Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Carl Pavano Autographed Card

It was essentially a no-win for Carl Pavano, one of three players who were sent to the Montréal Expos (with Tony Amas Jr.) in the trade that sent Pedro Martinez to the Boston Red Sox to break the Curse Of The Bambino.

Pavano even took on Martinez' #45 uniform, which makes him the third to wear that number in my Expos Numbers Project with card #481 from Topps' 2001 Series 1 (50th Anniversary) set:
It shows him wearing the Expos' grey (away) uniform, and he signed it in liquid-ink pen on one of the last Expos games at the Stade Olympique in September 2004, while he was with the Florida Marlins.

Pavano stood at 6'5" and weighed 230 pounds, which gave him a good sinker-ball and fast sliders. He had an up-and-down career that saw him as the lead starter of some pitching rotations (good for some 200 innings per summer) but also had some down years following injuries, and his salary history reads like a bad dot-com shares value chart from the late 90s, hovering back and forth between $3M per year to 5 to 1.9 to 8.5...

And it wasn't just "regular pitching injuries" like the elbow tendinitis in his rookie season in Montréal, or the bone fragments in his elbow in his sophomore campaign, tendinitis in a rotator cuff, back problems, a humerus fracture, Tommy John surgery, more bone chips in his elbow...

No, there was also the bruised buttocks, the Porsche crash, and the snow-shoveling accident that ruptured his spleen and nearly killed him.

That doesn't mean we should forget his 2003 World Series win with the Marlins (against the New York Yankees), nor his 2004 All-Star Game nod, nor the time he led the American League while playing for the Minnesota Twins in both complete games (7) and shutouts (2).

It's just that he didn't meet the expectations that had been set upon him. Unfairly.

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