Friday, December 4, 2009

1980 TCMA Portland Beavers #5, Rob Ellis

Do you like those red-on-white TCMA minor leaguers the way I do? This team set serves up the Portland Beavers, a 1903 Pacific Coast League charter franchise and current AAA affiliate for San Diego.

Card front

Baseball's seen a few men named "Rob Ellis" take the field. This one--middle name Walter--skipped the minors entirely after the 1971 draft and played 29 games that year for the Brewers. Only a handful in baseball history made that jump, with HOFer Al Kaline being the most successful.

Portland's 1980 team finished 7th, just one in a series of mediocre years. From 1978 to 1988, they used 11 different managers and even Charlie Manuel--2008 champion Philly manager--guided them to an awful 45-96 campaign in 1987.

Card back

Unfortunately, Milwaukee sent Mr. Ellis down for development after a punchless .494 OPS in 1971. Aside from a pair of mid-70s call-ups, Rob's career continued at the AAA level until his 1980 retirement, with stats for those who care to see them. This TCMA set contains the last of his 5 known baseball cards.

Paul Lukas's Uni Watch recently talked up Portland's classic 1956 uniforms in several columns. His links include an excellent Flickr album with both posed shots and in-game action.


sociallyawkwardjellyfish said...

Very cool. Thanks from a local Beavers fan. Unfotunately, the future of the Portland Beavers is unknown right now with Major League Soccer taking over PGE Park in 2011, and the new stadium in the suburb of Beaverton not happening. Hopefully Portland doesn't get bumped down to single A ball like we did with the Portland Rockies for a few years last decade.

Matthew Glidden said...

Good luck for the Beavers' future! So the soccer team's getting dominion over the existing baseball field?

sociallyawkwardjellyfish said...

Yeah, it's been shared with the minor league soccer Portland Timbers for the last 8 or 9 years. Now the Timbers are joining MLS. It's an old stadium, built in the 20's and the Beavers have been in and out of there since the 50's.