Wednesday, September 7, 2016

John Wetteland Autographed Card

I'm a bit of a traditionalist - or at least someone who respects the past enough to require a new thing to clearly surpass the older model to proclaim it as better, with respect to whoever came first in case of a tie. So, as a kid, Tim Burke was my favourite Montréal Expos closer, an 1989 All-Star Game participant.

Until John Wetteland came along and re-wrote the team's history books, closing 105 games for saves in just 232.3 innings over three seasons, the strikeout king who followed the team's best-ever set-up man, Mel Rojas, who would take over the closer's role when Wetteland was traded to the New York Yankees in 1995.

Yankees fans remember him as well, as he was a huge part of their 1996 World Series win, when he was voted the World Series MVP for his efforts against the Atlanta Braves', the Expos' former arch-nemesis team.

Ironically, the Yanks also let him go to promote their set-up man in his place - in their case, it was Mariano Rivera, one of the all-time greats, leaving Wetteland free to sign his final MLB contract, with the Texas Rangers.

He hit the 43-save mark three times - once with each team - and the time he did it with the Yankees, in 1996, he led the Majors.

Still, he'll always be an Expo in my book, the best representative of #57 in My Expos Numbers Project, on card #293 from Leaf's 1994 Donruss set:
He signed it in blue sharpie - back in the day when I didn't know of "erasing" the coating off of cards, obviously - adding a Bible quote to it, from Psalms 9:10:
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.

No comments:

Post a Comment