Tuesday, August 26, 2008
#653 Jeff Sellers
Why this card is awesome: Because of the mention of scout Joe Stephenson on the back. Stephenson is a guy just about nobody has heard of, but he was a big-league player and a good scout for the Red Sox. (Don't judge by Sellers.)
Sellers was part of one of the more ill-fated trades we've seen in the last 30 or so years. The Red Sox shipped him along with Todd Benzinger to the Reds for Nick Esasky and Rob Murphy. Sellers was injured and never pitched again in the big leagues with the Reds or anybody else. Esasky had a fluke year for Boston and turned that into a huge free-agent contract with Atlanta, and then got vertigo and never played again. Murphy had one great year in Boston followed by a terrible year, and then left to be a wandering average pitcher for 5 more years and 6 more teams. Benzinger put up two bad years for the Reds (OPS+ of 89 and 70, which for a first baseman is dreadful) before puttering out with a few other teams.
Cool stat: This is kind of neat. Fifty different pitchers had at least 1 complete game every year from 1985 to 1988. This list is a who's who of the top #1 and #2 starters in baseball from that period. Except for Jeff Sellers, who had by far the least impressive major-league career out of the 50 guys.