After a bit of a break to focus on other stories, other work behind-the-scenes, and watching the latest college and Major League Baseball Spring Training games, we have finally brought out some more baseball cards to sort out and put into their plastic sleeves and binders.
The 1992 edition of the Calgary Cannons had some big shoes to fill after the team made it all the way to the Pacific Coast League final, losing to the Tucson Toros.
It would be a bit of an uphill battle though, as the Cannons wouldn’t have the services of reigning league MVP Tino Martinez, infielders Chuck Jackson and Steve Springer, outfielder Alan Cockrell or pitcher Dennis Powell. All had contributed to the lengthy playoff run and were either moving up to the big leagues or joining new organizations.
A few familiar faces were still in the mix heading into 1992, including infielders Rich Amaral and Mike Blowers, and workhorse pitcher Pat Rice, who went 13-4 in 21 starts the previous summer. Meantime, they also had some youngsters hoping to make an impression including Bret Boone, Greg Pirkl and Kerry Woodson.
With manager Keith Bodie and assistant coach Ross Grimsley back in the dugout, expectations were once again high at Foothills Stadium.
However, it wasn’t meant to be. The team struggled to capture any momentum, as they finished with a 60-78 record, failing to qualify for the playoffs. At the turnstiles, the team also struggled, ranking seventh out of ten teams, drawing a total of 277,307 fans over the season.
While the team didn’t look great, the cards created for them certainly took a step forward. After years of white borders and few statistics on the backs, a little more effort was put into the Fleer ProCards set of 1992 (you can see the Edmonton Trappers set here). The photography featured almost exclusively posed shots, and baseballs and bats were scattered around the dirt-coloured border. The players’ names, positions and team names were in the corners instead of on the tops and bottoms of past cards. As mentioned, the backs of the cards were a little more robust with information, including each person’s vital statistics to go along with their professional on-field numbers.
Let’s take a closer look at the cards as well as some of the stories of the players depicted.
We hope you’ve enjoyed flipping through this set with us. Feel free to leave a comment about the players and cards below, or on your favourite social media channel.
We are currently developing an online digital archive of Alberta baseball card sets with our In The Cards series. If you have baseball cards you’d like to donate – or led – to our cause, please email us at email@example.com with more information and to make arrangements.