Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pirate Autos: Dave Johnson

I've been woefully slacking on new Pirate autos.  The project is far from completion, but new acquisitions seem to come in bursts, rather than a constant stream.  Just about all of the consistent TTM signers have been knocked off the list, as have most of the guys with certified autos.  So I may find a lot or ebay seller with a number my needs.  But more often than not, my hobby dollars are going elsewhere.

But that makes new additions all the more special, right?

And this one certainly falls in that group.

At a card show a few months back I found a dealer with a monster box of minor league team sets from the 80's and 90's.  Obviously all the more impressive sets had been pulled out and the key cards sold individually.  But that didn't matter, since I was only looking for Pirates.

I found about half a dozen sets, mostly from (then)AAA Buffalo and the Pirates A-ball affiliates.  Among the finds were some early cards of Moises Alou, Tim Wakefield, and a handful of other future Bucs of less merit.

But for me, the most exciting find was some minor league cards of some cardless wonders.  Guys who never appeared on cardboard as a Buc (and in most cases who the all knowing google can't even return a single image from their time in Pittsburgh).  If a Pirate card isn't possible, the next best option is a minor league affiliate auto.
 Enter Dave Wayne Johnson.
 He made his big league debut with the Bucs in 1987, coming in in relief in 5 less than memorable appearances at age 27.  But he would spend the majority of his big league career with the Orioles, finding work as a starter from 89-91, including pitching 180 innings during 1990.  But that would be about all there was to his big league career.
These minor league issues mark the closes thing to a card as a Pirate, though he has a few cards from his O's days.  Definitely a cool addition (and some major luck) in adding a long forgotten Buc.

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