Friday, August 6, 2010

1985 derrel thomas

here is derrel thomas' 1985 o-pee-chee card:
here's the topps front:
now the o-pee-chee back:
and the topps back:
much like ralph garr's 1980 o-pee-chee card, this one is a head scratcher.  the back of the cards clearly show that thomas finished the 1984 season with the california angels, yet topps portrayed him as an expo in their 1985 set.  the difference here is that there is no mention of the transaction on the back of the topps card.  we are left to wonder if maybe topps reversed the stats on the back and he began the year as an angel and finished with the expos.  o-pee-chee, however, clarifies the point by telling us that the transaction took place in september of 1984. which brings up another point:  baseball reference tells us that in that transaction, thomas was purchased by the angels from the expos, yet o-pee-chee indicates that he was traded.  here's a case where 'now with' would have made sense.  still, i don't think i'll categorize this as an error, since i don't definitively know whether there was some deal struck between montreal and california.

even stranger is that on davey lopes' 1985 card, topps added the text to the front to alert us that he was being shown in a former team's uniform.  why they didn't do that for another card in the same set with the same situation is beyond me.  to make matters worse, the angels released thomas in november of 1984 and he signed with the phillies as a free agent in may of 1985, so everybody's wrong on this card. 

at any rate, thomas spent the bulk of the 1984 season in montreal before joining the angels.  and, for the second time in his career, he played 7 of 9 positions in the field, failing only to pitch and catch.  in 1980, the other season in which he was so widely used, he caught but didn't pitch or play first since popeye wouldn't take a day off.  in 1985, his final big league season, he hit .207 for the phils in a super-utility role.  his last major league at bat came against the pirates in october of '85 when he grounded out against bob kipper to end game 161.

voici à vous, 1985 derrel thomas!

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