Memorabilia #1: Buck Showalter Managerial Salute Card

Dee Yonker


At initially glance, there is not significantly that is noteworthy about this card. It’s a baseball card from the 2nd half of the 90s, which may well have been the time when baseball card reputation was at its least expensive ebb. Immediately after individuals understood that there were virtually hundreds of thousands of Jose Canseco and Ken Griffey Jr. playing cards in the wild and the playing cards they’d used their lifestyle price savings on were being practically worthless, there was a predictable reaction, and card accumulating transformed. Nonetheless, looking much more intently, this card represents an exciting time in franchise historical past.


It is a checklist. Checklists are (fortunately, in my opinion) no longer a section of card sets. Given that they didn’t have stats (or in some situations even images of gamers, supervisors, or teams) I typically tossed them.

Having said that, this is not just any checklist. It is really a checklist from 1996 Higher Deck. It would still be two many years in advance of the Diamondbacks would shed a video game (and a quarter century ahead of the current doldrums) and is maybe a person of the initially two Diamondbacks cards included in a set. The Diamondbacks failed to have any gamers. Travis Lee would be the second choose in the 1996 draft that summer season, and Nick Bierbrodt would be the 1st Diamondbacks decide with the closing decide of the to start with round. (For those who you should not try to remember, Lee was not presented a contract by the Twins and signed with the Diamondbacks as their very first significant free of charge agent signing.)

There were being two Showalter cards in that established. #476 highlighted Showalter in the white hat and conventional property uniforms from the inaugural season this card (#479) attributes the most almost never utilized cap (with the exception of particular one particular-off video games) in franchise background, the teal cap which was worn maybe 3-4 moments in 1998 and by no means (to my knowledge) just after that, together with the purple highway uniforms which also weren’t usually worn.

But the pretty existence of Showalter in this set demonstrates an organizational philosophy which has transformed considerably in the intervening years. Right after being fired by the Yankees next the 1995 period, he was employed to manage the Diamondbacks, despite the fact that there had been no gamers and the group wouldn’t play for over two a long time. Our growth brethren in Tampa wouldn’t hire a supervisor till after the 1997 time, selecting Larry Rothschild away from the in-state Marlins. Showalter, by contrast, put his stamp on the crew from the starting, even possessing a say in the design and style of the uniforms.

Less than Jerry Colangelo, the Diamondbacks had been supposed to be prosperous. 1999 (and later on 2001) did not take place by accident people effective seasons have been the outcome of an group ahead-considering sufficient to employ a manager prior to it seemed a single was wanted and put means into fielding a aggressive crew. While the 1998 staff didn’t stay up to expectations (97 losses was considerably even worse that most gurus predicted) there was adequate in-home expertise to persuade no cost agents these types of as Randy Johnson and Steve Finley to signal prior to the 1999 time.

This card hearkens back again to a time when patient perform was place in and a solid foundation was laid for success. The contrast to the present knee-jerk reactions and persistent mediocrity (or even worse) could not be far more stark.

In 1996, everything was new. No 1 realized who the gamers on the industry would be, but the franchise was by now operating in the direction of success. There was hope not only that there would be baseball in Arizona, but that it might be prosperous. That is a massive variance from the existing, with ownership flirting with Las Vegas and no authentic hope of good results in the upcoming 3-5 years.

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