Monday, February 4, 2013

1980 TCMA Utica Blue Jays Baseball #5, Felix Feliciano

Pro baseball in Utica has a long history, including eras as both MLB affiliate and independent team (more at Wikipedia). Many fans know these Blue Jays better as the Blue Sox, the single-A squad that author (and team owner) Roger Kahn profiled in Good Enough To Dream, his up-close-and-personal look at running an independent team. Kahn's storytelling makes a good minor league companion to the player's perspective captured in Dirk Hayhurst's recent books.

Felix is...resting his eyes? Just one more reason to snap multiple pictures on team photo day.

If we believe Baseball-Reference, "rookie" describes Felix's entire career, just 7 games of low-A ball in Utica. That makes today's #5 his only known baseball card and twice the bummer that it's a lousy photo.

1988 Fleer #159, Juan Castillo

TCMA printed 33 cards for Utica, but just 3 of Felix's teammates eventually reached the bigs; Juan Castillo got the most MLB service time with 199 total games over 4 seasons.
  1. Larry Hardy, Manager
  2. Rich White
  3. Carlos Cabrera
  4. Jim Baker
  5. Felix Feliciano
  6. Rafael Harris
  7. Tom Norko
  8. Siverio Valdez
  9. Jon Woodworth, Trainer
  10. Bob Wilbur, Coach
  11. Hector Torres, Coach
  12. Tomas Castillo
  13. Juan Castillo
  14. Roberto Cerrud
  15. Jose Escobar
  16. Tony Gilmore
  17. Luis Guzman
  18. Toby Hernandez
  19. Mark Holton
  20. Dennis Howard
  21. Miguel Ortiz
  22. Tom O'Dowd
  23. Al Montgomery
  24. Bob McNair
  25. Tom Lukish
  26. Herman Lewis
  27. Carlos Leal
  28. Paul Langfield
  29. Mike Hurdle
  30. Bill Reade
  31. Rafael Rivas
  32. Miguel Rodriguez
  33. Rico Sutton

Value: This #5 cost $2 at Few MLB stars means team sets top out at $20-25.

Fakes / reprints: TCMA reprinted several team sets for "collectors kits" in the late 1980s. Those reprints used black ink on the backs and originals have the blue ink shown above.

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