Sunday, December 2, 2012

Zero-Year Cards, Pt. 40

1998 Topps #348 Cory Lidle RC (Diamondbacks)

I'm a little surprised at myself.

When it came time to "semi-retire" this theme, I attributed it to the fact that I'd already shown all the zero-year cards I'd wanted to showcase on this blog.

Perhaps I'd post about a few of the "minor" ones in my collection from time to time after the "semi-retirement". Or maybe someone would send me a new one to write about. 

But surely I'd already shown all my "biggies" of the zero-year department.


I recently realized that I'd never inducted Cory Lidle into the "club". Somehow, I'd managed to omit one of my favorite zero-year cards from this blog.

Thankfully, I'll be changing that this afternoon in a brand-new installment of "Zero-Year Cards".

Obviously, Cory Lidle is one of the more tragic figures of my lifetime as a baseball fan, perishing in a plane crash in October of 2006. 

For better or worse, I'll always remember the moment I first heard about his unfortunate passing.

As I have with others such as Gary Carter and Roberto Clemente, I decided to start collecting Lidle as a little way to honor his legacy through my baseball cards.

It didn't take long for me to find out that he was featured on a zero-year card in 1998 Topps, one that showcases his selection by the D'Backs in the 1997 expansion draft.

From my experience, zero-year cards aren't all that rare when it comes to expansion picks. There's a ton of Rockies and Marlins zero-year issues in 1993 Topps.

However, Lidle's is a bit different from most others in my collection.

The "zero-year/rookie card" combo is fairly common in this hobby. I've shown numerous examples of those in my past zero-year posts.

However, in today's prospect-crazed hobby, it's not all that common to see a guy who actually played in the majors before receiving his first-ever baseball card.

Much less a guy that won seven games prior to his first cardboard appearance with an entirely different team.

Yet that's exactly what we have with Mr. Lidle.

After eight years in the minors, he made his big-league debut with the Mets in 1997, posting a 7-2 record and a 3.53 ERA in 54 games that year.

Still, it took an expansion pick by the D'Backs to net Lidle his true "rookie card".

Before he'd ever had the chance to pitch with Arizona, the fellow expansion Devil Rays selected him off waivers in October of '98.

I'm not sure, but I'd guess that Lidle was the first player to be a part of both the D'Backs and D'Rays franchises. That'd certainly be an interesting little tidbit if it were true.

Although he'd pitch for two seasons in Tampa, he never received a card as a Devil Ray to my knowledge.

He never pitched a single game for the Diamondbacks, yet he got a card with them.

I guess zero-year cards are just funny that way.


hiflew said...

I knew current Rockies manager Walt Weiss was the first player to be with both Colorado and Florida, but I never knew the TB and Arizona link.

I guess it is because I wasn't following the game very closely in 1997, but either way it is an interesting tidbit.

Now I am curious about the Mariners/Blue Jays first common player.

Mariner1 said...

Willie Horton was the first to go from Toronto in 1978 to Seattle in 1979. Bob Robertson was with Seattle in 78 and Toronto in 79.

As for pitchers Bryan Clark was a Mariner in 81 and a Blue Jay in 84. Paul Mirabella was a Jay in 80 and a Mariner in 84.

I knew some players but I did cheat to find who was first both ways.