Every team has them - those players who you barely even remember playing there. Whether it's a superstar who played his waning days in a new city or a journeyman pitcher who gave your team 160 forgettable innings in the middle of his career, the Pirates have been home to quite a few over the years. This semi-regular feature will take a look players who spent some less than memorably time in the 'Burgh.
Before the 2004 season, the Pirates traded relief prospect Leo Nunez for
40 year old Benito Santiago. Despite his age, Santiago had hit for
decent average and power in the previous three seasons, making the
All-Star team three years earlier, and was expected to take the place of
the traded Jason Kendall. Instead, Santiago (and his $2M salary) were
released by early May after a whopping six games.
I love the
look of Santiago's signature, and this is one of my favorite autographs
both because of the long and successful career he had before coming to
Pittsburgh, and the card's clean design and on card signature.
Amusingly, this card is from Topps Update, which was released months
and months after Santiago's release, and is one of only a handful of
certified autos Santiago has.
Santiago also had a bat card from 2004 Topps Pristine. Despite having a game used and auto card as a Pirate, he never made it into the base Topps set in black and gold.