Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Project Durham Bulls #3: Mark Malaska

Mark Malaska - 2003 Durham Bulls

Malaska appeared in 15 games for the 2003 Durham Bulls team all as a left handed relief pitcher.  He pitched 23 innings in those 15 games, so obviously more than a LOOGY pitcher.  The 2003 Bulls won the International League South Division and also went on to win the Governors Cup (IL Championship), but Malaska got called up to the Devil Rays in the middle of July and was not around for the team's playoff run.  Malaska made his Major League Debut against the Texas Rangers on the 17th of that month in a 12-6 loss.  He ended up being selected off of waivers by the Red Sox at the end of the 2003 season and he ended his professional baseball career after pitching with the Red Sox and Pawtucket in 2004 and 2005.  

I really liked the Bowman's Best cards in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but as the product moved past 2001 it became less likable in my opinion.  There were 130 cards of rookies with lots of autographs and some game used relics in the 2003 set.  There are some decent names like Ryan Howard, Hanley Ramirez, and Kevin Youkilis, but the list gets thin fast.  Malaska has a few rookie cards beyond this Bowman's Best card, but this is his only certified autograph.  Since I am trying to load up on as many autographs for these Durham Bulls posts as possible, this was an easy choice.  

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