Sunday, March 12, 2017

Project Durham Bulls #11: Al Martin


Al Martin 1989 Durham Bulls 


Background-
The Atlanta Braves drafted Al Martin out of high school in 1985, he then spent 5 years playing in Rookie and A Ball.  In 1991 he played for the Braves Double A and Triple A teams.  After 1991 he spent one more season in the Minors with the Pirates.  I looked up his biography on Baseball Reference and half way expected to see him in sort of trade between the Pirates and Braves, but he was actually a six year Minor League free agent.  It's not rare to see players who are Minor League free agents reach the Majors, but I am guessing that Martin had one of the better careers of a player who reached that mark.  He made his Major League debut in 1992 with the Pirates and went on to play a total of 8 years in Pittsburgh.  Al Martin had some nice years playing with the Pirates, but was on some really bad teams.  His best season was probably 1993 when he hit .281/.338/.481 with 18 homers, 64 RBIs, and 16 stolen bases.  The Pirates traded him to the Padres for John Vander Wal where he spent a year playing, the Padres traded him to the Mariners for John Mabry where he played two years, and he ended his career with the Devil Rays in 2003.  

 Card- 
Martin is also in the 1996 Leaf Signature set, but I kind of liked this Donruss Signature card a little bit better.  The main thing I was looking for in picking up a Martin card was that he was a Pirate on the card, which was not really a problem since his only two certified autos were in a Pittsburgh uniform.  Further, in working on this project of finding Durham Bulls autographs it is a little bit trickier to find cards of players from the years the team was a Braves affiliate.  Currently the Bulls are a Triple A team, so percentage of players reaching the Majors is pretty high.  During their time as Braves affiliate the team was a high A team.  The percentage of players which much smaller, much tougher to find autographs of the players.  While it's not a great signature, it's nice to finally add a Braves era player to my Project Durham Bulls posts.  

1 comment:

  1. The Donruss Signature series autos are a really fantastic set-no frills autos with a popping back ground Luis Ordaz anyone?

    ReplyDelete