Expectations were high for the Calgary Cannons heading into the 1988 season.
After making it to the Pacific Coast League final the previous summer, the Cannons seemed primed for a repeat performance.
Their Major League affiliate, the Seattle Mariners, hadn’t made a lot of changes, meaning a solid number of players would be returning including Edgar Martinez, Dave Cochrane, Mike Campbell and Erik Hanson. There was also a slight chance that the first overall selection in the 1987 MLB Draft, Ken Griffey, Jr., would make a stop at Foothills Stadium if he continued his meteoric rise up the depth charts.
However, none of that came to fruition. The Mariners continued to bounce players between the big league squad and their triple-A affiliate, not allowing the Cannons to gain any sort of momentum.
They finished the year with a 68-74 record, good enough for third place in the North Division but not good enough to make the playoffs. They finished third in runs scored but second-to-last in runs allowed. The Cannons did get some standout performances, including Martinez hitting .363 in 95 games and a no-hitter from Hanson (we will get to that shortly).
Despite the challenges on the field, the team fared very well at the ticket office. They finished second in the league in attendance behind the Vancouver Canadians, with 332,590 fans coming through the turnstiles.
The Cannons’ ProCards set of 1988 was a slight upgrade from the previous three seasons, at least on the fronts. While the photography didn’t change much as they are still static, posed shots of the players in the Foothills Stadium outfield, the border was gold instead of what had been white. The backs of the cards are as simple as ever though, all black and white with full statistical breakdowns for each player. And just like the 1985 and 1986 sets, there are pieces of advice from the Calgary Police Service.
Let’s take a closer look now at the set and just some of the players who donned the red, yellow, blue and white of the Calgary Cannons in 1988.
To the surprise of no one when we talk about the “junk wax era”, this isn’t the only minor league set that was produced in 1988. So stay tuned to Alberta Dugout Stories as we will share some more stories from that Cannons team with the other set.
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our In The Cards database, which we continue to add to every couple of weeks.
If you have a set of cards you would like to share with us, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop us a line on any of our social media accounts.
And as always, if you have some favourite memories of the players in this or any other set we have highlighted, leave us a comment.