The set of 1991 Calgary Cannons baseball cards conjures up a lot of different emotions for fans.
They likely spark memories of the jerseys and colour schemes, but the team itself had a lot of talent and promise to potentially win the city’s first baseball championship. Unfortunately, one of the other emotions that might come up is heartbreak.
After getting off to a slow start in the first half, the Cannons came together in the second half to cement themselves a spot in the Pacific Coast League playoffs. They sept the Portland Beavers in the first round, moving on to face future MLB star Kenny Lofton and the Tucson Toros in the league final.
Things started off well for the Cannons, who won both home games. The best-of-five shifted to Tucson for the final three games, where the Toros won the first two. That set the stage for a winner-take-all fifth game which lived up to the hype. Tied 3-3 going into the bottom of the ninth, Toros outfielder Joe Mikulik drove in Trent Hubbard for the walk-off 4-3 victory.
Cannons players took the loss hard, as they believed they had been victimized by some late-season call-ups by the Mariners, including pitchers Dave Burba and Dave Fleming.
Owner Russ Parker was just as gutted with how everything played out, especially with a lineup featuring league MVP Tino Martinez. He laid the blame at the feet of the Mariners.
“Our relationship will never be the same after this,” he told the Calgary Herald. “I’m very upset.”
His Cannons had not only done all they could to win the PCL championship, but they also had one of their best years at the turnstiles. They attracted 325,965 fans that summer, which ranked them third in the league. It would turn out to their second-highest turnout in team history, behind the 332,590 who came to the stadium in 1988.
As for the cards highlighted in this In The Cards, there is nothing flashy with the Impel/Line Drive Pre-Rookie set. It is extensive though, with 650 cards just for the Triple-A players. The Cannons were featured on cards 53 through 75.
Here are just a few of the stories of some of the players from that squad.
That will do it for this edition of In The Cards. We hope you have enjoyed taking the trip down memory lane with just some of the stories of this team. We invite you to leave a comment about the players and cards below.
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