Sunday, June 4, 2017

Project Durham Bulls #15: Randall Simon

1995 Durham Bulls 

Randall Simon is sort of an infamous baseball character who is better known for smacking one of the sausage racers in Milwaukee with a bat rather than much of anything that he did while he was actually playing in a game.  There is a video of it on YouTube, but the embed feature has been disabled, so you can watch it here, or check out the picture below....

Simon is a native of Curacao and appeared with the Carolina League version of the Bulls (Braves affiliate) in the summer of 1995 during his third year in professional baseball.  He had a decent summer with a .264/.326/.440 slash line with 18 home runs, 18 doubles, and 77 RBIs.  It was good enough to get him promoted to Double A.  Randall Simon made his Major League debut with the 1997 Braves, but did not really stick in the Majors until 1999.  That Braves team ended up in the World Series against Yankees, while Simon did not appear in the Postseason with that team, he hit .317/.367/.459 in 90 games with 5 home runs and 16 doubles.  Simon ended up back in the Minors for a few seasons before reappearing with the Tigers in 2001 and 2002.  While any Tigers fan might tell you that these were probably the two worst teams in the history of the franchise, Simon's two years in Detroit were the best two years of his career.  The Tigers traded Simon to the Pirates, who traded him to the Cubs where he appeared in the NLDS and NLCS with the baby bears in 2003.  The Cubs played Simon in all 10 playoff games that fall and he responded by hitting .333 with a home run, 3 doubles, and 6 RBIs.  Randall Simon's career ended with a return to Pittsburgh and the Devil Rays for a few games in 2004, then to the Phillies for a few more in 2006.  

Simon was a pretty well regarded prospect, his rise through the Minors took place at the time when Topps was adding autographs to Bowman, and other companies were making some of the great mega-autograph sets of the late 1990s.  Randall Simon has autographs in all of these sorts of card products, however I chose to go with a little bit of a cheaper card just for the fact that Simon has a certified autograph in a Bulls uniform.  The Best brand had some decent autographed products over the years, this is a really simple one, still cool to see players in their Minor League uniforms.  Given the volumes of cards that Simon signed for products like Donruss Signature Series, those cards are not really that much more expensive than this Bulls card.  Further, I really like the mid 1990s Bulls uniforms which featured a little bit more of the Texas tan color than the more modern editions.  Pretty sure that these unis were gone by the time the team's affiliation switched over to the Rays.  

1 comment:

  1. I loved those Best autographs. If I remember correctly, you got one autograph per a retail box that was $19.99 or something like that. I've turned over 99.9% of my collection in the last 20 years, but I still have the Bartolo Colon that I pulled from a pack or box.