You would think capturing Canada’s first World Series would be a helpful shot in the arm for all of the Toronto Blue Jays’ affiliate squads heading into the 1993 season.
It was needed for the Medicine Hat Blue Jays, who struggled to a last-place finish in 1992, drawing a paltry 16,827 fans to Athletic Park over the entire season.
There was nowhere to go but up for the franchise, who had a new manager in well-traveled Omar Malave and some great expectations around their pitching after the MLB team selected highly-touted right-hander Chris Carpenter and Fort McMurray’s Joe Young in the 1993 MLB Draft.
While both didn’t make their Medicine Hat debuts until the following season, the Baby Jays still had some masterful pitching performances en route to a 39-34 record. Led by Mark Sievert (6-3, 5.00 ERA), Steve Sinclair (5-2, 3.33 ERA) and Brian Grant (5-4, 2.84 ERA), they finished second in the Northern Division behind the eventual champion Billings Mustangs.
However, that success didn’t amount to major improvements in the number of fans coming through the turnstiles. While the overall crowds number jumped to 25,102, the team still finished seventh in attendance in the eight-team Pioneer League.
As for the 1993 set of Fleer ProCards featuring the Medicine Hat Blue Jays, the 27-card set is perfect for collectors who store their cards in binders and nine-card plastic sleeves. The cards themselves are standard fare for the minor league sets of the day. The players and coaches are all posed on the front, while the backs are black and white with some blue hues. Some have statistics on them while others have brief career descriptions. And each card features a sponsorship from One Hour Photo in the Medicine Hat Mall.
Let’s take a closer look at the cards now and just some of the stories of the players and coaches who posed for the camera in this latest installment of In The Cards.
That will do it for this edition of In The Cards. Let us know what you think about the cards and players, or if you have any stories about them you would like to share!
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.