Thursday, June 7, 2012

1979 Oklahoma City 89ers Baseball #5, Robert Michael DeMeo

As minor league publishers TCMA and Cramer Sports Productions grew to serve more and more of America's "small-park" cities, fewer and fewer franchises printed their own team set. Today's #5 came from one of those few.

The 89ers editor did an OK job (pun intended) with their presentation, but black-and-white comes off flat compared to contemporary color options used by teams who did take advantage of companies like Cramer.

This Phoenix set (starring manager Rocky Bridges) came out the same year as DeMeo and that orange really jumps off the card. I was glad to see most minor league teams using color just one year later (1980 TCMA #5 profiles).

Robert's 1978 Mendoza line matched his career batting average, which might explain why he never reached the majors as a player (career stats at B-R). DeMeo stayed with Oklahoma City through 1980 but appeared in just two more games and likely spent that non-playing time coaching younger players or prepping for a life after baseball. 

This 89ers set checklisted by uniform number, with #4 pulling double-duty for Lee Elia and Lonnie Smith.
  • #1 Fred Beene
  • #3 Ramon Aviles
  • #4a Lee Elia MANAGER
  • #4b Lonnie Smith
  • #5 Bob Demeo
  • #6 Jim Morrison
  • #7 Orlando Isales
  • #8 Kerry Dineen
  • #9 Keith Moreland
  • #10 Luis Aguayo
  • #11 Jose Martines
  • #14 Kevin Saucier
  • #16 Carlos Arroyo
  • #17 Dickie Noles
  • #18 Dan Larson
  • #20 Orlando Gonzalez
  • #21 Don McCormack
  • #22 John Vuckovich
  • #23 John Poff
  • #24 Jack Kucek
  • #25 Pete Manos
  • #26 Marty Bystrom
  • #28 Cot Deal COACH
  • #29 Gary Beare

Lonnie played a full season for OKC, but also appeared on 1979 Topps #722.

Value: This #5 cost $2 at

Fakes / reprints: Many of this set's players reached the majors, but few were famous enough to be worth faking their minor league cards.

UPDATE: Guru mentioned Rocky's interesting pose choice--let's not forget his all-out 1956 Topps card.

Don't know about you, but Rocky the Flying Squirrel comes right to my mind...


Mad Guru said...

I like the Rocky Bridges hailing a cab look.

Matthew Glidden said...

Hailing a taxi, true. Updated with another memorable Rocky pose card...