Saturday, June 10, 2017

Henry Mateo Autographed Card

Henry Mateo is mostly known as a baseball player. He played for the Montréal Expos/Washington Nationals for parts of six seasons, then tried to get back in the Majors via stints with the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays, to no avail.

While toiling in the minors leagues, he became a wanted man for "criminal conversation in North Carolina", a civil charge that is, essentially, adultery. He has not returned to the United States since, having instead opted to play in Mexico twice, with a stint in China Taiwan in between.

He wasn't much of a threat at bat, with one career home run in 280 plate appearances, and the year he saw the most games was 100 (for a total of 169 plate appearances) in 2003, in which he batted for .240; he batted .273 the following summer, but barely stepped up to the plate 46 times in 40 games, as Jose Vidro was the team's main second baseman... and Jamey Carroll was his principal replacement, although I don't remember him at all.

A noted base stealer in the minors, Mateo only accomplished the feat 15 times in the National League.

Here he is fielding in the pre-season, wearing the Expos' Grapefruit League blue shirt and sporting #62, which slots him nicely in my Expos Numbers Project:
That's card #261 from Topps' 2002 Topps Total set, packs of which I purchased at dollar stores the following winter, which means I likely got the card signed - in blue sharpie - in 2004, the Expos' final season in Montréal, which they split evenly between the Olympic Stadium on the East end of the island and Estadio Hiram Bithorn in Puerto Rico.

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