Kittle also won the PCL MVP title and AL Rookie of the Year in back-to-back seasons.
Salmon’s card from this 1992 Fleer ProCards set – the subject of this edition of In The Cards – was undoubtedly the most sought after of the bunch. The design work on these cards is a bit of a dog’s breakfast. It’s neat that the baseballs and bats align like a puzzle when you place the cards next to each other, but they also have sort of a Little League feel to them. That said, they look better than a lot of minor-league cardboard collectibles and the back of each card also has enough statistical and biographical information to be educational for fans.
The 1992 Trappers, meanwhile, went 74-69 under manager Max Oliveras. That record was not good enough to qualify for postseason action, but Edmonton did welcome 257,146 baseball watchers to John Ducey Park that season. Many of them were fortunate enough to enjoy some cameos from some impressive big-league talent that year, including Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven, as well as batters Oddibe McDowell and Hubie Brooks. Those players weren’t in Edmonton long enough to have their images captured for a Trappers baseball card, but let’s see who was:
Thanks for checking out our latest set of Alberta baseball cards. Let us know what you think about the players and cards in the comments below.
Major kudos, as well, to the operator of the Edmonton Baseball Fan Twitter account for sharing these baseball card images with us!
We are in the process of developing an online digital archive of Alberta baseball card sets with this In The Cards series. If you have baseball cards you’d like to donate – or lend – to our cause, please email us at AlbertaDugoutStories@gmail.com with more information.